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

Friday, July 31, 2015

Fox trucks for American OO?

I was pointed to a HO product that does convert into a pretty convincing American OO Fox truck.

Fox trucks were a patented product of the Pressed Steel Car Co. which I understand made all of these trucks around of the turn of the 20th century. Mostly seen used on freight cars, one of the more exotic designs of Fox truck were their Express Passenger Trucks.

I believe they are out of production now, but these were manufactured in HO cast resin by Funaro & Camerlengo. Where these are useful for us is the wheelbase works out as correct for OO freight trucks. The design itself is a bit off but still it is pretty convincing.

I was able to obtain 5 sets of castings, and the question on looking at them was what car could I use these on? The set of 5 wood hopper cars seemed a good choice (seen here), and the first pair made are seen on this example. I will over time make the other four pair. Basically you split the bolster and sand it down to fit inside plastic rectangular tube stock. I used HO 36" wheelsets on the cars, which roll nicely.

I know few if any readers will search out this product specifically, but it does remind that there are unusual HO items out there, available today, that are useful in American OO.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Two Champion OO gauge 36' reefers

Up today are a couple more cars just through the paint shop, these reefers featuring Champion 36' reefer sides.

The Champion overview article is here. What got me inspired was I spotted these two bodies in the Picard supply and noted they were about 1/2 done. Both had the rather intense cast frame installed, seen in the second photo, but one body was Picard and the other was by an unknown maker. Which is saying a lot as I have looked at all this OO gauge history so much. As always, click on the photos for a better view.

The reefer built up on the mystery maker body is the Purina car. This car was number 309 in their line and according to the instructions with the sides was to be painted with Tuscan red ends, roof, and trucks with a black under body. I will switch out the trucks at some point, the cars are both on Schorr trucks I had on hand at present. What is unique about this body is it is a bit chunkier than the Picard body and there was a raised, flat area to glue the roof walk onto.

I have never been a beer drinker but the number 327 Budweiser sides I had appealed to me as well. These sides are slightly shorter in height so they went on this slightly shorter Picard body, all painted in the "dark olive green" (Pullman green) recommended in the instructions printed with the sides. On both of these models the ends and ladders are Scale-Craft parts, the brake cylinder is Eastern, and the hatches are probably HO parts fished out of the parts supply.

Looking from the bottom, you can see the frame casting. I am not sure it is an OO or a HO part but it fits both models like a glove. I used Kadee whisker couplers on both cars, making a great pair of vintage style models.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Champion New Haven Dairy express reefer

Another recent project was rebuilding this Champion New Haven Dairy express reefer. These are nice models and rarely seen.

I rebuilt a pair of Champion/Picard express reefers last year but did not realize then that the sides I used were incomplete. See those cars here. I was lacking the single strips that go on the top of the sides, which are seen on this model.

This particular model came in sad shape, one side warped out and a prior owner had repainted over the sides and added decals. I had to strip down the car and make a new side from scrap parts (from parts of two sides) but in the end the car came out very nicely. It is on S-C trucks with freight wheelsets, the common solution to the truck problem for this model.

Whith the car done I was thinking that was the end of my supply of these unusual 44.5 foot Picard bodies, but then I found another! Partially built up, seen also in the photo with another fresh set of sides. These cars are not difficult to complete, so as I get to painting flat black again I will plan to build up another Milky Way car with that extra strip above the door.