Volume 6 No. 1, Fairbanks-Morse Cinder Conveyor

The S Scale Journal

The Online Journal of the S Scale SIG
Volume 6 No. 1, December 3, 2017

Fairbanks-Morse Cinder Conveyor

by Chris Rooney

Many Chesapeake and Ohio fans are especially drawn to both the operations and the structures at Hinton, West Virginia. In addition to the obvious coaling tower and the many smaller service structures, the Fairbanks-Morse cinder conveyer really stands out. A cinder conveyer is an interesting structure typical of steam engine facilities before and during the transition era. Steam locomotives dumped the cinders and ashes from their ash pans into a large bucket at the bottom of an ash pit. A hoist house at the top of the structure conveys the bucket out of the pit and up the structure along the sloping guides, where the bucket waits for a hopper car or gondola into which to dump its contents.

William E. Simonton of Virginia happens to be a skilled architectural and mechanical draftsman who has become the go-to source for many items of interest to Chesapeake and Ohio fans, especially the structures at Hinton. Mr. Simonton makes these available on his Shapeways site as 3D printed structures under the shop name ClimaxShop, Hinton (https://www.shapeways.com/product/2PLTQY48Q/s-fairbanks-morse-cinder-conveyor-1-track-2-0?optionId=58728647). These are produced primarily in HO, but Mr. Simonton allowed me to prevail on him to produce both the single and double track versions of the F-M cinder conveyers in S. (He also produces a standard C&O tool house in S and the gables standard to the C&O’s iconic Quinnemont cabin and Marlinton type station in S.)

Right out of the box this entire structure is printed in one piece. It has only to be washed with a mild solvent to remove any residual printing support wax and painted. For this purpose I used VM Naphtha and then painted with quality fast-drying flat black enamel. Reproduction of details is excellent, with the spaces between the spokes of sheaves fully evident, for example, and every piece and plate on the prototype is reproduced. There are inherent limitations to 3D printing though. These mainly occur in large flat surfaces that may show tiny steps or ridges as they are printed. These are not objectionable on the model I purchased and, once weathered, hardly noticeable.

Figure 2 –

Of course the units are not rigged with the cables that raise and lower the bucket, which is printed in the raised position to be visible and to support the somewhat frail superstructure. Therein lies the rub, because the available pictures and drawings do not do justice to the cabling. Fortunately, using a series of photos and the drawings in the F-M catalogue, we were able to work out the cabling which was continuously wound on a drum in the hoist house. As an assist, I will show here how I believe the cabling was arranged in a series of photos with overlays.

The first order of business is to detach the weight with sheave from the front tie bar, as it will go on the main left rear “I-beam” column of the structure when facing the three windows (Figure 5) in the hoist house. See Figure 4.

Figure 3 –

My first rigging step was to attach the draw line, made from clear 15-pound nylon fishing line, from the hoist house front wall slit through the platform and into the indent in the top bucket drawbar. See red lines in Figure 3.

The second step is to attach the orange return line to the bottom bucket drawbar and then run it to the middle, slightly canted, pulley, the leftmost of the three P’s in Figure 4.

Figure 4 –

Next I attached the weight and sheave to the I-beam in approximately the position shown in Figure 2 when the bucket is raised, so then when it is lowered this counterweight keeps tension on the cables. I glued it so that the 15-pound line could be pulled taught and glued into the sheave grooves.

Now it’s time to rig the return line that goes over the rightmost pulley in Figure 4 and across the front of the structure to the slightly canted pulley on the right and then descends into the ash pit on pulleys along the pit’s right wall. See Figure 5.

Figure 5 –

Mr. Simonton also supplies the exact dimensional pits for single and double tracks on his Shapeways site. However, my tracks had long been installed and were slightly off the proper centers to use his pits. I fashioned my own from scrap wood for the frame (Figure 3) and walks, and a formed metal bin between the rails over the bucket. Fine mesh screen was added on each side of the bin between the rails to simulate inward sloping pit extensions with a grating covering them. A typical railing and grate rakes were positioned opposite the structure. The prototype photo shows typical steam piping, lighting and tools found in these areas.

One word of caution is in order: the recommended Frosted Ultra Detail material takes acrylic and even fast-drying lacquer well and is easily glued with ACC. However, it is somewhat more brittle, for example, than styrene, I have taken special precaution not to permanently fix this model to the base because of its more fragile construction and because it is at the front of the layout.

Learn more about Hinton at the C&O Historical Society site at www.hinton.cohs.org.

Volume 5 No. 2, Passenger Car Diaphragms

The S Scale Journal

The Online Journal of the S Scale SIG
Volume 5 No. 2, July 9, 2015

Passenger Car Diaphragms

by Dick Karnes

Once upon a time I had a large stash of MHP S scale diaphragms. But over the years I’ve gradually become dissatisfied with their appearance. Primarily, the bellows are too bulky. And I have to remove the alignment tabs on the striker plate (easy, I admit). But I kept using them until I ran out of them.

These days I make my own diaphragms for heavyweight passenger cars. [Download the complete article including templates and set-by-step instructions on making your own passenger car diaphragms.]

Note: To ensure the templates print at the correct scale, print the file at 100% and make sure ‘scale to fit’ is deselected in your print options.

Wallace E. J. Collins II (1923-2016)

by Dick Karnes, with assistance from:
David S. Bulkin
Anne Marie Collins
William J. Fraley

Reproduced by permission of the NASG Inc.

Wallace E. J. Collins II was born in Huntington, Suffolk County, New York on May 16, 1923.  He graduated Fordham Prep (1940), Fordham College (1944), and Fordham Law School (1946).  Wally soon landed a position in a Manhattan law firm.  He married Aldona Barr on May 1, 1954, after which the couple moved into a Brooklyn NY apartment.  Aldona knew that Wally wanted a model railroad, so for their first Christmas together, Aldona bought him an American Flyer Atlantic freight set with a loop of track.  After their two sons Kevin and Wallace III came along, Wally and Aldona decided to move out of the city.  They found a development in Oradell NJ, bought a homesite, built a ranch house with a large basement, and moved into it in 1959.

I first met Wally in 1960 at a gathering of S gauge model railroaders in the basement of a Manhattan synagogue.  This first “North East S Gaugers Association” (NESGA) mini-convention was pulled together from the small list of subscribers to the brand new “S Gauge Herald” by editor/publisher David S. Bulkin.  It was the beginning of a gradual rebirth of S scale model railroading.  At the time, Wally seemed like just another model railroad enthusiast.

David, a college freshman, had been producing monthly issues of the Herald on the synagogue’s mimeograph machine.  When in 1961 his father, the synagogue’s custodian, discovered what David was doing with his employer’s property, he had a fit.  That’s when David appealed for help and Wally stepped in.  Wally invited David over to his Lower Manhattan law office to discuss the Herald situation.  Wally saw the S Gauge Herald as the glue that kept the S gauge community alive. The result of that meeting was that Wally would take over as Herald publisher, leaving the editing to David.  Wally volunteered his secretary Evelyn to do the typing, paste-up, printing, and mailing.

