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Inexpensive simple kits?

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DrW
  • Member since
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  • From: Lubbock, TX
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Inexpensive simple kits?
Posted by DrW on Thursday, November 3, 2022 6:48 PM

Recently, on an eBay search I came across an eBay seller, River City Railroad (RCR), producing inexpensive freight car kits in the old Athearn style: body with molded-on grabs, underbody, trucks and wheels. Many of their freight car kits are offered at $5.49 plus shipping. Beyond eBay, I could not find any presence of the company on the web.

I have no financial interest in this company, I cannot give any information of the quality of their products, and I personally would never buy any of their products as I am not interested in freight cars with molded-on grabs. Thus, I see this more as a "public service announcement", because many model railroaders are bemoaning the lack of Athearn-style kits. If you have bought a kit from this company, I would like to hear about it.

JW

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, November 3, 2022 7:09 PM

Many of us are happy with the car kits produced by Accurail.  They cost more, but they are easy to assemble and end up looking pretty good.  I swap in new Intermountain metal wheels and Kadee couplers, but I like the cars.  I carry a spreadsheet of my roster when I go to shows, so I can avoid duplication.  I usually come away with one or two Milwaukee cars with road numbers I don't have.  They are always producing new cars, which helps me build my fleet.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, November 3, 2022 8:40 PM

DrW
River City Railroad (RCR), producing inexpensive freight car kits in the old Athearn style

I searched eBay by seller and could not find what you are describing.

-Kevn

Living the dream.

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Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, November 3, 2022 10:04 PM

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by crossthedog on Thursday, November 3, 2022 10:07 PM

From the look of it, my guess is it's someone with a 3-D printer or five, just creating at home and selling on eBay. I would not expect there has ever been any other web presence nor certainly a brick-n-mortar store.

-Matt

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, November 3, 2022 10:21 PM

Matt, thanks for the link.

They are not producing anything I want.

However... if someone with a 3D printer, or five, would produce unique railroad cars WITHOUT ladders, grab irons, sill steps, tack boards, etc... I would be all over that.

I can add Central Valley floors, Kadee ladders/grabs, and other details to make a great looking car.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

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Posted by PM Railfan on Friday, November 4, 2022 1:37 AM

DrW) Ive ordered from RCR (River City Railroad) for about 10+ years now. Its original MDC stuff before Athearn got them. RCR even has new MDC empty boxs for sale. Its not a company per se, you wont find them out there like Tichy, Accurail, etc etc. As far as I know he is only EBay. He is NOT a manufacturer.

When I started ordering, RCR had deals '5 cars for $15' - what a steal! Some even cheaper than that. Ive ordered alot(!) of models from RCR. Always responsive to questions, always delivers exactly as ordered, on time, well packed. Very reputable, never done me wrong.

Stock is limited. From speaking directly with RCR, the price goes up as stock of a certain model gets lower, until it runs out. Thus why the '5 for $15' aint $15 no more. However, thats 12 years now of doing this so, he must have some inventory! 

These aren't 3D printed. These are actual MDC models (less wheelsets and couplers, but yes they do have molded on details). No one, NO ONE even with 15 3D printers could print that much, that fast. And make them look like commercial grade models to boot, that just happen to match MDC models in every respect and detail. Including liveys.

 

Kevin said)

"However... if someone with a 3D printer, or five, would produce unique railroad cars ...."

Ya mean like this? Were you lookin for a someone - or just an anyone? Laugh Laugh 

 

PMR

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Posted by mvlandsw on Friday, November 4, 2022 1:38 AM

Some of those cars look like they might be old MDC Roundhouse cars, or copies of them.

DrW
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  • From: Lubbock, TX
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Posted by DrW on Friday, November 4, 2022 7:46 AM

PM Railfan

DrW) Ive ordered from RCR (River City Railroad) for about 10+ years now. Its original MDC stuff before Athearn got them. RCR even has new MDC empty boxs for sale. Its not a company per se, you wont find them out there like Tichy, Accurail, etc etc. As far as I know he is only EBay. He is NOT a manufacturer.

When I started ordering, RCR had deals '5 cars for $15' - what a steal! Some even cheaper than that. Ive ordered alot(!) of models from RCR. Always responsive to questions, always delivers exactly as ordered, on time, well packed. Very reputable, never done me wrong.

Stock is limited. From speaking directly with RCR, the price goes up as stock of a certain model gets lower, until it runs out. Thus why the '5 for $15' aint $15 no more. However, thats 12 years now of doing this so, he must have some inventory! 

These aren't 3D printed. These are actual MDC models (less wheelsets and couplers, but yes they do have molded on details). No one, NO ONE even with 15 3D printers could print that much, that fast. And make them look like commercial grade models to boot, that just happen to match MDC models in every respect and detail. Including liveys.

 

PMR

 

PMR, this is just the info I was looking for. Thanks much!

