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Welcome to the 28th edition of the Proto48 Modeler. It is the start of the summer season and time to escape the heat and head to the basement or shop to do some modeling. A number of new kits being made available will give you something new to focus your energy on. You could also work off your incomplete projects or unbuilt kit.

There are a number of developments in the hobby industry (cottage industry) that you should be aware of. Protocraft has decided to focus on fewer things and shift some of their extensive product line to Right O' Way in Clovis California. Another supplier, American Switch and Signal is marketing exclusively through Right O'Way. Jay Criswell, ROW owner, is hoping to build a one-stop shopping experience for a wide range of ¼” scale hardware.

New kits that are on the market currently:

Glacier Park Models Southern Pacific G-23 Gondola kit

Southern Car & Foundry Sand Springs Railway kit

Right O’Way has been busy preparing and releasing new products like a large inventory of P48 Code 125 flex track.  They have added a series of new P48 drive conversions for the 3rd Rail/ Sunset diesels.  The parts are produced in Korea and Fresno with assembly by ROW.  This is a great way to get a relatively inexpensive diesel up and running with drop-in wheel sets.

Learn About Proto48

The Proto48 Modeler website is the place to find out information on 1/4" scale products and modeling techniques. You find current information on products and also for modeling techniques.   There are lots of pictures to check out. 

Proto48 is a subset of the larger O scale model railroad hobby. We build to exact scale standards for wheels and track gauge.

This e-magazine is focused on standard gauge modeling. Proto48 defines a gauge and wheel profile for locomotives, cars and track but it also expresses a concept of finescale modeling. Our models start out with the correct gauge of 4' 8 1/2" and scale AAR wheel profile and continue throughout the model to create an accurately scaled replica of the prototype.

Quarter-inch scale offers railroad modelers a huge potential in terms of size and mass. It is big enough to permit the craftsman to accurately portray things like underbody details, doors, roof walks and ladders. Proto48 standard gauge modelers tend to strive for higher levels of detail and accuracy like their narrow gauge brethren.

Proto48 is more than just model making it covers the building of layouts and the inclusion of prototypical operations. There are an amazing number of P48 layouts being construction around the country. They range in size from switching layouts to large railroads with many hundred feet of scale track. Check out the layout page on the Protocraft website to see a few of the layouts built or being built.


If you don't have room or time to build a layout, you may be lucky enough to find some fellow modelers in your area that you can share your interest.

You will find a number of new items listed. We can always use more material that will permit more issues to be published each year. As always, we are indebted to the modelers who take the time to send material to share with others. We hope that this spirit of sharing will continue allowing us to bring fresh material to the web so that it can be enjoyed by everyone.

Lead Photo: Lee Turner painted and weathered this Pacific Limited ARA steel boxcar. He also took this realistic photo outdoors.

Proto48 Blogs on the Web

Blogs are becoming a popular way to communicate with modelers of similar interests.   There have been a few blogs that have been going for some time and a new one or two.

George Losse continues with his website providing information about modeling the Reading in Proto48 and modeling meets.  He travels to a lot of the O scale shows on the East Coast and provides a narrative and photos of his visits. George will often get pictures of new products that are being shown. You will find a number of helpful ideas and techniques as he builds his Reading Company Shamokin Division railroad in P48.

Gene's P48 Blog
My blog continues to roll on with information on new products, modeling techniques and construction projects. The latest project featured is a Rio Grande 50' automobile car.

Typical construction article featured in the Myp48 blog

Updates to the Site:

  • New products that are usable by Proto48

Industry News, Shows and New Products:

The latest information about new and interesting products that are useful the Proto48 modeler as shown below:

  • Grandt Line is closing their business after 60 years of providing plastic parts and kits for the model building hobby. They will be sorely missed for all of the wonderful parts that make modeling easier.
  • San Juan Car Company is for sale. Bob Staat and John Engstrom are looking to retire from the business.

