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Where can I find a list of Locomotive Workshop Diesel Locomotives Brass and White Metal Kits and Accessory Kits on the Internet?

The Locomotive Workshop O-Gauge 2-Rail Diesel Locomotive line of Kits was owned and made by Jan A. Lorenzen during the late 1960s to 2000s.  These Diesel Kits came with basic parts made from cast White Metal and Brass and require an intermediate skill level and tools to assemble.

I found a Locomotive Workshop (LW) product announcement sheet (?date) that describes some of the Diesel Kits in the 1980s... Which other Locomotive Worshop Diesel Kits were manufactured and not included on the following list?  I know they made a Baldwin Centercab that is not listed below...

Regards, Steve Neago

Cincinnati, Ohio

 

LOCOMOTIVE WORKSHOP

32650 LAKE ROAD
AVON LAKE, OHIO 44012
(216) 933-4142
JAN A. LORENZEN

  
 

 

NEW ARRIVALS in APRIL!

SD40, GP40 and others in 0 Gauge!

*all brass superstructure
*fully engraved/etched

*formed hoods and cab

*lost wax castings by Kemtron
*truck castings included
*full instructions

 

Our newest diesel kits are for the EMD 40/38 series, the pre-production model of which is shown at right.  Of reasonably simple construction (but you still better know how to solder) these kits will provide an eye-catching new addition to your collection.

 

GP40, complete, less power     $75.00

GP39           ditto             $75.00

GP38           ditto             $73.50

SD40           ditto             $80.00

SD39           ditto             $80.00

SD38           ditto             $78.50

SDP40          ditto             $85.00

These are for the "base" EMD engine, less extras.

 

The following lists available accessory kits or "parts packages" where available:

 

Aluminum Casting Sets

Baldwin RF-16 "Sharknose"           B-B               $37.50

General Electric U25C              C-C               $37.50

General Electric U33B              B-B               $37.50

General Electric U33C                   C-C               $37.50

GE Pennsylvania E44 electric          C-C               $45.00

GE 65 ton switcher          B-B               $17.50

 

Photoengraving Sets (Brass)

ALCO RS-1 road switcher                   B-B               $37.50

ALCO S-4 switcher                    B-B               $37.50

Kemtron parts for above Kits:

EMD E7 A unit                A1A-A1A     $49.50

B unit                                                     A1A-A1A     $42.50

EMD E9 A unit                A1A-A1A     $59.50

B unit                 A1A-A1A     $52.50

(Note E9 and E7 basically complete except for mechanism)

 

Baldwin 1200 hp S-12 switcher          B-B          $37.50
Brass parts to complete

 

GE-UP Gas Turbine "Verandah" (O-Scale)          $45.00

 

Original Post

John emailed, "When I met him [Jan] he still had a lot of inventory of his father’s. If anyone has what you’re after, he might..."

I talked to Jan (the son) about this List of Locomotive Workshop Diesel Kits years ago when I purchased a prototype Locomotive Workshop Alco C-630 from him and his Dad's estate.  Jan did not have a list of Diesel Locomotives made by his Dad's Locomotive Workshop at that time.  It seems the son at that time was more into Traction/Trolley models and his day job in Industrial Design than Diesels!

Regards, Steve

A comprehensive list of all of the LWS offerings over the many years would be quite an accomplishment (if not thicker than a Houston phone book.)  I have collected the monthly newsletters and the material difference in the listings can vary widely over just a few months, much more so over the years/decades etc. To describe it as a prolific variety may be an understatement, but I certainly appreciate how cool that complete list would be to see.

As an aside the Penn-Erie aluminum casting offerings correspond to GE's production of their Universal series as I believe the carbody molds were commissioned by GE for creating promotional models, with the molds in turn used to produce offerings via the LWS catalogue secondarily.

Hello all ...Locomotive Work Shop ...made and or offered  a whole lot of products ...  normally in very small runs ... The Zephyr was one piece they offered RTR ...( in small numbers) 

You'll find ads for LWS in most copies of O scale railroading ... and a few photos of Jan with his products ... magazines 1970's- early 90's 

Cheers Carey 

 

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This is opinion because I don't have definitive knowledge of what is out there BUT: If I were interested in putting together a list of what was available from LWS I would try and acquire a set of  O Scale News 48/ft and buy the OGR disc with all the back issues (the early issues before the emphasis shifted to 3 rail would be of most interest) and look at the ads from LWS. I don't know when Jan started LWS, but his passing would be the later limit of your search. O Ssale News had pretty detailed advertiser list and it wouldn't take long to locate them.

