History of Prototype Freight Car Modeling


Bill Welch
 

As some of you will remember from posts I made in the fall of 2011, I want to put together materials to create a history of modeling freight cars more accurately and more prototypically. I now have some good materials about the early offerings of Al Westerfield and the materials that publicized the releases of Westrail and Dennis Storzek. F&C is putting some materials together for me and I will be talking w/Martin about Sunshine's initial offerings.

Here are somethings I need your help with.

Materials related to Roller Bearing models--instructions, ads, kit lists, etc. It would especially be helpful to know when they started advertising. Also photos of built-up models.

Materials related to the Rail Progress hopper kits. (Do I have the correct name for this line?) Again built up model photos would be appreciated.

It could be argued that two seminal articles related to how our niche in the hobby has developed were Dennis Storzek's article on 5 things to do to improve existing styrene freight car models. This appeared sometime in the 1980's. Can someone provide scans of this article?

Bill Clouser's articles on using rubber molds and polyester (was that the material?) to make copies of parts, components, etc. Not sure of the dates or how many articles there were. Ned scans of at least one of these.

Arguably Prototype Modeler magazine helped change the thinking and orientation for some of us. I would love to have scans of the cover of the first few issues of this.

The seminal styrene kit I think it could be argued was the "Innovative Model Works" 1937 boxcar kit. When was this kit introduced. Does anyone have any good stories about the development of this model by Jerry Porter they can send me?

Can anyone furnish me with info about the beginnings of McKean, Front Range, and C&BT, i.e. the people involved, initial offerings, and or course nicely built up models.

Anecdotes about these pioneering styrene efforts and the people involved would be appreciated.

One more item and this may start an argument. Do we know who night have first used the term "Prototype" to describe the approach to what we are doing, either specifically to modeling, or more generally to the model railroading hobby.

I am planning to talk about this history from the 1/87th scale perspective because that is what I know. Tentatively this will be a presentation at Naperville and Cocoa Beach and I will consider how to make the presentation available to others for them to do a presentation.

Bill Welch
2225 Nursery Road; #20-104
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727-470-9930
fgexbill@...


Rossiter, Mark W <Mark.Rossiter@...>
 

There was a flurry articles by various members of the RPI's NEB&W club
in the early to mid 1980's that started the ball rolling for me. Not
long after, the Storzek Soo Line and Rutland DS box car kits in resin
came along. That was when I turned my back on Athearn blue box kits
forever.



- - Mark


midrly <midrly@...>
 

A lot of those articles were in Mainline Modeler, a magazine that for the time produced some cutting edge modelling, IMHO.

Two gentlemen on this list should take a bow here.

I have two of Dennis Storzek's CN steel-frame boxcars. Still to me, one of the nicest, best detailed, and easy-to-assemble resin kits that I've ever built.

Al Westerfield was a prolific maker of resin kits, which were likewise easy to build, and dead accurate models. What can I add? Still nice models by today's standards.

Gould Company was likely the first to make a well-detailed styrene kit in HO that was better than brass in detail. I don't know the chronological order, but the 120-ton Industrial wrecking crane and USRA steel-frame boxcar were leaders in commercially made prototype STMFC kits. And Gould's tank car, though a model of a car which was never built, nonetheless set a new standard for a STMFC model. Criticise it all that you want to--how many of us on this list that model in HO scale don't have at least one?? Tweak the Tichy tank car kit a little, and it makes a nice "War Emergency" car.

Steve Lucas.

--- In STMFC@..., "Rossiter, Mark W" <Mark.Rossiter@...> wrote:

There was a flurry articles by various members of the RPI's NEB&W club
in the early to mid 1980's that started the ball rolling for me. Not
long after, the Storzek Soo Line and Rutland DS box car kits in resin
came along. That was when I turned my back on Athearn blue box kits
forever.



- - Mark





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Armand Premo
 

Please do not forget the work of the RPI group.'They were pioneers.Armand Premo

----- Original Message -----
From: lnbill
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 12:39 PM
Subject: [STMFC] History of Prototype Freight Car Modeling



As some of you will remember from posts I made in the fall of 2011, I want to put together materials to create a history of modeling freight cars more accurately and more prototypically. I now have some good materials about the early offerings of Al Westerfield and the materials that publicized the releases of Westrail and Dennis Storzek. F&C is putting some materials together for me and I will be talking w/Martin about Sunshine's initial offerings.

