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

Monday, May 23, 2011

Two Upgraded Scale-Craft Ten Wheelers

These photos I have been saving for a few months until after the 1937 series hit Scale-Craft. For here we have two very interesting, upgraded examples of their classic 4-6-0, a die cast model introduced in 1937.

The model as produced has several quirks that relate ultimately to choices made by Scale-Craft in those early years of die cast models. First we turn to the boiler front or more properly the area on the side of the smoke box leading down to the cylinders. What Scale-Craft did was fill the area with a slanted area. This choice makes the area look a bit odd. In their advertising Scale-Craft built the models in such a way as to not point out the problem but if you were to opt for a silver smoke box then it would be really obvious.

So what OO pioneer Howard Winther did was cut the area out. Click on any of the photos for a closer view. It could not have been easy to do back in those days long before Dremel tools. He did this on both locomotives. The first one, lettered for his road, I would take to be his first attempt at correcting this, and I will come back to the one at the end of this article shortly.

Notice also the firebox under the cab. This is his own extension; that area was blank—very blank—on the stock version.

Next turn your attention to the tender. If you look at a stock tender (such as here) you will see that it is short. Really short, a little odd looking really. I have long thought about taking two tenders and splicing them for height but that would be a lot of work to cut and grind and fit the castings together. Instead, Winther opted to add a piece about 1/8” thick under the body casting of the tender. You did not notice it until I pointed it out, right? I have another tender this has been done to (prior to my owning it) and that tender is now behind a S-C 4-4-2 model that I have in progress. This is a very good upgrade to this tender.

Finally, on this second model he has gone a step further and filled in under the smoke box so that the boiler is actually round. On the first model, Bergen & Essex 25, he left a hole there that is not very visible but there. Again, not easy work and done very nicely. These are a couple of the best examples of this model out there.

Both engines have the later style S-C motor but appear to have their earlier production brass drivers. And there are more detail changes that could be mentioned such as moving the bell to a new location. Certainly Howard Winther took these stock model engines and made them into models that stand apart.

Thanks again to the Winther family for sharing these great photos. I have more from them and will be coming back to them every couple weeks.

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