His son might be able give you some details. I remember him trying to sell off what remained after Jan's passing. That would probably be covered in the magazines.

I never owned a LWS kit, But I heard certain of them could be quite challenging.

Simon

This is opinion because I don't have definitive knowledge of what is out there BUT: If I were interested in putting together a list of what was available from LWS I would try and acquire a set of  O Scale News 48/ft and buy the OGR disc with all the back issues (the early issues before the emphasis shifted to 3 rail would be of most interest) and look at the ads from LWS. I don't know when Jan started LWS, but his passing would be the later limit of your search. O Ssale News had pretty detailed advertiser list and it wouldn't take long to locate them.

Much of what was announced by Jan in OSN adverts and his newsletters (used to have a couple of inches of them in the files) was not produced and then produced only if there was actual orders placed. 

His son might be able give you some details. I remember him trying to sell off what remained after Jan's passing. That would probably be covered in the magazines.

Jan Jr. was hitting the meets with a several table and crates of stuff for a few years - almost all partail bits and bobs, and leftovers.  Some useful even.

I never owned a LWS kit, But I heard certain of them could be quite challenging.

Simon

"Challenging" might be a very polite word to use. Last steam engine I got the drive was literally impossible to build and install as designed........and then the tires fell off the drivers.....

After more than a decade of intimidation I finally conquered (sort of...) a 2nd LWS MP54 kit in Feb/March.

Fun!  Nurse Ratchet tells me I'll be getting better soon......right after Godot delivers the meds.

mwb said, " 'Challenging' might be a very polite word to use," regarding the construction of LW Kits...

I fully agree! I own several of these LW Kits and find they are very basic that require significant skills and equipment for detailed brass soldering and construction. Often, the Kits' build instructions were incomplete, generic, or even missing!  IMHO, I take pride in constructing a Brass Kit that lasts a lifetime instead of purchasing a read-to-run plastic model, where detailed plastic models will become brittle and easily break over time.

LW specificly tried to sell products to a much smaller model builder market by reduced pricing for basic kits with mixed Brass/White Metal parts. IMHO, I believe that LW Brass Kits were made for a lower cost at a time when the needs and interests of O-Scale modelers were different... LW Kits seem intended for O-Scale Modelers willing to "get their hands dirty" while building these Kits for a sense of pride when completing a difficult task. Less detailed and fewer Brass Kit parts enabled lower LW Kit pricing. However, other smaller 3rd-party companies started to made individual detailed brass castings (ie Cal-Scale, PSC, and Bowser) that could be purchased as add-ons for LW Kits and other manufacturers like CLW.

The USA Consumer preference for O-Scaled products later changed where if a product breaks or needs repair, just throw out the old product and buy a newer product for immediate personal gratification! The USA O-Scale consumer market also changed where 2-Rail products with plastic parts and shells are now delivered ready-to-run with more detail at a lower cost. The higher manufacturing cost and time needed to cast Brass shells and parts led LW & other O-Scale manufacturers to slowly transition from Brass to to more use of Zamac or "White Metal" castings. 

Lionel blew away the vintage O-Scale collectors market for older and heavier pre-1970s USA-made plastic models when they flooded the O-Scale consumer market with mass-production of ready-to-run locomotives manufactured at a lower cost overseas. This over-production marketing "push" to consumers seemed to contribute to Lionel declaring corporate bankruptcy reorganization 2 times. I wonder if this type of marketing push and over-production recently resuilted in MTH going out of business without a coprorate buyer.

Many smaller companies that make Brass parts have merged, been sold off, or are no longer in business, while brass parts are much harder to  find.  As a result, I have started to make my own detailed Brass parts using a basic 3D printer. I am still learning about detailed casting my own 220/260 Grade Brass parts using lost-wax sand methods since I purchased a Thermolyne FD-1530 small Furnace for melting Brass. I wonder if the future of detailed O-Scale modeling will eventually shift back to "make your own" Kits with "print your own" Brass Kits...

Last edited by Questor

Jan produced a newsletter most of his years.  It was an interesting read.   I doubt I saved many - I shall look.

I bought only one kit - a tank car.  Its wrapper was .010 - just right for boiler bands.  Domes were PSC, and wound up on a scratch tank car.  The rest was simply scrap brass with directions.

Judicious buying got me some really good stuff - Lobaugh Berk frames, really good coined drivers, enough 66" USH drivers to last a while, a Penn Line gearbox that still works, eventhough the worm was phenolic (unheard of in the gear world).

And he was a good guy, and smart.  Just not a good kit producer.

"Challenging" .

