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Friday, August 29, 2008

The two versions of the Scale-Craft 4-6-2

Just a few days ago, after receiving these photos from Dick Gresham, I realized that I had never noted that there were two distinct versions of the Scale-Craft 4-6-2 produced. Dick has both in his collection, and he had not noted this either; he took one to be all original and the other modified. But I think after reading the catalog copy you will agree that actually these models are both close to all original but one is the early version and one is the late version.

Page 65 of the 1938 Scale-Craft catalog introduced the 4-6-2 (which had originally been produced in limited quantities by Red Adams) thusly:
The new 4-6-2 “OO” locomotive is larger, more powerful than our standard ten-wheeler. Copied from the Southern Pacific P-13 type, but somewhat modified, the design is adaptable to other roads. Powered by our standard seven-pole permanent magnet motor. Smoother operation by driving through second and third drivers. Superstructure is one-piece bronze casting. Operating headlight, switch controlled, lighted by flashlight battery in tender. Collector shoes eliminated through new type insulated trucks. Grounded side of locomotive used as one contact, and the tender truck on the opposing side acts as the other. This new locomotive, under ordinary tests, has hauled 25 to 30 of our standard freight cars around a 26-inch radius curve. Two-rail insulation standard.
That test train of 25 to 30 cars around a 26-inch radius curve really caught my eye! That is the radius of the curves on my layout. Nothing I have will pull more than about 14 average to free rolling cars around the layout, so that is quite a claim.

There is an exploded view of the locomotive in the catalog and a built up model. Of this model Dick wrote in sending the photos that,
It looks like it has brass spoke drivers from a Scale-craft 4-6-0. This one has a Pittman motor, and a ring gear mating with the worm gear on the Pittman motor. There is a lot of space between the top of the drivers and the bottom of the boiler. This doesn't look realistic to me, and I'm having a hard time imaging where someone who would modify the locomotive and install the smaller drivers.
I think the answer is because that was the only size of driver that Scale-Craft produced at that time. The next year Scale-Craft introduced the first version of their 4-8-4. (There are two distinct version of this also; this is a post for the future sometime. I only have the later version in parts). With this model came the development of the drivers for the 4-8-4, which were used on the second version of the P-13, described in the 1939 catalog as follows:
This year we have increased the perfection of this model by adding larger drive wheels of the box pok variety and by adding innumerable details to the superstructure that give the model locomotive the authentic appearance. We are also including six-wheel Commonwealth trucks on the tender instead of the four-wheel as used previously….The new Scale-Craft 12-volt AC motor and 2-rail insulation are standard.
Dick describes this model as looking to be “all original with a 24V DC motor. It has the same drivers as the Scale-craft 4-8-4.”

On the tenders in his collection he additionally notes
The tender in the pictures [see below] has a switch on top just behind the cab. According to my 1938? Scale-craft catalog (green cover), the switch is supposed to operate the headlight which is powered by a flashlight battery in the tender. I haven't taken the cover off the tender to see what is underneath. Neither locomotive has a headlight bulb installed.

Two of my tenders have 4-wheel trucks that are the same as those used on Scale-craft passenger cars. After looking at the picture in my 1938? catalog, I believe that these are the original tender trucks. One of my tenders has the same 6-wheel trucks used on the Scale-craft 4-8-4.
The second tender Dick describes is the same as the one in the 1939 catalog and the one at left is the same as the one in the 1938 catalog. The Scale-Craft 4-6-2 was only produced for two years, made very clear on page 57 of the 1940 catalog: "We have discontinued our Southern Pacific P-13 'OO' locomotive. For those who are building this locomotive, we are continuing to carry Sections 2 and 3." It is a nicely proportioned engine that with the right motor must be quite a puller. Thank you again Dick for sharing these photos.

Finally, as noted this model was originally produced by Red Adams. In the photos of his layout in the May, 1939 issue of Model Craftsman two or three P-13's and a Mountain are visible. Of the two P-13's that are completely visible both have smaller drivers similar to those on the original S-C model, and both tenders have S-C trucks, one with six wheel trucks and one four wheel. The 4-8-2 has larger box pok drivers and four wheel trucks on the tender. Interesting models to be sure.

UPDATE: Photos of the 1938 and 1939 versions of the Scale-Craft P-13 4-6-2 with their tenders, thanks again to Dick Gresham. Click on the photos for larger versions.

And ....

UPDATE II: See this article for closer views of a model that I rebuilt. 

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