Phil's Narrow Gauge

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Thank you for visiting Phil's Narrow Gauge. The cars and accessories found on these pages are built in 1:20.3 scale now recognized as F scale and represent Colorado Narrow Gauge. All cars and parts are individually manufactured in my shop.

I use quality basswood,  Poplar and  Birch Plywood's  in the construction of the cars. Scribing of the plywood is done on a custom built saw verses laser cutting. All white metal parts are cast in my shops from molds made with my masters. A Tin based alloy is used in the casting of those parts. I do outsource a few parts to a screw machine shop in China otherwise, everything is manufactured in my shop.

While the completed cars are not fine scale museum pieces, they are easy to build and quite rugged to survive the rigors of outdoor garden railroading.


Effective September 14, 2014 and for the Foreseeable Future

I have no kits in stock nor do I plan to manufacture any in the near future other than what's posted in the current update. Any kits produced will be of a limited run nature. No kits will be produced for the sake of having kits on the shelf for random purchases. After 16 years of doing just that, it's time for me to focus on my projects with the occasional run of a previously produced kit or a new kit. Watch for updates.


November 3, 2019 Update

Development of the combine and RPO are progressing. I have the combine to the point of papering the roof and painting it and adding the brake gear and truss rods. Then just the couplers and trucks. I'm working on the roof for the RPO now. Hoping to have both these car finished in the next few days. I need to order a little wood and 50 more Kadee Couplers. Pictures of progress to date are on the combine and RPO pages.

Something else has come up concerning decals. While the letter boards under the roof line are ample in size for 1:20 scale decals, the spaces between sliding doors on the combine and RPO are not wide enough for 1:20.3 sized Baggage, Railway Express Agency, Railway Post Office, etc. The distance between the cargo door on the combine and baggage section of the RPO and the end of the car is just under 3". Between the postal door and end of car is just under 2". Between the 2 doors on the RPO is 7" and 1" between the bottom of the windows and the top of the 1/2" bottom plank of the car. So, these are freelance cars as no narrow gauge had short cars like these which leaves us few choices. We could use On3 decals or talk to Stan Cedarleaf about making up some custom decals. I'm not going to supply decals as everyone has their own road name. Not all are D&RG fans. I wouldn't do anything until you have your cars in hand and decide just how much lettering and placement you want. I'm leaning towards On3 decals. Only half the size of 1:20.3 but I think I can fit the lettering I want in what space is available.

As I go into production, I intend to ship a combine kit and RPO kit together. I will contact you before I put together your package for as I found out with the coaches, not all of you want all 4 kits. Those of you on the waiting list, hang tuff as it looking like I might be able to satisfy all or most of you.

 When I put together the main list and the waiting list, I didn't want to promise anyone kits and then not deliver so I cut the main list at 20 which would use up 80 of the trucks if all took 4 kits. That would leave 16 pair for the waiting list. Some on the main list opted out of all 4 kits or totally opted out so I was able to satisfy a couple on the waiting list. At this point, 40 coach kits. To that end, I'm going to stop the coaches for now and move onto the combine and RPO. When I've produced 20 combines and 20 RPO's, I'll work out the remaining coaches, combines and RPO's for those on the waiting list. Hopefully all walk away with something.

While at the NG show in September, my wife and I drove up to Jamestown and Railtown 1897. Did the roundhouse and machine shop tour and found the short coach and combine I'm using as the inspiration for these kits. They were both in the roundhouse so I couldn't get really good side profile pictures. They sure are short cars!! I did take a good picture of one of the trucks. Aristocraft did an admiral job producing the short passenger trucks I'm including with the kits. The pictures I took have been added the "Short Passenger Car" page just below the original B&W picture of them.

A word about the instructions that will accompany these kits. I'm not going to repeat large parts of the build that are fully covered in the coach instructions. Instead, I will refer the builder to the coach instructions for many parts of the build only explaining and adding pictures of steps unique to the combine and or the RPO. If you didn't buy any coaches, please download the color copy on the coach page. As I get instructions for the combine and RPO, I will attach the color copy as pdf files to those kit pages. I will include a B&W copy with the kits.

Hopefully all have downloaded the color copy of the instructions. Something else to think about are the Trackside Details brass handrails. The white metal rails I made can be seen on the little 1' long mockup near the bottom of "The Kit" page. The brass TD rails can be seen on the color instructions near the end. If you think you want to do the upgrade, I would suggest you order 4 sets as your funding is available. With shipping, something close to $100. If my white metal rails look just fine to you, then you're good to go.

Go to the buttons at the top of this page and click on the button titled Future Projects and then the Short Passenger. Then "The Kit" followed by "Coach", "Combine" or "RPO".

If any of you are Nautilus fans from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, I did a propeller repair to my 50th Anniversary Model. Find it on the "Phil's Desk" page.

Path to the layout pictures is as follows; Shop to Train Room to Scenery gives you a simplified schematic of the layout. Choices at the top of the page give you the 4 walls. North, south, east and west. As I get further along, will add the peninsula and logging area. Be sure to view the YouTube on my layout. Link is at the bottom of the North Wall current update. I'm hoping to get to the layout this fall after all the short passenger cars are completed.


Rolling Stock

The limited run of short passenger cars is in production. The coach is finished (except a couple on the waiting list) and work is in progress on the combine and RPO.


I am out of the GM motors in all flavors. I do have the mounts with screws and a bag of motor gearboxes with either the gears stripped or a defective motor. If you have a lot of GM motors in use, these would be spare parts as the motor and gearbox separate easily.

Customer Photo's

I've received pictures of the coaches from James Dunk, McMinnville, OR. Joel Freedman, Richman Hill, ON, Canada. George Rawe, Pfafftown, NC.

Great Job Guys!!!! All look terrific!


Thank you and enjoy my site.

Phil Dippel

This page was last updated on 11/03/2019

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