Today, I hosted Oliver and David Clubine – the father and son team behind Ridgehill Scale Models, which produced the CNR Fowler boxcar and CNR cabooses that I use on my layout.
What an absolute treat to have these two in the layout room!
David is planning an S scale CNR layout featuring Port Dover, Simcoe and Port Rowan. Oliver has been working on an S scale model of the Port Rowan station – he’s been busy modifying Grandt Line windows. Both know a fair bit about the Port Rowan branch and seemed to enjoy their visit to my layout. It’s always nice to show off the layout to people who know the area I’m trying to model.
David and I ran a freight extra to Port Rowan, with four cars to set off and three to lift. Things well reasonably well, although the tender on locomotive 1560 derailed a few times. Either the change in weather is having its way with trackwork or I need to fiddle with something in the drawbar area. I’ll do some tests and fix the problem.
We talked a lot about the market for resin kits in S, since the Clubines market resin models. I am, frankly, surprised that modellers working in S, in general, do not “celebrate the differences” in rolling stock to the same degree as our cousins in HO. It seems to me that S scalers are far more willing to accept a model as prototypically accurate because the paint scheme is correct – nevermind issues like gussets, underframe arrangements, end details, and so on. I know many modellers working in HO who buy multiples of available resin kits to cover the variants in a given car type – not only road-specific variants, but also variants introduced over the life of the prototype. That doesn’t seen to happen as much in S, which is a shame because S is such a builder’s scale: It’s enough bigger than HO that the details really leap out, and at 1:64 it’s a natural for scratch-building because measurements are easy to convert from the protoype (most Imperial rulers are marked with 1/64 inches, so each tick mark equals an inch on the prototype).
So, the question becomes, why aren’t S scale modellers demanding – and then buying – resin kits that celebrate these differences? I don’t know the answer.
But I do know that when I visit layouts like the one my friend Pierre Oliver is building, I’m always struck by the wonderful variety of rolling stock. Even boxcars are unique. A string of house cars will present to the viewer a riot of roof heights and roof-panel treatments – something that one just doesn’t see in S scale.
That’s a question to ponder another day. For now, I’m really glad Oliver and David made the trip and seemed pleased with what they saw. It was great to run a train, and talk about the state of S scale and future plans for the layout. I will address the derailing issue – possibly caused by a sticky drawbar, and possibly by seasonal shifts in trackwork.
And I look forward to the next visit by the Clubines!