West Bottoms In S Scale

Discussion in 'S Scale' started by Coonskin, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi All!

    I had a request to post some pics and info about my KC Lines West Bottoms layout that I'm slooowly building in S scale. Being happy to oblige, here we go!

    How It Came To Be:

    Ever since discovering mountain railroading in November of '74 aboard a Frisco freight from Van Buren, AR to Winslow, AR and return, I was a mountain railroad modeler. All my layouts after The Trip were set in the Ozarks, with two of them being based on the Frisco's Fort Smith Subdivision.

    A move in 1998 predicated dismantling my final Frisco FS Sub layout of 11 years. (An HO tri-level with about 200' of mainline w/hidden staging loops. Modeled from Ft. Smith to Fayette Jct, with the north loop representing points north, and the south loops representing the Arthur Sub. The entire layout was housed within a 24' travel trailer modified for layout use.)

    Once settled into our new home, my only immediately available space was in my combination hobby/computer room, a paltry 9' or so by 12'. Not much.

    I tried a couple of things in this room. First was Sn3. I quickly saw there was no way to model mountains and expanse in such a small area. Not Colorado, not the Ozarks with HO diesels... forget it.

    I then had the idea to go to O 3 rail, and simply have fun... deciding to create somewhat of a "Kansas City" look. The thinking was that being O 3 rail (since they're "toys"), it didn't HAVE to be realistic. Density was expected in a "city scape" layout. To boot, there was to be a bit of industrial switching to go along with the double track roundy-loop mains. This idea began to shape up and worked "okay", until I grew tired of the boxy look of the traditional 3 rail trains.

    So, I tried to convert it to O 3 rail "Hi Rail", that is, scale sized equipment... with semi-realistic scenery. Purchased some items and tried it: No way. Once I started going with trains that were more properly proportioned... I wasn't happy with the tall rail height, the "less than Kato" performance of the engines, and the killer: That third rail running down the center of the track. Stagnation resulted. Too many years of "serious" scale modeling, me thinks.

    At some unknown point in time a few years ago, I had the brain storm to seriously look at S scale. This I did, purchasing a state-of-the-art engine (an S Helper Service Frisco SW9), a couple of run of the mill boxcars, and some flex track.

    Wow! It was more than I hoped for! The size was perfect, the SHS SW ran BETTER than my HO Kato (and comparable HO stuff), and I could simulate 110 lb rail and 90 lb rail using code 100 and code 83 track and switches.

    By converting to S scale, I could have a NICE little switching layout that hearkened to my childhood memories and impressions of the West Bottoms area of KC. By elaborating on the KC Lines theme, my layout could play host to ANY railroad from KC in the early-mid 60's that I wanted to tackle. My concept was a small industrial yard in the West Bottoms that was part of a larger KC area railroad. This primary railroad would switch customers on their tracks in the West Bottoms area (modeled), and other KC railroads could come on stage and set out/pick up into and out of the small yard of the host railroad via transfer runs/etc. Using this scenario, the primary railroad could be the Frisco or Mop or KCT or... whatever I wanted! The other roads would be the transfers. Any of, or all, equipment could be utilized at any give session!

    At this point, I'm leaning toward my primary railroad being my own Kansas City & Gulf proto-lanced theme that I concocted during the final year or so of my HO tri-level layout mentioned above. Doing this would allow me to avail myself of the available S scale models without heavy kitbashing or other time consuming projects. I theorized this would allow me to get into business quicker than kitbashing to specific prototype models. Good plan, but thus far I'm enjoying creating/obtaining models of the prototype KC roads!

    Okay, enough rhetoric, let's get to a few pictures.

    First up, is a close view of my 12th St Yard.


    I created the backdrops with photos that I took in the West Bottoms area, then photoshopped them, and this is the result. Given the 24" benchwork depth, and intensity of track, I figure I will need to lean heavily upon the backdrop to convey the urban industrial look, as well as "expanse". So far, so good.

    Next up is an overall view of the incomplete 12th St. Yard scene.


    I want to point out that I gained about 33%-35% more layout by switching to S SCALE from O 3 RAIL. I like the train-to-scenery ratio MUCH better, and the feeling of "expanse" that I also gained via a switch to S scale. (Plus, I get BIG TRAINS to boot!)