JW

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Posted by rrebell on Friday, November 4, 2022 9:42 AM

They are original MDC. Also long gone are MDC with individual grabs which they did in the 70's I beleive, have a bunch of those but with better grabs than the staples they provided.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, November 4, 2022 10:06 AM

A few minutes ago, I looked-up their site, and saw a lot of recognisable rolling stock, and at prices similar to what we payed many years ago.

Wayne

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Posted by dknelson on Friday, November 4, 2022 1:39 PM

Things like their MDC steam locomotive cabs (presumably Santa Fe) are the sorts of things that used to be plentiful for kitbashers but now are not.   And at these prices the practice of carefully cutting off a boxcar end, or the door, or the roof for another project is more attractive

Dave Nelson

 

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Posted by csxns on Friday, November 4, 2022 4:28 PM

If they are the right width I might get one.

Russell

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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, November 4, 2022 6:29 PM

While many of those freight cars are similar to the MDC cars, there are also a lot which are dead-ringers for Walthers 50' single sheathed boxcars, with double doors and optional end doors, too.

I also saw some 40' steel doubledoor automobile cars that I don't recall ever seeing and attempted to order some, but was denied access because I can't recall my E-Bay password.
In my opinion, River City Railroad looks like a great source for modellers looking for decent rolling stock at prices similar to what I experienced decades ago. 

As for the moulded-on grabirons, I'd shave them off, then replace them with pre-formed metal ones, in the same manner I used in the aforementioned decades ago.

I think I'll try coming-up with a new password, as three of those automobile cars would be quite useful, especially at seven bucks apiece.

Wayne

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Posted by chutton01 on Saturday, November 5, 2022 1:11 PM

OK, so we have established the RCR kits are mostly MRC/Roundhouse kits (well, tthe RCR "Roundhouse HO Scale 50ft Mill Gondola" listings kinds of gives it away) and maybe some Athearn stock as well (when I first viewed the RCR site I immediately recognized the MDC FMC cars as I have about 7 of them that I purchased in the mid-1980s from the Red Caboose when it was in its old 4th floor location on 45th St in Manhattan). So, I guess New Old Stock (NOS)?

Anyway I was a bit disappointed in this thread, as I saw the thread title and was hoping for NEW shake-the-box kits for protoype rolling stock built in the 21st Century - the newest stuff I saw on Accurail was protoypes from the 1960s/early 1970s (let alone the riveted side boxcars from the 1940s) which I'm not keen on.

What I am looking for the MDC of the 21st century to produce those 50ft and 60ft High Cube boxcars, those 68ft flatcars and bulkhead flats, those 33Kgal propane tank cars and so on.  I do keep in mind when looking at prices that $8.99 in 1989 is equvalient to 21.50 in 2022 (and those 99 cent AHM 2 bay hoppers at F.W. Woolworths are as long gone as thoses stores itself*), but $64.99 for a 64ft NSC trash gondola is...painful.  I'll assemble it myself (as long as its not a Front Range centerbeam from back in the day).  Yes the new stuff is somewhat better detailed, but not necessariliy well assembled (it's sometimes hilarious to read the ARF crew blasting alway at a particularly poorly assembled RTR model)


*Yeah, Yeah, Woolworths became Foot-Locker, apparently it still exists to an extent in Austrailia, and other caveats that a once giant store chain left behind.

 

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Posted by maxman on Saturday, November 5, 2022 2:35 PM

chutton01
I was a bit disappointed in this thread, as I saw the thread title and was hoping for NEW shake-the-box kits for protoype rolling stock built in the 21st Century

ScaleTrains has a couple different cars that seem to fit your description:

https://www.scaletrains.com/ho-scale.html?brand=49

 

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Posted by chutton01 on Saturday, November 5, 2022 5:44 PM

maxman
 ScaleTrains has a couple different cars that seem to fit your description:

https://www.scaletrains.com/ho-scale.html?brand=49

 

Well, thanks for the attempt, but no those releases  don't really fit my era (the ARF cadets like them because a big chunk of their crew models the 1960s thru 1980s).  70 ton hoppers? Maybe in work train service in the 2010s. The legendary Evans 52ft RBL boxcar? Barely in my timeframe, and I already have 2 of the Details West releases (kit from the 1990s IIRC) patched, heavily weathered and graffitted. Not even sure how many roamed the rails for revenue service in the very recent past.   The Havelock Shops 52' gondola?  I was interested at first glance when I saw the announcement but then it clicked - "Wait, the CB&Q was merged by 1970" - yep, these are products of the 1960s.

I guess I'd like a wave of 21st century kits to be introduced and fill the gaps like the original MDC/Roundhouse kits did in the 1980s with their outside post boxcars,  60ft flats and bulkheads, "City of Everywhere" frameless tank cars (yes, I know), "Railgon" style gondolas and so on, replicating in its turn (as I understand it) the splash that Athearn did in the 1960s with its introduction of its ACF covered hopper, 62ft tank car, Intermodal flatcars, etc.  Likely won't happen I guess, instead in a few years we'll use our anycubic (or successors) 3D printer to crank out Trinty Insulated Eco-Boxes or Greenbrier 66 Mill Gondolas.  Oh well.

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