A Wee Bit O' HOn3 History.


Earl Knoob
 

Here is a bit of HOn3 history.  I acquired this in the mid-1970's.  I came on the original box, which I cannot seem to locate, but the label on the box end
clearly stated "Roundhouse Products  -  0-6-0 switcher  -  HOn3 gauge  -  Kit."  I started to assemble it.  I got it to run anyway.

 
So, here we have a basic 1950's Model Die Casting/Roundhouse products 0-6-0 switch engine, based on a Southern Pacific prototype.  52" drivers, slope back tender.  Very simple somewhat crude details.  Everything is die-cast, no plastic here.  Just like the engines our dads populated their railroads with in the 50's and 60's.


But, turn it on its back and what is this?  The drivers (and the tender trucks) are clearly 3-foot narrow gauge.  Just like the box label says....
You can see where the frame dies had been narrowed to install narrow gauge driver sets.  Being the frame was cast in a steel die (as in "Die-casting" - get it?), it was a pretty simple matter to insert steel plates on each side of the die to make the frame narrower.  A special bottom retainer plate was also created.


Notice the cool die-cast main rod as weel as the nifty stamped brass, highly derailed side rods.  The motor is a Lindsey.  A standard item for many HO models in the early-mid 1950's.  My dad had some early Varney and Mantua engines with Lindsey motors.  It draws about 3/4 of an amp under load...


 Another underside shot.  The cylinders seem to be stock standard gauge items, accounting the splayed out main rods running at an angle.

 
Another motor shot.  All other MDC 0-6-0's I've run across have a standard "Pittman-type" motor driving the #2 axle.  But the ones I've seen might have been much newer.  A Pittman motor would not fit between the HOn3 drivers.


Here is the tender underframe showing the trucks.  The side frames are standard for the standard gauge model but were fitted with special bolsters to make them narrow gauge.

So, there you have it.  Anyone else have one of these monuments to early HOn3 motive power?  Anybody ever even heard of one of these?  It certainly makes a monster of an HOn3 locomotive.

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