Author Topic: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)  (Read 1697 times)

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craigolio1

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A few weeks ago I bought some odds and ends from a fellow on Facebook and included was this CS Models wood chip hopper kit. It’s based on a PGE/BCR prototype. You wouldn’t know it to look at it but I believe this kit could be responsible for the state of our hobby today. And what I mean by that is, that’s it’s a great time to be in N scale.

This kit came out about 30 years ago at a time when N scale was not considered a modellers scale. I believe one of the only reliable locomotives available at the time was the Minitrix U30C, which I understand people used to kitbash to fit under just about every other modern diesel loco shell.

I believe CS Models was started by the fellows who ran Pacific N Scale (an N scale only store that started as a table at the back of a book store I believe). I remember going into the store as a kid and seeing this kit built in a glass display case. Not knowing at the time that it was built by our own Timothy Horton @BCR 570 . (On a side note if anyone knows who STOLE Tim’s chip car out of that display case please let him know). 

So why on earth, at a time that the U30C was being crammed under any plastic shell, and Rapido couplers were king, did these guys decide that the hobby needed an accurate N scale model of a BCR wood chip hopper, and then invest in the injection moulding to do it? Who knows, but I’m glad they did. After I’m done these two, I’ll have built a dozen of them. Once complete they look fantastic next to our ready to roll $60 freight cars and 3D printed projects.

I feel nostalgic when I build these cars. Almost as though by finally building this kit, that’s been in a drawer for 30 years, I’m somehow preserving the soul of pro typical N scale as we know it.

If two guys 30 years ago didn’t decide N scale needed an accurate BCR wood chip hopper, I don’t think we’d be where we are today. For sure BCR modelling wouldn’t be.

If you’ve built one of these please post your pics. Heck, if you have built another kit from the infancy of N scale that YOU feel catapulted the hobby forward, please post pics of that here too.

Craig.

Here is the kit and a couple of pics during assembly:








And here is the car amount a couple of others that I was finishing up a while back.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 02:33:26 PM by craigolio1 »

Mark5

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2021, 02:42:17 PM »
0
This kit came out about 30 years ago at a time when N scale was not considered a modellers scale. I believe one of the only reliable locomotives available at the time was the Minitrix U30C, which I understand people used to kitbash to fit under just about every other modern diesel loco shell.

30 years ago there were some good running locos - mostly made by Kato: Atlas/Kato SD9, Kato "GP38", GP50, Kato U30C, Kato SD40, probably others.

Thanks for the insult to N scale.   :D

peteski

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2021, 02:53:20 PM »
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30 years ago there were some good running locos - mostly made by Kato: Atlas/Kato SD9, Kato "GP38", GP50, Kato U30C, Kato SD40, probably others.

Thanks for the insult to N scale.   :D

Yes, Atlas (Kato made) RS-3 and RS-11 were good running locos.  Then Kato USA GP38-2 with its very heavy lead chassis and quad flywheels was a great running model (and it could pull lots of cars).  Kato U30C with the revolutionary low-friction trucks also came out in the late '80s or early '90s (need to check Spooksho'w site).  And going back into the '70s, Con-Cor (Kato) models ran quite well and looked good.
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craigolio1

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2021, 03:04:35 PM »
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30 years ago there were some good running locos - mostly made by Kato: Atlas/Kato SD9, Kato "GP38", GP50, Kato U30C, Kato SD40, probably others.

Thanks for the insult to N scale.   :D

Haha. I was 11 in 1990 so for me all of N scale’s first 30 years is compressed into a single era that I think of as “before I discovered N scale”.

I really like following the guys who are building all retro layouts.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 03:16:56 PM by craigolio1 »

woodchip

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2021, 03:20:07 PM »
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You can check to see if these are still available. Pacific N Scale morphed into Pacific Scale Rail when they left the book store and became a brick and mortar shop in New Westminster B.C.  Sadly they're long gone but their web page still exists ( pacificscale rail.com) and they can be contacted through it.

                                                       Cheers Hugh

DKS

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2021, 03:30:02 PM »
+3
So why on earth, at a time that... Rapido couplers were king...

30 years ago, Micro Trains (Kadee) magnetic couplers had already been on the market for almost 15 years and were quickly replacing Rapidos. I personally think they had a tremendous influence on N Scale, much more so than an obscure kit of a woodchip car. And of course Kadee freight cars were pretty damned good looking for their day (and are still decent). All IMO, natch...  ;)

« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 03:42:50 PM by DKS »
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Angus Shops

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2021, 04:46:29 PM »
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I remember Pacific N Scale in the little cubby at the back of the book store. They were the only hobby shop in Vancouver (‘The Lower Mainland’) that took N scale seriously. There was Grand Prix Hobbies on Broadway with a small cabinet of N scale in with every other hobby and craft you could think of, and Van Hobbies who wouldn’t give you the time of day if you were in HO and brass collector. They were the prototype for cranky old HO... CS did a couple of other ‘kits’ (really just the basic car body with little or no details) including the first Canadian (Trudeau) grain hopper, some automobiles, and I think also a set of extended sides that could be added to a Kadee (at the time) gondola for another chip car style. I don’t think the CS kits came until after Pacific N Scale had morphed into Pacific Scale Rail and moved to New West.
Gold Medal Models made an etched brass kit to finish the Trudeau hopper and the the completed car looked pretty good. The auto were actually branded Pacific Scale Rail and were very good but basic injected plastic shells (I have a couple of packs of them I picked up cheap and fully intend to finish some day). Ahhh, the good old days...

