OScale Trains OScale Trains OScale Trains Scale Trains - [PDF Document] (2024)

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Plus regular features...O Scale Hall of FameFrom the CupolaModeler’s ShelfDealer’s CornerNarrow Minded& More...Lots More!


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Build This Float Bridge!

O Scale Railroading Down Under:Neville Rossiter’s Bay Ridge Harbour RR

Photos are of prototype hoppers. Original cars built by Virginia Bridge & Iron, and the N&W


Carsin “O” Scale

BrassThree Bay Hoppers

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O Scale Trains • 3


Features4 Neville Rossiter’s Bay Ridge Harbour RR

A U.S. prototype model railroad down under .

11 Adding Weights to CarsGary Woodward’s simple solution.

14 Working Windows, Hatches & Doors – Pt. 1Custom Builder Harry Heike shares his tricks of the trade.

27 Improving Weaver’s 53' Flat CarNot bad out of the box, Ed Bommer makes it even better.

31 Constructing the Float Bridge on the BRHRRBuild the most interesting feature of the Bay Ridge Harbour RR

36 Building a PRR B8a – Pt.1John Sauer shows how he builds in modules

Departments10 Narrow Minded - Bobber Gibbs

12 O Scale Hall of Fame - Minton Cronkhite

13 Dealer’s Corner - Bruce B. Blackwood

17 The Modeler’s Shelf - Readers’ Photos

19 Advertiser Index

23 Events

34 Crapola From The Cupola - John C. Smith

40 Product News & Reviews

44 The Modeler‘s Shelf - More Readers’ Photos

46 Observations

Modelingfor the

O Scale CraftsmanIssue #1


Joe Giannovario


Jaini Simon

Contributing Editors

Bruce BlackwoodBobber GibbsJohn C. Smith

Subscription Rates: 6 issuesUnited States US$36Canada/Mexico US$50Overseas US$75Mastercard & Visa acceptedCall 610-321-0858 duringEastern time business hours

Dealers write for terms.Advertisers write for informationor visit our website.

O Scale Trains ISSN 1536-9528www.oscalemag.comPublished bimonthly (6 times a year) by O Scale Trains Magazine,PO Box 238, Lionville PA 19353-0238© 2002 OST All Rights Reserved

Contributors: O Scale Trains welcomes your feature articles, photos, anddrawings. Such material should be sent to theabove address for possible publication. If weaccept, you will be notified immediately. Formore information concerning article prepara-tion guidelines, please send an SASE to theabove address and request our “Guide ForAuthors” or visit our website.

COVER: A New Haven boxcar is readied forthe Car Float on Neville Rossiter’s Bay RidgeHarbour RR. See story on page 4 for moreinfo.

4 • O Scale Trains

Above: Looking across the car float dock at Bay Ridge, a switcher sets out cars behind thewarehouses on 1st Avenue while a power shovel scoops gravel from a flat car.

Below: The car floatbridge from dockside. Neville scratchbuilt the floatbridge which is thesubject of an article elsewhere in this issue.

Neville RossiterPerth, Western Australia

My interest in model railroadsstarted off when I was seven years old,funny enough with O gauge — that is,Hornby clockwork trains which werevery popular in Australia after theSecond World War. Hornby would bethe equivalent in Australia to Lionel inAmerica. As I got older I went to HOscale European Marklin trains andkept this scale for a number of years.

One day I picked up (yes its true!) acopy of Model Railroader and fell inlove with American railroads. At thattime Rivarossi/AHM was coming intothe shops and I was fascinated by thelarge articulated locos that Rivarossiwas producing.

Eventually all this was sold and itwas a number of years between getting

Bay Ridge Harbour RailroadAn American model railroad in Australia

O Scale Trains • 5

Above: Farther down 1st Avenue we see a string of Allied Chemical tank cars headed toward the2nd St yards. Notice how the combination of 3-dimensional flats and the photo backdrop add realdepth to the scene.

Below: We’re looking down across the car float itself into the floatbridge. It looks like it’s low tide,too. Neville uses lots of figures to add a sense of action to the static scenes.

married, establishing a career andbringing up the family before I gotback into trains seriously withAmerican HO.

Then, again, one day at a localmodel railway show in Perth I sawsome On3 locos and a bit of track. Iwas hooked on its size. This led to atrip to America and several purchasesof On3 items. In 1990, after a coupleof years of constant kit building andlittle train running, I decided to go intoO scale standard gauge and have beenhappy with this decision ever since.

Planning the present railroad beganwith planning the space. In fact, I had aroom built onto the house for this pur-pose. Here in Australia, we don’t havebasem*nts so building a layout meansusing a room in the house or goingoutside to a shed or separate building. Istarted to build my layout in 1988

(continued on page 7)

6 • O Scale Trains








Cutting BenchC Bu i g n hg BenchBCuttingCu i g n h

Glass Sliding DoorG ns i o r

Glass Sliding DliG a s nggg

Team Track


Container Yard

Work Benchr cW k B hWW kk BBe hhe cco ee


Weigh BridgehWei r gigh BridgehWeWei r g






GravelG av l

Lumberru bbeLumu b r

DrillDDrillD ll

SanderS n eSanderS n e



Make this line 2" long anda e nlong andnine 2eMake this la ee hh ll " oo ggscale is then 1/2" = 1 foot.ca 1 oe e 2 = fscale is then 1/2" = 1 footca 1 oe e 2 = f


Pwr Sta.P

The Layout Details

NAME: Bay Ridge Harbour Railroad.SCALE: O (1:48), standard gaugePROTOTYPE: Freelanced.LOCALE: Brooklyn, New York.PERIOD: 1960-70 (flexible)STYLE: Around the wall. Walkaround.BENCH HEIGHT: 50"BENCHWORK: Butt joint framework, flattop, subroadbed 3⁄4" Chipboard andHomasote.ROADBED: Cork and direct to Homasote.

TRACK: English, Peco, codes 124 & 143.TURNOUTS: All # 6 Peco.CURVE RADII: 42" Min.GRADES: Nil.SCENERY: Real dirt and Woodland Scenicsmaterials.BACKDROP: 1⁄8 Masonite, with painted sky,Pioneer Valley, and Walthers building back-drops.CONTROL: Four cab controls using MRCControl Master 20 Power Centers.

O Scale Trains • 7

Below: That’s Neville holding the car float and standing in front of Pier #2. Doncha just love the size of O scale? Especially for us old pharts with failing eyesight! But the quality and quantity of detail in O scale models are hard to match in any other scale

using On3 with a standard O gaugefeeder, but after 2 years I changed toall standard gauge as I found I wasspending too much time building On3rolling stock. Originally, the layoutwas an “around the room continuoustrack” plan, but I soon got tired ofwatching the trains going round andround. I then found that a switchinglayout was what I liked, so I workedout a layout that was virtually one bigindustrial park (Harbour) with inter-changes at each end. It is a walk-in endto end no duck unders!! The roommeasures 25 x 25 feet and is fully airconditioned and heated although withthe Perth climate the heating is notreally necessary. The lights are fluo-rescent, 14 in all. Mains power is sup-plied direct to the layout through 10power points.

The railroad eras can be changedfrom the 50’s to the 80’s and 90’s in

about a day. The benchwork is fairlystandard, virtually flat module boardsusing 1x4 pine and 3/4 chipboard and1/2 Homasote on a cork roadbed. Thetrack is all Peco because it is the only Ogauge track available in Australia, theballast is Woodland Scenic. Whatscenery I have is Woodland’s groundfoam and real dirt from the hills thatsurround Perth. The backdrop is ply-wood painted blue. Structures are amixture of well known O brands,mostly modified in some way. I useMRC controllers (hand held walka-round), and all the wiring I have donemyself, along with virtually everythingelse! One of my sons, Mark, painted ahuge number of figures for me.

Locomotives are Weaver, RedCaboose, and the new AtlasO. I alsohave two sets of Sunset, BB-3 “rats”that I hope to use for switching dutiesat the floatbridge, the same as the Bay

Ridge float bridges in South Brooklynwere many years ago. Rolling stock isIntermountain, Red Caboose, Weaverand the new AtlasO, which I find areexcellent for their price.

Operations are running trains toeach end and switching in between. Iuse a simple card system. All uncou-pling is done by hand. At one end ofthe layout I use 2 visible tracks forinterchange. At the other end a floatbridge with removable floats.

The loads on the freight cars are allremovable so that cars are run oneway loaded and return empty. (Theloads are lifted off and returned byhand to shelves under the layout.) Ihave had up to 8 operators at a sessionbut mostly I am by myself or with oneof my sons.

My entire railroad apart from track,

8 • O Scale Trains

A Trip Around The Layout


1: The “entrance” to the layout begins at the 2nd Street yards lookingeast. The long building along the wall is a power station. In front of thepower station are team tracks.


2: Farther east up the 2nd Street yard is a LCL Freight house. Thoseare Sunset PRR/LIRR B-class electrics, aka Rats.


3: Turning north heading toward Bay Ridge we pass a small Lumberyard and more generic factory buildings in the background.

4: There are several industries here: meat plant, junk yard, and an icingplatform at the far left.


5: Beginning to turn west we come across a cobble stone team track.You can see the icing platform in the background.



6: To the right we see the end of Pier 1 (where the float bridge is) and tothe left the beginning of Pier 2 wharf.


7: Pier 2 wharf. Out of sight to the left (south) are the stock pens whichis where that switcher is headed.

8: Turning due east leads us to the South Brooklyn 39th Street yard.Those elusive stock pens are to the far right.


O Scale Trains • 9


comes directly from the states as thereare no suppliers in Australia forAmerican O gauge. Perth is at the farwestern end of Australia, it is knownas the most isolated major city in theworld !!

Lessons learned: I probablyshould have had some hidden stagingat one end. No more than 2 footreach at any point on the layout.Areas with lots of switching shouldbe close to the front of layout. ◆

9. Looking south across the 39th Streetyards.

10. Looking due west up the 39th Streetyards. Neville has employed the old John

Allen trick of placing a mirror under the over-pass to make the trackwork appear longer.



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10 • O Scale Trains


In the “Narrow Minded” column ofeach issue of O Scale Trains Magazine,

we intend to present interesting articlesabout the narrow gauges, including On3,On30, On2, On18 and others. We won’tconcern ourselves with the Ow5/Proto48debate but we will remember all of the dif-ferent gauges share one common scale of1:48.

Even if you are only interested instandard gauge modeling, there are somany new products and developmentsin the narrow gauges that we might con-vince you to create a feeder line and aninterchange in the future. The contrastbetween standard gauge equipment andtiny narrow gauge equipment is intrigu-ing and can really emphasize the mas-sive size of your larger cars andlocomotives. You might eventuallyinclude a section of dual gauge foranother operating feature or create anantique narrow gauge equipment dis-play. Occasionally, I’ll describe my ownstandard gauge Sand City Railroad andits narrow gauge components.