    Next picture is on an in-process kit detailing project I have on the workbench. This is American Models Baldwin S-12 model. It runs nice, but I felt the details were a bit "coarse" out of the box, so I set in to fabricate scale sized hand rails etc. Into this will eventually go a Soundtraxx Tsunami DCC decoder w/Baldwin sound. (You have GOT to hear the Baldwin sounds at the Soundtraxx website!!) This S-12 will either become a KC&G unit, or a Mop S-12 in Jenks Blue.


    Next will be a few pics of my Frisco #306 SW. This is an SHS product that has simply been painted/decaled/weathered to reflect the prototype engine. All the details and other stuff is pure SHS. This one also has DCC w/Tsunami sound. (All my engines will be sound equipped.




    Lastly, below you will find a trackplan for you to puruse. As with all trackplans, it is a work in progress, and the final product may not be as drawn.

    Well... that's about it for now! Long ways to go... and there have been many periods of inactivity... but overall I think I've found a great way to enjoy a variety of my favorite roads in an acceptably plausible setting... all within a small room!

    Have fun!


    Andre Ming
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  2. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    WOW Andre!

    Awesome! I am impressed! Like I have mentioned elsewhere, I have visited so many S scale web sites some wore out. I stopped when my computer started to smoke...LOL

    I keep checking my mail box for that American Models S-12 that you painted and decaled for the Katy for my recent July 4th 65th birthday...

    Back in 1966 while in the Army, I came up with a rebirth of the Katy Greenville-Mineola branch that they had abandoned. It was going to be constructed in O scale when I returned home from the service and found suitable quarters to live in. Thus, the Mineola & Greenville was born. Marriage, family, railroading on the Cotton Belt and ATSF extra boards, put the project on the back burner. Then I even sold the stove. No back burner any longer...

    I am now gaining interest to model railroad again and though the Frisco will be first and foremost, I still want to roster some equipment of other Texas railroads as well. My plans to construct a layout based on the original John Allen Gorre & Daphetid or Atlas´ Simplicity & Great Plains has been scrapped in favor of a generic shelf layout loosely following the O scale Pioneer Valley switching road that was featured in MR as a project layout to prove that O scale could be modeled in a small area. It was later included in one of Kalmbach´s MR layout books as well. If you Google Pioneer Valley a gallery of color photos will show you the layout which was based on a former Boston & Maine line that ran in Massachusetts.

    Scenery will be Texas in nature and select industries will replace the ones used on the PV of course and being a switching layout the home road will be a terminal company providing local interchange between several carriers as well as serving on line industries. One of my 18 foot long livingroom walls will provide the space for the modified PV trackage. The other three walls will contain a narrow shelf to carry rails around the room to permit running long trains. Thus, a train of Oklahoma coal behind Frisco power and older hoppers with the "billboard" coonskin on their sides and caboose will perform a run-through drag through the terminal yards enroute to another area railroad to hand off the train.

    This is the plan, man! Your S scale tales have not only inspired me to model in S but rekindled the idea of modeling in S scale that really had its beginning in the early 80s after visiting Bill´s Train Shop near Tampa, Florida. In retrospect, retaining armchair model railroad status until now has been a mixed blessing. I am retired and the S scale market has blossomed with a wealth of equipment, structures and vehicles that weren´t on the market almost 30 years ago.

    But a special thanks is still due to you Andre for the renewed inspiration and sharing photos of your work. Your Kansas City & Gulf reminds me of the original name the KCS was chartered under, Kansas City, Pittsburg & Gulf. Not to worry, in the 10th grade I dreamed up the St. Louis Southern. Not intended as a play on the Cotton Belt either, it was going to be a freelanced HO layout.
    The other two guys in that long ago 1961 summer in Texas came up with Southern Gulf States and Texas Western. Boy, were we ever innovative?

    Thanks again!

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
  3. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi John:

    Thanks for the kind words. It appears you are doing your homework this time around, and giving it good forethought. You have ample space avaiable to have a really nice switching layout. The beauty of modeling an industrial area is you can plausibly have density in track, industrial spots, traffic, et al. Urban/industrial switching themes really are a boon to those of us that are "spacially challenged".

    The KC&G was a theme was concocted near the end of my HO tri-level layout. I retained my HO KC&G units instead of selling off. (Who would want a someone elses proto-lanced theme, anyway?)

    However, it has turned out to be a good thing, because I already have paint schemes to mimick! Though the following picture is an HO scale Kato NW2, this is what my KC&G S scale NW2 will look like:


    My KC&G theme was conceived to reflect a line that was having financial difficulties. This will allow me to have fun with weathering techniques, which I really enjoy. Think of a north/south Rock Island during its beleaguered years, and you get the idea.

