This Space for Rent

Old Iron

Silas and I went to the local hobby shop to look for interesting model railroad stuff. It was a success (a success being defined as not staggering out the door burdened down with US$1000 worth of electronic controllers or models of electric locomotives -- not, of course, that $1000 will even get you close to buying models of electric locomotives unless you are interested in GG-1s or E33s; I saw, recently, an ad for a simple 3-unit Milwaukee Road freight motor where they were charging something on the order of US$5000 for the painted units. Ouch.) and we walked away with some interesting things, ranging from an ancient book on the 2ft railroads in Maine to a Revell model of an SP wooden caboose (obUK: guard's van). The Revell model is nothing special, except that it was made in 1956; a dozen years ago, 1950s state of the art for injection molding would have bothered me, but now that I'm a middle-aged model railroader, I couldn't even see any finer details unless I removed my glasses and put my nose up against the side of the caboose.

As a collectable, this caboose is doomed. I won't be repainting it (unless I feel obliged to reletter it for the PV&T), but those NMRA-design couplers are going to be replaced with Kadee (or Kadee clone) couplers so it will be able to run on the railroad I'm building for the bears; since the couplers are attached to the trucks, that means the (sprung) trucks will be replaced with modern plastic trucks. And, given my main interest in a railroad is operating trains, it doesn't bother me that much that the details are 2 - 3 times larger than scale (I think that the only remaining place where out of scale details bother me is with catenary. I've not yet figured out how I'm going to do close-to-scale catenary for the LW&C model railroad I'm trying to build.)