When David’s college studies made it impossible for him to keep going with the Herald, he and Wally leaned hard on an initially unwilling Frank Titman to become Herald editor.  Frank, Wally, and Evelyn kept up publication until the last Herald issue in 1978.

During this time, Frank designed Wally’s Midland Pacific layout.  But then along came daughter Anne Marie, so building the layout had to wait a while more.  In 1964 Wally left his law firm to become Vice President, Secretary, and Chief Counsel of North American Philips Corp., a subsidiary of Dutch Philips. In 1964, North American Philips’ annual sales were around $5 million; when Wally retired in 1988, sales had passed $5 billion!

Coincidentally, the National Association of S Gaugers was founded in Chicago in 1960; the Herald reserved a couple of pages in each issue for NASG news.  Meanwhile, the NESGA continued to hold yearly S conventions.  Wally appeared at every one of these along with Frank Titman and other S scale activists.  As time went on, the NASG took over the convention role on a national basis, and the NASG’s newsletter, the Dispatch, became robust enough for the Herald to cease independent publication.  As it turns out, the Herald never made a dime; it had been subsidized for 17 years by none other than Wally himself.

I visited Wally many times in Oradell NJ during holidays and vacations while I attended Cornell University.  I continued to touch base with him both by mail (yes, before the Internet) and at NASG conventions.  After Wally’s beloved Aldona died in May 1985, his life began to change.  Wally retired in 1988, he was elected to the Oradell Borough Council and was also named Police Commissioner, positions he held for the next nine years.  Wally said this explains why he made such slow progress on his model railroad.  He continued to come to several NASG conventions, including the one in Baltimore in 2007 – his last one.  Unfortunately, Wally’s eyesight began to fail.  He eventually dismantled his layout, sold the Oradell house, and moved in with his daughter Anne Marie in Deer Park IL.

Per Anne Marie:  “It was Thanksgiving of 2004 when he came to visit us and on the Sunday after, Pop was wanting to help my husband hang Christmas lights up on a ladder (which was freaking my husband out, since Pop was already 80 at the time) and then asked if he could go along on a trail ride with me and my oldest daughter Erin, who was 8 years old at the time. Unfortunately while out on the trail ride, his heart slowed and he passed out.  That was when they determined he needed a pacemaker. He later told me he had been feeling “fuzzy” that day and thought keeping active would help.

“Pop sold our Oradell home in 2009 and moved in with us in Deer Park, IL. He lived with us about 18 months before deciding to move into assisted living, at the Garlands in Barrington, IL. His eyesight was failing badly, and our house had many levels of stairs, etc. One of the greatest joys for him in his new home was a really cool model railroad table that someone had made for him – he showed it off to everyone in the complex!

“Pop had a stroke on March 16, 2012.  He somewhat recovered from that in the first 6 to 12 months, but apparently had a series of additional, smaller strokes that gradually took the rest of his sight and most of his hearing. The past few years he still enjoyed listening to music, especially classical music, and his favorite foods were still mashed potatoes and ice cream – truly comfort foods!

Wallace E. J. Collins II died peacefully on Wednesday March 23, 2016 at the age of 92.

“In my mind, I imagine Pop’s version of heaven: When that last train pulled out of its earthly station with my dad on board (and knowing my dad, he asked the conductor to let him blow the horn and he had a big grin on his face as he did it…), as that train disappeared over the horizon, we, his family and friends, here, still on earth, thought, “there he goes,” but on the other side, as that train comes over the horizon to that big terminal in the sky, there are crowds of many dear and wonderful friends and family waiting there, saying “here he comes.” He is at peace, now, and in great company!”
– Anne Marie Collins

Photo Credit: William J. Fraley

Volume 5 No. 1, Interior Detail For Your AM Heavyweight Pullmans

The S Scale Journal

The Online Journal of the S Scale SIG
Volume 5 No. 1, January 12, 2015

Interior Detail For
Your AM Heavyweight Pullmans

by Dick Karnes

I’ve had an unlettered American Models/NASG two-tone grey heavyweight Pullman 10-1-2 car sitting idle for several years. Recently I decided to finally get this guy lettered. So I began looking at the car. I also decided to put an interior in this car (and maybe others too), so I bought a few Palace Car Co. (www.palacecarco.com) S scale interior detail kits (Item No. 9702) for 10-1-2 cars. Palace’s S scale interior kits arose from an NASG project to bring new products to market. One of the results is these interior kits, as well as ordinary coach seats, that continue to appear in Palace’s regular line of products.

There are a few things you need to know before starting this project. The cardstock Palace interior flooring was designed for the American Models (AM) heavyweight Pullman cars, but the rest of the kit is not. (If it had been, it would have been unusable with other brands, like SouthWind brass models.) The cardstock flooring is marked with notches required to clear the glass-positioning prongs inside the AM carbody. The interiors are to be assembled by gluing the components to the car-floor cardstock. If you intend these assemblies to fit brass cars, they drop in without alteration. For the AM cars, although notching the floor for the AM prongs allows these interior assemblies to slip right into the AM carbody, the roof molding will not fit because of the substantial thickness of the window glass. You therefore have two surgical choices – either remove outer portions of every partition and seat, or remove the “glass” portions of the AM roof molding. I chose the latter method.

(photo 1)

The first task is to remove the car’s roof. There are two screws, one on each end of the floor just behind the coupler boxes (Photo 1). Removing these releases the roof with its integral clear window “glass.” (The first production run of AM Pullmans is different. There are no roof-retention screws. Instead, the locking tabs visible next to the car sides when you turn the car upside down must be poked and prodded to get the one-piece roof and side glass off.)

(photo 2a)
(photo 2b)

Looking into the carbody, you will see the several glass-positioning prongs along bottom of each side (Photo 2a). Remove them by grabbing them with pliers and twisting back and forth. Any portion of a prong that remains can be removed with a Dremel grinding bit. Photo 2b shows the result. Then cut the entire window glass portions away from the AM roof, leaving the vestibule glass intact as well as a 1/8″ flange just beneath the edges of the roof (Photo 3). These flanges are necessary to fit inside the tops of the car sides, thereby maintaining alignment of the reinstalled roof.

(photo 3)

If you need to letter or stripe the carbody, now is the time to do it, before you install the new window material. Reason: Overspraying with clear flat, highly recommended after applying decals or transfers will cloud the window material.

(photo 4)

After lettering and overspraying, cut strips of clear .005″ styrene to replace the AM glass and glue them inside the car (Photo 4). Use liquid plastic cement applied with a No. 0 artist’s brush along the edges of the “glass.” Capillary action will draw the glue in from the edges.

(photo 5)

Now to the Palace kit. If your car will be illuminated, you should paint your seats, bulkheads, and partitions first. If not illuminated (like mine), leaving the interior components unpainted will make them more visible through the windows. Once assembled, you will have a complete interior consisting of floor, seats, partitions, and bulkheads. If you are doing the 10-1-2 car, there will be two components (Photo 5); the 12-1 interior kit builds up as a single unit. These interior inserts will fit into the carbody without alteration. Slip them in place. You may have to lightly flex the sides apart for them to drop in.

