Modeling PE is not for the faint of heart!
I just got back from the local Medford Model Railroad Show held each year the weekend of Thanksgiving and it gives us an opportunity to be as glutenous with our modeling purchases as we were with our holiday feast the day before. I love small regional shows, you get the best buys on exotic stuff and you come across fellow travelers hunting for the obscure as well.
My transition to HO is not a new one, I've maneuvered around the edges for most of my modeling life but given recent events around a rather dramatic falling out with an old friend, I took it as an opportunity seize a clean slate and move out of a smaller scale. As it turned out, there's less drama with this bunch then the last and that's what I'm looking for. Besides, HO for it's size can be the best deal all around and many times you can find cool stuff for pocket change.
My mission at this show was to look for some of the more unique equipment PE used during it's life, which meant boarding the Way Back Machine kit wise. Because of the era I model...1955 and the railroad, anything that SP used can be utilized because of the symbiotic nature of the two roads, making my shopping a bit easier. Also, I want to have a few things that operate so I have more to do with my layout than running stuff back and forth. Top on the list were the old Tyco two and three Bay Hoppers with working lower doors. In this day of "proto-snobbery" they suffer the eye of the rivet counter, but considering the overall look and intent, they are well done and stand up to a lot of use. I have a small box full of very expensive freight cars with all the bells and whistles, busted by the tiny fingers of un-attended kids at shows.
Working Gravel Pit
I also picked up a couple of metal 3 bay hoppers with working doors as well. Not sure of their linage, but the working features are pretty clever. More on this later.
The big find were three Ulrich G5 Drop Bottom Gondolas G-50 General Service Gons for $5.00 each!
These are metal kits that have sides that are pre painted. Very cool design and dead on for SP and PE prototypes.