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

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blow-Smoke, a newsletter by Scale-Craft, part 2

Following up on part 1 of this series, the second issue of the Blow-Smoke newsletter published by Scale-Craft is volume 1, number 2, dated June 1938, followed quickly by volume 1, number 3 dated July-August 1938.

The opening editorial in the June 1938 issue by Elliott Donnelley has to do with why kits are priced more inexpensively than the total of the parts in the kit if purchased individually. It seems rather basic that if everything is packed in a kit the handling charges and such are less, but this does not seem to have been obvious to all buyers at the time and may reflect at least in part the hard economic times and the novelty of kit building.

The news in OO was the new Southern Pacific P-13 4-6-2, as seen in these first photos. Click on them for a larger view. The parts views show in order section 1, section 2, and section 3. Note the early style DC motor in section 2 and the big bronze castings.
Because of increasing demands for a larger and more powerful locomotive than our standard ten-wheeler, we are now announcing our new 4-6-2 “OO” locomotive, copied from the famous P-13 Pacific type locomotive of the Southern Pacific road.

We have purposely modified its design to allow adaptation to other railroads. This new is powered by our standard seven-pole permanent magnet motor, and smoother operation is accomplished by driving through the second and third drivers. The superstructure is a one-piece bronze casting. An added feature is an operating headlight, lighting off a flashlight battery in the tender, and controlled by a switch. Collector shoes have been eliminated by use of new type insulated trucks, which allow the grounded side of locomotive to act as one contact, and the tender truck on the opposing side to act as the other.

This new locomotive, under ordinary tests, has hauled from 25 to 30 of our standard freight cars around a 26-inch radius curve. Two-rail insulation is standard.
This was originally produced by H. L. “Red” Adams in limited quantities, as detailed in this previous post. At Scale-Craft it was produced in two somewhat different versions, as also detailed in this earlier post. Check the second link for photos. It was sold as a complete kit priced at $36 or in three sections that totaled $40.50.

Scale-Craft was really rolling out the new OO locomotives, as in the July-August issue the big OO news was their new 4-4-2, as illustrated here. It sold either for $22.25 as a complete kit or for $23.75 total in two sections.
This new locomotive has been developed from the original die-cast ten wheeler. It makes an ideal locomotive for light passenger service on any railroad system. We are frankly very proud of it, and we are confident that our pride and enthusiasm is going to be shared by a great many builders during the next year. You will find this type of locomotive in us on practically every railroad in the United States and Canada. Added features which deserve special mention include piping, bronze drive wheels, bronze trailing truck, and the elimination of collectors. The two-rail insulation is standard.
Like the 4-6-2, the 4-4-2 was shipped originally with the 24 volt DC permag motor. Reading the description and looking at the model I have, seen in this photo, it would appear that there are at least two versions of the drive with different drivers and a different trailing truck (and a different motor). This example has the later universal motor and does not have the bronze drivers or trailing truck. UPDATE: See the rebuilt version of this model here.

In O gauge the most notable item introduced was an O gauge version of the Southern Pacific 4-6-2 which they called the “Black Beauty.” S-C must have really liked that 4-6-2 Red Adams developed in OO and scaled it up to O. It is beauty!

Over all it was an exciting summer at Scale-Craft. More about the fall of 1938 in our next installment. [Updated 2012].

Continue in Blow-Smoke series

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