I Wish They Made . . .

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This is intended to be a bulletin board to post 'practical' ideas for manufacturers to consider. [Contacting-us.php Any suggestions?] (Since I first wrote this, a number of wishes have come true, which are listed in this section.)

MANUFACTURERS - We are glad to work with you on any of these projects, or any of your own projects. However, we expect that one hand washes the other. Don't come to us for help if you are too cheap to support this website as a member. (How cheap can you be to ask for research results for projects that will bring in sales, but expect us to do it for free.)

General

  • Beginning with the cast-resin kits first produced by Al Westerfield in 1982, there has been a renewed interest in steam-era freight cars. At first, these were only within the range of modelers who had the funds, time, AND skills to pursue this aspect, but since then a number of companies have also widened the appeal with a range of prices and ease of assembly. It seemed out of whack that there wasn't much choice except brass imports to power the trains. Now with the major companies like Bachmann, Athearn, and Life-Like introducing high-quality plastic steam, I think there is going to be yet another order of magnitude surge in older eras, no longer limited to the steam-to-diesel transition, when one can claim to model steam but actually winds up using diesels most of the time (like we have done on the NEB&W).
    And once freed of this tie to diesels, many modelers may find they wish to go back further in era closer to the overall peak of railroading c. WWI.
    Thus there may be more interest in 1935 railroading, or 1910, or even 1880, and there should be opportunities for manufacturers to produce this equipment for the mass market, not just for a small niche.


  • All kits and even ready-to-run intended for the serious modeler should also be offered in an undec. version. And gray should the standard plastic color - it is a neutral shade, which makes it easier to paint, and if exposed, isn't glaring white, black or other attention-getting color. On wood cars, one could paint the car and then scrape paint away in the direction of the grain to reveal the gray like old wood.


  • Since on our club layout all kits are either purchased pre-painted or get painted at some point, this isn't a real concern for us, but I'm surprised at the number of companies that offer their products in hideous colors of bare styrene, like yellow (which always looks translucent and "waxy"). These shades don't do justice to the company's line, as it makes them look toy-like.


Locomotives

  • Styrene castings for a variety of cabs for steam locos. Now with the new generation of plastic steam, these are probably more marketable than previously. Personally, I'd love to see the standard Alco 1900 two-window cab as used on New York Central and Rutland steam, as well as many others.



  • Along with an Alco cab, my own personal wish list would include a casting for the 45 degree sloped cylinders (piston valves but with inboard Stephenson valve gear), as a replacement item.


