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

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

NEWS! The New Worsley Works SW-8 in OO

You read it right: a new locomotive model is available in American OO! I believe that this is the first new locomotive model produced in our scale and gauge since the last runs of sand cast F-3 models from Ultimate in the late 1960s, and it is light years ahead in terms of design.

This beautiful switcher model was actually developed as a TT scale model by Worsley Works of England, but as it is an etched model it is just a matter of scaling the drawings up and it can be and now has been produced in American OO. This first photo is from the Worsley Works website of a body in the process of being built up from the TT scale etchings. The money quote they give in their website from a buyer of the TT model is this: "........the more I work on this etching, the more impressed I am with the design work. It has been amazingly easy to build this body kit and so far, I have soldered everything.” It can be built up into an accurate model of an EMD SW8, SW600, SW900, or SW1200. More photos are here.

The second photo is from the Facebook American OO group site of a set of OO scale etchings that may be used to build up an identical locomotive in OO, posted by Phil R. This is such big news it deserves a big photo!

Referring back again to the built up TT model this really looks great and could be built up into a model that looks even better than the SW 1200RS model featured in the previous post.

There is the question of how to power it and I have a good idea how it could be done. A very nice drive can certainly be worked out from an Athearn HO GE road switcher drive. I know they made the drives for this in a couple different styles; what we want is the version with plastic sideframes and bearings inside. SW trucks are 8' wheelbase and the U-boat trucks are 9'4". What that means for us is HO U-boat trucks scale out really close in wheelbase to OO SW trucks.

You still need sideframes and I have a solution for that as well. The sideframes for the old AHM HO SW-1 are overscale and the wheelbase of these is a good match to the Athearn drive! I think that is the way to go; they are really close to dead on for OO.

For an even cheaper drive the AHM drive itself is workable enough mechanically and visually but you don't have 8 wheel pickup and the gearing is a bit high.

Depending on clearances it may be necessary to use the front truck off the AHM SW-1 and only power the back truck with the Athearn gearbox. I do think it worth the trouble having worked with both drives myself, the Athearn gearing is better and you get 8 wheel pickup (see this prior post on the SW-1 drive modifications for more).

Check with them for the price but the price I was quoted for the SW-8 etchings yesterday was very reasonable. Also, they take PayPal which will simplify payment for us on this side of the pond. For more on this model check their website.

UPDATE: For the current price see this page in the Worsley Works website, where they have also linked back to this article.

UPDATE II: My set of parts arrived, more info here.

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