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

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Winther Refrigerator Week: Part II, Decals

For part II we have two more refrigerator cars built by Howard Winther that are a bit easier to identify.

These two cars both look to be post-war Scale-Craft kits, lettered with decals. Their pre-war version of this car had sand cast bronze doors and roof hatches that were probably a bit too bulky looking to suit Howard Winther. The later production had a door stamped from brass sheet that was applied to the car side.

This first car, decorated for the Illinois Central, on first glance is pretty much a stock but nicely built late S-C kit. It is on Scale-Craft trucks and you can see the stock S-C ladders and other details. But then I look closer and wonder, is that actually a scribed Picard body? It really has the look. Or was Winther just such a craftsman that he added the wood board details himself? The stock S-C sides in their post-war production of this car were plain.
The second car also has a number of visible S-C parts. The hatches are replacements; the stock S-C postwar ice hatch was undersized and Winther knew he could do better. This car has no wood scribing on the sides and would seem to have the original S-C body. Then take a look at the trucks; these look to be Schorr trucks. Widely considered to be the best trucks ever sold in American OO, at least two batches of these were imported from Japan. They certainly are a lot better looking than the stock S-C trucks on the first car.

Both cars are nicely painted and decaled examples of classic OO models. The series will close later this week with three more great, early examples of OO craftsmanship.

Continue to Conclusion of Winther Series

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