Closing the Gap

Close coupling is another technique employed to give scale models a more realistic appearance. Like all of these techniques, using scale or semi-scale wheels, weathering, etc... it is a matter of personal preference. For those who prefer, this is what I do.

The pair of cars on the left are un-modified as purchased while the pair on the right have been made to "close couple".

When I build a car from scratch, close coupling is a natural benifit of the design. By mouning the draft gear close to the end of the car and using a short shank coupler, close coupling is automatically achieved. When it comes to commercially produced models, there is a little re-engineering involved.

The out-of-the-box Roundhouse car has a McHenry coupler mounted in a box that projects from the end of the car.

By cutting the box off the car and remounting it flush with the inside of the frame then installing a short shank Kadee scale head whisker coupler, this car has been made to "close couple".

For a more scientific study of this subject check out this interesting and in depth article from Budb.