1:22.5 SCALE 2-AXLE FREIGHT CARS
Manufacturer: LGB of America, 6444 Nancy Ridge Drive, San Diego, CA 92121. Price: Ready-to-run 40480 caboose and 40510 flatcar with forklift $23.75 each suggested list.
LGB'S SHORT INDUSTRIAL rolling stock is attractive, durable, and abundantly bashable. Both the caboose and flatcar with forklift begin as the same car, a flatcar measuring 10 feet 2 inches long by 5 feet 11 inches wide in 1:22.5 scale. The underbody is the same rounded-corner I-beam design as LGB's 41430 ore tipper car, 40440 high-side "wooden" ore car, and other shorties. With a few detail changes, you could transform such "micro" rolling stock into convincing little American style companions to the Lehmann Porter. See Harald Becker's article on that subject in the February/March 1993 OR.
Some people have acquired the flatcar solely for its forklift. Since the sizes of real forklifts vary, you might find LGB's model usable for any scale between 1:29 and 1:20.3. The main components suggesting its scale are the seat and steering wheel although, in the smaller sizes, the width of the fork might require modification. Some modelers might find that necessary anyway because of the large thumbscrew on one side allowing you to adjust the fork height. Remove that, cobble together an appropriate looking fork platform from styrene, and you're in business.
The caboose will shelter a few short crewmen. Short because the door scales only 5 feet 6 inches high and the apex of the roof is less than a foot higher as on the prototype; better duck. The doors and windows open and the roof snaps off so modelers have an opportunity to add interior detail.
If you prefer the "Official Outdoor Railroader Quick-and-Dirty Americanization Bash", just replace the hook-loop couplers with knuckles, paint the car with Floquil Boxcar Red or Grimy Black, then add graphics, weathering and, maybe, a brakewheel. As with all LGB products, the plastic moldwork is excellent so paint and weathering will enhance the crisp wood grain and rivet detail nicely. Presto: Generic industrial rolling stock.
The cars are plastic except for the metal wheel axles and the few screws holding together the sub-assemblies. The underframe, wheels, and hardware are black; the flatcar deck is chocolate brown; the forklift is black and bright yellow; and the caboose body is yellow with red and white striping and black roof, door, and windows. The cars reflect LGB's typical commitment to quality. While LGB may have designed the rolling stock with Junior in mind, Dad will doubtless appropriate them forthwith.-RR