Re: Intermountain PFE Roof Color Variation Between Runs

Jerry Michels

Are you guys referring to the recent IMRC dealer's announcement of the wood-sided cars?  are these accurate.  I am doubtful, but would like some guidance on these cars.  They look pretty generic to me.

Jerry Michels

When did USRE Rebuild begin to appear

Bill Welch

USRE is/was the rebuilder of freight cars and used for corporate identity an outline of the continental United States stenciled on the side of boxcars that is easy to spot in photos. My question is does anyone know when this company began their business?

Bill Welch

Re: C&WC Rebuild

Bill Welch

The Innovative Model Works/Red Caboose roof is a perfect fit and considered the best rendition of the Murphy paneled roof. The InterMountain roof will also work.

Bill Welch

Re: [Proto-Layouts] Chicagoland Reports?


Hello Tony and all,
is there a way to contact Tricia? I have a claim!
Just kidding ;-) I believe that I was one of the very last customers ordering a bunch of kits (all PFE), and it took a while getting everything together. Tricia sent several letters with decals over 3 or 4 months until the order was complete. I just thought she might be delighted to see the first cars being very expertly completed (though still unpainted).
Many thanks.
Gesendet: Sonntag, 21. Oktober 2018 um 15:21 Uhr
Von: "Tony Thompson" <tony@...>
Betreff: Re: [RealSTMFC] [Proto-Layouts] Chicagoland Reports?
Very good meeting again under Mike Skibbe's able direction. I was delighted that Tricia Lofton attended and was very cheerful and friendly to everyone. She was recognized at the FOTFC dinner and seemed pleased.
Tony Thompson 

On Oct 21, 2018, at 7:27 AM, Eric Hansmann <eric@...> wrote:
I had a great time. I caught several solid presentations, missed a couple, too. There was a wide assortment of excellent modeling on display. 
It was great to spend time with friends and several Pre-Depression Era modelers. 
I took a fair number of photos but I need to hit the road for home. I hope to upload them to my pBase account as the week rolls along. 
Eric Hansmann
Murfreesboro, TN

On Oct 21, 2018, at 3:05 AM, golden1014 via Groups.Io <golden1014@...> wrote:
Hi Gents,
Any reports from Chicagoland yet?  I sure would like to be there...
John Golden
Albersbach, Germany

Resin casting - the view from here

Tom Madden

I’m feeling particularly reflective and aware of my own mortality after Sunday’s bittersweet celebration of life for my late wife, and want to set down my thoughts on the history of resin casting in the hobby from my viewpoint as a long-time resin caster. I apologize for the length and beg your indulgence, and hope this will add to the record rather than confuse it.


Tom Madden


In my Bell Labs career (1960-1994) I was fortunate enough to be awarded a number of patents. Each was the result of my perceiving a need, solving a problem, or seizing an opportunity. I'm proud of those patents, but the reality is, the needs, problems and opportunities were there for anybody, and if it hadn't been me, it would have been someone else. Most likely sooner rather than later. It's important to separate the true innovators from those whose contributions are founded on the work of others, or who just happen to come along at the right time. ("When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.")

Bill Clouser was certainly an innovator, but for me it's because of his articles on using Strathmore papers for modeling. (The Strathmore Story, MR, February & March 1959. Later that same year another innovator, Al Armitage, had his landmark articles on styrene modeling appear in MR.) By the mid-'60s a number of us were, as Dennis mentioned, using tooling resin (epoxy) to cast parts in silicone rubber molds for personal use. Bill's casting was the ultimate expression of that technology, and his work was superb. Problem was, epoxy is a very aggressive casting medium and you'd be lucky to get 6 or 8 good parts from a mold. I was making some very nice HOn3 parts using Ren and Ciba-Geigy epoxies, but cost wise I couldn't compete with brass parts, let alone with Grandt Line plastic parts when they came along. All credit to Bill Clouser for seeing the bigger picture and being the first to offer commercial cast resin parts, but he wasn't the only one using the technology at the time.