  • A 5 ft. 6 in. wheel base self-powered truck with 33 inch wheels, which would therefore be usable for most small steam loco tenders, either as a way to power a loco by pushing it or maybe to just supplement the powered drivers in the loco. Northeast Short Line makes the right wheel base in their line of self-powered trucks, but with 28 inch wheels. They offered to replace them with 33 inch wheels on a custom basis, but that effectively doubles the price.
    The Model Power 2-8-0/4-6-0 had a tender pusher, with too deep flanges. The Tyco 2-8-0 at one point seemed to have used a 6-wheel diesel truck with the center wheels missing. It was sort of like a 2-4-2, as it was spread across the two trucks of the tender (giving an odd fuel-tank look to the bottom of the tender). Some small engines have had a motor in the tender with a drive-shaft going to the drivers, but any momentary friction and the tender sort of twitches in relation to the engine.
    The Bachmann GE 70-ton loco and their Spectrum doodlebug had possibilities for a sort of Commonwealth tender truck but this would be for larger engines, where the need is less critical.
    (According to Rutland class diagrams, their two classes of Pacifics and their Mountains all had tenders of 14 tons coal and 11,000 gallons water. They rode on four wheel trucks, I think Commonwealth, with a 78-inch wheelbase on each truck and 36-inch wheels. The truck centers were 17 feet 8 inches apart. Their one GE 70 tonner had trucks with 82-inch wheel base, spaced 19-1/2 feet apart, and probably the wheels themselves were 40 inches in diameter.)
    The Bachmann old-time John Bull actually has a powered four-wheel tender which has spoked wheels, but is the correct diameter and wheel base. I haven't checked this out yet as to its running capabilities. This may be the same drive and wheels as in their gandy dancer handcar.
Bill Dunning points out that the above picture of the Bachmann John Bull dummy loco and powered tender has the tender connected BACKWARDS! (editor's note - Ooooops!) The coupling is those pesky plastic drawbar-and-pin things that do look more historic ... though he thinks they are probably longer than they should be. Logic would say that you hook everything up with the fixed drawbar pivot on the trailing car and the connection on the leading car at each coupling, so you don't have a drawbar sticking out the back. But it can't work that way. The hook on the back of the loco MUST go directly into the loop on the tender, at the end with the overhanging roof. This couples the loco and the tender very closely, and they can only take gentle curves. But the purpose of the overhanging roof was to shield the driver and fireman from rain and snow (and probably falling sparks). Also, unless they are very close, the fireman cannot do his job.
His solution to the ugly drawbar hanging out the back is a small screwdriver: take the damn thing off and put in in the miscellaneous parts box until one of 'em breaks.
Sam Berliner said that it just so happens that he used both mechanisms in some really tiny HO stuff; the two drives are completely unrelated. The Gandy Dancer (which fits in the Grandt Line GE 23-tonner - he's training a flea to power his Jordan Mack 15-tonner) won't really pull much more than itself. The Bull mechanism is a workhorse, incredibly smooth, heavy, and powerful. His unmodified Bull pulls five of its own cars with the awful original plastic wheelsets (although modified for correct gauge), but that's the maximum it can handle. The model he powered with another Bull mechanism is good for any normal shortline switching duty and has many hours of mainline running (he likes something moving while he putters) with no ill effects.
He also suggested the Bachmann and Walthers doodlebug/SRS drives as possible candidates (although I think they both have wider wheelbase trucks, not the most useful 5-1/2 foot wheelbase).
Bachmann has just come out with a two-truck Climax which might have the right sized wheels (33 inches) and is either short enough to fit in a tender, or might be easily adjustable to shorten it. (If anyone has more info on this model and can judge whether this is a viable idea, please let me know.)


  • Rivarossi & IHC - Get With The Program! RP-25 flanges on the wheels on your steam, real RP-25, don't just use the term. (You have some great locos, but some of us have scale rail and can't use them.)
    I understand IHC is upgrading some of their locos into their "premier" line with a state-of-the-art drive system, including RP-25 flanges. Can't wait for them to do it to all their loco models.


  • MDC - change the brass drivers on your locos to nickel-silver. (They may have already made this change - if so, I apologize.)


  • From Don Spiro:



1) A drop fit Delta trailing truck for the Bachmann Mountain.


2) Complete detail kits for the Bachmann Consolidation; some potential kits might be;



a) An Elesco feedwater heater set-up with all piping and GOOD as in excellent directions profusely illustrated of course to show those who are highly "steam challenged" me] where the hell everything goes.


b) A similar detail kit for a coffin feedwater heater.



3) Ditto the suggestion on the cab but how about an arched window version too?
(He did find a specific headlight for the 2-8-0. Bethlehem Car Works "Kitbits" has a tender backup light, listed for this locomotive, part no. 62. It's a B&M style, raised platform with a "can" style light that mounts on the tender deck. Bethlehem also has some other plastic steam loco parts which might be useful.)


4) A simple tender pick-up kit for the Athearn Mikado, might as well throw in a working pilot coupler conversion while whoever is at it. What the hell was Athearn thinking of????...it's the new millennium!


5) Tender conversions or separate tenders for clear vision or curved coal board styles.



  • I had a couple of people ask for the USRA 2-6-6-2 loco, but this is really part of the bigger possibility of the whole USRA line. These were truly standard designs in an era that eschewed standards.


