All posts by RCWadmin

Prototype modeling vs. prototype-based freelancing

No. 45, the westbound KC Local, behind a USRA light Mikado, hustles into Metcalf, Ill., on Tony Koester’s HO tribute to the Nickel Plate Road’s St. Louis Division in 1954. The LCL boxcar behind the rider car looks like a blue-box kit, but its heritage is the last thing on the minds of the local’s crew as they plan their work in town and watch out for superior eastbound trains.

Tony Koester, editor of Kalmbach’s annual Model Railroad Planning and the Trains of Thought columnist and a contributing editor for Model Railroader, responded to an inquiry about his views of modeling a specific prototype vs. using one or more prototypes as the basis for a plausibly freelanced model railroad. Here’s Tony with more.

We keep trying to draw a line in the sand between prototype modeling and any form of freelancing. In my view, that’s both a waste of time and usually based upon faulty assumptions.

Let’s start with prototype modeling. As most of us who have done this to any extent have discovered, we are almost always faced with the choice of not getting much done, often owing to a lack of “complete” information, or the desire to make progress. “Analysis paralysis” is a very real aspect of prototype modeling. Many a grand plan has come to ruin on its shores.

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Uncoupling Devices

Adding uncoupling devices (cut levers) to plastic freight cars

Here’s a crop of an image showing an uncoupling device installed on a flat car. The original photo is from the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library, a special collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library.

Peter Hall recently sent details on adding a simple detail to box car ends. Here are Pete’s tips and techniques.

An increasing number of today’s excellent plastic injection-molded HO scale models come with uncoupling devices (cut levers), but we still have all those great models that need them. This article shows how to make simple attachment points and wire cut levers for those cars that need bottom-operated uncoupling devices.

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New Southern Pacific flat car models

Southern Pacific 43745 is an F-50-9 class flat car, an ex-Pacific Electric car absorbed into the SP in 1928.

Jason Hill of Owl Mountain Models contacted the Resin Car Works folks recently with new kit information! Owl Mountain will introduce a pair of HO scale, plastic injection molded flat car kits for Southern Pacific prototypes. These kits should be released very soon. Several of the prototype car classes came into service in the Teens and were used though to the end of the steam era, with many serving additional years in maintenance of way duty.

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