Here are somethings I need your help with.

Materials related to Roller Bearing models--instructions, ads, kit lists, etc. It would especially be helpful to know when they started advertising. Also photos of built-up models.

Materials related to the Rail Progress hopper kits. (Do I have the correct name for this line?) Again built up model photos would be appreciated.

It could be argued that two seminal articles related to how our niche in the hobby has developed were Dennis Storzek's article on 5 things to do to improve existing styrene freight car models. This appeared sometime in the 1980's. Can someone provide scans of this article?

Bill Clouser's articles on using rubber molds and polyester (was that the material?) to make copies of parts, components, etc. Not sure of the dates or how many articles there were. Ned scans of at least one of these.

Arguably Prototype Modeler magazine helped change the thinking and orientation for some of us. I would love to have scans of the cover of the first few issues of this.

The seminal styrene kit I think it could be argued was the "Innovative Model Works" 1937 boxcar kit. When was this kit introduced. Does anyone have any good stories about the development of this model by Jerry Porter they can send me?

Can anyone furnish me with info about the beginnings of McKean, Front Range, and C&BT, i.e. the people involved, initial offerings, and or course nicely built up models.

Anecdotes about these pioneering styrene efforts and the people involved would be appreciated.

One more item and this may start an argument. Do we know who night have first used the term "Prototype" to describe the approach to what we are doing, either specifically to modeling, or more generally to the model railroading hobby.

I am planning to talk about this history from the 1/87th scale perspective because that is what I know. Tentatively this will be a presentation at Naperville and Cocoa Beach and I will consider how to make the presentation available to others for them to do a presentation.

Bill Welch
2225 Nursery Road; #20-104
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727-470-9930
fgexbill@...


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "lnbill" <fgexbill@...> wrote:


Bill Clouser's articles on using rubber molds and polyester (was that the material?) to make copies of parts, components, etc. Not sure of the dates or how many articles there were. Ned scans of at least one of these.

All Clouser's models were aluminum filled "tooling" epoxy.

Dennis


Bill Welch
 

Speaking of RPI and NEB&W, John Nehrich's Shop Talks had a big influence on me. Does anyone have a copy of the first issue or alternatively an early issue from which they could scan the cover and a few pages and send to me?

Bill Welch

--- In STMFC@..., "Rossiter, Mark W" <Mark.Rossiter@...> wrote:

There was a flurry articles by various members of the RPI's NEB&W club
in the early to mid 1980's that started the ball rolling for me. Not
long after, the Storzek Soo Line and Rutland DS box car kits in resin
came along. That was when I turned my back on Athearn blue box kits
forever.



- - Mark





[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Andy Carlson
 

Hi Bill,

Epoxy was the material Bill Clouser used for his castings, even to the end of
his casting career. When I first saw his O scale Dreadnaught end castings, I was
convinced that Bill must have been God.

The IMWX car was tooled by Frank Bromer of Intermountain as a "divorce
settlement", in lieu of cash, when Jerry left Intermountain as a founding
partner.

And please, don't forget Al Armitage's contributions to our hobby; without
styrene few resin kits would have made it to market.

-Andy Carlson
Ojai CA





________________________________
From: lnbill <fgexbill@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Wed, May 9, 2012 9:39:47 AM
Subject: [STMFC] History of Prototype Freight Car Modeling


As some of you will remember from posts I made in the fall of 2011, I want to
put together materials to create a history of modeling freight cars more
accurately and more prototypically. I now have some good materials about the
early offerings of Al Westerfield and the materials that publicized the releases
of Westrail and Dennis Storzek. F&C is putting some materials together for me
and I will be talking w/Martin about Sunshine's initial offerings.

Here are somethings I need your help with.

Materials related to Roller Bearing models--instructions, ads, kit lists, etc.
It would especially be helpful to know when they started advertising. Also
photos of built-up models.

Materials related to the Rail Progress hopper kits. (Do I have the correct name
for this line?) Again built up model photos would be appreciated.

