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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A video podcast with American OO

Up today is a quick look at a video podcast. I like the format a lot -- I am seriously thinking to produce a couple new episodes of "American OO Today" videos in this general format -- and I enjoy their curiosity with these vintage models.


They are vintage Scale-Craft models, of course -- for much more on S-C OO gauge see this article.

There must still be a lot of random American OO floating around just like this, built by granddad back in the day, and hopefully someone curious about them will stumble across not only this video but also more information on these models here in American OO Today.

To close, I last produced an American OO video in 2011 (more here on that last one), but this summer, as noted already, be looking for more in a format similar to that seen above.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Two 3D printed SW7s, and a SC/Lionel American OO caboose

Described in two earlier articles (here and here) the pair of SW7s are now complete and painted/lettered.

It took a while to decide on a scheme. Back in high school my first freelance HO layout was the Madison-Quincy-Southern, and I had some decals for it kicking around for years. In thinking of what to decorate these models for I needed a freelance line and what color? The old MQS had a Pullman green engine (seen here!), and that gave me inspiration for this new MQS model.

To the paint specifically, I had a new and unused bottle of Polyscale Pullman green and used that. I was nervous to brush paint the engines but actually it was not a problem at all. The first coat literally soaked into the “Strong & Flexible White nylon plastic” 3D printing material as did the second. The one area I painted more was the cab sides as they needed to be smoother to support the decals well. That area received about 5 coats of paint. Also I painted the handrails white. They are a bit clunky looking and if you look too closely the entire model has a rough finish. But decorated as they are they do work well on the layout at viewing distances.

One thing I did do intentionally was number them sequentially. The MQS is a short line and it points out that it is probably a small roster of locomotives. The HO model mentioned earlier was number 12, so these are further up the roster.

And any train needs a caboose. This one is a curiosity, purchased with some other models.

What a prior owner had done was modify a Scale-Craft caboose body to fit a Lionel caboose frame. Why!?! In any case, I was thinking to decorate it to sell on eBay but even then, who is going to buy this mutt? Being a nice car I decided to decorate it for the MQS. And being a special model it needs special trucks, and it received my last pair of North Yard caboose trucks.

This final photo is a view of the bottom showing the Lionel frame and the trucks which are ultra-free rolling. As with all the photos, click on the photo for a closer view.

Next up for the MQS is a SD24. I did not have the 3D model made for me, but rather obtained the body from another OO gauger that had it made but decided to go in other directions. I have a drive that will work well for it and just need time over the summer to get it running. Until then though these two engines and caboose are likely to rule the rails on my little layout.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Five cars from the OO Yorkville & Western

These five cars are all decorated for the layout of Fred Schorr, his Yorkville & Western, and are an interesting group, as three of them came to me relatively recently.

First up are these two gondolas. These I purchased at different times from different sources. I like a lot how they are numbered sequentially. The models are of course from his line of Japanese brass imports, with Kadee couplers and nicely painted. The coal load is a simple one made from black sandpaper, the rear gon with lettering related to being for coal service and the front one for crushed rock, sand, or gravel.

Then there is this gondola. It is also a Schorr import, with that same owl logo but decorated differently. Notice anything missing? It has no car number or reporting marks of any type. It was UPDATE actually the work of his son Ed, a nice variation on the Y&W theme.

Finally we have two hopper cars, one by Schorr and the other by Scale-Craft, built up nicely. The S-C car has a very nice, removable coal load while the Schorr car has another of the black sandpaper loads. Which look pretty good at a distance, it is a very heavy grit and I think he painted over it with gloss black which helps the effect.

All in all a nice group of cars from the layout of a major figure in postwar American OO.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Five “Nason” boxcars

I try to work on things in groups and I was working on a group of three boxcars that expanded to five as the project went on.

First up is this car which turned out really well. The body is I think not commercial, actually, and the car itself was a basket case. I stripped it down, added Famoco ends and doors (the latter being reproductions by Temple Nieter that are a bit under sized), Eastern ladders, a Nason frame and trucks, and Nason Erie sides.

Part of what got me going on the entire project was that I found that Floquil ATSF Mineral Brown was a pretty close match for the sides. That one thing, matching paint, is what makes these cars. I brush painted them for control, in several coats.

Moving on, there are two more pair of cars. The first pair are SP cars, the vintage one in front being a actual Nason car that had been beautifully built up, it has a lot of extra details such as brake lines under the car, but it had fallen on hard times. After gluing the roof back on (!) I touched it up quite a bit and replaced a missing coupler. The car I made was the completion of one of a group of boxcars started long ago (the "boxcar project") and I have slowly been working them over. Not visible in the photos, I used Nason frames and trucks on all the cars seen that I built up, along with vintage Kadee No. 4 couplers.

The last pair of cars also have NP sides. The vintage model in the rear is actually a Page car (the cheaper, under-brand Nason briefly promoted) with a solid block body. The car I completed is another of the same bodies used for my SP car. That builder had put Selley ends on the cars and had done roof ribs but let them go there, never completed them. I had to rework the roofs but with the added details and closely matching paint they came out well.

Note also I did not duplicate any car numbers. I still have a couple more of the “boxcar project” bodies, maybe this summer they too will emerge with Nason sides, before I run out of the Floquil paint….