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

Sunday, March 15, 2015

An Exacta #201 Pullman in OO scale

A maker with big plans for HO, OO, S, and O Scale models right after WWII was Exacta Scale Models, Inc. of Portland, Oregon. In my main article on Exacta (here) we see that their line was at least supposed to be pretty extensive in OO but all I knew for sure had been produced was their streamline cars (which are also seen fairly commonly in HO – for more on Exacta HO see info linked from this page in the HOSeeker site). As to the other OO items listed in their 1946 catalog, I really had no idea if they were produced or not.

And then these car sides came up on eBay a few weeks ago. Clearly they are what they are marked as being: their #201 Pullman car. Exacta listed an extensive line of “moulded copper” car sides in OO, including eight different heavyweight passenger cars with two different Pullmans. As listed on eBay these sides and ends had with them a streamlined roof of uncertain origin and a floor and frame from a Scale-Craft kit, but as shipped out Exacta sold these as only sides and ends, you were to supply the other parts (perhaps using a J-C kit as a base for the new, upgrade sides). The detail is really nice I must say; especially the rivet details. As always click on the photo for a bigger view.

The packaging has the handwritten notes “Room car” and “Night Flyer,” as visible in the photo. I am not versed enough in Pullman floor plans to give any particulars of this design, but clearly there must have been some difference between this car and their #200 Pullman model. Anyone else have one to use for a comparison?

The back of the sides/ends is interesting to see firsthand. I really don’t know the process used to make these parts but clearly the copper is clad onto a zinc base that is very visible and rough. As they are now the sides are a little bit bent out of shape too (due to the passage of years and storage) but could be easily worked back to being very nearly flat.

Finally here are the ends and their original packaging. They are flat and would require some bending to bring them into the correct shape. A wooden J-C end would be very useful to guide the bends, bring them to final shape, and perhaps also to support the finished parts.

This is the sort of item I am unlikely to build up. Call me in this case an “extreme vintage scale railroad model collector,” but clearly these are rare items that were only manufactured briefly and an interesting item. If I do build them up it will be to make the nicest Pullman I can, these are great sides to be on the lookout for.

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