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

Saturday, July 13, 2013

On Quick, Clean Paint Jobs for Vintage Model Railroad Equipment

One of my projects this summer was painting a number of projects that were on the workbench. I have a simple routine for this work.

The first step is to strip the paint, if the item is metal. This I do in a large, sealed jar of 91% Isopropyl Alcohol from the drug store. Some vintage paint is almost impossible to strip with alcohol (for example Lionel paint—the alcohol is just not strong enough) but the average vintage brush painting job will normally strip pretty easily. I let the car sit at least 24 hours between scrubbings with an old toothbrush and picking on the stubborn places with a dull blade. It takes days to strip any one car normally but you can come back to it just a few minutes every few days and get quite a number of cars ready to paint.

After that I paint the car. If the item is all metal you can scrub it in water with a little dish soap, but if not I like to wipe down the corners and metal areas with a little alcohol. I spray paint outside on our trash cans and now an admission: I use spray cans. I know an airbrush would be cooler, but years ago I had bad experiences with an airbrush and the cans are quick and efficient. Plan on a number of light coats! On average the cars below reflect on 4-5 coats of paint with the bodies oriented at different angles to assure full coverage. Some colors cover better than others but I plan on about 3 cars per can of spray paint, which is why I do projects in groups. It is best to use up an entire can on a series of cars rather than have a little left and try to get a good finish weeks/months after starting the can.

Also, years ago I figured out that a simple but neat paint job and decals do wonders for vintage cars. It is not hard work and very satisfying to see a car go from being a junker to a star. Below are two groups of cars painted in recent weeks. As I write this the paint is almost done curing (I like to wait until the paint smell is gone before applying decals) but they will be ready for decals soon! As to applying decals, I have some notes in this article, but to that I would add have the decals in mind before you paint and they need a glossy surface to go on well. More notes and tips follow.

These items were painted with Testors black and bright red and Floquil Pullman Green. As the Floquil line was recently discontinued, note that there are several close substitute colors for Pullman green in the Testors military line of spray paint. Working our way around from the top left,
  • First up is a Graceline Pullman troop sleeper. This is a rare model (more on it here) and I was excited to have this one come my way recently. This particular car was missing a roof! Fortunately, a substitute was in the parts supply and I was able to duplicate the roof hatches based on the instructions and photos of other models. 
  • Stepping back a second, many of the items in this group required masking. I was hesitant to mask for years after bad experiences with standard masking tape. A colleague suggested that he used Tamiya masking tape which is a great product. As I only had to paint the roof of the troop sleeper it was masked off in the same manner as the other cars that needed masking in this group. If it is a multi-color paint job be sure the paint cures well on the first color before you apply the masking tape and the second color.
  • The next car going clockwise is a scratchbuilt wooden baggage car. This was nearly completed by William Gilbert and he was intending it for a maintenance of way train. However, I wanted to run it in more of a 1920s setting and completed the details (hand grabs and such) and painted it to decorate for that era. I hope to assemble a Graceline old time coach that will closely match it as a nice pair of cars.
  • The tender is Scale-Craft. It will be used on an 0-6-0 that is in the shop and was ready to paint.
  • The solid red caboose is Schorr (more here). This one is pretty much stock but had been built up by a prior owner and brush painted, and an owner in between had stripped off most of the paint. I completed that job and this will be decorated for my Orient.
  • Next is the body and tank for a Scale-Craft 4-6-4t. I am looking forward to getting this running; more on the model here.
  • Next up are the two Scale-Craft caboose bodies. These will be decorated for the PRR in a prototypical scheme.
  • Finally, hiding underneath is a Scale-Craft gas-electric car body. An eBay purchase a few years ago, this one I have all the parts ready to put this together with the early style drive with the big S-C universal motor. Will be interested to see how it comes out operationally.
And these cars were painted boxcar red -- I mean Tuscan red -- OK, actually they were painted Testors brown. I am totally out of spray cans of boxcar red and I hope Testors sees the light and brings it back. Until then, a colleague suggested that he used Testors brown to match some versions of Tuscan red, and I can also totally see it as a close match for the mineral brown used by some railroads (such as the ATSF). Working our way around from the top left again,
  • First up is that horizontal rib boxcar. This scratchbuilt model was started and nearly finished by William Gilbert and is similar to the one seen in this article (scroll down a bit). It still needed doors and a frame among other details.
  • Next is a Picard scribed 40' boxcar. Not real remarkable but a rebuilding project to which I added new ends, a new roof, and new doors. It will be decorated for the Missouri Pacific.
  • And then the first of three Scale-Craft stock cars which I will describe all at one time. The two on the right are going to be ATSF cars and both I built new roofs for. Both were vintage cars from eBay; one had no roof and the other had a strange replacement roof. These cars require a long roof and Picard roof stock won't work at all, so one has a roof made up from two pieces of Eastern roof stock and the other has a mystery roof from the scrap box. They are set up to be ready for ATSF decals. The other car on the other side of the photo has the lettering board on it that it came to me with which will be decorated for the T&P and also a stock roof for comparison.
  • Next up is another Schorr caboose. This one also came to me partially rebuilt. One thing I really have wanted for a while is an ATSF caboose. They had a series of wood cabooses that were generally similar to the Schorr model with the cupola being the main detail that did not match. I modified the cupola with a plastic insert to take it to this point; this car will look great on the layout with the ATSF engines.
  • The last two cars are also Scale-Craft, a flat car with a new deck and also a boxcar. The flat car will be ATSF and the boxcar I have some options but leaning toward Cotton Belt.
The main thing to note is it is not that hard to bring cars to this point and decals are not that hard either. The key, again, is multiple, light coats of paint. Another tip: start spraying when the can is not pointing at the model and move it across the model quickly while spraying. This technique and light coats of paint will make a huge difference if you have had bad experiences with spray cans.

