Frog Frenzy

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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.

Author: Greg Amer

4 thoughts on “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.

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