Regional O Scale Shows with Proto48 Content:

O Scale West Convention
24-26 May 2018 Santa Clara, CA
O Scale West will be held at the Santa Clara Convention Center as in previous years.You can obtain more information about the event at this site http://www.oscalewest.com

Chicago Midwest O Scale Meet
15-17 March 2019, Lombard, IL
The show is held at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center. The show has a huge selling floor, operating layouts including a Proto48 modular display. Visit their website for more details.

Each year, the Chicago Midwest O Scale Meet has a wide variety of sellers and lots of models in their contest. Some very nice modelers have been entered in this event.

O Scale National
Rockville, MD
August 22-26, 2018


This annual event will be held in the Hilton Hotel in Rockville.  Follow the link to their website to learn more.

Railroad Prototype Modelers (RPM):

Railroad Prototype Modeler meetings have become major events in the world of prototype modeling. For years, the Naperville, IL show provided a unique opportunity to take in multiple clinics and presentations, hundreds of fine models and lots of photo vendors and kit suppliers. The show changed location and to Lisle, IL.

You can now attend an excellent show in Coco Beach, FL in January, Collinsville, Illinois in August, Lisle, IL in October and the Western Prototype Meet in San Bernardino, CA in March. There additional shows in other parts of the country. You can visit the RPM website for the particulars.

These shows have been mostly HO and N but the shows are attended by a number of Proto48 modelers. The recent Collinsville show had a P48 meeting and nine P48 modelers attended.

Follow this link to find out more about RPM meets in US and Canada.


Stocking Dealers:

Des Plaines Hobbies
1524 Lee St, Des Plaines, IL 60018

The shop moved to a new location in the same shopping center. The new store is even larger than the previous location. They stock 1/48 scale and building supplies.

10800 W Alameda Avenue, Lakewoods, CO 80226
Old shop with new owners and location.

Coronado Scale Models
1544 Cypress Street, Phoenix, AZ  85006
(602) 254-9656

This shop has served the needs of fine scale modelers for over 40 years. The owners are active scale modeler having produced some beautiful locomotives and cars. Their shop offers excellent mail order service and knowledgeable assistance. You might check out the Photo Gallery for some of Stan Schwedler's fine work.

Supplier News:

American Switch & Signal

As of June 1, 2017, the American Switch & Signal product line will be available only from Right O’ Way.   Please contact Jay Criswell for information and ordering.

2286 Hampton Way
Clovis, CA

All of the parts are done to Proto48 track standards.

Lincoln Proto48 Engineering

James Lincoln has been working for a number of years designing very useful parts for Proto48 modelers who build modern prototypes equipment.  Jim offers a wide range of parts that are printed by Shapeway in various materials.  You can visit his Shapeway store and order the parts. 

The URL shown above takes you to Jim’s blog that is full of very useful information on how to use the products he sells.  It also provides links to the products offered by Shapeway.  

2286 Hampton Way
Clovis, CA

Right-O'-Way track products have now resurfaced with new ownership following the passing of Lou Cross in December 2015. The company has been a stalwart of effort to encourage viewing track as part of the total modeling experience. Jay Criswell is now running the business. He has launched a new website that will allow modelers to be aware of the many excellent products available in traditional O and soon in Proto48. Rail and turnout parts are available along with spikes and Sugar Pine ties.

Jay is busy building a new catalog that is fully illustrated with the help of Paul Martineau and others. There is an interim catalog available as a PDF download on their website.

Jay Criswell has taken over part of the Protocraft transmission, motors and gearboxes.  They continue to do custom built diesel drives.  Jay has added Proto48 replacement geared wheelsets for recent Sunset diesels like E-units, F-units and SD-7/9.  Sunset created an impressive drive for their plastic diesel line. It features individual gearboxes on wheelsets with a horizontal motor and transmission.  This is impressive compared to the Atlas China-drive.

Erik Lindgren took the above picture of the Sunset SD-9.

Jay now has a large amount of Code 125 flex track in Proto48 in stock. He has weathered rail and unweathered. 