  • Alco apparently made a somewhat standard 4-6-0 at the turn-of-the-century. (Hint, hint!) (The MDC Harriman and Varney Casey Jones are based on the Harriman version, close and I would be willing to accept either, but both are crude and hard to make run smoothly.)



Freight Cars

  • Larry King asked why couldn't one of the detail parts makers (i.e., Detail Associates, Tichy, etc.) make a separate UTLX X-3 style underframe in styrene that could be fitted to the several available tanks from Tichy, InterMountain (especially InterMountain), and Red Caboose, perhaps with a center sill that would be cut to length to suit the particular tank. This could result in accurate UTLX models without the investment in die work needed for the whole car, especially the tank. AB or K brake options could be provided too. The data needed is available in the Car Builder's Cyc. and on museum cars.
    He thinks the "prototype conscious" crowd would provide a customer base for such a part, even if not for complete UTLX kits. He said to remember that UTLX was like PFE - the cars all looked much alike but were around in huge numbers and went everywhere. Everybody needs a few!



  • In the same vein, a roof and bottom discharge hoppers to convert the Accurail twin hopper to a covered hopper like many a real road did would be nice.



  • Cast resin kits with cast-on grabs for quick assembly. Yes, the NEB&W has long been a proponent of shaving off cast-on grabs on plastic cars to make a better model, but there is a niche for these simpler kits. This would also be a way to introduce many modelers to cast resin kits, without the intimidation presented by the many tiny parts and pages of instructions, which probably has scared off many hobbyists.


  • A 36-foot wood box car kit, in plastic, with metal roof and fishbelly center sill, would cover a vast (nay, staggering) number of prototypes, many of which survived in at least small numbers to the end of steam. (The MDC kit is a good starting point, and there could also be some of the common steel ends offered, as the kit has separate ends. The big problem is that the roof is wood, and an outside metal roof was all but universal on any of these cars that lasted into the late steam era.)
    (By comparison, the 40-foot wood box car was a far distant second. At the time that 40 feet became the standard length, WWI, single-sheathed and all-steel cars were the preferred construction on many roads.)


  • Failing that 36-foot box car, how about a styrene casting for a Murphy XLA Flexible Roof (looks like a board-n-batten roof, but all the wood including the battens are covered in sheet metal) in 40 feet that could be cut down to 36 feet if need be. Okay, this is real easy to scratchbuild from Evergreen styrene strips, but what a pain (having built several).


  • A single-sheathed box car kit, in plastic, with horizontal wood siding, but no ribs. The ribs would be offered as separate castings to be placed as desired. They could be offered as a complete side truss assembly like the Ulrich kit was, but then would be easy (because they are styrene) to slice and rearrange for other prototypes.



  • Similarly, steel and composite gon kits with separate ribs. For a steel gon, the side would be completely riveted, so that rearranging the ribs would not expose blank areas. See the new Intermountain kit for the USRA composite gon.


  • Old kits for box cars with undersized doors and oversized door tracks could be vastly improved with just a little die work.
There is a need for a shake-the-box kit for the X29-type box car and a 7-panel Howe truss single sheathed box car. (Yes, there are excellent kits for these with separate details, but the hobby probably can support both. And for my tastes, the Accurail 7-panel single-sheathed car is too tall to properly represent the ARA-type. I wish Walthers would fix their old Train-Miniature model.)


  • Also in shake-the-box form, the PRR GL fishbelly side sill hopper. (Bowser, are you listening. This is right up your alley.)
(Not just for Pennsy anymore. Wrote up a whole section on similar cars, close enough for a plastic model to represent.)


  • Modelers have often attempted to duplicate a beat up hopper or gon by taking a soldering iron to the sides or other ways to distress it. This never looks really like the prototype, as the sheet steel between the ribs is so much thinner than the ribs that sheet metal bows and bulges like a sail on a mast. I intend to try using aluminum foil as a master, bulging it out, and casting it in Alumilite. (I'm not sure how someone could cut a die to simulate this unless they were an artist.) My first thought would be to add the foil to an existing side, and use Goo to hold the bulges while the mold rubber sets. But aluminum foil is hard to work with. Maybe get a thicker grade. But I think I might try making bulges separately, cast them real thin around the edges so the casting could be glued to the side, and then maybe using this for a master for a side. I'll let you know if this works, but I certainly would be glad for you to do and make it available for the rest of us.