The true innovator for resin casting in the hobby was, at least for me, Jack Work, with his March 1961 MR article on cold detail casting in rubber molds. He used Devcon Liquid Steel, a thick, solvent-based putty-like material available in both tubes and cans. You'd squeegee it into an open faced mold, smooth the back, let the solvent evaporate, and 10 or 15 minutes later (for small parts) pop the now-hardened part out of the mold. About the time Jack's article came out a rep for either GE or Dow visited my lab to show some new semiconductor potting compounds. One was a liquid rubber material which didn't need heat to vulcanize, you just mixed two components together and it self-cured. They called it "Ready to Vulcanize" or "RTV" for short. The rep left a pint sample with us, a coworker glued a nickel to a glass plate and with cut-up tongue depressors made a little box around it. We mixed up some of the new material and filled the box with it, came in the next morning and melted some Woods Metal (a low melting point alloy like CerroBend) and poured it into the mold cavity. A half hour later, using a mere $5 worth of Woods Metal, we had a dozen single-sided cast metal nickels to play with. (In retrospect, the economics of that were about the same as for my later cast epoxy parts.)

We eventually threw the cast coins back in the melt pot, but that weekend I went to the hardware store and bought a can of Liquid Steel. The HOn3 market was served with brass parts by Kemtron, Balboa (under the Slim Princess label), and an outfit in Texas called Slim Gems. I was building a bunch of D&RGW HOn3 box cars, passenger cars and cabooses using Clouser's layered Strathmore construction technique and needed lots of detail parts. Availability was the problem, not affordability, so I proceeded to duplicate everything from coupler pockets to truck side frames with Liquid Steel following Jack's article. Even made some two sided "squash molds" for doing side frames so I could incorporate the bearing holes. (Liquid Steel had a component which made it self-lubricating so the bearing holes didn't wear.)

The cold-cast Liquid Steel parts were hard and looked good, but they had hardened by drying, not by curing, and lacked cohesive strength. Great for surface details, not good for structural parts. This didn't become an issue until 1964, when in the course of re-detailing one of my two PFM HOn3 K-27 locos my pliers slipped when I was attempting to remove the number board and I gouged a smiley face into the smoke box front. I was horrified and terrified - we hadn't started a family so Gail was still working, but I thought I had destroyed a model that had cost over 10% of my monthly pre-tax income! It took a week or two before I could consider the problem rationally, but I ended up completely unsoldering all the parts of the other K-27's smoke box front, making an RTV mold of it, and casting duplicates - not from Liquid Steel, but from Ciba's Araldite potting compound. Araldite was a clear epoxy so you could see any entrapped bubbles. Slightly heating the mix reduced the viscosity enough for the bubbles to float out before it "kicked". Much to my relief the replacement smoke box front was a perfect reproduction. So much so that I also duplicated the headlight, headlight bracket, number board and marker lights in Araldite.

So my casting experience started in 1961, and my resin casting in 1964 in a clear case of necessity being the mother of invention. I gave up on epoxy casting before we moved to Colorado in 1970, and never did any casting for the rest of my HOn3 days, which lasted into 1986. It was all personal so I make no claim for being a contributor, let alone an innovator. But it did give me a considerable advantage in experience and insight when urethane resins came along in the 1980's.

I'm not exactly sure of the timing, but it was after I'd abandoned HOn3 modeling, after I'd discovered the articles by Dennis, Richard and Al that continue to inspire so many of us, and clearly after the introduction of Al's and Dennis' kits. At a printed circuit manufacturing trade show in Anaheim I found a company, Conap, offering a new resin that claimed many advantages over epoxy - not as an adhesive, but as a casting and encapsulating material. It was, of course, urethane resin. I gave them my card ("Advanced Printed Circuit Laboratory Supervisor" - a title much more grand than the position, considering I supervised only six people) and asked if they could possibly send me a sample. I must confess to ulterior motives - I had no use for the resin in my lab, but I knew, as Dennis discovered several years prior, that this was the casting material I had been waiting for. A week later a package arrived containing two one-gallon containers - one each of part A and part B to be mixed 1:1 by weight - and a spray can of mold release.


Imagine my delight, after those early epoxy casting days, of being able to get 30 or more parts from a mold. Those two gallons of material lasted several years, during the course of which I began an extensive correspondence with Richard Hendrickson and, instead of building his WestRail PFE R-40-23 kit, made all the mods and converted it into a set of patterns for flat casting. In May 1994, two months after I retired, I drove out to the UPHS convention in Ontario, CA, bringing with me a multi-panel display of the R-40-23 showing all the steps from pattern making to finished model. The last panel read: “Gnash teeth in frustration when InterMountain announces injection molded plastic model of the same prototype”.


