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

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Scale-Craft OO Trucks -- in Bronze? -- and Nason

Scale-Craft OO trucks of all styles had die-cast side frames. They are very commonly seen OO gauge items, and can be set up to operate great today. (Some tips on this topic start here). Then we get to these side frames.

These came to me in a recent donation to the OO Inventory of the OO SIG. What someone did was take standard Scale-Craft OO side frames for the 4-8-4 tender truck, the standard freight truck, and the four and six-wheel passenger trucks, and have them re-cast in bronze. In other words, the die cast originals were used to as master patterns for sand casting copies of the Scale-Craft parts. (More on sand casting here).

Why? Really, these side frames are not very usable, it would take a great deal of effort to build them up as operating trucks. But then again, they are sort of neat items to hold in your hand, bronze sand castings have their own artistic charm. An oddity to be sure from the workshop of some OO gauger of years gone by.

UPDATE: Prompted by the comments below this second photo is of the comparable Nason sideframes. Looking first at the six-wheel passenger truck, the key details are the finer cross section, the round mounting pins, and especially the open areas in the casting. These were absent on the Scale-Craft trucks. Note also in the back the example of the same part in aluminum; these are not nearly as commonly seen. Next we have the four wheel passenger truck. Note again the different proportions, the open areas, and also the lack of brake beam details seen on the S-C truck. The flipped over example shows that the back has had the pin area drilled out and tapped for screws. Finally in the upper left note the Nason tender trucks from their 4-6-4. Again, different proportions compared to S-C and it is set up to have the pins drilled out and tapped for screws, although many Nason trucks were built up by soldering them together (rebuilding these is a special challenge).

I have a fair number of Nason trucks and truck castings on hand as well. Those trucks that have been built up periodically I work on. They are often touchy to get running well compared to S-C, but do have a unique look that is worth the effort. See also this article for photos of built up Nason passenger trucks on and off the rare Nason sand cast cars.


Steve Neubaum said...

I wonder if perhaps these were a casting prototype, if someone had the idea to recast the S-C trucks after they went out of business. That would be a real interesting "What could have been"!

ruxtonite said...

I beleive these to be M.P. Davis. I'm posting a couple pictures in the photo album today. Built up two different ways and actuallly run nicely down the rails.

John Ericson said...

I can believe that M. P. Davis might have cast these, or had them cast as part of a run of castings. He loved sand castings. These trucks could be built up, but I would probably need to upgrade my machine shop to do it.

John Ericson said...

It is worth noting too, when cast in Bronze S-C passenger trucks look a lot like Nason trucks on the outer surfaces, but there are differences of proportions and details.