Topics

LaBelle F&CC kits


Clifford Mestel
 

Does anyone have one or two LaBelle Florence and Cripple Creek coaches for sale or for trade for F&CC combines?

Cliff Mestel
 


John Stutz
 

Cliff

Did the LaBelle Florence and Cripple Creek coach kits differ in any way, other than the label on the box, from their D&RGW open platform coach kits? I have LaBelle HOn3-20 coach kits labeled for both the D&RGW and the Denver and Fort Worth, and have not found any other differences.

John Stutz

On August 31, 2020 at 4:59 PM "Clifford Mestel via groups.io" <troutckeng@...> wrote:

Does anyone have one or two LaBelle Florence and Cripple Creek coaches for sale or for trade for F&CC combines?

Cliff Mestel
 

 


Robert Bell
 

John,
I think they aretwere different.  I have one of the F&CC coaches that I started building when I was in high school and have not finished yet.  It is longer than my Blackstone coaches, and looks different.  If I get a chance later, I'll take a photo and post it.

Rob Bell


duncan
 

John and Robert.

    The LaBelle F&CC coach is a very different animal from the D&RGW coach.

    Yes, it is longer.  The D&RGW coaches were mostly Jackson and Sharp, though they did have others as well.  Those coaches are what the LaBelle kit is based on.  Basically the same model as the Blackstone cars.  The F&CC coaches were built by Billmeyer (sp?) and Small.

    The F&CC coaches also have larger windows - part of the reason for the longer length.  There may be some other differences as well, but those are the main ones I can recall.

    BTW, those F&CC coaches are virtually identical to coaches the C&S had, so can be used for that road as well. The C&S had no Jackson and Sharp cars.

                                    Duncan Harvey


John Stutz
 

Rob

I am not surprised that a LaBelle D&RGW coach differs from a Blackstone one. There is about 50 year's difference in their initial production dates. They were designed to accommodate different customer expectations for prototype fidelity. And they represent an extreme difference in manufacturing technique.

What I was referring to is the differences between two LaBelle kits, labeled as being D&RGW and D&FW prototypes, but both coded HOn3-20. And I did not find any difference when I paired the sides together. So far as I can tell, they are exactly the same kit, just with different names on the box.

I suspect that one of the previous owners of LaBelle started down the same road that MicroTrains attempted a few years ago: attempting to amortize production costs by labeling a single product for several railroads. And while that can work for prototypes like a Pullman PS-1 box car, its a dead end for sales to knowledgeable modelers of an era where railroads demanded and got customized products. Fortunately for us, LaBelle has survived, and is still available, despite the number of unbuilt kits on our shelves.

I say fortunately, because it is much easier, and less financially painful, to bash a LaBelle passenger kit into something other than a D&RG prototype. The D&RGW's passenger stock either dated from the early 1880s, or was modeled on stock that did date from that era. Hence their remarkable uniformity. Later passenger cars built for other roads differed significantly, generally longer with narrower window pillars, My focus is the White Pass & Yukon, and prior to 1969, when they started buying steel passenger cars in quantity, they were running wooden cars dating from 1876 to 1918. Of a passenger stock of 40 plus cars, I don't think they had more than four that were initially identical. And those were the ex. Stony Clove and Catskill Mountain RR parlor cars, #218-224(even), with three sizes of side windows and an offset door and picture window in the observation end. Which on the White Pass, ran with three styles of sheathing (paneled, matchboard, & faux heavyweight steel) and now have double width windows. So I appreciate having the LaBelle kits available.

John Stutz

On September 1, 2020 at 1:29 AM "Robert Bell via groups.io" <ionhoss@...> wrote:

John,
I think they aretwere different.  I have one of the F&CC coaches that I started building when I was in high school and have not finished yet.  It is longer than my Blackstone coaches, and looks different.  If I get a chance later, I'll take a photo and post it.

Rob Bell


 


John Stutz
 

Cliff & Duncan

Thanks for your replies. 