A year later I literally fell into the opportunity of a lifetime when a former neighbor, seeing my hobby casting setup, insisted I join his newly-formed rapid prototyping company. I stayed for 21 years. Experience in that field, now known as 3D printing, exposed me to industrial resin casting in all its glory – multi-part molds, vacuum assisted mold filling, pressure curing, heat treatments, rigid and flex resins and all that. I couldn’t wait to bring it to the hobby. With more enthusiasm than it deserved, I brought it to the attention of Al and Martin, then later to Jon Cagle, two potential resin casters for Ted, Gene Fusco and Aaron Gjermundsen. Al, Jon, Gene and Aaron were success stories, the two for Ted not so much. And Martin, while declining to add closed mold casting and one piece bodies to his personal skill set, was successful in conning convincing me to cast some 1500 tank car shell sets for Sunshine.


Am I an innovator? I don’t think so – more of a facilitator. I’m certainly pleased with the contributions I’ve been able to make, but as with the patent example back in the first paragraph, if it hadn’t been me, it would have been someone else. I’ve also been in the right place at the right time, a number of times, and am not unaware of the role luck has played in what I’ve been able to do and experience. It’s been a helluva ride.

C&WC Rebuild

Bruce Griffin


Probably a simple answer, but I hoping someone can point me to a source for a roof for a Chad Boas Charlston & Western Carolina Double Door rebuild that requires a Intermountain 40' panel roof. I believe that the red caboose roof is preferable but I do not have one and Andy Carlson cannot find his stash to sell one. 

So so my question is does anyone have a red caboose roof for this resin/bash or can anyone tell me what I looking for?  There is a train show in Timonium this weekend so I can search there.  Any help appreciated.  If anyone is going to the Timonium show I can offer recommendations for the best crab cake in Maryland and it is not where you think.  Thank you for your consideration.

Best Regards,
Bruce Griffin
Ashland , MD just off the NCR Trail

Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

Paul Koehler



I believe you are thinking of Paul Jansen.  He and his understudy Mike Davis painted most of the Westside Models for Dick Truesdale.


Paul C. Koehler


From: [] On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2018 6:43 PM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] RPM Chicagoland Photos


I don't remember those articles (I was an avid teenage reader of all things railroads)
but I do remember being very impressed in those days by the models of Paul ...[?? damn
another brain cramp] and his beautifully WEATHERED Southern Pacific steam locomotives in
the pages of Model Railroder - at a time when very few people (other than John Allen)
were weathering any of their models.

RPM isn't just rolling stock!

Tim O'Connor

As a impressionable teenager, I remember just being entranced by the March 1971 Model Railroader cover which featured Bill Clouser's O Scale boxcars on the cover. The detail for freight cars was incredible for the time.

There is an interview of Bill by Bob Hegge in the MR issue where Bill describes the process in how he builds a model to make molds. There is several pictures of his completed model work along with a picture of a number of different boxcar ends waiting to be used. He discusses initially selling these boxcars in the "Ultra-Scale" line in the late 1960s. He discontinued selling them by the time the article was published, but said because terrific response, he was thinking about reissuing them. Perhaps someone knows if he did.

A worthwhile read to see the thoughts of a early modeler casting resin kits.

Bill Hirt

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Re: history (was RPM Chicagoland Photos)

Robert kirkham

Some additional names inserted below

Rob Kirkham

From: <> On Behalf Of Tim O'Connor
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2018 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] history (was RPM Chicagoland Photos)


Let me help you remember a little more -

Smoky Mountain (Jim King?)
Blue Ridge Historics
CHOOCH - ULTRA SCALE kits (O scale)
Pittsburgh Scale Models (Byron Rose, also a pattern maker)
Randy Anderson (pattern maker)
Joe Pennington (WONDERFUL resin detail parts for freight cars)
Dan Kirlin (resin detail parts maker, now owned by Yarmouth)
Steam Shack (Central Vermont and Rutland kits)
Norwest Kits - Brian Pate (Canadian kits)
Sparrow Point (John Green)
Pocahontas Models (N&W box cars)
OnTrak Models (highway trailers)
Kaslo Car Shops

Yankee Clipper

and ... oh damn I've forgotten ... a dealer who sold wonderful O scale resin car
models at Naperville for years, as one piece bodies ... Ted Schnepf !! =D>

and passenger car parts makers whose names escape me.

and TOM MADDEN (not mentioned)

Just trying to help! :-)

Tim O'Connor

Attendees know that we mentioned and expanded on every resin car manufacturer that we could think of. There were no huge omissions, and Dennis Storzek was mentioned for his contributions as well. We even had the early sawtooth Soo Line boxcars out on the timeline tables.