For those of you who are already mod-eling in one of the narrow gauges, a shortstandard gauge spur in the backgroundand a car or two for interchanging goodscan illustrate how small and versatile yourfeatured line is. It’s also a good place tobuild a ramp to a loading or unloadingfacility to transfer that ore, coal, ballast orwhatever for off-layout shipping. That’salso a good location for a tiny station foryour passengers who are transferring toother railroads.

If you are seriously modeling one ofthe popular three-footers, you mightchoose to include a tiny mining line forcontrast and if you are modeling any ofthe Maine two-footers, you have undoubt-edly learned that those neat Forneys and

long passenger cars mostly operated onlarge, gentle curves and you have dealtwith the resulting space problems.

Hopefully, you have already discov-ered the many features of On30 model-ing, including the Bachmann Mogul,freight and passenger cars that operate onHO gauge track. We’ll discuss the prosand cons of Bachmann’s choice of rail-roads and equipment and how theyopened up new fields and complicatedsome old ones in narrow gauge model-ing. When Bachmann introduces the newOn30 Shay they have promised in 2002,I predict that a huge wave of brand newO-scalers will start reading this magazineand this column.

Finally, when we get right down to thetiny, funky, full-of-character industrialnarrow equipment that ran on 30", 24",18" and even narrower track, we will getto my special interest, diminutive critters,unique cars and lots of O scale operationin a very limited space.

Personally, I moderate three O Scalemailing lists on the Internet. You may besurprised to learn that there are 474 mem-bers on the Otrains list, 119 on theProto48 list and 635 on the On30 list. Tojoin go to: http://www.yahoogroups.comand search for Otrains, Proto48 and/or theOn30conspiracy.

I am looking forward to a long and sat-isfying relationship with O Scale Trains

Magazine and I invite readers to submitnarrow gauge articles to the magazine sowe can maintain a broad outlook on ournarrow subjects.

Bobber Gibbs<[emailprotected]>Sand City RR, Wasaga Beach,Ontario Canada

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B&M “Minuteman” herald box cars and caboosesRF&P 50’ box carsUnion Pacific 3-bay covered hoppersFlorida East Coast “Speedway” and “Hurricane”

herald box carsVirginian box cars, composite and 2-bay hoppers,

battleship gondolas, and steam engines.Atlantic Coastline “Thanks” box cars

O Scale Trains • 11

Adding Weightsto Cars

For a number of years I modeled inN scale. Most of my rolling stock wasmade by Micro Trains, or Kadee. Theseexcellent pieces are top notch when itcomes to detail and accuracy, and theyalso came with the appropriate amountof weight to help the cars track properly.I got out of the hobby altogether forawhile. When I decided to get back in, Ichose O scale.

I had been in O scale before, back inthe ’80s, and had built a number of theAtlas/Bev-Bel cars when they were stillin production. I didn’t do much about thelight weight of these cars, and figured noone else bothered either. When Iswitched back to O scale, I picked up acouple of the old Atlas/Bev-Bel boxcarkits off of Ebay,

Over the years, I came to realize thatputting weight into my cars is important.I found that adding weight creates dragand gives more realistic slack action, aswell as make the locomotive actually domore work. Extra weights cause the carsto track more realistically, and give youthe characteristic clunk as the train rollsover a turnout.

My first thought at adding weightswas to use tape weights, like the kindused to balance mag wheels on cars.Well, trying to find tape weights in cen-tral Florida is like pulling teeth. It’s kindof like trying to get 2 rail O scale at yourlocal hobby shop. I figured I’d be able toget them at any auto parts store; notaround here. I even went to tire shops,but they claim they can’t sell the weightsbecause they aren’t a parts store.However they would be glad to put themon my tires... if I bought a set of tires. Asfor going to a hobby shop, well I don’t

live near a hobby shop.Walmart to the rescue. In their sport-

ing goods department, I found all kindsof fishing weights. (You can also findthese at any anglers shop. I might alsoadd that you can pick up lead shot at anygun shop that carries supplies to reloadshot gun shells, and probably at a prettyreasonable price.)

Back to the point, I found four ouncesinkers that are shaped like a tall pyra-mid. At four ounces each, four of themwill put you right at one pound, which isabout right for a 40’ boxcar in O scale.

The NMRA recommended practiceis to add one ounce for every actual oneinch of length. With the Atlas cars beingso light, I’m not actually weighing thecar before adding the weight, so I haveno idea what the car really weighs. Withthe car being ten inches long, that’s tenounces that need to be added to the car.I’m guessing the cars are about fiveounces, making the total weight 15ounces. I figured by adding one fullpound, a couples ounces overweightisn’t going to gain me any significantviolations with the NTSB or the DOT forthat matter.

As you can see in the photos, Iapplied the weights by laying them onone side. I used five minute epoxy to fixthem in place on the car floor. You canalso see that I mounted them toward theends, as close to centered over the bolsteras possible. This distributes the weightover the trucks, just like what would bedone on the prototype. It makes the carride more stable.

I have several cars that need weightadded. It will be a challenge with theflat cars. I know I can always add

loads, but in the course of real railroadoperations even flatcars run light oncein a while. So, finding a solution toadding some weight is better than noth-ing. Same thing goes for open cars likegondolas and hoppers. You can alwaysadd a weighted load, but there are timeswhen the car is going to roll empty, soadding a little weight in an inconspicu-ous area of the undercarriage is betterthan adding none at all.

I do have some experience with theIntermountain boxcars. They are finekits and build into fine looking models.The problem with adding weight tothese cars after they are built is obvi-ous; the doors don’t open, and unlessyou leave the roof unglued you’regoing to end up tearing the car apart toadd weight. Unlike the old Atlas carswhich just snap together, everything onthe Intermountain cars is glued inplace. Therefore, you must put theweight into these cars before they arefully assembled. ◆

Gary Woodard The fishing weights from WalMarts

The weights epoxied to the car floor.

The finished weighted car.

12 • O Scale Trains

O Scale Hall of FameMinton Cronkhite

One of the pioneers of O scale, he is best known for the

large exhibit layouts he constructed. He built the San Diego

& Santa Fe for the exposition in 1935 in San Diego and

built the Texas & Santa Fe layout for the Texas Centennial

Exposition in 1936. And in the late 1930's he built the

Museum &; Santa Fe Railroad at the Chicago Museum of

Science and Industry, which was Q gauge, 1 and 3/16ths.

He likely participated in several of the other large exhibi-

tions of the late 1930s and early 1940s.

The earliest reference, in the June 1936 Model Railroader,

says that Cronkhite, H. B. Vanderhoef, and Carl Otto

Noack in 1924 developed “...the first O gauge scale models

that could be called such by present day standards.”

Cronkhite and Vanderhoef were in business together as

Crovan Railway Models which seems to be a combination

of their names, but note that the Model Railroader credits

Carl as being the head of Crovan until he died in 1936.

And no, Minton was not Walter’s older brother. ◆

Norm’s “O” Scale TrainsRETAIL STORE

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Buy, Sell, Trade All “O” Scale 2 Rail Brass

O Scale Trains • 13

Dealer’sCornerBuild yourself a hobby shopand promote O scale 2 rail.

Let me start this with an introduction,My name is Bruce B. Blackwood. I ownand run Burrett Hobbies in College Park,Md., as my full time job and sole source ofincome. I am an O scaler that started outwith Lionel and other high-rail trains as akid. My father had HO in the basem*nt, soI became hooked! I had N scale as a new-lywed living in a mobile home, then didthe G thing in the back yard when we gotour first house with a basem*nt to smallfor O.

All the time I was a closet O scaler,building a small collection of O. Movedinto a larger house some years ago andgave up on the lesser scales. I am buildinga 24’ x 45’ basem*nt layout. So I hope thisbackground will keep me from soundinglike a know-it-all who knows nothing. Mymain goal in writing this is to help promoteO scale 2 rail. I hope this becomes interac-tive.

Your assignment this month is in twoparts. First, visit your local hobby shop andintroduce yourself as a 2 rail O scaler. Thiswill allow you find out if the shop has anyclue what that means, and, you might findthe shop has a brass Big Boy under somepile in the back room ’cause it won’t runon the 3 rail track! (Had a 3-railer comeinto the basem*nt and ask how the trainspicked up electricity) Get to know theowner’s name and what he models. Planon taking an hour or so on this visit. Lookat everything in the store, no matter whatscale or even if it’s not in the train depart-ment. I call these types of people real mod-elers. They always find 2 or 3 items theycan use even if not as intended to be. Thisalso helps the shop owner know that youwant to spend money in his store.

Now for a few DO NOT’s • DO NOT be a “looker” only. As a

shop owner I really appreciate the cus-tomer who refuses to walk out emptyhanded, even if it is just a pack of couplersor a magazine.

• DO NOT tell him about all the greatthings you bought at the last train show orat another hobby shop.

• DO NOT tell him his prices are big-ger than O scale.

• DO tell him what projects you areworking on and what special things youmight be looking for.

You “want” to make this shop ownerthink that you are going to become hismost loyal customer ever. He will sooncatch on and want you to “think” he isyour hobby shop. It is a “game” I play allthe time. I know no shop can be every-thing to each customer, but here we areworking on building your shop.

One of my pet peeves can be illus-trated with the guy that came in justbefore the TCA York meet. After askingseveral questions to find out what he wasinto model wise, I found that he had heardof the new AtlasO hoppers and wanted tocheck one out. I spent thirty minutes withhim, showing him the hoppers up closeand personal, out of the box and every-thing. Now, I run a “discount” shop, butstill need to make a profit. AtlasO is a“short discount” line and my price is morethan fair. Still, after all this he tells me“Thanks, but I’ll pick them up at the Yorkmeet cause somebody will be having ablow out on them.” Forty-five minutes inthe store sucking up the A/C and nomoney in the till. Yes, I might be a bit bit-ter, as I think of myself a better salesmen,but Gang, your local shop owner shouldbe able to make a fair profit on you. As Oscalers we must get away from our reputa-tion of grumpy old tight wads that beat onbronze with ball peen hammers.Remember that we are building a relation-ship.

OK, second, pick a project. What Iwant you to do is to build or modifysomething that is 2 rail O. Ask the shopowner if you can have a small place to dis-play this project when it is done. Tell himyou want to show others what 2 rail O isabout. Look around and find somethingyou can build or change over to scale 2

rail. Maybe an InterMountain kit or anAtlasO building or MTH car. If the shophas nothing in stock, ask to order some-thing. Make it something that the shop willhave little trouble getting, and that mightwork with the high rail crews.

Buy it from this shop. (remember weare building a relationship and it is OK tospend money and let the shop make aprofit) Take it home, make a list of detailparts and extras, i.e. paint, glue, etc. Goback and buy those items from the shop.Almost all shops can order O scale partsfrom Walthers. Another DO NOT – DONOT order items and never come back. It’slike kissing your spouse’s sister! The rela-tionship will be over.

