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Monday, February 27, 2012

#426 Project ~ Floored

 Hollywood. It'll chew you up and spit you out like a piece of 5 and Dime store gum. But if your lucky, every once in a while, you might catch a break.

I'm glad to be working again but man the studios work you hard. Late one night I was dragging like the brain crazed Undead after a particularly long day of production. But I had to hustle if I was to catch the last Metrolink out of the Glendale station and make my journey home. I was making good time too, until...

 A figure steps out of the shadows. I keep walking. Whatever he's selling, I'm not buying. But he walks right up to me. And even though the night seems strangely darker than usual, I can see him pull something out of his jacket and point it at me, the light of the arriving train flashing off the metal! Acting fast, I wrestle it from him. But wait. It doesn't feel right. I examine it the best I can in the little available light. Is this?.... It can't be... It is! Its a brass replacement floor for Pacific Traction's H.O. scale San Diego 400 series class 5 cars etched to accept Hollywood Foundry's new Diablo mechanism and even drilled with holes threaded for the underbody details! But how... why...  Bewildered, I look up...  but he's gone. Disappeared into the the flurry of activity of the detraining and boarding passengers.

In the cheery, brightly lit interior of the train, I examine the floor. Its exactly what I need:

Exhibit A. Top

Exhibit A. Bottom

With the under body details transferred from the original floor.

Finely crafted, accurate dimensions, and that tell-tale logo. There is only one man I know who could be behind this...
Fred Gurzeler! Front man for that Australian mob. Somehow he knew. Somehow he always knows. In this town of a thousand crushed dreams its good to know that Fred is out there, somewhere, watching out for us. Yes sir! Fred's watching out for us! 

Thanks Fred! Wherever you are!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

When They Were New

Here is an old ad from the September 27th 1924 edition of the Electric Railway Journal featuring the then state-of-the-art San Diego 400 series Class 5 cars. 

 Thanks once again to the mysterious Fred Gurzeler for pointing these out to me!

I've gots lots to post as soon as I can find some time. Yes sir! Just as soon as I can find some time! So stay tuned!


Monday, February 06, 2012

Onward Roll the 400's!

New project! With one of the Niles cars wrapping up, I need to model one more car before I get to the layout. Big, roomy, and modern, the San Diego 400 series Class 5's were a favorite with San Diegans. 

50 of these 1924 vintage cars were ordered from the American Car Co. Numbered 400 - 449, they ran until the end of the San Diego Electric railway in 1949. Originally delivered with the one pantograph, a trolley pole had to be added when the pantographs had a way of collapsing, stranding the car. By 1925 the pantographs were replaced entirely with trolley poles because the pantographs also had a way of pulling down the overhead!

Other than the builders photo, this photo of  426 is the only clear portrait of a 400 car in its original golden yellow and mahogany paint scheme I can find. So this is the car I'm going to model. Fortunately for me...

Pacific Traction imported models of the San Diego 400's in 1969. Ive been collecting them for decades and now have about a half dozen of them. The above car I believe is the first car I purchased back in the early 80's. So finally, after all these years, its time to give it the treatment! Its going the feature the yellow and brown paint scheme, the Diablo mechanism from Hollywood Foundry, Fred Gurzeler floor, full details and decals, DCC decoder, and lighting - the works! Yes sir! The works!