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South Jersey S Scale Modelers



The ALCO RS1 is my favorite RS unit. This is a RS1 rather rare S Scale locomotive. It is a Locomotive Workshop RS1 that was released in 1973. It came as a kit with the long and short hoods formed, but everything else was flat etched brass sheets that required the builder to form and solder everything. I bought it pretty much as is from the collection of Larry Sokol. Jim Kindraka thinks it was built by Larry’s friend Bill Basden. The kit was not for the novice or faint of heart, which is why you don’t see many RS1 running in S Scale. It has a rather interesting truck gear arrangement that features a movable axle wheelbase that also equalizes, made by Cascade Models. It runs pretty well. When I first got it, I had plans for a massive rebuild with a new drive and complete detail makeover. After giving it a better look, it is remaining as is, but will get LED headlights at some point. It would take LOTS of work to make it better. In August 2008 I added an NCE decoder, all wheel pickup and new headlights so I can at least run it.



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Des Plaines RS1

S Scale America

In 2105 Des Plaines Hobbies released a brass RS1 kit as their S Scale America brand. The kit is all brass expect for the American Models gear towers and wheels. I had it for a while figuring I would build it but it did not happen. A friend recommended someone that was building the RS1 kits so I got him to build to the point of needing the detailing to make it PRR. He did a very good job. I got a lot of other projects done in that same time. Below is as received 2-16-18. I have not picked a loco number yet.


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Fuel Tank Weight

There was a large space in the underframe between the simulated fuel tank and battery box that was a perfect spot for a weight. Sometimes I make things for a project, and make them much more complex than needed just for the fun of it, or to use my tools. That was absolutely true here. I used my shear to make brackets, and milling machine to make the mold for this weight and trim it. I have used wood previously to make lead molds especially if I only need one weight. If they weight does not want to come out just chop at the wood. Since I got my milling machine they can be very precise as well.


This is just a small piece of 2 x 4 I laid out the size and milled out the cavity. The screws in the brackets are for the lead to form around and lock in place. There was very minimal clean up machining of the weight after casting. It weighs just over 6 ounces. The weight came out with some convincing so I did not have to bust up the mold to get it out. It almost went WHOOSH it fit so well when I put it in the frame. I was pleasantly surprised how well it fits.


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Added 3-18-18


The coupler opening in the draft gear casting was an odd size. The Kadee 802 box did not fit. I hacked at 1 of my brass draft get and soldered it in place. I added footboards donated from 2 Omnicon PRR steam loco pilots, and flamethrower 5mm LEDs. There is no sound unit yet but it runs well now.


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The next step is more pilot details and then the very heavy lifting of adding the PRR antennas. If I planned on making more than one RS1 I would do the Solidworks designing and get them cast. But this very likely a one and done so I am making the pieces by hand. There is also a pointed shroud under the coupler that I have not figured out yet. I have to wait for that mood to hit me.


Much more to come at some point…….


Updated 3-18-18

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