Now, build that project! Might be niceto make up a small section of track / dio-rama to display it on. Taking a short breakfrom your other projects and building asmall diorama will do wonders for yoursoul, as will going to church on Sundayinstead of the train show. Take the displayto the shop owner and let him display it for6-8 weeks. Offer the display track for alonger time. See if he might have anothercustomer who would like to display a caron it.

Help the shop owner see that otherswant O 2 rail or that at least they can makesome money with carry-over on the highrail guys.

You now have a shop owner whoknows you and what you’re about. He mayalso call you when that 3 rail lot with thatone brass 2 rail car gets traded in. He alsoknows you will spend money in his shop.

He knows that when you order some-thing, you will pick it up, and he can makemoney by special ordering stuff for you.And he may have found a few more goodmen, err... O scalers.

Plus in a few weeks you will havesomething built up to add to your layout.

OK, That’s it for this time. Next we’ll expand our shop with brass

and more! Comments welcome:[emailprotected] or Bruce B. Blackwood C/O BURRETT HOBBIES,9920 Rhode Island Ave. College Park, MD 20740 ◆

14 • O Scale Trains

Working Windows,Hatches & DoorsPart 1 Harry Heike, Eagle’s Nest Miniatures

Needless to say, I was absolutelydelighted when Joe Giannovarioasked me to do a series of articles forthis magazine. There are only twothings that I would rather do than talk;one of them is build trains and theother one is probably inappropriatefor this magazine.

My intent and purpose here is toinstruct the average or beginner modelO scale builder in various techniquesto improve the quality of his models,to improve his own abilities as acraftsman, and finally to put crafts-manship back in to the hobby of OScale. Not only will I try to give thetechniques that I have developed, butalso tips on how to get out of troubleshould a problem arise. A brief history of the details in ques-

tion goes back to the earliest brassmodels which were imported in the50’s, 60’s and early 70’s. These mod-els were a quantum leap in terms ofquantity and quality of detail overwhat had been available domestically,mainly All Nation, CentralLocomotive Works, Lobaugh, ScaleCraft, and a few other manufacturersavailable at the time. One outstandingexception, Kemtron models, of thatperiod was far ahead of their time. Inparticular their Wabash Mogul anddiesel kits could, in the hands of anexperienced modeler, be turned intosomething that rivaled the finest state-of-the-art brass import models.

The earliest models from Max Gray,US Hobbies, Westside, and others,while each improved in detail uponthe others, did not match the fascinat-ing working details of the later brassmodels imported from Korea like

those of Precision Scale, Overlandand others. These newer models hadworking doors hatches, sandbox cov-ers, smokebox fronts, and more,which were done in a very prototypi-cal and scale fashion.

Let’s take an average steam locomo-tive; it could have as many as 20doors, and/or hatches. Going fromfront to rear there could be, a (hingedman hole) cover on the smoke box,snifter valves which rotated on eachcylinder (PRR engines), two sandboxcovers, at least one cab front door witha working vent window on either sideand usually a sliding or hinged screenwindow. The cab itself had 2 slidingcab windows on either side, a hingedvent window usually attached to oneof the main windows, a sliding roofcab hatch, and 2 sliding windows inthe cab rear. Going a step further thehead light usually had a workinghinged lens frame, 2 hinged numberboard frames, there was usually aworking door on the train control box.The trailing truck has hinged journalbox covers. On top of the boiler therewere usually hinged turret covers andbelow there were opening ash pandoors. Inside the cab itself, the firebox doors opened. Going to the tendernow, there were usually 2 hingeddoors on the forward wall of thewater-legs. The coal doors werehinged and there were usually 4 ofthese with a triangular shaped pair ofhinged guillotine type doors on thebottom of the bottom coal compart-ment door. Inside the coal compart-ment itself, if the engine had a stoker,there were usually sliding doors, sev-eral of which sat on top of the auger-

channel. Some engines had hingeddoors on the rear slope-sheets of thecoal compartment to provide access tostoker motor components or coal-pusher components. The tender reardeck, of course, housed the cistern-hatches. Cisterns were arranged ineither parallel or perpendicular fash-ion There could be between one andfour individual working hinged doors.Some tenders had 2 sets of paralleltype doors with 3 hatches each. Sometenders had streamlined shrouds thathad their own hinged doors to allowaccess to the cistern doors. Some ten-ders were oil fired and had oil hatchesin the oil compartment. Some tendershad opening hatches in the space ontop of the tender rear deck and behindthe rear coal compartment slope sheet.Some tenders had opening doors orpanels on the sides, to allow access tothe stoker motors and/or train controlequipment. Beneath the tender weretool boxes that had opening doors.Tender trucks, of course, had workingjournal covers, which could numberas many as 16 in a large tender. Sometenders on C&O and N&W had asmany as 6 coal doors, four facing for-ward and two on top. Camelbackengines could have as many as fourcab doors. Cab roofs could have asmany as three hatch openings, thesewere either sliding or hinged, and theC&O actually had a screen coveringon top of all of their hatches.

Needless to say that’s a lot of work-ing stuff, yet all of this has been mod-eled in O Scale and, hopefully withthe skills gained from this article,should be achievable by an averageskilled O scale modeler.

The first working parts to beaddressed in this article will be slidingcab windows. However, before gettinginto the actual construction itself, Iwould like to make a brief note on thetools and supplies necessary toaccomplish this.

Figure 1 shows an array of toolswhich I use on a daily basis, andwhich I feel are the minimum neces-sary to accomplish construction. Iwould like to emphasize that these are

O Scale Trains • 15

the tools that I have found most useful by trial and errorover a long period of time. However I am sure that there aremany other tools that are equally useful, or better, in thehands of other modelers.

Going clockwise from the bottom left of the photograph,the first is a set of torches, which includes a micro-torch, amini-torch, and a regular propane torch. The micro -torch isabout $7 and the mini-torch about $25 at most buildingsupply stores like Lowes or Home Depot. The micro andmini-torches are fueled with butane. The best brand fuel forthis is Bernzomatic which comes in small canisters underpressure for about 2 dollars each. These canisters are alsoavailable in the smoking department at most pharmacies,discount stores, etc., and are sold under the Ronson trade-mark for about the same price. I choose the mini-torchbecause it is very durable and has about a 3-5 hour usefullife. I have purchased other torches from Micro-Mark,RadioShack, and other tool supply outlets which were notof the same durability or which cost much more. The maindrawback of this particular torch (and the micro-torch) isthat it does not have a piezoelectric igniter. You can workaround this by either having a lighted candle or a largerpropane torch with the flame turned down as far as it canpossibly go without being extinguished. These serve asignition sources for the micro and mini-torches and allowsa free hand to work. It is very important to plan any brasswork with the primary thought in mind of having as many

Fig. 1: Clockwise from lower left, micro-torch, mini-torch, propanetorch, tweezers, clamps, quenching cup, quenching spray bottle, silversolder, acid brushes, acid flux, and needle nose pliers

(continued on next page)


The pilot model wasn’t quite ready to be pho-tographed for this issue but when finished, wefeel this will be our finest release to date. Itfeatures all new castings loaded with greatlooking old brick and stone detail, modularconstruction (so you can make it deeper orshorter as needed), beautiful laser cut woodparts and simple, yet comprehensive, step bystep assembly and painting instructions.

Approximate HO footprint 12” x 6”, O footprint 12” x 24”. Limited to500 HO scale kits and just 200 O scale kits. Late December shipping.Reservations now being taken, no deposit required.The HO kit will retailfor around $100.00, the O version around $150.00. Please feel free to con-tact us if you have any questions.

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16 • O Scale Trains

hands free and available as possible. It is important to beable to both light the torch and reach for tools without tak-ing your eyes off your brass work. The reason is if you havea hand-held part against another part, ready to solder, andyou turn your head for a brief instant, your hand will slipand ruin the positioning of the two parts. This could betime consuming and frustrating, causing work to berepeated several times.

This brings me to the next tool which is a hand held for-ceps (tweezers). These should be stainless steel (to resistcorrosion from acid type flux) and of the locking and non-locking variety. The next articles are alligator clips andclamps of various sizes, these are readily available fromRadio Shack. The next two articles are a plastic cup ofwater for quenching small joints, and a hand held spraybottle for quenching other joints and washing off acid flux.The next item is the solder itself. I like to use simple gardenvariety Radio Shack rosin free, silver solder, the smaller thediameter the better. I use this because of its low meltingtemperature, high tensile strength, and ready availability.The next items are various brushes. The larger brushes canbe purchased in bulk from a hardware store for about 10 to15 cents per brush. The bristles can be trimmed with a pairof scissors to particular shapes necessary for individualjobs. These nylon bristle brushes are used for applying acidflux. There are also some smaller brushes and these mustbe non-natural bristles, too, as a camel hair brush will meltfrom the acid flux within a short period of time. The whiteplastic bottle shown next is the flux which I have found tobe most useful. This is readily available in most hardwarestores for a dollar or two a bottle. There are also severalsets of needle nose pliers, the tips of these can be renewedor modify with a cut off wheel in a Dremel tool for particu-lar and unique shaping jobs. More on this later.

One of the most commonly asked questions by any mod-eler first starting brass work is, when I use a torch how do Ikeep the rest of the stuff from falling off the model when Isolder the stuff that I want.? The answer to this is two fold,first, exactly the correct amount of heat must be used, andsecondly, the heat must be used for the correct amount oftime, and if these are not possible for some reason in a par-ticular situation then a careful use of jigs and supports mustbe accomplished. This brings me to Figure 2, which is jigsand fixtures.

Going clockwise from the upper right see the alligatorclamps which are readily available from Radio Shack. Nextis a large plate with four arms which is a very useful jig-ging device available from Pat Mitchell at CliftonBackshop Services*. This is possibly the most useful jig Ihave ever used. The beauty of this is that the arms are infi-nitely adjustable, the clamps are very powerful, and there isabsolutely zero slippage. Once two parts are jigged in posi-tion there will be no creep during the time the actual sol-dering takes place. This is not the case in the simplealligator clip type jig available through MicroMark or other

tool supply houses which does not permit the fine degree ofwork that is necessary, in my opinion. The large block-likefixture at 12 o’clock is a truck assembly jig available fromthe House of Duddy** which can be used for many otherpurposes. This jig will keep two objects parallel during thecourse of soldering. There are other tools and jigs whichare useful and these will be covered during the actual textof the instruction itself.We’ll start the actual working details in the next issue. ◆

* Clifton Back Shop Services, 8122 Valley Run Dr. Clifton,VA 20124** House of Duddy, 5B Tealwood Dr. Creve Coeur, MO 63141

A few words of caution here about acid flux. This stuff will turnyour fingers black if it comes in contact with your skin. Theflux must be washed with the spray bottle from any solderedsurface immediately after the joint has been made. Needlessto say, even a small diluted drop of flux in your eye is verydangerous. Therefore, you should always wear safetyglasses when soldering. Your work surface should also beexpendable. Place a sheet of 1⁄2 inch plywood over your worktable so that none of the water or water/flux residue attacksany surface of any value. If even diluted flux gets on yourclothing it will damage it and discolor it. I actually go to thedollar store and purchase cheap clothes with the full knowl-edge that they will be ruined by the end of the month. – Harry

Fig. 2: Clockwise from upper right, various clamps, Clifton Backshop’sholding fixture, typical hobby holding fixture, House of Duddy truck

assembly fixture.

