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

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A WM 4-6-6-4 from M. P. Davis

Earlier this week we featured a big PRR 4-4-4-4 in American OO. Today we have photos from Dick Kuehnemund of another big engine, a 4-6-6-4. It was manufactured in limited quantities by Myron P. Davis.

In a price list seen in the TCA article also cited in this prior article a WM engine is mentioned and also seen in a photograph; this is an example of that same model but the boiler is built up further than the one that was owned by the late Donald Fraley.

As noted in yet prior another article, this Western Maryland M2 4-6-6-4 was part of a line of OO gauge models that included in particular a number of big steamers. Here is the full list of big steam Davis offered:

  • 2-8-8-0, PRR HC-1
  • 2-8-8-2, C&O #1527
  • 4-4-4-4, PRR T-1
  • 4-6-6-4, WM M2
  • 4-8-8-4, UP “Big Boy”
  • 6-4-4-6, PRR S-1
  • 6-8-6, PRR S-2

This particular example is obviously lacking the front drivers and a tender and a number of other major details. The boiler is a big bronze casting and must weigh a ton. This engine project could be completed but it would be quite a job. And even if completed what minimum radius would it operate on? I would think something bigger than 36 inches. But even at that, this model, just like it is, is pretty impressive. And a complete and operational example, if one exists, should be able to pull like crazy.

To close, the question that follows the above discussion is how many of these did he make? Who knows [see UPDATE], but some more of them for sure are knocking around out there in collections where people think they are maybe S gauge instead of OO.

It just does not seem possible such big models were ever sold in OO but they were; those guys who stuck it out in OO after WWII were a dedicated bunch.

Thanks again to Dick K. for these photos. And a note generally, if you have models you would like to see featured in American OO Today do be in touch, I like very much to cover items such as this that I don’t own and are only rarely seen.

UPDATE: The TCA article was also reprinted in the June 2011 issue of The OO Road. Also, on the topic of how many were produced, I did find in some paperwork a M.P. Davis foundry receipt for a run of 18 castings of a part (for this model), and that is a good guess as to the size of the runs he was looking at for these models.

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