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

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The 6-8-6 PRR S-2 in American OO; Hallmark and Davis compared


In my article on the OO scale Hallmark-Lionel F-3 I mention other models in the same line, including the Hallmark - Lionel Lines 671 Turbine Steam locomotive. This model has actually been produced twice in American OO.

In the article on the Hallmark F-3 I quote Ed Morlok on that model, but the origins of this 6-8-6 model are the same, it is a miniature version of the famous O-gauge toy train.  As he put it, the Hallmark version of the “locomotive is 60% of the size of the O gauge model. Thus it is … exactly OO gauge. But it is an unpowered model, sold only with a display case.”

The bronze boiler in the front of the photo was made as part of a large line of large OO locomotives by Myron P. Davis. A built up example of one of these may be seen in this article, and it is full to scale for OO for the same prototype. The Hallmark version is of course a 60% size version of a semi-scale toy locomotive, and it really shows. Still, it is interesting to wonder in the category of “what if” about if Lionel had retooled their OO line after the war as semi-scale toys? But, alas, they did not. [Update: A few more thoughts here, Lionel struggled with the scale market].

As to these models, I may never get so far down my list of projects to build the Davis model (the only part I have is the boiler, and I need a bigger layout to run it on first, too), and the Hallmark locomotive does not have much to offer us either. But the tender I believe is however VERY usable in OO gauge. It is about the same size as a Scale-Craft tender and you have to admit looks quite a bit better. It will hit the rails sometime soon I think.

As with their F-3 this model comes with a nifty display case! I put it to use with a favorite pre-war Nason Pullman, described further in this article, and now on display in my office.

In short, for the right price this Hallmark-Lionel model is worth picking up, if only for the tender and the display case. And I still marvel at what M. P. Davis did in developing all those big bronze models for what was certainly by then a very small market in American OO.

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