~ Most recent update: Friday, February 10, 2023 ~  

We include it here to show you where our heads were at going on 27 years ago, and who's still ahead of the "pack"...

    The model shown above is one of but 25 such models we produced in 1995..  Besides its incredibly realistic, intentionally well-used appearance, (In Model Railroad parlance this is called "Weathering.."), this model was equipped with the components designed to receive signals from the no longer produced off-board Foreground Sound / Power System which we produced back in the early 2000's which enabled it, using digitized real sounds, to SOUND just like the real thing!

    These models had operating "lifting links" (A part of the prototypes' "valve gear" which must raise and lower to effect forward / reverse directions... When lowered, the prototype moves forward; When in the raised position, the locomotive would run in reverse..). Working directional lighting, including Headlight, Marker Lamps, Backup Light, and Cab Interior Light. Even the train indicators (Oftentimes referred to as number boards..), are illuminated! The models had a "Crew" in them too, including a Hand Painted Engineer and Fireman.. It even had a "Head-End" Brakeman in the Tender's "Doghouse" too. And of course, the appropriate Genuine Kadee® Couplers were installed as well, both front and rear, to make it a truly Ready-to-Operate Model... IN 1996 !

    Couple these features with the fact that the model was equipped with a motor / gearbox combination engineered to operate at scale speeds,  And this without resorting to motor life shortening "pulsing" type throttles required to overcome the many ill concieved, crotchety mechanisms prevelant back in those days, and what do you get? A package like nobody in the model railroad industry had ever managed to be able to offer! And as you can see from the date at this page's header, That was some 27 years ago!

    And just think! We've been making FOREGROUND MODELS like these in "Sn3" since 1986!

~ What constitutes a "Foreground Model?" ~

    Well, first off the model must be an accurately scaled representation of its Prototype. Not just a tongue-in-cheek caricature, but a true miniature of the real thing!

    Secondly, it should be able to stand up to the brutally harsh, unforgiving eye of the camera..

    Thirdly, it should perform like its prototype, and this includes how it sounds!     Throughout all of these criteria, the P-B-L Foreground Model ® comes off victorious!

~ How They're Produced ~

    First, we start with one of our own, Factory Painted Models and add the necessary components to it so it can reproduce the realistic sounds of the prototype... Either as generated by the P-B-L Foreground I and Foreground II Sound Systems, or Equipped with DCC and Sound.

    We also add a Hand Painted Crew, taken from our selection of over 14 different Engineers and Firemen, so that the odds of finding any pair of figures exactly alike are quite slim. ( The masters for these guys were hand carved in-house to depict some of our friends!  Really, who could better qualify to be running "our" trains? ) (More recently we've taken to using crew figures from Arttista... Mainly because we can't get anybody to paint figures for us any more... A sad commentary on the state of affairs we all face these days, eh?)

    Then we give the model a rigorous testing on our Test Layout, the design of which includes a 26.5" radius over-and-under "Figure Eight", with a 3% ruling grade, plus a couple of turnouts thrown in for good measure.. Conditions one might find on a fairly cramped home layout. The object of all this is to catch any "bugs" before the model goes into the spray booth..

    We then Custom Tailor the models' weathering to suit its new owner. Using a "Custom Weathing Form", filled in by the models' new owner, we are able to take into consideration his personal preferences, even the lighting under which the model will be viewed most often! Our own Jim Booth Jr. is the man responsible for this sensitive, artistic rendering, and, as can be seen from the photos herein, he performs admirably! He is definitely up to the task!

    Lastly, the models' wheels are cleaned, and the model is track tested one more time before being carefully packaged for the trip to its' new owner. May we build one for you?

    Check out our Photo Gallery for a glimpse of some of the FOREGROUND MODELS we have created in the past.

Oh, and thanks for stopping by, and by all means, please feel free to come back again!

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