I had previously found that the LaBelle D&FtW coach was identical to the D&RGW coach, and suspected this was also true of the F&CC coach.  You both confirm that the F&CC kit definitely differed.  Since I have never seen one, I am wondering when it was offered and why it was dropped?  Bit of mystery here.

Cliff - If you have an original box and instructions, could you provide the kit code, and the address that LaBelle was then using?   The D&FtW kit is HOn3-20, with the original (?)  PO box 22, Oconomowoc, WI 53066 address, and priced at $12.75.  Which price was up at least two steps from the $5.95 on my oldest HOn3-2x kit box.

On reexamining the D&FtW coach I find that there is one difference from the D&RG version: In the D&FtW kit both sides have 13 windows, against 12 & 13 for the D&RG.  Given what I infer regarding LaBelle's woodworking technology, this is a trivial difference, perhaps simply due to over production of the 13 window side.   The two kits have the same window sizes and spacing, and overall side length.  

How do the F&CC kit's window's size and spacing and the overall side length compare to the D&RG version?

John


claneon30
 

You can also just call Rick Steele, current owner of LaBelle and he can answer all your questions.

Chris Lane - Editor HOn3 Annual



On Sep 1, 2020, at 8:29 PM, John Stutz <john.stutz@...> wrote:

Cliff & Duncan

Thanks for your replies. 

I had previously found that the LaBelle D&FtW coach was identical to the D&RGW coach, and suspected this was also true of the F&CC coach.  You both confirm that the F&CC kit definitely differed.  Since I have never seen one, I am wondering when it was offered and why it was dropped?  Bit of mystery here.

Cliff - If you have an original box and instructions, could you provide the kit code, and the address that LaBelle was then using?   The D&FtW kit is HOn3-20, with the original (?)  PO box 22, Oconomowoc, WI 53066 address, and priced at $12.75.  Which price was up at least two steps from the $5.95 on my oldest HOn3-2x kit box.

On reexamining the D&FtW coach I find that there is one difference from the D&RG version: In the D&FtW kit both sides have 13 windows, against 12 & 13 for the D&RG.  Given what I infer regarding LaBelle's woodworking technology, this is a trivial difference, perhaps simply due to over production of the 13 window side.   The two kits have the same window sizes and spacing, and overall side length.  

How do the F&CC kit's window's size and spacing and the overall side length compare to the D&RG version?

John



John Stutz
 

Chris

We could of course, but speculation is so much fun.

And my current estimate is that these odd prototype HOn3 kits date from 40-50 years ago, which puts them a bit before Rick's involvement with LaBelle.

John Stutz

On September 1, 2020 at 7:46 PM claneon30 <chrislaneon30@...> wrote:

You can also just call Rick Steele, current owner of LaBelle and he can answer all your questions.

Chris Lane - Editor HOn3 Annual



On Sep 1, 2020, at 8:29 PM, John Stutz < john.stutz@...> wrote:

Cliff & Duncan

Thanks for your replies. 

I had previously found that the LaBelle D&FtW coach was identical to the D&RGW coach, and suspected this was also true of the F&CC coach.  You both confirm that the F&CC kit definitely differed.  Since I have never seen one, I am wondering when it was offered and why it was dropped?  Bit of mystery here.

Cliff - If you have an original box and instructions, could you provide the kit code, and the address that LaBelle was then using?   The D&FtW kit is HOn3-20, with the original (?)  PO box 22, Oconomowoc, WI 53066 address, and priced at $12.75.  Which price was up at least two steps from the $5.95 on my oldest HOn3-2x kit box.

On reexamining the D&FtW coach I find that there is one difference from the D&RG version: In the D&FtW kit both sides have 13 windows, against 12 & 13 for the D&RG.  Given what I infer regarding LaBelle's woodworking technology, this is a trivial difference, perhaps simply due to over production of the 13 window side.   The two kits have the same window sizes and spacing, and overall side length.  

How do the F&CC kit's window's size and spacing and the overall side length compare to the D&RG version?

