Prototype modeling meets are a great venue to see a wide variety of detailed models, often patterned after specific pieces of equipment. Here we see a wide range of detailed HO scale Penn Central rolling stock and vehicle models on display by Ronald Lutton, Jr. at the 2011 Prototype Rails meet at Cocoa Beach, Florida.
Prototype Rails 2011
by Dave Hussey /photos by the author
With so much information and a wide variety of models and techniques available to the hobbyist, the prototype modeling movement has taken on greater momentum in recent years. Popularized by the information Railroad Prototype Modelers, small regional meets have sprung up all around the country. With the normal attraction of warmer weather, organizer Mike Brock (owner of the Steam Freight Cars Yahoo! Group) puts together this fine prototype modeling meet in sunny Cocoa Beach, FL each January. An NMRA sanctioned event, Prototype Rails is a well attended and well run two day meet with numerous clinics, vendors, model displays and a pair of modular layouts. Mike reported attendance at 251 this year. Everyone there had the usual good time. One of the features of Prototype Rails is the "Shake-N-Take" modeling clinic, where a kit and kitbashing instructions are provided. This year many of the previous models were on display. Join us for a brief look at some of the hundreds of models that were on display. All photos copyright Dave Hussey, used with permission.
The "Shake-N-Take" workshops are a popular part of these events. Al Brown created this model of a Detroit, Toledo & Ironton 41' drop-end gon by starting with an Athearn 48' model. A myriad of details were applied, including a retainer valver from Precision Scale, brake gear from Cal-Scale, towing staples and cut levers from Detail Associates, Bettendorf trucks from Accurail, dimensional data and chalk mark decals, and a scratchbuilt pole load.
An in-progress kitbash by Tom Christensen.
Murray Helton followed the prototype for his HO scale Cotton Belt boxcar repaint.
A former Rock Island 50' boxcar heavily weathered and detailed by Murray Helton.
Starting from a Rich Yoder Models O scale offering, this Newport News Ship & Dry Dock Co. 45-ton side rod switcher is the work of John Roberts.
A rusty Monon PS-1 boxcar in HO scale by Andy Harman.
Prototype modeling is not just limited to rolling stock! These unique Penn Central maintenance vehicles are the work of Blair Davies in HO scale.
Passenger equipment is a large part of the prototype modeling movement as well. This New York Central 60' Railway Post Office started as a Walthers Trainline model that had two windows blanked to represent this specific car. Ward vents, window bars, a painted interior and postal workers were also added. Diaphragms, striker plates, brake and steam lines, and many other details were added to complete this model by Raymond Wilcox.
Dave Hussey added Cannon Car Co. end panels and draft gear couplers to this Atherarn Genesis double-door boxcar shortened from 60' to 52' to make an accurate representation of an Oregon, Califronia & Eastern freight car.
To create this heavy duty service truck, Bill Cialini started with a Boley International truck cab mounted on a ROCO military chassis. The tool box, crane, and tarps were all scratchbuilt. Notice the rerailing frog hanging from the truck frame. This vehicle is ready to respond!
Those who enjoy working in larger scales are not left behind. Matthew Gotof brought some of his G scale models to display, including this Florida East Coast GP38. Look how this behemoth dwarfs entries of smaller scale equipment placed next to it!
This O scale model of a U.S. Military Railroad flatcar was created by Bernard Kempinski. This flatcar is typical of the equipment used during the Civil War.