    Welp, all for now!

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  4. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member


    I ran and dug out my birth certificate. My name is still Joseph! John Santa Fe was my employer in Dallas though!

    I like the scheme on the Kato NW2! If I were going to model in HO again I would purchase all of your KC&G power! A repaint over the name is all that needs to be done. You custom paint job equals that on Lance Mindheim´s CSX power on his Miami industrial layouts! I envy you guys. Eddie Chambers is a good old boy and Frisco and Katy fan who used to custom paint for Bobbye Hall in Dallas. He now lives near Tulsa. I need to get him to get on this site! He has the skills you guys do! My two crossed eyes and ten thumbs are hiding under the depot floor in utter shame!

    I have always wanted to model a run down passenger train simular to the Katy Flyer during its last years. Faded red diesels and equipment and carrying the proud name Delta Dawn. The name is coined from the song with that name. Listen to it and you will see how I conceived the idea. Helen Reddy sung it if memory serves me well. The "fancy" Streamliner was still in first class condition. Its name was going to be the Magnolia State and be operated with another line that was running in the black and not on the brink of bankruptcy as was the road that operated the Dawn only on its own rails. I never came up with a name for the railroad but had given a lot of thought about a line running between Atlanta and Dallas.

    Just what do you have in the way of HO power that is painted for the KC&G? I am anxious to follow the progress with your S scale KC&G.

    Besides the Pioneer Valley O scale switching pike there was a neat little shelf layout in the same Atlas HO layout book that featured the Simplicity & Great Plains. It was named the Southside Connecting. These layouts and the CSX Miami layouts that Lance is constructing have given me a lot of ideas. These, when combined with your KC&G are giving me a lot of positive planning to apply when I start to put a plan on paper. Other Frisco Folks with industrial switching layouts are also encouraged to add to this forum. I need all the ideas I can get. Scale is not important. From Z to G!

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
  5. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    John/Joe = SFS. (Stupid Finger Syndrome) Sorry 'bout that, Jim. :)

    Seriously, in answer to your questions:

    In KC&G paint, I have:

    #136 NW2 (see above)

    #200 FA-1: This was built a long time ago before the nice P2K FA's were available. It is a Frateschi shell with a Kato mechanism/trucks installed under it. I can't remember if I modified/retained the Frateschi frame or built a new one. Sharp eyes will note the twin stacks on the roof, indicating a repowered FA.


    #255 RS-3: Pure Atlas/Kato, simply repainted a few minor mods n' new paint.


    #300 F3A: Stewart model with minor mods n' paint. This is the "original" KC&G scheme for an F unit. The unit was involved in a minor yard incident, thus the replaced (but not painted) number board and the few scratches that remain beneath same. Also note one of the original fan housings was replaced with what they had on hand. (Picked this idea up from the prototype KCS!)


    #305 F7A: Stewart model with minor mods n' paint. This is the first of the "simplified" schemes the KC&G implemented to try to reduce costs. There was to be another variation or two on F unit paint schemes, but nothing radical. This fortunate F7 was lucky enough to receive a shopping w/new paint sometime during the mid-60's.


    #412 GP7: Heavily reworked Front Range model (no P2K's when this was built!) including completely different trucks/etc. (Front range trucks were JUNK. I would modify the frames and use tuned Athearn trucks.) This unit still wears its faded and tatty original scheme. There was also a simplified scheme that I don't have a picture of.


    Bear in mind the above models were built with a 1970 era in mind. Thus, they were modeled to be in even more deplorable condition than would be the case in my S scale early-mid 1960's target era.

    As you can see, the Frisco and Missouri Pacific HEAVILY influenced my paint schemes and color selections. Sort of surreal mixing of the two. The exception would be the switcher scheme: It is unique to itself, in regards to decor. The overall condition of the power was influenced by my appreciation of the woes of the Rock Island, the sad condition of many KCS units of the time, as well as the latter years of the Frisco's 1st generation power. (Many were in sad shape.)

    As for rolling stock, nothing fancy. Simply shake the box kits that were relettered with my concoctions and weathered for a "good enough" approach. Here's a few examples:


    All of the above have the "billboard" scheme that came into being on the KC&G during the 50's.

