Tichy Archbar trucks

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by Fluesheet, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member


    I received the Tichy Archbar truck kit in my "Superior Detritus" box car kit found it interesting enough to warrant it's own review.

    The kit includes, as separate pieces, sideframes, bolster, a "spring plank", brake shoe assemblies and journal covers. All parts are cast in styrene plastic except the journals, which are nylon.

    The parts are nicely detailed and are sharply cast with very little flash.

    Sideframes must be glued to the bolster ends using normal styrene compatible glue. This was very simple, with the castings being accurate enough that bolster alignment was spot on. No fiddling necessary.

    After the above is complete, the nylon journals are pressed into the back of the sideframes (these are what the axles will actually ride in.) and the journal covers are glued in place. This was the most tedious step as the parts didn't index as well as it looks like they should. I found these were also the most difficult part to clear flash from, due to their (lack of) size.

    This image shows the assembled truck with one journal and one journal cover installed and one not (the missing journal cover missed the photo shoot...).

    The last step of assembly, attaching the brake shoes and spring plank must be done after the trucks are attached to a car due to the plank covering the kingpin hole.
    The truck is shown below partially assembled below. Note one brake shoe has been temporarily set in place:

    The brake shoes and spring plank are not installed until the trucks are placed on the car because the spring planks cover the king pin (screw) hole, and also locate the brake shoes. This step is somewhat tedious as the brake shoes are not physically held in place until the spring plank is installed, so you have to be somewhat patient so the brake shoes don't keep falling of the bolster while trying to add the plank.
    While glue is not required the disadvantage is that if you want to remove the trucks from the car, you must first remove the spring plank, which of course means the brake shoes fall out. I didn't have Tichy's instructions - it's possible they call for the shoes to be glued to the plank. At any rate, I intend to do this to prevent future headaches.


    Assembled Tichy Archbar truck attached to the (incomplete) Superior Detritus car and compared to a Tahoe Model Works archbar truck


    Trucks painted / weathered (oops, forgot the brake shoes for the photo...).

    With InterMountain wheelsets, these trucks are very free rolling.


    The Tichy trucks, are well detailed with lots of separate detail. They aren't as well detailed in some NBW details as the Tahoe Model Works archbars, but this will be unnoticeable painted and under a car. They're reasonably easy to assemble and are relatively inexpensive.

    I'd definitely buy another pair for a lighter weight car of early vintage. :thumb:

  2. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    A follow up note on these trucks. Tonight while doing a roll test (full results to be posted later), the car was rolling much worse than it had in the past. Initially I figured I'd gotten some paint on the axle tips or in the journal, but a quick cleaning with a journal reaming tool didn't improve matters.

    Long story short, the brake shoes fit very close to the wheel treads - good for looks, but on two wheelsets, one brake shoe was contacting the wheel, doing what real brake shoes do - braking. :p

    I lightly pried the shoe away from the tread, and that fixed it, at least for now.

    Something to be aware of.

  3. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    The journal covers on all friction bearing trucks, are mounted with spring loaded hinges, which permit the adding of lubricant, and keep the cover closed in normal operation.
    The raised part of the journal covers is the hinge, and should be vertical, with the "exposed" part of the cover, at the bottom.
    I'm somewhat surprised that Tichy didn't show this orientation in their instruction sheet. If this mistake was yours, I apologize for pointing it out, if it was an omission by Tichy, it needed to be commented on.
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    That orientation appears to be how Tichy has assembled them:

    Boulder Valley Models shows an archbar truck with similar journal covers:

    I believe that there are likely a couple of journal box lid designs. This one appears to be a side-swing style, while top-opening ones became more common.

    Looking at some Grandt Line and other small-run narrow gauge trucks, I've seen similar journal lids.
  5. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Sumpter, I was surprised by that orientation as well - however I landed on the assumption that the prototype Tichy was modeling had horizontal hinges.

    In any case, no offense wold have been taken had I misoriented them.
  6. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I do like being on the leading edge of the learning curve.
    Today I learned that not all trucks are built the same, and that when one opens mouth and inserts foot, it tastes better with catchup on it!
    Thanks for the pics, Squidbait, that's a bit of detail I'd never seen before.
    I have a box full of HOn3 archbar trucks, and only the passenger trucks have that lid configuration.
    Well Done to all!
  7. Thanks for the review very usefull! [​IMG]
  8. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Nice job....Fiddlin' with brake shoes is not for me...fingers like thumbs...:cry:
    What did you use for painting the trucks..?? They look really great..!! :thumb:
  9. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    Thanks for the comments!

    steamhead, this was actually my first attempt at fully painting trucks.

    I can't tell you what color I ended up with on the sideframes - it was a custom mix of roof and tie browns with a tan that I cannot remember the name of. I modified the mix several times as I went along (initially it was too dark). If I recall correctly, they went through another color iteration after I took the photos above.

    The rust color is Floquil Rust, dry brushed on to keep it from completely covering the base color. There is also some aged concrete dry brushed on in some places to bring out some hightlights.

    It's difficult to see in the picuture, but there is grimy black running down from the journal covers - this didn't work quite as well as I'd have liked. It's on the underside of the journal, the detail is very small and the color is too dark to make it noticeable. Probably not worth repeating (though I will anyway). If the light catches it right, the "wet" look of the gloss can stand out - just not from normal viewing angles.

    Also difficult to see is the greasy grunge built up on the wheel faces and lower half of the truck. This was kind of cool - grimy black with some weathering chalks sprinkled on it before it dried to give the gunking build up look. I may never do that again as it's difficult to see, but when I get up close and personal, I like the look.

    As far as more obvious things, I put a flat black between and on either side of the springs to give them depth, with the rust dry brushed over the coils. That really sharpened up the look in that area.

  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    By the way, troypartner, welcome to the-gauge. Hope you find this board a comfortable place to enjoy model railroading.
  11. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the review. I had built some with the tichey hopper car, and had some tracking issues, and ended up putting MDC trucks under my hopper cars. I have also converted a lot of those hopper cars to HOn3. In any case I have a bunch of these trucks piled up unbuilt, I will experiment with them.

    Bill Nelson (hiding in the logging minning industrial section.
  12. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I like Tichy stuff. I use some of it as the basis for scratch building N-scale early boxcars and some oddball stuff I'm creating for the layout.
  13. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    I like Tichy stuff. I use some of it as the basis for scratch building N-scale early boxcars and some oddball stuff I'm creating for the layout.

    Just wish there were more N-scale offerings.
  14. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    I have often thought it would be fun to play with the little N scale American type locomotives and do some 1880-1890 modeling in a tiny space, possibly portable foam RR. I haven't done it, trying to avoid "mission creep". but am toying with possibly doing something in HOn3, as some of my HOn3 stuff will turn on a pretty tight radius.

    I have even seen someone who has cut doen titchey archbars and replaced the wheelsets with HON3 axles and got a good functioning free wheeling truck. I need to experiment with these!

    Bill Nelosn

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