On Walthers.com, it says they are out of stock but new stock is expected
on Dec. 19th, 2007.
IMHO, they are just short of awful. They are too stiff to actually
"flex", and the striker plates tend to catch each other on curves and
crossovers. Heck, I've seen some act like giant spring loaded
plungers...meaning that one has to slam the cars together to get a hitch.
All the diaphragm installations I've been doing lately have been with
the Americal Limited types. The F-units ones are especially good for the
Athearn Genesis models. The passenger car ones are a little more
complicated, and more of a pain to make and maintain. All of them are very
flexible, and I've never seen one cause a derailment.
Paul A. Cutler III
Weather Or No Go New Haven
You could make them yourself. (Being an inveterate DIYer, I'm compelled
to say this.) Bellows are actually easy (and fun) to make; I made an
experimental set for a camera once. I can show you the layout, although
you can probably figure it out yourself. Use thin paper and paint it
black when done (or use thin black paper).
You will need thin black paper and a jig around which to fold the paper.
In the past I achieved a nearly acceptable paper diaphragm using
lightweight letter writing paper, but never got it black without
destroying the paper's rigidity and springiness.
Depending on the method of folding different effects can be achieved,
square-topped, round-topped or rounded corners.
By making two parallel zig-zags with full end panels I got a good
working result, but folding across side-top-side and then folding the
result into a "U" always ended up with a fractional twist.
I did try a series of slotted pieces fitted together in "XXX" fashion
but I was never neat enough doing it by hand. A jig for folding and
cutting would fix that.
Try using a copier to 'color' paper black.
Just lay a sheet of paper on the copier, leave
the 'lid' up and copy.
I've done this a number of times and ended
up with a nice flat black sheet of paper.
This does not affect the flexibility.
I checked the Model Train Magazine Index using keyword-diaphragm. I
found reference to two articles (both ancient) which gave
instructions. They are:
Model Railroader January, 1937 page 17.
(Railroad) Model Craftsman November, 1937 page 896.
I perused both articles and noted little apparent difficulty. HTH.
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