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Soliciting opinions: Bowser rolling stock

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Soliciting opinions: Bowser rolling stock
Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 9:36 AM

Looking to hear from you all.  I don't have any experience with anything Bowser but I'm looking to expand my rolling stock of 40-50' boxcars and see that they have some decent prices on various web sites.  Is their stuff good enough for those who can't pay $50 for a freight car?  I have a mixture of Athearn, Atlas, Bachmann, Walthers, and Intermountain right now.  The IM is about as much as I'm willing to pay...

Andy

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:15 AM

Not a big Bowser owner but the stuff I own and seen has the typical molded on details, like grab irons and stirrups.  I donlt think there is much underbody brake detail.  

If you're good with that kind of product then I think Bowser probably has some of the FINEST molded on details than many other producers.  Some others can look pretty blocky.

They roll fine for my needs.

- Douglas

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:21 AM

It is okay.  Most of their stuff has cast on details, and many of their box cars are foobies.  That being said, they do not make a bad model, it is just not a highly detailed one.  I had a bunch of their PRR GLA hoppers, I just sold the last one, replaced by the Rapido model.

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:30 AM

I'm not familiar with the term "foobies", can you enlighten me?

Andy

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:42 AM

I don't have a lot of Bowser rolling stock but I did buy six undecorated wagon top boxcars that I lettered for my home road. They are a good quality item. As I do with all my kit built cars, I added KD couplers and wheelsets and proper weight. They are every bit as good as the Accurail cars that make up the bulk of my freight car fleet. My guess is that even if you didn't do these upgrades, the stock wheelsets would do just fine. 

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Posted by wrench567 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:42 AM

   Andy.

 As a PRR modelers I have about 80 H21, H22 and GL hoppers, about 30 round roof boxcars in multiple versions, and around 25 cabins of the N5 and N5c variety. Along with a few FM flats and gons. I can live with cast on details as they are considered layout and transport to train show quality. Expect to replace the plastic wheels and install KDs. Some of the hoppers need the weights painted under the slope sheets. Cabins used to not have windows in the kits, but they are available and I think (not sure) they are included now.

  Not too bad in my opinion.

      Pete.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:44 AM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior

I'm not familiar with the term "foobies", can you enlighten me?

 

In this context, I'm guessing he is saying they are not prototypically accurate with their details. That's never been a priority for me. As long as it looks realistic, that's good enough for me. 

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:51 AM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior

I'm not familiar with the term "foobies", can you enlighten me?

 

It generally means that the railroad the car is painted for never owned that specific type of car. 

If you get into the weeds of the different kinds of 50 foot boxcars for example, the model will have a specific kind of end details or door details because of the need to mass produce the car, but those details only apply to one railroad/roadnam that owned that particular kind of 50 foot boxcar.  So by default, all other roadnames the model is painted with are "foobies". 

The "higehr end" models will have different tooling or different specifically applied prototypical details applied for each different roadname.  Which, of course, involves more engineering and labor, so they cost more than the Bowsers. Accurails, etc. 

Its a slang term for something more harsh.

- Douglas

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Posted by NittanyLion on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:51 AM

wrench567
As a PRR modeler

I've always perceived this to be the most influential thing about your opinion on Bowser.

Bowser makes a lot of PRR specific things. If you're a northeasterner, you end up with a lot of their boxes on your shelf. I'm a contemporary guy and even though their 100 ton hopper is pretty generic, they fill out a fleet quickly and in otherwise obscure road names. 

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:29 AM

The Milwaukee Road Warrior

I'm not familiar with the term "foobies", can you enlighten me?

 

A model of a prototype that never existed in real life.  It could be something as simple as the wrong type of doors, the wrong number, or it could be something painted for a company that never owned that type of equipment.  Some of us care about that, some people do not.

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by The Milwaukee Road Warrior on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:32 AM

Got it.  Thanks.

Yeah I'm the interim between my question and the answers that followed I put 2 and 2 together and I think I figured out what the "harsher term" is lol.

Andy

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 11:32 AM

I have just one, an undecorated covered hopper I bought to deliver salt to my tanning plant.  I made up the name "Salzburg Salt" and printed decals.  I painted the car Reefer White, and upgraded it to Kadees and Intermountain metal wheels.

The car looks good and functions just fine.

I didn't find any short Transition Era hoppers at the time for salt, so finding an undecorated kit for a very reasonable price made me happy.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 12:22 PM

Doughless
It generally means that the railroad the car is painted for never owned that specific type of car. 

That is what a "foobie" is.

