By Tony Cook
The 1st Quarter 2019 edition of HO Collector includes David Otte’s look at the famous Dockside 0-4-0 steam locomotive models. Among those offerings, Revell cataloged an example for a few years. One of the challenges in presenting past hobby company histories is documenting the promotional materials produced by those manufacturers. You can help! Here’s a sample of Revell materials currently in our collection. In addition to seeing the covers of the catalogs, a short description provides you with what is contained in each publication.
This undated but thought to be from 1956 and the debut of the line, color 8 1/2 x 11-inch catalog folds out to display in full color the debut group of Revell HO-scale train set releases. The “Clear the Tracks” catalog includes Revell’s F7A diesel locomotive, along with the SW7 diesel switcher, as well as the 0-6-0 steam locomotive. Rolling stock separate sale selections include the boxcar, stock car, gondola, hopper car, refrigerator car, flatcar, and caboose. The train sets include an F7A set, two sets featuring the SW7 diesel switcher, and a fourth train set with the 0-6-0 steam locomotive. Revell’s power pack and track section selections appear, along with a figure set and a cattle set.
The two-color, landscape format 9 x 8 inch “Twice the Fun” catalog is a more elaborate version of the “Clear the Tracks” publication. Consisting of 24 pages, this 1956 Revell catalog promotes HO and the company’s then-new product line. The same collection of locomotives, rolling stock, train sets, and accessories presented in “Clear the Tracks” appears in this well-done Revell catalog.
Revell’s 1957-58 catalog is a full-color 10 x 7-inch landscape format publication with 20 pages devoted the company’s HO-scale model train line. This catalog includes excellent two-page artist illustrations of the train sets appearing in realistic scenes with the excited looming faces of young boys ogling the offerings. Train sets include the F7A diesel offering, two sets with the SW7 switcher, and another set with Revell’s 0-6-0 steam locomotive. This set includes tips and facts presented by Revell’s “Casey” engineer spokesman telling you about railroading and the HO line of models. Accessories include the items in previous catalogs, plus power poles, sign & signal set, barnyard animal figures, and townspeople figures. Revell introduces its first HO building kit in this catalog, the Small Town Station (#T9001) listing for $2.49. The back of this catalog reminds you of Revell’s many other offerings and promotes the 1957-58 Authentic Kits Collector’s Guide that you can send away for with the cut-out coupon and 10-cents.
Revell’s 1958-59 catalog is 11-inches wide and 8-inch tall and presents the company’s HO trains on a dozen pages in landscape format. This catalog presents actual pictures of model trains for the set versus the prior year’s use of artist illustrations. Sets are numbered 1 through 5 and include two with F7A diesels, two with SW7s, and one with the 0-6-0 steam locomotive.
The separate sale items include the previously presented HO rolling stock with a pickle car, cable reel car, and pulpwood car as new additions for 1958. The diesels include “deluxe” editions. These upgraded releases included clear windshield material, illuminated number boards, and additional features not included on the base versions of these two HO diesels.
The Revell kit offerings expand from the single station offering of the year before to a full page presenting a Trackside Buildings (#T-9002) and Complete Farmhouse Set (#T-9003). An action accessory debuts in the line for 1958 with the arrival of the $5.95 Operating Crossing Gate (#T-6016). The same figures and telephone poles and signal sets return, plus Revell shows a bottle of Smoke Fuel (#T-6014) for its 0-6-0 steam locomotive.
Revell’s 1959-60 “H-O Train Catalog” follows the same presentation format as the prior year’s effort with a dozen pages. Again for 1959, actual model pictures provide views of the train sets. Revell ups its train set offerings to eight releases. A new locomotive makes the line with the arrival of Revell’s Dockside 0-4-0 steam locomotive. This little 0-4-0 sees inclusion in two train sets. There’s a single F7A set, as well as Revell’s “Modern Railroad Empire” set with twin F7s (powerd and dummy). Noteworthy for collectors, these F7A models are known to have been sold as powered units only in separate sale offerings. This makes the train set’s non-powered or dummy F7A an interesting item. The set is listed with Baltimore & Ohio and Santa Fe as available road names.
In the rolling stock selections, Revell adds its Bunk Car (#T-4160) as a new offering. The same shell employed on the bunk car model is used for Revell’s Track Cleaner Car (#T-5000). That item appears on the back cover with the previously issued Operating Crossing Gate, and two new accessories: Operating Hopper Set (#T-6100) and Operating Engine House (#T-9028). Near the back of this catalog, Revell includes its HO building kits. Returning for 1959 is the Farmhouse Set, Small Town Station, and Trackside Buildings. New that year is a Barnyard Set, Freight Station, and Maintenance Shed. Also making first appearances in 1959, you’ll find Revell’s HO-scale Global Van Lines Truck kit (#T-6018), Railroad Bridge (#T-6020), and a Bridge & Trestle Set (#T-6015).
The next catalog in the HO Collector archive is an 8 1/2 x 11 inch black & white listing aimed at the hobby dealer. “Get Behind the Throttle” shows a cartoon engineer waving from the cab of an 0-6-0 with points listed on the cover telling dealers the benefits of Revell’s HO line.
The catalog consists of eight pages and includes five train sets. The only new releases for the HO line are in the structure kits. Revell introduces a Sand & Pump House with Fuel Tank (#T-9029). The items included in that set are offered individually in the same catalog. The back of the catalog includes reference to Revell’s Freight Car Truck Kit (#T-7550) and Coupler Repair Kit (#T-7551), as well as steam locomotive and diesel locomotive repair kit offerings, again items that might have appeal to dealers, as much as hobbyist to have on hand.
The Revell dealer catalog dated for 1960 is the newest one in the HO Collector archive. Revell departed the HO-scale model train segment of the hobby in the early 1960s, but trains are thought to have remained in the company’s line until at least 1962. If you have any Revell promotional materials not presented here, please consider sharing them with us. Please contact us and describe or list what Revell items you have in your collection!