Another former Protocraft product line that now is part of Right O’Way is the former Chooch brass truck kits.  Jay is working with Terry Van Winkle to change the way the original Nova trucks are assembled.  A new bolster was created CAD and printed.  The trucks will now be held together with machine screws rather than bending tab on the bolster.  Keep posted for their release.  The truck pictured below is a 5' wheelbase wood beam truck.

O Scale Turnouts, INC
P.O. Box 8183052 Ratliff Run
Hamburg, MI 48139


O Scale Turnouts has developed a line of turnouts in O gauge and Proto48. The turnouts come in Code 100 and 125 in various sizes.  They offer three different levels of completion starting from the basic assembled switch with straps to hold the gauge, PC ties for ready to install and a full detailed version with tie plates and such with unpainted ties. a new #6 Code 100 turnout ready.

These products should start to fill a gap for those who want to use flex-track and pre-built turnouts. Please respond to O Scale Turnouts and support the product.

Buffalo Landing Detail Parts
P.O. Box 7
Bay View
Napier 4149, New Zealand

Buffalo Landing Detail Parts has been producing some very interesting detail sets for the 1/4” scale modeler.   They have focused on narrow gauge but most of their sets are directly applicable to standard gauge.  They several white metal figure sets and a 1937 Pontiac sedan cast in urethane.   The Proto48 Modeler recently received a sample of their figure sets and have to rate them very highly.  

Most of their product line can be obtained directly from New Zealand or from Coronado Scale Models in Phoenix.   

Burlington Roundhouse
Milepost 206 Publishing, Inc.
P.O. Box 543
West Burlington, IA 52655

Burlington Roundhouse is a small supplier of detail parts for first generation EMD hood units. Their first releases are very impressive with a variety of steam generator and metallic steam lines for first generation GP and SD locomotives. The parts are shown on CB&Q diesels but they would work for a wide range of prototype roads.

Forsyth Rail Services
6331 State Route 2067
Susquehanna, PA 18847

Matt is a very talented builder in brass.  He has established an excellent reputation for loco conversions to Proto48 and for major rebuilding of imported brass.  His workmanship, painting and finishing is first rate.   Recently, Matt rebuilt a N&W K-1 from the ground up for the publisher of O Scale Trains.   Go to Matt’s website and enjoy his photo essay on the conversion. 

If you have a pet project that is in need of professional help, check out Matt. 


Archer Transfers
PO Box 1277
Youngsville, NC 27596

Archer Transfers has solved one of the more difficult problems in modeling steel equipment.   They have invented a process to deposit a 3D resin on Microscale clear decal film.   They have expanded their line to include various rivet patterns and sizes, safety tread material, fasteners, panel lines and even louvers.   The product is very useful not only to solve difficult fabrication projects but it also saves a lot of time.   The decal is cut out and applied to the model like a normal Microscale product.   We recommend you do not use any decal solvent until it is has evaporated all of the water and you are happy with the position.   Then you can apply the solvent around the edges.   The film will disappear.   The decals must be covered with paint since it will chip off otherwise.  

Rails Unlimited
126 Will Scarlet
Elgin, IL

Rails Unlimited has a new stock car kit for a wood CB&Q steam era kit.  You can buy it as a flat kit or as a pre-assembled body. 

In addition, Rails Unlimited continues with production of the Lehigh Valley wood sheathed boxcar kit.   The patterns were done by Lee Turner.   The kit comes with a Duryea underframe found on the prototype cars.   Ted announced his latest urethane kit for the Northern Pacific 36' double sheathed boxcar.   He also releasing a series of 1932 ARA steel boxcars based upon the old Turner patterns.

In addition, Rails Unlimited has a number of new kits coming to the market very soon.  They are:

  1. Rock Island B-2 stock car
  2. Northern Pacific stock car with radial roof (two versions)
  3. Chicago Great Western PS-0 boxcar with builder ends
  4. Milwaukee Road single sheathed boxcar
  5. NYC 40' steel gondola
  6. USRA double sheathed boxcar
  7. NYC two-bay hopper

Glacier Park Models
P.O. Box 244
Ukiah, CA 95482
707-391-4476 (voice), 707-463-6988 (fax)

The SP drop bottom kit is a reality after some twenty years of waiting and hoping.