It could be argued that two seminal articles related to how our niche in the
hobby has developed were Dennis Storzek's article on 5 things to do to improve
existing styrene freight car models. This appeared sometime in the 1980's. Can
someone provide scans of this article?

Bill Clouser's articles on using rubber molds and polyester (was that the
material?) to make copies of parts, components, etc. Not sure of the dates or
how many articles there were. Ned scans of at least one of these.

Arguably Prototype Modeler magazine helped change the thinking and orientation
for some of us. I would love to have scans of the cover of the first few issues
of this.

The seminal styrene kit I think it could be argued was the "Innovative Model
Works" 1937 boxcar kit. When was this kit introduced. Does anyone have any good
stories about the development of this model by Jerry Porter they can send me?

Can anyone furnish me with info about the beginnings of McKean, Front Range, and
C&BT, i.e. the people involved, initial offerings, and or course nicely built up
models.

Anecdotes about these pioneering styrene efforts and the people involved would
be appreciated.

One more item and this may start an argument. Do we know who night have first
used the term "Prototype" to describe the approach to what we are doing, either
specifically to modeling, or more generally to the model railroading hobby.


I am planning to talk about this history from the 1/87th scale perspective
because that is what I know. Tentatively this will be a presentation at
Naperville and Cocoa Beach and I will consider how to make the presentation
available to others for them to do a presentation.

Bill Welch
2225 Nursery Road; #20-104
Clearwater, FL 33764-7622
727-470-9930
fgexbill@...




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Andy Harman
 

At 04:39 PM 5/9/2012 +0000, you wrote:

Materials related to Roller Bearing models--instructions, ads, kit lists, etc. It would especially be helpful to know when they started advertising. Also photos of built-up models.
I bought an RBM kit around 1977. I think it was a tank car. I ebayed it some years ago unbuilt. I don't think that was their first kit though.

The seminal styrene kit I think it could be argued was the "Innovative Model Works" 1937 boxcar kit. When was this kit introduced. Does anyone have any good stories about the development of this model by Jerry Porter they can send me?
Did that predate the Intermountain Canadian Cylindrical?

My recollection of the first attempt outside the box by an upstart kit maker was the 70-ton ACF covered hopper by E&B Valley which was released in 1980 I believe. It was at the 1980 MRIA show that I first encountered Westerfield. The E&B stuff was crude but brought back the flat kit concept for a while, which allowed new prototypes to be tooled for less $$ than the one-piece standard Athearn was using.

Hard to believe that in the mid 1970s Athearn was so dominant that on any given layout 90 or even 100% of the freight cars were Athearn or Athearn based.

I suppose any history of prototype freight car modeling has to cover oopsies like the Gould tank car. Certainly a milestone in tooling refinement, if not prototypical accuracy.

One thing I've often wondered about is the lack of builder's photos after the steam era. It seems like the practice of taking high quality photos of the class car at the builder faded quickly after 1960. Either that or else they are simply not as accessible as the earlier ones. That has created a considerable gap between this era and the digital camera / film-free era in terms of coverage. Modeling the 1940s and 50s seems to actually be easier than modeling the 60s and 70s - not just in terms of available models but in terms of available photos.

I am planning to talk about this history from the 1/87th scale perspective because that is what I know. Tentatively this will be a presentation at Naperville and Cocoa Beach and I will consider how to make the presentation available to others for them to do a presentation.
Now this I'd sit still in a crowded stuffy room for :-) I rarely attend clinics but this one I wouldn't miss. Keep us posted... I hope to be making Naperville this year and of course Cocoa next year to keep my streak alive.

Andy


Andy Harman
 

At 01:03 PM 5/9/2012 -0400, you wrote:
long after, the Storzek Soo Line and Rutland DS box car kits in resin
came along. That was when I turned my back on Athearn blue box kits
forever.
I first became interested in accurate freight car modeling in the early 1980s. I had a friend who was a college student and he couldn't afford to build locomotives, so he built freight cars - a fair number of them. He kitbashed Athearn and other cars, and used a lot of decals. He joined us in our NMRA show displays and I was floored at how much better the whole thing looked with accurate freight cars instead of the generic Athearn stuff everybody had... and this wasn't lost on the public either, we received a lot of positive comments about Bills freight cars.

