Quick Review: Intermountain Value Line AeroFlo Coal Gondola

Released in 2019, these inexpensive cars herald back to LBF/Hubert's kits, marketed by Intermountain in their appropriately coined "Value Line," these cars are now RTR.

Ages ago, in the 1990's LBF, later Hubert's marketed these cars, and several others.  Those old kit cars are numerous, and easily acquired even today.  Now that Intermountain added the line to their repertoire, they're once again found new in hobby shops, but this time in RTR!  Prices are more than reasonable, under $30 a car.

Quick Review: BLMA Models Billboard

In early 2009, BLMA Models released this billboard in N scale, and later in the year, HO scale.  Also included is a hint to the hole size required for HO scale.

Quick Review: BLMA Models TopGon

A general look-over of the BLMA Models TopGon, in HO Scale.

Not going into depth with weight, or measurements, this review tells you what I see when looking this car over.

I received the in-stock notice from MB Klein saying the non-logo TopGon was in stock, and I immediately ordered one (last one according to the site!).

Quick Review: ExactRail Wood Chip Gondola

A general look-over of the ExactRail HO Scale Gunderson 7466 wood chip gondola.

This car beats the WC 6033 cu ft Boxcar of ExactRail's that I just reviewed, by a long shot.

Quick Review: ExactRail 4427 Covered Hopper

I never did (yet) get a first run ExactRail 4427 low side covered hopper, but I pre-ordered a 2nd run, BNSF car, back in September 2009, here's my thoughts on it.

ExactRail did an amazing job on these 4427's, much better then the old Walthers model!  My car is fully assembled, in BNSF paint.  The paint is smooth, and all printing fully legible.

Quick Review: Plano GP30 Bell Bracket

A quick look at Plano's part #14805, GP30 Bell Backet.

Keith of Plano Model Products sent me this high hood bell bracket to look over before he released the product fully.

Quick Review: True Line Trains Bulkhead Flat

An HO Scale release by True Line Trains

This HO Scale release by True Line Trains includes several road names, to include CN, CNIS, DWC, DW&P, BCOL/BCIT, and BCR.  Most come in 6 road numbers, single and 6 packs, with 4 numbers for the BCOL/BCIT.  Model Railroad Tips acquired one CNIS orange car for review and weathering.  The following describes our thoughts.

As a note, this article was originally published in 2014.  News broke August 24th 2020 that Atlas Model Railroad had acquired numerous (but not all) True Line Trains molds.  Atlas' first announcement of a TLT model entering their Master Line was the slab side covered hopper, however these bulkhead flats are included in the purchase.  Read more here.

Quick Review: ExactRail 2420 Gondola

Decent, cheap RTR Gondola

I pre-ordered an SP version, to model SP 800012.

ExactRail's new Express Series has a great entry model.  This SP decorated 2420 Gon is well done.

Quick Review: ExactRail PC&F 6033 Boxcar

A general look-over of the ExactRail HO Scale PC&F 6033 Boxcar.

This is one of the BEST models I've reviewed in a long time [Ed. originally published in 2009, so this comment is current to that time frame].

Quick Review: Athearn Genesis KTTX F89-F

This HO Scale release by Athearn in their Genesis series, from 2011, marked the best ever rendition of an 89' flat car in HO scale. The detail is outstanding for the price point. We can only hope that Athearn runs another release soon.

Athearn describes the prototype for this model as follows:

Introduced in the early 1960s, the Trailer Train (now TTX Company) F89F flatcar has been a mainstay of contemporary railroading. A product of Bethlehem Steel Company's (BSC) Johnstown, PA plant, over 9,000 of these (89' 8" over the strikers) cars were built throughout the 1960s. Visually distinctive from other long flatcars of their era thanks to their "C" channel side sills, these versatile cars were adapted for many types of service and loadings over the years, ranging from Trailer-On-Flatcar (TOFC), to autoracks, to structural steel loading. While the majority went to Trailer Train, many were built for various railroads, typically for autorack service. Many were "de-racked" in later years, being reassigned and equipped for other service - TOFC, vehicle loading, pipe service, etc.

It wasn't unusual for these cars to see several different loading configurations throughout their careers, in order to meet the changing needs of shippers. In service with Trailer Train, the three or four-letter reporting marks indicated the cars' intended service and corresponding equipment. For example, an "XTTX" car was equipped with four collapsible hitches, capable of carrying various combinations of 28', 40', or 45' trailers. A car in the "RTTX" configuration featured a pair of fixed hitches at the ends, and a retractable hitch amidships, allowing it to carry a pair of long (up to 45') trailers back-to-back, or three 28' "pup" trailers.