Don't get into the weeds. Innacurate details are just innacurate. Foobies are complete fantasy.

I model an entire FOOBIE WORLD!

Big Smile

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 12:54 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
Doughless
It generally means that the railroad the car is painted for never owned that specific type of car. 

 

That is what a "foobie" is.

Don't get into the weeds. Innacurate details are just innacurate. Foobies are complete fantasy.

I model an entire FOOBIE WORLD!

Big Smile

-Kevin

 

I've seen some of the more in the weeds comments suggest that if a particular car had the wrong end detail for that paint job, when the detail was correct for another roadname, then the car was a foob just because of those few details being wrong for that prototype.

- Douglas

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Posted by wrench567 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 1:09 PM

NittanyLion

 

 
wrench567
As a PRR modeler

 

I've always perceived this to be the most influential thing about your opinion on Bowser.

Bowser makes a lot of PRR specific things. If you're a northeasterner, you end up with a lot of their boxes on your shelf. I'm a contemporary guy and even though their 100 ton hopper is pretty generic, they fill out a fleet quickly and in otherwise obscure road names. 

 

  Even if you're not a PRR modeler, if you model the transition period you still need some PRR equipment. They had more of one class of boxcar than many roads had cars. The same can be said of hoppers. I have seen pictures of strings of PRR cars heading east on the UP, SP, and others. When you're purchasing department puts in an order for 10,000 X29 boxcars, (X31 not far behind) you can bet several of them will be on every road in the northern hemisphere of the Americas.

  Pete.

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Posted by n012944 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 1:54 PM

SeeYou190

 

 

Don't get into the weeds. 

 

Some of us enjoy the "weeds".  The research to see if a car not only existed in the time period that I model, but if it would have been used in the little slice of America that I chose to model is part of the hobby, and part of the fun.  To know that someone in 1965 in Ohio could have seen the exact train that I have modeled go by is satisfying.

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 4:54 PM

Bowser seems to have recently transferred their manufacturing of diesels and rolling stock to China, and no longer produce them in Montoursville.
I recall going there to buy a number of model rolling stock kits, but was also allowed to buy parts from those kits, which were manufactured there, to use for upgrading older kits, produced by both Athearn and MDC.

Wayne

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, November 30, 2022 10:25 PM

n012944
Some of us enjoy the "weeds".

I meant don't get into the weeds and use the term "foobie". A foobie is a paint scheme on a piece of equipment that never belonged to that railroad. Like a K4 painted for the Burlington Northern.

Incorrect details are just incorrect details. Foobie is not the correct term if a model has an Ajax brake wheel and the prototype had a Miner brake wheel.

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by maxman on Thursday, December 1, 2022 12:45 AM

doctorwayne

Bowser seems to have recently transferred their manufacturing of diesels and rolling stock to China, and no longer produce them in Montoursville.
I recall going there to buy a number of model rolling stock kits, but was also allowed to buy parts from those kits, which were manufactured there, to use for upgrading older kits, produced by both Athearn and MDC.

Wayne

 

As I understand it Bowser has been, for some time, making the parts in their shop and then sending them to China for assembly.  I have not heard that they are now doing the actual part manufacturing in China.   But anything is possible.

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Posted by "JaBear" on Thursday, December 1, 2022 3:07 AM
I can’t comment on Bowsers Boxcars cos I have none.
But I got two of Bowsers RTR H30 covered hoppers and they’re great runners; straight from the box. Correct coupler heights and close to the NMRA recommended weight.
I’ve also built a number of their 70 ton 2 bay covered hopper kits; I like them!
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by n012944 on Thursday, December 1, 2022 4:16 PM

SeeYou190

 

 

Incorrect details are just incorrect details. Foobie is not the correct term if a model has an Ajax brake wheel and the prototype had a Miner brake wheel.

-Kevin

 

 

Incorrect details make it an incorrect model.

An "expensive model collector"

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Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, December 1, 2022 6:40 PM

not mtentioned is Accurail. decent shake the box kits and rtr.   

Shane

A pessimist sees a dark tunnel

An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, December 2, 2022 12:40 AM

n012944
Incorrect details make it an incorrect model.

I am not debating that point.

The term "foobie" means an incorrect paint scheme used to sell more models, nothing else. Like painting a big boy for the B&O or a 2-8-0 for CSX.

Yes, an incorrect detail results in an incorrect model. 

Huh?

-Kevin

Living the dream and happily modeling my STRATTON AND GILLETTE Railroad in HO scale. The SGRR is a freelanced Class A railroad as it would have appeared on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954, in my personal fantasy world of plausible nonsense.