  • On Accurail's web site, they are giving the reweigh date of each paint scheme, which would imply the suitable era for the car. They are to be commended for this and hopefully this is the start of a new trend.
    I often find that no matter how accurate any manufacturer is in sticking to just correct paint schemes for each kit, there is still the matter of what era is the scheme. They might list a B&M PS-1, but if it was the blue scheme, it would be too modern. But other variations are not so easy to characterize in a clear and none confusing manner, and not everyone knows when such-and-such a scheme first appeared. As a customer, when in doubt, I tend not to buy.


  • In general, I wish many kits would be offered "Mr. Potato-head" style, with plug-in detail variations. For instance, on the aforementioned MDC 36-foot box car, the ends have plugs, so if other end variations were made available, either in styrene or as specialty cast resin for some very unique version, these would also have plugs to make attachment possible.


  • Al Westerfield is now producing one-piece bodies, with thin walls, not the one-piece clunkers another company made years ago, so maybe this idea is past its prime. But I wish there were styrene one piece subshell bodies, to which one could attach cast resin sides, roof, and ends. This would require the ability to hold constant thickness, which the commercial casting seem to be able to do. But then one wouldn't have to fumble to hold the sides to the ends and keep everything square and also keep the sides from bowing in, which seems to be a tendency for cast resin parts.


  • Mantua, your gon is an Erie prototype, a high-side gon used to ship coal. Please offer it lettered in Erie. There are several Erie schemes that could be used, so you could get some mileage out of the variations. And you could market this as a neat car no one else does, rather than just another 40-foot steel gon.


  • Accurail, how about a door-and-a-half version of your double-sheathed box car. If you did it right, the same mold could be used to make a similar 1-1/2 door single-sheathed box car.


  • Also, Accurail, a steel rebuilt side for your double-sheathed and single-sheathed box cars. It would have the typical bracketted look along the side sill and should have four panels on each side of the door instead of the typical all-steel car's five panels.



  • Walthers, your wood 50-foot express reefer/milk car is almost a perfect match in overall dimensions, including the curved roof, to the New York Central unique express reefers and milk cars (and the Rutland had the same style of milk cars). Both the Central reefers and milk cars had this hallmark shallow fishbelly side sill.
    If Walthers made their express reefer with this modification, it would be a good representation of the Central's express reefers. To do the milk cars, Walthers would have to cut a new version of the side, with narrow inward-opening doors, and while they were at it, a belt rail and the small vents along the bottom.


Passenger Cars

  • Plastic models for wood cars are too short for many typical prototypes used in the late steam-era. On the other hand, there are the 80-foot MDC Palace cars, which are too long - sort of like the Goldilocks dilemma. A typical open vestibule 60-foot wood coach, combine, and baggage car, such as the type offered by Labelle in basswood would be welcomed in plastic. (The baggage car ends should be "blind" with no vestibule, for the most general application.)


  • Some other complaints (which I offer so maybe they could remedied or at least not have the same errors duplicated on future models) - Most ends of wood cars did NOT have windows. MDC in particular loved adding windows here which ruins the model for any practical kitbashing.
    Also, baggage doors on wood plastic models are not recessed enough. Remember, in real life, the door has to slide behind the side wall, and wood sides are thicker than steel sides.
    Sheathing on wood passenger cars is often not fine enough. They did NOT have 6-inch wide boards.


  • Because the structure support of the typical "heavyweight" riveted steel passenger car was provided by the underframe, railroads could (and did) puncture the sides in endless variety for door and window location on baggage and RPO-baggage cars. A kit could be offered in 60, 70, and 80 feet, with blank sides, but with a typical rivet pattern, and with doors and windows as separate castings. The modeler could then cut the openings as desired.