    Now, having typed all of this thread, and posted all of these pics, bear in mind that with my new KC Lines "theme", the KC&G would only be one among MANY of the KC roads that will be seen on my West Bottoms layout. (Most layouts only have one or, possibly, two roads represented.) I really like the idea of having modeling flexibilty to create models of the KC roads as I see fit. At this point, though, there will be more Frisco models ready to go than KC&G!!!

    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2011
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  6. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Anyone care to guess what THIS is going to become? ;)



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  7. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Frisco.org Supporter Frisco.org Supporter

    Andy, Authur, and Andre: I absolutely love your theme, track plan, modeling, and weathering!
    The idea of having a consolidation of railroads serving a terminal as you have designed is a great idea.
    For the amount of room that you have, you have done an outstanding job of planning for switching moves - as well as loop running - without complicating the construction.
    All of your models have character, but, #300 is just an outstanding example of "real" railroading.
    Great job on it all.
    mountaincreekar likes this.
  8. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Thanks for the kind words, Sirfoldalot!

    The West Bottoms theme is proving to be perfect for my eclectic nature. The neat thing about such a city setting is that ALL the lines of that city could be seen passing through just about any area as a transfer run. Cool.

    There has to be switching in order to keep me entertained once a layout is functional. Otherwise, once I see it shaping up, I'd no longer be interested. The continuous run will be used as a means to allow transfers to pass through the scene, as well as those transfers that have freight bound for the KC&G's (or whatever road I deem as the "primary road" for that month/whatever) 12th St Yard. With DCC, when I have a friend over to help me operate, I'll be able to have coordinated switching moves on the same piece of track. Nice.

    As for my weathering: Well, I'm a sucker for junk. What can I say? Though as a railroader I would HATE to have to run something that looked like #300 (typically the insides are just as shabby as the outside of such a locomotive), I find such a unit interesting as a modeling subject.

    Though the Frisco is my all-time favorite prototype road, my years of interest was the black and yellow era. Well... black schemes such as the Frisco's doesn't showcase modeled weathering effects as well as lighter colors. True, the orange & white scheme is GREAT for showing weathering... but it's just a bit too "new" for my era. So, I chose lighter colors for the KC&G for just that reason: To give me a better background to play with weathering effects. Further, seeing as the KC&G is proto-lanced, I can model the weathering and effects using the "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" approach: I can reflect effects witnessed on non-modeled prototypes. I like that.

    Anyway... going to close for now. Thanks again for the kudos and kind words. Reading such comments is encouraging and helps motivate one to make progress!

  9. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Great gobs of greasy geeps, Andre!

    Man, I love your modeling skills! The weathering jobs are fantastic! If I were going to model in HO again, I´d buy all your power and have you re-letter all for my favorite proto-lanced railroad, the Kaw & Wa****a. The "KAW" is the railroad in the book "The Long Summer of George Adams" by Weldon Hill. It was published in 1962 if memory serves me well. A paperback edition followed. The book is a great read for any model railroader, armchair or active! It takes place in the summer of 1952. George Adams is an engine watchman in the small town of Sumac, Oklahoma. He beds down the last remaining steam locomotives after they come in from working the line (one from the north, the other from the south). He maintains steam pressure on the locos all night and then goes home for a few hours of shuteye. The town is really Skedee and it is mentioned in the book as being located south of Sumac but in reality Hill took the liberty of giving the town a fictional name. You can Google Skedee, Oklahoma, for more information on this interesting town named after a small Native American tribe!

    The line was the Santa Fe secondary line that ran down from the Kansas through Cushing and rejoined the mainline at Pauls Valley. The concrete coaling tower that was built in Skedee around WWI and never put into operation is a player in the book. The Santa Fe converted to oil thus making the tower stillborn. There was a Trains artical on this line in the 80s I believe. At that time, Cushing Rail Car was located in Cushing and is mentioned in the artical as well. The people of Skedee tried to save the coaling tower but BNSF had it demollished a few years ago. I got to visit Skedee in 1987. The tracks had been lifted but the right of way was still there of course, as was the coaling tower. I won´t ruin the story but all Frisco Folks should obtain copy. If you like railroad stories this is one of the better novels. I will "plug" three others soon. All are good reading! I guess you can Google or go to the book sites like abebooks. I understand a movie was made and filmed in Texas based on the book. I have never seen it but my best friend told me it kinda stunk when you compare it to the book. This has happened many times over of course.

