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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Scale-Craft 4-4-2 with a great drive

As mentioned in this recent article, I recently completed rebuilding a Scale-Craft 4-4-2. This model was introduced in 1938, and a photo of this particular model “before” may be found here.

The thing I was most impressed by is the motor, the original DC Scale-Craft motor. As I wrote in the 1937 series article a month ago,
I was able to buy one of the early Scale-Craft DC/permag motors with transmission mint in box on eBay a few years ago (box makred “1121 MOTOR MAY 1 1940”). I had been fiddling with an S-C 4-4-2 model for several years that I wanted to mount that motor in and just yesterday got it together and running. Oh my! It runs VERY well. While it is a 24 volt DC motor it runs fast enough at 12 volts for my layout and is smooth and quiet. The engine easily pulls the four car passenger trains I would run with it. It was easy to wire up and ran smoothly from the very first time I set it on the rails.
Now the model has decals. It does run great and it will be in the next video. Besides the brand new vintage motor and gearbox part of what helps it run well also is I worked up trucks from Nason side frames and NWSL wheelsets—great electrical contact is a great thing. Also note the tender, an eBay find, was modified by a prior owner. What they did was add a piece of Bakelite about 1/8” thick under the tender body. The result is a tender that looks a lot better than the stock tender, and at a distance and painted black you don't even notice the extra piece at the bottom.

As a final note, I have been working recently on two other S-C drives, two that I used to run on the layout fairly often. One engine in particular, one of the gears in the gearbox is on inspection completely shot and on the other engine the gearbox is clearly on the way out (that engine may be seen in operation in the first of the videos=very noisy). It is great to see how this classic model was really supposed to operate, and I want to get those other models as close to the same level as I can in the fall.

UPDATE: See this model in operation in this video.

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