O Scale 70-ton AAR flat car kit potential?

Rob Adams

I apologize for the cross-posting but am trying to make sure that all potentially interested O Scale modelers see this.�

Jim King of Smoky Mountain Model Works is considering producing products for the O Scale market again.� Those of you familiar with his original O Scale effort, the Southern Railway flat car and composite gondola derivative already know that his products are excellent, as are his current offerings in S Scale.

In June, Jim floated the idea of producing O Scale kits for the Seaboard Air Line Class B-7 round roof box car and possibly the CB&Q Class FM-14 flat car.� Both are neat cars and I would welcome kits for both by voting with my pocketbook.� Unfortunately, the reaction he received from the O Scale modeling community was muted, and his preliminary conclusion is that insufficient interest exists to move forward.� I find this very disappointing.� (If you failed to vote your support by touching base with him, then please correct that omission now!)

I suggested that he also consider producing the 70-ton AAR flat car.� In O Scale, it would be a very versatile steam and transition-era model to have a kit for, and they were used by the railroads in many capacities, even early TOFC service in the case of the Wabash.� They were in revenue service well into the 70's and beyond.�

Because of the many details present, flat cars are neat pieces of rolling stock on their own, and with the variety of loads that can be put on them, they make for some of the most interesting freight cars on a railroad.

I don't know how many of you bought one of the original SMMW O scale kits for the 42' Southern Railway flat car, or the composite gondola derivative, but they are exquisite kits and build into gorgeous models.� The engineering of the kit is quite notable, and in my opinion, the quality of the resin castings surpasses all the other products in O, except perhaps that used by Jon Cagle at Southern Car and Foundry.� I still have a couple of un-built SMMW Southern Ry kits and the body castings remain "arrow-straight" even after several years of storage.��

I have no ties to Smoky Mountain Model Works, but have owned their HO and O scale products and am a delighted customer.� That we might be able to have their products available again in O Scale is a prospect we should embrace with the utmost enthusiasm.� I think the 70-ton AAR flat car would be a winner I'd certainly buy some of the kits.� I encourage my fellow modelers to step forward and express their interest so that Jim can objectively assess whether O Scale represents a viable market.� Please contact him with your potential interest in a kit for the AAR 70-ton Flat Car.

Here is a partial list of roads owning the 70-ton AAR flat:

  • Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe ���
  • Baltimore & Ohio ���
  • Central Railroad of New Jersey
  • CRP
  • Chesapeake & Ohio
  • Delaware & Hudson ���
  • Detroit, Toledo & Ironton
  • Erie ���
  • Erie Lackawanna ���
  • Indiana Harbor Belt
  • New Haven
  • New York Central ���
  • Penn Central ���
  • Pere Marquette ���
  • Wabash ���
  • Western Maryland

Other reasons for the potential appeal of the 70-ton AAR Flat (merging my thoughts with those of Jack Mullen)
  • Not yet produced in O
  • There are significant visual differences between the 70-ton and 50-ton AAR flats (the 50-ton variant has already been produced in O by Pacific Limited and Chooch)
  • The 70-ton car was a standard flat model owned by a number of major RRs - and remember flatcars were freely interchanged, and roamed nationwide
  • They were built Circa 1940-1953, and most still in service decades later, lasting from the steam era well into 2nd generation diesel era
  • Some roads added bulkheads to their cars, providing another variant
  • Some were used in early TOFC service
  • Good data available, Drawings and some photos appear in the 1943 CBC
  • Bob's Photos and other vendors have photos available for producing lettering sets
Please contact Jim King and let him know of your potential interest in O Scale Kits.� See for more information about his S Scale products.� E-mail is jimking3@...

Thanks for entertaining this prospect.

Kind regards,

Rob Adams
Wellman, IA

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: [p48_modeler] 70-ton AAR flat car kit potential?
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 22:31:50 -0400
From: 'SMMW' jimking3@... [p48_modeler]
Reply-To: p48_modeler@...
To: p48_modeler@...


Rob Adams posted an alternative to my proposed CB&Q FM14/14A flat car kit to this group on July 11th, the 70-ton AAR flat car that was purchased by at least 16 roads.� According to Rob, this car has not been produced in O scale and, as far as I can determine, not in S, although there are two sources for a 50-tonner which may satisfy the majority of the S market.


I have received no replies directly from list members and do not recall seeing any conversation on this list.� Is this a viable kit or not?� Without your input, my decision to produce it in O moves to the conservative side:� not gonna happen.


Please take the time to voice your opinion regarding his idea. �YOU represent the vast majority of O scale modelers and YOU determine what is and is not produced.� I consider silence the same as �not interested�.


Jim King

(828) 777-5619



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