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Category Archives: Model Railroad

For Sale: Key Imports HO scale Alco C-415

In 1988, Key Imports brought us this Alco C-415 in HO scale. Made by FM models in Korea, it’s been a prized locomotive for Southern Pacific modelers. I bought a pair of SP Key C-415s when they were new in 1988 for about $260 each. The seller is correct that these are great running units; […]

Two Updates

Scalecoat Paint The big news today is that Minute Man Hobbies announced today on it’s Facebook Page that it has bought the Scalecoat paint line from Weaver Models. As I reported in my last blog, Joe Hayter announced his retirement and closing of Weaver Models earlier this month. This would have been a big blow to […]

And Another One Bites the Dust

Joe Hayter announced his retirement and closing of Weaver Models, a major player in O-scale model railroading, and producer of Scalecoat Paint. While I generally prefer other paints for plastic models, Scalecoat is my preferred paint for brass models. It’s a traditional solvent based paint that works very well. Some other paints are finer, and […]

AC4400CW Detail Parts Arrive

Look what the postman brought today from Toy Train Heaven! Detail parts for my AC4400CW! I mostly followed the recommendations on the Details West web site: 1 Detail Associates HO Grille Set Dash 9 Athearn, LIST PRICE $7.5  PN:229-2724 @ $7.50 each (Note 1) 1 Details West HO Detail Kit -9 SP CSX CP, LIST […]

SP AC4400CW Redux

Radiators: Well, cutting in the Kato radiators into the Athearn shell isn’t so simple. Front to back length of the Athearn radiator section is just shy of 2″ – 1.9995″ by my calipers. That’s painted. Kato’s radiators are 2.037″ long. I measure the Athearn radiator at 1.365″ wide vs. Kato at 1.364″ wide, so that’s […]

SP AC4400CW Radiators

The real deal: Southern Pacific #340 courtesy John Mosbarger. Click on image to enlarge. Special thanks to John Mosbarger for allowing me to use his photo showing the radiator details for SP 340. To recap, let’s compare this to the Athearn and Kato HO models: Athearn’s AC4400CW radiator grills. Kato AC4400CW radiator grills. I think […]

The Southern Pacific AC4400CW

Southern Pacific’s final and largest order for diesel locomotives was for it’s fleet of AC4400CWs from General Electric. 279 locomotives, numbered #100 to #378, were purchased for delivery in 1995. There was a follow on order for 3 AC6000CWs, but the merger with Union Pacific intervened. Some say UP took the order, but according to […]

Ready To Run

“I am a steadfast believer in the increased quality of life that comes from creating something by hand. While buying ‘stuff’ may give a short term high, much like a candy bar buzz, it quickly wears off leaving you where you started. The satisfaction that comes from creating something, however, is long lasting and therapeutic.” […]

PFE R-40-23 Part 0: Choosing a Representative Fleet

Pacific Fruit Express class R-40-23 steel refrigerator cars were ordered in 1946; deliveries began in January, 1947, and until that October. See Anthony W. Thompson, Robert J. Church, and Bruce H. Jones, Pacific Fruit Express, 2nd edition, page 173. The cars were numbered 46703 to 48702 (2,000 cars) and 5001 to 8000 (3,000 cars). Production was as follows: 46703 – […]

Pacific Fruit Express R-40-26 Part IV

In this installment, I’ll discuss modifications to the sides of the Accurail 8500 Series 40′ Steel Plug Door Refrigerator Car to model a PFE R-40-26. The next installment will deal with the ends and roof, followed by the underframe, and finally painting, decaling, and weathering. Like many modelers, destructive work is done before constructive work. That […]