Re: New trucks

Sergent, Frank <Frank_Sergent@...>


I'm very interested in the possibility of having a second source for HO
ET&WNC trucks. I too am impressed with the detail of David Hoffman's trucks.
The price and assembly of his trucks doesn't bother me as much as the
continued availability though. I like the fact that they are brass so they
can be soldered together easily. In my humble opinion, his trucks seem a
little chunky compared to what I'm used to seeing. The boxes appear to be
quite a bit larger than those on other typical HOn3 trucks. Perhaps his
trucks are completely accurate, but it's hard to tell from the photos and
drawings I have available. To be fare, I've only seen his "Jacked-Up"
versions. I'd like some other opinions about this.

It sounds like you haven't yet made a decision about what type of wheelsets
to equip the new trucks with. For kicks, I did a quick comparison of
wheelsets I had on hand and found a large variation in tire widths and
flange depths as shown below.

Width Flange Depth Flange Thickness
NMRA limits 0.086 min 0.026 max 0.032 max
Grandt 0.082 0.022 0.026
Kadee 0.078 0.022 0.025
MDC 0.089 0.025 0.022
NWSL 0.088 0.028 0.030

Its interesting to see that the only wheels conforming to the NMRA standard
are those from MDC! Only the MDC and NWSL wheels are guaranteed to make it
through a NMRA conforming frog without falling in! The deep flange on the
NWSL can cause it to bottom out on an NMRA conforming frog. Then again, NMRA
standards don't really help much for the dual gage loving ET&WNC fan because
an HOn3 NMRA conforming wheel (min width = 0.086) can fall into an HO NMRA
conforming frog (2 x min flangeway = 0.100). The problem is resolved in the
NMRA's fine scale recommended practices. This recommended practice basically
uses normal HOn3 dimensions and modifies the standard gage wheel/track
dimensions to be compatible. I think NWSL offers HO wheelsets that are based
on the NMRA RP-4. Given the normal set of NMRA standards, I suppose the both
MDC and NWSL wheelsets would both be acceptable on dual gage trackage. I
realize there are lots of people out there with dual gage trackage that
never worry about these details. As far as looks go, the cast Kadee wheels
beat the others hands down.

I personally gave up on the official standards years ago and use a fine
scale standard proposed to the NMRA back in 1981. It approaches what is now
called Proto-87 and has no problem with dual gage incompatibilities. The
down side is that I have to turn my own wheels (0.065 width with 0.012 deep
flanges). Back when I made the decision, it wasn't that big of deal.
Commercial ET&WNC trucks weren't available, so I had to scratchbuild the
trucks anyway. Drivers for the Ten Wheelers weren't available (and still
aren't as far as I know) so I was going to have to scratchbuild them also.
Scratchbuilding narrow gage turnouts was the norm. Since I would have to
scratchbuild everything anyway, why not do it to a dual gage compatible
standard? Unfortunately, I haven't yet had the time to build the Ten
Wheelers, but I did get some freight cars put together. Perhaps I'd do
better to ignore the dual gage issues and live with what's already out
there. David Hoffman made a plea for some modeling standards for ET&WNC
wheel sizes and coupler heights a few years ago in a letter published in the
Stemwinder. Somehow, I suspect that won't ever happen so we have to take
what we can get. At any rate, it sure would be nice to have a second source
for the trucks so I could load them with my thin little wheels.

Thanks for the interest in the ET&WNC.

Frank Sergent

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim King []
Sent: Thursday, January 21, 1999 10:43 AM
To: On3 Group; HOn3 mail list; ET&WNC HS Email List
Cc: Caylor, Bill; Chris & Dina Cardinal; Tall Pine Model
Railroading - Chuck Lind
Subject: [Tweetsie] New trucks

From: Jim King <>

Hi all,

I'm shopping for your interests again. After Phread's
wonderful job of
coordinating my proposed ET pig flat and trailer, it's my

I've had much discussion with modelers in the ET&WNC HS
about having
correct trucks for their HOn3 rolling stock. Dave Hoffman
offers top
quality investment cast brass trucks with NWSL wheels but
some folks
find them difficult to work with and/or too expensive to
outfit their
fleet of cars.

Currently, the best alternative is to use Grandt Line's
D&RGW 4'8" wb
Delrin trucks ... they run fine and have the correct
wheelbase but the
side profile is wrong. I include them in my kits because
they are
economical, good quality and 'get you running' without any
The theory is that they can always be replaced later with
Dave's brass

With that said, I've also been talking with a seasoned spin
caster who
has 4 or 5 truck kits on the market, 1 in O 2-rail, the rest
in HO and
HOn3. I'll be visiting him next Thursday to discuss many
including trucks. I want to pursue having correct HOn3 and
On3 Simplex
and McCord trucks produced in 'white metal', for lack of a
better term.
The trucks will consist of 3 pieces ... 2 sideframes and 1
bolster ...
plus metal wheelsets (source to be determined ... maybe
Grandt or
NWSL). The truck frame will be ACC'd together ... no
Equalization might be a problem using this method but I'll
have to see
for myself. I don't know what price they'll be but I expect
in the $6
-$7.00/pr range.

Assuming I proceed with this project (patterns and tooling
are made),
how many of you are interested in getting 'correct' truck
kits at a more
affordable price? They would be included in my kits and

Please respond at your convenience. This is not a project
that I'll
complete next month, but once it starts, it'll go FAST!

Thanks in advance for your input.

Jim King
Smoky Mountain Model Works

To unsubscribe from this mailing list, or to change your
to digest, go to the ONElist web site, at and
select the User Center link from the menu bar on the left.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.