(photo 6)

However, the tops of the bulkheads will still not fit into the underside of the roof. Using a side-cutting nipper, cut notches in the outer top edges of the partitions, just wide enough to clear the roof flanges (Photo 6). About 1/8″ or so wide should be sufficient. Test-fit the roof after you trim the first couple of partitions, then adjust your cuts to suit. Photo 7 shows the unlettered unglazed car with the interior and the roof temporarily set in place. If you like, you can install window shades randomly before reattaching the roof (Photo 4). For this, I used single strips of colored paper cut to suit, then Scotch-taped them in place before screwing the roof in place. Photo 8 shows a peek into the finished car.

(photo 7)
(photo 8)

(Note: If your car is from an early production run, you will have to glue the roof in place when you’re done, or else come up with your own method for mechanically securing it so it can be removed in the future.)

I learned a couple of lessons on this project:

  • Installing shades everywhere makes the presence of the interior detailing quite subtle, providing only the suggestion that there is something in there.
  • Interior detailing is much more obvious without shades and glass.

My recommendations: Glaze the windows. The slight obscuring of the interior is far outweighed by the effect of glass that reflects some light. Install shades but don’t go overboard; apply them to only a few windows.

Volume 4 No. 3, Building Osgood-Bradley “American Flyer” Passenger Cars

Volume 4 No. 3, July 17, 2015

Building Osgood-Bradley “American Flyer” Passenger Cars

by Dick Karnes
with Bud Rindfleisch, Lehigh Valley Consultant
Photos and drawings by the Author except as Noted


Per the “Railway Classics” website, “In 1934, the New Haven engaged the services of noted industrial designer Walter Dorwin Teague, who collaborated with Pullman designers to develop a light weight car design for a new fleet of cars that would allow the railroad to improve schedules, reduce maintenance costs and to reduce the growing costs of fuel.  The first 50-car order was for 92-seat coaches delivered in December of 1937.  Utilizing Cor-Ten steel and weighing in at 100,000 pounds (17 tons less than comparable contemporary cars), these cars featured a tubular cross-section design that was aerodynamically clean with full skirts and windows that were flush to the sides.  Vestibules were located at both ends of the cars to facilitate fast loading and unloading.  So successful was this design, the New Haven would eventually purchase 205 of these cars in both ten-window (84-passenger) and eleven-window (92-passenger) versions.”

Pullman Standard’s Osgood Bradley plant in Worcester, Massachusetts built over 270 lightweight passenger cars of this design, known as "American Flyer" style cars, named after the O scale S gauge American Flyer train sets that contained shorty models of this prototype.

In addition to the New Haven, the following roads received these cars:

  • Bangor and Aroostook (84 passengers)
  • Boston & Maine (84)
  • Kansas City Southern (76)
  • Lehigh Valley (92)
  • St. Louis Southwestern (76)
  • Seaboard Air Line (76)
  • Southern Pacific (76), transferred from SWW

Figure 1 –

Figure 1 shows a New Haven coach, the prototype for the American Flyer model.

The LV cars had squared-off roof ends.  All the others had rounded roof ends.  The New Haven had by far the largest fleet, and they underwent many modifications, including having the center mullion in each window pair removed to accommodate large single glass panes.  Some roads had cars with different window variations than the ones shown in this article (e.g., New Haven buffet cars, SAL combines, BAR buffet-lounge-chair).  The BAR and B&M cars had plain-bearing trucks, as did some of the others.  But most had roller-bearing trucks.  All the LV cars eventually received roller-bearing trucks.


Many of us have old American Flyer “New Haven” coach bodies in our scrap boxes.  These little seven-paired-window ten-inch carbodies are still very common at swap meets.  Now and then we see these converted into ten- and eleven-window full scale length cars.  However, to our knowledge, no one has done an article on how to do this.

We’re presenting this project in stages.  First we’ll tell you how to create a credible version of one of these cars with the barest minimum of effort.  Then we’ll go into steps that will make your car increasingly accurate.  The simplest conversions are the 84- and 96-passenger carbody splices.  Then we’ll cover making the Lehigh Valley squared-off ends.  Finally we’ll go into adding rivets, flush window panes, diaphragms, and accurate trucks and underbody.

Simple Conversion

Converting these cars to scale involves, as a minimum, cutting up the carbodies, smoothing the cut edges, joining the bodies, puttying and smoothing the joints, painting and lettering the result, and adding a wood floor, center sill, bolsters, steps, and your choice of four-wheel passenger trucks.

Figure 2 –

The AF carbodies have seven paired windows plus one single window at each end, next to the door.  The easiest conversion is the 10-window 84-passenger car, which requires cutting three cars to get two.  Because there is an extra 21st paired window in the three cars, you can afford to make pretty rough cuts with enough extra material (an eighth of an inch or so) to square off and sand for a good splice.  If you want the 11-window 92-passenger version, you’ll need three carbodies to make one 11-window and one 10-window car, or five carbodies to make three 11-window cars.

Follow Figure 2 (10-window 84-passenger) or Figure 3 (11-window 92-passenger) to plan your cuts.  If you want the 76-passenger version, follow Figure 4.  The one double window at the 76-passenger car end, separated from the others by a single window, are for, shall we say, “more luxurious” restrooms.  Mark your cuts with the help of a square and a pencil or pen.  Wrap a strip of masking tape over the roof such that one edge of the tape coincides with the location of your marked line.  Use a hand-held razor saw to make your cuts as thin as possible.  Other saws will be faster, but they remove far too much material.

Figure 3 –

Figure 4 –

Resist the urge to mark your cuts cut midway between window pairs.  Cutting along the edges of windows will leave you with less filling and sanding in the skinny space between windows.

Clean up the cut edges of your carbodies.  400-grit emery paper atop a smooth surface like a glass mirror tile will assure that your cuts remain square as you move your cut edge across the emery paper.  Remove as little material as possible; you will rely on plastic putty to fill any gaps.  Now we’re going to begin gluing.  Use a solvent-style cement like Plastruct Pro-Weld, applied with a No. 0 artist’s natural-bristle paintbrush to parts pre-positioned together.  (By all means AVOID thickened adhesive product such as those that come in a tube.)  Placing the cement-laden brush at the edge of mating surfaces will cause the cement to be drawn into the joint by capillary action.

Glue two strips of half-inch-wide .030" styrene to the inside of each side of the longest body segment.  Then place a metal level (or other straight object, e.g., a section of 1×2) on your flat surface.  Position the mating body segments on your surface right side up with one side against the level.  Determine which side of the mating bodies makes first contact.  This is the side you will glue together first.  Place the two segments with that side down, bottom edges against the level, and glue the strip on that side to the second body segment.  Now flip this partial assembly over and glue the strip on the other side.  If there are additional body segments to add (e.g., for the 76-passenger version), repeat these steps.  You should now have a perfectly aligned carbody.

