Friday, April 17, 2015

Freelanced S Scale Electrics: Dick Karnes' New York, Westchester & Boston

Photo courtesy of Model Memories
Dick Karnes is well known as a leader in the S scale community, but he's also a serious heavy electric modeler. His New York, Westchester & Boston layout is inspired by Northeast Corridor electric roads, particularly the New York Central and the New Haven. The S Scale SIG web site has a re-published Railroad Model Craftsman story by Dick that gives a good overview of his layout and modeling. There are a few more pictures of the NYW&B at the Model Memories site.

Dick's locomotive fleet is particularly intriguing to me. He has prototype electric locomotives, but also a number of freelanced electrics. Dick modestly describes his freelanced electrics as "plausible"--but to my eye they blend a keen eye for the lines and the technology of 1940s and 50s era and excellent modeling.  The NYW&B's electrics indeed look like they belong among EP5s, EL-3As, W1s, E2Bs, E2Cs, E3Bs, and other streamlined electrics of the postwar era.

As noted here previously, freelanced railroads and models seem to be somewhat out of fashion of late. But as I think back on some of my favorite formative model railroading influences--Bob Hegge's Crooked Mountain Lines, Bruce Goehmann's Midland Electric, Eric Brooman's Utah Belt, Tony Koester's Allegheny Midland, and many others--I realize that freelanced railroads and models are a big part of my model railroad outlook. Dick's work just reminds me that smart freelance modeling is still alive and, well, and cooler than ever. 

(And I'm already thinking of electric road switchers, like this or this.)