O Scale West 2015

tank wedgez

Each year, we here in the West look forward to our annual railroad show devoted to O and S scale.  It is called O Scale West. Rod Miller and his crew manage to put together an excellent show with clinics, layout tours, operating display layouts and of course vendors.

My favorite part of OSW is to see friends from all over the country and foreign countries as well.  Sharing stories and techniques with friends tends to occupy the time available.  As a result, I didn’t do a diligent job of searching out new items.   Yes, I looked at Key Models, Kohs and Glacier Park Models.  There were lots of wonderful diesels and steam to drool over.   I did find a few gems as I walked around the floor.  As part of the show, there were a few P48 models on display as part of a show and tell display.  I brought my new tank car and recent build on a SC&F MKT boxcar.

mkt wedgel


macleod 32

Doug MacLeod brought his totally scratchbuilt Sierra #32 prairie.   This model has been under construction for well over 25 years.  Doug created driver and pilot wheel centers by cutting a die and shooting plastic to use for brass investment.  Many of the parts were traced on a 2D pantograph and later cut with a milling machine.

macleod 3

Here is the tender for the prairie.   The model was built to 5′ gauge with finescale wheels.  This is the reason the tender truck is off the track.

macleod 2

On to the new items I found at the show.   Glacier Park Models had their logging mallet pilot models at the show.  They also had parts of the their new drop bottom gondola kit.  It was their intent to have complete kits available for sale.  The injection molding gremlins prevented GPM from having the kit available.   The problem was fixed and the kits are now being completed  and awaiting the new Protocraft decal set that is at Microscale being printed.   One of the more difficult parts to shoot in the kit was the ladder sprue.   GPM did their magic and got it to fill.   San Juan never did this die before the IP was sold to GPM.


John Houlihan, owner of Irish Tracklayer, had a few new parts to offer.   John is developing a number of new parts for upgrading the old Kemtron GP-7/ GP-20 kits.   The first part is a series of etched hatch covers for various fan configurations.

gp plates

Another item is a lighting kit for switch stands.   The kit will include a nifty Adlake lamp and linkage to tie the bridle to the stand.   John is still developing this kit.   He is selling the Adlake lamp in a set of four for $20.

irish sw

He is also selling parts for lower quadrant semaphores for those who want to build their own.   John also selling complete signals with servo actuators to control home and distant signals.

irish sig

The 2016 show is being trumped by the Super Bowl.  As a result, OSW will move to May.


4 thoughts on “O Scale West 2015

  1. Gene,
    Thanks for the coverage of O Scale West.
    Do you have a website address that shows Irish Track Layer’s products. The old one that I purchased the castings for my interlocking model doesn’t seem to exist any more?
    Bill Bear

    • Bill
      Unfortunately Irish Tracklayer has not setup a new website. John Houlihan said that his son to build a new site. You can find some of his older parts on Amazon.
      I have not looked to see if anything new has been added.
      Many of the new parts have been developed using 3D CAD. The brass parts are invested using printed wax.


  2. Gene,
    Sorry I didn’t get to meet you at OSW. Was going to sit-in on your Tank Car clinic Saturday but it was cancelled. Hope you are feeling better.
    Also wanted to thank you for your blog. Though I don’t model P48, I thoroughly enjoy your entries and have learned much from them.

    Vic Cavalli
    Danville, CA

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