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Posted by Southgate 2 on Friday, December 2, 2022 1:37 AM

My only Bowser cars are 3 of these covered 2 bay hoppers.

   

At eye level, as is my layout, they don't look bad, at least to me.

But from above:  

   

The molded-on-ness becomes far more apparent. As far as road specific accuracy, I have no clue. Dan

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Friday, December 2, 2022 8:22 AM

I have a handful of Bowser cars. They all operate well once they have metal wheels and kadee's installed. (New cars now have metal wheels.)

Detail is not as fine as Tangent, Rapido, Exactail, etc..., but for operating cars, sometimes less detailed is better IMO. (The fine details get lost when operating in a moving train anyways, you only notice them if parked right at the layout edge. At 3 feet or more, or moving, all cars look like they have the same details.) And because they are less detailed, they cost less.

I also have some of their locomotives, and their Executive line loco's I would put up against any other locomotive on the market.

The fact you can still get parts and bits helps as well.

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, December 2, 2022 1:35 PM

I have a few Bowser cars, mostly hoppers, and also one boxcar...

 

...this one was not available as a kit, and may be the only non-kit piece of rolling stock that I own...

I do have a couple of Bowser (China-made) automobile box cars on-order, due sometime next year, I think.

It somewhat surprises me, though, that Bowser never made (at least as far as I'm aware) any X-29 boxcars.
Most of the eleven PRR (and two or three more, that I lettered for railroads which purchased similar-designed cars) that I have, are from either Train Miniature or Intermountain. 

I made three of these X-29s based on a real one, and included pretty-well all of the details on that real one  (which was later bought by the new owners of the EBT).  One of the kit-builds was a gift built to honour a friend, while an identical one was included for another longtime friend and a third one for myself...

I do wish, though, that the instruction sheets for the open Bowser hopper cars were more precise regarding the proper application (and orientation) of the latches for the hopper doors.  None of my Bowser hoppers have the latches installed because I don't know how they're supposed to be added properly.

Wayne

 

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Posted by Autonerd on Friday, December 2, 2022 10:47 PM

I have a couple-two-tree of their N5 cabooses (including one you sent me, GMPullman! Thanks!) and they've been fine -- several of the steps fell off right away, but other than that, they've been great. I have a couple of hopper cars that I haven't gotten around to building yet.

Aaron

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Posted by NittanyLion on Friday, December 2, 2022 11:55 PM

Come to think of it, they're the only source for Roadrailers, aren't they? 

Seems a bit odd, given how many companies have molds for 53 foot trailers and you pretty much just need a modestly modified truck to make it a Roadrailer. 

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Posted by gmpullman on Saturday, December 3, 2022 4:57 AM

NittanyLion
Come to think of it, they're the only source for Roadrailers, aren't they?

Aah, those Road Railers Cool Pretty clever design. I've got about a dozen of them that I like to run with some of my Amtrak stuff:

 Bowser_R-R4 by Edmund, on Flickr

 Bowser_R-R3 by Edmund, on Flickr

It especially looks neat with a Ring EOT on the rear.

I've always liked the Bowser rolling stock. They've upped their game in the past few years by offering some slightly better detailed cars such as the improved covered hopper:

 UCOX_205-Covered Hopper by Edmund, on Flickr

Or the PRR N5C Cabin car with details such as the trainphone inductor, window galzing and separate handrails already applied:

 IMG_7963_fix by Edmund, on Flickr

 PRR N5C Bowser by Edmund, on Flickr

Their locomotives have kept pace with recent improvements as well while trying to keep the end costs down.

I've always had good results with Bowser products and the preceeding Stewart Hobbies stuff. The Stewart F units and Ore Jennies are still decent models.

 PRR_G39-Stewart by Edmund, on Flickr

Autonerd
I have a couple-two-tree of their N5 cabooses (including one you sent me, GMPullman! Thanks!)

Yeah, those steps. I think the trouble is the factory-applied paint not allowing the cement to adhere.

Hey, Aaron, might be time for another package? I still have that old Cary S-2 I promised waiting here for you Smile  Maybe after the Holiday rush...

Cheers, Ed

 

 

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Posted by Autonerd on Saturday, December 3, 2022 10:20 PM

Ed, I will never say no to your generosity! In the interest of full disclosure, I am still working on the last set of projects! Still, definite yes please to the S2. I cannot wait to have a single switcher that can get a full cut of cars up the 2% grade of the reverse loop!

Aaron

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