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Thread: Tangent Scale Models enters N Scale

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    Default Tangent Scale Models enters N Scale

    I am a bit surprised that this has not been posted here yet, but Tangent Scale Models announced the release of N scale versions of their Union Pacific quad hoppers at the National Train Show last Friday.

    https://www.tangentscalemodels.com/n...t-quad-hopper/

    I has been impossible to model Union Pacific sugar beet trains without these cars, so I am very excited to see them.

    Carter
    N Scale Vehicle Association

    "For the modeler and collector of 1:160 scale vehicles and equipment"
    http://nscalevehicles.org

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    Nice looking , but be aware . This is from their page


    • Our N Scale Bethlehem Steel Quad Hopper does not compromise to operate on toy train curves – we suggest a minimum radius of 18.75” or greater.


    That might be a deal breaker for a lot of people

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    Nice looking , but be aware . This is from their page


    • Our N Scale Bethlehem Steel Quad Hopper does not compromise to operate on toy train curves – we suggest a minimum radius of 18.75” or greater.


    That might be a deal breaker for a lot of people

    Steve
    That quote from them seems arrogant and frankly is off putting. It's almost like they're saying if your curves aren't massive you're a complete amateur who isn't worthy of our product. Which honestly doesn't seem all that revolutionary by any standard. Sure some of the details like the rubber air hoses and cut bars are nice, but the coal load still looks like plastic crap that'd I'd yank out the second I got it. Nothing to get up on a high horse about.
    Did someone say whitcomb?

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    Base on discussions in the thread about these cars on The Railwire, all they had to do is remove the air hose and a little bit of plastic from the coupler box, and they worked fine on the T-Trak layout at the NTS.

    Carter
    N Scale Vehicle Association

    "For the modeler and collector of 1:160 scale vehicles and equipment"
    http://nscalevehicles.org

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    They certainly do seem arrogant . That could have been phrased way better . And for those that dont follow the forums , well thats just going to put people off

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    Nice looking , but be aware . This is from their page


    • Our N Scale Bethlehem Steel Quad Hopper does not compromise to operate on toy train curves – we suggest a minimum radius of 18.75” or greater.


    That might be a deal breaker for a lot of people

    Steve
    My layout has 282mm minimum radius. I don't know what that is in inches, but they can take that attitude and shove it. If Kato can make a 4-8-4 and BLI can make a 4-4-4-4 that operate on 248mm curves, Tangent can figure out how to make their coal car handle that radius too.

    Part of why I left HO was due to the prevalence of this sort of attitude, that unfortunately seems to infect everything. Either you get low end, with a headlight, or high end with a headlight, ditch lights, marker lights, sound, strobes, and a depleting coal load. There's no middle ground... I hope this isn't the start of a new trend towards the hyper-realism as seen in HO, where the price doesn't matter and if you look at it the wrong way it falls apart.
    Starting over in N

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    They made the active decision to keep the ride height and detailing accurate. A friend of mine at the NMRA show in KC tested the car on the TTrak layout. It ran, but the wheels rubbed the details. If you remove the air hose, it should run without rubbing.

    I’ll take the diverging opinion and say I’m glad Tangent went the route they did. I’m glad they didn’t compromise for the 9” radius corners. My smallest corner is 22”, I’d like to get them all to 36” in the next upgrade of the layout. This is another company making a step forward in N Scale. If you want to run it on tight corners, you can, but you have to make the decision that you are willing to sacrifice details. I’m guessing is you have 9-3/4” corners, that’s not a tough decision to make.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    Posted on TRW:

    Hello Everyone. First off, I wanted to say thanks for all of the great comments on our new Bethlehem Quad Hopper. The last few days at the National Train Show have been incredibly busy. We really enjoy getting to talk to everyone on the show floor, including meeting many of you from this forum.

    Our minimum radius is not a typo. We calculated the 18.75" by running the car on curves until we did not "feel" any rubbing of the wheels against the air hose and draft gear key details -- some of the same details that make the car a Tangent quality product that sits at the right height (yet work with the larger than scale coupler box required for MT-compatible couplers).

    Can you run the car on smaller radius curves? Yes, with adjustment of the model.

    Examples:
    1. If you remove the 2 rubber air hoses from the model (Needle nose pliers pull them right off from their 2-pin mounts), then the car will FREELY roll on a 15" radius curve.

    2. If you further "modify" the car by taking a #11 X-acto blade and slicing off the "nub" face of the draft key detail molded onto the side of the draft gear box (about 20 seconds of work), then the car will FREELY roll on a 12.5" radius curve.

    Further reduction in minimum radius is possible, but results in increasing degrees of "rubbing" and that is up to the pain threshold of the modeler.

    We want our official documentation to reflect the out-of-the-box radius, hence the 18.75" on the website and announcement text.

    A few other comments:
    1. The wheels do not rub against the bays.
    2. The wheels are .062" in width (just a hair narrower than what we see on an Atlas Trinity 5660 for example).