I said that's when I became interested... but, in spite of having been a charter member of Richard Hosker's FCL (one of the only indie mailing lists formed before my diesel list) and charter members of this list as well as the MFCL, I didn't really start building freight cars in earnest until 2006. As far back as the mid 90s I started trying to pay more attention and do my homework before buying RTR models, but I still ended up with lots and lots of foobies. I'd love to say that hasn't happened lately but.... anyway, I think I've spent as much on books and photos as I have on kits and parts just in the last 18 months. And found an ORER appropriate to my time frame and learned more or less how to use it. Even so I'm relying heavily on the generosity of those on this list and others to provide reliable information and photos and things are progressing at a snail's pace.

In the end, I hope for my freight car fleet to be 80% accurate, 15% good stand-in or a minor era fudge, and 5% unexplainable foob. But it's not likely more than 25% of it will be built - it will be mostly RTR or deco kit built but again hopefully with foreknowledge. Good example - the forthcoming alternate standard 2-bay hopper from Intermountain. I've ordered up a bunch in NKP and Erie, and a few undecs.

So I'm a slow learner, but I've been busy doing other things....

Andy


Andy Harman
 

At 05:26 PM 5/9/2012 +0000, you wrote:
commercially made prototype STMFC kits. And Gould's tank car, though a model of a car which was never built, nonetheless set a new standard for a STMFC model. Criticise it all that you want to--how many of us on this list that model in HO scale don't have at least one??
I bought one when it was first released and all the rage, still under the Gould label. I never built it because I really didn't know what to do with it - back then I just tended to buy anything I thought was cool. I had no prototype photos of the car, but didn't realize nobody had any.... I finally ebayed it a few years ago. I wish now I had kept it for my wife, who is pretty much just into tank cars of any era - I think she would have enjoyed building it. She just finished her RYM acid car officially last week.

Andy


Pieter Roos
 

Hi Bill;

I think you will find this history of Pacific Rail Shops on the S Scale Sig site interesting, as it connects PRS, IMWX and Front Range with specific products and dates:

http://sscale.org/426/volume-1-no-2-the-prs-story/

Vol. 1, No. 1 of Prototype Modeler magazine is available on-line at Trainlife.com:

http://www.trainlife.com/magazines/model-train-magazine-contents/790/prototype-modeler-august-1977

I may be able to find some of the RPI materials you ask about.

Hope that helps.

Pieter Roos

--- In STMFC@..., "lnbill" <fgexbill@...> wrote:

As some of you will remember from posts I made in the fall of 2011, I want to put together materials to create a history of modeling freight cars more accurately and more prototypically. I now have some good materials about the early offerings of Al Westerfield and the materials that publicized the releases of Westrail and Dennis Storzek. F&C is putting some materials together for me and I will be talking w/Martin about Sunshine's initial offerings.


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Andy Harman <gsgondola@...> wrote:

One thing I've often wondered about is the lack of builder's photos after
the steam era. It seems like the practice of taking high quality photos of
the class car at the builder faded quickly after 1960. Either that or else
they are simply not as accessible as the earlier ones. That has created a
considerable gap between this era and the digital camera / film-free era in
terms of coverage. Modeling the 1940s and 50s seems to actually be easier
than modeling the 60s and 70s - not just in terms of available models but
in terms of available photos.
I donno, Andy, I'm sitting here at my desk looking at a set Pullman - Standard took in 1976. The difference is, these aren't free off the web, one actually has to pay money for them.

P-S took builders photos until the day they folded, as I'm sure the other builders did, also. The difference is, many of the recent photos are still held by the corporations that own them, and may not be generally available.

There are a bunch of late era (future to this list) P-S photos in the collection of the Pullman Library at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Dennis


Andy Harman
 

At 08:13 PM 5/9/2012 +0000, you wrote:

I donno, Andy, I'm sitting here at my desk looking at a set Pullman - Standard took in 1976. The difference is, these aren't free off the web, one actually has to pay money for them.
You say this as if I've never paid for a photo, which you have no way of knowing.

