John Riddell recently alerted me to the fact that Life-Like Canada has
recently issued some new HO scale trucks which are intended primarily for
their Dominion box car models but are also available separately. John sent
me some for evaluation, and they arrived in today's mail.
The model trucks are described as "1934 AAR trucks with Simplex bolsters"
and carry L-L Canada part number 212560. They're like other L-L Proto 2000
trucks, with sharply molded one-piece frames in engineering plastic
(although they don't have molded-on brake shoes) and die-cast metal
rib-backed wheels on nylon axles.
These new trucks represent ARA/AAR cast steel trucks with integral journal
boxes, spring planks, and Simplex bolsters. Aside from the bolsters,
they're typical of many 40 and 50 ton trucks used on North American freight
cars from the early 1920s through the early 1950s. The bolster ends are
distinctive, as they are flat rectangles with prominent "SIMPLEX" lettering
molded into them, but Simplex bolsters were widely used in both the U.S.
and Canada, and a bit of work with a file would modify them to represent
other types of solid-end bolsters.
As there are few good HO scale replicas of cast steel trucks from this era
spring planks - the only ones I know about are made by Accurail and Model
Die Casting, and the MDC trucks represent an uncommon prototype - these new
trucks from L-L Canada are a significant addition to the available HO scale
truck options. I don't know whether they will be available from L-L
dealers in the U.S., so it may be necessary to smuggle them into the
country from Canada, where the current price is equivalent to $3.25 USD.
Richard H. Hendrickson
Ashland, Oregon 97520