Glacier Park Models is currently shipping both kits.  Contact they for current price and shipping costs.

O Scale Resource Magazine

Dan Dawdy and his wife are continuing to produce a useful electronic magazine called the O Scale Resource Magazine.   The first issue is now available on their website and is free.   Their first effort is well done and is a worthwhile read.    The magazine will be published bimonthly and be available online.   You can also sign up to receive a notification when the next issue is released.

Smoky Mountain Model Works
35 Springwood Drive
Asheville, NC 28805
(828) 777-5619

SMMW has decided to give O scale a try again after about a ten year hiatus. Jim King is busy developing a 3D design for the AAR 70-ton flatcar. This car is different from the earlier 50-ton War Emergency design. The car was built for at six roads. The appearance is different in that part of the centersill and bolster tops are visible as part of the car decking. The stake pockets are of different design and they were delivered with 5'8" wheelbase 70-ton trucks.

Protocraft will be importing the 70-ton truck in three different spring configurations. They will also be doing at least six custom decal sets for this project. Both are not included with the flat car kit.

Jim's 3D design is printed using a SLA process which produces very smooth masters. The printed parts are molded and cast in very high quality urethane using a pressure technique.

The car has been delayed until the fall of 2017 due to an influx of commercial business.

Go to

If you have any questions, please contact Jim by phone.

OST Publications
PO Box 297, Richmond, Indiana 47375


Mike Cougill has a wonderful source of information on scale modeling. The OST Publications has developed into a excellent source of data on their website. He publishes a series of eBooks called the "Missing Conversation". They are worthy of your attention. Mike also conducts a blog with some fascinating topics. He will challenge you to think about what you are doing in the hobby.

RY Models
7 Edgedale Court
Wyomissing, PA 19610

RY Models is planning to import a series of Mather built freight cars. They are showing the stock car and single sheathed boxcars built by the Mather Company.

Visit their website to catch up on their new releases and pricing.

PO Box 21
Vineburg, CA 95487-0021
(707) 935-7011 (voice message)

Protocraft is continuing with their line of well researched and accurately built imported brass freight cars.  They are now complete with the 40’ boxcar series. The Greenville Car Company 52' gondolas have arrived from Boo Rim and they are spectacular. Detailing is exquisite and correct for specific prototype series.  These are not generic models.    

The cars will have correct hand brakes, load restraining hardware, end styles and accurate 70-ton trucks.  The trucks will be all new and not currently in the Protocraft line.

There will be a new freight car type introduced next year to allow modelers to continue to add prototypically accurate models to their collection. You can purchase correct Protocraft decals for the cars.

High Current Tsunami

Protocraft has ceased production of the high current version of the Tsunami DCC sound controller. There is a new Tsunami 2 available from SoundTraxx which will meet most O scale power requirements.

Product Line Changes

Right O’ Way is now selling all of the former Protocraft drive and motor components and also P48 flex-track, switch parts and tools.  They will show up on the new Right O’ Way website once Jay can get time to add the items.  In the interim, contact Jay for help indentifying the parts needed. 

New Protocraft Trucks

Here are the latest trucks to arrive from Korea.

In Proto48 Only:

Dalman Two-Level

Vulcan 40-ton caboose truck

Barber Bettendorf Swing Motion caboose truck

Arch Bar 5'6" w.b. truck

100-ton Barber Stabilized roller bearing truck

The following trucks are available in O gauge and Proto48

3 coil Barber 70-ton truck (5'8" w.b.)

ASF Ride Control 70-ton truck (5'8" w.b.)

Gould 70-ton truck (5'8" w.b.)

They continue to produce a wonderful array of decal sets for a wide variety of prototype cars and roads. As with all of their decals, they are printed by Microscale using original artwork based upon actual photos.

