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In the planning stages for creating a replica of an MOW wheel car based on a photo of a 1:1prototype.


Since the principal visible load for this sort of car is an assortment of wheel sets, I'd prefer that their stand-alone appearance be more prototypical than simply using wheel/axles from existing truck manufacturers.

I'm thinking probably of Proto 48 variety, but with special attention to axle contours, with special attention to the journal bearing ends of the axles.  IOW, not simply using wheel sets with needle-point axle ends.

So, do any of our suppliers offer such wheel sets?  At this point I'm not particular about metal or plastic.  I'm mostly focused on the faithful replication.  33" and/or 36" wheels, standard gauge axles, would be appropriate for my modeling era.

BTW, I first checked the San Juan/Grandtline listings (no luck) before casting this net for more possibilities.

I'm a bit surprised that this 'detail' may be harder to source than even a a knitting needle in the haystack.  Just about a month ago while on an interstate highway we passed a flatbed trailer/semi with a load of 'weathered' railroad car/engine wheel/axle sets destined for ???.  I suppose, too, that such details might reside in outdoor storage near some re-builders, car shops, etc..   Leafing through a book I have on ATSF MOW cars...most of them 'home-grown' from other freight/passenger seems that a car loaded with wheel sets was fairly standard in the make up of a wreck clean-up train....and none seemed to have needle-pointed axle ends!!


What have you done yourselves to reproduce these?....capped short lengths of styrene tubing CA'd to the needle pointed axle ends?

Thanks for any hints, re-directs.



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@rattler21 posted:

Scale wheel sets ride on four wood 'rails'.  The wheel nearest the centerline has a bit of rubber cement to reduce the vibration.  Sets were painted with primer brown, then a dusting of a medium brown followed by a light dusting of black. The axles' end points could be ground off.

Ground off yes, except real railroad axle ends have a circumferential flange on the ends, for oil lubricated plain bearings. Thus, depending on the era being modeled, newer style axle ends would already have a roller bearing cartridge bearing installed. In the "modern era", there would NOT be wheel sets "ready to go" on such a maintenance of way car, without cartridge roller bearings installed, or else they would be plain bearing ends, which would be covered/protected from the elements.

Ok, first off, the wheels on your car in the photo are ribbed back and are friction bearing wheel sets.  The wheels in your other two photos are modern roller bearing wheel sets(in fact the one photo is SO modern that they have bar code labels on them, that has only been happening for maybe 5 years or so), meaning that those journals will have a tapered roller bearing pressed on them before they are used.  Anyway, a decent representation of the older friction bearing style of wheelset would be to use a wheelset that has blunt ends on the axles and then glue a small disk on the ends to represent the collar that would have been there on a friction set.  In real life, the collar would have been about a half inch wide and maybe 5/8" tall.  The problem is going to be finding wheels that actually have correctly shaped axles rather than just a straight rod for an axle.

Last edited by oscaletrains

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