Joe is s really kicking some serious scratch built gluteus maximus!
He's shrank down most of the most famous 2 7/8 gauge items to standard gauge size. Check out how beautifully these things scaled down. He told me that much of his work involves trial and error.
The payoff is obvious. The 2 7/8 next to the standard gauge version says it all. Hopefully somone like MTH will catch the idea and pay Joe for some consulting on this gear. He's on to something, no doubt about it. This is just one of those plain old smart ideas.
There's some irony, I was reading a Lionel catalog yesterday and it was discussing Railsounds 5.0. It was saying how the new Hiawatha can have multiple levels of sounds (louder chuffs, quieter whistle, etc.); every sound is adjustable. Practically everything is adjustable.
While quite interesting and entertaining for a couple of minutes, I'd rather have any of these trains in my collection versus the entire feature set of a new sound system. It's almost like the movie "Field of Dreams". "Make great trains and they will come." Concentrate on making innovative trains with an eye on the past and future. All of these toys had prototypes. Some are closer to the prototypes than others. Regardless, Joe has put some great ideas into metal. He's made me a little jealous because I want to be able to do the same thing. The first thing that should tell anyone is that he's on to something.
That moldy coal room in my 110 year old house may be getting some nuetrocrete soon....