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

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Metal side heavyweights

Two lines offered standard, heavyweight passenger equipment in OO that had metal sides but were generally similar to the pressed cardboard sides seen in the offerings in the previous post by J-C Models, Famoco, Graceline, and Transportation Models.

Following up on their first heavyweight cars that are sand-cast aluminum (see this post for more information) the Nason "Eazy-Bilt" passenger kits were introduced in 1936. The line included:

Coach, PRR P-70
Combine, PRR PB-70
Diner, PRR
Observation
Postal, PRR
Pullman, 12 section

As seen in the example in the photos (a Pullman, unfortunately on S-C 4 wheel trucks) and the loose sides (coach) and underside of the Pullman, the sides are brass with a mixture of sand cast, die cast, and turned brass details, including sand cast aluminum ends with die cast vestibules. A Gas-Electric of similar construction details was also produced of a B&O design as a coach, coach-baggage, and coach-baggage-mail.

The first passenger cars produced by Scale-Craft were die cast, the coach and baggage car, and were introduced in 1937. These cars could be built either with an arch roof that was die cast or with a standard monitor roof made from wood. These cars were followed in 1940 by these models with stamped metal sides:

Pullman sleeper
Observation
Diner

These cars, like the Nason cars, present an interesting combination of materials. The frame is sand-cast aluminum, there are a variety of die cast and formed parts, and the sides are stamped metal. The metal I would describe either as tinplate or steel, at least for any car I have ever seen. They contrast with the die cast cars easily as they lack rivet details. In the photos we have a pair of the Pullman sleepers showing the sides and bottom details and also a late version of the observation kit. Click on the photo for a larger version.

They also introduced a very similar Gas-Electric car (coach/baggage or baggage/mail) in 1941 and packaged the die cast cars a variety of ways (the MU coach and baggage being particularly notable, introduced in 1950).

The final point to note is that the S-C coach and baggage were the only two body dies ever produced for die cast American OO passenger cars. These cars can be rebuilt easily today and look great. The last photo is of a pair of these that I rebuilt some years ago. The coach windows were modified by a prior owner; the detail level rivals that of HO plastic models of today.

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