River Raisin’s Southern Pacific S12 and more…

River Raisin Models Southern Pacific S12It looks like at least one of River Raisin Models’ latest announced projects – the Southern Pacific S12/S14 – is a go. I put in my deposit on an S12 last year and for awhile it looked like there wouldn’t be enough reservations for the project to go forward. I guess they finally got enough reservations though, because according to their web site it IS going to be imported. That’s great news if you’re an SP fan, but it gets even better. Besides the S12 and S14, they’re also going to import the Southern Pacific M4 Mogul (2-6-0) in 3 different road numbers with 5 total variations. Besides the SP models, they’re also offering this locomotive painted but unlettered with a coal tender which is great news for non-SP modelers who need some small steam locomotives on their layout.

So far this year is shaping up to be a pretty good year for S Scale. Lionel seems committed to expanding their American Flyer offerings, MTH is bringing back the S Helper Line, and now a new brass locomotive (Southern Pacific to boot!) from River Raisin. Oh, and I found the Conoco Dolores Oil Depot on eBay – should be here next week:) Happy S Scaling…

LCCA for S Scalers?

I just joined the LCCA – Lionel Collectors Club of America. I know, so what? It looks like the LCCA is going to release an S Gauge American Flyer set sometime soon and it also looks too good to pass up for a Flyer junkie like me. I’ve been wanting NEW Flyer stuff since, like, forever and I’ve also decided to quit buying O Gauge stuff for awhile and concentrate on S Scale, so the timing is perfect for me. Anyway, the set will have a small diesel switcher painted in Union Pacific colors, a box car, “special” (I guess just for this set) watermelon car and auto carrier with two Hot Wheels cars, and a “specially painted” caboose. It’s supposed to be a Ready to Run set so I’m guessing it will include a transformer and track.

I also joined MTH’s Railroader’s Club last week to get their special boxcar. The experience between the two is night and day. When I joined LCCA, I was immediately given my Member Number and password to the web site. I joined MTH’s RR Club on the 19th and have yet to receive so much as an email acknowledgement that I’d joined, even though my credit card has already been charged. I called MTH yesterday and was told the due to the backlog (whatever that means) I shouldn’t expect to receive my membership number and login password for 2 or 3 more weeks. What??? If they can charge my credit card automatically, why can’t they automatically generate my login info and email it to me?

No matter what you want…

Dolores Conoco Plant - S ScaleIf it was ever made, it’s going to eventually show up on eBay. I’ve been wanting the Dolores Conoco Plant from Raggs to Riches ever since I first saw it about 3 years ago. Unfortunately I screwed around and din’t buy one, and the kit was discontinued. After a few weeks of frantic internet searches, posting Want Ads in online S Scale forums, and making umpteen phone calls to every vendor in the country who “might” have one stashed away they’d forgotten about I resigned myself to the fact I was probably never going to own this kit. So Friday afternoon I’m looking on ebay for a Tyco 4-6-0 and… there’s a Ragg’s Dolores Conoco oil plant. I almost dod the Buy-It-Now option but I didn’t really want to pay $275, so I just watch and put in a bid about a minute before the auction ended – and got the kit for $208 (plus shipping). So I’m a happy camper again:) Now I have to keep watching for an Ouray engine house kit in S Scale.

MTH S Scale Catalog is out…

MTH S Scale Railroaders Club box carFinally some good news for S Scale fans… MTH Trains’ S Scale catalog is out and it’s a lot better than I’d hoped. They only have one diesel locomotive, but it’s the F3 and it’s available in Santa Fe War Bonnet colors. The best part is it comes with both scale and High Rail wheels and couplers. This is great news for both American Flyer fans and the scale crowd – maybe now the rivet-counters can quit crying about the continued availability of Flyer-compatible locomotives; MTH accommodates both groups.