Where the segments actually butt against each other with no gaps, apply some plastic cement to the joint(s) from the inside, and let dry thoroughly.  Now fill in the joint gaps on the sides and roof with a good-quality plastic putty like Squadron Green.  Don’t mound it on!  Smooth off the putty with a scrap of styrene before it begins to dry.  Let the putty dry thoroughly, then apply a second coat and let it dry for 24 hours.  Now sand the joints with 400-grit emery paper until perfectly smooth.

Figure 5a –

Figure 5b –

Decide whether you want to add diaphragms to the car ends.  If you do, you will need to remove the molded-on diaphragms from the plastic carbody.  Slice each one off with your razor saw along the vertical line shown in the Lehigh Valley Figure 8a cutting diagram, leaving about 1/32" projecting beyond the car end.  Make diaphragm bellows out of accordion-folded typing paper.  Use the cut-off diaphragm as a pattern for a cardstock or styrene faceplate.  Figure 5 contains full-size patterns for the bellows (courtesy of SouthWind Models) and a faceplate.

Figure 6 –

Figure 7 –

Now you can cut a floor 1-3/4" inches wide out of 1/8" thick basswood stock or .080" styrene sheet.  Make it long enough to fit in the carbody.  With a 1/8" diameter Dremel cylindrical milling cutter or a round rat-tail file, cut semicircular notches out of the floor where each interior carbody reinforcement post is located.  Cement short lengths of Plastruct angle, an inch or so long, between each of these posts to position the floor within the carbody (see Figure 6).  Drill the floor through the angles in two places on each side for round-head screws of your choice to attach the floor to the carbody.  Thread the holes on the angles by running the screws into them, or cut threads using the proper size tap.  Ream the holes in the floor with a drill large enough to clear the screw threads.

Mark the four corners of the floor to position No. 02449 passenger-car steps by BTS and glue the steps in place.  Make two body bolsters from wood or styrene as shown in Figure 7.  Mark their locations on the floor so as to place the truck screw holes 2-1/4 inches in from the car ends, and glue them in place.  Finally, cut two lengths of ¼" Plastruct or Evergreen channel and glue them between the bolsters to form a center sill.

Figure 8a –

Figure 8b –

Figure 8c –

At this point, decide whether you want to replace the cast-on vestibule handrails with wire handrails.  If you do, carve off the cast-on handrails with a No. 18 X-acto chisel-end blade or equivalent.  Drill #76 holes for new handrails, and form them from .020" steel wire.  The prototype handrails are bent over at 90 degrees toward the door openings.  You may also wish to add a drop grab iron to the bottom of each side of each car end.

Paint and letter the carbody, then glue strips of 010" clear styrene window material behind the windows.  You may wish to frost the lavatory windows by lightly sanding the window material.  These are the two single windows (one on each side) beneath the small round roof vents.  Paint the underbody and steps, and install trucks and couplers of your choice.  Screw the floor to the carbody.  Now your new car is ready for revenue service.

But there’s a lot more that can be done.

Window Arrangement Variations

Some of the less common car styles omit certain windows.  New Haven 53-seat grill cars are essentially ten-window cars that are missing center paired windows no. 4, 5, and 6.  The BAR buffet-lounge-chair has a blank space in lieu of one of the usual single windows at the non-restroom end of each car side.  Removing windows is easy.  Carve off the window frames, fill the openings with .060" styrene plugs cemented in place, apply Squadron Green plastic putty, and smooth the surface after the putty has dried.


As delivered, the prototype cars have full skirts, as do the AF carbodies.  Owning railroads subsequently cut the skirts out in the vicinity of the trucks; others went completely skirtless.  Best advice here is to check prototype photos of your favorite cars before deciding whether and how to modify your car’s skirts.  A good Internet reference is http://www.railwayclassics.com/amflyer.htm.

Lehigh Valley Roof Ends

If you’re doing the Lehigh Valley car (see drawing), you will need two carbodies for every completed car because of all the roof material required to make the squared-off roof ends.  To modify the roof ends, cut off each roof end to a point slightly inboard of where the rounded portion begins.  See Figures 8a and 8b.  Use the upper edge of the car side to guide your horizontal cuts.  Now cut a replacement chunk from your spare roof the same length as the piece you removed.  Place a shim cut from a piece of .030" styrene about three inches wide against the cut in the carbody roof, put the new roof chunk atop the carbody end, and push it against the .030" shim (Figure 8c).  Now mark the contour of the car end on the bottom of the end of this chunk.  Remove the shim, cut the tapers on the end of the roof chunk, and smooth the cuts.

Figure 9 –

Make two roof end caps.  Using the straight end of this roof chunk as a pattern, trace the roof contour onto the edge of a rectangular piece of .030-inch styrene and cut to that contour (Figure 9).  Mark and score the backsides of two of the end caps to match the two locations where the three flat surfaces of the tapered end of the roof chunk meet.  Now glue the two short roof chunks in place on the ends of the carbody, bend the end caps along the score lines, and cement the end caps in place with the score lines on the backside.  Use plastic putty as necessary to hide the joints, and finish-sand the rooftop at each end.

Figure 10 –

Figure 11 –

Figure 10 shows Bud Rindfleisch’s completed LV car; a close-up appears in Figure 11.  Bud has enlarged the door windows to more closely match the prototype.

Window Panes

Figure 12 –

Figure 13 –

Figure 14 –

For window glass, you can apply clear styrene strips on the inside of the car behind the window openings.  Fellow modeler Vic Roseman used green-tinted styrene strips on his New Haven cars (see Figures 12 and 13).  The authors had precise-fitting transparent green styrene window panes custom-manufactured by Laser Horizons (Figure 14).  Any reader can get these from Laser Horizons because proprietor Dennis Sauters is now set up to make them.  Call, mention “American Flyer New Haven passenger car” windows, describe what you want, and get a price.  Then send enough styrene window material to Laser Horizons along with your payment.  We sent green-tinted clear styrene from Rix Products.  Laser Horizons can also supply opaque semi-clear styrene single-pane lavatory windows if requested.

The Laser Horizons windows fit flush with the outside surface of the car.  You may need to dress some edges of the panes to get them to fit.  Slight finger pressure should be all that’s needed to push them in place, although you should use an adhesive for permanency.  Microscale’s Krystal Clear, applied from the inside of the carbody with a knife tip, works well.


Vic Roseman has built several of these cars in the ten-window New Haven configuration.  He chose to add rivet strips that extend from the bottom of a side, over the roof, end down the opposite side.  These strips, obvious on Vic’s models (Figure 13), are very subtle on the prototype.  The primary advantage of using them on the model would be to save time and effort hiding body joints.  Vic impressed his rivets on .010" styrene.  You can emboss your rivets with a pounce wheel, running it against a straightedge over a sheet of .010" styrene, then cut out strips that contain the rivets and glue them to the carbody.

