Skip to main content

As I dig a little more into this vintage stuff, I'm learning things (mostly here) I did not know; it's a fascinating field. I purchased a copy of Wills' "American O Scale": wish it was more in depth, but as far as I know, it's the only book about this subject...which makes it also the "best". 

There is lots out there about pre and post war Lionel-type stuff, but very little "scale" info. I think (hope) some of you guys can write up a more complete overview of this (I think) important aspect of the hobby. 

On another thread, I had mentioned I got a pair of Auel trucks and that I did not know they were made to 17/64"; so just for kicks, I took this Athearn car (with I'm guessing All Nation trucks):


...took those off and put on the Auels.

Auel #1

Kinda reminds me of something like this: 


Also picked up a pair of Monarch couplers...very nice detail:

monarch 2

...but rather large as compared to MDC or dummy types:

monarch 3

I can only guess that long "stem" was made that way for use on a passenger car...? 

Anyway, just wanted to share some observations, in hopes it might trigger some responses.

Hope everyone is staying healthy. 

Mark in Oregon



Images (5)
  • Reg.
  • Auel #1
  • 6454
  • monarch 3
  • monarch 2
Original Post

There is another magazine, "O Scale Trains' that has so far had a column on O Scale (2 rail) history in every issue.    It does not very often have any 3 rail articles, so I don't think it competes with OGR which doesn't seem to very often have 2 rail articles.    It is published by White River Publications.    The guy that writes the articles, does not think Wills got everything right either.

There is also an on line magazine called O Scale Resource,   It is only available on line, but it a free publication so far.   Paid for by ads I guess.   Nothing can be free.

After aquiring a bookcase of various "how to's" and "all abouts" for many subjects, I found many a waste of time and started to be picky.  I need to preview a book before I buy it anymore.

 Sealed books stay at the store unless there is open copy to look at. Mostly the title pages, flipping for photo and diagram inclusions, and a peak at the index lets me know if it suits me.  Boarders used to let me open a copy I might be interested in. I bought more than half of those too. But that stopped so I haven't bought any in more than a decade now.


Yes, I looked at an online issue (March/April 2017) of the "O Scale Resource" earlier today; in it was an article about the guy who built some of the Max Gray engines...good stuff! I also remember a magazine that once had a great, long article about the Central Locomotive Works guy..."Bob...Smith(?)"


I feel ya. It's an "okay" treatment, but as I say, lacks depth. That's where guys like you, Carey, Jim, Ed, Dave (and others who helped me with my AN 4-6-0) could pool your vast collective knowledge and put together something pretty...swell. 

Mark in Oregon

PS: BYW: the "AN 4-6-0"; I was able to try it out this morning on a test loop (only 63" diam curves), but it actually runs pretty well. I do think that is too tight a curvature, but for now, it works. Thanks again to all of you who helped me.

Last edited by Strummer

Yes.  Go for 48" min radius - 96" diameter.

It turns out that Maroon has been studying this stuff, with help from Woody, Carey, and others, and may be in the best position to record all this ancient stuff.  I did my part in the 1980s and 90s, and did do an interview with Bob and Winnie Smith (Harmon Monk was with us - RIP).  The result was a very small part of history involving the all cast Alco PA.

I think I am happy now to be flying every day, avoiding Covids, and maybe pressing a few more rivets in the Dockside.

Yes, all opinion but "48 to the Ft" was a great magazine for the scale during it's run, part how-to, part catalog with a lot of product reviews and some fascinating layout coverage. As I recall it periodically had articles about older manufacturers ( "vintage") too. Ironically the original O Gauge Railroading published by Vane Jones was/is also a great source for information about earlier manufacturers and the state of the hobby in general during the 60's-70's.  As I recall RMC periodically had a column on primeval O scale manufacturers back then too.

Hello all ...vintage O scale is a wonderful wide open field with so many avenues to explore ...

to defend Keith Wills' book ....there is a lot of info and insight packed in the skinny book ....but yes it could easily be 3  x 4 times longer and still only touch the top of the iceberg is a link to another posting about Keith's book


Research field is open for all to jump in ...   I 've been collecting the vintage O scale   1920's -1955  for about 4 years now ... early on  filled up the library with full runs of 

Model Maker 

Model Railroader 

Model Craftsman /  MRC 

Whistle Stop 

O gauge Modeler 

Miniature Trains 

Model Builder

48 ft  early issues 

O scale railroading  / O gauge railroading   

Jim DeBruin's articles in O scale trains 

O scale resource    there will be an article about vintage trolleys coming out soon 

Fortunately ebay will provide you a wall full of research for not a whole lot of $$$$   yes some are available online ..but staring at a screen sucks for hours on end ..  

early stuff was not made in the numbers of the later stuff yes harder to find ...but less folks looking .... everything is out there ... just beat the bushes ..... oh yes with luck there will be train shows again ..


.Be-careful collecting vintage O scale what starts out as a piece here and a piece there ...soon your whole basement is filled !!!!

Come on hop in the water tis a big pool  ...

Cheers Carey 0407190142_HDR [1)0407190140b_HDR [1)0407190141_HDR [1)0407190140a_HDR




Images (4)
  • 0407190142_HDR (1)
  • 0407190140b_HDR (1)
  • 0407190141_HDR (1)
  • 0407190140a_HDR

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.