SHAY MODELING BOOK
Publisher: Single Shot Gallery, 6607 Enfield Avenue, Reseda, CA 91335. Price: Item 9501, B-2 Shay Modeler's Handbook, $10.50 suggested list.
THE MAN RESPONSIBLE for the authentic graphics and paint schemes on Model Die Casting's locomotives and rolling stock, Dick Appel, has published a 64 page softback book, B-2 Shay Modeler's Handbook. Dick has spent years at MDC designing products and developing research techniques and sources of original information and photographs. The Handbook applies them to his personal interest, the Shay geared locomotive.
Lima Locomotive Works, in Ohio, manufactured Shay locomotives. It used the designation "B-2" as shorthand for "Three cylinder, two truck". By contrast, Class A Shays had two cylinders and "C-3" Shays were three cylinder, three truck models. (The drive shaft of the Class C extended back to an auxiliary tender on a single truck frame.)
In the event you are unsure what makes a Shay a Shay, all such locomotives consist essentially of a boiler on a flatcar with vertical cylinders hanging down near the middle of the engineer's side (right-hand as you look forward). The cylinders on Class As faced back-to-back. On Class Bs and Cs the cylinder closest to the rear of the engine faced backwards, the other two faced front. That's important. A later locomotive closely resembling a Shay, but with all three cylinders facing the same direction, was really a Willamette, from a manufacturer in Oregon.
By now, those familiar with Shays are waiting for something new and those unfamiliar with Shays are probably asking, "What difference does it make? Nobody mass produces a large scale Shay, anyway."
Well, engineers, as this issue's New Products tells us, that may be about to change. And Dick Appel's book may be every bit as applicable to us large scalers as to modelers in the smaller scales.
Then what's in it? Photographs, very good drawings, explanations showing the differences in detail between wood or coal and oil burning engines, and a thorough bibliography listing nearly every book anyone has ever published with a photograph of a Shay.
Dick chose the photos in his own book to show clear views of a variety of typical locomotives. Some show actual engines under construction. He did draftsman quality drawings himself to show backhead and cylinder details, brake rigging, piping arrangements, and an entire locomotive.
The pages are of good quality, heavy paper. The photo reproduction is good but the resolution of the printing process could be a little higher. All photos are clear and of at least adequate quality, though.
Even though Dick wrote the book specifically as a companion to MDC's HO scale Shay models, it is a valuable resource for anyone interested in geared engines. If Shays are high on your list of favorite steam locomotives, you should consider adding B-2 Shay Modeler's Handbook to your library.-RR