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Jim King will be producing a line of highly-detailed cast urethane kits (1-pc bodies are the norm) starting with the S scale equivalent of the HO Southern Ry. 11-rib low side gon, currently in production for the SRHA. This car will be available late Sept/early Oct this year at an affordable retail price of $60, including SHS trucks, Kadee 802s, ALPS decals, brass weight and the rest of the goodies needed. A Roman font and Block font lettering style are options, allowing a modeler to span the entire 1945-early 90s service life of these cars.
Jim King
Smoky Mountain Model Works, Inc.

I took a look at his web page and liked that Southern gondola. I am looking forward to getting two in October. He's also thinking about two box cars in S. One will be the Southern 50' Pullman waffle side box car and the other the 40' Milwaukee rib side car. He also did a neat On30 wooden box car, which was a jewel judging by the pictures I saw of it.

:cool: Here is what the first car will look like. The later block font decals are on there way so the car will have the right lettering for the 60's.

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That looks great!.

I am just getting into 'S' gauge railroading. I "inherited" an American Flyer set from my nephew, whose son is no longer interested. Now that I am retired, I am in the process of setting up a room dedicated to my future "rail empire," which, to now, consisted of HO, N, and Lionel O27 equipment. Not sure how I will display all of them.

But for a twist of fate, I would have had AF instead of Lionel growing up, but the town where I lived only had one dealer for model trains, that being a Firestone store, which sold Lionel only, and only at Christmas. I can remember being a few years older when the first hobby shop opened. They carried AF, and I drooled over the Union Pacific 4-8-4 set. I wanted that so bad I could taste it. Now, I cannot afford it:(

Anyway, I was a bit surprised there is not more coverage for 'S' gauge modeling, and was hoping you might point me in the right direction.

Many thanks
Hello dendavis,

Where to start. :D I guess the place to start is what is available. Lionel now makes the American Flyer line. They've added some new items to the line but basically it’s a rehash of the old AF lines from the 50's. New and improved Lionel prices, which IMHO is too high. If you are looking for the AF style trains then watch eBay for AF and Flyonel as it's called. Some times mail order places have it on blow out prices. Two other companies offer S scale that can be run with AF, i.e. large couplers and flanges. They are American Models and S Helper Service -Showcase Line. Both are offered with scale wheels and couplers or AF style. SHS for the price offers the most detail with AM more like the Athearn HO blue box equipment and Lionel/AF at the bottom for detail. SHS and AM have track systems that are compatible with scale or high rail. There are a couple of other lines of scale track, code 100 or smaller. Gar Graves is still available. K-Line offered AF type track till they closed. It isn't known if Lionel will now offer it or not.

I guess the next thing to think about is what you would like to do. If you are trying to capture the good old days of AF, that is easier since the majority of S gaugers seem to go that route. If you are trying to do scale, like HO then it will take a bit more work but can be done. The last 20 yrs has brought a vast improvement of trains in S.

For some inspiration take a look at this link from our very own forum. :D

I'm sure you will have more questions and I'd be happy to try and answer them.


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