RL Design
P.O. Box 106
Moyie Springs, ID 83845

Rick Leach has moved from Snohomish and now in Moyie Springs, ID not far from the Canadian border. He will be building a new home on his property. Please contact Rick via the mail. He doesn't have regular connectivity at the present time. In the interim, he does have a limited inventory of decal sets available along with the Northern Pacific screened diesel and passenger decal sets.

RL is currently selling their super diesel decal set that covers all eras and models. It is the definitive set. You can decal several models with the set. Preset number blocks are done for many of the common diesel types. The decals were printed by San Juan Decals using a custom ink that is designed to go over the black body color of the roads diesels.

Please note that Rick is now taking PayPal for payment as well as checks and money orders. Check out the catalog sheet for ordering information.

San Juan Car Company
11652 Knott Street Unit 6
Garden Grove, California 92841
Phone: 714-504-7033

The new San Juan Evolution Type-E coupler has arrived in the country. The coupler is near-perfect scale rendering of the prototype standard gauge coupler. They made a few minor compromises to allow for automatic magnetic uncoupling. The coupler has the identical shank to the older Type-E working coupler. The coupler is available in brown and black They retail for $6.95 for two pair fully assembled.

The new frameless UTLX standard gauge tank has arrived as well. They should be in the hands of dealers and via the San Juan website.

San Juan will release the Rio Grande Fowler clone and WP double sheathed boxcars in the near future. Some of the dies require some rework before complete kits can be reissued.

Scale Hardware
10124 N.W. 4th Street
Plantation, FL 33324


Scale Hardware has been revived and under new ownership.  The new owners are modelers who build beautiful scale automobiles.  Their line will carry items useful this segment of hobbies

Southern Car and Foundry
970 Sunshine Land, Suite D
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714

SC&F is getting back to the train business after a brisk year of commercial model building. New kits are in the works and a reissue of the CPR minibox is expected soon. The Missouri Kansas and Texas singled sheathed boxcar continues to be offered. The kit features a one-piece body. Assembly involves detailing the urethane body and underframe. This includes all of the details but does require couplers, trucks and decals. The decals are available from Protocraft in either black or white lettering. The kit includes two types of door guides so any of the 95000 and 96000 series cars can be built. The prototype cars were painted in either chrome yellow with black lettering or freight car red with white lettering.


Wild Swan Publications, LTD
1-3 Hagbourne Road
Didcot, Oxon  OX11 8DP

Wild Swan Publications has a wide range of books on English railroading.  Recently, the published two soft-bound books on Modeling Trees by Gordon Gravett.  The first part covers Broadleaf trees and second on Conifers.   The basic technique involves build an armature (trunk) of florist wire and covering it with a mixture of plaster and PVA glue.  The author has illustrated the book with many model and actual tree photos along with a number of very useful techniques.  

A third volume is about to be released.  The latest book by Gordon Gravett deals with modeling grasslands and landscape detailing.  I have not seen the book yet.

I first learned of the books through Trevor Marshall and his Port Rowan blog.  It is S scale but he is an entertaining author and shows many techniques for layout building that work in any scale.   Visit Trevor's blog and enjoy.  http://themodelrailwayshow.com/cn1950s/

You will also enjoy seeing Gordon Gravett's work on a 1:50 scale French meter gauge railway.  Everything is scratchbuilt.  Stunning work to say the least.


Chooch Enterprises Inc.
P.O. Box 1200, Maple Valley, WA 98038

Chooch Enterprises has created a new page for the O scale parts. It includes a different ordering method than in the past. They are a key supplier of critical detail parts for rolling stock both freight and passenger.  Mike O'Connell recently mentioned that he has recently restocked all of the parts listed on his website.    You find really accurate details for boxcars and reefers as well as rebuilt passenger cars. 

The parts can be ordered directly from the Chooch website.

Chooch offers the most complete set of wood and steel door hardware available in O Scale.  This includes the Camel #32 top and the Camel #50 bottom roller.

Steel freight cars used this type of bracketed grab iron.  The part is intended to upgrade Intermountain parts.

This ladder and stirrup set is designed as an upgrade to the Intermountain boxcar hardware but can be used on other models as well.


Updated March 29, 2018