To close, one other confession: I have only weathered one car ever. I finish cars with a spray of Dullcote to seal the decals and take the edge off the glossy paint. So everything on the layout looks pretty new but really that is a nice look relative again to the sort of beat up look most of these cars had before painting and rebuilding.

With that, I probably won’t be posting any more new articles on the website in the next month or so.  I will clearly be applying decals to some cars and working on some drives, and hopefully you can come up with some projects as well to break up your summer.

UPDATE: A group of eight of the above cars with their decals, all came out well I feel.

Friday, July 12, 2013

American OO for ’47: Part VII, … and More

To close our look at 1947 we have a variety of topics. One of those topics are the OO models by H.R. Treat seen in “Picture Parade” in Model Railroader. The January issue featured circus cars, and then in June we see this interesting model. The caption tells us that
H. R. Treat … likes antique and unusual equipment. He built this neat passenger, caboose, and baggage car for his OO Barbaraton & Theopolis RR. from plans in “The Model Railroad Cyclopedia.” Its prototype ran on the San Luis Central RR. The model was built from scratch. Cupola lights were used on some cars.
The two Items I can add is the car is on Nason trucks and this really is a nice car, one that I would hope might still be out there somewhere and in good shape. Also Treat had a photo of a nice bobber caboose in the November issue. He was doing his part to keep OO visible in the hobby press.

Next I would like to mention two names that will be familiar to regular readers of this website. The first photo of a Moale trolley is found in the October, 1947 issue of MR; it may be seen in this article. Also Pierre Bourassa mentioned in a quote found in this article that he purchased his first OO kit in 1947, a Scale-Craft stock car.

Another annual topic was the Model Railroader survey, and July has the results. There we read “… O and OO gauges have dropped to new lows percentage-wise although holding their own numerically….” Also I would note this quote from a survey response: “Too many gauges. Either OO or HO should be eliminated.” Paralleling the survey results too you can see pretty easily over the year that the size of the OO section of ads from mail order places was shrinking, and some months have pretty long lists of used OO for sale in Readers Exchange, neither of which is a good sign.