Steps, Floor, Underbody

Figure 15 –

Figure 16a –

Figure 16b –

The BTS steps, while nicely done and a great time saver, are not quite correct for these cars.  Bud fabricated accurate steps by making a step-assembly jig like the one in Figure 15.  The top image of Figure 16 shows one of the .015" styrene step sides in the jig.  After placing styrene angle stock in the center portion of the jig and gluing them to the first side and to each other, place the second step side in the jig (bottom image) and glue it in place.  Be sparing with your cement, and remove the assembly from the jig before any portion of it has a chance to glue itself to the jig.

Now make the floor described at the end of “Simplest Conversions.”  Insert the floor into the carbody and cement the step assemblies to the floor.

Figure 17 –

It’s difficult to discern the type and locations of the underbody components from the prototype photos, and many of them show different arrangements.  My best information source is a photo of the bottom of an HO model by Rapido, from which I’ve deduced the arrangement that follows (Figure 17).  The minimum array of components would be a generator, two battery boxes, air-conditioning (A/C) unit, two air tanks, a water tank, and a passenger-car brake system.  The two battery boxes are opposite each other, close to one truck.  The A/C unit is at the center of one side.  The two air tanks are on the side opposite the A/C unit.  The brake system components are mounted between the battery box and the air tanks.  The water tank is on the same side as the air tanks, and the generator is behind the water tank.  The brake system components are from BTS; the rest of these components can be purchased from The Supply Car.


Figure 18 –

Figure 19 –

Palace Car Co. has S scale seats for streamlined cars, Part No. 5031, 36 seats for $15, 100 for $36.  Figure 18 shows these being installed on a car floor.  The floor tiling beneath the seats was produced on a computer using Microsoft EXCEL.  The tile pattern was printed on photo paper with an inkjet printer, then glued to the floor shim.  Note the notches, needed to clear the reinforcing posts inside the carbody.  Figure 19 shows the seats inside a completed car.


Figure 20 –

For most of these cars, the AF roof details, sparse as they are, will suffice.  Bud replaced these on his LV car with modified Walthers O scale vents, no longer available.  (Keil Line makes a wide variety of O scale vents from which appropriate ones might be selected.)  Some of these cars have a hinged rectangular access hatch over the center aisle at the restroom end; others do not.  The LV cars are exceptions – they have one hatch at the non-restroom end.  The hatch is six feet long by five feet wide, and can be represented by a 1-1/8"x 15/16" rectangle of .030" styrene sheet glued to the roof, then surrounded by eight rail spikes in the locations shown in Figure 20.


Figure 21 –

Some trucks for these cars have friction bearings, while most have roller bearings.  Neither version of these trucks is commercially available, but credible ones can be bashed from readily-available trucks.  The friction-bearing trucks are best represented by starting with American Models 4-wheel heavyweight passenger trucks.  The primary difference is that the prototype trucks are cast with integral journal pedestals, whereas the American Models trucks represent bolted-on pedestals.  With a No. 11 X-acto blade and fine jeweler’s files, remove all definition of the distinction between the bolt-on journal pedestals and the truck frame.  Figure 21 shows the result.

Figure 22 –

For the roller-bearing trucks, start with American Models older streamlined trucks, the ones that came with the older full-length smooth-side streamlined passenger cars.  (AM has these in stock again.)  Grind and carve away the spring nearest the center of the sideframe from each grouping of two springs.  Also remove all the small surface appurtenances from the center of the sideframe.  See Figure 22.  Now we have to sacrifice a pair of AM 4-wheel heavyweight passenger trucks in order to get the leaf spring molding that goes in the center of each of our modified truck sideframes.  From the rear of the heavyweight sideframe, use a Dremel toothed cutter to slice through the plastic at the top and the bottom of the leaf spring molding.  Once freed, carve and file the top and bottom of the leaf spring molding sufficiently to fit between the top and bottom portions of the modified truck frame.  Then cement one leaf spring in the center of each sideframe.  Your trucks should now look like the center image in Figure 22.

Both of the AM truck types are molded in Delrin®, which is slippery and tough, but soft.  Carving Delrin® is best done by carefully shaving off successive thin chips.  Trying to remove large chunks at a time just gets the knife blade stuck in the plastic.  Filing is also difficult unless done slowly and with pressure.

Both the friction- and roller-bearing prototype trucks have combination brake cylinders/slack adjusters mounted at the top center of each side of each truck.  Train Station Products HO part No. 444, “passenger car brake cylinder/slack adjuster,” will do nicely here.  There is a left and a right one of these, two pair to a package.  When installed, the cylinder pistons should point to the car ends while the triangular projections on the slack adjusters point upward.  Drill a No. 67 hole at the top center of the sideframe, put a tiny drop of super glue over the hole, and push the cylinder’s mounting pin into the hole.  The bottom image in Figure 22 shows the roller bearing truck with these cylinders attached.


A full view of one of Vic Roseman’s skirtless New Haven cars appears in Figure 12.  Figure 19 shows a complete view of the New Haven car I built some 40 years ago, upgraded according to some of the suggestions in this article.  It now sports flush window panes, seats, and the correct trucks.  The diaphragms are old MHP products, no longer manufactured, with one corrugation removed from each diaphragm.  Bud’s LV car (Figure 10) also has modified MHP diaphragms.  Each of these models was built using techniques described in this article.  We hope we’ve inspired you to try them yourself!

Volume 4 No. 2, How a New Product was Developed for S Scale

The S Scale Journal

The Online Journal of the S Scale SIG
Volume 4 No. 2, March 16, 2015

How a New Product
was Developed for S Scale

by John Gibson

The Sunkist Citrus Fruit Shed Kit –

In 2006, the NASG underwrote a run of a Sunkist citrus shed kit in S scale.  The story behind this kit, manufactured by Showcase Miniatures, is just one example of how a new product was brought to S scale.  It’s a recipe that others have followed successfully, and you can do it too.

I live in the Sacramento area of northern California, along the original transcontinental right-of-way built by the Central Pacific Railroad (which became the Southern Pacific).  In the first half of the 20th century, the area was one of the largest producers of pears and plums.  Each year between 1953 and 1956, the SP handled more than 10,000 carloads of pears and 2,500 carloads of plums.  Almost all this fruit was transported by the SP in Pacific Fruit Express (PFE) refrigerator cars.

The S scale model railroad that I’m planning is based on this industry.  To this end, I’ve been researching how the fruit was processed for PFE shipment to distant markets.  Generally, the fruit was picked in the orchards and transported by truck to packing sheds located on sidings along the SP right-of-way.  Once at the packing sheds, the fruit was graded, washed, wrapped, and packed into crates.  The crates were then loaded onto pre-cooled PFE reefers for shipment.  To replicate this traffic on my railroad, I will need to model several of the area’s packing sheds.

My research has located photographs of several of the packing sheds that I intended to use as a guide to scratch-build or kit-bash these buildings.  However, I’ve been unable to locate pictures of all the packing sheds.  So I’m always on the lookout for suitable model structures to use in the meantime.

