May was a good month for S Scale… especially for me:) River Raisin Models officially announced they’ll be going through with their SP switcher project AND adding 3 different M6 2-6-0’s to the mix. If you’ve ever wanted a really nice S Scale brass steam locomotive at a great price, NOW IS YOUR CHANCE. Also this month, MTH Trains allowed their vendors to start pre-ordering from the Showcase Line they took over from S Helper Service. I was kind of disappointed the SW-9 didn’t make it into the first run, but really happy about the F3, especially since they’re doing it in Santa Fe War Bonnet. I ordered a pair of powered A-units and an unpowered B. They have some new reefers too, so I ordered 6 – including 2 new beer reefers. The reefers are supposed to deliver in December and the locomotives after the 1st of next year… I can hardly wait:) Also this month I got a laser cut kit for 4 outbuildings from Keeler, CA on the SP narrow gauge. Also saw on Facebook (yes, they have an S Scale group) that M2 has a new set of 50’s era work trucks in 1/64. Yes, it’s been a pretty good month for the Ideal Scale:)
With all the good things coming out on the scale side, S is looking better and better all the time for me. I wish I could say the same thing for toy trains… I just don’t feel too hopeful that S Scale will ever make much of a comeback which is a shame IM(not so)HO. Toy trains serve a very useful purpose, and despite what some self proclaimed experts think, they’re just as much fun to run as scale models. Even the O Gaugers are starting to get “uppity” towards the guys who still like toy trains, but at least there’s so much stuff in the pipeline that “toys” will still be available for a long time, even if they stopped making all of it tomorrow. Guess that’s a roundabout way of saying I bought some more O Gauge stuff since I swore it off not long ago.
Sometimes you see some really surprising stuff on eBay, like the laser cut kit for 4 outbuildings in Keeler, CA on the Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge (aka Slim Princess) – in S Scale no less. Every time I start to drift away from S Scale, something happens to bring me back to my senses. First it was the River Raisin SP Mikes (that just happened to run on the Jawbone branch that interchanged with the Slim Princess at Owenyo). Next it was the Railmaster “Little Giant” Sn3 locomotive kit. Then it was the SP C-30 caboose by Southwind Models. Do you think someone’s trying to tel me something? I’ve also managed to get an S Scale kit of the Keeler engine house, and an HO Scale kit of the Laws depot that I’ll use for reference when I scratch build it in S.
In other notes, I’m still waiting (over FOUR WEEKS???) for confirmation from MTH that I’m indeed in their “Railroaders Club” in spite of the fact they charged my credit card the same day I registered. LCCA is going to release a limited edition American Flyer set featuring a Baldwin switcher painted in UP’s “Building America” colors, flag and all. (note to self – start saving for one NOW). I still don’t have room for a layout but our rental house is almost complete so hopefully I’ll have time to clean out the garage soon and build a shelf along one wall. If I can’t run my trains it’d be nice to at least be able to display and photograph some of them. I’m too broke to buy much right now which is actually a good thing… maybe I’ll finally get around to building some of the structure kits I’ve accumulated.
It’s still looking like my first layout will be my Lionel Christmas layout – all I have room for is 4×8, and S Scale just won’t fit in 4×8. (I’m not counting the shelf in the garage since it won’t allow continuous running) Actually O Gauge isn’t too bad if you stick to O27 and ignore the wide track and third rail. Unless the American Flyer availability get a lot better I might just stick with O27 for my toy train fix and reserve S Scale for my scale modeling efforts.
Speaking of being broke, I just got a few kits – actually printable files – from Clever Models and for what they are, they look pretty good. I bought the O Scale versions and printed them at 75% to get them to S Scale. Hope to have one built and some pics pretty soon. Better to practice my modeling skills on cheap stuff instead of expensive laser cut kits.