Tuesday, February 12, 2019

One piece body vs Flat cast resin kits

The huge debate!


In part prompted by some struggles my caster has been having with some of my one piece bodies, I've been ruminating about returning to flat cast resin kits.
A few builders of resin in my circle have zero issue with flat cast bodies, and some even prefer them.
Myself, I have no issues dealing with properly cast flat cast kits. It rarely takes me more than 1/2 an hour to form the box.
Add in the reality that flat casting will help hold down the rising prices of resin freight car kits, and the idea of returning to that method as a lot of merit.
I find myself wondering if sales would be truly impacted by a return to older methods. I know that molds will last longer, and certain details will be able to be better rendered.
So I'm looking for input.
Tell me your thoughts.
It will influence the decision.

14 comments:

B Everett said...

As long as they are properly shaped and flat - I have no issue with flat castings. Now if they are warped, or mi-shaped because they were removed too soon from the mold, then they are/can be horrible to deal with.

Bob Kjelland said...

Getting a good fit and keeping parts from bowing are the main issues with individual parts. That said, I prefer the latter as assembly time isn't that much of an issue and being able to modify parts for specific details is easier when working on each piece.

Cost too is a factor that must be considered.

Unknown said...

I would support flat kits. In my experience, if you know what you are doing and apply some care, they can result in a better build than a one piece carbody. The one piece carbodies seem to have more bowing in and warping that can never be completely rectified. Some I have assembled, even after trying to straighten, ended up with a bowed in look to the sides. I also think the flat parts are easier to clean up and work with for such things as drilling holes.

So, how about a CN 1929 outside braced boxcar as the first of your new generation of flat kits?

Stephan Wintner said...

I'm in the "don't care much" category. I'd agree with what Unknown said, mostly. If I like the car I'll build either.

aileron44 said...

I vote for flat cast kits. Yes,they require a bit more skill but too many positives to ignore.

George Corral
La Grange, KY

Anonymous said...

I prefer flat kits. I've never had problems building them, and have often found the one-piece bodies to be somewhat clunky. So by all means, go flat.

Scott McDonald said...

I prefer flat kits as it is much easier to deal with warping. Sunshine did just fine doing countless flat kits. Honestly if you cant glue the ends to the sides, resin probably isnt for you anyway.

Anonymous said...

John Lomenzo Rochester, NY

I prefer one-piece bodies if they are done accurately. The kits I have from Speedwitch, for example, are as close to perfect as possible and it would be difficult to assemble a flat kit to that level of perfection, especially if a flat kit involves roof halves. Another example would be the Yarmouth NP trussrod boxcar - an unbelievably well done one-piece body casting. I have had my share of warped one-piece bodies from Westerfield, including the 50-foot GN single-sheathed boxcar and the NH 36-foot fishbelly boxcar - to name a few. Although Funaro kits sometimes do not have the level of detail as other manufacturers, every one-piece body I have from Steve is virtually perfect in terms of squareness and joints. I am willing to pay more cash for one-piece bodies to get a top quality casting and avoid the time to assemble a flat kit. I have been building resin kits for more than 35 years - ever since they first came out and there is definitely a lot more time involved to assemble them properly, including cleaning up the castings, assembling the basic box, adding a body stiffener (rectangle of 40 mil styrene precisely measured with calipers and precisely cut)and adding a roof. Anyone who thinks it's a snap to assemble a 1-piece body must be cutting corners and doing a sloppy job.

R Wentzel said...

I think your kits are the best on the market. I noticed a slight bowing of the sides prior to installing the floor/underbody, but that all disappeared once everything was assembled. I like the one piece body, but I seem to be in the minority here

RJ Dial said...

I'm OK with both. One-piece are nice because of the speed, but sometimes have warps or twists or it's hard to get the bottom in. Flats are fine as I have 2 Coffman clamps to do the body, and use those little tubes of Duro CA with the nozzle that fits perfect inside the clamps. I then apply 2-part epoxy in the corners once the 4 sides/ends are together and it makes a strong box. I drill after assembly since the pre-drilled hoes just get plugged with the glues. The Coffman's are essential...

Anonymous said...

I am fine with flat kits or one piece. I routinely build older flat W-field and S-Shine kits. Ian MacKellar, Canton, NY

Unknown said...

My name is Eugene Davis. I have completed over 120 resin kits. With the flat kits, I often found that the pieces did not all have matching dimensions where they should have resulting in less than perfect corners. I also find that even if the roof lines and floors end up in alignment between a side and an end, details that are supposed to combine to make something that goes around the corner (a corner brace for example) do not line up. I also really like the time saving with the one piece bodies. On the other hand, having separate sides and ends when they are painted in different colors is helpful.

Ed Mims said...


Flat kits are fun to build. Sure they require a little more time and skill to build but that is why they are fun. I've observed warped parts with one piece and with flat kits but that can be over come. I always add interior bracing to assist in holding the sides flat. On flat kits I add square styrene inside at the corners for extra strength and use it to attach the floor.

Given a choice I would choose flat kits.

Ed Mims
Jacksonville, FL

Daniel Sobieck said...

I like the one piece bodies. Easier and faster to assemble.