Several years ago, I started to shoot portraits of the equipment that ran on my (now dismantled) S scale Port Rowan layout, and published them on my previous (now defunct) website. I always liked this series and I think others enjoyed it too, so I’m resurrecting it for this website – starting with replicating the original posts.
Here’s another selection of pieces, presented in no particular order. I’ve added some notes on each.
This is a resin kit from Funaro and Camerlengo. The company is better known for its HO scale resin kits, particularly of New England prototypes, but it also offers a couple of cars in 1:64 as well. I wish it would do more, as there are some interesting prototypes in the company’s catalogue. Pierre Oliver built this kit for me, while I did the weathering. I’m really pleased with the rusty interior, achieved with weathering powders.
This is a mixed media kit – etched brass sides and floor, wood roof, and cast details – produced by Andy Malette at MLW Services. (Without guys like Andy, I wouldn’t be modelling the CNR in S scale.) This combine – in its green over black scheme – was essential to running the mixed train in late 1950s sessions on my railway, when CNR 4-6-0s took over duties on the branch. Pierre Oliver built the kit for me, while I did a lot of the finishing work. My contributions included adding the train air and signal lines, the conductor and gate in the vestibule, the window glass (from microscope slide covers) and shades, the opaque toilet window glass, and the weathering. Not visible, but very important to operation, are the retrofits I did to the trucks. I added rigid beam compensation using laser cut parts designed and manufactured for me by Tim Warris, brass hat at Fast Tracks. The car tracks a whole lot more reliably than it did with the American Models rigid-frame trucks, which are one of the very few options for a six-wheel truck in S scale. This combine is also fitted with a DCC-enabled back-up whistle, using an old decoder from my parts box.
This is a resin kit from Jim King at Smoky Mountain Model Works, built by Pierre Oliver. It’s an unusual model to find on a lightly-trafficked branch line in southern Ontario, but these cars did come to Canada. The reality is, S scale doesn’t have the variety of rolling stock available in O scale – and barely registers compared to the variety that’s on offer in HO or N. So when a manufacturer takes the trouble to create a resin kit, scale modellers in 1:64 tend to buy one just to support the effort and then we figure out what to do with it. Fortunately, I my Port Rowan layout was set in August so I assumed the American owners of a huge chunk of land on Long Point were having a summer beach party and ordered a carload of melons from back home for the festivities. Rich people with summer houses in other countries can afford to do that type of thing…
This is a Pacific Rail Shops plastic kit that was custom-decorated for the NMRA as part of its Legends Of The Hobby line. As I’ve mentioned before, Bob Hegge and his Crooked Mountain Lines were a huge inspiration for me back in the 1970s and 1980s, and when I found one of these custom-decorated kits for sale I just had to grab it. I’m really glad I did. This car features an unusual brake-rigging system, with the main rod from the B-end running outside the truck instead of between the side frames. This allows the car to more easily negotiate traction-radius curves. I modelled this following photos and data from an HO scale Westerfield kit for a Pacific Electric boxcar. Other upgrades include a wood running board and plastic brake rods replaced with wire. I get a kick out of running this car every time…
This is a WA Drake and Company brass import of an 8,000 gallon Type 103 double-dome tank car. It came factory-painted. I like the double domes. And I’m really pleased with the weathering job I did on it. As with all of my freight cars, I added flexible train line air hoses from BTS to this car: They look better than the cast hoses that come on most brass cars and because they’re flexible, they don’t break off.
Burro Model 40
Dan Navarre at River Raisin Models imported 150 brass models of these popular MoW cranes in 1992. I found this model – unpainted – after posting a note to several newsgroups. I airbrushed the model with a warm black and weathered it with airbrush and powders. To do this, I had to unstring the rigging – making careful notes of the path of the cable so I could re-string it later. I added the operator to the cab. I also added DCC to this very small model, complete with an electronic flywheel to minimize stalling. (Later, I enhanced the model with sound – a real ship-in-a-bottle experience, which I shared in the September, 2017 issue of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine.) Unfortunately, these models do not run well: The motor is mounted vertically and makes a terrific thrashing sound. (The motor control features on modern DCC decoders definitely helped with this.) Regardless, it’s a great looking model that was a joy to photograph on the layout, so I’m really glad I have it.
I will continue to transfer and publish the original posts here as time allows. As I add to this series, I will collect all of these posts under the Portraits Category to make it easy to find them. I’ll also share photos of equipment I’ve acquired or built for other layouts, in S and other scales.