A final topic would be that of Railroad Magazine and OO. I could have referenced it a bit more in prior installments of this series as they published between 1940 and 1947 a number of feature articles related to OO gauge. To fill that gap not long ago I updated my main article on OO in Railroad Magazine, which may be read here. As to their OO features in 1947, what I posted there was that
One of the last OO gauge features is on The Cincinnatian, subtitled “Build an OO Gage Model of America’s Newest Streamlined Steam Train,” found in the June 1947 issue, by “The Nutsplitter.” It is not a detailed article but is OO oriented and is again a part of a series of articles related to this train....
After 1947 they still had model railroad features, but as a popular circulation magazine they moved these features toward more popular gauges, in particular HO.
The bad news is in the big picture. There is at least as much coverage of TT gauge in 1947 and certainly more S guage advertising. Still, perhaps OO gaugers were making more noise among the small gauge people, as seen in this cartoon from the December issue of Model Railroader.

In several ways 1947 was the end of an era. Besides several OO makers leaving the field, it was the last year of the small format version of Model Railroader and also the last year of Model Craftsman being a magazine devoted to multiple hobbies. But the hobby of model railroading was in general booming and OO had some real established enthusiasts. When the series returns the topic will be 1948, and for a sneak peek at a highlight of the year, 1948 was the year the first of two feature articles were published on the great Norfolk and Ohio layout of Carl Appel.

Return to beginning of 1947 Series

Continue in the 1948 Series

Thursday, July 11, 2013

American OO for ’47: Part VI, Club Action …

In 1947 we really start to see some club action in the OO gauge world. The most visible of the OO clubs was the North Jersey Midland club. The club was the topic of a feature article in the February issue of Model Craftsman; more on this article and three photos may be found here. The article itself is a fun read, with a track plan of the Newton & Northern layout of club member Newton Guerin and ten photos. This photo below caught my attention because of the caption -- I have an engine decorated for the Oreland. Is it an engine from this layout? Guerin clearly owned a number of stock and modified S-C ten-wheelers and my Oreland engine runs beautifully today. Also clearly visible in the photo is an Ideal diner.

David Sacks was club secretary of the North Jersey Midland club and was a steady contributor to the “Along the Division” column in Model Railroader over some years, doing his part to promote OO. An item in the March issue notes how “he and other members are still scratching their heads in wonderment trying to figure out how George Jones’s built up three-unit OO gauge Diesel pulled 50 die-cast freight cars (the total on hand) up a 1 per cent grade with apparent ease. George is from Rochelle Park, N. J., and seemed a bit surprised himself at the performance….”

And they were thinking big, considered purchasing a property! From the June issue of MR,
Secretary Dave Sacks of the OO gauge North Jersey Midland Model Railroad Club tells us that his outfit was all set to purchase a property and remodel it into suitable clubrooms but found that a building code ordinance would restrain them from having the changes made. President Newton Guerin went into the matter thoroughly and found the fly in the ointment before the deal was made.
A very social bunch, they also did some railfanning as reported in the September issue of MR.
One highlight of the summer schedule for members of the North Jersey Midland Model Railorad (OO) was a ride in the caboose of an Erie RR. freight train. Ten members took the jaunt, five on each of two week ends. This arrangement was made necessary by safety regulations. Dave Sacks, club secretary, went his fellow members one better by wangling a ride in the engine cab. Summer meetings have been light on work and heavy on motion pictures. Films provided by the New York Central and the American Association of Railroads, were shown at several meetings. Any OO gaugers in the areas not already in the club fold are invited ….
And then there were two OO clubs in New Jersey! We read in the December issue of MR,
Although we haven’t the figures to prove it, we think that New Jersey has more OO gauge model railroaders and clubs than any other state in the nation. At least so it seems from correspondence. At any rate, here’s another OO club to swell the list. It’s the Newark Model Railroad Club. Sam Cicchini is president; Ed Reilly, vice president; and Charles Green … is secretary.
And there were clubs in other areas. In the April MR we read,
The show put on last December by the Miniature Railroad Club of York (Pa.), turned out to be an unqualified success with over 4000 attending during its 10 day run. The OO gauge York Connecting RR. is L shaped and has over 600 ft. of track. It was started back in December, 1943, by six OO gauge fans and has since grown to 21, which includes the crew of the HO gauge division established late in 1946.
The October MC also has an item on the York PA group having HO and OO layouts; they were getting the word out.