  • In the same vein, "blank" sided wood passenger cars in different lengths, where the modeler could cut in doors and windows to make specific models.



  • A clerestory roof to fit the MDC Harriman cars. This would be particularly useful for their baggage and RPO kits, even if not 100% dead-on for any cars, to suggest some other non-Harriman prototypes.


  • Athearn apparently used the same mold base for all their heavyweight cars, but made an arch roof version of their coach. Then they got smart and also used the clerestory mold on their coach. (I don't think they had to cut a new die, just use this roof die as a variation when cranking out some coaches.) So how about going the opposite way and using the arch roof die for their baggage car and RPO-baggage car, just for something different?


  • The Bachmann, Rivarossi and Walthers Pullmans offered in the MOST useful scheme, the standard Pullman green scheme, which did not have any railroad name on it. ANY road could run this car. Also the standard Pullman two-tone gray scheme of late steam days.
(Branchline DOES do the green scheme, but in particular, Walthers is making models of cars that Branchline is not.)


  • The New York Central did not begin painting their heavyweight cars two-tone gray until 1953, making this version "steam-era" only by the skin of its teeth. I'm sure there are many other overdone schemes for other roads, while a generic scheme gets overlooked. (And Rivarossi, where did you ever get the idea that NYC used white lettering on their green cars, or am I missing something here? In latter years, the two-gray was considered too expensive and they dropped the light gray band, which gave a solid gray car with white lettering, but not green with white lettering.)


  • I like the idea of the drop in interiors that are made for the Rivarossi cars. I don't want to superdetail every passenger car with full interior, but it is nice to see something inside. How about a pair of seats, one row with aisle, so they could spaced with to match the windows, but with cast-in passengers. We are not talking Preiser quality, but even just sort of lumpy characters would do, such as produced by a vacuum-forming process. There would need to be a few different seats with a different arrangement of which seats are occupied, including one set of empty seats.


  • Robert Livingston asks for:
  • Six-wheel passenger trucks of the Pullman 2410 style, like the ones formerly made by Central Valley, but with Kadee quality, in die-cast metal. There is a far larger market for this type truck than, say, "1898 Andrews ASF" trucks. The Rivarossi/IHC plastic Pullman trucks are the later one-piece sideframe type not usually seen under Pullmans. The Athearn and MDC trucks' wheelbase is noticeably too short, even though the MDC truck looks too "heavy."
  • Also, we need a Kadee-quality OUTSIDE drop-equalized four wheel passenger truck, with eight foot wheelbase, and plain journals. Again, this was a common item, so the market is there. (On the NEB&W we have standardized on the Eastern Car Works version, but this is a rigid version.)



Scenery

  • A true elm, about 8 to 12 inches tall (for HO), with the distinctive "wineglass" branch structure.



  • Three-D printed trees. Three-D printing is slowly getting better and better. Image if they "scanned" in real trees and then printed them out, to scale, in full color.



Structures

  • Please follow a specific prototype - you guys are lousy period architects and the less you know, the more confident and arrogant you are in plowing ahead with goofy designs. (Cuz these strange designs influence the next generation of modelers and manufacturers and the hobby continues to get more and more mismash goulash architecture.)
    Remember the lack of interest in freight cars when manufacturers offered generic designs. As modelers became more knowledgeable, not less, in historical freight cars, the interest exploded. Manufacturers can thus sell higher-priced models because modelers appreciate what they are getting. (I remember not too long ago when people used to say no one would pay more than $2.98 for a freight car and Athearn had the market cornered.)


  • While the Atlas brick factory is a good start, a styrene model of a more typical brick mill. This would have an ornate tower with the option to place it in different spots. Freight loading doors should NOT be placed so close. (The kit could have recesses on the back to make it easy to cut out a larger opening for a freight door but mills don't have anywhere as many as modelers think.)


  • In line with this, a four-story long (say 18 inches) brick wall with regularly spaced windows. Sort of like if the long wall of the Atlas factory was offered separately, but without so many doors. Modelers could cut it to their desired length and height.