O Scale Trains • 17

Modeler’s ShelfPhotos of our reader’s models

The SOUTHERN is the name of Stuart Ramsey’s pike in Florida. It is a fictitious connecting road for a number of his easternfavorites: SCL, C&O, Southern, ACL and ,of course, the N&W. The 2-8-0 above is a Sunset Santa Fe loco that has been convertedto coal for this eastern railroad. It is next to the roundhouse in the main yard. Below, the N&W A (on the upper track) is on a coal run

(’cause the SOUTHERN can’t afford a Y-6b!). The C&O T-1 is on a freight drag westbound. The A is a Williams and the T-1 is a

18 • O Scale Trains

Overland Models, Inc.Email: [emailprotected] • Website: www.overlandmodels.com • 3808 W. Kilgore Avenue • Muncie, IN 47304-4896 U.S.A. • 765/289-4257 • Fax 765/289-6013

Overland Models delivers . . .

The Finest ‘O’ Scale Diesels The Finest ‘O’ Scale Diesels ss BulldozersBulldozersOur family-operated business is pleased to deliver the finest handcrafted brass scale modelson the market today to your model railroad. We work hard to bring you all of the detailsyou’ve come to expect from OMI . . . no matter what the scale. Our staff travels far andwide to find new and unique projects for your favorite road. We also enjoy visiting with

modelers at the many train shows around thecountry to learn just what you want us to pro-duce. You can count on Overland Models to bethere with the very best in model railroading!

EMD “SD70M”Demonstrator Nos. 7000, 7001 and 7002.

Factory painted gray/maroon/silver, completely lettered, and equipped with operating head and ditch lights — OMI #0625.1

CONRAIL“SD70” Nos. 2557 and 2580. Factory painted

blue/white/black, completely lettered, and equipped with operating head and ditch lights — OMI #0627.1

NORFOLK SOUTHERN“SD70” Nos. 2559 and 2573. Factory painted black

with white sill stripes, completely lettered, and equipped with operating head and ditch lights — OMI #0627.2


�� WRECKMASTER BULLDOZER with narrow blade, counterweight and side boom.Factory painted yellow, unlettered [pictured] — OMI #0805WRECKMASTER BULLDOZER with narrow blade, counterweight and side boom.Unpainted [not pictured] — OMI #0805.1DEPRESSED CENTER FLAT CAR designed specifically to haul the WreckmasterBulldozer, factory painted silver, unlettered [not pictured] — OMI #0804.1Made by Cheyenne Industries of China

O Scale Trains • 19

Modeler’s Shelf

This N&W K2 started its life as a Sunkit USRA Heavy Mountain. The engine was built anddetailed by OST publisher Joe Giannovario in 1980. The locomotive was turned over to HarryHeike in 1999 who added even more details (like opening hatches windows, and doors) and cutdown a USHobbies L&N Berk tender to more closely resemble the correct N&W tender.

BTS 26Central Locomotive Works 10Cryer Gray Foundry 23Downtown Deco 15Get Real Productions 43Great Decals 10Harry Heike 12HomaBed 10InterMountain 21NCE Corp 26Norm’s O Scale 12Overland Models 18Pecos River 48Precision Scale Models 47PRR Brass 19Public Delivery Track 39Railroad Collectibles 35Rich Yoder Models 2Sumpter Valley Models 23

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T Bone Models 19Tall Pine 19Trackside O Specialties 10

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20 • O Scale Trains

Modeler’s ShelfPhotos of our reader’s models

A repainted Weaver Northeastern caboose becomes a PennCentral hack on Pete Trunk’s Philadelphia & Erie RR.

More of Harry Heike’s work. This N&W Y6a started life as a Max Gray Y6b. Harry made over 1000 changes to the model owned by Joe Giannovario.

O Scale Trains • 21

Another view of Neville Rossiter’s Float Bridge. Construction article begins on page 27.


orHi Rail

Another Work of Art from InterMountain Railway CompanyP.O. Box 839, Longmont, CO 80502-0839

For photos and complete list of InterMountain products visit our Web Site: www.intermountain-railway.comFor information call: 1-800-472-2530 or Fax: 303-772-8534. E-Mail: [emailprotected]

22 • O Scale Trains

Modeler’s ShelfPhotos of our reader’s models

Above & right: The Central Jersey O-scalers modular layoutwas on display at the Eastern O Scale meetin Wind Gap, Pa.,last November.

88' Deck Plate Girder Bridge88' Deck Plate Girder Bridge88' Deck Plate Girder BridgeNEW!

tails!tails!130' Pony Truss in 2002see the website for details!

Here is a portion of our newest bridge model - a beautiful deck plate girder in two versions.

On the right is part of a new 60' through plate girder, restingon 14' supports.

Visit us on the web at cryergrayfoundry.com for all the latest details, including news on our upcoming 130' double track pony truss. models are fully assembled in brass. Or call or write:

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O Scale Trains • 23

Another view of the Central Jersey O-scalers modular layout.








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New Jersey, Pleasantville May 18th - O scale 2 rail show, Epiphany Lutheran Church Hall,Franklin Blvd & Tunis Ave. Sponsored by the Tuckahoe OScalers.Meet particulars as follows: Friday night (May17th) setup w/pizzaparty, Dealer tables $15.00, 1st table (incl. adm.), $12.00 addi-tional tables. General admission $3.00. General admission anddealer table/admission directly support the Tuckahoe PRSL OScale layout. Pleasantville is easily accessible from Rte 322(Black Horse Pike) or Atlantic City Expressway, Garden StateParkway. Make dealers checks payable to John P.Dunn Sr., 38East Revere Avenue, Northfield N.J. 08225.Additional info contact John P.Dunn Sr. ph# 609-484-8125(Evenings), Email:[emailprotected].

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Modeler’s Shelf

26 • O Scale Trains

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O Scale Trains • 27

Improving Weaver’s 53' Flat Car

With a few alterations, Weaver’s 53' flat can look like a 1950’s Commonwealth Steel Castingsprototype. This shows the left side of the finished UP car.

Edward F. Bommer

Car side showing added styrene strips and measurements for the side sill angles.

Starting with the base Weaver flatcar, we can capture the low-slung heftof a Union Pacific class F-70-1 car,built in 1956. We will add wood deck-ing, Athearn sprung Bettendorf truckswith NWSL wheelsets, a new brakewheel, grab irons, stirrups, polingpockets and uncoupling rods to com-plete the details.

Let’s get started. Disassemble thecar. Cut off the corner stirrups andmounting details. Trim away the sideand end grab irons. I use single-edgerazor blades from a hardware store forthis task. Score along the bottom ofthe grab iron where the mountingdetail is located. From the top, makelight cuts and gradually cut off thegrab iron. Use care to save the mount-ing details. Smooth the area by scrap-ing it with the blade.

Scrape off the bead along the loweredge of both sides. Work slowly. Trynot to dig into or score the sides. Holdthe blade perpendicular to the surface,slide it back and forth allowing it tolean slightly to the direction of move-ment. Do a few inches at a time andfinish smoothing the area with longstrokes.

The Weaver car is a scale 11' wide.Prototypes are 10' 6" wide. A mini-plane was used to shave off the deckoverhang on both sides even with thestake pockets, giving the model a 10'6" width. When near the stake pock-

ets, 120grit sandpaper around a blockof wood is used. Finish with 600 gritpaper and steel wool to smooth theedges. Trim off the slight overhang onthe car ends and the projections infront of the end stake pocket holes.Leave the center projections in place.They represent coupler striking plates.

To make the car sides deeper, cuttwo .606" x .125" styrene strips 63⁄16"long. Cement each along the straightbottom edge of the car side. Theyshould exactly fit between to thepoints where the car sides angleupward to the deck. Tenax orPlastruct-Weld works fine. Be surethe pieces are flush to the outer sur-face. Cut two more pieces of the samestrip 11⁄4" long. With a straight edgeand blade, score a diagonal line fromone corner to the other on each piece.Carefully cut them apart to make fourtriangular shaped pieces. Fit andcement one of these to each angledarea of the car side. The dotted lines inDiagram A shows the location. Theymust be flush to the outer car side and

butt evenly to the center strip.When dry, turn the car so its deck is

toward you. With a ruler and pencil,mark the exact center of the side still.Measure 2 9⁄16" from the centertoward each end and mark the edge.From each mark, measure toward theend of the car another 11⁄8" and makea mark. Draw a line between the two

marks just made. The layout of the carside angles should be like Diagram A.

Remove material up to the scribedline with a mill file to form the com-pound angle along the bottom edge.Repeat this at the remaining locations.Fill any cracks or gaps with SquadronGreen putty. Sand with 120, then600grit paper, finishing with steelwool for a smooth, flat surface. Fillthe end stake pocket holes and brakewheel recess with pieces of .060"styrene cemented into place. Trimthese pieces flush with the top andsides. Cut four pieces of .030" styreneto fill the small recesses in the deckedges at each corner next to the firststake pocket. Trim off the thin deckoverhang in that area back to the bol-ster brace.

Make two “H” shaped pieces of.030” sheet styrene following dimen-sions in Diagram B and cement themto the deck at each end. Make certainthat the wide leg edge lines up evenlywith the stake pocket holes on both

(continued on page 28)

the left on theother. Mark witha punch and drilla #72 hole in thetop ends of each.Drill #74 mount-ing holes tomatch in the carsides where theoriginal stirrupswere located I

use a Dremel tool for drilling metal. Forplastic, I use a pin vise. Mount the stir-rups with #28 x 3⁄8" escutcheon pins.Secure with super-glue and snip off theexcess under the car.

The poling pockets were made witha 3⁄16" drill bit. They are located 3⁄16"in from each corner and 3⁄16" up fromthe bottom edge. Turn the bit withyour fingers until it makes a dent thediameter of the bit. Smooth the inden-tation with some steel wool wrapped

28 • O Scale Trains

Weaver Flat Car

Pattern for .030" styrene “H” shaped Deckplate. Two are needed.

Altered Weaver car before painting. White area shows new styrene “H” plate.

Car side showing notched out stake pockets and scored deck sides.

sides. Because liquid plastic cementdries rapidly, coat the center of thestrip and the car floor first then imme-diately place the part. Flow somecement along the edges. Lift each legof the “H” slightly and run somecement under it. When dry, trim it tomatch the car deck. Fill any seams andsand the edges smooth.

With a sharp blade, score a lineacross each stake pocket following thelower edge of the deck on both sidesof the car. Work a corner of the bladedown on both sides of the pocket fromthe top to bottom of the deck. Do notcut beyond the score line. Push the cutarea into the pocket hole to break itoff. Smooth the deck sides and topedge in each stake pocket.