I went ahead an posted Steve Hile's presentation online here, which should help frame this conversation in a more inclusive light:

Mike Skibbe

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Re: Poultry Cars at RPM - Presentation & Handout

Mel Chase

That was the best presentation documentation ever.  No Bullets like many presentations, but many pictures and detail explanations, it is a keeper.

Thank you Kristin and Jeremy.

Mel Chase
Lansing, IL

Re: Poultry Cars at RPM - Presentation & Handout

Jared Harper

I am trying to gather info. on the cardboard boxes used for shipping live chicks.  I would like to build models of some of these boxes as scenic elements at stations on my May 1943, Alma branch layout.  I really need good pictures and measurements.


Jared Harper
Athens, GA

Re: Poultry Cars at RPM - Presentation & Handout

Brad Andonian

Absolutely fantastic!

Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

On Monday, October 22, 2018, 2:23 PM, Jeremy Dummler <jkdummler@...> wrote:

The presentation that my wife, Kristin Dummler, gave on Poultry Cars at RPM Chicagoland along with her handout is now available for download at:

There are only 3 options there, one for my Low Vision clinic handout, and then her handout and complete presentation.  

Thank you,
Jeremy Dummler
Wauconda, IL

Re: Intermountain PFE Roof Color Variation Between Runs

Tony Thompson

Nelson Moyer wrote:

I just received a preorder for Intermountain PFE  R-40-23 reefers, and the roofs are much lighter and redder than all of the other Intermountain PFE reefers I have. I attached a photo of an Intermountain PFE R-40-10 with the R-40-23 to illustrate the problem. Is this range of colors acceptable, or did Intermountain and their Chinese factory botch the R-40-23 run? I hate it that we have to buy pigs in pokes.

     Tim is basically right, they need weathered anyway, but the red roof at right is way too red, in my view. And BTW, not the first time IM has done this.  They also do all kinds of variations on the orange, despite help with both colors. I suspect they turn the factory loose to do what works.

Tony Thompson             Editor, Signature Press, Berkeley, CA
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; e-mail, tony@...
Publishers of books on railroad history

Re: Intermountain PFE Roof Color Variation Between Runs

Tim O'Connor


The R-40-10 is a post-1949 REPAINT. The R-40-23 is the "as delivered" paint. Both of them need to
be weathered, so why worry about it? :-|

Tim O'Connor

I just received a preorder for Intermountain PFE  R-40-23 reefers, and the roofs are much lighter and redder than all of the other Intermountain PFE reefers I have. I attached a photo of an Intermountain PFE R-40-10 with the R-40-23 to illustrate the problem. Is this range of colors acceptable, or did Intermountain and their Chinese factory botch the R-40-23 run? I hate it that we have to buy pigs in pokes.
Nelson Moyer


Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Intermountain PFE Roof Color Variation Between Runs

Nelson Moyer

I just received a preorder for Intermountain PFE  R-40-23 reefers, and the roofs are much lighter and redder than all of the other Intermountain PFE reefers I have. I attached a photo of an Intermountain PFE R-40-10 with the R-40-23 to illustrate the problem. Is this range of colors acceptable, or did Intermountain and their Chinese factory botch the R-40-23 run? I hate it that we have to buy pigs in pokes.


Nelson Moyer

Chicagoland photos

Ted Culotta

I have uploaded some photos to complement those posted by others. Please click the blog link below to view....

Ted Culotta
Speedwitch Media
P.O. Box 392, Guilford, CT 06437

Re: [ResinFreightCarBuilders] RPM Chicagoland Photos

Benjamin Hom

Dennis Storzek wrote:
"The first in depth article about a prototype freightcar I recall was on the X29 boxcar in the original Prototype Modeler magazine sometime in the mid to late seventies. It was like, wow, why can't we have histories like this for all the cars. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the author's name."

Jack Amerine and Jeff Freeman, October 1978 issue of Prototype Modeler.

Ben Hom

Re: [ResinFreightCarBuilders] RPM Chicagoland Photos

Dennis Storzek

On Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 02:07 PM, skibbs4 wrote:
Here's the timeline slide, that was published as one slide of a larger presentation:

I can add a little more detail to the disposition of my line, for what it's worth.

Beginning in 1983, about a year after Al Westerfield started, I ultimately offered five kits, some in multiple road names:

A Soo Line wood caboose. I wanted to do a freightcar, but couldn't convince myself there was a market for freightcars at the price I'd need to get, and thought the caboose was a safer bet...

The Soo Line "sawtooth" boxcar, which is the kit I really wanted to do... I had to measure a prototype and do my own drawings.

