Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Vintage Brass

Unlike vintage wine, vintage brass does not always age well. Models we thought that were "perfect" back in the 1970's and 1980's have many errors and/or lack detail of todays brass and plastic models. That being said, there are some useful models out there, especially passenger cars, that are just not available in plastic. Modern brass passenger cars are works of art, but can cost upwards of $800 per car.

First up is the Nickel Plate RPO. This is a model of a NYO&W car, but is useful for New England modelers as it can be used by NH, B&M and perhaps MEC and BAR modelers. The box just says RPO so you have to take a closer look. 

Other then being an RPO (and not even a full RPO) not much info about the car.

As you can see it is a 30' Apt RPO/baggage car.

The underframe is a very sparse, a battery box, a generator and air tanks.  No brake gear or center sill detail whatso ever. It does include trucks that seem to roll ok.  

Next up is a brass kit. For a while NJ International produced brass passenger car kits for a variety of Pullman Standard lightweight cars. I would stay away from the fluted side kits as the fluting is awful. I picked up a 13 double bedroom car for use on the Bar Harbor Express. I got lucky finding a nicely built one. Normally the come as a formed body shell made up of the sides and roof, stamped ends a floor with center sill, bolsters and detail parts of grab irons and roof vents. No underframe detail included. The model I purchased came with trucks, but the cars normally do not.

Not bad looking cars, with some work they will fill a roll on my railroad. The nice part is the two cars totaled less then $90. These cars would be major kitbashes and would still coat at least the same as the brass models. I will go into detail on detailing and painting these models in future blog postings.

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