Freight cars include PS-2 covered hoppers, 70-ton ore cars, 40′ woodsided reefers, and 40′ steel rebuilt box cars. These are all former S Helper Service cars so the quality should be great. They don’t offer as many road names as S Helper did but that might change. The current selection is actually pretty good, I just wish western roads were better represented. Another thing I’d like to see them do is offer the cars painted but unlettered. One bright spot is two new Beer Reefers – M.K. Goetz Brewery and Senate Beer. There’s also a limited edition box car (B&O Sentinel Fast Freight Service) you can get by joining the MTH Railroaders Club.

Finally there is new American Flyer compatible S Gauge track again. This is S Helper Service’s track system which is pretty decent from what I’ve heard (I’ve never tried it myself). The best part of the catalog though is the American Flyer accessories. They’ve remade 11, most notably the sawmill, log loader, and Gabe the Lamplighter.

Today is a very good day for S Scale. The F3 and freight cars look good enough to run on any Scale layout, yet they’ll operate on American Flyer radius curves. For American Flyer fans, we can finally get operating accessories without having to scour eBay, internet forums, etc. and pay exorbitant prices for something in even semi-decent condition. I can’t wait to see Lionel’s S Scale catalog which is supposed to release today…

More kits on the way – and more musings on S Scale

Lucky Mining CompanyI finally broke myself from buying really cool O Gauge stuff and ordered a couple S Scale kits – the Lucky Mining Company and the Virginia & Truckee Virginia City ore bin, both by Classic Miniatures. Both are models of kits served by the V&T but I think they’ll fit well on my Slim Princess Sn3 layout that I’ll eventually get around to building. Hey, at least I’m spending money on S Scale stuff again:) I also ordered the Laws depot kit in HO Scale. I still dabble a little in that scale, and I’d like to scratch build this model in S Scale; having the kit will help out a lot in that effort (I think). So far my S Scale inventory (not counting American Flyer) consists of two SP narrow gauge 4-6-0’s, a C-16 (that’s going to get an SP-style tender), two SP narrow gauge combines, and around 10 SP narrow gauge freight car kits. My standard gauge roster is two SP Mikados and three Mountains by River Raisin Models, an SP Atlantic by Southwind Models, an American Models GP-9 kit, Des Plaines Hobbies GE 70-ton switch engine kit, three Southwind cabooses, a really nice Daylight passenger car set (American Models), and about twenty S Helper Service freight cars. I don’t have much track, but I do have ten structure kits and that collection is growing, especially if someone will sell me a Delores Conoco Oil Station kit. (inventory provided for the benefit of a friend who asked why I’m getting out of S Scale)

Meanwhile, over on the O Gauge Forum there was a really interesting thread about switching from O Gauge to HO scale due to lack of space. It got me thinking – wouldn’t S Scale be a better scale to switch to? It has almost the heft of O Gauge but takes up a lot less space. You could almost call it “The Ideal Scale.” Oh, that’s right, someone already did:) Anyway, I thought it was interesting to read some dedicated O Gaugers’ thoughts on other scales. Then I popped over to the S Scale section and once again, some guys are bemoaning the existence of American Flyer and proclaiming how much better the world would be if only the manufacturers would give up on AF compatibility and only make scale stuff. It’s too confusing to have both types because no one can figure out what to buy and having both drives people away from S Scale and blah blah blah…

Want to make a bet? I’ll bet the constant infighting among morons who think S Scale can only accommodate “scale” or only Flyer – but not both – does more to drive away potential S Scale modelers and especially manufacturers than anything else. Some people estimate that S Scale is about 85% American Flyer (and compatible) and 15% scale – yet a small number of the “15%s” think they should get to tell the rest of us what should be available??? I don’t think so, and it’s a really stupid argument because ‘S’ is big enough to accommodate both.

More Myopia in S Scale – and another rant…

S Scale Brookside Dairy reeferPeople never cease to amaze me. Just this week, someone finally figured out exactly how S Scale can grow!!! The only thing that needs to happen is all the manufacturers need to agree on a standard that basically mandates Kadee (or similar) couplers and scale wheel flanges. Everything will be wonderful and we can “run…