Then in May of 1947 we see in MR a notice about a club in the Midwest.
The new Rockford, Ill, OO Model Railroad Club was organized by Dean Wilson and Lyle Baie just to prove among other things, according to Dean, that OO gauge isn’t dead by a long shot. The club is located at Dean’s home…. There are no dues and none will be necessary, since the layout is already in existence. All rolling stock belongs to the various members. There is a 4-6-0, a 4-6-4, a 4-8-4 and a 600 HP Diesel switcher. Under construction at present are: 1 Electro-Motive freight Diesel, 1 Electro-Motive passenger Diesel, 1 1000 HP Alco Diesel, 2 4-8-4 steam locos, 1 M.U. car, 8 passenger coaches, 30 freights, and 2 crummies. 
It is an interesting roster and luckily for us in the previous issue of MR (April 47) picture parade shows a nice SW-1 model built by the very same Lyle Baie and Dean Wilson of Rockford, Ill. It appears to be scratchbuilt, utilizing the new (1946) version of the S-C drive that they marketed for their Gas-Electric cars (more here). There are some nice details to the model and note the Scale-Craft passenger car side frames.

Looking west, yet another club, this one in California, is mentioned in the September issue of MR. “The Oroville Model Railroaders pike, Oroville, Calif., is OO gauge piked and is being built in a 16 x 85 ft. room donated for the purpose by the municipal auditorium. The club has 10 charter members ….”

They could certainly build quite a layout in that space! In the last installment of the 1947 series the topic will be even more of what is going on in the world of OO gaugers.

Continue reading 1947 Series

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

American OO for ’47: Part V, Other Smaller Makers

Continuing our look at 1947, we have nine more manufacturers to look at briefly that were active in the OO market. Going alphabetically, first up would be E. H. Bessey. They had a new catalog out in 1947, which is described further here. The main take away at this point is that of their pre-war offerings in OO the only item available still was their SP boxcar body. It may have been, by then, old stock they were still selling off.

To hit a new angle on the topic, this boxcar is one I recently rebuilt and has a Bessey body. I like to work on car projects in groups if I can and this group I thought was of three old Picard scribed wood bodies in need of rebuilding.  When I got to painting them I finally noticed one has thicker side stock and a narrower frame piece and realized that it was actually a Bessey body. They are very similar to Picard but can be recognized from below by those primary spotting features (for a bottom view of another car see this article). Bessey did good work; I wish they had produced more as they put out a quality product. They continued on for a time but in terms of OO production would fade into history pretty quickly after 1947.

Next up is Exacta. The overview article is here, and they made some excellent models that are quite rare in OO.

What is sure is they manufactured a fluted side, Budd streamliner in OO. However their catalog listed many more items and in particular their January Model Railroader advertisement reproduced here features their caboose, which besides OO was advertised for O, S, and HO gauges. I don’t know if the model was actually produced in OO and I am not aware of any existing examples. It might have been a great model, but then again it would have ended up looking rather similar to a Lionel or Scale-Craft caboose and would have been a lot harder to assemble.

Their February MR ad does not mention OO version of streamliner, but they caught it and put OO back in the ad in March. Then in April they have a very nice ad that compares their Pullman and Budd type streamline trains. Probably only the Budd type train was produced in OO, but in the May advertisement they have a price listed for the OO version of the Pullman type cars. But then in June the Pullman is listed only in O and HO! And after this point I don’t believe OO is mentioned in any further advertising by Exacta and they exited the OO market. I have never seen any examples of their OO products other than the Budd streamliner.