In September 2005, one of the Yahoo e-groups that focus on the citrus industry announced that Joe Warren, owner of Showcase Miniatures, had just released an HO laser-cut low-relief building kit based on the Sunkist San Fernando Heights Orange Association packing house.  I Googled the Showcase Miniatures website to take a look at the kit, and was immediately impressed.  I thought it would work well for my purposes as built and as a base for a kitbash.  I also thought the structure could double as a warehouse or an industrial building.

(Note:  “Low-relief” structures, often referred to as two-and-a-half-dimensional, are generally meant to be placed against a layout’s backdrop.  They have partial-depth walls perpendicular to their front faces, and no rear walls.  When placed in context with other closely spaced structures on an industrial siding, the lack of complete depth is not noticeable.)

I contacted Joe Warren to see if he would be agreeable to producing the kit in S scale, and if so, what he required for production.  I was pleasantly surprised when Joe enthusiastically responded that the kit could be easily converted to S scale and that he was interested in producing the kit if I could guarantee 50 orders.  We discussed the size of the finished model and the estimated cost.  One of the advantages of this project was that I knew I could front the cost of the entire project, and thus guarantee the minimum numbers Joe required to do the work.

Once the preliminaries were completed, I set about gathering orders for the project.  I advertised the kit on the S-Scale and S-Trains Yahoo e-groups.  I also got promotional pieces printed in the “NASG Dispatch,” the “S Gaugian,” and “1:64 Modeling Guide.”  If I were doing this project today, I would also advertise in the S Scale Resource and of course on the NMRA S Scale SIG Forum.

In about a month I had 25 orders.  Then in October, NASG President Sam McCoy contacted me to discuss the project’s history and to see if I had any commitments for orders.  Sam then told me that NASG Board of Trustees might be interested in investing in the project and wanted to know if I would be willing to turn the project over to the board.  I quickly agreed, and the NASG board approved the project.  The plan was for the NASG to buy the initial run of 50 kits for sale to NASG members, and to handle the logistics regarding these orders.

The NASG Board assigned Western VP Gerry Evans as project manager.  I turned everything over to Gerry; then all I had to do was wait for the building kits to be produced.  After Gerry worked with Joe Warren on some minor modifications, the citrus shed kits were rolled out in the summer of 2006.

In addition to getting buildings I needed for my railroad, I learned the following about getting a new product made for S scale:

  • It’s very important that the manufacturer wants to produce a product for S scale.  Joe Warren was looking for a project to test the S scale market; I was lucky enough to approach him at this time.
  • It really helps if the item has never been produced in S scale before.  For example, I thought the citrus shed could also double for a machine shop or a warehouse.  When I was gathering reservations, I found that I was not the only person who thought that way.  Customers were also telling me the same thing about the potential to use the building for other uses than a citrus shed.
  • A new project has to be aggressively promoted in every venue read by S gaugers to get the word out and the orders rolling in.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!  Many projects fail because the vendor can’t figure out how to reach us!
  • You have to have thick skin because some folks like going negative and are going to tell you every reason why the project will not succeed.  Even worse, these Negative Nellies will want to share their opinions, which can hurt the project as well as put a negative light on S scale in general.

I was lucky that the building caught the eye of the NASG Board and that they picked up the cost and logistical work for the orders, but I was prepared to buy the whole run because I wanted the building.  As such, I had to be prepared to do whatever was needed to sell what I did not need.  For example, I knew that I would likely have to sell several kits to the hi-rail crowd.  So I was prepared to offer a built version (which I was going to build).  Fortunately, thanks to the NASG, I did not have to offer kit-building services.

I am glad to see that this process is still occurring in S scale and that people are taking the initiative to bring new products to S.

Editor’s Addendum

A couple of other examples are worth noting.  S scale New York Central fan Ed Loizeaux noticed that Model Memories was producing very delicate photoengraved brass kits for HO models of the graceful cantilever signal bridges that were the standard along the NYC’s Hudson Division.  Ed negotiated a minimum order quantity with Model Memories (MM) and got his signal bridges.  Ed’s personal requirement met the minimum; however, MM continues to offer these S scale kits in its inventory.

For a long time, American Models (AM) offered its rib-side twin coal hopper cars in only one NYC livery – black.  The black color scheme appeared on the prototype after the time frame that I personally model (1955).  I needed a freight car red version within a particular car-numbering range.  I asked AM’s Ron Bashista if he would to the red version, and if so, what was his minimum order quantity.  His answer was yes he would, with a minimum quantity of 25.  So I polled the Yahoo S-Scale e-group’s members for interest and came away with commitments for 27 red hopper cars.  AM then produced the cars, and afterward added them to their standard product line.

Volume 4 No. 1, Gilmaur Etched Brass U18B Diesel Body Kit

The S Scale Journal

The Online Journal of the S Scale SIG
Volume 4 No. 1, February 18, 2015

Gilmaur Etched Brass U18B Diesel Body Kit

by Dick Karnes

The S scalers at February 2015’s O Scale West Plus S meet in Santa Clara CA were pleasantly surprised to see the American debut of a new brass kit from the United Kingdom. Mike Calvert was there, off in an O scale corner, displaying the new Gilmaur etched brass kit for an S scale U18B. Mike did the etching drawings; his friend Colin Stewart assembled the pilot model.

The kit consists of brass etchings, cast white-metal components, an envelope of machine screws and nuts, and a detailed instruction booklet. Detailing parts must be supplied by the modeler, e.g., handrail wire, grab irons, windshield wipers, door handles, coupler lift bars and brackets, and various items specific to the particular prototype road being modeled. Most of these can be obtained from BTS. The modeler also needs to provide a motor, power train, and power trucks and sideframes. Prototype U18B locomotives sported a variety of truck sideframes, but AAR Type B (as on American Models RS-3 trucks) and EMD Blombergs were most common.

The hood, radiator grid, and underframe stiffeners are pre-formed. All other brass parts are flat, reverse-etched with bend grooves for easy, crisp bending to the required angle. Where appropriate, the etchings are designed for slot-and-tab placement of the components (e.g., step treads) for soldering. Handrail stanchions are also included, etched to represent the prototype’s U-shaped cross-section. These are particularly fragile; Mike recommends tinning the rears of the stanchions with solder before removing them from the fret in order to provide added stiffness.

Two kinds of motor mounts are provided: One U-shaped set for mounting American Models-type trucks that require a mounting nut high up inside the hood, and another set for under-the-floor power trucks such as Black Beetle and the forthcoming Jim King/NWSL Stanton drive.

You need soldering skills to assemble the model. A soldering iron is the minimum requirement. However, if I were to build this model, I would prefer to use a 140-watt trigger-operated soldering gun for the lighter work such as installation of steps, stanchions, and smaller details.

Retail price: $200 USD (check or PayPal), including shipping. Contact Mike Calvert (mike.calvert@btinternet.com) to order.

