VGN H-14 redux

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Mon May 9 20:36:49 EDT 2016

Almost 10 years ago I tried to answer a newbie's question on Virginian
hoppers.  With some justification my answer got ripped.  So I started
digging.  One of the results was a spreadsheet on the VGN hoppers (with a
lot of help from others, especially Ben Hom)that's in the files of the
Virginian Yahoo group.  I solicited and received a lot of feedback.  Since
I already got some responses to my earlier posting, herewith is the entire
"Notes" section on the H-14.  Hope its useful.  Disclaimer: I put out this
information.  For all of us, we each have to determine how far we want to

Frank Bongiovanni

Note F: As I said, I *was* kind of content with the MDC three bay as an
H-14(in the one letter per panel paint scheme; MDC also did it in a
scrunched lettering scheme); this poor car generated just about as much
discussion as the rest of the roster combined.

*From*: *I like the MDC version - had as many as 80 at one time, and unless
you have a magnifying glass, little difference can be found - except that
dreadful little 1963 N&W repack stencil.*

*To**:  *On the other hand, I think models that are clearly not
accurate or even close

should be so identified. So, at the risk of incurring your wrath in my
view the MDC triple bears no relation to any VGN car and should be so
identified. If someone then wants to use it as an acceptable, to them,
substitute, that is great. But we should not mislead folks into
thinking that it in any way is historically accurate.

*Those are the extreme comments that I’m keeping anonymous on purpose.  *

John Munson’s comments on the MDC 70T triple as a start on an H-14

*:  The MDC Triple is available in VGN, painted black, and is almost
correct for *

*VGN H-14. You need to recess the frame/weight into the carbody by about
6". *

*This allows the lower 6" of the end sill to be removed along with that
portion *

*of the side sill that sticks out past the car body. You can then go on to *

*replace grabs, etc as you desire.*

*Ben Hom’s response:  *

*I strongly disagree. The H-14 has a signature feature of later VGN hoppers
- the carbody deepened between the outer two side stakes. Unlike the
familiar "fishbelly" twins represented by the Stewart HO model, these cars
featured a straight side sill. (Photo from the pay side of the RPI
website.) <
triple-ribbed-11-panel-VGN-Rail-Data.jpg> *

*These photos are of cars built and delivered after the N&W takeover, N&W
Class H-34 (add 20 to the VGN class for the post-merger N&W class)
<> With
the Atlas Trainman triple now on the market, I really can't recommend the
MDC triple - the hoppers on all of the MDC triples are the worst feature of
the models as they are so shallow they just look wrong. Kitbashing is a bit
of a challenge - one approach would be to start with the Atlas triple,
remove all of the side stakes except the outer two, and make an overlay
from styrene for the deeper car side. Add new side stakes from styrene
strip. The most tedious part of this kitbash is adding rivets to the new
side stakes. (If there's a resin manufacturer out there that you can talk
into doing overlays such as the Sunshine AAR alternate standard offset
hopper conversion kits, that would save a lot of time kitbashing these
cars.) *

John Teichmoller’s suggested fix:

While John[Munson] suggests fairly major surgery to recess the
underframe/weight by 6", I note that without modifications the frame
already sits about 1/32" up from the bottom of the lower chord of the
sides. If you simply shave and file that 1/32" off (the clunky cast on sill
steps will have to go too, but you probalby would be replacing those
anyway) from the end side stake to the end of the car, you will get that
"drop" effect. Maybe only about half as much as should be there, but enough
to be noticeable.
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