locked Re: Southern 390399 "Ortner's 10,000th Rapid Discharge Car" Questions

Stuart Thayer


In regards to your assertion that the SOU 4-bay ortners are an easy kitbash, I have to disagree.  My good friend Dan Bourque built one of these cars and he said to get the model correct it was an extremely difficult kitbash and one that he is not planning to ever try again due to it's complexity.  You have to essentially cut an MDC/Athearn 5-bay model apart and move the bays, redo the interior slope sheets between the bays, shorten overall length of the car, and simulate the depressed panels between the ribs that were done to increase the capacity of the car.  There was a lot of work.

Stuart Thayer

In a message dated 11/23/2019 2:24:06 AM Eastern Standard Time, ryan.harris@... writes:

In this discussion I was referring to the N scale model only to point out that it had all the data one would expect to find on the other cars in the series. I wonder if this was based in fact or if it was the artist simply making an educated guess as to how the car appeared. I like the idea that it did receive the additional markings, especially since I'm interested in the car in later years. Having seen the N scale model and the HO scale model by MDC Roundhouse, Eastern Seaboard Models did a much better job on the shape and placement of the large "ORTNER" lettering than MDC Roundhouse did.

I don't think anyone has made a mass-produced model of the four bay configuration used by Southern and Northern Pacific. I don't have production totals, but my suspicion is the five bay version was more popular than the four bay version. There were certainly more users of the five bay version, which makes the case for tooling the five bay version from the point of view of a manufacturer trying to get the most bang for the buck. Athearn has gone on to upgrade the MDC Roundhouse five bay Ortner tooling they purchased and have released it in Southern previously (in the five bay version, unfortunately). Another release of Southern Ortners is scheduled for next year.

For those who want to model a four bay version, the good news is it uses nearly the same overall dimensions as the five bay version (55'-0" over strikers for the five bay vs. 54'-6" over strikers for the four bay and 45'-1" truck centers for the five bay vs. 43'-7" truck centers for the four bay). It's a simple kitbash for those HO and N scale modelers who want to model the car with four bays instead of five.

Ryan Harris
Fort Worth, TX

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