Volume 3 No. 3, The S Scale Workshop at the North Shore Train Show 2014

The S Scale Journal

The Online Journal of the S Scale SIG
Volume 3 No. 3, October 13, 2014

Spreading The Word About Scale Railways In 1:64

by Trevor Marshall
photos by Trevor Marshall, videos by Simon Parent

The Wikipedia entry notes that S scale has been around for more than a century – and commercial models have been produced since the 1930s. Yet there are many people – including experienced craftsmen who have been hobbyists for decades – who have never seen a layout built to 1:64.

The members of the S Scale Workshop – a group of friends mostly in the Southern Ontario area – have been doing their part to change that.

The Workshop was already well established when, in the mid-2000s, members decided to build modules to an S scale version of the Free-Mo standard. Since the new modules made their first appearance at a Canadian prototype train show in Copetown, Ontario in 2006, the Workshop has taken S scale to exhibitions across southern Ontario as well as to Trainfest in Milwaukee WI (2011), The Railroad Hobby Show in Springfield MA (2012), and the NASG Convention in Scranton PA (2013).

But we’d never exhibited in the province of Québec – which was odd, given that one of our most prolific members – Simon Parent – calls the Montréal area home. This year, we corrected that oversight.

The opportunity presented itself in the form of the first-ever North Shore Train Show, held October 4-5 at an athletics complex in the Montréal suburb of Laval.

Three members of the Workshop contributed modules:

  • Simon presented Dunham Junction – a four-section module featuring a working junction built through a 180-degree turn-back curve. Simon also brought one of his earliest modules, featuring a river crossing.
  • Andy Malette displayed his two-section switching module, featuring the Great White North Brewery and the Simcoe Ice Company. Andy also brought along a module representing a typical Ontario wetlands scene, featuring a main track built on a rubble causeway.
  • I presented two modules – Judge Farm and Division Street. Each features a single main track travelling through a large-radius arc (more than 30 feet), past meadow, pasture and farm field. I’ve been building these modules for a series for TrainMasters TV – a web-based television show about the hobby. And the Laval show was the first time they had appeared in public.

Simon also contributed two return loop-module sets – including one featuring a three-track staging yard, and the other featuring a 90-degree crossing guarded by a tower. These loops made their first appearance at this show and they made a real difference to how we operate the layout for the public.

Previously, the Workshop modules would be set up in a point-to-point fashion, with a train-length turntable/staging yard at each end. Since these had to be portable, trains had to be fairly short – four cars was typical.

Thanks to Simon’s work, in Laval we were able to run some very long trains for the first time, including a long coal drag and a 22-car freight behind double-headed steam power. The loops made a real difference to the presentation, as these videos shot by Simon demonstrate.

Simon, Andy and I were joined by friends Claude Demers, Fredrick Adlhock and Brian Nicholson. While they did not have modules, these three gentlemen were invaluable in helping us set up, run trains and tear down. We could not have done it without them. Thanks guys!

Our friend and fellow Workshop member Jim Martin also deserves special mention. He was unable to attend this show, but he made sure we had our S Scale Workshop and NASG signs, flyers and handouts, copies of features on the Workshop from popular hobby magazines, and other materials that helped us look good. Jim also supplied a train-length turntable for the third leg of Dunham Junction, and even loaned Fredrick some S scale equipment to help populate the layout.

In all, the members of the S Scale Workshop presented more than 90 feet of well-scenicked and smooth-running S scale to entertain the public. Many visitors to the show did not realize that so much has been produced for S scale, making it possible (with careful selection of prototype) to build a realistic layout:

  • Our exhibition included custom-built brass locomotives, ready-to-run rolling stock in brass and plastic, and kit-built equipment from resin, plastic, brass and even wood components.
  • As with most S scale layouts, we’ve also made careful use of many details and scenery items marketed as HO or O scale. There were many examples of scratch-built structures, bridges and other detail elements on display too.

With Simon’s return loops and my open-country running modules, the layout configuration was very different from previous exhibitions. We’re looking forward to a future show when we can combine these new pieces with other modules that were unable to make the trip to Laval. We’ve already received a couple of invites to future shows where we might be able to do just that.

This was the first year for The North Shore Train Show, so it came as no surprise to us that attendance was on the light side. But over the two-day show, several hundred visitors learned about scale modeling in 1:64. Many times over the course of the show, visitors commented on the size, quality and performance of the equipment on the layout.

And – as is always the case when the S Scale Workshop exhibits – we heard several comments along the lines of “If I didn’t already have all this HO…” and spotted a few people sizing up 1:64 and wondering how quickly they could unload their HO equipment on eBay.

While we know that’s unlikely to happen, we also know it means that we’ve dispelled misconceptions about “S Scale” being just another term for “American Flyer” or “Toy Trains” – and that’s a good thing for those of us working to higher standards in 1:64.

[Would you like to see more pictures and videos from the show? View Trevor’s blog entries Home Movies from Laval 2014 and Laval 2014 is in the books for more on The S Scale Workshop’s modular layout.]

Volume 3 No. 2, CNR Montreal Locomotive Works FPA-2 #6706

The S Scale Journal

The Online Journal of the S Scale SIG
Volume 3 No. 2, August 11, 2014

Canadian National Railway
Montreal Locomotive Works
FPA-2 #6706
(Road Class MPA-16a)

by Dick Karnes

The Prototype

In 1955, under license from the American Locomotive Company (Alco), Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) built six FPA-2 diesel locomotives and six matching FPB-2 units for hauling CNR passenger trains. These locomotives were essentially FA-2 diesels with the addition of a steam generator. The Canadian units also had features for cold-weather operation, most obviously winterization hatches.

Ditch lights were added later; the units did not have these when built. (See black-and-white MLW builder’s photos). I modeled the as-built configuration, as my layout is circa 1955. The paint job is also per the original, with green handrails and black kickplates. (Note the differences between the builder’s photos [B&W] and the later color photo.)

The Model

The loco started out as a lot of “stuff,” primarily a powered AM FP-7 chassis, an American Models Alco FA shell from a swap meet that some inexperienced modeler had severely damaged while trying to add a second headlight opening, and a bag of SouthWind Alco FA/FB detailing parts.

I referred quite often to James Whatley’s article on converting an HO FA-2 to a CNR FPA-4 in the January 2013 Railroad Model Craftsman. I relied heavily on this article for suggestions on how and what to do to create my loco. A chat with Andy Malette confirmed that the rear features and color of the FPA-2 and FPA-4 were identical.

Superstructure (see unpainted model photos)

I did a lot of work on the carbody. The unpainted model photos pretty much highlight what I did. All the brass parts were from the SouthWind FA/FB detailing kit. Handrails above the coupler lift bars, and the lift bars themselves, are formed from .020″ steel wire. The cab awning is a piece of styrene sheet. The stainless-steel Farr Grilles are a Des Plaines Hobbies product, intended for EMD units. I narrowed them with a coarse bastard file in order to fit the FPA-2 grille areas.