John



 

 


Robert Bell
 

John,
I suspect closer to 60 years ago as I am 55 and the kit was most likely purchased in the mid-1950's to early 1960's by my dad.  I have the instructions somewhere, but I do not believe the kit was in the original box.  I partially built it in the 1980's (?).  Attached are a couple of picts of it on my Skagway warf with a BS coach and an OR&W car.  Please forgive the color green I used, back then I didn't have any Pullman Green so I used what I had.

Rob Bell










Dale Buxton
 

It has been A long time since I've seen a LaBelle F&CC combine, so correct me if i'm wrong. But didn't they have side windows in the baggage section? I know I saw that on some Combine somewhere along the line that had this feature. From a security standpoint, I always thought that was an odd thing to do.

Dale Buxton

On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 2:37 AM Robert Bell via groups.io <ionhoss=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
John,
I suspect closer to 60 years ago as I am 55 and the kit was most likely purchased in the mid-1950's to early 1960's by my dad.  I have the instructions somewhere, but I do not believe the kit was in the original box.  I partially built it in the 1980's (?).  Attached are a couple of picts of it on my Skagway warf with a BS coach and an OR&W car.  Please forgive the color green I used, back then I didn't have any Pullman Green so I used what I had.

Rob Bell










Climax@...
 

That would put it back in the original factory, inside an old freight depot on the south side of the parallel tracks between Madison and Milwaukee on the west side of Oconomowoc Wisconsin!. I remember going there and buying one of the first 15th anniversary kits they put out in 1965, still got the built cars.
DB

-----Original Message-----
From: John Stutz
Sent: Sep 2, 2020 12:12 AM
To: HOn3@groups.io, claneon30
Subject: Re: [HOn3] LaBelle F&CC kits

Chris

We could of course, but speculation is so much fun.

And my current estimate is that these odd prototype HOn3 kits date from 40-50 years ago, which puts them a bit before Rick's involvement with LaBelle.

John Stutz

On September 1, 2020 at 7:46 PM claneon30 <chrislaneon30@...> wrote:

You can also just call Rick Steele, current owner of LaBelle and he can answer all your questions.

Chris Lane - Editor HOn3 Annual



On Sep 1, 2020, at 8:29 PM, John Stutz < john.stutz@...> wrote:

Cliff & Duncan

Thanks for your replies. 

I had previously found that the LaBelle D&FtW coach was identical to the D&RGW coach, and suspected this was also true of the F&CC coach.  You both confirm that the F&CC kit definitely differed.  Since I have never seen one, I am wondering when it was offered and why it was dropped?  Bit of mystery here.

Cliff - If you have an original box and instructions, could you provide the kit code, and the address that LaBelle was then using?   The D&FtW kit is HOn3-20, with the original (?)  PO box 22, Oconomowoc, WI 53066 address, and priced at $12.75.  Which price was up at least two steps from the $5.95 on my oldest HOn3-2x kit box.

On reexamining the D&FtW coach I find that there is one difference from the D&RG version: In the D&FtW kit both sides have 13 windows, against 12 & 13 for the D&RG.  Given what I infer regarding LaBelle's woodworking technology, this is a trivial difference, perhaps simply due to over production of the 13 window side.   The two kits have the same window sizes and spacing, and overall side length.  

How do the F&CC kit's window's size and spacing and the overall side length compare to the D&RG version?

John



 

 


duncan
 

John, Rob and Dale,

    Yes, the LaBelle F&CC kits were produced somewhere in the 60's, I believe.  They were a limited run kit.  As I understand it there were only about 250 of each kit (the combine and the coach) manufactured.  I don't know why they were limited run.  Maybe because there weren't that many F&CC modelers out there.

    The model Rob showed is a coach and the combine kit did have two windows in the side, in the baggage area.  Many early roads had windows in the baggage section, I guess before they figured out that wasn't a good idea.

    The boxes for the kits had green labels.  I don't believe any other LaBelle kit had that kind of label.

