H9 - H10 market potential

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Thu Jan 14 17:21:50 EST 2021

Hi Jim,

As I get older and my vision declines, I am forced to admit that cast on grabs on black hopper cars are not that huge of a drawback to me anymore.  That said, adding wire grabs to models is not that difficult and unless there was a SUBSTANTIAL price difference between the kits with cast grabs and those without, my preference is still to not have cast on grab irons.

I would very much like to see the H9 produced and would certainly support the project.  HOWEVER, I would much prefer to see the H10 produced, and I know that I would be willing to commit to purchasing a decent number of them for my own use.

What sort of numbers of kits would you need to produce (read sell) in order for this to be a project for you to consider?


Dr. J. Brent Greer

From: NW-Modeling-List <nw-modeling-list-bounces at nwhs.org> on behalf of NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2021 2:35 PM
To: nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>
Subject: H9 - H10 market potential

I’ve possessed a full set of H9 and H10 drawings for many years with the goal of creating models for, at least, the H9.  Given that the H9 has only been produced in HO as an Overland import many years ago and over 22,000 were built in Roanoke, this is a car that should be produced.  I don’t think the H10 has ever been produced.  I guess the HL that’s been produced-to-death dating back to days of “a box of sticks” (Ambroid) and, most recently, made by MTH, suffices for most folks.  Not me.  I model 1957-63 and the HLs were gone by 1956-57, having given their lives to the H9 program.

Since the H9 is a fleet car, having more than one on a layout is logical.  However, it appears the only way this car will be made is in resin and that doesn’t cater to the “fleet mentality” (if you want a large fleet).  About 2 years ago, Frank Hodina produced an IC 2-bay hopper in 2 versions:  with and without cast-on grabs.  His reasoning was, in a fleet, the cast on grabs were small enough to be acceptable, even on a brown car, and the amount of labor saved justified buying a few.  He quickly sold out of both versions and recently made another batch but I don’t know in which option.

What is your “take” on the H9 (and H10 shares the same consideration) re: a resin kit with/w-o separate grabs?  Resin kits are not cheap to manufacture and these cars are no different.  The price can be reduced a few $$ by omitting trucks and couplers but the basic kit, which requires patterns, rubber molds and labor, is the greater portion of any kit.  Decals are a must-have for my kits.  Is there a sufficient market to justify the effort to see either kit become a reality or is the HL “good enough” for a 2-bay hopper and the BLI H-2a for the H10?

Jim King


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