    We appreciate the dialogue about our first N scale product. Our Bethlehem Quad Hoppers will ship beginning September 17. We look forward to your consideration and prospective business with Tangent Scale Models!

    Best wishes,

    David Lehlbach
    Tangent Scale Models

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intermodalman View Post
    It's almost like they're saying if your curves aren't massive you're a complete amateur who isn't worthy of our product.
    It's a feature, not a defect.
    Daniel Dawson

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    Our N Scale Bethlehem Steel Quad Hopper does not compromise to operate on toy train curves – we suggest a minimum radius of 18.75” or greater
    Good call by Tangent to put this information out ahead of the release.

    If the bit about "toy train curves" offends anyone, I suggest you're reading way too much into the statement.
    Paul Schmidt

    Southern Railway's Slate Fork Branch


    Proud member of the Milwaukee Road Historical Association and the Southern Railway Historical Association

    Check out Appalachian Railroad Modeling!

    Did l mention that I still like the SP&S?

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    I can't say that I take offense, any more than I would want someone to take offense if I say I am not a rivet counter. But I have learned not to belabor the latter because while I can mean the statement as simply a shorthand way of expressing my level of detail, it carries a connotation that could give offense, just as their statement carries a connotation of arrogant elitism. They could have provided the exact same information in a more market-friendly way such as "Our N Scale Bethlehem Steel Quad Hopper is designed with high degree of fidelity that requires more prototypical curves and may not operate without modification on tighter curves – we suggest a minimum radius of 18.75” or greater" or something along those lines. To specifically choose the phrase "toy train curves" very clearly implies an arrogant, elitist, judgmental frame of reference. I am not offended because my attitude has always been to consider first the attitude of the communicator and simply dismiss those opinions or attitudes that I consider to lack value to me. No need to take offense when the opinion is irrelevant and without value to me.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Northern New England Scenic Model Railroad - N Scale early fall in NH in the mid to late 1950s.

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    I'm not offended - I totally embrace the fact that all of these things are just toys

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    I'm not offended - I totally embrace the fact that all of these things are just toys

    -Mark
    I'm pretty sure some of the packaging says just the opposite.
    Daniel Dawson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile One View Post
    I'm pretty sure some of the packaging says just the opposite.
    Behold the power of marketing! Remember, "the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys." And now that the silliness is out of the way. It seems a simple fix if one needs these to run on tighter radius curves. While the UP cars are not needed by me, I do wonder what future schemes Tangent will produce with these. I would be tempted to purchase a few to paint up but their undecs are painted black. The cars I would use these to model would have one Yellow end. I'm not a fan of trying to paint Yellow over Black. So I'll wait and see what's next. But still it's nice to see the variety of N scale mfg and equipment increase.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bman View Post
    I would be tempted to purchase a few to paint up but their undecs are painted black. The cars I would use these to model would have one Yellow end. I'm not a fan of trying to paint Yellow over Black.
    If you are going to paint them anyways, hit them with a shot of Tamiya Fine Grey Primer first. Then your yellow will stick way easier.
    Karl

    CEO of the Skally Line, an Eastern MN Shortline

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    Hmm, not going to need any of these U.P. quad hoppers. However, Tangent getting into the N scale game is good. Their collaboration with BLMA on the ACF gondolas was great and I got a couple. I would love to see Tangent bring their Bethlehem gondolas to N scale. Many desirable schemes of those for my modeling interests.
    JERSEY CENTRAL LINES -- Road of the Friendly Trains

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    Hello Folks: We posted a review of this new model and address the minimum radius. Here's the review.


    Author: gdm

    N Scale Bethlehem Steel 4-Bay Hopper by Tangent Scale Models




    Tangent Scale Models has released its first N scale model, the Bethlehem Steel 3600 cubic foot hopper. N-scalers will appreciate the effort that went into Tangent's N Scale debut, which has not been produced in N scale before.

    A Serious Quad Hopper
    Tangent Scale Models has chosen a fairly predictable prototype for its model of the Bethlehem Steel 3600 cubic foot Hopper. Over 6,900 of these distinctive cars were built for the Union Pacific, making it the largest single prototype fleet that UP ever operated.

    Background
    Tangent's first production run used 12 different UP paint schemes. So if you like this model, but don't collect the UP, you are out of luck. If you are a UP N Scale fan, at least one of these paint schemes is bound to match whichever time-period you love best as the selections were picked specifically to span the entire lifespan of this car. Also, details vary to allow Tangent to accurately represent the H-100-16, H-100-18, H-100-19 versions of the hopper. There is also an undecorated version for those with painting skills. I do not know if this prototype found its way to other railroads and/or utilities, but I suspect it did. We will have to wait for a future release to see non-UP schemes.

