The name says it all, Santa Fe Railway Historical and Modeling Society. Born from the merger of the Santa Fe Modelers Organization and the Santa Fe Railway Historical Society, the Society maintains a strong focus on modeling. Each Convention features a Santa Fe modeling contest with both a popular vote and a technical contest. The technical contest rates participants’ skills based on prototype accuracy, modeling skill and effort, and finish. Successful modelers can vie for the coveted Master Santa Fe Modeler recognition awarded by the Society.
In this area, we highlight the work of some Society modelers.
Modeler’s resources available from the Society include model and product reviews, modeling articles, a series of painting and lettering guides for modelers, and a wide range of reference series books (freight, passenger) and photographs from archival collections.
Santa Fe Product Reviews and Announcements
The Society maintains an extensive collection of reviews and announcements of Santa Fe models and products of interest to Santa Fe modelers. Some recent examples are listed below:
- HO Scale EMC 2 Class, by Broadway Limited Imports. Reviewed by Steve Sandifer.
- HO Scale Bx-166 Insulated Box, by BLMA
- HO 2800 Class (later 3000 Class) H-16-44, by Atlas.
- HO 3800 Class 2-10-2/4, by Broadway Limited Imports. Review by Steve Sandifer.
- HO 1937 AAR 40 foot Boxcar Bx-27, by Red Caboose/Intermountain. Review by Steve Sandifer
- HO Mission-Style Depot (No. 933-2920), by Walthers (Cornerstone series). Review by Stephan Duncan.
- N El Capitan, by Kato. Review by Al Willcoxen.
The Society’s magazine, The Warbonnet, and website carry periodic articles on modeling the Santa Fe. Some recent examples are listed below:
- HO 3000 series GP20u locomotives, by Mike Tomei, “A Tale of Two Geeps,” The Warbonnet, 3Q2015 31-37.
- HO 158 series FT locomotives, by John B. McCall, “Modeling Santa Fe’s Passenger FT Locomotives,” The Warbonnet, 2Q2015 14-23
Additional and archived articles are available in the Member Area.
Santa Fe Diesel Roster Database
Society member Gene Crossett, Jr. has developed an excellent database of Santa Fe diesel locomotives by class and number with detailed information, based on review of images, of when they were modified and repainted. You can access this database below:
Gene is always looking to improve his roster, so if you have a good, roster shot quality image that shows a modification or repaint that is not captured by Gene’s roster, please let him know.
Specialty Interest Areas
The Society has a number of pages devoted to particular modeling interests over time. Here is a current list and you can click on any of interest:
Modeler’s Painting and Lettering Guides
The Society has published three guidebooks just for modelers that provide quick, accurate information on the proper painting, lettering and in some cases, detailing of Santa Fe rolling stock and motive power. The three guides are:
- Painting and Lettering Guide. Written by Dr. Richard Hendrickson, perhaps the greatest freight car historian for the steam and early diesel eras, this guide comprehensively guides the modeler through the Santa Fe’s evolving painting and lettering practices to assist the modeler in putting their fleet in the proper paint and lettering. An invaluable reference, new members may purchase this guide at a discount. Click here to purchase.
- Steam Locomotive Painting, Lettering and Detailing Guide. Written by Larry Brasher, an authority on Santa Fe locomotive development, and Stan Kistler, a noted Santa Fe locomotive photographer who avidly cataloged the evolving Santa Fe steam locomotive fleet, this guide provides a one stop shop for modelers interested in properly painting, lettering and detailing steam locomotives. The book discusses standard practice, significant regional differences, and provides numerous photos and guides to Santa Fe practice. An invaluable resource. Click here to purchase.
- Diesel Locomotive Painting and Lettering Guide. Written By Stephen Priest, a former Santa Fe employee, editor of series of books on the Santa Fe, and editor of Mainline Modeler, the Diesel Locomotive Painting and Lettering Guide provides a series of templates on how to paint and letter Santa Fe diesels. Lavishly illustrated with photos and diagrams, this invaluable guide helps modelers create highly accurate and detailed models that look Santa Fe … all the way! Click here to purchase.
A model is only as good as the prototype information behind it. The Society is proud to publish detailed information on the Santa Fe for modelers and historians alike. Check out the following sources of prototype information:
- Publications Page – Lists all of the Society’s publications on prototype information. Of particular interest to modelers are the Society’s Rolling Stock Reference Series and Passenger Car Reference Series.
- Resources Page The Society maintains a number of resources on-line for the public to see and review. Check this page for periodic updates.
- Members’ Page – In addition to publicly available information, the Society also has an extensive collection of prototype information available in its members area.
Model and Photo Contest
The Society sponsors an annual Model and Photo Contest at is Annual Conventions.
The model contest is divided into two groups: a popular vote contest and a technical contest. In the popular vote contest, all models participate and compete for first, second and third place ribbons and “Best of Show” based on the number of votes that they receive from attendees. Popular vote categories include steam locomotive; diesel locomotive; multiple unit diesel locomotive; freight car; passenger car; intermodal equipment (cars and support equipment); caboose/way car; maintenance of way; and structure/diorama. In the technical contest, models are judged by interested members based on prototype fidelity (10 points), modeling effort and proficiency (10 points) and finish and weathering (5 points), with 22 points required for a Certificate of Technical Excellence, 18 points for a Certificate of Technical Merit, and the best overall model scoring 22 points or more receiving the President’s Award for Technical Excellence. Technical contest categories include: motive power; rolling stock; and structures.
If you would like to learn more about the Model Contest, click on the following links:
- ATSF Model Contest Rules
- ATSF Model Contest Entry Form
- BNSF Model Contest Rules
- BNSF Model Contest Entry Form
Model Photo Contest
Master Santa Fe Modeler Recognition
In 2013, the Society created the “Master Santa Fe Modeler” to recognize modelers who excel in modeling the Santa Fe and preserving its legacy through models for future generations. The Master Santa Fe Modeler recognition is not an award; it is an earned recognition open to any member who completes the requirements.
The requirements for a Master Santa Fe Modeler are:
- Requirement #1. Win a Best of Show, First or Second Place Ribbon or a President’s Award or Technical Certificate in each of the following categories: Motive Power; Rolling Stock; or Structures.
- Requirement #2. Earn a President’s Award for Technical Excellence or a Certificate of Technical Excellence for a Santa Fe model in any of the three categories: Motive Power; Rolling Stock; or Structures.
- Requirement #3. Publish a modeling article on a Santa Fe prototype in The Warbonnet, Running Extra or another major model railroading magazine to share your skills and ideas with others.
The Society is pleased to recognize the following individuals as Master Santa Fe Modelers.
Learn more about our Master Santa Fe Modelers by clicking here.
Interested in becoming a Master Santa Fe Modeler? Review the application and consider attending a future Convention. We would love to have more Master Santa Fe Modelers!
Any organization is only as good as its volunteers. Interested in helping bring useful reviews, articles, or products to your fellow members? If so, join the Modeling Committee, which is responsible for developing contest on both this website and in the Society’s media productions! The Modeling Committee also promotes Santa Fe prototypes with manufacturers and assists manufacturers in making their models correct for the Santa Fe. The committee is made up into two general areas: the steam and transition era (up to 1955) and the diesel era (1955-1996). Examples of our work include:
- Stock car
- Caswell Gondola
- 3800 2-10-2
- Revision of 3751 4-8-4
- Painting and Lettering on other models.
Current leaders of the Modeling Committee include the following: