Remembering the Rutland - Forums
--Image courtesy of Bob's Photos--
A Review of the Kadee Rutland PS-1
I hope it is not too late for Kadee to correct some or all of these faults. Rutland enthusiasts might well defer a purchase until the roof, at least, is corrected. If it is too late to correct the first batch, perhaps Kadee might provide a color match formula for those who want to repaint the roof and stirrup steps.
RRHS member and faithful RtR reader Chuck Hladik wrote to Kadee regarding their new Rutland PS-1. Here is the text of Chuck's email and the response from Kadee:
Remarks: Could you please advise as to where you
got the info for the color of the roof on the new Rutland release (#5219) as several of
us, even though we are members of the Rutland Railraod Historical Society, have yet to
actually see a shot of the roof and also believe it to be galvanized, yet the Society's
latest newsletter has an article that states definitively the roof and roof walk were
yellow. Any hope of getting a 7 foot door done? From the flyer photo it looks fantastic!!
Hi Chuck. Thank you for the e-mail.
Steve Mumley's "Two Cents Worth"
Open Letter from Ralph Notaristefano and Steve Mumley
3 Jay Court
Mr. Jim Dufour
I spoke to Bill Badger last night about his critical review of the Kadee Rutland boxcar which appears on your Web Site and I could not agree with Bill more. Enclosed please find my latest correspondence with Kadee which I would like you to post in its entirety along with this letter on your Web Site. My hope is that it might shed some light on Kadee's decision to use a gray roof on its Rutland car.
Since August, 1998 when Kadee contacted me for information on the Rutland boxcar, Steve Mumley and I provided them with an enormous amount of material which included builder's photographs, information from Car Account Register, trust data - the list goes on. Our purpose was to provide Kadee with as much material as possible so that they could produce an accurate car. We were not the only researchers who were providing Kadee material. In fact, Warren Dodson initiated this project. Glenn Annis provided the lettering diagram. Dick Dermody provided painting information and his articles. Undoubtly, there were others. Kadee was not lacking information on this car.
When I received Sam Clarke's letter of 10/27/99 [see below -jrd], I was very surprised to learn that Kadee was producing the car with a gray roof. I was completely taken aback by this because all previous conversations indicated that a yellow roof was in order. I called Sam after sending this material to Steve and the following is a distilled account of that conversation which prompted my letter of 11/17/99. It did not matter what I could have said at this point, the car was already in production
Kadee decided to use a revenue service car. This decision was based upon photographs which I have enclosed with this letter which Sam sent me [I was unable to scan these images in a way that would render them useful to this discussion -jrd]. Sam also indicated that on the strength of material he received from another source indicating Rutland cars had galvanized roofs, Kadee decided upon a gray roof for its model. Furthermore, Kadee might release another car with a yellow roof, but no decision has been made. It is my understanding that the selection of the gray roof on the Rutland car was made by ownership
For years Rutland modelers have waited for an accurate PS-1 boxcar. Bill's letter indicating issues with capacity data, stirrup color, etc. only compound[s] the problem with Kadee's selection of a galvanized roof. For me, the model is incorrect. And, after seeing the model, if your Web Site viewers agree, Kadee should be informed accordingly. I appreciate you putting this material on your Web Site and I hope it helps shed light on our experience with Kadee.
The following is a letter from Sam Clarke of Kadee to Ralph Notaristefano:
It was good talking to you the other day and I'm glad that you liked the VTR car. At this time I can not get you more cars unless it's at normal retail. The discussion you had with Larry Edwards not long ago about dealership status did not help me in this matter. If you give me the name of the and address of the person who helped you I may be able to do something direct. Also, I asked about discounts to museums and historical societies but the answer was no and the reasons they gave were quite sound, with exceptions though.
I have included copies of the scanned slides of the VTR cars we spoke about and some of the Rutland slides we have that we're basing our upcoming car on. The slide of the red (brown) VTR #133 came from Matthew J. Herson and his name is included by the picture. I also included pictures of some of the "blue" VTR cars. The road number of these cars correspond[s] with the former Rutland cars. The end shot of #276 looks dark blue but could be black. The three cars shown #s 429, 413, and 272 are slides we have and #229 is a print of a blue car we have then car #354 in the Freight Car Classic Vol. 7 makes 5 cars that we can confirn as being blue. Now with the various shades of green and faded green we see it's difficult to tell what the car color might be in the black and white photos. Are we opening a can of worms here?
I can not tell you the car number for our Rutland car yet but it's in the 300-399 to 400-450 series with the 8 foot door. You may or may not be disappointed that the car we're doing "will" have a galvanized roof and running board. We have found that most of the cars did have galvanized roofs as you can see in the photos, note car #248. When you look at the slide with a loupe or a microscope the roof shows no sign of paint and hardly any over spray. Other cars have various amounts of over spray but when you can see the galvanized running board and the yellow fading more the farther up the ribs you look it indicates the roof is galvanized. We are not disagreeing with you on all counts of this because there were some cars that certainly had painted roofs, such as #100, but it just wasn't all of them. This has also been confirmed by several other modeling and railroad "experts". I indicated on the photos where the galvanized is seen and the source of the slides, if known.
We certainly thank you and your friends for your assistance and we hope that you will continue to help.
3 Jay Court
After speaking with you yesterday at length concerning the Rutland PS-1 box car, I feel Kadee is making a mistake in choosing to produce this car with a galvanized roof and walk-way. The historical data and personal recollections of those of us who were alive when the Rutland existed and who actually saw these cars - one of whom crawled on the roof of this car and without hesitation states the roof and walkway were yellow - which was provided to Kadee appears to have had little impact on the choice to produce a car with the correct color roof and walk-way, despite the information which was so generously provided. It is clearly disappointing.
The color photocopies which you sent me after the decision to produce a car with the galvanized roof point to several problem areas in historical research. First, all of these photos are of cars in line service. Things happen to cars when they are in service. Paint fades and wears off. As I mentioned in the past, paint does not adhere well to zinc and flaking occurs. In some instances, the car roofs were repainted in a black paint and tar mixture to prevent the roof from rusting. Does that mean the roofs were black? Obviously, the answer is no. The builder's photo which I sent clearly indicates that the car roof was yellow when delivered.
The information which you were given by someone who indicated the roof was galvanized
is misleading for the following reasons. Perhaps several cars did come through
without yellow roofs. But, why? Was this a mistake? A cost cutting measure? Or, did
the railroad have intentions of painting the roofs but never got around to it?
Exactly how many cars received this treatment out of the four hundred which were delivered
to the Rutland? These are critical questions. Were you given
The problem with the selection of a car with a galvanized roof is this: it gives the
modeler the false
As you know, these cars were recently produced by others and they were accurate and very successful. For Kadee's good reputation, I am suggesting that you reconsider the decision to produce this car with a galvanized roof. Since the price of this car will no doubt be higher than any of Kadee's previous releases, I cannot help but feel the potential buyer may decide not to purchase this model if there are nagging concerns about accuracy. While I have no right to say this, it would be wise to halt your production run, reconsider this decision and obtain more information before producing this model. Kadee has always strived to produce an accurate car and you have been very successful. After all of that hard work, do you want to be remembered for a mistake? I think not, particularly on such a popular car as Rutland's classic green and yellow scheme.
Chris Martin Weighs in and then Hunkers Down!
I'm going to weigh in on this debate with some comments that put me in the middle, so I am going to make a run to my bomb-and-flame-proof bunker after posting this off to you!!!
