Here’s the fourth in a series of posts featuring portraits of the equipment that runs on my S scale model railway, with notes about each model. The equipment is presented in no particular order. Click on each image for a larger view…
This is a Pacific Rail Shops plastic kit, with several aftermarket modifications and detail upgrades. It’s one of the first rolling stock kits that I built in S scale and it helped me get a real feel for the size of equipment in 1:64. I added a real wood roof walk, Canadian-prototype ladders from Des Planes Hobbies, and a detail upgrade kit from Andy Malette at MLW Services. I replaced plastic brake rigging with wire. I have several of these on the layout. This example features the CNR “Serves All Canada” all-white herald.
This is an S Helper Service car, factory-painted for the CNJ and weathered by me. While that may seem like an odd choice of road name to find in Port Rowan, one of the few prototype photos I have of the line shows a CNJ hopper being positioned on the elevated unloading track in the port. Lots of coal would’ve been shipped from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and environs for heating southern Ontario homes in the winter.
Here’s another example of a factory-painted S Helper Service two-bay hopper – this time, a wood/steel composite model. As with the CNJ hopper, I did the weathering. I also replaced the wheel sets and added train line air hoses from BTS. This car has Sergent EC64 couplers on it: I experimented with these couplers, but in the end decided that I preferred the operational reliability of Kadee 808s. (That wasn’t a problem with the Sergent coupler so much as with my ability to assemble them.) With its “Buy War Bonds” slogan, this car is a bit early for my line but I can live with that: Maybe I’ll obliterate more of the slogan so it appears to be falling to the effects of weather and time. With their open ends, hopper cars really show off the finescale wheel sets I use to good effect.
Port Rowan was home to Potter Motors – and my understanding is that this business also dealt in farm equipment. (If it did not, well – it does on my layout!) This car is a factory-painted flat from S Helper Service, which I weathered and loaded with six tractors by Ertl.
This is a favourite car of mine for several reasons. First, I really enjoyed researching and building all the blocking and tie-downs for the tractor load. Second, I’m really pleased with how the deck weathering turned out. It makes a great contrast to the brand new, shiny Farmall tractors. Third, my friend Pierre Oliver models the Wabash across southern Ontario (in HO), and his line crossed mine in nearby Simcoe – so this car is a nice reminder of that. And finally, this car is good for the biceps: It’s a die cast flatcar with six die cast tractors mounted on it, so it weights more than 17 ounces.
This tank car is a ready-to-run model from S Scale America (a brand owned by Des Plaines Hobbies). I was pleasantly surprised to find a few offerings lettered for Canadian prototypes. This car has a number of minor issues in terms of accuracy, but fellow S scale enthusiast Pieter Roos has done a great job on making these cars more prototypical and I have notes on his upgrades in my files – somewhere. Meanwhile, “S” is for “Stand-in Model”. As with the hopper cars, the finescale wheels really look nice under this tank…
This resin kit – from Andy Malette at MLW Services – builds up into the CNR’s distinctive eight-hatch refrigerator cars. In a previous instalment of this series, I included a car with a red-and-green maple leaf, whereas this car has the all-red logo. Pierre Oliver built the kit for me, while I added CN’s distinctive segmented wooden running board, finer hatch rests, and a few other details. I also weathered the car. I need to hit the train line air hoses with a brush – I somehow missed the valves and glad-hands so they’re still in bare brass.
Eventually, I hope to document all of my S scale equipment in this fashion. We’ll see how that goes. Meantime, see the Portraits category to find all posts in this series. If you’ve read this far, thanks for sticking with it. I hope you enjoyed these equipment portraits and notes.