PRODUCT REVIEW: 1:24 SCALE ORE CAR
Manufacturer: Precision Scale Company, Inc., 3961 Highway 93 North, Stevensville, MT 59870. Price: 98053-1, 98053-2, 98054-1, or 98054-2 side dump ore car for either 45mm or 1 1/2 inch gauge track $113.57 each plus shipping.
PRECISION SCALE COMPANY has the reputation of a premier importer and manufacturer of model railroad locomotives and rolling stock. Their 1:24 scale side dump ore car does nothing to alter that reputation; it is awesome.
The model comes either in 45mm Number 1 gauge (the same as LGB track) or in the correct gauge for its prototype, 1 1/2 inch gauge. In 1:24 scale, 1 1/2 inches equals 3 feet and, as most of us know, most narrow gauge lines used 3 foot gauge track. The carbody and center sills consist of individual pre-stained wooden boards or beams; they have a very realistic weathered appearance. Most metal parts, including the many castings, are brass but the cast sideframes are plastic. You have a choice between flat oxide red paint or flat black on the parts representing metal (the 98053 series cars are red; the 98054 series black).
The model scales 11 feet long to the end of the center sills, 7 feet 3 inches wide across the deck, and about 6 feet 3 inches tall from the railhead to the top of the sideboards. All dimensions match our plans for a West Side Lumber Company prototype of the car perfectly. Every hinge, chain, and pivot operates as on the actual car. Couplers are link and pin. PSC supplied a pair of roosters (long straps to replace the links so you may couple the cars farther apart) but no pins. We cut a couple of common brad nails to length; they looked fine and worked perfectly.
The wheels are PSC's nickel plated brass 18 inch diameter industrial types with 1 1/2 inch deep flanges. The Number 1 gauge wheelsets ran through our trackwork without a problem but no commercial 1 1/2 inch gauge track exists to test the others.
The quality of the castings is typical of PSC's work. It is topnotch. The model is American made. The assembly, overall workmanship, and finish are flawless.
Precision Scale is trying to manufacture more of its products in this country. If the ore cars are representative of the quality we may expect, overseas manufacturers had better start to worry. The models merit our highest rating; they are superb.-RR