1. Regarding Bill's comments about the yellow, I have
to agree that it's a little too intense a hue, but I suspect that a shot of dullcote will
tone things down to an acceptable level. I think a major part of the problem here is not
the color of the paint, but the color of the plastic under the extremely thin coat of
paint. This color is partially determined by what is available in pigments usuable in both
styrene and engineering plastic --the ladders and grabs on the kadee cars are NOT painted,
they are bare engineering plastic, which holds paint even more poorly than galvanised
steel roofs. I don't intend to let this bother me though...
---Collection of Ray Muntz---
Dick Dermody Speaks his Mind
Is it possible the Rutland had some PS-1's delivered with unpainted galvanized roofs, as opposed to cars where the paint wore off or became covered with dust, dirt and other by-products of an industrial environment? Guess so, because I didn't see them all.
What I can say is this. When these cars were in-service with the Rutland, I spent my summers (late 50's) working at the King Street docks of the Lake Champlain Transportation Company. Coming down King Street, you overlooked the Rutland (now VTR) yard. I saw these cars every day, and this was after all had been in service for several years. I also [saw] these cars in other places such as Boston where one could look down on the rail yards from overhead bridges. On many a trip, I remember thinking how easy it was to pick out the Rutland cars from the others from up above because of their yellow roofs. I didn't see every car, but I did see quite a few and all I saw had yellow roofs. NEVER saw a unpainted galvanized one! I'll stand with Steve Mumley and Armand Premo on this one.
The business about some roads' cars being left with unpainted galvanized roofs and the body color being picked up by overspray on the eaves and roof seam caps is correct and not uncommon. However, this paint normally appeared only in the vicinity of the roof edge. Look closely at the picture of Rutland 360 at the beginning of this page. The yellow clearly extends along all of the visible roof seam caps. This is not overspray, but a roof painted yellow. This car is also from the same lot as Kadee's 378.
As Chris Martin points out, some of this is subject to interpretation. He looks at the picture he cites in Shaughnessy's The Rutland Road and sees galvanized metal. I look at the same picture and see yellow covered with dirt. Black and white photos help even less. It's pretty hard to distinguish between light dust and galvanized metal, particularly when the shot is from a distance.
Finally, a comment regarding the accuracy and validity of the Kadee research efforts. How can they manage to assert proof "positive" of unpainted galvanized roofs, but yet overlook such an obvious item as the yellow stirrups? Would anyone care to argue that they were yellow? And finally, they give us proof of the existence of a blue VTR boxcar by citing the obviously color shifted Ektachrome of VTR 354 in Vol 7 of CFC. With research like this, why bother with facts?
I don't suppose the VTR would let us do an archeological "dig" on the 450 at Burlington?
Bottom line - my boxcars have, and will continue to have, yellow roofs. None of them will be by Kadee.
Don Spiro Writes...
In regards to the light color used on the body casting, I have had
similar problems on Red Caboose's Mather reefers. Prior to assembly I paint the interiors
of the Mather cars flat black. This gets rid of the translucent look inherent to cars
molded in a light color. The PS-1 is too new for the era I am modeling so I won't be
purchasing one. I do sympathize with those modelers who have been patiently waiting for a
model of perhaps one of the finest looking box cars ever to appear in a train. Caveat
Emptor......perhaps Kadee might get the message if these cars are not close to being a
Jay Conant Remembers
In order to confuse the issue, I have two copies of Pullman Standard's house organ, The Carbuilder, from October, 1954 which have a nice color photo of #104 on the cover [see below]. The photo is a 3/4 shot of the brake wheel end taken from the ground so doesn't show the roof, per se. However, it does show the edges of the ribs and a short portion of the roofwalk (sorry, Chris) before it gets blocked by the side. The viewing angle is generally from left to right, with sunlight shining from right to left. From the photo, the ribs and roofwalk look reddish, pretty much like the inside of the coupler faces, suggesting rust. The ensuing 2-page article notes that the first of the cars was christened on August 23 so at that point the cars were very new. A brief description of the cover notes that the photo was taken by Dude Calvert (possibly a Pullman Standard company photographer?), that the car was built in Michigan City, and that it travelled to Rutland loaded with groceries from Battle Creek. I'm guessing that the photo was taken in Michigan ... or else Vermont was awfully flat in those days! As has been noted by others, the yellow paint extends past the eaves and the stirrup steps are yellow. One thing that hasn't been mentioned, and perhaps I'm being an extreme picker of nits here, is that the green seems to extend just a bit too far up the sides compared to prototype photos, which show it ending just barely above the grab iron and number.
