Re: [ResinFreightCarBuilders] RPM Chicagoland Photos


Since Steve Hile started his diagram with Clouser as generation 0, I'll take your input as more of a confirmation than a nomination. ;-)

Here's the timeline slide, that was published as one slide of a larger presentation:

 Hope that comes through in Groups IO ok.  The rest is on as mentioned earlier.

Mike Skibbe

On Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 3:52 PM Dennis Storzek <destorzek@...> wrote:
On Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 12:30 PM, skibbs4 wrote:
I'll offer to collect that information and get it correct online, to the extent we can agree <grin>.  And we can discuss the Steve Hile timeline, as I know he would appreciate feedback as well.  I think it's a history worth documenting, which was the motivation for what we did.  Now let's continue the conversation.
All the best,
Mike Skibbe

Well, I'll nominate William J. Clouser's WJC Custom Cast line as the beginning of COMMERCIAL resin kits. Others may have used what was at the time called "tooling resin" for personal parts, but the Clouser boxcars were the first product of this sort offered for sale. While Bill is better known for his traction models, IIRC the boxcars came first, and were actually developed because he needed accurate models to populate a courtroom display, illustrative courtroom models being a major portion of his custom model making business. Once the masters had been made on someone else's nickle, it was easy to produce more. I believe these became "proof of concept" for his later traction model line. I recall Bill being out at the Illinois Railway Museum in the very early seventies to gather measurements for the North Shore interurban that became his first traction offering, and the boxcars had been done several years earlier, perhaps in the late sixties. At any rate, at a time when MR articles were mentioning Cerro metal castings made in latex rubber molds, Clouser showed there were better materials.

And of course, there would be no cast resin models if it wasn't for Al Westerfield, who not only did extensive research on his prototypes in an era when accurate and complete data was hard to come by, but also developed a workable method of producing kits at a price that encouraged the market. Clouser 1/4" scale kits were nice, but they were pricey. By comparison, Al's kits were priced where the average modeler could actually believe that he could populate a layout with them. One thing that few mention is that before Al actually went into business, he basically published his whole methodology in the hobby press, in RMC, IIRC, in a series of articles in the late seventies.

While I was only producing resin kits for a couple years before moving on to other things, I would not have even known where to start without the knowledge of what these two individuals had already accomplished.

I should also mention Tom Madden, also a professional modelmaker, who lead the industry to its "second generation", consulting with and teaching several manufacturers the secrets of viable one piece resin bodies. 

I'm sure there are others who made significant contributions; these are the ones who stand out to me.

Dennis Storzek

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