Cut the staff from the Weaver brakedetail and mounting boss. Drill the topof the boss # 70 about 3⁄32" deep.Drill a matching hole in the new brakewheel. Cut a piece of .028” brass rod5⁄8" long for the brake staff. Cementthe wheel to the staff with super-glue.Insert it into the mounting boss andsecure with glue. Test fit this assem-bly. The brake wheel top should be1⁄2" above the deck.

Eight grab irons are made using.022" brass rod. To make them thesame size, I use a jig on a pair of plierswhere I cut shallow grooves across ajaw for the widths needed. Note thatthe length of the grab irons may differ

slightly between sides and ends ifusing the original mounting details.Drill #74 at locations matching thosedetails.

Press the grab irons into place andsecure with a touch of super-glue. Usea piece of 1⁄32" thick strip wood underthe grab irons as a spacer, so theystand off evenly from the car side. Incase you accidentally spoiled somegrab iron mounting details as I did,scrape them off. For replacements,impress rivet marks about 1⁄8" aparton a 1⁄16" x .010" styrene strip with abrad. Cut matching mounts from thestrip one at a time and cement intoplace.

Four stirrups are made from .015" x.060" brass strip. You may use AllNation or Old Pullman parts, modify-ing them to fit. Follow the pattern inDiagram C. Twist an end 90 degreesto the right on one side and to aroundaround the end of a needle file handle.

Pattern & dimensions forcorner stirrups.

Make four.

O Scale Trains • 29

I replaced the Weaver trucks withAthearn sprung Bettendorfs andNWSL steel wheels. Before installingthem they were cleaned and given acoat of Mineral Brown paint. Thewheel treads and axle ends were pol-ished with steel wool. The underframe bolsters were reduced to thelevel of the center sill. A razor sawwas used to cut away the bolster asshown in Diagram D. Remove thethin piece remaining over the kingpinboss. File the area smooth and parallelso the car rides level on its trucks.

Install the couplers and frame, using

four 2-56 x 5⁄16" screws. Mount thetrucks. A number 2 brass washer isused with the kingpin screw in eachtruck bolster. The original screws willbe too long. Shorten or replace themwith 2-56 x 1⁄2" screws. When assem-bled, the car deck should stand 31⁄32"above the rail, with the centerline ofthe couplers at 23⁄32" above the rail. Make two uncoupling rods from .022”brass wire, following the pattern inDiagram E. One end hooks aroundthe coupler box. The other fastens to

the car end with a small staple. Bendand adjust the rods until they fit prop-erly. Drill two #74 holes about .024”vertically apart to the lower left of theleft poling pocket on each end. Benda short piece of .022” wire as a

clip and insert into the holes. Slip inthe uncoupling rod and push the cliphome. Fit the other end snugly aroundthe coupler box. Secure the clip androd with super glue but do not glue thecoupler box end.

The car is ready for paint. Removethe trucks and the couplers. Re-attachthe coupler box to the car frame. Stuffsome steel wool in the opening tokeep paint out. Clean the car toremove dust, scrapings, steel woolparticles and oil from your fingers.My car was airbrushed with threecoats of Polly Scale 404079 OxideRed.

The decking is made from 1/32” x1/8” strip wood. Smooth the woodstrips with a small piece of steel woolwrapped around them. Hold one endof the strip and pull the steel woolalong the length of the strip with yourother hand. Cut 81 strips 2 5/8” longto fill the center area. Be sure thepieces are flush to both sides of the carand each other.

Glue each board in place with a thinbead of GOO applied with a Micro-tip. Start with the end planks, cutting

End view showing poling pockets, grab irons, brake wheel and uncoupling

rod locations.

(continued on page 30)

Remove shaded area of bolster for Athern trucks.

Bolster area cut down for Athern truck installa-tion.

Pattern for uncoupling rod. Make two.

Wood decking applied to the car. Note how deck planks are fitted around stake pockets.

30 • O Scale Trains

both to fit between the stake pocketson each side. Then fill in the middlearea. Notch or cut any boards goingaround or over the stake pocket holes.Other indentations and slots in thedeck are covered up.

When finishing the deck, you mayfind the last piece to be either too nar-row or too wide. Take out the lastinstalled plank and measure the widthof the gap. If the space was too narrowfor one plank, divide this gap by 2 andmake two planks of equal width to fit.If the space was too wide, divide thegap by 3 and cut three planks of equalwidth to fit. This was how prototypedecks were laid due to slight varia-tions in plank widths.

Deck the open areas near the endsthe same way. Each space takes nineplanks. Four longer ones are near thebolster and five shorter boards fit fromthe stake pocket to the end sill. Trimaway any excess deck overhang with asharp blade. Lightly notch the plasticedges with a razor blade, matching thedeck board joints. I stained the deckwith tan and brown chalks rubbed into bring out the grain and give theappearance of new pressure treatedlumber.

Brace the car on its side betweentwo blocks of wood for applyingdecals. A Champ UP flat car set wasused. One sheet does a car. To get thecorrect data and car numbers for this53’6”, 70-ton capacity car, I usedother numbers found on the sheet toget what I needed. But it lackedenough data size ‘5’s’ for this car. So Imade two more from the bottom of a‘6’ and the top of an ‘F’. The set can-not make a BLT- 4-56 date, so I had toleave it off.

The “Road of the Streamliners” slo-gan appears on right side. The rightside of the car faces you when thebrake wheel is to the left. That is alsothe “B END” of the car. The “A END”designation goes on the left end of the

opposite (“Serves All the West”) side.Decal set was applied to the lettering

after it was in place and all excesswater blotted up. After the decalsdried, any air pockets found werefixed by applying Decal-Set and jab-bing the area lightly with a pin.Excess decal glue was then wiped offwith a damp tissue. Since I model tothe mid-1950’s this will be a ‘new’ carfor me. You can go on to weather itmore if you like. To hide decal shine, Ibrushed on some Dull Cote sprayedinto a jar lid. To blend everythingtogether, the car was given an overallspray of Dull Cote.

Install the couplers and mount thetrucks. Make one truck snug, yet turnfreely. Let the other be loose, to rock abit from side to side and you are readyto roll!

CAR DATA:Union Pacific 70 ton Commonwealth Steel

Castings flat car. Built 1956 at Union Pacific

Shops. Numbers 59000- 59299, Class F-70-1.

Length 53’6”, Capacity 140,000 lbs., Load

Limit, 153,800 lbs., Light Weight 56,200 lbs.

NEW and BLT 4-56.

MATERIALS & TOOLS:1 Weaver 53' flat car, any road name, 2 or 3


1 pair Athearn Bettendorf trucks.

1 set NWSL #8287-4 33" wheels x .145" tread.

1 pair Kadee 805 couplers.

4 All Nation #3060 copper or Old Pullman

#7160 steel reefer door steps.

Step alternate: 1 Detail Assoc. 2530 brass bar

.015" x.060".

1 pk Evergreen Styrene strip #156, .060" x


1 sheet Evergreen Styrene #9030 .030"

(1/32") thick.

Scrap styrene, .010" and .060" thick.

1 each, Detail Assoc. brass rod: .022" and

.028" dia.

10 Northeastern or equal 1/32" x 1/8" x 24"

strip wood.

6 2-56x1/2" brass round head machine screws

(cut four to 5/16").

2 Walthers 1273 #2 brass washers.

8 All Nation #680 No. 28x3/8" escutcheon


Squadron Green or White putty.

Tenax 7-R plastic weld or equal.

Walthers GOO.

Microtips for Walthers GOO.

Any rapid setting 'super glue' (alpha-cyano-


1 Champ CN-98 UP flat car set, yellow letter-


Champ or equal decal set.

Poly Scale #404070 Light Oxide Red or similar


Floquil Mineral Brown or similar color.

Testors DullCote spray.

Dremel Motor tool.

Steel straight-edge ruler.


Industrial single-edge razor blades.

120 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

600 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

0000 steel wool.

Miniature plane.

Single cut medium mill file.

Flat and square needle files.

Pin vise.

Drill bits: 3/16", # 70. # 72, #74.

Needle nose pliers.

Small screw driver.


No. 0 or 1 artist's brush.

Straight pin.


Mustard jar lid or equal. ◆

Weaver Flat Car

Got a pet project you wantto share? Get in touch withus for details on how youcan become an author.

O Scale Trains • 31

Constructing the Float Bridge onthe Bay Ridge Harbour RRNeville Rossiter

The Bridges1. Cut piece of 1⁄8" styrene sheet to14"x 93⁄4". This is the bridge base.2. Using three pair of Lionel girderbridge sides. Cut them up to make fournew sides 14" long. Scrape off theLionel name.3. Sand base of bridge sides flat andglue to styrene base from Step 1, start-ing on one edge. Then moving 41⁄8" tothe centre glue two sides side by side.Then glue final side to the other edge.

4. Track: decide how many tracks youwill have on the float (barge), twotracks or three like I did. Use a #6turnout cut in half like the NYC harborfloats. Use any flex track that’s avail-able. I use Peco because I can buy it inAustralia.The Towers.

5. Cut 8 pieces of 5⁄16" H-shape 9"long, 20 pieces 21⁄8" long, and 18pieces 11⁄2" long. Square off the ends.Make a jig wide enough to take onetower side at least 21⁄2" wide. Gluecrosspieces. Make four above items.

6. Join each upright using the 11⁄2"pieces check for squareness and clampin as many places as possible.7. Brace all sides with 1⁄16" angle ironand if you want, add two pieces of flat

styrene to the top of the towers.

Machinery House Bridge.8. Cut 1⁄16" styrene sheet 15" x 23⁄4"9. Cut up 3 more Lionel girder bridgesto make the sides (15" long) and glueto a styrene base.

Machinery House. 10. Make a box using 1⁄16" styrenesheet 131⁄4" long and wide enough tofit snugly between the bridge sidesapprox 2" wide, but check this.The ends are 4" high to the pointedpeak and the sides are 31⁄2" high. Notethat there are two supports inside to

strengthen the sides and support theroof.11. Cut out three window openings on

each side. I used grandt line windowframes in the openings.12. Before gluing together check fitbetween the girder sides.13. Make up the peaked roof frommore styrene 14" long and 11⁄2" wide.14. Drill holes in roof for the screwhousings, 1⁄4" styrene pipe.They looklike chimneys but are actually weatherproof pipes that the lifting screwsrotate in.15. Clad the entire bridge house withgalvanized sheeting. I used Builders inScale #712, but any tin foil could beused. If you want, don’t clad the

lower part of the housing as it will behidden by the sides, but do the ends. 16. You should have the following fiveitems: one Float Bridge, two Towers.,one Machinery Bridge, and oneMachinery House.

(continued on page 33)

32 • O Scale Trains

Additional Views of theFloat Bridge

The clutter around the assembly adds to the feelingof realism at the site. You get a good view of the stair-case from this side and the view below right.

