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

Thursday, June 23, 2016

An almost completed Graceline reefer

Ending this brief series of recent finds posts, this Graceline reefer recently came to me with some other items.

Besides it being a relatively rare item, with the hand painted sides (more on those here), the thing that really caught my eye was it was never completed. Almost completed, but it has clearly been in this same state for years and years.

The trucks are Lionel. One was broken when it got here, I replaced the bolster with an orphan original part. See how nicely they were painted? The roof has a bit of paint loss from storage. And then see that number written in pencil on the car side?

The number keys to numbers on the back of each of the sides which, if you look closely, are not quite the same as they were hand painted. Side one goes on the other side of the car.

The builder seems to have just stopped at this point. Hopefully there was no sad story right then in their life, but here it is today. The car needs ladders, it has never had couplers so it needs those, and of course the sides should be glued on. I really should do the job and finish the car neatly, it is a fine vintage item, but for right now at least I will leave this car as it is.

UPDATE: Completed model here

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Unusual, WWII era Nason parts

Among some recent parts purchased was a Nason parts envelope.

It is of the same style as they briefly used to sell decals in 1942 (mentioned in this article), but it did not contain decals, but rather is marked “5 Pr. Freight Car Ends” and also “3 Dr. & 2 Corr.”

The ends are still what are in the packet, painted boxcar red. They are smaller than Eastern ends and on thinner card stock.

In my parts I had a set of the ends in cardboard and one example of the door/end in thin shim brass which is I think explaining the “3 Dr.” on the package. I have several more of these doors as well. Knowing what they are now, maybe they will find their way onto a Nason car.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Remnants of a Hoffmann's reefer

Among some parts recently purchased some unusual parts stood out. At this point I have a pretty good eye for parts, I saw the trucks early on and knew they were Hoffmann's and set them aside.

Then I got to these wood parts and the frames. The frames were not Selley or any maker I recognized easily, and the wood parts were not Picard or Eastern/Famoco or Nason so I knew they were exotic.

Turns out they are from a Hoffmann's reefer, likely from the same car as the trucks. Nearly complete kits for these cars may be seen in this article. If you click over you will see that one of the kits lacks a frame, so I will strip the extra frame and put it with that kit. These cars are really uncommon, available 1938-39.

Then we get to my remnant car. Being so rare it will get a “project box” and will be rebuilt. I wish I had a spare set of Hoffmann's sides to make it really correct. It may emerge with Scale-Rail or Champion sides.

A final note on the trucks, they actually track OK (better than the truck in this article) but I think the wheelsets are likely replacements. In any case, an interesting group of parts I was happy to spot.

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Scale-Craft Coach from the Oklahoma and Western

In a recent lot purchase was this nice Scale-Craft coach. As always, click on the photo for a better view.

Besides being a nice example of a classic (if somewhat common) OO model it caught my eye for several reasons. First off, just for the road name. It is probably lost to history who the brass hat of this road was, but being lettered for a freelanced western road is notable.

The lettering is actually a second set of lettering. If you look carefully, an original set of decals was painted over to allow the current lettering.

Of course the overall paint is a bit worse for the wear over the years but certainly “good enough” for a place in “the collection,” I don’t see it needing fixed further.

The other really notable thing is the car has an interior and lights. When it got here the interior had a number of loose seats but I corrected that situation with some superglue. I like the walls and the rest rooms and the color scheme. I have interior details to do several cars easily -- this is inspiring me to take on that project with upcoming S-C models with the easily removable roofs.

To the lights, I was first thinking they would be dead but actually testing them they all still work. The only issue is that one solder connection has broken. Sometime I should fix that, when I have the iron out again.

I like as well that the Oklahoma and Western at least theoretically might interchange with my line. All in all, this model I think was a nice find and is a reminder that sometimes there are vintage models that just appeal to you, trust you senses.