    Anyway, your KC&G has given me the "hots" to follow through on my KAW in S scale now. Thanks a whole pile of dirty old grease rags!) As a matter of fact I had never developed a color scheme for the Kaw. I might have to pay you royalties for the use of it!
    There is no mention of what color scheme the diesels wear in the book. The Kaw in the novel rosters the last steam locos that George attends to and when freights run through the town you get the impression they are four unit sets of cab units (typical of 1952) and they are referred to as "shiney new diesels). A doodlebug also runs from Skedee south, to the "city" of Gunther, Oklahoma. It is fictional like Skedee is. A "Streamliner" also runs through Skedee and is mentioned in the story as well.

    Thus the Kaw is a perfect proto-lance railroad to model! The K&W runs from Kansas (KC?) down to Texas. Your imigination is free to decide here and that makes modeling a road like the Kaw fun to me. I guess I will have to drive up from Dallas on my next visit to Texas and invade your territory Andre! I will buy the steak dinner if you let me pitch a pup tent in your back yard!

    I really like your KC&G concept and it is giving me inspiration to dig out my copy of "George" and re-read it to help me design my own version of Sumac. It has four tracks that is mentioned in the book and is a typical "tank town" that once dotted so many small American communities. The ATSF (Kaw) did cross the Frisco. In the Trains artical, Camp is mentioned as an interchange point. I am all set to put pen on paper and see what I can develop into a small 1952 era tank town along my 18 foot long livingroom wall. My best friend passed away suddenly at age 59 on April 22, 2006. I think his copy of "George" is still at a friend´s house in Tampa. If it is, I would love to make arrangements to present it to you!

    I might have to commission you to custom detail/paint some Kaw diesels and equipment for me down the road. I assume you had KC&G cabooses too? Which design(s) did you roster?

    Railroadingly yours,

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2011
  10. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi Joe!

    I've got to head off toward the ol' bed pretty soon... I'll return tomorrow evening or so and more fully digest your post and reply.

    Been workin' on my latest project... it's on the left in this photo I shot an hour or so ago...


    Night all!

  11. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Greetings Andre,

    The Frisco safety rules tell you to get plenty of rest! Remember all Frisco Folks: SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS! Living in Germany and retired I can slip away from this computer at my daughter´s Ford bizz and right out the door are two (!) Deutsche Bahn trunk lines. They cross here in Ansbach. There is a major north-south line that brings contaners down from the north German ports for delivery to Munich (Oktoberfest country!) and points east (Austria) and south (Italy). The east-west line doesn´t do that much freight bizz.

    Of course this hasn´t got anything to do with the Frisco, but I can watch and photograph all the trains I want to without being razzed by the German Rail police. OK, I retired off of DB last year with 30 years service so I know the guys. But as long as you don´t trespass on the property you are free to enjoy railfanning. I don´t know how it is in the US currently but I have read some real horror stories from railfans in the media. Item: Why do we still see freight cars full of illegal "artwork"? The sprayers are very active, here in Europe too!

    I do miss the good old days when I was stationed here with the US Army Transportation Corps´ 49th Transportation Group. Germany was steam locomotive heaven in 1965-67! I loved the 2-10-0s most of all! Some even had doghouses on the tender! Missing was a Frisco coonskin herald on the nose and Frisco lettering under the cab window and a large billboard number on the tender! OK, the buffers and 4 wheel "buggy" goods wagons weren´t in Texas and on a FFF but I could dream couldn´t I?

    I still do!

    Good night Andre and all!

    Joe Toth
    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2011
  12. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi Joe!

    Remembered I didn't reply to your previous inquiry. Let's get to it!

    First off, thanks for the kind words about my modeling efforts. It is much appreciated.

    Well, that would be tough to do on two counts:

    * I ain't sellin' my lil' KC&G HO stuff. :p Too many good memories attached to them. Besides, I could never get back what I have put in them.

    * I no longer do commercial/custom work. It just about ruined the hobby for me doing commerical/custom work back in the 80's and 90's.

    Never knew of that book. I'll have to do some diggin' and see if I can turn one up "one of these days". Sounds like an entertaining read.

    I'm familiar with Skedee and Cushing, et al. I lived in Stillwater, OK from 1/84 to 10/86. Always wondered what that coaling tower was doing at Cushing! The track and some of the refineries were still in place, albeit abandoned.

    I noted in another thread here that you have since posted an inquiry about HO stuff... so I guess you're still undecided?