Next up we have Garco, who made a nice Baldwin diesel switcher. My overview of Garco is here. The first ad I notice for this model is in Model Railroader for June. The model was in anything I see in print in 1947 marketed as HO, but it was so overscale that at least dealers noticed it had a potential market in OO, as in 1948 advertising may be found that says the model is “HO (or OO).” As noted in my other articles on this model, it is a workable OO model but I believe it to be somewhere around 1/80 scale.

Next up alphabetically is Midlin. Their OO track was available widely, as was Tru Scale. Both advertised steadily. For anyone looking for tips on how to lay Midlin track, there is a nice article on the topic in the August issue of MR.

Picard is another familiar name to readers of this series, with two main prior articles (here and here) providing an overview of their production. They advertised steadily in MR. This ad is from November and features what I think was their best product, the scribed boxcars. An aside being this ad is directly below a product I could have mentioned in an earlier installment, Eastern had introduced a line of “Precision-Built Turnouts” in addition to their freight car line.

Another familiar name was that of Selley, who advertised their line of parts steadily in MC and MR.  More on Selley here. I should also note that Superior Models offered custom building services. While no ad is OO specific, they did build some fine OO models. For more see this article.

Then we turn to a topic I have not covered deeply, that of structure kits and signals and such. Especially the signals, most any HO signal of the era was so overscale as to be more accurately used in OO; some were marketed as HO-OO. But back to buildings, my personal interests are more toward locomotives and railroad cars, so especially in this era I am more interested in those than the buildings I see advertised, as virtually all that mention OO are HO-OO and to my mind are HO models. But in respect to the memory of my OO friend the late Edward Morlok, I do want to highlight one item that he specifically mentioned to me not long before he passed as an update for my OO Checklist. Mountain City Hobby Mfg. of Chattanooga, TN offered among other products an “oil refinery or chemical plant” that was usable in “HO, TT, OO, S.” The other buildings I see from them in for example their ad in the May, 1947 issue of MR are all HO, with all items available as kits or assembled.

With that we turn a corner to a new topic, that of clubs! Several OO clubs were active and New Jersey was a hotbed of OO activity in particular. More on that in the next installment.

Continue reading 1947 Series

Monday, July 8, 2013

An Easy, “Retro” Coal Load

Among projects awaiting their turn was a group of coal loads. The bases for five loads were in the OO Inventory, and I certainly could use more than the one example I had. I made one many years ago by the same methods; if from a magazine article or from my imagination (the methods are basically the same as what I used to ballast track) I do not know.

First up though, the finished product: four shining and easily removable coal loads set up for Scale-Craft OO gauge hoppers. What follows is how I made them.

The bases, as noted, were in the OO Inventory. They are wood and had been painted black, which are the first two steps to this process. They need to fit in so that they are about 1/8 inch below the sides of the car with a little space on the sides. Not too much, of course, but if too little you will have trouble removing the load from the car the first time.

The next step is to put plastic wrap over the cars and insert the load bases. To that you will add your load. I had around from when I made the original load Life-Like black scenic stone. I like the look of it for this project but to extend it a bit I also used some larger rubber toy train coal under the middle of each load.

Fill each car to a pleasing shape. I had hoped to do five loads but I only had enough stone for four. At this point you will need to carefully “wet” the coal. I used a mixture of ½ water and ½ 70% alcohol sprayed on very gently with a sprayer. To this I added white glue very gently as well that was a mixture of ½ glue and ½ water with some dish detergent added as a wetting agent. Soak the load well as you want the coal to stay put. And don’t touch the coal! If you touch it the load will be difficult to get back in shape.

Let the loads dry for a day. It will take a while but eventually the white color of the glue will not be visible. Then carefully remove the loads. You should be able to get them out with just pulling on the plastic wrap, although one stubborn car I had to push the load out from below (through a hopper bay).