    If you look at the picture of Rob's car you can easily see how much bigger the windows are.    And the cars were longer.  As you compare lengths of cars, even on the same road, you will find differences in the lengths.  Usually due to the cars being made by different manufacturers.  But, sometimes even the same manufacturer will make different length  cars of the same type in different years.  On the DSP&P/C&S (the roads I model the most) there are maybe something like five, or six, different lengths of coach cars.

    As for the 12/13 windows per side issue, all three coach kits (D&RGW, F&CC and D&FtW)  are prototypically correct. Manufacturers of prototype cars varied the window size, shape and numbers on their cars.  I believe the D&RGW Jackson and Sharp coaches were originally 13 windows per side.  During a rebuild it was decided to sheath over the window by the stove.  If you look you will almost invariably see a stack, on the roof, over the space of that blanked out window.

    Hope this is of some help!

Duncan Harvey


Robert Bell
 

Interesting.  I said before 1965, but actually it had to have been before 1964.  My parents moved to FL in March of 1964 and prior to that they were in Parshall, ND for only about 3 months.  Before that they were in Great Falls, MT for several years.  I never knew dad to really be a model railroader when I a little kid, so the kit had to have been purchased when they were in Montana.  

I have not been able to locate the directions...they're around here somewhere, lol.

Rob Bell


Clifford Mestel
 

 
 
In a message dated 9/2/2020 11:52:18 AM Mountain Standard Time, troutckeng@... writes:
 
The Florence & Cripple Creek did have 3 combines.  2 of them had the windows between the baggage door and end of the car while the 3rd had the door at the end of the car.  This was #60 and it is at the Cumbres and Toltec yard in Alamosa.
 
Cliff Mestel
 
In a message dated 9/2/2020 10:15:44 AM Mountain Standard Time, train3guy@... writes:
 
John, Rob and Dale,

    Yes, the LaBelle F&CC kits were produced somewhere in the 60's, I
believe.  They were a limited run kit.  As I understand it there were
only about 250 of each kit (the combine and the coach) manufactured.  I
don't know why they were limited run.  Maybe because there weren't that
many F&CC modelers out there.

    The model Rob showed is a coach and the combine kit did have two
windows in the side, in the baggage area.  Many early roads had windows
in the baggage section, I guess before they figured out that wasn't a
good idea.

    The boxes for the kits had green labels.  I don't believe any other
LaBelle kit had that kind of label.

    If you look at the picture of Rob's car you can easily see how much
bigger the windows are.    And the cars were longer.  As you compare
lengths of cars, even on the same road, you will find differences in the
lengths.  Usually due to the cars being made by different
manufacturers.  But, sometimes even the same manufacturer will make
different length  cars of the same type in different years.  On the
DSP&P/C&S (the roads I model the most) there are maybe something like
five, or six, different lengths of coach cars.

    As for the 12/13 windows per side issue, all three coach kits
(D&RGW, F&CC and D&FtW)  are prototypically correct. Manufacturers of
prototype cars varied the window size, shape and numbers on their cars. 
I believe the D&RGW Jackson and Sharp coaches were originally 13 windows
per side.  During a rebuild it was decided to sheath over the window by
the stove.  If you look you will almost invariably see a stack, on the
roof, over the space of that blanked out window.

    Hope this is of some help!

Duncan Harvey






John Stutz
 

Thanks Rob, for the photos.

As for color, its my impression that no two White Pass passenger cars are quite the same color.  Unless they were painted in the same week, and that no more than 3 months ago.  And sometimes the differences are not at all subtle.

Duncan - Your history is much appreciated.

John Stutz


Robert Bell
 

John,
Did you happen to see my question I posted on the White Pass group about the steam whistless?  No one has responded yet...

Thanks!
Rob Bell


Dale Buxton
 

I was looking at my LaBelle coach kits after this thread started and one of the D&RGW kits has three sides in the box. Two with 13 windows and one with 12. The price on the end is $6.95 while all the other kits I have are $12.95. So it's obviously an older kit. I wonder if this is a fluke or if at some point LaBelle stopped putting the optional side in the kit?