  • Please, no more pilasters on brick buildings, unless absolutely necessary.
    And no more four-over-four windows - either two-over-two or 6-over-6 - again unless a specific prototype had them.


  • All styrene kits with separate window castings, if possible, should be designed so the castings could be replaced with standard Grandt Line or Tichy window castings.
    And Tichy and Grandt Line should produce some castings to replace the bulkier castings in some of the more popular kits - like multipaned windows for the DPM modular system. Another example - the City Classics concrete and brick factory has separate windows that are a little thick, but also could be replaced with castings that have smaller - and thus more - panes.


  • Wish Tichy and Grandt Line would offer clear plastic inserts for each of their window castings. These could be offered separately. A lot of their castings have a recess on the inside since the castings are detailed on both sides, but having to cut clear plastic to exactly fit is tricky. (This could also be done by laser cutting, I think.)


  • Laser-cut models of wood structures with knotholes cut into the boards. You see this on buildings where the paint is wearing away but model wood doesn't have knotholes.



  • "Wood" siding with irregularly-spaced and somewhat wavy boards - like on the Revell farmhouse and barn - for scratchbuilding. This would either have to be injection-molded styrene or laser-cut, as the type of milling that is used for Northeastern or Evergreen siding makes all the lines straight and parallel. Even some siding with a slight sag would be nice.



  • C. 1940's summer cabins, with screened porches. (Small houses with wide clapboard, asphalt shingles, or asbestos wavy shingles, with a 20 to 30 degree roof pitch, and no overhang on the gables. For more information on the unique architecture of summer cabins, see this section.)


  • A typical rambling wood creamery. A creamery generally put out a milk car a day, which was picked up a local passenger train, a way freight, or a special milk train, so this industry far overshadows just about every other one for its size in terms of rail traffic. There are laser-cut kits from InterMountain and Branchline, but to bring this to everyday-Joe, plastic would be nice.


  • Kits for back additions as seen on many Victorian row houses and stores (such as Design Preservation many examples). These could be offered as laser-cut kits, or in plastic, and could run the gamut of the patchwork higgledy-piggledy nature of these. In most cases, it was the backs of row buildings that faced the tracks, so these would offer variety and interesting facets and shapes to the viewer.


  • A kit for a Beaux Arts-type large station, such as the one at Albany, NY, Kansas City, and many places. (The Troy station was also Beaux Arts, but unusual in the use of brick rather than marble.)
    Walthers did one but it was pretty plain for this type of station. Such a structure is likely to be a key one for a layout so going overboard here would be sort of like spending money for a brass engine and running plastic rolling stock behind it.


  • An accurate rendition of a typical three-and-a-half story row-house along with several first story storefront replacements to convert this into a retail store (as these row houses often were converted).
    The DPM kits are close but clearly miss the mark.


  • I got an request from one of our readers for a series of plastic fire escape kits for buildings, to which I would have to say, "amen!" There are some beautiful etched brass ones out there, but working with brass scares me off just enough that I never get to them.


  • Brick dry-transfers. I did an article in Model Railroader a number of years ago about using photos of real brick walls, and making them into decals, using the ALPS printer. What would be great if instead of decals, these were done as dry transfers so you could just rub and transfer the colors where you want, without having to cut away decal film.
    These have to images of real brick. I can see some manufacturer making a salt-and-pepper made-up coloring, which would not be very realistic. And since these wouldn't be too sucessful, they would be a commercial failure and no one else would try.
    These dry transfers could be applied even to finished structures.


  • All masonry window castings (this means you, Grandt Line and Tichy) should have a frame cast on the inside so you have something to glue to the walls and also guarantees that windows will be all set into the walls the same. (I use many window castings for frame buildings inserted from the inside, so I know this is great time-saver.)