    Ahhhh... THAT'S gonna' cost 'ya!! ;)

    Sounds like a concept you could enjoy!

    Better not do the tent thing right now... it's too stinkin' hot over here to enjoy anything. It's still over 100 degrees at 10:00 PM lately!

    Well... that right there is one of the nicest compliments a modeler can have: His work helped fling the fever on another junkie!

    You ought to be able to have something fun to operate on that 18' wall, either in S or HO.

    Sorry to learn of your best friend's passing.

    Wow... what a surprise! I would be delighted to have the copy of "The Kaw & Wash i ta"! (Spelled that way to avoid the obscene words censor software.)

    Ain't gonna' happen, Joey ol' boy. :p

    Yup. I used the small MDC "Great Northern" type with the offset cupola. Short, simple, got the job done.

    Below is a quick (poor) photo illustrating three of the paint phases they were in. L to R: The as delivered scheme, the intermediate scheme, and the "modern" scheme. Money was tight on the KC&G, so they simply shopped their cabeese and kept on runnin' 'em!


    I pulled those out to shot that pic for you, and wow: HO is so TINY to me now! I can't believe I used to putz and fiddle with that stuff that small.

    Since my last reply here, I've been doing some more work on my DS-4-4-1000 project. I've accomplished quite a bit of brass work. Not a whole lot more brass work to go and this one will be ready for final clean ups, then it's DCC and speaker time, baby!



    Welp... all for now!

  13. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member


    Only my family and close friends ever call me that! I get called Joe, Joseph and some off color names but Joey is rare. OK, Frisco Friends, you on top of the list Andre, are "cleared" to call me Joey! Thanks!!! Kinda cool!

    I guess I will cry in my beer (A&W Root Beer, Reg.U.S.Pat.Off.), stomp my feet, cuss real bad...say "oh shuckins"...since I will never never get a SHS NW2 custom painted for the Kaw in your KC&G scheme. You did NOT make my day Dirty Harry!

    I put a post on the Z scale thread too! I worked part time in Tampa, Florida, during the summers of 62 and 63 for Chester Holley in his train shop. He taught me a lot more about railroads, prototype and model, than I already knew. His father had worked for the Pullman Company. Chester even rode with his dad on the Florida East Coast on the "Overseas Railway" from Miami to Key West as a child! WOW! Also, having lived in Dallas and being a regular visiter to Bobby Hall´s Hobby House and Junior at MAL Hobby Shop in Irving, I have maintained an interest in model railroading in all scales to this day. My Z scale post will prove that as well as the ones in HO and other scales as well! Remember, my mouth (even when I put pen to paper?) is not unlike the strange smelling stuff that come out of a bull´s exit located under the tail!

    I AM still thinking in S scale in regards to my 18 foot long wall! Just think though, if we could build an outdoor garden railway in large scale along the Great Wall in China? Gads, what a thought??? My dream that will never come true is to operate a small train shop selling used "stuff". No dealings with the industry with undiplomatic rules and regulations like "you gotta buy so much of this and so much of that". Too much red tape involved. An ole boy by the name of House opened just this kind of store right dab across the street from Bobbye Hall in Dallas on Bryan Street and did quite well!

    This brings us to a question. (No, I don´t wanna open a used train shop with you Andre, the thought is still neat though!) He had some Lionel hi-cube box cars in stock. They weren´t O scale and I thought they might look good running behind an American Flyer GP7! They looked to me like they might be scaled within reason to operate with S gauge trucks. Lionel even produced a yellow Frisco hi-cube! OK, when you recover from your laugh attack, please let me know what you think? A lot of S gaugers use Lionel O27 equipment and "large" HO structures from what I have read on S scale pages on the web. Being "10,000" miles from home I can´t pick up a Lionel "027" hi-cube and compare to S scale, so need your comments. I didn´t compare them then. This was just an empty headed thought that came to my mind when I picked them up and looked them over, many moons ago. What about the Lionel Rico (Rio Grande Southern) depot and the grain elevator? Other structures including Plasticville?