Dale Buxton

On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 10:15 AM duncan <train3guy@...> wrote:
John, Rob and Dale,

     Yes, the LaBelle F&CC kits were produced somewhere in the 60's, I
believe.  They were a limited run kit.  As I understand it there were
only about 250 of each kit (the combine and the coach) manufactured.  I
don't know why they were limited run.  Maybe because there weren't that
many F&CC modelers out there.

     The model Rob showed is a coach and the combine kit did have two
windows in the side, in the baggage area.  Many early roads had windows
in the baggage section, I guess before they figured out that wasn't a
good idea.

     The boxes for the kits had green labels.  I don't believe any other
LaBelle kit had that kind of label.

     If you look at the picture of Rob's car you can easily see how much
bigger the windows are.    And the cars were longer.  As you compare
lengths of cars, even on the same road, you will find differences in the
lengths.  Usually due to the cars being made by different
manufacturers.  But, sometimes even the same manufacturer will make
different length  cars of the same type in different years.  On the
DSP&P/C&S (the roads I model the most) there are maybe something like
five, or six, different lengths of coach cars.

     As for the 12/13 windows per side issue, all three coach kits
(D&RGW, F&CC and D&FtW)  are prototypically correct. Manufacturers of
prototype cars varied the window size, shape and numbers on their cars. 
I believe the D&RGW Jackson and Sharp coaches were originally 13 windows
per side.  During a rebuild it was decided to sheath over the window by
the stove.  If you look you will almost invariably see a stack, on the
roof, over the space of that blanked out window.

     Hope this is of some help!

Duncan Harvey






John Stutz
 

Dale

Most likely someone once had two boxes open, and did not get everything back where it came from.

Have you checked your other kits for one with a single side?

John Stutz

On September 4, 2020 at 2:14 AM Dale Buxton <dbtuathaddana@...> wrote:

I was looking at my LaBelle coach kits after this thread started and one of the D&RGW kits has three sides in the box. Two with 13 windows and one with 12. The price on the end is $6.95 while all the other kits I have are $12.95. So it's obviously an older kit. I wonder if this is a fluke or if at some point LaBelle stopped putting the optional side in the kit?

Dale Buxton

On Wed, Sep 2, 2020 at 10:15 AM duncan < train3guy@...> wrote:
John, Rob and Dale,

     Yes, the LaBelle F&CC kits were produced somewhere in the 60's, I
believe.  They were a limited run kit.  As I understand it there were
only about 250 of each kit (the combine and the coach) manufactured.  I
don't know why they were limited run.  Maybe because there weren't that
many F&CC modelers out there.

     The model Rob showed is a coach and the combine kit did have two
windows in the side, in the baggage area.  Many early roads had windows
in the baggage section, I guess before they figured out that wasn't a
good idea.

     The boxes for the kits had green labels.  I don't believe any other
LaBelle kit had that kind of label.

     If you look at the picture of Rob's car you can easily see how much
bigger the windows are.    And the cars were longer.  As you compare
lengths of cars, even on the same road, you will find differences in the
lengths.  Usually due to the cars being made by different
manufacturers.  But, sometimes even the same manufacturer will make
different length  cars of the same type in different years.  On the
DSP&P/C&S (the roads I model the most) there are maybe something like
five, or six, different lengths of coach cars.

     As for the 12/13 windows per side issue, all three coach kits
(D&RGW, F&CC and D&FtW)  are prototypically correct. Manufacturers of
prototype cars varied the window size, shape and numbers on their cars. 
I believe the D&RGW Jackson and Sharp coaches were originally 13 windows
per side.  During a rebuild it was decided to sheath over the window by
the stove.  If you look you will almost invariably see a stack, on the
roof, over the space of that blanked out window.

     Hope this is of some help!

Duncan Harvey






 


Robert Bell
 

I KNEW I'd run across the instructions!  here they are scanned at 300dpi, hope this is good enough for y'all.  If not, lemme know and I'll scan at higher quality for you.

Rob Bell
Modeling the White Pass & Yukon Route in HOn3


Robert Bell
 

Sorry the photos didn't load in the proper order.

Rob