I filled in the rear of the pilot (on both sides) with .060″ styrene to achieve the correct prototype contour. I also filled in the second headlight hole in the nose with .060″ styrene and faired it in with Squadron Green plastic body filler. You can see more of the green stuff used to repair dings on other parts of the carbody.

The winterization hatch as well as the flat platform “thingy” were built up of layers of styrene sheet, files, sanded, and filled to achieve the correct contours according to the RMC article. The larger of the two vents over the train heat boiler (rear of roof) is an O scale trolley car pole retriever. The smaller vent is an S scale coach lavatory vent. The grab at the left rear of the roof is another piece of formed .020″ steel wire.

Lift rings and wipers are from the SouthWind FA/FB detailing kit. The diaphragm striker plate and the modified horn cluster are from an Overland E-unit parts pack. With the exception of the Pacific Rail Shops ladder, the rest of the rear-end details are from the SouthWind FA/FB detailing kit.

The front coupler in the unfinished photos, a San Juan Car Co. “Evolution” coupler, was replaced after painting. Both couplers are now Kadee #808s.

Chassis (see unpainted model photos)

I replaced the AM Blomberg sideframes with SouthWind AAR Type B sideframes built from parts in the SouthWind FA/FB detailing kit. The fuel tank is built up of styrene sheet overlaid on the AM chassis’s underfloor fuel tank. The various bolts and clean-out plugs are from the SouthWind FA/FB detailing kit. The fuel level indicator on the left side of the tank was made from a brass relief valve from a SouthWind A-B brake set plus a length of brass wire. The fuel pipes on the front left of the tank are simply formed brass rod. The side steps are from the original FA carbody shell.


I used the color prototype photo as a guide for painting and lettering. All paint is Scale Coat, airbrushed. The first coat is CNR yellow, no longer available in the US. I sent the completed body shell to Andy Malette, who sprayed the entire carbody with the correct CNR yellow. When I got it back, the masking began. Next came CNR green, which I had, thanks to the NASG’s CNR Pullman Car remediation program of some years ago. I masked the yellow, including the striping, and oversprayed the green.
Then I masked again for the black, including the thin one-inch black stripes that divide the green from the yellow along the bottom of the carbody.

After peeling off the masking tape and letting the paint cure for a week, I began decaling. I had a lot of striping left over from the NASG remediation program, so I used the stripes of yellow bordered with black to finish the black stripe wherever yellow meets green. Curves in the stripes were achieved by repeated applications of decal solvent accompanied with teasing the stripe segments with a No. 11 X-acto blade. Some of the black striping done by masking was rather ragged, so the decal stripes were overlaid on these to clean up the look. The sharpest curves were not outlined with these leftover passenger-car stripes (but see next paragraph).

The lettering and herald came from a Black Cat decal set for CNR diesel units. Also, portions of the black “O” in “National” were cut and fitted to the sharply curved color boundaries.
Finally, the handrails were all repainted by hand with CNR green, per the color prototype photo. A cardstock mask behind each handrail served to protect the carbody color from paintbrush mishaps. Then the entire body shell was given an overspray of Floquil “Flat Finish.”

Clear plastic windows, lenses, and number board decals were applied last; the number boards were then hand-brushed with clear nail polish.

The chassis was next. I masked the couplers as well as everything above the floor, then painted the entire chassis with a spray can of Floquil Grimy Black. Then I removed the truck cover plate/sideframe assemblies, separately painted the wheels, and cleaned the treads with lacquer thinner.

Parts Breakdown

Scratchbuilt Parts:
Fuel Tank
Big square thing on roof
Winterization hatch
Cab awnings
Various hand grabs
Front coupler lift bars
Stock Commercial Parts:
Truck sideframes (kit)
Door handles
Rear handgrabs
Cooling coils
Back-up light fixture
Fuel tank cleanout plugs
Rear coupler lift bars and hangers
Roof lift rings (“U”s)
Rear end lift rings
Flag stanchions
Bolt heads
Fuel tank clean-out plugs
Windshield wipers
Lav vent
Hose cocks and gladhands
Overland diaphragm striker plate
Kadee #808 couplers
American Models clear plastic sprue (windows etc.)
Pacific Rail Shops ladder
MV lenses (back-up light, classification lights)
Black Cat decals
Clouser trolley pole retriever
NCE DCC decoder
Modified Commercial Parts:
Overland horn cluster
BTS relief valve
Des Plaines Farr grilles
American Models:
Powered FP-7 chassis
Carbody molding
ACC (super glue)
Brass rod
Squadron Green plastic body filler
Sheet styrene
Liquid plastic cement
Steel music wire
Electrical wire
Wire insulation (for hoses)

Volume 3 No. 1, Bill Young’s Southern Pacific

The S Scale Journal

The Online Journal of the S Scale SIG
Volume 3 No. 1, July 23, 2014

Bill Young’s Southern Pacific

by Dick Karnes Photos and drawing by the author except as noted

Background and Concept

Bill Young earned his civil engineering degree from Stanford University in 1963. He is now a retired general engineering contractor living in St. Helena, CA, summering in Mt. Shasta, where he has his layout. In the winter he builds equipment for his layout; in summer he installs it. It’s not really a surprise, given his background, that Bill’s first love is bridges. The layout is designed as a showcase for Bill’s bridges.

Bill’s Espee is an around-the-wall layout in a dedicated 10 x 24 room, essentially the size of a one-car garage. The layout consists of one single-track loop and one double-track loop that both converge on the town of Dunsmuir CA. There are ten totally scratchbuilt bridges ranging from wood trestles to steel trusses to a three-track motorized bascule bridge that incorporates electronic sound effects recorded from a real motorized bridge. By “totally scratchbuilt,” I mean that Bill fabricated every individual structural member, e.g., laced girders and columns, piece by piece from sheet and strip stock.

This layout is actually Bill’s second. He met fellow Californian Lee Johnson between layouts. Lee suggested that one of the loops in the new layout should be separate from the other two for better scenic effect. Lee also helped design the Dunsmuir yard that ties everything together and makes the layout functional.

Bill does his layout construction projects in the winter half of the year, in St. Helena. When he and his wife move up to Shasta for the summer season, he takes his newly completed projects with him to install on the layout. The entire town of Dunsmuir on Bill’s layout, consisting of two 1’x 6′ sections and one 1’x 3′ section, were built in the winter and installed end to end on the layout. Dunsmuir Yard and all the bridges were likewise built in the winter season in St. Helena, then schlepped north and installed on the layout.

Bill’s friend Diana Woods, a professional artist, painted the backdrops. Eric Tiegel did all the electrical work – last!! Layout power is NCE DCC. And “every stinking foot [of track] is hand-laid” by Bill.

Bill’s work has been published many times, including the NASG Dispatch, S Gaugian, Model Railroader, and two BASS (Bay Area S Scalers) calendars. His three-track bascule bridge won First Place at Sacramento’s 2011 NASG National Convention.

Bill Young’s Southern Pacific Gallery