woodchip

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2021, 05:12:30 PM »
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Back in the day Central hobbies was a couple of blocks east of Kingsway on Broadway and the other shop was Creative/3 floors hobby shop on sixth st in New West. Creative was in a old wood building that at that time must of been 100 years old and held together by the paint.
    Hugh

jagged ben

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2021, 06:11:52 PM »
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It must be an exaggeration to say this kit (which I've never heard of) played a central role in revolutionizing N-scale.  But it would be accurate to say that it was part of a wave of similar products which had a profound effect.  When I entered N scale a little more than 30 years ago, you could pay $10-15 US for an MT freight car, or $4-6 for much inferior Atlas, Con-Cor, or Life-Like tooling.  But change was afoot.  For me, Gold Medal Models detail replacement kits played a central role in changing my attitudes.   Also Interail's Thrall stack car kit, which is still unsurpassed as an intermodal kit in my opinion.  Sunrise Enterprises and Detail associates also raised the bar.  And it's worth remembering that Intermountain was offering its N-scale kits around then, too.   These guys' approach and techniques steadily spilled over into the RTR world and N-scale would definitely not be the same today without them.

craigolio1

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2021, 06:24:13 PM »
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You can check to see if these are still available. Pacific N Scale morphed into Pacific Scale Rail when they left the book store and became a brick and mortar shop in New Westminster B.C.  Sadly they're long gone but their web page still exists ( pacificscale rail.com) and they can be contacted through it.

                                                       Cheers Hugh

Thanks Hugh. That’s exactly how I acquired my first ten about 10 years ago. These last two I found just by chance and couldn’t resist. These days all they have left are mostly warped pieces that he puts together into kits using the best remaining parts he has. For my others I built a wooden form, stuffed it inside, and put them in boiling water for a short time. Straightened them right out.

craigolio1

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2021, 06:24:54 PM »
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30 years ago, Micro Trains (Kadee) magnetic couplers had already been on the market for almost 15 years and were quickly replacing Rapidos. I personally think they had a tremendous influence on N Scale, much more so than an obscure kit of a woodchip car. And of course Kadee freight cars were pretty damned good looking for their day (and are still decent). All IMO, natch...  ;)



All right all right. You win. Haha.

craigolio1

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2021, 06:31:52 PM »
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I remember Pacific N Scale in the little cubby at the back of the book store. They were the only hobby shop in Vancouver (‘The Lower Mainland’) that took N scale seriously. There was Grand Prix Hobbies on Broadway with a small cabinet of N scale in with every other hobby and craft you could think of, and Van Hobbies who wouldn’t give you the time of day if you were in HO and brass collector. They were the prototype for cranky old HO... CS did a couple of other ‘kits’ (really just the basic car body with little or no details) including the first Canadian (Trudeau) grain hopper, some automobiles, and I think also a set of extended sides that could be added to a Kadee (at the time) gondola for another chip car style. I don’t think the CS kits came until after Pacific N Scale had morphed into Pacific Scale Rail and moved to New West.
Gold Medal Models made an etched brass kit to finish the Trudeau hopper and the the completed car looked pretty good. The auto were actually branded Pacific Scale Rail and were very good but basic injected plastic shells (I have a couple of packs of them I picked up cheap and fully intend to finish some day). Ahhh, the good old days...

I have one of those “Trudeau” hoppers and the GMM etched brass upgrade kit that I will finish just for fun. And also the extended sides for the Concor gondola. Alas those won’t get completed as a newer version is being produced for the Rapido gondola which will make for a much nicer model.

craigolio1

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2021, 06:36:22 PM »
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Back in the day Central hobbies was a couple of blocks east of Kingsway on Broadway and the other shop was Creative/3 floors hobby shop on sixth st in New West. Creative was in a old wood building that at that time must of been 100 years old and held together by the paint.
    Hugh

When I was a kid I shopped and Jerry Lewis’ store at Westwood Mall
In Port Coquitlam. He was such a nice guy. An ambassador for the hobby. I was in HO at the time and he had a decent selection. But when I was old enough to take the bus and discovered what was to be seen in New West I couldn’t believe it. It was like a Mecca for hobbies, with Pacific Scale Rail on Columbia, Three Floor Hobbies up the road and Pacific N scale around the corner. I sold all if my HO in 1990 and spent all of the proceeds at Pacific Scale rail.

3 floor was awesome and your description is perfect. Held together by the paint. Haha.

Craig

pmpexpress

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2021, 09:32:28 PM »
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The auto were actually branded Pacific Scale Rail and were very good but basic injected plastic shells (I have a couple of packs of them I picked up cheap and fully intend to finish some day). Ahhh, the good old days...

With chassis with integrated wheels and bodies without any clear window glazing, produced in black and mustard yellow, the fabrication of the circa 1990s injection molded plastic PNS 501 Pacific N Scale 1953 Chevrolet and 1949 Mercury kits resembled that of previously released Wiking N-Scale automobiles.

Plastic shrink-wrapped on a piece of cardboard with an orange paper insert bearing a $2.95 MSRP and "C. & S. Scale Industries LTD. North Vancouver. B.C. Canada" text, the plastic was often so tightly shrunk that it wound up crushing the car body roof supports.


craigolio1

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Re: The kit that started prototypical N scale (CS Models woodchip car)
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2021, 09:46:07 PM »
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With chassis with integrated wheels and bodies without any clear window glazing, produced in black and mustard yellow, the fabrication of the circa 1990s injection molded plastic PNS 501 Pacific N Scale 1953 Chevrolet and 1949 Mercury kits resembled that of previously released Wiking N-Scale automobiles.

Plastic shrink-wrapped on a piece of cardboard with an orange paper insert bearing a $2.95 MSRP and "C. & S. Scale Industries LTD. North Vancouver. B.C. Canada" text, the plastic was often so tightly shrunk that it wound up crushing the car body roof supports.



Neat. I’ve never seen these before.