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Catalog No. 31039
Category Diesel Locomotive
Description F3A Missouri Pacific
Catalog References at 1963

This model is best described as a hybrid.  It utilizes a Varney shell and a Pikemaster mechanism.  For this reason modifications in the shell were necessary to accommodate the attachment lugs of the Pikemaster chassis.  This resulted in the three round  holes drilled in the side of the shell where the small rectangular holes are found in Pikemaster locomotives.  The sample shown below also shows square holes at the bottom of the doors, the purpose of which, if any, is not clear.

There were two versions of this locomotive in standard production.

1.  The one below using the front skirt of the Varney shell is sometimes referred to as the "Split Skirt" version.  (All Varney shells used for Gilbert locomotives, except the 420 Lackawanna, had a split skirt to accommodate a front coupler.)  This required that the Pikemaster frame for this locomotive have its built in skirt removed.

2.  The second version uses the skirt built into the Pikemaster frame, which is a full width skirt with a slot for the front coupler.   It is sometimes referred to as the "Full Skirt" version.  These locomotives have had the shell skirt removed to fit on the unmodified Pikemaster chassis.

There is indeed a third version that is described by Charles Sommer in his Gilbert HO guide that uses both a Varney Shell and chassis.  For more information on that version, click here to go to the description and photos in the Unusual Items and Production Prototypes section.

For a variation of this locomotive, click here.

31039bgk.jpg (75497 bytes)
Gary Klein Collection

31039.jpg (40683 bytes)
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