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Hello O scale world .

World War 2 was rough on the world and very rough on the model train world ... currently living in an instant gratification society ... where stores are open 24/7  and drones can deliver your Amazon purchase from this morning is hard to understand how we as Americans survived WW2  when all consumer based products requiring metal were stopped from production for about 3 years ..... consumers were told not to spend their money ..  imagine today the panic if tomorrow all sales of Star Bucks coffee stopped let alone car , refrigerator,  tires, building materials sales...different era different people .


The Model train world ceased production May 1942  of products using War needed materials all metals .... train  manufactures were pushed into War time production  of every form of widget ... to keep the war a rolling ...

Most of the train manufactures just sold out of remaining pre-war stock ... a few of the wood based kits were able to continue  limited production .....but forget about finding rail ....

Walthers  was able to sell   some of  his wood based  kits .... but some how he was able to sweep the floors, gather up  enough pieces  and sell a few  war baby switchers ....wood  and wood wrapped  pieces ... a brass cab  and some details, cardboard added detail to wood block ..and some old power units left over from his diesel/ electric power car .   

Visually it's a face only a mother could love ... but during the war  beggars could  not be choosy.... as there are no ads for ( new) engines during the war period .   It is easy to see why the General Models Corp SW when introduced ( 1948)  was such a huge seller  and a successive model as it actually looked like a SW . 

I found the switcher only listed  in the Walthers  #12 1946 catalog ...not listed in Catalog  #10 1944 ..may be listed in catalog #11 1945? 

( I do not have a 47 or 48 to check ..  .if anyone can check if it is listed beyond 46 ..thank you ) 

Photo of one the war      2 SW's  found in MR Nov 1945 layout . 

This example is nice preserved with outside 3rd rail pick ups .

Cheers Carey 


Do any of the shovel nose   E units shown on the same page in the Walthers catalog survive ? ..if so could you please post a photo ..thank you 











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It is a very interesting Colllector piece.   

This is not meant to nitpick, but the General Models switcher that survived into the All Nation era is a model of an NW2, not an SW.    it is not too bad even by todays modeling standards.    It is based on the early prototype without louvres in the doors.   I especially like the notched hood in front of the cab which disappeared on the SW series.     The hood is too wide I think, but not grossly so.

General Models also offered a model of an "SW" switcher.    The prototype was a cross between an SW1 and an NW2 sort of.    The hood was shortened because it was only 600 HP, but the cab sat back in the same location as the NW2 on the same frame.    It is a fairly rare prototype too.    The SW meant 600 HP, Welded Frame.    It was easy to create a reasonable version of this for the times using the NW2 casting and chopping the front of the hood back a little.    This is a rare piece.   I have seen 2 of these.   I saw a complete kit at a Hobby Shop in Kansas City back in the 80s.     I saw one on a table at a show built up that I think was also made from this kit.    The kit included parts to finish the front somewhat like an SW-1.

I was born in 1934 so I spent my  childhood mostly during the war years.  As kids, our parents never bought us a lot of toys and we made our own out of wood, cardboard and clay.  We had lots of fun, never really thought we were missing anything. Traffic was light so the streets were our playground and "scrap drives" yielded treasures from time to time.

Hello Switchers fans   SW and NW2 .....  sorry I'm not up on the nomenclature of the real 12" to the foot models . 

Thank you for every ones comments .... it is interesting to flip through the war era Model Railroader magazines ...a few wood car kit ads  engines  from manufactures ...  ads requesting not to send any more requests for merchandise  .....  it was a different time ...

Thank you for posting the directions...July 1942  !!!  a true war baby .   Walthers' jumped on the making lemonade out of lemons   very early in the game of war that an E unit hiding in your engine ? 


So General Models  made two different die cast  switcher cast bodies ???   Can you please post a photo of the two styles ?  ( thank you ) ... what years ? did All Nation also offer both styles ? 



You mention Hawk ....first ad I've found is November 1939  Model Railroader .... does any one have a Hawk to post photos of ? ( please) ..bronze  casting !!!! 


Long live old and funky O scale !


Cheers Carey 






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Hi Carey,  Yes, it's got a Lionel E unit stuffed in there.  I've never put power to it though.  Maybe at some point.  It needs some PRR decoration!  I'll have to check my Walthers catalogs, but I think there was a blurb about this being in the works prior to 1942 and specifically that it was of wood and paper construction due to the war.  I'll have a look when I get back into town.

I have never seen an SW mentioned by All Nation.    For sure they did not make it in later years from the 70s on when I have catalogues.   

The SW was a rare prototype.    This is not an SW-1 or any of the SW numbered later switchers.    Not many prototypes were made and I think Pre-WWII.     So maybe there was not much interest in it as a model.     The All Nation/General Models NW2 represents the earliest versions without louvres on the hood.    Later near the end of production, they did get louvred doors on the hood.

By the way, I have never measured my All Nation shells to know if they are wide or by how much, it was just a rumor I have heard

I did kitbash an All-Nation NW2 into an SW-1.    That was bit of a project.    I had to cut the entire cab and hood off the frame and reposition it in addtion to shortening the hood.

Just got a  1941 Walthers catalog with a correction sheet in it for 1942 and it has a page talking about "Other" switchers.  I realized an old home made switcher shell I have was very likely  someone's 70 year old attempt at the EMC switcher version of this little beastie.  Strangely I seem to have a very junky power truck (probably un-useable) and a few of the seemingly correct tin steps.... Hmmmm....  I have a pile of motors around as well.... Mine has the windows incorrectly cut out but the nose is a dead ringer for the Walthers 3745 drawings Walthers%20EMC%20switcher%20plan.... Doors, grabs, stacks, louvers everything.



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