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

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Scratchbuilt American OO RS-3

In the previous post we looked briefly at a pair of Schorr RS-2 models. These were early brass imports made in Japan. However, not every OO gauge Alco RS type model is a Schorr import. One was featured on the cover of Railroad Model Craftsman in May of 1979 that had been scratchbuilt by Ed Costello, and also this model below was scratchbuilt by Howard Winther. Click on any photo for a larger view.

Comparing them, the first thing to note is this Winther model is of an RS-3 (manufactured 1950-56), as it has the battery boxes on the running boards next to the short hood. The Schorr RS-2 models have an overlay applied on the sides of the short and long hoods that has the door details stamped or etched into the surface. The Winther model lacks these and also has a different type of more accurate looking handrail post. Many details are different, including being equipped with a steam generator and the stack being in a different location. Note also the drive in the bottom view with the low mounted motor; this should be scratchbuilt as well.

When I look at these photos I certainly think to myself I could never ever build this model. I think most modern model railroaders would never even think of scratchbuilding such a complicated model with all those curves and details to manage when there are so many commercial options in pretty much any scale. It looks extremely well proportioned and is in great shape. Thank you again to the Winther family for sharing these photos of this great vintage model.

To close it is worth looking in comparison also to the Costello model that was on the RMC cover, visible in this prior article. I am fairly sure that model should also still be out there today and in that photo you can see the handrails again are of a different type and his side panels are not built up with overlays but rather are of one piece of metal. Not to mention the stack is in a different location, the top of the radiator on the long hood has more detail, etc. Some of the guys who stuck it out in OO into the diesel era were certainly capable builders, as these models attest clearly.

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