P-S took builders photos until the day they folded, as I'm sure the other builders did, also. The difference is, many of the recent photos are still held by the corporations that own them, and may not be generally available.
That's the thing, availability. I don't mind paying for photos but they need to be available and I need to be sure they are the right thing since I don't just go buy thousands of photos at a time hoping there's something useful in there - although buying a book can be that way on a smaller scale. But usually I can use most of what is published in a book, it's what's not in the book that is the fun part.

The one car I am having the most trouble finding as-built photos of is OT for this list. Interestingly the cars still exist and I can get plenty of (free) 21st century photos of them. Never been able to find a builders photo or any photo of it as-built. Even the kit maker doesn't have one.

Andy


Frank Pearsall
 

If I remember correctly, they had ads in the old "Builders Compendium" that was issued in the early 70s.

The company was (or still is) owned by Edward J. Petras). The last address I saw for him was 73 Barcelow St., Port Jervis, NY 12771-2122. Don't know how cooperative he would be about providing information.

Frank Pearsall
Brevard, N.C.

On May 9, 2012, at 12:39 PM, lnbill wrote:

As some of you will remember from posts I made in the fall of 2011, I want to put together materials to create a history of modeling freight cars more accurately and more prototypically. I now have some good materials about the early offerings of Al Westerfield and the materials that publicized the releases of Westrail and Dennis Storzek. F&C is putting some materials together for me and I will be talking w/Martin about Sunshine's initial offerings.

Here are somethings I need your help with.

Materials related to Roller Bearing models--instructions, ads, kit lists, etc. It would especially be helpful to know when they started advertising. Also photos of built-up models.


Steve and Barb Hile
 

Before there was Prototype Modeler magazine, Robert Longo had Southwestern
Prototype Modeler and Western Prototype Modeler. The latter appears to have
grown from the former through the addition of UP and SP etc. material to
ATSF which appears to have evolved from the old Santa Fe Modelers
Association going back into the late 60's. The first WPM was Jan 1975.



I started getting them because they also had Rock Island modeling
information which, to me, was in short supply in MR and RMC of that era,
mostly because I missed the cool stuff that Al Kamm (junior, who is my
senior) was doing in MR in the late 1950's. Al was certainly one of the
early prototype modelers, doing mostly scratchbuilding.



When I came to the Chicago area in 1973, I was amazed at the amount of
railroad (especially steam locomotive) photos that were available. I bought
a lot from Don Gruber, who still sells at Wheaton each month.



I am sure that the burgeoning of RR historical societies in the 1970's
contributed greatly to the expansion of prototype modeling. It was through
the RI society that I met people who shared data and photographs, including
a lot of steam era freight cars.



Of course the launching of Mainline Modeler in the 1980's and the
progression of magazines edited by Bob Schleicher were a major contributor.
Prolific authors, including John Nehrich and Richard Hendrickson showed us
the better way. I still have copies of Richard's The Car Report newsletter
for the Freight Car Data Exchange information sharing group, something that
preceded the internet lists.



Considering the wealth of information and the ease of finding and sharing
this information, we are, truly, living in a golden age! It is certainly
true that go information leads to better models.



Here's to future of the past!



Steve Hile



_____

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Pieter_Roos
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 2:22 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: History of Prototype Freight Car Modeling





Hi Bill;

I think you will find this history of Pacific Rail Shops on the S Scale Sig
site interesting, as it connects PRS, IMWX and Front Range with specific
products and dates:

http://sscale.org/426/volume-1-no-2-the-prs-story/

Vol. 1, No. 1 of Prototype Modeler magazine is available on-line at
Trainlife.com:

http://www.trainlife.com/magazines/model-train-magazine-contents/790/prototy
pe-modeler-august-1977

I may be able to find some of the RPI materials you ask about.

Hope that helps.

Pieter Roos

--- In STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> , "lnbill"
<fgexbill@...> wrote:

As some of you will remember from posts I made in the fall of 2011, I want
to put together materials to create a history of modeling freight cars more
accurately and more prototypically. I now have some good materials about the
early offerings of Al Westerfield and the materials that publicized the
releases of Westrail and Dennis Storzek. F&C is putting some materials
together for me and I will be talking w/Martin about Sunshine's initial
offerings.


rwitt_2000
 

Bill Welch wrote:

As some of you will remember from posts I made in the fall of 2011, I
want to put together materials to create a history of modeling freight
cars more accurately and more prototypically. I now have some good
materials about the early offerings of Al Westerfield and the materials
that publicized the releases of Westrail and Dennis Storzek. F&C is
putting some materials together for me and I will be talking w/Martin
about Sunshine's initial offerings.

