New masters for upcoming kits

While the blog has been quiet for a while, RCW honcho Frank Hodina has been busy working on masters for new resin freight car kits. It’s exciting to see these early development stages.

The masters are key to producing quality castings. All the details on each master are replicated in the mold and appear on the finish castings.

As the masters are created, other parts may need to be acquired to complete the kit. Wire, styrene strip, or etched metal parts are often included in many kits. Quantities of these items need to be coordinated with other vendors to arrive before the castings can be packed into kit boxes.

Each of these kits will need decal art that reflect prototype lettering characters and practices. The process has become easier using CAD software to modify fonts or trace specific details. Several artwork drafts are reviewed and approved before the art is sent to a decal printer.

Resin Car Works often includes the correct Tahoe Model Works trucks in many kit offerings. Frank will need to contact Brian at Tahoe to order enough for the initial expected sales.

When the castings arrive, it’s time for Frank to assemble a kit and document notes and photos for the instructions. These are formatted into a PDF and sent to a few RCW minions for review, comment, additions, and alterations. The draft is updated and reviewed again. While these review steps are happening, Frank fires up the paint booth to paint the completed model, or models, then applies the decals.

Photos of the final model appearances are snapped for use on the blog and web pages. Coincidental with these last steps, Frank and his family volunteers are carefully packing the castings, extra details, decals, and truck side frames into the Resin Car Works kit boxes.

That’s your look at the Man Behind the Curtain and the kit production steps. There isn’t a magic wand. It takes time and effort to bring you high quality kits of interesting railroad freight car prototypes. As shown with the photos in this blog post, several kits are coming soon, plus a couple interesting goodies.

We thank our customers and friends who have supported our efforts.

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10 thoughts on “New masters for upcoming kits

  1. This super groovy. cant wait to see them all done up and one or five in my shop. hope to see more wonderous models come from this company. HEHE, hope i live long enough to see them all.

  2. Thanks for writing this blog, it is great that RCW is in the resin game.
    Please please PLEASE do another run of kit 11.0, the Great Northern boxcar!

  3. Always wondered, are modern masters made actual size? Or do you have to account for casting shrinkage like the old days?

    1. RJ, it’s not necessary (at least for HO freight cars) with the low shrink resin and rubber we’re using for RCW castings. I just measured the length over the roof walk supports on the master and a casting of RCW’s ATSF Fe-6/20 autocar: master, 50′-8″; casting, 50′-6″. 606″/608″ = 99.7%. That’s the combined shrinkage for the mold rubber and the casting resin. We do make our house cars with separate underframes rather than separate roofs, so if there are any dimensional issues the joints are more easily concealed. Also, for tank cars, the upper and lower shells are cast together in the same mold and the parts labeled and kept in matching sets. Thanks for a great question! Tom “RCW casting minion” Madden

  4. It appears that maybe the CNJ 19XXX series may be in there. If so, I’m sure the Hutchins roof is there, but in that configuration with that particular side sill leaves a few car numbers. This class had another more common bottom sill, plus different doors. Even so much as mismatched doors as photographic evidence suggests.

    1. Paul, the list of possible kits is every changing. The process from consideration to production can take longer than you would think. At least one of these masters was discussed three years ago. Preorders are not part of the RCW business model. – Eric H.

  5. Thank you. Looking forward to all those exciting new kits. If I may do just one future wish: CB&Q XA-7/8 door and a half, ss ob 40′ auto car…?

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