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Manufacturer: Scale Diversions/Compiled Applications, Inc., available only through Reed's Trains in La Mesa, CA and Rara Avis in Concord, CA. Price: Kit 501 1/2-inch scale water spout $7.95 suggested list.

IF YOU HAVE tried to build a water tank spout, you will appreciate the work Scale Diversions has saved you. The spout is a resin casting. As the manufacturer writes, it "is unfinished and requires some preparation and assembly. Two eyelets are provided for attaching rope or chain. Suggestions for hinging the spout to the water tower are also included."

The spout needs some clean up; the casting is rough. Among other things, you should drill out each end. The rounded, solid back end seems inappropriate. No spout I have encountered has been anything but hollow. Lop off the bump and drill out the back. You'll need a padded vise and a delicate touch.

The collar near the front is particularly rough. Cleaning it up or eliminating it altogether without damaging the rivet detail next to it may be difficult. The mold parting lines will need sanding and you may want to fill the pinholes remaining from bubbles in the resin.

Spouts attach to their tanks in several ways. Of the two methods in the instructions, the wire hinge seems easier and more common than the flat hinge. An even nicer way would be to add another pair of eye-bolts at the back, on either side, and use chains in place of the wire hinge. The model railroad industry's "standard" tank spout assembly is Grandt Line's D&RGW kit in O, S, and HO scales. It uses chains and looks great. The same method would work here.

Finally, the vital statistics. The spout is 4 1/2 inches long (9 feet in 1:24 scale), 5/8-inch in diameter at the back and 3/8-inch in diameter at the mouth. Those dimensions would make the spout potentially suitable for any scale from 1:32 to 1:20.3.

While the quality of the casting is only average, any modeler with enough care, patience, and time could polish it into a good looking spout. Considering the reasonable price and the time it would take to build a spout from scratch, Scale Diversions' offering deserves a look.--RR

Ken Stanfield, owner of Scale Diversions, responds:

I generally agree with the review. The bulb at the end of the spout exists because it also exists on a picture of the prototype. We now cast the spouts under pressure to minimize the size and occurrence of air bubbles. We are completely open to suggestion, and because of comments like those above, we have been able to improve our castings.


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