Ramax C&EI ACF CenterFlow 2-bay covered hopper (HO)

Discussion in 'Hopper Cars' started by meteor910, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Here is a pic of the Ramax ACF Centerflow 2-bay covered hopper I finally finished (I built the kit at a previous house in 1985, painted it in 2011, and decaled it in 2012! Speedy, huh?). I decaled it as a C&EI car since we used to ship one of our products in C&EI (and MP) 2-bay CF's while I was working in the chemical industry, plus I have had the Herald King decal set for almost as long as I have had the Ramax kit with the intent of doing one of those cars.

    Also note, it is not the correct ACF CF model for the Frisco (or for most other 2-bay CF's). It is one of the early ACF CenterFlow's - note the single reinforcing rib across the top of the hopper side. Most CF's had a triple rib running across the top of the hopper, a later design to provide more body strength. Look at your Intermountain Frisco ACF 2-bay CF, if you have one, to see the difference. But, I had the car, and I had the decals, and I wanted to have a car like we used to load, so, what the heck, what you see is what you get!

    The Ramax is a very old kit - early 1980's, with poor details, thick features, and cast on details like grabs, etc. I just didn't feel like doing an extensive upgrade, so all I did was put a decent brake wheel on it, change out a few of the brake details at the "B" end, replace the four top hatch covers, and add Kadee trucks and couplers and Cal-Scale brake hoses. It will be a layout runner car, not a show model! I also decided not to try to model the beat up hopper sides from sledge hammer hits, since I did not even weather the car. Most of my stuff now is unweathered (easier to sell later!).

    I need to decide if I should paint the trucks gray, as that is what the C&EI (and MP) cars had. The trucks were Barber S-2's. I might also put better stirrup steps on it as the ones on the kit are horrible, an easy fix

    As I documented in earlier postings, I had a heck of a time with the 25+ year old decal set - about a third of them broke, mostly the small, fragile long sill note decals. The note about this car having two bays (at the left end of the side sill in the pic) is missing from the other side. It broke into about five pieces and I was not able to recover it. The rest of the breaks were fairly easy to repair as long as I had a steady hand. With old decals, you have to remember to push them off the backing paper on to the model surface with your probe, not pull them, and don't poke at them. I also had to modify my decal setting solution technique, but all came out well except for the one I lost.

    There is a picture of a similar C&EI ACF CF 2-bay in Jim Kinkaid's book "Missouri Pacific Freight and Passenger Equipment", page 87. Note the gray trucks, and note the three-rib hopper side reinforcement. Also note, it is coupled to a Frisco "Ship it" box, AND note the "hobo" enjoying a ride in the CenterFlow's "A" end! I guess the "A" end is the first class way to go - much more room than the "B".

    This is the first modeling I have done in over six months, and I enjoyed it. I have a lot of built and painted cars sitting in the paint shop waiting to be lettered, so I'm now attacking them one by one. I always did enjoy decal work - kind of takes a nice looking model and makes it come alive.

    I need to find a figure so I can add the "hobo" to the model!


    Attached Files:

  2. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Nice job on the decals, Ken.
    Thick features is an understatement, however, your work has made it plausible.
    For sure - replace the stirrups - would do it much justice.
  3. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Well, we are the richer for your return to the active modeling ranks, Ken. Well done!

    One of my first Frisco kits was a similar looking hopper, purchased from TJ's Hobbies in Cape. I may have the pieces somewhere, but it was a sorry looking piece of equipment with globs of glue here and there.

    Ken, I hope we'll see more of your work soon.

    Best Regards,
  4. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    As I recall, the Ramax kit came in a plastic bag!

  5. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Great looking Decal Job Ken,
    It is amazing how much lettering they put on the sides of these things that nobody reads. Like the sledge hammer marks all over the "DO NOT USE HAMMER ON CAR"
    Some new wire type stirrup steps, and 36" wheels, and you will be styling.
    A question. Was this Ramax car the predecessor to McKean?
    Thanks for showing us the car.
    Tom Holley
  6. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Tom -

    Yeah, like the note "This car has two compartments". Anybody can look at the darn thing and see that!

    Yes, the Ramax was long before the McKean. They were not even related as far as I know. The Ramax was a full "flat" kit - all four sides were separate parts, while as I recall, the McKean kits had much more of a full body injection casting set up. I don't think Ramax ever made anything else, at least I don't recall anything.

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 27, 2012
  7. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Tom - Your comment has peaked my memory. The cars we used in the service I have been describing were lined with, as I recall, Poly-Clutch (sp?), as the product was an aggressive chelating/sequestering agent and, given a little water from humidity or a leak, would love to go after the metal in the car body. The hoppers did have the notes about "Do not hit with a hammer", but you could barely read the notes from all the hammer marks and dents!

  8. meteor910

    meteor910 2009 Engineer of the Year Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    FYI - an update. I changed out those ugly, grossly oversized stirrup steps on my Ramax C&EI ACF 2-bay Centerflow covered hopper - replaced them with the Details Associates SS-6414 part. I painted the new stirrup steps and a pair of plastic Barber S-2 r/b trucks gray, and added Kadee wheelsets. I stayed with 33" wheels as the 36" wheels, which are correct, made the car sit too high. I figured there is enough other stuff "wrong" with the Ramax that I would not worry about the wheels.

    As soon as I find an appropriate hobo to ride in the "A" end of the car, I'll post another pic.


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