Chris Martin - Enfant Terrible
First up, I'm going to recant -- a little bit (this is like being wicked -- a little bit -- something I would never be, no, not me -- heh, heh, heh!). Some more looking at what photos I have of nos. 100-107 has convinced me that cars almost certainly had painted running boards and painted roofs (d@~* -- I'm going to have to match the yellow paint on my Steam Shack #100 after all).
But I'm recanting only a little bit. I'm pretty certain that the running boards on the rest of the PS-1's were unpainted except at the ends. The roofs I'm not sure about -- and I'm probably going to remain unsure until I see some good overhard views of newish RUTLAND PS-1s. I am especially dubious on the 200-299 series cars. I've seen several photos that make it look to me like the roof was not painted.
A note on general painting practice in the fifties -- there is one truly evil stunt that railroads and carbuilders would sometimes perpetrate on the freight car watching public. Some times cars had the ribs of the roofs painted but not the galvanised panels -- this truly tasteless bit of chicanery is known to have been pulled by such roads as the Erie and the Rock Island. I'm not saying the RUTLAND pulled this particular fast one, but...
This may sound like a weird way of going about things -- wouldn't it be easier to just paint the whole thing and be done with it? In fact it meshes with a bit of arcane freight car painting practice still practiced today -- the practice of "Striping." Striping is where the painters go over all the seams of a car with several heavy coats of primer before getting out the paint guns and giving the cars their general coats of primer and paint (one of my co-workers worked in the paint shop at ACF's Milton plant in his younger days -- no kidding).
Finally, being even pickier than Jay in some ways, I got out my scale ruler this evening. The separation line on the Kadee car is too high -- by 3". Steam Shack is not lily white on this one though -- the seperation line on one of my cars varies beween 2" too high and 2" too low -- on one side of one car! I'm turning a slightly myopic eye on the whole thing.
Kadee reports that it was sold out of its Rutland 40' PS-1 boxcar as of December 13, just three weeks flat after it shipped them on November 22.
Like most of you, I hope they make another with a yellow roof.
My only close personal encounter with one of the real cars was at the RIP track near the Delaware & Hudson's enginehouse at Whitehall, New York, in August 1962. The only photo I have of it is black-and-white, and neither it nor my memory give any useful evidence about the color of the roof. Obviously a number of the boxcars continued to run in Rutland paint and lettering after the railroad itself had ceased operations.
-Stephen T. Wagner
Rob Davis decides to chime in
I bought my Rutland Kadee PS-1 today and I have to say I am as
happy with it as I am all the other wonderful Kadee boxcars I have picked up. I am not
going to get into the roof war. I have seen pictures where it looks silver and where it
looks yellow. According to an old Newsliner
(Winter 1990 maybe???) they had silver roofs, so who is to say what each car was like?
One Last self-proclaimed Rivet Counter
When it comes to the Rutland I am a rivet counter too... however... for the price I am very pleased by what I received. Where can you find someone to paint an undecorated PS-1 [with] a custom paint job with 4 colors, then mount Kadee couplers and trucks for $35!!! I feel a group of us really needs to e-mail Kadee with our positive feelings, or we may not see a Rutland project from them again!
...To have so many cars (PS-1, PS-2, International caboose, 700 series hopper) done by "giants of the industry" from such a small prototype....
Larry Edwards of Kadee said they plan on releasing a second run in the future! I will be buying more!!!
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