"ONE-HALF INCH SCALE" CAST RESIN FIGURES
Manufacturer: Railway Design Associates, 241 Silver Street, Monson, MA 01057. Price: 1008 "Sonny the Workman", 1011 "Calhoun 'Heavy' Tubb", 1012 "Boxcar Slim" suggested list $3.95 each.
THE FOLKS AT Railway Design Associates have really filled a void with their trio of cast polyurethane figures: Typical American workmen wearing clothes nondescript enough to put them in any era from the turn of the century to the mid-1940s. What is more, the detail they cast into the figures is substantial and generally sharp. You must paint them yourself.
Railway Design thoughtfully posed the figures in states of semi-repose unlike, for example, the running figure Preiser makes. Some people prefer static poses because they may look at them for several moments without expecting to see a figure dash off the layout.
As you look at the photograph it may almost appear each figure is to a separate scale but that is an illusion. "Slim" and "Heavy" are right on the button for either 1:24 or 1:22.5. Slim measures 5 feet 11 inches in 1/2-inch scale and 5 feet 7 inches in 1:22.5; Heavy, as you might guess, is bigger--about 6 feet 2 inches in 1:24 scale and 5 feet 10 inches in 1:22.5.
What do Slim and Venus di Milo have in common? They are both missing an arm. What is better about Slim? His arm comes as a separate piece you may glue into whatever position you like, so who needs a trip to Europe to see Venus?
Neither figure is suitable for 1:29 or 1:32 scale unless you are modeling a basketball team.
And speaking of tall guys, "Sonny" measures no less than 6 feet 9 inches in 1:24 scale (but a mere 6 feet 5 in 1:22.5)! Frankly, though, I'd rather use him in 1:32 scale. He'd be 9 feet 1 inch tall and would make Kareem Abdul Jabbar look like a midget! In 1:22.5 he would look pretty good standing near the door of a POLA building because they tend to be tall anyway.
Well, enough kidding around. Besides, Mike Guthrie of Railway Design Associates reminds us Sonny was the first figure they cast and he's wearing elevator shoes and a hat; Mike suggests you file Sonny down to a more reasonable six feet six or so.
As with almost any unpainted figure you buy, you will have to spend about five minutes with a modeler's file to smooth off any burrs and rub off any casting marks. When you have done that, painted the figures, and placed them on your layout Railway Design's workmen will add a new dimension of charm and realism to almost any scene.