New Products & Conversions (April 2018)

We are constantly working on new products and as I've mentioned before we do not announce "new" products until they are ready to release. We now have 2 new products that we've announced last month.

The first I suppose is not really new but a modification or another version of our 40 foot PS-1 box car. We have recently produced "some" of the early (1947-1949) versions of the 40 foot PS-1. These cars have a series of details that are quite different than the cars built from 1950 and after that we currently produce. The first one is an ATSF built in 1947 and it's scheduled for a November release. We now can do some paint schemes and road names we have not been able to do before.

Next we have announced 6 new HOn3 trucks designed with our two piece HGC (High Gravity Compound) material. These come in un-assembled kits but with the two piece design they are quite easy to assemble. This will be a relief to those who have challenges assembling our current #716 and #717 HOn3 trucks. There are 6 types, two somewhat matching our #716 and #717 Arch Bar trucks, they are #720 3' 7" Arch Bar, #721 4' 6" Arch Bar, #722 A.S.F. A3 Ride Control, #723 Andrews, #724 Bettendorf T Section, and #726 Vulcan. All but the #720 3' 7" Arch Bar have a wheel base of about 4' 6". Each pair comes with 3 special centering bushings for attaching the trucks to various makes of cars such as Blackstone® and Micro-Trains®.

We chose these side frame styles to give HOn3 modelers a large selection to choose from. The time area ranges from the turn of the century Arch Bars into the diesel area with the ASF A3 Ride Control. We use our #718 HOn3 26" rib back wheelsets in all of these trucks.

If we have not made your favorite HOn3 truck please don't ask if we have plans to. We just introduced these trucks and have not had a chance to see how well they will sell. Unfortunately, HOn3 is a comparatively limited market so any new products really have to have a market void of some kind to justify the costs.

I recently finished 2 coupler conversions that I need to give some details on. Both are Kato® Locomotives that have been out for a while but neither are a simple coupler conversions. Most newer models that come with factory knuckle couplers normally can be easily converted by simply exchanging their coupler with our #148 whisker coupler. However, this does not apply to these two Kato® locos.

The first is a GE P42 loco and it comes with Kato's knuckle coupler in a separate coupler box. Unfortunately, these Kato® couplers have their whisker centering springs pointing rearward rather than forward. This means using a standard Kadee #148 whisker coupler in their box there's nothing forward of the pivoting post for the springs to index (press) against. However, on this model you can fit a #242 (#148) box into their mounting and use their screw. You'll need to file the sides of the #242 box and trim off the lips so the box can slide far enough into the pocket to use the original screw.

The second is an EMD F40PH loco and it's coupler is the same but there is no separate box. The coupler is secured by a snap on plastic cover. I used a #148 coupler and the box from a #213 package. I tapped the hole in the pivoting post for a 2-56 screw, trimmed the post out of the #213 box, set the #148 coupler over the loco's post, then set the box over the coupler and post so the side walls are forward to become the place for the springs to press against. You can use a 2-56 x 1/8" screw which is long enough to be secure in the top of the post. If needed you can drill and tap the hole all the way through the plastic under frame since this area is clear inside the body then use a longer screw. You do not use the original snap on cover. Also, by removing the body you can remove the end pieces to work on the coupler mounting.

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