A NYC double sheathed boxcar and auto car, also available with NKP and DSS&A lettering, and then a Rutland version of each with different ends. Someone wanted the South Shore version, and steered me to the NYC drawings published in the CBC and one extant car at the museum in North Freedom. This was a project that just kept growing, as modelers following other roads (NKP, Rutland) noticed the similarity and provided additional information to make them happen.

A Canadian Gov't Railways / CN single sheathed boxcar. This one was promoted by Stafford Swain, who arranged for Ken Goslett to did the builders drawings out of the archives of the Canadian Railway Historical Society museum at Delson, PQ.

Along about this time I asked Grandt Line about the possibility of doing a standard gauge KC brake set to replace the CalScale set that had just gone out of production, and Dave asked for anticipated volume. This caused the rude awakening that while I was making many more different kits, sales volume had been essentially flat since my second year, and this was never going to be a full time business, so I turned my energies elsewhere.

At this time, 1986 or '87, DesPlaines Hobby (not DesPlaines Valley) was still a partnership, and Ron Sebastian's partner (Bob Dennis, IIRC) was interested in expanding the business into manufacturing, and I sold the entire line and production equipment. Within a year or so the partnership dissolved, leaving the resin kit line an orphan. Most of my line died then and there. DesPlaines Hobby eventually copied the caboose as an injection molded flat kit, and Westerfield did new patterns of the NYC cars and put them in his line, rendering my older work moot. Some years later, the Soo Line Historical & Technical Society asked me about the boxcar patterns, since the car had been off the market for at least a decade. This resulted in the Society purchasing the rights to the design, which they then licensed to Speedwitch, and Ted turned first generation parts that I had retained into a one-piece body, while supplying a revised floor pattern. This is the only one of my kits that lives on; I have no idea what ever happened to the CN car, although I used drawings of a similar CN car as the basis for an Accurail kit.

I point this all out because the flow chart seems to imply that Speedwitch was somehow a continuation of my line, which is by no means true, except for that one kit.

Dennis Storzek

Re: Castle Graphics TCG wooden boxcar

Rick Bess

Actually, that car was only marketed by Cameron Scale Models also.  But as the discussion is going on about resin manufacturers, in O Scale, a few years before Rails Unlimited started selling resin cars, Robert Ferris of Cameron Scale Models started selling resin cars and then started producing resin freight and traction cars(before that he built custom made RTR brass cars, usually 50' flat cars). He eventually transitioned into marketing built up ready to run resin cars for specific customers and has done that ever since.


Rick Bess in (ashamed to say)Illinois

Re: [ResinFreightCarBuilders] RPM Chicagoland Photos

Dennis Storzek

On Mon, Oct 22, 2018 at 03:38 PM, Peter Ness wrote:
For example, I know (from reading, not memory!) that Frank Ellison was writing articles on prototype modeling in the 1930’s…there were others as well.
Peter, I don't know if Frank Ellison really fits that image, from the articles he authored that I recall reading in back issues, his mantra was realistic OPERATION, where instead of running 'round and 'round in a circle, a train departed from a yard, worked its way across the layout, and finally terminated in a yard, although the track plan I vaguely remember showed that one yard was common to both ends of his layout. "A model railroad is a play", If I remember his statement correctly, " the layout the stage, the trains the players, the schedule the script." As to equipment, he reportedly would remove the pilot and trailing trucks on some locomotives, to cut down on derailments. So much for prototype fidelity.

The author I recall first pointing out that the way to build a convincing model was to find a neat prototype and follow it was one time MR editor Paul Larson, although he was concentrating on structures. The scratchbuilt structures for his Mineral Point & Northern that he wrote up for RMC after he left MR were real gems.

The first in depth article about a prototype freightcar I recall was on the X29 boxcar in the original Prototype Modeler magazine sometime in the mid to late seventies. It was like, wow, why can't we have histories like this for all the cars. Unfortunately, I have forgotten the author's name.

Dennis Storzek

Re: RPM Chicagoland Photos

Tim O'Connor

The Delta Lines!! Hugely influential. My Dad's HO scale dream layout (never built) was
based on the Delta Lines design (O scale). When I bought my first house, I also came up
with a ridiculously ambitious track plan based on the DL. In those days I could "duck
under" without injuring myself. :-) And then along came John Armstrong...

Question: Who first popularized "shelf" style, "walk around" model railroads? A major
RPM milestone, IMO.

Tim O'

Peter Ness wrote

 > I know... that Frank Ellison was writing articles on prototype modeling in the 1930's

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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