I thought I’d chosen Peco 83 as my track. I love the sprung points and I really like the tie plate detail. I’ve even acquired a handful of Peco 83 turnouts and a half dozen sticks of flex track. This week I opened the up a turnout and….

Peco Code 83 Frog

Peco Code 83 Frog

I hate the frog! It looks terrible. I’m used to seeing frogs that look like this..

Frog with Guard Rails

Frog with Guard Rails

Self Guarded Frog

Self Guarded Frog

I turned to Micro-Engineering Code 70 turnouts of which I’ve acquired a few.

Micro Engineering Code 70 Frog

Micro Engineering Code 70 Frog

The frog is better. The points are sprung. The guard rails still look clownish.

So I stopped by The Electric Train Shop and bought a Shinohara code 70 turnout for $7.50.

 

Shinohara Code 70 #6 Frog

Shinohara Code 70 #6 Frog

The frog looks a little better than the Peco turnout, but worse than the Micro Engineering turnout. The guard rails actually look better.

This led me to Proto:87 Stores

Proto:87 Stores - Ultimate HO Hand-Laid Track

Proto:87 Stores - Ultimate HO Hand-Laid Track

WOW!!!!

I’ve ordered a couple of detail parts to see what it looks like if I spruce up my RTR Peco, Micro Engineering or Peco tracks, BUT I don’t think I’ll be happy until I have track that looks like this!

I’m seriously considering purchasing the Proto:87 Stores Switch-Works fixture and making their “Ultimate” Museum Standard HO Turnouts. If I’m willing to pay $30 for a Peco turnout, why not pay $30 and a few hours to make a prototypical turnout?

This would be a turn in vision from the original plan. Before I started I considered Proto:87 and hand-laid track, and decided I would use off the shelf products instead. I ruled out Prot:87 due to the cost of replacing wheels ($12/car); I ruled out hand laid track because of complexity. But after reviewing the instructions for the Proto:87 Stores Switch Works Assembly Fixture, it may not be as hard as I thought it would be.

I guess it comes down to priorities. Do I want quick and easy or do I spend extra timeto get better results.

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Greg Amer

  4 Responses to “Frog Frenzy”

  1. Good luck with whatever you choose – I have a pair of P87 number 9s to build but I keep getting then out of the box, getting scared and putting then away again!

  2. Thanks Michael and Steve. Still reviewing my options. One thing I have to say is I’ve been testing a Peco #6 Insulfrog for a week and it works great. My 3 year old and 5 year old boys had no trouble.

  3. The Peco code 83 live frog version does look better than the dead frog version.

  4. You could substitute the p87 frogs for the Peco code 83 ones as a compromise?

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