This view shows the operator house and the rest of the stair-way. There's nothing fancy or very difficult about this model. Itis all very straightforward assembly of modules.

A view from the barge side of the bridge.Next issue Neville will tell us how he builtthe barge.

O Scale Trains • 33

17. Test fit all these items, but don’tglue together.

Stairways and Operator House.

18. Make up the stairs using theEvergreen O scale stair kit and scratch-build the railings.

19. The operator house was madeusing a Railway Designs shed kit but itcould be scratchbuilt.

Lifting device.20. Using .040" thick styrene cut outeight pieces 41⁄2" long and make to

shape as in Drawing , Part A.21. Cut eight shapes 2" long x 1⁄2"wide as in Drawing 1, Part B.

22. Make a sandwich using two of Part Aspaced apart with 1⁄8" styrene, drill 1⁄8"holes in each end. Make four of these.

23. Make another sandwich using twoof Part B and space apart using 1⁄4"square styrene. Drill a 1⁄8" hole in oneend. Make four of these. 24. One end of a Part A sandwich issecured to the bridge side after the sideis notched. The other end has a 1"diameter pulley from the WesternScale Models #M-49 assortmentinstalled. The assembly, complete withpulley goes in between Part B (seeDrawing 2) and a piece of 1⁄8" solidstyrene rod goes through both holesand is glued securely. Assemble fourof these.25. Make a sturdy cross beam out of a10" long piece of 5⁄8" H-beam with a 10"long piece of 1⁄4" solid square glued tothe top. Glue pieces of hollow roundstyrene rod 3⁄16" in diameter to the cross-beam as shown. Then glue inside these along piece of 1⁄8" solid rod. These repre-sent the “screws” that control the raisingand lowering of the bridge to match up tothe Float Barge. (In the model they aredummies as the bridge and the float stayat one level all the time).26. Glue the four lifting devices underthe crossbeam. The bridge sides dic-

tate the spacing on the beam.27. When the lifting device is glued tothe bridge sides and the beam, itshould be self supporting. Next drillholes in the machinery house floor andguide the “screws” through the floorand glue securely. Don’t do this untilyou are sure that everything is level,square, and at the right height, e.g.,towers, bridge, position on layout, etc.28. Use a good quality twine to repre-sent cables and super glue themaround the pulleys and secure themthrough the machinery house floor.29. I airbrushed the completed modeloutside, with grey primer, followed byGrimy Black using Polyscale paint.

Notes:A very good close up photo of these massivelifting pieces are in the Morning Sun book,“Lehigh Valley 2 In Color” page 9. Also in thepictures are the locking device for the float tothe bridge (I did not model this). Try to borrowthe book if you think it’s too expensive for sixphotos. Personally, I enjoyed reading the rest ofthe book !!References:Lehigh Valley-2, New York Harbor railroads.Morning SunBridge and Trestle book. Carstens.Photos from Ron Ziel: LIRR # 407 & LIRR,Long Island City ca. 1958. ◆

5⁄8"Part A


6"Drawing 1

1⁄2"Part B


21⁄4" 21⁄4"3" 11⁄4"1⁄4"

1⁄4" spacer

1⁄8" spacer

5⁄8" H beam


Bridge side

34 • O Scale Trains

Chapter IThis is my story about the model

train import business (or “bidness”as we say in Texas.) In this column,I intend to tell the story as it hap-pened to me. This is perhaps nothow it happened to the others in thebusiness, nor do I intend to preachor tell others how to do it. I justwant to tell you how I did it, andrelate some of the stories of thingsthat happened to me. Doing busi-ness in international trade, espe-cially on the Pacific rim is, to saythe least, an adventure. I am notbeing racist here, just pointing outthat things are different in othercountries, and we tend to either fearthe unknown, or look down upon it.Neither should be the case. It’s justdifferent in Asia, than it is inAmerica.

I am a “baby boomer” born inCresco, Iowa, and raised inDecorah, Iowa, up in the Northeastcorner where the Wisconsin glaciercame down and kissed across theMississippi, giving Iowa limestonebluffs and trout streams. I had anormal small town childhood in theheartland, and a great Iowa educa-tion. I had parents that were blessedwith music and I grew up lovingmusic, knowing at an early age thatI wanted to be a band director. But Ihad that “model railroad gene” inmy system and like many of you,got my first train before I was 5,

and have been nuts about trainsever since. I had Marx (couldn’tafford Lionel) and when I saw myfirst Athearn set in HO, I had tomove to HO. I think I just liked the2 rail track better. My first set wasSanta Fe, and every set after thatwas Santa Fe. I thought all trainshad a warbonnet on them.

I went to college to pursue mycareer as a band director and in1967 achieved my goal. I taughtpublic school in Iowa for a yearbefore the war directed me into anAir Force Band for four years. Gotout of the service and went back tograduate school where I got aUniversity job teaching jazz. Allthis time, I was still a model rail-roader. I belonged to clubs inOmaha, Shreveport, Waterloo,Duluth and Lewisville, Texas.Academia got to be a real strain onme and I went to work for BobbyeHall of Hallmark Models in herhobby shop. This is how I started inthe model railroad business.

You have to really like people tobe in the retail store business. Youmeet all kinds. You see all kinds ofpeople, like the guy that comes in,opens every kit in your store, andthen buys a magazine to mail orderthe product from another source.Then there is the guy that skippedall of his lunches so he could cometo the store every day at noon andspend his $5 on an N Scale freightcar. There is probably a good lessonin that for many of us. There is theguy who gave me a $10 on my firstday, and insisted it was a $20. Wecounted the cash register andproved me write. Just a little scamhe tries on lots of stores.

I soon decided I liked workingfor Hallmark Models (in the backroom) more than I liked workingfor Bobbye Hall’s Hobby House,dealing with the “public.” I enjoyedmy year and a half working for Ms.

Hall, but I decided that I needed anew career. I was unemployed forabout 8 months before I decided tostart my own hobby shop. I knewall the time that what I wanted to dowas produce models, not sell some-body else’s trains. The hobby shopwas the first step.

To produce models, took moneyand contacts, and I needed a direc-tion. I had to decide what I wantedto do. I wasn’t interested in produc-ing another Big Boy, and try to cor-rect all the mistakes that others hadmade on the model, only to gener-ate all new mistakes of my own. (Ifyou haven’t guessed, it’s impossi-ble to produce a perfect model.) Ididn’t want to produce anythingthat already had been done.However, I knew that perhaps thereason it had not been done, wasbecause nobody wanted to buy it. Idid a lot of market research, modelresearch, and soul searching.

In future chapters of Crapola, I’lltell you, step by step, how I pro-ceeded. I’ll tell you about the tri-umphs and the failures. Yes, therewere both. I can tell you that it iseasier to get to the top of the Rock’n Roll charts than it is to staythere. The people that want to seeyou there the most are the ones thatwant to knock you off when youmake it.

As I have seen and even helpednew importers come along in thelast 20 years, I have often smiled atwatching their achievements, andsmiled even more at their failures.There is nothing sinister here, justobserving when they fall into thepit that I have crawled out of manytimes myself.

I’ll mention some names whereit is historically important to do so,but in many cases, will keep thenames of those involved in confi-dence. As I have stated, I’m not try-ing to tell anyone else how to do

Crapolafrom theCupolaJohn C. SmithPecos River Brass

O Scale Trains • 35

this, nor condemn others for takinga different road. We all do thingsdifferently, and there is more thanone right way to do anything.Someone starting to import todaywould find that some of the thingsthat worked for me, would notwork for them because the playersare not the same today. NewZealand is not producing, andChina is. However, I’ll bet thatsome of the stories that happened tome in Korea 20 years ago, are hap-pening today in China. Remindsme of the war stories my father-in-law told me that I repeated 20 yearslater during another conflict. Samestories, same military, differentwar.

Someone throws a switch andyour train takes a different track. Iwas going to be an Iowa banddirector my whole life. What hap-

pened? What changed my interestsfrom folk music to classical tojazz? What got me into the trainbusiness from a hobby? Whatchanged me from 3 rail to HO to OScale 2 rail as a modeler? You can’tsee it coming, but one day, youmeet someone, or see something,or go somewhere and your lifeswitches tracks. It’s impossible togo back and take the other route. Inever thought growing up that Iwould someday make the toys thatI played with, or that I would bedoing international trade, or that Iwould have friends all over theworld with similar interests.

As I am preparing to end mycareer as a manufacturer of modeltrains, and go back to my love ofjazz music, I find myself stillsearching for a way to make somereal money. As my long time friend

and helper, Phil Camp tells me,“Smith, it’s your lot in life to begood at TWO things nobodywants.”

Not all of these experiences willbe about O Scale trains specifically,but all will be about the business ofmodel trains, shared in attempt toeducate many of you about theunknown. The unknown is, ofcourse, the people you have nevermet, that build your toys for you.Yes, they are toys. They are notfood, nor shelter, but luxury itemsthat many of us lust after. Be it a$3000 brass model or $40 plasticmodel, whether it’s a very accuraterepresentation of a prototype or aloose reproduction of somethingthat looks like a train, it’s not anecessity of life. But it is art, andit’s what defines our culture andmakes us who we are. ◆

RAILROAD COLLECTIBLESProduction & Custom 2 and 3 Rail Equipment

Extensive Website – Over 200 Photos – www.railroadrealism.com86 W. Johnson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144 Phone: 215-438-4330

Fax 215-438-7322 Email: oguage.railroad@verizon. net

Specializing In Pre-1960 Prototype EquipmentLocomotives: 3 Rail - Sunset, Weaver, Williams, MTH, Lionel & CustomLocomotives: 2 Rail - Sunset, Weaver, Williams, MTH, Overland, Precision & CustomPassenger Equipment: K-Line, Weaver, Williams & CustomFreight Equipment: Weaver, Atlas, Petersen, Intermountain, Crown & Custom

36 • O Scale Trains

Building a PRR B8a 0-6-0John Sauer

(Editor’s note: This is not your typical“how to” but more of a “How I did it.”John’s approach to model building isquite interesting and when you see howhe breaks down the whole project intoparts, you’ll realize that you could builda model like this, too. To be sure, Johnstarted with some ready made parts. Ifyou wanted to build this specific engine,you could use a GEM or Williams B6sbas the starting point.)

Prototype InfoA total of 247 PRR Class B8, 0-6-0

engines with slope back tenders werebuilt between 1903 and 1917. Twenty-four were converted to roundhouse goatsin the ’20s. The frames were extended,saddle tanks and a coal bunker added.The tenders were discarded. The engineswere reclassified as B8a.

Over the years B8a engines receivedchanges so I had to decide which engineI was going to build. Engine #2796 is theone I decided to build. It is pictured onpage 20 in the book Pennsy A to T by PD Carleton. This happened to be the lastengine of this class on the Pennsy. Myreasons for modeling this particularengine are the steel cab, and the piping tothe air pump.

