This loco started as a urethane shell made by American Hi Rail which was an S Scale only maker that was mostly aimed at the American Flyer market. Tom Hodgson perfected a method of copying HO shells, somehow “growing” them to S Scale size and casting in urethane. The company is now closed. All the other parts needed to complete the loco besides the shell had to be bought separately from various sources.
My loco was bought at the Ted Mauer train auction on 6-22-19. It was made by the late Dave Bailey of Macungie PA. The auction is how I found out Dave had passed in January 2019. Dave was an awesome modeler and very active in the late 1980s and 1990s. Dave was the “modern” guy mostly modeling Conrail. He had brass SD40-2 running on DC with constant lighting and a sound unit in the early 1990s. Dave also made a 32’ long modular hump yard that had a working car retarder based on the Allentown PA (then) Conrail yard. He took it to conventions and modular meets in South Amboy NJ for years. I got my PRSL AS16 shell from Dave in 1993 as 1 of my all time favorite model train trades of my life.
As mentioned I had nothing to do with the building of this loco. I did install the WOW4 decoder and surface mount LEDs for the headlights.
I can’t say for sure it is 1 of a kind but there are not more than a few running especially built up to this level of detail. I got it because it was made by Dave and is unique. S Scalers visiting will know it is something different and special.
This is the shell Dave started with. It is very basic. Dave turned it into a shining diamond.
I think there was a cast urethane frame available for this loco. Dave opted to use a very stretched American Models drive. The fuel tank is metal as well. Dave made a master pattern for the sideframes and cast them himself. I started to install the DCC with 4 wire Miniatronics plug. The TCS WOW4 decoder, speaker and lights are all in the shell. The plug sends the power up to the decoder and back down to the motor.
Done and running
All of the below photos were all taken with the Helicon photo stacking program for maximum depth of field.
The B32-8 is posed with my American Flyer by Lionel SD70 1011.
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