    The Box
    Personally, I prefer all my rolling stock to come in the same size box, and only if the car simply cannot be made to fit, will I be happy with a larger box. Hence anything 50' and under should be packed in a 4.75" acrylic box. This way, the boxes don't take up more space than they need to, and they should stack neatly with my Micro-Trains, Atlas and other similar sized boxes. I accept that a model of an 85' heavyweight passenger car will not fit in this size box, but these quad hoppers will. Nevertheless, Tangent put them in 6.25" boxes. Larger than they need to be.

    This 6.25" box is bigger than necesssary and takes up more room in my collection.

    The cars are wrapped in a thin sheet of plastic, which I like seeing, and placed in a white plastic cradle which sits in the (oversized) acrylic box. I personally prefer clear cradles, as the white ones tend to discolor with age. But this is not that big a deal. The packing seemed to do an excellent job at protecting these cars.

    Operation
    These cars use body-mount Micro-Trains imitation couplers. The couplers are similar in quality to those used by InterMountain and Bluford and work very well when coupled with authentic Micro-Trains couplers. The trucks are nicely detailed and feature high-quality chemically blackened low-profile wheels. According to Tangent, these cars supposedly operate best on 18.75" curves. However, I tried them out and found they comfortably operate on much tighter curves. Do not be put off by this warning if you have tight curves on your layout. The cars will run fine on 15", 13.75", 12 3/8" and 11". Maybe not 9.75" but I suspect even this radius would work too, though they might look a little funny. There is nothing in the end detail of these cars that prevents the tight radius turns.

    However, the trucks seem to put too much friction on the wheels. They don't roll as smoothly as similar cars made by Kato, MTL or Atlas cars with metal wheels. I usually expect a car to roll for a foot or two after a gentle push from my fingers on straight track. These cars only roll about 6". This means if you like to operate long trains, you will need some serious pulling power, especially around turns. Hopefully Tangent will reduce the wheel axles by just a tad in the next release to allow the cars to roll more smoothly.

    Coal Load
    The model is also equipped with a coal load, which can be lifted out with a little bit of work to expose a most-excellently detailed interior. The molded load is of so-so quality, but what a nice surprise to see such awesome interior bracework underneath. After having seem some excellent work done with resin cast molded coal loads made by various manufacturers over the last two decades, seeing a mediocre plastic load always makes me sigh, but that was more than made up for by the detail underneath. After all, in the real world, coal hoppers spend at least half their time empty and modelers who like to represent this by running empty hoppers are usually disappointed when the N Scale hoppers they purchase seem to forget this. Tangent didn't forget and modelers will appreciate it.

    The Model
    These cars are meant to be handled and run. Tangent really must understand what runners want when they built this car. There is excellent detail but nothing that can break off easily. Hoppers with this much detail have been made by Bluford and ScaleTrains.com and they certainly are beautiful, but it seems so often that folks who like to actually run their trains ("runners") are forgotten. These cars are meant to be operated and the design demonstrates this. First off, the bodies are nice thick plastic. Similar to Bachmann's modern designs, these cars can survive a 40" drop onto a hard surface. Yeah, the rivet counters out their might complain that the walls of the hopper appear too thick, but runners will see a car that can take a licking.

    Their is excellent molded-in detail in the underside. Tangent seems to have pushed the envelope with how much detail they could get out of the injection molding process without relying on separately applied parts. This really shows in the bays. Micro-Trains usually uses detail parts to achieve this level of accuracy, and it works, but at the cost of ruggedness. Now to be fair, it is impossible to get molded detail to look as good as detail parts, but Tangent came darn close. This shows throughout the model in the rivets, underframe, ends and trucks.

    There are detail parts as well. But mostly where they are safe from handling. The bracing on the interior uses details, as does the brake wheel, and the various hoses and drums at each end. There is also a very small perforated (cool) platform underneath the brake wheel. This appears to be plastic (as opposed to etched metal) but the detail quality of this small part is very fine.

    Here is my favorite part! Rubber brake lines. Yes, rubber detail parts. Really cool. Brake lines have been modeled before but always in polystyrene, which looks cool, but breaks off way too easily. It is heartbreaking when pieces break (pardon the pun) off your rolling stock, which is why most manufacturers do not model brake lines. They know that customers will be disheartened. Tangent solved this conundrum by making this detail part out of some rubber-like material that allows the brake line to simply flex and bounce back when it is touched. This flexibility is key as this particular detail part will always be be subject to abuse when the owner attempts to run their cars. Again, thank you Tangent for catering to the Runners.

    Summary
    Tangent Scale Models' N scale Bethlehem Steel 4-Bay Hopper is a model that's worthy of its storied prototype and should find appeal on many coal-hauling N Scale railroads. Furthermore, Tangent is making a clear statement with this product that they are a company that caters to runners as well as rivet counters. There are some things about this car that the rivet counters may dislike, but I say tough beans. It's about time that some of the manufacturers realize that many of their customers like to actually OPERATE (play with) their products.

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