  • A large window "grid" from which to cut out individual windows for those steel-framed 20th century industrial windows. I am always cutting up and gluing together the Grandt Line and Tichy enginehouse windows to get certain window-pane patterns. Let me tell you, cutting is easy, glueing together is tricky.
    This might be, say 100 panes across and 100 panes high, and hopefully not square but slight rectangular panes.


  • A casting for a four-foot wide door storefront-type door. Grandt Line and others make a five-footer but a four-foot version was also common (also for rowhouses).



  • "Projected" storefronts on some kits of Victorian buildings. These stuck out a foot or so to allow glass on both sides - like a bay window - getting more light into the interior. Some had the glass area sitting on brackets, others have the base projected out, in line with the glass.



Details

  • Styrene strips in a variety of ornate profiles, like the cornice and other basswood shapes offered by Northeastern.


  • Styrene castings for the cast anchors and other hardware found on actual turnouts (go study a real track switch), to superdetail commercial turnouts.



  • Steam-era scale crossing gates. Every elevated crossing tower, such as offered by Revell, Atlas, IHC, has to have gates. The flagman could be not expected to run down the stairs for each approaching train and flag the crossing in person - he cranked down the gates from his perch up high. Many of the one-story shanties, too, had manual gates rather than having the guy stand in the middle of the street with a stop sign. In steam days, gates tended to completely block the crossing, so generally there would be four gates, not two, each with a short sidewalk arm, too. The only currently available gates are either of European design or represent automatic gates. (There is one version that shall go unnamed, grossly oversized with stubby arms turned 90 degrees out of kilter so the flat blade section is top and bottom.)
    Walthers has just announced a kit for a flagmen's shanty and pair of crossing gates, but I would hope they would make the gates available separately, maybe in bulk, like 10 pair.



  • I got the following suggestions from one of our viewers:
  • Body kits in Styrene for the Ertl 1948 Peterbuilt Tractor similar to the metal ones used on the Magnuson line of vehicles.


  • Similar body kits for the Athearn 25-foot trailer and Walthers 32-foot trailer.


  • Interior kits for Crossing gate tower kits with pieces that can be rearranged.


  • Window kits for Alloy Form and Resin Unlimited kits.


  • The 1948 Peterbuilt offered without a trailer and undecorated.



Figures

  • In general, while there are some figures dating back to Columbus, or the 1830's, there are very few figures from the '40's and '50's. Some of the 1930's or contemporary ones can be used, but you have to pick and choose. Railroad workers don't change that much, but women figures should tend to be dressed in the latest styles. Most women dressed up to go downtown - few if any in hair curlers or jeans back then - including gloves.
    All men, except uniformed blue collar workers, wore suits, even on their days off, with only rare exceptions. (When I was a freshman here at RPI in '68, we still had a dress code for dinner at the Freshman Dining Hall - we had to wear a suit coat and tie. When students starting coming to dinner in a tee-shirt, shorts, sneakers, but with the coat and tie, the tradition suffered a fatal setback. This was the '60's, after all.)
    And many uniformed trade workers, such as milk men, often had ties, typically bow ties (this was less likely to get caught in moving machinery).
    As with all figures, both painted sets and unpainted sets in bulk would be best. (Somewhat DONE - the new Woodland Scenics figures seem to be doing more steam-era clothing.)


  • A man lying in a hammock. (See this section for more info.)


  • A person raking the lawn with the "fan" type rack.


  • A couple of children behind a lemonade stand.



  • A policeman or fireman figure opening an urban fire hydrant with kids playing in the water. I guess you'd have to cast the water too, in clear plastic.


  • Few blue-collar workers wore hard hats back in steam days. Wish they would make the same sets that are offered with hard hats, only with other types of hats, such as fedoras or caps.



  • I got a request from a visitor for children playing hop-scotch. I can't remember the rules, but I think there would be a need for one child to be jumping, with one leg raised, like the way flamingos do, while the others just stand and watch. I've been looking for a period source for the layout of the chalk outline on the sidewalk, as that is something we could do ourselves, and be a neat detail by itself. Yes, I know the game probably has not changed in 100 years, but still I would like to see a contemporary account.