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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Time was not kind to these cars

Several recent posts have featured models by James Trout. These two are also Trout models and I believe when new were outstanding models.

Then here we are today. To the caboose first, it is beautifully scratch built and has a complete interior! It is missing the glass from one window but the really sad thing is the cupola is completely gone. I suppose the crew has a great view but it is a bit breezy! It is lettered, by hand for his personal road, the West Coast Southern.

The reefer is also a bit sad to see now too. While complete, obviously the material used for the sides (some sort of tinplate) of this completely scratch built model did not hold the paint well. The lettering is all by hand, and from prior posts you may recall that Trout was a Disney illustrator, it is beautifully done. Note in particular the Santa Fe heralds, the second photo being the one on the opposite side of that seen in the first photo. It is not a decal, and it is just amazing to me that painting this by hand is even possible. He had the skill to do it.

As to these two cars and my plans for them, the reefer I will probably always leave like it is. The hand lettering is still intense to see in person, if only the paint had stuck better to that metal! The caboose though, I have another Trout caboose built from wood in better shape, and it has a cupola of a design that I can likely duplicate. I will certainly give that a try at least to match the paint well and get it back to closer to the way he intended it to look.

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