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...past. Info has been sent for these models, as well as that for a future "Big Sky Blue" release. These are HO scale models.

3. I've just received the LIFE-LIKE HO P-1000 sample ALCO RS-2 diesel models and they are stunning. Great paint and detail. They come in the now famous (infamous?) "as delivered" version. The only discrepancy is that they have the modern (E/B) lettering and numbers, instead of the RR Roman format. However, this is good, since it is compatible with adding details to make a more modern version. I'm sure that most of you who see these models will be as impressed as I am. We'll address detailing the RS-2's in a future column.

4. BRASS CAR SIDES is giving consideration to producing N scale sides for the Empire Builder 1250-1255 series of "Lake" dining cars. Fifteen reservations for these sides are required to bring this about. Reservations can be made by contacting BRASS CAR SIDES, 715 South 7th St., St. Peter, MN 56082-1435. Tel: (507) 931-2784. Email:dchenry@gac.edu

5. MIDWEST PRODUCTS (of basswood & balsawood fame) is going into competition with EVERGREEN and PLASTRUCT in the production of styrene sheets and shapes. The new line, called "Super Styrene", will feature over 200 items. Many of these items will be precision-extruded to give a more prototypical appearance.

6. INTERMOUNTAIN will be releasing their new HO FGE/WFE wood-sheathed reefers very soon. Their ad shows WFEX 49766 of the 49000-49999 series, built in 1921-22.

7. Brent Schmidt of BSE PRODUCTS, sent samples of his new products for review and comment. Like myself, I'm sure many of you have installed the various currently-available stainless steel grilles on HO F, A and B units with varying degrees of success. Brent's new products offer us an excellent alternative when it comes to installing grilles on the ATHEARN and STEWART F units. The grilles are made up of an acrylic-like material with the same luster as stainless steel. Using these grilles provides two distinct advantages. The first is the ease of installation. The grill has a sticky material on the back that is similar to that self-adhesive used on license plate tags. This allows rapid and accurate installation. The second is that, unlike stainless steel, there is no contraction or expansion to cause the warping. The material appears to be impervious to temperature changes. The grilles are available for ATHEARN (not GENESIS) and STEWART F A and B units. Additionally, BSE has made available the Northern Pacific lettering (prototype-stainless steel) found on NP passenger B units. For more information, check the entry in the New Products section below and/or contact BSE PRODUCTS, 106 Monroe St., Billings, MT 59101.

8. The "write in" campaign for the ATHEARN GENESIS HO F3's has been successful! In a conversation with Leo Munson, of ATHEARN, he indicates that the production schedule for 2003 is full and that the F3's should be produced in 2004. Thanks to all who wrote to ATHEARN for your efforts. We all benefit from your interest and action. For those of you who have not contacted ATHEARN expressing support for the F3 project, please do so. Some additional re-enforcement may help to move the schedule ahead. By the way, ATHEARN still has about 100 sets of GENESIS GN F7's. These units have a great paint job and run beautifully. If you haven't purchased any of these units, you might want to consider doing so.

9. Some of you may find the "At the Throttle" section of the July '03 issue of MODEL RAILROADER as interesting as I did. The article contains the results of a reader survey regarding the popularity of scales/gauges, eras, etc.. It should come as no surprise that almost 80% of model railroaders model in HO scale, and the post-war era (1946-1960) was the most popular. For other survey findings, please read this column.

10. For those of you who might be seeking back issue magazines or used books, try RAILPUB, 161 Gilmore Rd., Wrentham, MA 02093-1227. Phone calls (508) 397-1828 and e-mails: railpub@webstruct.com. You are welcome to check availability of or to reserve items. They have an extensive and constantly-changing inventory.

NEW PRODUCTS

ACCURAIL

HO 40' AAR Steel Box Cars, 3-pack, f/p GN, 2 vermilion/1 green.

Note: Not accurate for GN prototype. GN AAR style box cars were wood sheathed.

AMERICAN MODEL BUILDERS

HO #861 GN 25' Wood Sheathed Caboose, undec. kit.

Note: This caboose accurately represents the GN 25' caboose as modified by the modernization program of the 1940's. The caboose has the additional end and side windows included, along with the modifications to the cupola windows. Handrail bending jig, laser cut ladders and end panels are included. As with past AMB cabooses, the underbody detail is sparse and will require some additional effort and parts by the modeler.