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

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Blueprints for the Nason P5A

For several years there has been a post in the Train99  blog about a Nason P5A, the owner wanting to track down the instructions for this classic model. 

The article is very worth checking for the several great photos of his model (link here). Myself, I recently saw the article again in the stats for this website and clicked over. And I realized that not long ago I had actually been given a set of the blueprints that were shipped out with the Nason P5A.

The big photo is of the blueprint itself. It is in a word huge, a real blueprint and roughly the size of eight sheets of paper.

With the big photo as reference, the first scan is from the top of the blueprint. My own Nason P5A was left incomplete by a prior owner and seeing the top view especially I am thinking I need to get it done, even if the HO pantographs I have for it are a bit small looking compared to the drawings and the photos in the Train99 blog.

The last two photos are more highlights of the blueprint, scanned. Click on any image for a better view. One shows a part and all the drilling and tapping required, and the other shows the bottom corner where we get the details on the drawing itself.

The draftsman's name is lost to history most likely but the “F.W.” who approved the drawings must have been Frank Waldhorst, the early business partner of Hugh Nason. A photo of Waldhorst may be seen in this article. Note also the dates and the revision date which is almost illegible. More on the history of Nason may be found here.

A PDF of scans from the blueprint may be found in the files area of the OO group on Yahoo. To which I will add, I don't actually have the written instructions for this model. The model should have a 6-8 page document that covers construction. If you have a copy I would love to see that.

With that, I hope to get to the 1950 series soon and best wishes for a great new year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Scale-Craft Plug Door Boxcars

Fans of American OO will know right away that actually Scale-Craft did not make or even advertise a plug door boxcar. But the below certainly have the vintage S-C look and are plug door.

The story on these cars is that I had two more of these bodies than I had sliding doors or guides to complete. Not being wild about how the original pre-war die cast S-C boxcars looked either I got to thinking out of the box. The idea came up to cut HO plug doors out of an appropriate car and size them to fit the Scale-Craft door openings.

The source cars used for the doors were purchased very cheaply, junk Tyco HO cars at a train show. It is not a difficult conversion at all. I dressed them up a bit more with upgrade brake wheels and brake hardware as well. To complete the cars I used reproduction Lionel trucks with vintage Ultimate wheelsets to complete the package (and Kadee whisker couplers, my current favorite type for SC cars).

They are most effectively seen on the layout as in this second photo. I like a lot how the lettering came out and how they look in general in a train. Lettering them for my freelanced Orient made the most sense as they are not really scaled correctly to any prototype; I can just say that the Orient had a class of plug door boxcars of this type.

I have never seen this conversion done previously and really, it exceeded my expectations. I will likely do this one again a time or two more. These are great cars for my later 1950s operating sessions and will be rolling out some miles in the coming months.

Tomorrow the last post of the year will feature a rare Nason paper item.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Cars from the Work Train

To kick off a series of short articles for the end of the year, first up we have four cars from the work train.

Three of these were scratch built by William Gilbert and are lettered for his Grand Island. X75 is a low side gondola (really a flat car with gon sides added), X76 is a bunk car, and X78 is a tool car. All are riding on Schorr trucks, very sharply made and neatly painted and lettered. All are 36 foot models; I especially like the truss rod details on the gon and the bunk car and also note the gon sides are built up from individual boards. Besides the Schorr trucks and bolsters the only other common OO part seen on these cars are the Eastern K type brake cylinders. These three are way above average in the world of American OO models. As always, click on the photo for a better view.

That leaves one more car to describe. It was with some materials obtained from Gilbert but I don’t think was a project of his. Someone had put together this old-time hopper car using metal hopper bottoms from a HO car and the rest was wood. The body was broken (perhaps from shipping) and some parts were missing on the sides; also, I don't believe it had ever been lettered. I replaced the missing parts with close duplicates and added a brake wheel, end beams, Schorr trucks/bolsters, and Kadee couplers. It is not as sharp as the other cars, with some mismatched details and weights visible in the area where the load would ride. It could use a few more details really, but my goal was not to get too heroic and get a broken car together and running. And like the Gilbert cars it is a unique car that fits in the context of a work train or could be used in an early 20th century setting as well.

I don’t run these often of course but I do enjoy having these in the mix of things I can operate. Tomorrow two Scale-Craft conversions will be featured.

UPDATE: The mystery car was made by Ed Schorr (son of Fred Schorr) as a youngster! He wrote and relayed that info -- I am glad to have it running again.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Some Pre-War Graceline Reefers

Graceline was an active in the American OO market 1939-45. My overview article is here, and with recent looking at Graceline models and parts I pulled these four cars for light restoration.

The three without ends came in a lot purchase years ago. I believe a prior owner had parted them out, using the ends and trucks on other projects. These cars are all early Graceline production with the hand painted sides. First up are these two examples of ARLX 16096, Armour Refrigerator Line. The sides are thin brass stock and were painted at the factory as you see them today. The one with the ladder was stamped out differently than the other if you look at the bottom of each side, one has tab extensions and the other is flat. Also you can easily see variations in lettering between the two cars, in fact only that one side has the periods in A.R.L.X. Click on the photos for a better view.

The other two cars are Northern Pacific cars. The Northern Refrigerator car has no ends and the tabs at the bottom of the sides. The Northern Pacific herald is printed on thin paper. The other car is missing its heralds, but you can see where they were and that they were the same heralds. That final car, lettered for the Northern Pacific itself, is in the worst condition but has the original ends and has a different roof design—I would take this to be later production. Note also on this one that Graceline did not highlight the doors with paint. This was a good idea as the doors are too wide. No ladders are present on either of these cars, but all four have their original Graceline frames.

Finishing up a painting project I had a bit of spray paint left so I fished two sets of reproduction Graceline ends out of the parts supply. These were cast by Temple Nieter, and I will be casting a couple more in his molds (more here) to complete this set of cars. The final photo shows these ends and how they fit on the cars. Note that there are fins cast on the back of the ends that fit the car like a glove.

I will be adding to these cars Scale-Craft trucks as I don’t have enough viable Graceline trucks to finish this set, and I don't plan to fill any of the paint chips. Hopefully they will be rolling again by new years. And speaking of new years, between travel and other things keeping me busy I probably won’t be posting again here until the end of the month. I am looking forward to getting these rolling though, and hope as well that readers might also get a few more cars rolling over the holidays.

Want to see another of these rare cars? Check this article for a Graceline Baby Ruth reefer.