Got a set of drivers from LWS,   Noticed one was loose.   when I took the wheel off the axle,  I saw that the axle ends had been "knurled" by hand with a pair of diagonal cutters--very crudely .  They were all like that , and all out of plumb to there centers.  Not the end of the world, as I over bored them on my lathe and turned new axles , but it would have been better if LWS had not attempted to "assemble" them.

It is my opinion that anyone who has not scratch built or does not have broad metal fabrication experience, must not buy these kits as they still show up on ebay. 

The drivers - you had to be very careful.  He ordered a bunch from Korea, and they were very good quality.  Then, after his stroke he sent the axles and crankpins out for nickel plating.  As you might guess, when he pressed those, a crescent-shaped piece of brass was broached out of the hole.

The only thing worse than varying crankpin throws is eccentric wheels.  The only cure is, as you noted, a good machine shop.

@mwb posted:

"Challenging" might be a very polite word to use. Last steam engine I got the drive was literally impossible to build and install as designed........and then the tires fell off the drivers.....

After more than a decade of intimidation I finally conquered (sort of...) a 2nd LWS MP54 kit in Feb/March.

Fun!  Nurse Ratchet tells me I'll be getting better soon......right after Godot delivers the meds.

Pretty much an affirmation of my opinion of LWS.  But, hey, to be considered equal opportunity, we got to try and satisfy those who are into masochism. 

Simon

In spite of the moans and groans about LWS kits, if a modeler had some prior experience, a decent job could be done. My first attempts at building in brass and soldering was an Arvid Anderson hopper car.  I followed that with an All Nation steam kit. Work on LWS kits came later. My first LWS effort was rebuilding a poorly done UP DDa-40x for a friend.  It was badly damaged at our model RR club when it derailed. Someone tried to pick it up with one hand and bent it in half. Jan Lorenzen was very helpful in providing some replacement etched panels and other parts the first builder had not used or lost. One weakness of LWS diesel kit is that the modeler was expected to build a frame for it to accommodate the motor and drive. I made one for it to fit two Pittman 9xxx series motors and put in Central Locomotive Works drives after re-enforcing the soft cast metal 8 wheel trucks.  Another kit from LWS was a cast resin body ALCo DL-109 my friend got at an LWS Open House. With it, he found and bought a set of Adams & Son brass castings for an FT-A unit with truck side frames. We looked for the B unit that should have been with it, but it was not found.  Both locos got fames I made that were fitted with Pittman motors and CLW drives.  Those three models were sold by his family after he passed away. The last LWS model I built was the "economy 0-6-0" kit which modeled a C&NW switcher from the 1890's. By that time, my skills improved to the point where this 0-6-0 camelback model having that kit as its basis, is completely different. One kit remains to be done. It's the Ingersoll-Rand GE 300 HP box cab switcher.  In all model making, its not the stuff you use to make a good looking model whether its brass, aluminum, cast resin, plastic or even cardstock and paper. It's all in how one makes use of the materials at hand.  

S. Islander

 

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Images (4)
  • UP6905a: Hauled 65 cars at a scale 60 MPH for two hours on a break-in run on the Buckeye RR in NY state.
  • dl109nh: Cast resin body.
  • 090: Built from an "economy 0-6-0 kit" in 1990. Driver spacing relocated in frame..
  • OW1: Adams & Son original brass castings. Very heavy. Ran on Kingston NY Model RR Club layout when visiting, with a train of about 45 or so cars.
Last edited by S. Islander

This is an interesting thread.

Back in the mid-late '90s, I bought a LWS kit; it was an Alco S4 (maybe). Consisted of brass parts for the body and frame (I think) and maybe the truck side frames...which would have been soft metal, as was the long hood's "nose". I remember calling and speaking with Jan about it prior to purchasing. No motor, gearing or wheels...

Anyway, I had it for a while then decided it was 'way above my pay grade; I didn't want to ruin a perfectly good kit, so I sold it...hopefully to a good home. I wonder what state it's in now: was it ever built? 

Mark in Oregon

 

Very interesting Islander, that SIRT camelback is a real jewel.  I had not recalled LWS making a DL-109 kit in resin either, I assumed they were all either etched "wrapper" CLW type kits with nose castings or cast car bodies along the lines of the Penn-Erie or 1st generation CLW or Alexander.

On a related note I have a Stephenson Repro version of the LWS "Jersey Janus" DR-6-4-20, Bob replaced the original "design's" four piece nose castings with single castings for each cab end, but otherwise it's an etched carbody "wrapper" with some detail parts. You're on your own for the frame, trucks etc.

 

 

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