Canadian brass

Van Hobbies, the Vancouver-based hobby shop and importer that was responsible for most of the brass models of Canadian prototype trains over the past few decades, is reportedly closing; the owner apparently wants to retire. When I heard this, I thought that it did not bode well for the future production of brass models of Canadian steam locomotives, especially Canadian Pacific engines (Overland has done a few CN brass steam engines, but nothing along those lines for the CPR, for which it has only done diesel models).

But I just found out that Division Point is setting up a subsidiary focusing on Canadian prototypes: in the works for this year are a J7-class CN 4-6-2 Pacific, a G3-class CPR Pacific, and a P2-class CPR 2-8-2 Mikado. There’s also a T4-class 2-10-4 for Central Vermont (a CN subsidiary) in the queue. More are planned, according to the page, including something that will no doubt be popular: a D10-class CPR Ten-wheeler.

(Van Hobbies put out a P2-class Mikado in the 1970s, but it doesn’t seem to have a particularly good reputation; my father has one and it’s given him all sorts of trouble. Personally, I’d rather see a P1, since they were all over southern B.C. in the late 1940s/early 1950s, and I never see one for sale; on the other hand, there are Van Hobbies P2s all over the place. But, realistically, it’s not like I could ever afford one.)

If you’re wondering what some of these things look like, Canadian Model Trains has pages for used Van Hobbies brass models of Canadian National and Canadian Pacific prototypes.