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

Saturday, March 21, 2020

A NW-2 from the WCS, part 1: a first look

Regular readers know I have a group of models built by James Trout. That he was quite a fine craftsman is an understatement, as he was in real life a Disney illustrator (more here).

This NW-2 very recently joined my group of Trout models. It is lettered for his personal road, the West Coast Southern, of which I have other models such as this gondola and this caboose.

In the photos here it is seen with a stock version of the Super-Scale NW-2 (more here), which is used as the basis for his model, and also a 3D printed Shapeways SW-7 (more here).

He modified his model and upgraded it in a number of ways. The most obvious and visually helpful modification was the cab. The Super-Scale cab has always seemed a bit off to me, and now it is clear why: It is not long enough, window shapes are off, and the back step is clunky. Trout fixed all those things by replacing the cab sides and modifying the ends. The front side really looks nice with the characteristic look of the NW-2 windows, which was a key modification.

There are other modifications to the body, but the other big change, only somewhat visible in the photos, is he completely redid the steps in brass. The detail is much finer and pleasing to the eye, with see through treads.

Also I should note the lettering, like most of his other models, was done by hand with his steady, artist hand.

As the model arrived it has sideframes but no other parts from the original drive. At first I was a little disappointed, but then I realized this was a blessing, as I can work out a new drive that would require only minimal changes to the frame, but otherwise the model will remain visually exactly as it is now.

I’d love to get this running using the Athearn drive parts I have used numerous times now. I have WAY too many projects going, but this one is going to be pushed ahead a bit in the line, be watching for more in the coming months.

Continue to Part 2

Sunday, March 15, 2020

A complete Nason cast boxcar kit

Part of a recent purchase included – finally! – a complete example of the Nason cast boxcar kit. The article where I introduce this model is here. 

Also, I reproduced castings for this model in resin castings after finding some incomplete examples. Some finished models from that project are seen in this article, which is in the middle of that series of articles.

To the present kit (click on the photo for a closer view), I think first the box is interesting, as it has that Nason label pasted on (and it is a thin, flat box), but even more interesting is that blueprint. It was prepared in December of 1934 and updated twice in January 1935. So the model was introduced to the market in 1935. I’m particularly intrigued by the final step in the instructions, “Give car a coat of filler & paint & letter as desired.” The castings are aluminum and a little rough, the idea was to instead of sanding them down to use a filler to smooth things out a bit. I’ve tried the same thing with 3D printed models, it was not a cure-all, but Mr. Surfacer was helpful (more here). I'll have to pick up another couple cans of it sometime.

In any case, this was an exciting find, I’ve been looking for one of these for years. It certainly falls in the category of interesting and important models produced in the early years of our hobby, one to keep your eye peeled for.