Proto48 is about getting the details right. It is about prototype modeling. So getting it right is hard when certain key parts/details aren’t available. I have stepped around some prototypes to model due the lack of details.
Over the past several years, the details have surfaced from small suppliers and one significant supplier, Protocraft. This past several months have been a bountiful array of much needed parts.
The first group of parts is new hand brakes. Protocraft has imported Ajax, Miner, Klasing, Equipco, and Universal. These are important additions to proto modeling.
The next group is steel running boards. Protocraft has brought in Apex, Morton and Gypsum styles. They provide two running boards each .010″ thick in a package. You will need to solder them together with something like Stay Brite.
Another key group of import parts is trucks. Protocraft brought in some super passenger car trucks with ball bearings. There are three new freight trucks that just arrived from Korea. Each one a very important design for the pre- WWII and beyond. They are the T-section cast truck with Simplex bolster. The model is based upon a PFE drawing for a 40-ton truck. The next one is the National B-1 50-ton, There is a Barber S-2A with snubbers. The last of the new batch is the most important plain bearing truck from WWII on. It is the ASF A-3 Ride Control. This truck was widely used on PS-1 boxcars, steel reefers like the PFE R40-23 and beyond, post war AAR boxcars and other car type. With the exception of the T-section, the new trucks come with smooth-back wheels.
I think we need to erect a statue to Norm Buckhart, owner of Protocraft, for bringing in all of these wonderful products. His rolling stock has added a new dimension to 1/4″ scale with a very accurate line of boxcars produced in Korea. We all owe Norm a great debt for his wonderful line of decals. He has plugged the gap created by the withdrawl of Microscale, Champ and others. What we now have are technically accurate, well researched decals printed by Microscale. Each one is based on actual photos and prototype data. No bogus fonts left over from typesetters. Norm is doing it right.