I don’t build the entire engine in mymind. I only concern myself with thesection I’m working on and before youknow it I have the complete engine built.If you worry about how to solve all thechallenges of building an engine like thisyou will get discouraged and never start.Don’t put yourself on a schedule, justdevote time on a regular basis.

First Things FirstThe first item was to acquire plans.

Mine were obtained from John Dill’sPRR plan book (which is out of print).The drawings were rescaled to O and the

details I wanted to model were drawn in.From this I was able to fabricate my pat-terns. The major changes are the cab andcoal bunker.

Saddle Tank, Figure 1Let’s tackle the tank. From the plans,

develop a flat layout for the tank, Part A.Cut it out of .020 brass and emboss therivets. I use a converted sewing machineto emboss rivets. Depending upon whichB8a you decide to build, the bracketsused to attach the tank to the boiler maybe different. Part B is the bracket used on#2796. Part C is for all others.

Make a front for the tank and solder itin place. Make a back for the tank in twoparts and solder them to the rear of thetank. Add the top piece that goes aroundthe steam dome. When this engine wasconverted to a B8a the sand dome was

removed, sectioned and mounted on topof the new tank. The steam dome wasnot changed. The tank was constructedto fit around it. On my engine, I usedextra domes from a GEM Models A5, 0-4-0. Add the mounting brackets to thebottom of the tank, six on each side ofthe tank, and one each side front andback. Oh! The brackets you just added,you have to make them first. It just takestime to emboss the rivets and file to per-fection. The brackets are used to attachthe tank to the running boards. You couldadd the brackets to the top front and rearnow or wait until the tank is attached tothe boiler. Just put the tank aside for now.

Frame, Figure 2The frame, drivers, motor, and gear-

box are from Locomotive Workshop*.

Left: Class B8 as originally built. Right: Class B8a as rebuilt.

#3248 Canton, NJ 1948, Photo by Don Gruber

(continued on page 38)

O Scale Trains • 37

Left: B8a original drawing by John Dills Right B8a as redrawn by John SauerDrawings are O scale

38 • O Scale Trains

I had them mount the worm gear onthe center driver. I told them I wasbuilding a B8a and they allowed extraframe at the rear.

Clamp the two frame halves togetherand cut the top portion of the frame off,then remove unneeded portions of theframe at the rear. Mill out or drill and fileout the frame sections between the driv-ers. I did not remove any brass frombetween the #2 and #3 drivers, onlybetween #1 and #2 drivers.

Assemble the frame. Place the driv-ers into the frame. If the journals aretight carefully file the sides of the jour-nal slots until the journals fit withoutbinding. Siderods can be purchasedwith the frame, but I had some from aWilliams B6. Add side rods and workmechanism until smooth. Make surethe rods do not bind as they rotate. Abind may indicate a misaligned hole ina siderod or a set of drivers is out ofquarter. Check the drivers and rodswhen you first get them.

I constructed the motor mounts bymaking two brackets using .020"brass. I used brass tubing to form bear-ing supports for the motor shaft andthe gearbox shaft. The Delrin chaindrive works great. Add the NorthwestShortline gearbox that came with thedrivers. Check for proper operation.The motor I used is large but adds tothe weight. Electrical pickup contactswill be added later.

Make the casting that goes on theframe between the #1 and #2 drivers(Part D). File from sheet brass. Addnut, bolt, washer castings.The springsinside the frame and those that go overthe drivers are from Precision Scale.The air tanks under the cab are madefrom 1⁄2" brass tube, which will alsobe used for the cylinders. Rivet stripsare soldered to the top and bottom ofthe tanks. Make the tank tops with twopieces and round them off. You needtwo pieces to get the right depth.Mount tanks to the frame.

Now is a good time to “run in” the

Figure 1: Saddle Tank and Details.

Figure 2: Frames & Motor Details

Part A-Tank


Both framesclamped together



Delrin Chain

Brass tubing forbearing supports

Brackets from.020" brass

Not To Scale

Part D

Front of Engine

StepsFront &Rear

File away

FoldPart B-Bracketfor #2796

Part C-Bracketother engines

O Scale Trains • 39

chassis. Set it up and let it go.

Belpaire Firebox, Figure 3Take measurements from the draw-

ings, make a pattern for the firebox. andlayout on sheet brass. From the reverseside emboss the rivets. (Actually, they arestaybolts and small screws would bemore appropriate, but small rivets willdo.) The line of rivets would lay along aline just below where the belpaire joinsthe boiler. Make a wooden form to bendthe belpaire over. Shape the belpaire over

the form. Make a front for the firebox,Part F, from heavier brass stock. Solder itto the front of the firebox and then care-fully round over the corners of the fire-box with a file.

Make two exposed firebox sides andfronts (Parts G & H) from sheet brass.Emboss the rivets again. Solder these tothe lower edge of the firebox.

Add the boiler bands to the firebox.Next: Cab, Coal Bunker, and Boiler.* Locomotive Workshop, 9 Rt 520,

Englishtown, NJ 07726. ◆

Figure 3: Belpaire Firebox Details

Part EPart F

Locate boiler bands per drawings

Wooden formto bend thefirebox.

Cab wall front

Part G: exposed firebox sides (make 2)

Part H: exposed firebox fronts (make 2)

Important Notice:Starting with issue #3 we would like to print Letters to the Editorand carry Classified Ads. Send your letters to O Scale TrainsMagazine, PO Box 238, Lionville, PA 19353, or email your com-ments to <[emailprotected]>.

Subscribers are permitted one free classified per subscriptioncycle. Classifieds are $5 for the first 30 words (not includingaddress) and $0.25 per word after that. Free ads are limited to 30words, plus your address. Send ads to the address above.

40 • O Scale Trains

Product News & ReviewsREVIEW: Gumbuster Centennial

F. Skidmore Products, 41 S Hickory StPalatine IL 6067 • 847-934-9685 www.fskidmoreproducts.com

The “Gumbuster” is a clever device for cleaning thewheels of powered locomotives. It consists of a board (inthis case a 36 inch long board), to which metal contactshave been added at each end and foam pads lie between thecontacts. A groove through the center of the board carries abrass bar insulated from the metal contacts. The metal con-tacts wrap over the ends of the board and are grooved to sit

atop track. The brass rod also has what appears to be aphosphor bronze spring attached to make contact with acenter rail if necessary.

This model Gumbuster will clean O scale 2 rail and 3rail, S gauge, and #1 gauge (G).

To clean a locomotive, the instructions say to place theGumbuster centered over powered track. Since I don’t cur-rently have a layout, I powered the device directly from apower pack. A cleaning fluid is liberally applied to thefoam pads and the metal end contacts (two kinds of cleaner

are supplied with the device).Enough fluid must be applied tolower the coefficient of frictionso the wheels will spin on thepads.

With power OFF, I placed mySunset USRA Heavy 4-8-2 onthe cleaning pads. I clipped leadsto the metal contacts, placed myhand over the locomotive for

safety and gradually applied power. This didn’t work at all,so I clipped the leads directly to the drawbar and the trail-ing truck. That got things moving.

As I powered up the throttle, with my hand in front of

the locomotive, the wheels began to spin and I couldimmediately see dirt appear on the pads. I ran the loco for-ward and backwards several times. The photo above showsthe cleaning pads after use. The drivers were noticeablycleaner, too.

As delivered, the Centennial is set up to clean O gaugelocomotives. The instructions tell you how to modify thedevice for use with S and G equipment. There is even aspecial foam pad for cleaning the backs of G drivers. Carand tender wheels are cleaned by simply running them overthe pads by hand with slight downward pressure. TheGumbuster itself is cleaned by rubbing the foam padsunder running water.

The Centennial Gumbuster comes with: an 8 oz. bottleof Aero-Locomotive Works ACT-6006 Track Cleaner, a 1oz. bottle of Goo Gone, a 15" jumper wire, extra foam padfor cleaning the backs of wheels, instruction sheet, andorder form. The Centennial retails for $149, plus $8 s&h.The 20 inch GLS model sells for $84.95.

Cleaning wheels and drivers is a drudge job and one Idon’t relish. Usually, I use a pencil or fiberglass eraser toscrub off dirt but these abrasives, though mild, will wearoff the finish on wheels and drivers eventually. TheGumbuster is a more sensible way to clean wheels anddoesn’t mar the finish.

Reviewed by Joe Giannovario

(contrinued on page 42)

O Scale Trains • 41

Modeler’s ShelfPhotos of our reader’s models


CLASS C-30-1

Builder: Charlie Morrill

Charlie built this caboosefrom urethane castings hemade himself. The modelalso contains real glass,wood, home-made hydrocalcastings, brass, copper,styrene, paper & card stock.

We’re twisting Charlie’s armto write an article about thecaboose. Write in and let usknow if you’d like to see it inO Scale Trains

Share Your Work With Us!

Send Your Photos.

42 • O Scale Trains

REVIEW: N&W K3, 4-8-23rd Rail division of Sunset Models, 37 South Fourth St.,Campbell, CA 950081-800-3RD-RAIL • www.3rdrail.com

The Prototype: In 1926 and 1927, the N&W built tenheavy Mountain type freight engines to be put into TimeFreight service. These 4-8-2’s were unusual in that themain rod was connected to the third driver pair rather thanthe second. This made them difficult to counterbalance andthey were restricted to a top speed between 30 and 35 mph.The K3 class proved an ideal slow speed locomotive whosetonnage rating was the same as the Z1, 2-6-6-2.

The K3 class was numbered 200 to 209 and had 28" x30" cylinders, 63-inch drivers, and exerted 68,800 Ibs. trac-tive effort with 225 Ibs. steam pressure. They wereequipped with the Baker valve gear that was standard on allN&W Ry Mountain type locomotives. Most noticeable wasthe extremely large boiler of 104 inches maximum diame-ter, with the large eighty-four square feet grate carried bythe Delta trailer truck. Two cross-compound air pumpswere mounted on the right side to offset the newWorthington number 4 BL feedwater heater, which madethese the first N&W locomotives to be built new with afeedwater heater. The cab was a slant-front “sports” style,and the tender was a newly N&W-designed twenty threeton, 16,000 gallon type with two three-axle trucks. Thetotal engine weight was 401,900 pounds with 275,400pounds on drivers, making this class of power one of theheaviest mountain types ever built.

With the construction of six Class J 4-8-4s and twenty-five Class A 2-6-6-4s in World War II, the K3s were surpluspower. The RF&P bought six of the K3s, numbers 200through 205, in February and in April 1944. The D&RGW

bought the other K3s, numbered 206 through 209, in May1945. All of the former K3s were eventually purchased bythe Wheeling and Lake Erie, which later merged with theNickel Plate Road, where the K3s served until retired.

The Model: 3rd Rail has imported brass models of theN&W K3 4-8-2 in both two and three rail. The models fol-low typical brass construction that we’ve come to expectfrom Korea. I examined a two rail version painted and let-tered for the N&W.

