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IHC-Hobby Fantasy GG-1s

From IHC Hobby’s “Catenary Collectibles” series came this Milwaukee Road GG-1 electric locomotive in HO scale.

IHC-Hobby Fantasy GG-1s

ABOVE: IHC Hobby’s Virginian GG-1 from a 1990s “Catenary Collectibles” series.

I have a question, I recently bought an IHC GG-1 in the Virginian color scheme. It looks factory. Have you ever seen or heard of one?

Brandon Marler
—via email

Great question! I miss IHC and its releases! I picked up The Milwaukee Road (shown above) on a whim… maybe I need to collect that entire series! Yes, there was a Virginian GG-1… at least in HO from International Hobby Corp. (IHC).

The always popular General Electric GG-1 produced for Pennsylvania Railroad has enjoyed numerous models with varying degrees of accuracy, from “shorty” offerings from Varney and TYCO to scale reproductions from Rivarossi for AHM and more recent efforts from Bachmann and others. In 1980, Pemco’s line included a GG-1, which needs an article in HOC comparing it with Rivarossi’s tooling. When Pemco quickly exited the hobby, this and other items from line resurfaced from other hobby companies. Though many collectors assume IHC’s GG-1 models produced after AHM’s early 1980s exit from the market where Rivarossi tooling making the assumption due to the AHM/IHC connection of sorts, my information is IHC’s GG-1 was based on Pemco’s model.

IHC’s efforts reproduced many prototypical paint schemes, including several variations of Pennsy liveries and multiple road numbers for some of those looks, as well as Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, and Penn Central. IHC’s GG-1 resided in the company’s “Premier Series.” You’ll find reference to releases of this big electric as the line’s “Catenary Collectibles” series, which presented non-prototypical paint schemes with some basis in reality, connecting railroads that operated electrics represented. Your black and yellow Virginian was listed as IHC’s “Rectifier” and carried stock number M9672. In addition to Virginian, IHC offered Great Northern “Empire Builder” (M9673), The Milwaukee Road “Little Joe” (M9670), New Haven “McGinnis” (M9671), and New York Central. Models in the series carried a $79.98 asking price when introduced in the late 1990s. — Tony Cook

This article was posted on: March 17, 2021