    I want to make sure (1) your Funny Bone is still working, and (2) am open to some egg-spert advice! No, HO is much too small to me now and I even put a post on the O scale thread regarding Proto 48. I still prefer O though S seems better suited to my requirements...of course, there is always OO scale...no, just joking. LOL

    About the book. The Long Summer of George Adams can be found at www.abebooks.com though I would still love to have a friend in Tampa send you the copy that belonged to my late best friend! It should still be there in his care for me to pick up on my next visit to Florida. I do have a copy which I am starting to re-read thanks to your KC&G concept. Mabie I can get ole Ed Chambers who lives outside of Tulsa to custom paint a SHS NW2 for me in your KC&G scheme? I had considered the as delivered Chicago Great Western scheme used when they dieselized, the EMD SD7 demo scheme was simular, but didn´t really want to copy another railroad´s scheme that close. Your KC&G seems to fit the Kaw in my mind´s eye for some reason? Of course, the Kaw would interchange with the Frisco and possibly Katy as well.

    I guess I will have to look for a job to pay you for the royalites if I do use your scheme. What a bummer! There goes todays ice cream cone...

    I do like the KC&G MDC cabooses and your DS-4-4-1000 project!

    Don´t you have pup tents with a/c? We ARE in the 21st Century you know...

    The Trinity River Bottoms Boomer
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2011
  14. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Hi Joe!

    I "think" I have viewed some pics of the Lionel 027 boxcar being converted to S scale. Just can't remember where. I also "think" the 027 gondola can be converted, too. I have also learned that one can take the American Flyer stuff and convert it to scale, as well. Looks pretty darn good when finished. "One of these days" I intend to piddle with some AF rolling stock to see what I can come up with. That's a ways down the road, though, way too many priority projects right now.


    I've been working on my KC&G S-12 so that it will be at the same state of progress as my DS project. I "hope" to complete them simulataneously so I'll have two engines ready for the layout at the same time. Below is a pic of them.


    Have fun!

  15. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Frisco.org Supporter

    I think I once read someplace (MR, RMC??) that many Lionel cars (Some "narrow" boxcars come to mind) are more true to "S" than O scale.

  16. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member

    Good Lookin´ Models, Andre!

    Regret you won´t do me a Deramus Katy switcher! I used to pace the Denton Local from Carrollton to Farmers Branch and sometimes all the way to near Dallas Love Field airport on my bike. Yes folks, Dallas once had a "real" airport before D/FW! I came into contact with more Katy switch engines, where over on the Frisco and Cotton Belt I saw more through freights run. The Summer of 61 was GREAT for a teenage railfan in Texas!

    All: Mabie some Frisco modeler who started in S gauge with American Flyer can help with a list of just which Lionel will work for S gauge/scale and which AF equipment can be converted to scale. The pre-war diecast Flyer comes to mind. Are there any S/O hi-rail layouts out there with Frisco being the primary modeled railroad? With the 3-rail track that Ross produces and even the old pre-war Lionel "T" rail track, doing Frisco in O gauge with scale equipment becomes interesting. I have always taken a liking to the Flyer Union Pacific 4-8-4 and the 0-8-0 switch engine as well, which would really work for a terminal company where I could operate Frisco, Katy, T&P and Santa Fe zebras. Think zoo!

    Having worked summer vacations (1962/63) for Chester Holley in Tampa, Florida, I still maintain an interest in every scale from Z to G, even live steam! My apartment is a wee bit too small for live steam though and I would probably blow the whole building up the first time I tried to fire up a live steamer anyway. Just think about a live steamer running along my 18 foot livingroom wall though? WOW!

    I would want at least one spur track so I could really "bend the iron" with the switchstand!

    Joe Toth
  17. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member Staff Member Frisco.org Supporter

    Andre- I remember your website featuring the Kansas City & Gulf. The more I look at the boxcars, the more I see a striking resemblance to the KO&G decals sold by Tom Stolte. The font is the same between the two..........it's OK, tho, cause it looks great!

    I'm busy working on an HO scale switching layout that takes up even less space than what you have to work with- IMO, urban settings work well in small spaces.
  18. Coonskin

    Coonskin Member

    Josephus (Bet nobody's called you THAT before! :) ):

    The good news is that I eventually intend to have a couple Katy Deramus Red switchers on my layout. (Or maybe it was the red scheme before Deramus? Mine will have the little yellow herald, and not the red w/white slash "shield".)

    The bad news is: They'll be ALL MINE and YOU can't have'em!!! :p


    I enjoyed the KC&G in HO scale. I also enjoyed the KC&G website during its "time".

    As for my KC&G boxcars/hoppers: Right you are! On the HO versions, I used Oddballs Decals KO&G stuff with a portion of the "O" cut to become a "C". Worked like a charm. Intend to do it again in S scale IF Oddballs can survive.