Here are somethings I need your help with.

Bill Clouser's articles on using rubber molds and polyester (was that
the material?) to make copies of parts, components, etc. Not sure of the
dates or how many articles there were. Ned scans of at least one of
these.
In addition to Bill Clouser's articles I personally believe that Jack
Work should be added to the list of early pioneers. I recall his was the
first article published describing how to cast detail parts to match a
specific prototype. He built a wood flat car and cast the parts to
represent the pawl and ratchet, stack pockets, and the nut and bolt
detail for the truss rods. He introduced the concept of spending a lot
of time to make very good "masters" and then cast many duplicates for
the model. His articles were published in MR.

Bob Witt


Dave Nelson
 

Let's not overlook the ORIGINAL freight car list started by Tim O'Connor in
late winter/early spring of 1998 called the Freight Car Nuts (FCN). IIRC
there were only 12-15 of us and IIRC it was all done by Tim forwarding the
e-mails he received. Within a month or two there were maybe 30 people
involved, too many to do by hand, so on April 13, 1998 Tim switched it
around so we could bounce off his e-mail sort-of-server-like to a mailing
list. Within the year it got handed off to a real server at the University
of Tenn. and was known at that point as the Freight Car List (FCL).

Dave Nelson


ed_mines
 

I think you are all forgetting about many earlier freight car models.

Remember the dollar car series in the '50s?

I remember one article in Model Railroader in the '50s where a man made a fleet of USRA hoppers using tin cans.

Almost every issue had a picture of some car scratch built to represent some prototype. Yes, locos, cabooses and passenger cars were more popular with scratch builders but there were still some freight car models being made.

Was it any wonder that both MR & RMC had scale plans of rolling stock in almost every issue. Both RMC & MR had plan books.

A lot of kits like Ambroid, Main Line and All Nation lent themselves to modification.

Remember Gene Deimling's Erie covered hopper article in MR in the late '70s? They don't get any better than that.

Ed Mines


Greg Martin
 

Doctor Fruit Growers ask:


The seminal styrene kit I think it could be argued was the "Innovative
Model Works" 1937 boxcar kit. When was this kit introduced. Does anyone have
any good stories about the development of this model by Jerry Porter they
can send me?

Can anyone furnish me with info about the beginnings of McKean, Front
Range, and C&BT, i.e. the people involved, initial offerings, and or course
nicely built up models.

Anecdotes about these pioneering styrene efforts and the people involved
would be appreciated.


Bill,

I think there were efforts to refine tooling earlier than IMWX, let us
not forget the effort of Pacific HO ( and I am looking at the instructions to
my NP kit ~still in parts~ and can't find a date) their Golden Spike Series
~Mechanical Reefer~ kit. But it has separate ladders and grabs, a good set
of drawings for the underframe and to think this tooling sits at Walthers
unused. This particular kit I bought cheap as it was started ~ never
finished ~ and an attempt was made to disassemble it and too think if the poor
SOB would have just FROZE the kit solid for a couple of weeks he could have
tapped the glue joints it would have fallen apart without damage, as the
glue lines just break nice and clean. I have tucked away more for JIT
inventory.

Then a bit further back there was the Kurtz Kraft 40-foot PS-1 and
although not state of the art now at the time (and in the time line) the kit was
well done. I can remember my first run in with the kit was the Jeff English
article in Mainline when he re-built the kit into a nicely done NYC
Central car, I believe that was in about 1991 IIRC. Kurtz Kraft predates the
Pacific HO kits.

In the evolution of things IIRC correctly along came Robins Rails with
their PS-1 50-foot boxcar. Then the two 65-foot mill gondolas and all the
article that attempted to refine the truck stub into a truck bolster. I know
for a fact the G-26 was a correct representation of the PRR car and the ATSF
version was well done (for the era) but the underframe was incorrect. I
still have ladder spruces left from when they offered those separately and
they are useful for some things, they're not as over-scaled as you might
remember if you have them without a thick layer of paint. Robins Rails became
Eastern Car Works and that is history.

