So Bowser's still alive and kicking, eh? Good to know; I had assumed they'd gone out of business a few years ago.
The thing I kick myself the hardest for is not buying a bunch of their steam loco kits (now discontinued) when I had the chance and the $$$. It seems unlikely that anyone else is likely to take over this line and restart production, though anything is possible, I guess. I had my eye on their PRR Mikado ...
I'm modelling in HO. For OO the British manufacturers have most sizes and even specific locos covered. My problem is to get the right number of spokes for British HO. US wheels tend to have less spokes for a given diameter.
I wouldn't suggest this to most folks, but I seem to remember you talking about having a rather extensive background in machining. I'm looking at an article on the subject in the December 1998 /Mainline Modeler/ by Glenn Farley, showing how he made his own drivers in brass (HO).
Fascinating process: instead of creating a pattern directly, he machined a *die* from ABS rod, using his milling machine. This allowed him to cut the spokes with a rotary cutter. He then cast his pattern in body putty. After further processing involving a 2-part mold, he had the drivers cast; this is the only part of the process he didn't actually do himself. Then he machined tires separately and press-fit them onto the drivers, just like the real thing.
Sure wish I had a scan of this article, as it's quite impressive.
The drivers, by the way, were beautiful, judging from his photographs.
I have considered scratchbuilding them, but I'd prefer to save time by buying them if they exist. :-)
No, I haven't seen the magazine article - assuming that's a US mag I've not heard of. There's a UK "Mainline Modeller" (or something similar) but I live outside a small city at the end of civilization and we don't see many mags. I already subscribe to 3 different titles. There are numerous ways to end up with a die/mold and I have the gear (CNC mill and rotary table) to go straight there. :-) It's a bit like minting my own coins, I could do it but if I can get them with a swift wave of the credit card why bother. ;-)