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

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pre-war and post-war Scale-Craft boxes and numbers

Scale-Craft was the most prolific manufacturer of American OO. Their OO gauge kits were produced from 1937-54 and were sold with two distinctly different sets of numbers and types of boxes. Pre-war they were in yellow boxes with K numbers and post-war they were in slightly larger blue boxes with a longer prefix code, for example OOF for OO freight cars.

Thanks to John Blackburn I have a series of photos of the two styles of boxes. First, we have the boxes I think of as being pre-war boxes, this example being the reefer.

This kit is marked with the number OOF 609, which means it is actually post-war. I did not realize until working on this post that Scale-Craft still sold kits in boxes that I would think to be "pre-war" after WWII. At some point not long after WWII there was a big change in packaging, as seen in this series of photos of the OOP-615 baggage car. For a larger view of any of these photos click on the photo.

Unassembled kits with post-war markings seem to be more common to find, which makes some sense as during the war many existing kits were built and after the war OO was in rapid decline. The packing material in late kits can be quite interesting as well, I have seen for example what must have been a misprinted run of Baby Ruth wrappers that was shredded and used in S-C kits as packing material.

UPDATE: See here for more info on the early boxes. Also note that so far as I can tell even though they had two business locations/addresses after they left Libertyville in 1946, I know of no boxes marked with the Hollywood or Round Lake addresses printed on them. My guess is they must have had quite a large run of boxes printed in 1946! The late kits with instructions with the Round Lake address were shipped out in Libertyville boxes. I updated the article on early boxes with this info as well.

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