Equipment Portraits :: 11

Boxcars: I sure have a lot of them in S scale. I had way more than I needed for Port Rowan in 1:64 – but I liked the variety. And my next S scale layout will have a greater need for equipment than that sleepy branch line did, so I have a head start on filling out the trains…

CPR 191200 and CPR 403726

My friend Pierre Oliver at Elgin Car Shops built, painted and lettered these these two Fowler patent boxcars for me, using resin kits from David Clubine and Ridgehill Scale Models. I did the final finishing – such as adding real wood roof walks – and the weathering. I like that the two models show different styles of Fowler car: One has a wood roof and door, while the other is rebuilt with a steel roof and door. The roof walks are different, too. It’s the little details like this that attract people to prototype modelling.

PRR 503798

This is a rarity in S scale – a modern, injection molded plastic kit. This PRR X29 was introduced by Des Plaines Hobbies at the 2013 NASG Convention, and since the prototype was ubiquitous it was easy to justify one for my layout. My friend Pierre Oliver actually asked if he could build this one for me, and I was happy to let him play with it. I did the weathering. Many manufacturers have abandoned kits in favour of ready-to-run models – while others have abandoned S scale altogether. So it’s great whenever a company like Des Plaines bucks the trend. Thanks for that!

Click on the Portraits category to find all posts in this series. If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with it.

Published by Trevor

Lifelong model railway enthusiast and retired amateur shepherd who trained a border collie to work sheep. Professional writer and editor, with some podcasting and Internet TV presenting work thrown in for good measure.

8 thoughts on “Equipment Portraits :: 11

  1. I liked your Canadian Fowlers especially the 191220 as built version. It appears that ACF snatched that design and lengthened it four feet for the cars produced for C&NW, which were otherwise virtual twins including the wood roofs and the lack of a lateral roofwalk at the ends. Kudos to you and Pierre and Ridgehill!
    (If I could figure out how to insert a picture I would post my C&NW models.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris:
      I must admit I know next to nothing about the history of these cars (or any others). With a limited selection of rolling stock available in S scale compared to HO, I’m basically happy with anything that ran in my chosen modelling era. I like the Fowlers because they’re only 36′ long and they add a different roof line to a train. I’m so glad Ridgehill did these kits and that Pierre built them for me while I was busy working on my layout…


      1. I believe Glenn Guerra (of Mullet River Models, O Scale Resource, etc.) will be giving a presentation on Fowler and Fowler patent cars at Cocoa Beach in January.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Eleven down, ??? to go. I enjoy seeing older rolling stock like these, in any scale. Sometimes the older types are hard to come by, except as resin kits.

    At one time I was looking to possibly build a 1930s layout and first went searching for locos and cars that fit into the time frame and came up short pretty quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It could be either.
      – Assuming my Niagara St. Catharines and Toronto Railway project becomes more than a car barn diorama (and I hope it does), I will need more equipment for an NS&T themed layout than I did for Port Rowan.
      – If I decide not to build more NS&T, then I would likely build an S scale CNR steam era layout – and it would also likely represent a busier prototype than Port Rowan. After starting Port Rowan I acquired locomotives and equipment that would never have run on that sleepy branch and I’d like to give them a place to run. My current layout space is also significantly larger than what I had for Port Rowan so I should be able to model part of a secondary main instead of a branch line terminal.


      1. Exactly!
        Also: Because Port Rowan was my first S scale layout, I picked a prototype for which I was confident I could find all the equipment to model it properly. I didn’t really know what was available in 1:64, and didn’t know what the aftermarket was for out-of-production models.
        Over the years, I found that if it was made at some point, I could probably find it with patience: There are a lot of personal stashes, exacerbated by an attitude in S scale that when you see something you’d better pick it up just in case, because it’s not likely to be produced again. Eventually most people realize they’re probably not going to use most of what they have and they will part with it if asked nicely.
        That’s how I acquired my RS-18, two scale test cars, Burro crane, MILW rib-side boxcar, and so on – even the Ambroid snow plow kit came from a stash.
        As well, I picked a smaller prototype that I could operate mostly solo. But I’ve found I rarely operate solo: If I have time for the hobby and no friends around, I tend to build things rather than run trains. So my next layout will have solo operation opportunities but should also support a group – something Port Rowan was not very good at. Operations for a group – even a small one – will require more equipment.


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