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

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Two American OO Stock Cars

When you think of stock cars in American OO you think of the classic Scale-Craft die cast model and the … hmmm. Really the only options back in the day were Scale-Craft (a photo of one may be found in this article) or scratch build one yourself. My first stock car, in fact, was scratch built and still sees service on the layout. Bill Gilbert explored two different options for stock cars in these sharp models below.

The D&RGW car in the back is beautifully scratch built from wood with working doors. The only commercial parts obvious are the Schorr trucks and also the frame is a standard Scale-Craft boxcar frame, most likely chosen for weight, with AB type brake details. The car came to me with a cattle load but all of the cattle had come loose, I believe in shipping; at present they are grazing elsewhere.

The car in the front is according to the card with the model an AHM conversion from HO. HO conversions at times sort of scream “HO conversion” to the viewer – in fact, I recently converted a couple of old HO conversions I did back to HO -- but in this case the car works very well. It scales out at 36’ long so it is a bit shorter than the D&RGW car in length. But it matches it in height and width and does not appear to have been modified further. This would be a car to keep your eyes peeled for at the train shows; it is a very effective conversion and would break that monotony of Scale-Craft stock cars. He repainted the model and lettered it for the NYC, and again it is on Schorr trucks.

Both cars operate great on the layout. I will have more from a group of cars from Bill Gilbert soon, and frankly I have no shortage of possible topics for short articles and will try to post a bit more frequently the next few months, as time allows.

UPDATE: Curious about the AHM car, I stumbled on to more information about this model online in an article on stock cars in the Santa Fe Railway Historical Society website. In it we learn that AHM has produced "at least five different stock cars" and this one is the 40' Double Deck, model 5275. From the article,
These were made by AHM in the 60s, then released by Model Power and now by Roco. The early AHM had separate ladders but the later productions have cast on ladders. They are very common at swap meets and on ebay. The prototype is NYC 28000-28499 (Lot 757-S) convertible stock cars rebuilt from USRA SS box cars in 1947. The model has the deck lifting mechanism on both sides of the car; the prototype only had this on the left side of the car. It is also 15" too wide. A second group of cars, NYC 27200-27399 (Lot 766-S) were converted to fixed double deck cars in 1948. AHM offered this car in just about every scheme except NYC.

An excellent kitbashing article by William Sharpe appeared in the March 1997 RMC. The Warbonnet, 4/2001, shows how to use this car for the basis of an ATSF SK-Z.
I will be looking for more of these. Not only will they work as is in OO but you could salvage the ends off and use them on other kitbashing projects.

UPDATE II: But John S. adds "the AHM HO Stock Car does come in NYC decals ... to a degree. It is model #5275F, lettered for NYC as a “NISX” car but in the 1960’s NYC Jade Green color. I don’t think the NYC was running very many stock cars by that time and whether they bothered to repaint them…doubtful, but the model does exist."

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