    I'm surprised more and more modelers with limited space have not discovered urban industrial switching as a space-saving theme. It's saving my butt, I'll say.

  19. Joseph Toth

    Joseph Toth Member


    Wrong you are! I have been called Josephus too! It was a relative but memory has blanked out a lot of stuff from youth. I think it was an aunt though?

    I didn´t post the bit about your fleet looking like the KO&G. I agree tho, they are simular. I did mention that the geep looked simular to the Tennesee, Alabama & Georgia scheme tho. I love the weathering job on it!

    Thanks a whole pile about keeping the Katy switchers! Another shot to my head! A lot of die hard Katy fans don´t care for the Deramus red with simplified KATY herald nor the green. Having railfanned the Denton branch in 1961 with all the Deramus EMD powered rebuilt Baldwins I came to like the scheme. The solid red switchers and well worn Sloan yellow wood cabooses were a sharp contrast that somehow fit. A set of ABBA FA/FBs on the Frisco climbing upgrade from the Trinity River Bottoms (Elm Fork Branch really) from Irving towards Carrollton making like a double headed steam powered FFF freight was a sight to behold too! Cotton Belt F units from Ft. Worth heading east and pounding the diiamonds right in front of the Carrollton depot was dramatic railroading at its best as well! This modern high tech railroading with belly pack locomotive controls turns me off! I am thankful I hired out in 1967 and got to pass hand signals from the tops of boxcars before the mandate to remove them took hold. This was railroading the way my great grandfather and an uncle did it on the Katy in Denison too!

    I guess that KC&G website is no more? A pity as I would have loved to have seen the railroad in action. I posted my two cents worth regarding your plea about Oddball decals. I have to digest the site to see what I can use, but want to place an order to help keep a Frisco friendly business up and running! Since my freelanced K&W is still in more of a dream plan than reality I am in no hurry to receive any decals I order now.

    ALL: Please consider the non-Frisco decals you need too! The larger the order the "Sooner" Oddball will be up and running full time again supporting Frisco model railroaders!

    Lance Mindheim´s www.shelflayouts.com has really brought out the advantage to planning and building a layout with an urban switching theme. He has three layout books on this subject out as well and for apartment dwellers (like the cliff dwellers before me in Colorado) shelf layouts do save space and eliminate duck unders and are easy to wire without having to stand on your head which also includes maintaining same. Silly as it sounds, I fell in love with John Allen´s first Gorre & Daphetid after he had expanded it. It was roughly 6 ft. X 22 ft. Somewhat shortened to the 18 feet I have along my livingroom wall it would have worked, even in S scale, and then along came Lance with his Miami switching layouts and Wham! A whole new ballgame that showed me the ease of construction and operation of a layout.

    I had considered back in high school to build the Southside Connecting which was a small terminal switching layout with an urban setting. It is in the Six Atlas HO Layouts you can Build paperback book. It would work in all scales depending on the length of a wall one has. It is also designed to expand at a later date or combine with another layout for additional operations. I was going to combine it with the other layout in the book, the Simplicity & Great Plains. It was designed for a 4X6 sheet of plywood and the Southside was 2X8 I believe. That book plus the Kalmbach book Scenery for Model Railroads by Bill McClanahan were the basis for my early layout planning. Despite their 50+ years since first printings both are still as interesting to me now as they were when I made the conversion from 027 to HO in 1961!

    The last layout in the Atlas book was the Central Midland. It was a giant layout for the time and was loosely designed after the entrance to St. Louis Union Station. I also dreamed about constructing it if I had had the room and combining the Southside to provide industrial switching. Gone but not forgotten are my HO freight cars purchased for the layout that never got built. I had the MDC "Roundhouse" 50 ft. Katy double door boxcar, Katy Deramus red 40 ft. boxcar, Ulrich Frisco diecast hopper car and the Varney Frisco 40 ft. double door boxcar and T&P gondola and Texaco and Deep Rock tank cars. My "stuff" got stolen out of my stepdad´s van while on the way to the PO to ship to me. He stopped at a 7-11 for a couple of minutes. Long enough for it to get lifted. So much for youth long lost and the memories too!

    Meanwhile, I will start dreaming about the Katy Deramus red Baldwin I will never get. Like my youth, my second childhood is a bummer too!

    Joe Toth

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