SCL Models : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I model the SCL and am frustrated with the lack of good models that are available. I appreciate the great GP9's that Life Like produced a while back in SCL, but their recent releases have not included more SCL subjects. I have contacted both Atlas and Life Like about producing more SCL subjects, but have had little response. (I did tell them that I was a member of the ACL/SAL Historical Society). Is our society asking for more SCL subjects? If not can it do so? Is there any hope for some of the new Life Like releases to be lettered for SCL? Sorry if this is not the place to ask these questions, but I didn't know where else to ask them.

-- Rick Milas (, August 10, 1999


Rick, I too model the SCL and I understand your frustration. Since your post we have seen the Stewart C628's & C630's and Athearn did some GP38-2's. Atlas also did the U36-C's in SCL several years back.

Both the Stewart & Atlas units came with somewhat weird SCL lettering. I wasn't happy with it and spent some time removing the lettering and replacing it with Micro Scale decals. However.....I am very thankful that these manufacturers made the SCL units since their yellow striping was great and that alone saved a great deal of time and is the hardest part of decaling a SCL unit. In fact, any black ACL unit can be converted to an SCL unit in much less time than it takes to paint an undec. Proto E-6's and GP30's in ACL are a Godsend to SCL modelers like us.

To relieve the pain of always having to alter the paintjob or start from scratch, I bought an Atlas CSX GP38 last year so I could see what it was like to open the box of the finest locomotive on the market and just put it on the track like everybody else seemed to be happy with. The locomotive is beautiful and I didn't even have to install a decoder. But, the satisfaction was not there in the long run. If Atlas makes the GP40 in SCL paint, I may feel differently. Us SCL modelers may never know. Until then, we can use every spill- over SAL/ACL product that comes our way. I myself have a closet full of fine products (most undec) to complete that were not available just a few years ago.

One of the benefits of modeling the SCL is that as far as modeling goes, it is unique. Most people know of the SCL and ACL/SAL fans certainly appreciate it to the point of being drawn into modeling it. This is how I feel about CSX, it's cool but I'm doing SCL, thanks. Unfortunately, the SCL paint scheme didn't last too long until Family Lines Grey took over.

Pulling For You!

-- Mark Kuehler (, August 12, 2001.

Rick, here's to you for picking a railfan to model besides(everybody get ready to yawn and stretch here)the Santa Fe. I agree that there's as much a Western bias with the model makers as there is a liberal bias with the TV news.What to do?In either case, really not much, other than what has already been mentioned. I myself took up painting my own locomotives out of the same sense of frustration. My first attempts were just beyond a joke, but over time, I got better. I don't count myself as being some Jim Six or something, but that's the fun thing about model railroading-you don't have to be "Tiger Woods" to get into this "golf game". You have chosen one of the world's easiest schemes to paint-no multi-colors, minimal masking-really, all you've got to do is get the stripes straight. Painting your own equipment will grow on you-I believe I get as much out of decalling as I do any other part of this hobby-I have to watch it, because I get hooked on the decalling, and I've done gobs of locomotives and cars over the years. Good luck, and have fun enjoying the SCL. It was a good railroad, all in all.

-- Bud(David L.)Leggett (, August 07, 2001.

I know your frustration with these model railiroading manufacturers. I have emailed, LifeLike, Atlas, Branchline, and Walthers, and in some instances I have never gotten a message back saying we may consider for future, but I feel that I get the "who are you". I would like to see that proto 2-8-8-2 in SAL "dress" like in Griffin's Book page 41. I really would like to say more about these companies and how it appears other lines that have been merged seem to come out more than our lines do. Are all of the companies on the westcoast??? I'm writing Bachmann now because I like their Spectrum passenger cars better the IHC passenger cars. Give me Pullman Green without a Road Name and I can run it with any of the three lines.


-- anthony middleton (, January 15, 2000.

Sorry, I don't the answer, but I feel your pain. It seems to me that the model makers are located in the western states and only model what runs in their areas. I model RF&P, SBD SYS, FEC, Southern etc. and almost no one produces correct models for any of these roads. We as a society need to get together and ask (demand) better representations. ie P2000 ACL E8s-wrong color, the SALs were in the repaint scheme, the E7s in the citrus, they don't match! and oh course they did not produce "B" units (RF&P). Also, most southern roads had FP7s. How many did E-R do? None! Ever see an RF&P box car kit in the proper color in H-O? The list just goes on!

-- Craig A. Harrison (, October 26, 1999.

I model the SCL exclusively. I have also wondered over the years why the SCL isn't produced more. I believe the reason is the SCL just isn't popular with modelers. The old black and yellow with the reflective aluminum lettering just doesn't have the same magic and appeal as a Santa Fe warbonnet or a Union Pacific armor yellow scheme. Most of the people who do have SCL locos for their layouts don't model the line exclusively. Instead, they like to have one or two locos just to add a touch of variety to their favorite railroad, ie: Chessie, L&N etc.

I would suggest you model your fleet by hand. (You spend more time modeling, less time being frustrated) With most companies producing undecorated versions of locos these days, the possibilities are limitless. You will get more accurate results and get a great feeling of accomplishment. (I now have eighteen SCL locos in my

-- Andrew Callo (, August 14, 1999.

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