At this point again let the load sit. You will see there still is wet glue around and you want it all to dry hard. Wait another day.

At that point the load will be dry and probably won’t fit the cars because there is a little stray material blocking the way. Use sandpaper gently on the sides of the load to clear the way.

There is one last step. The glue has left the coal looking a bit dull, and actually the Life-Like scenic stone had a dull finish to begin with. The solution is Testors Glosscote spray from a can. This step makes the loads “pop” with the look of real coal.

That‘s it! Many add a metal washer to coal loads such as these so that they can use a magnet to remove the loads, but they are removed quite easily by turning the cars over and these big Scale-Craft hoppers are pretty heavy already. This project will work in any scale; all you have to do is adjust the size of the materials used. Good luck!

Friday, July 5, 2013

American OO for ’47: Part IV, Transportation Models

Transportation Models was on the market with their post-war line of OO models and advertised the line for the full year in Model Railroader. They started the year with a survey in their January ad. The questions:

  1. Your favorite freight car type
  2. Your favorite passenger car type
  3. Your favorite method of construction (die-cast, sheet metal, printed side, etc.)
  4. Your comments on OO gauge

I think the take-away is they were thinking about their line and maybe changes to it. In February the topic was “Improved hardware and trucks being developed” and in March we get to an ad noting “new trucks and hardware available soon.” And then in April “They’re new … new patterns, new alloy, new wheel mounting, new spring assembly.” This was an ARR freight truck, and should be the truck seen in a photo in the main Transportation Models article. But also clearly the other feature items are all freight cars that would ride on said trucks, a general theme carried forward for the next several months. The main points communicated over the run of ads are that the new fully spring trucks are easy to assemble and they also have freight car kits.

Their August ad has more text than usual and explains that the first run of their new freight trucks was in April of 1947. “Better insulation” and “true-running wheel sets” are the key features, which probably indicates the major problems of their earlier truck design.

I have in my collection two boxes for the No. 551 assembled trucks. One has two pair worth of parts in it and the other is empty, and both have the word “assembled” scratched out as well. The wheelsets in the box are pretty consistent and in gauge, the insulation is still solid after all the years, but the tread width is a hair under later NMRA standards. I would personally only use them on a shelf model. Built up examples of this truck would be I would think quite good looking, these certainly were the best looking OO gauge freight truck on the market in terms of scaling and detail in 1947.

Also I would mention that the maker was certainly into slogans. On the truck boxes we find not only their “Learn Through Play The Model Railroad Way” slogan (just visible on the box side at the back in the photo) but also on the other side of the box this one: “For Smooth Sailing With a Slick Click Insist On Transportation Models.”

September/October/November brings a very interesting ad: “…help me clear my shelves!” The ad I think reflects pretty accurately what items Transportation models had actually produced to that point; a range of freight cars and also freight trucks. Their boxes listed a very extensive line, but in particular I am inclined to believe that none of the passenger cars listed on their boxes (see this article) were actually produced. From the advertising you would think that probably only the boxcars, reefers, and gondola cars were produced but I actually also have a wood caboose kit by Transportation Models, so there may be others. Would welcome any reader comments on other models produced.

Also the final advertising reinforces the general sense that this was just an individual who saw an opportunity of using the old Graceline toolings to make a line of OO models but also now was struggling to make money with it. Their December ad was a “Seasons Greetings” message. I am thinking that the owner had paid for the full year of advertising already and came up with the ad, a nice thought, to fill space. It was actually their very last advertisement in the model railroad press, and with that Transportation Models would quickly fade into model railroad history.

When the series returns the topic will be a group of other smaller makers active in 1947.

Continue reading 1947 Series

Thursday, July 4, 2013

American OO for ’47: Part III, Eastern, Famoco, J-C, and “Borrowing”

Continuing this look at 1947, our topic will be three related makers, Eastern, Famoco, and J-C.