Using a surface plate, surface gauge, and calipers, Imeasure the model at various points and compared themeasurements to the diagram of the K3 found inRosenberg and Archer’s Norfolk & Western Steam, TheLast 25 Years. I couldn’t find any significant deviation inthe major dimensions. The model seems to be dead on.

I hooked up an ammeter between my throttle and thetrack and measured the start up current at 0.8 amps. Withthe loco stalled and drivers spinning, the motor drew 1.6amps. The mechanism was very quiet and very smooth.The promotional info that comes with the engine says it hasa flywheel. I was not able to test if the loco would coast.The engine also has directional lighting.

I compared the 3rd Rail tender to the tender that camewith my Precision Scale, N&W Z1b, 2-6-6-2, which isessentially the same tender on the prototypes. Except fortruck chains and opening coal doors on the PSC model,they were identical in all dimensions. The 3rd Rail tenderhas a coal load; the Z1b does not.

These models are available painted and lettered forN&W, RF&P, W&LE, D&RGW, and NKP. Both the twoand three rail versions have smoke units. The three railengines also have sound. The two rail engines require a 60"radius curve, while the three rail engines have been com-promised to fit around 054 (27" radius) curves.

My Impressions: I don’t think you can beat these 3rdRail engines for the value per dollar. At $999.95, these aresome of the least expensive brass models available, yet theyoffer a level of quality not always found in models costingtwo or three times the price.

Two things did stand out: paint and lettering. The“Norfolk & Western” lettering on the 3rd Rail and PSC ten-ders were slightly different in length, height and coloring.Without an N&W lettering diagram I can’t say which iscorrect. The paint on the 3rd Rail K3 is a satin black. I pre-fer this type of finish to a glossy paint.

The only real negative I found was the tiny micro con-nector between loco and tender. It did not close properlyand will most likely need to be replaced. However, 3rd Railengines come with a 3 month warranty for parts, labor andshipping and 1 year for parts.

Reviewed by Joe Giannovario

Get Real ProductionsPrototypical Model Railroad Photography

Through the useof lighting, smoke,fog, and steam,our photographsproject specialmoods and portraythe romance of therails. Our artisticimages are allphotographed inour studio and areunretouched foradded realism.

• Prints • Calendars • Posters• Greeting Cards • Postcards • Custom Orders

Call or write for our color brochure.“Our photos make model trains look real!”

Get Real Productions11 Out of Bounds Road

Palmyra VA 22963Voice: 434-589-2660 • Fax: 434-589-4898 • [emailprotected]

Lumber Co. (Item No. 25559), Pocahontas Lumber Co(Item No. 25560), Midwest Quarry & Mining Co. (Item No.25561), Colorado Mining Co. (Item No. 25562) and PaintedUnlettered (Item No. 25599). The Spectrum® On30 0-4-2Porter has a MSRP of $85.00.

Bachmann also announces the release of new separatetruck assemblies for On30 rolling stock. These cardedaccessories are available in two varieties: Arch Bar FreightTrucks (Item No. 29901) and Die Cast Passenger Trucks(Item No. 29902). These new truck assemblies easily trans-form existing S or O scale rolling stock into On30 models.Each of the truck sets is designed for easy installation andincludes metal screws. Both versions have free rolling metalwheels and finescale detaiIed truck frames. The Arch BarFreight Trucks are plastic and are the same trucks includedon Bachmann’s On30 freight cars. The diecast PassengerTrucks are equipped with electrical pickups and wiring forinterior lighting. The On30 Arch Bar Trucks and diecastPassenger Trucks are now available at hobby retailers. Thefreight trucks have a MSRP of$I3.00. The passenger truckshave an MSRP of $15.00. ◆

O Scale Trains • 43

NEWS: B&M, RF&P Decal SetsGreat Decals, PO Box 994, Herndon, VA 20172www.greatdecals.com• [emailprotected]

O scale decal sets for Boston & Maine box cars andcabooses with the “Minuteman” herald set (#80), and forRichmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac box cars (set# 40),both in white, are available from Bill Moesteller at GreatDecals. The sets cost $10.99 and $4.75 respectively. EachB&M set provides 12 canned road numbers, half for singlesheathed box cars and half for N-5a cabooses. The RF&Psets include road name, canned road number, heralds, anddimensional and capacity data specific to the cars.

Champ Decals provided valuable assistance in producingthe B&M set which is based on their HN-44 artwork.Robert Wingo designed the RF&P set.

Visit the website to see images of the decal artwork:www.greatdecals.com

NEWS: Bachmann On30 Locomotive & TrucksBachmann Industries, Inc., 1400 E Erie Ave.Philadelphia PA 19124 • 215-533-1600

Bachmann Industries, Inc. is pleased to announce therelease of their new On30 0-4-2 Porter into its premiumSpectrum® line. Able to maneuver deftly through tightturns, Porters performed a variety of tasks on branch linesand industrial railroads. The Spectrum® On30 0-4-2Porter offers a great deal of detailing in a small package.It has a precision skew wound motor with a completelyhidden drive train. It features a die cast boiler and sepa-rate metal detail parts, including: bell, whistle, popvalves, and handrails. Additionally, the Porter has sepa-rately applied sanding lines and piping, and a removablesmokestack (with prototypically accurate styles). The 0-4-2 is also equipped with rounded siderods, and die castdrivers and spokes.

The 0-4-2 Porter is available in five roadnames: Tioga

44 • O Scale Trains

Modeler’s ShelfPhotos of our reader’s models

The models on these two pages were built by Ed Bommer of Cooperstown, NY. Above: The B&O M53 boxcar was built back in 1956 from an HO“Dollar Car” article in Model Railroader. The car was rebuilt in 1985 when the underbody was detailed and the car repainted. Below: The Erie AAR

box car was made in 1984 from Walthers parts. It has embossed aluminum sides made from old offset press masters. It, too, has a completelydetailed underbody.

O Scale Trains • 45

More of EdBommer’s work:

Above: The B&OK1 classcaboose isscratchbuilt. Theprototype wasused on StatenIsland from 1890to 1954. Themodel has a fullydetailed interior,underframe,brake riggingand piping.Center & below:Staten IslandRailroadTerminal (SIRT)class D camel-back built froman extensivelyreworkedLocomotiveWorkshop kit. Itis all brass. Themodel has direc-tional/constantlighting and on-board soundsynchronizedwith the drivers.

46 • O Scale Trains

Welcome to the Premier issue of O Scale TrainsMagazine. My name is Joe Giannovario and I’m the edi-tor/publisher of this rag. My staff and I believe that O scaleis on the verge of a new revival. There are many O scale 3rail modelers who want to get rid of the toy-like track andmove over to 2 rail. And, there are many HO and N scalemodelers whose eyesight isn’t what it used to be and they’reconsidering moving up to O scale. So, we feel the time isperfect for a new magazine to focus on the craftsmanship of2 rail O scale.

We will run the gamut of possible subjects. The namesays it all. If it’s O scale (i.e., 1:48) then it’s fair gameregardless of what the track width is. I plan on doingcrossover articles that will show how select 3-rail, hi-railequipment can be converted and used on 2-rail track. Youwill notice that we’ve got an importer and a hobby shopdealer writing for us. I believe they bring a balanced per-spective to the magazine. We, as modelers, want what wewant, but it’s not always feasible or even reasonable to pro-vide those items. John and Bruce will help us to understandwhat it’s like to be on the other side of the transaction.

The history of O Scale is fascinating to me, personally,and I hope to find an historian that will bring that it alive forus. One tiny step in that direction is the O Scale Hall ofFame. Each issue I will try to have at least a paragraphabout an O scalers who has been elected to the O Scale Hallof Fame during the past several years at the O ScaleNational.

One thing that you, the reader, can do to help the maga-zine is send photos of your work. We want to showcase theskill and craftsmanship of O scale modeling so we need lotsphotos of cars, structures, locomotives, and whatever. Wealso need articles. How-to’s (check out Harry Heike’s arti-cle in this issue), construction, conversions, and especiallylayouts. Check our website for details on submissions orcall me at the office during regular East Coast businesshours. You do not have to be a New York Times best-sellingauthor to write an article. Believe me, I’ve seen the rawwritings of a NY Times best-selling author and I now knowwhy editors are so important. So, if you have an urge toshare something with the rest of the O scale world, let ushelp you do it.

I would like to feature a layout in every issue, completewith a scale trackplan. We’re looking for layouts of all sizes.I’ll have features on layouts from as small as a 4 x 10switching layout to a specially excavated site under a house.So, if you’d like to see your layout on the cover, drop me aline. One of the layout features will be the development ofmy own Norfolk & Western Railway. My wife and I have

Observationsjust moved into a new home and I have a pristine basem*ntall to myself. From time to time I will share with you theprogress I am making on this layout.

Another feature I’m developing are interviews with thevendors who make O scale equipment, and I’m not just talk-ing about the big importers. I want to get exposure for thesmaller, less familiar providers. So watch for those.

What’s not here yet are the letters to the editor and classi-fied ads. Those will arrive with issue #3.

Let me move on to a subject that is near and dear to me:quality of service. If there is one thing that drives me crazyit’s people in business who don’t care about their job or theircustomers. So I am fanatical about quality of service. I amnot saying that we’re perfect here at O Scale Trains, butthat is the goal we strive for. I personally guarantee that youwill receive the highest possible level of service from ouroffice and that goes if you’re an advertiser spending a thou-sand dollars or a subscriber spending $36. If there is a prob-lem, we will make it right. Our job is to make it easy for youto enjoy the magazine. We make it easy to contact us. Wehave a phone that is answered during regular east coast busi-ness hours (610-640-9449), a 24hr fax (610-648-0257),and email <[emailprotected]>. We make it easyfor you to subscribe to the magazine, too. We can take VISAand Mastercard by phone, over the net at our website, or byfax. Of course, we also take checks and money orders. Wenormally process orders within 48 hours of receipt. Wemake it easy for you to renew when your subscription is upbecause we mail out renewal notices by first class mail.

From time to time I will mention a service “hero” in thisslot. For this issue, the service hero is Scott Mann at 3rdRail Models. I had ordered one of the 3rd Rail N&W K3Mountains in 2 rail. Somehow my order got changed fromtwo rail to three rail and I didn’t notice this when I sent inmy final payment. My wife picked up the discrepancy as Iwas opening the box. I shot off an email to Scott asking if Icould swap the loco for a 2 rail version (I was afraid theymight all have been spoken for). Within a few hours Scottanswered and said to ship the engine back and email him thetracking number. I did that the following day. The nextmorning I receive an email from UPS alerting me that myengine had been shipped from 3rd Rail and I could expect iton such and such a date. Now, that’s service! The returnengine was still en route and 3rd Rail shipped the replace-ment before it arrived at their office. Now that’s service!

Finally, I am open to suggestion. Call, email, or write mewith your suggestions for the magazine. I won’t guaranteewe will follow every suggestion, but we will listen. ◆

Joe Giannovario, Editor/Publisher

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