It was about this time that I remember attending my first Railroad
Prototype Modelers meet in Fountain Valley, CA at a church on Newland Ave. There
was a fantastic "Buzz"... a fellow was running around with rubber molds of
an F unit nose ... a well spoken fellow was taking about some "detail kits"
to correct the errors in most of the Athearn freight car kits and a fellow
with a Southern California Citrus Grove vignette that captured a
signature of everything I remembered growing up near the Orange County Orange
Groves. I was on the track to more accurate modeling.

I seem to remember Mc Keen coming to market about this time and the
Prototype momentum billing. Then right behind Mc Keen was Front Range with kits
with a one piece body with separate parts like the Mc Keen kits.

Modelers like Mont Switzer, Richard Hendrickson, Jim Six, Wayne Sittner
(sp?) and others were now my mentors and wanted to produce more authentic
models that truly represented the era I wanted to model ~ the 1950's ~ Guys
were re detailing, kit~smashing old RTR models (like Roundhouse 'modern
boxcar' no running board 4~4 dreadnaught end cars into cars of my era... )
their work was truly inspiring.

Then it seem to me IMWX and C&BT Ships kits came along just as Front Range
was taking the dive... we (my close friends) attributed it to tooling of
too many ACF covered hoppers in too short of a period of time, i.e., not
allowing the older tooling pay for itself first. Seems to me just slightly
ahead of this was the emergence of GOULD~TICHY but their offerings were
limited and suddenly regardless of how nice the tooling the offering just
stopped. ACCURAIL came along somewhere in here picking up the Mc Keen and Front
Range dies, spinning one of the boxcar kits tools to Red Caboose IIRC.

Intermountain came along with there Long's Drugs Exclusive Santa Fe
Reefer. I would go to Longs as I only lived a few miles south and would walk in
on Saturday and check out the offerings on the chalk board to see which
paint scheme was next. They were taking reservations even then. In Southern
California in the early 90's Longs was the place to be. A well stocked, off
retail, hobby shop in a drugs store. Somewhere along about 1994 CB&T fell
away form the mainstream supporter (like due to the Reefer issues maybe) and
re-tooled the ladders and grabs back onto the boxcar and I remember
questioning Dick Swagger about that at the 1994 NMRA convention in Portland and not
getting a straight answer but reminding me that his cars had more accurate
doors than his competition ~ Front Range~ who was already a dying beast.

Then IMRC, RC, LL, Atlas, BLT as well as all the others were the fierce
competitors in the mid 90's and later.

The wave has been building and although the players have changed there are
certain companies that have just moved forward and they range from the
simplest kit builders like ACCURAIL to the expensive Run to Run highly
detailed and extremely accurate offerings from Kadee and others in that league.

I have yet to COMPLETE a single resin kit in all the years I have modeled
in this arena, and I can say I honestly have only a select handful (like
less than 15) resin kits that I will ever build but as my wife say you could
open your own hobby shop with what I own and will never build, luckily I
have two grandsons... 3^)

Greg Martin



Eventually all things merge into one and a river runs through it.
Norman Maclean


up4479
 


I think there were efforts to refine tooling earlier than IMWX,
Let's not forget the Ramax ACF two bay covered hopper kit. At the time it was a leap in the right direction.
Prior to the Pacific HO reefer there were others that started making kits of specific cars in wood like Ambroid. They and others (there were several) including Quality Craft made nice kits that took a lot of work to make the wood look like metal. They often included special metal castings and decent decals. The result was a model that was correct and different from the more generic stuff other manufacturers were offering. I've seen many builds over the years that look great.
If you go back through the magazines you will find many articles going back to the beginning of the hobby press where modelers made models using prototype info and writing articles on how to do it. Many modelers were inspired by these articles and attempted to model what they could find in photos and real life not being satisfied with the generic models being offered by manufactures. Kitbashing and scratch building became the path to authentic models in all scales and materials. Decal manufactures enabled these modelers early on by making decals from photos, company documents, etc.

The concept of making accurate models is very old. It goes back centuries. Over time, documentation of the prototypes, materials, techniques, available components and communications have all improved to enable better, more accurate models built by those that desire to model what was in real life.
Steve Solombrino