The online magazine on the history and operation of vintage scale model trains in American OO gauge

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Super Scale diesel switchers

In the previous article there was a photo of a scene on the Norfolk and Ohio layout of Carl Appel which included a diesel switcher. That model is a Super Scale SW-1 and one that still exists today.

The model in this photo is also an OO gauge Super Scale SW-1 from the collection of William Chapin, one that I photographed a number of years ago. It is formed out of copper (but I think actually an alloy closer to brass--the frame in particular looks like brass).

Super Scale Models of Glenview, IL introduced a line of "Copper Loco Parts" with an advertisement (seen below) in the April, 1948 issue of Model Railroader. The first released was the 600 HP switcher (along with a Baldwin slope back tender) in HO, OO, and O gauges. On the facing page to this ad their S gauge version was also featured in the separate spread of S gauge advertising seen in every issue of MR in this time frame. From the ad it would appear this initial offering was not quite the complete model. In catalog sheets dated 2.8/48 they also report a NYC 3 Power loco (GE) and a NYC T3 Terminal Electirc loco available in OO as well. On an introductory page owner Burnell Sanche noted
The SUPER SCALE policy is to produce selected prototype models in all gauges which best serve the purpose and pleasure to be gained from real scale model operation. Your comments and suggestions for future production or improvements in manufacture will find a warm welcome and a personal reply.
By 1949 they had in production a pair of OO guage E.M.C. diesel switchers which were certainly their best selling OO models. According to their advertisement in the January, 1949 issue of Model Railroader; these more complete models were to be ready January 15. They referred to them as being either the 600 HP model or the 1000 HP model, which would translate as a SW-1 diesel (600 HP) or a NW-2 diesel (1000 HP), the latter of which if I am understanding their language was available as a cow or calf. They offered in addition to the two switcher locomotives a “1000 HP Booster Loco” and a “2000 HP Two Unit Loco.” The SW-1 at that time ran $14.50 “less paint, decals, trucks” and the most deluxe NW-2 cow-calf combo would put you back $28.50.

As already noted, Super Scale produced these same models in HO, S, and O gauges, and over in the HO Seeker site we find this instruction sheet. (The link is to a full size image). These are the HO instructions but the OO instructions must be basically identical as would be the S instructions.

Besides these locomotives (and the tender in the 1948 advertisement) there were no other OO products from Super Scale. These are a rarity! You were on your own for a drive but the HO instructions make reference to a Lindsay drive which simplified things a bit. A model to keep your eyes peeled for ... I would in closing note that at one time I saw an example of the SW-1 listed on eBay and purchased it ... but it was actually the S gauge version! But at least I was able to re-list it at a profit.

For photos of two great examples of this model built up visit the following pages:
Updated 2013

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