While their pre-war locomotives were not advertised in 1946, Famoco advertised their GG-1 right off the bat in the January 1947 issue of Model Railroader. The copy states that the body is “of heavy gauge brass,” so it should still be the sand cast version of this model that was in production, and they ran the same ad again in March (which this is a scan of--as always, click for a better view).  This model had been introduced in 1939, and the photo is the same as was used in advertising in 1939. For more on the early and late (what I would think of as post-war) versions of their GG-1 see this article.

Then in the February issue of MR Famoco advertised their new box car and reefer kits. These were a brand new product for them, but they were not actually a brand new product on the market. This is where things start getting confusing. Back in 1946 Eastern had introduced a line of box cars and reefers. Then in 1947 Famoco introduced their own line of box cars and reefers. As I have it worded presently in the longer Famoco 101 article,
Both of these models came with exactly the same printed sides for a variety of roads. The wood parts, stampings, and most castings are identical to Eastern. The primary differences between the Eastern and Famoco versions of these cars are Famoco cars often (but not always!) have die cast ends and also the frames are different and clearly marked. 
The early versions of these cars have pressed cardboard ends. The version with cast ends would be perceived as an upgrade over the Eastern product. For a comparison of the early and late version of the Famoco kit see this article.

Sticking with February, the next scan is of the Eastern advertisement. As noted, they sold essentially the same cars as a competitor but at least Eastern had “more coming.” And there would eventually be another car in their line, but it was not out in 1947. One problem of their trucks and frames was the trucks were insulated on one side, and if one truck was oriented opposite the other it created a dead short in two rail operation. The solution: Eastern advertised in the August MR that their “freight trucks now have all the wheels insulated.” Famoco, on the other hand, at some point switched to a split, two piece frame to solve the same problem.  My Eastern overview is here.

The June Famoco ad is an interesting one as it tries sort of a reverse psychology approach. Under the banner “Nothing new!” they note “Not unless you mean these new, completely detailed, die-cast ends which we are now including in our freight kits. OR The new passenger car kits, complete with all hardware and trucks that we hope to have ready when this ad breaks.”

It was not until their November advertisement that they formally introduced their “new” line of OO passenger cars. If I am interpreting history correctly actually this is a reintroduction of these cars which were also produced in the pre-war era. And also it is another example of “borrowing” by Famoco, as their cars were based on the same parts as the cars sold by J-C Models. Turning again to the present wording in the Famoco 101 article,
These cars utilize sides and wood parts that match those of J-C Models perfectly. The distinguishing details are the cast ends and other die cast parts which were not supplied with J-C kits. The exact relationship of these two firms is unclear, as the models were actually on the market at the same time. The thinking may have been for Famoco to market the upgrade version of the model but J-C kept selling the simple version (and was able to keep selling it all through WWII). 
Before leaving Famoco, they ended the year with a contest! Announced in their December advertisement, the prize was a GG-1 locomotive, to be won by  “the person sending us the best 20-word statement on ‘why I prefer OO gauge.’”

To close, a brief look at J-C Models as well. They advertised their four OO cars that have been made now for years with periodic advertisements in MR, such as for example this one in the October issue. Also the cars are listed among items for sale from mail order places; their OO cars were easily available 1947 and were priced right compared to the reintroduced Famoco model. Which leads me to a  question, what about J-C kits in 1948? Looking ahead from this October ’47 ad the next one I see is in the June, 1948 MR, and it features their new HO “Silver Side” kits. So it is possible the “new” Famoco version of this car at this point reflects them actually buying out the OO model from J-C and J-C exiting the OO market. But it still does not explain the pre-war production of the Famoco model, and clearly there were still J-C kits OO being sold as new for a while from existing stock. In either case though, the J-C kit had run its course; most everyone active in OO had built several of their kits during the war and did not need more. The main article on J-C Models is here.

When the series returns the focus will be on another of the new postwar lines, Transportation Models.

Continue reading in 1947 Series