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.


Quick Review: BOSCO Sorfeetz Brothers HO figures

BOSCO has introduced replica Sorfeetz Brothers in HO scale.

John Allen's infamous Hangman's Bridge scene can be replicated in HO scale with BOSCO's replica Sorfeetz brothers.  Reviewed here are Mitad and Gordo, the first two released.

I saw these neat figures listed in the October Model Railroad Hobbyist news, which is included in the 4th quarter 2009 Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine.

BOSCO has replicated Mitad and Gordo Sorfeetz in HO scale, reviewed here, and has just announced Pequeno "uncle" Sorfeetz, and the retired diesel salesman, to complete the scene.

The figures can be purchased individually for $3 unpainted, or $5 painted.  Contact Keith at boscofigures@gmail(dot)com.

First Impression
The packaging back states "WARNING: This product contains chemicals, including lead, known in the State of California Wash hands after handling."

I'm figuring the figures are cast/carved lead, or white metal.  In any case, this would be the time to say, these are not toys.

Looking Over
After removing the figures from the package, I have to say they're impressive.  I cannot find a copy of the original scene in my collection of magazines to compare them to it, however, they look awesome.

The paint looks to be hand applied, the tan of the hats missing in places on both figures hats, though the rest of the body remains clean and well applied.

Right to left: Mitad, Gordo

Quick Review: Tangent Scale Model HO Scale I-18 Caboose

Released in 2 runs beginning in early 2020, this was Tangent's first caboose model.

According to Tangent Scale Models, the B&O purchased 46 of the I-18 class represented by this model, beginning in 1965.  While delivered to B&O, the caboose subsequently served the combined Chessie system, and later CSX.  Tangent offered the caboose, which quickly sold out in 2 separate runs already in 2020, in popular schemes running from B&O as delivered blue, B&O repainted blue, Chessie yellow, several Chessie safety schemes, and in the 2nd run, a fully patched, ready to weather CSXT modern caboose which you see here.

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Quick Review: Walthers HO Scale Thrall Rebuilt 40' Well Car

Walthers introduced these modern rebuilt cars in HO scale in 2020.  They're a virtual must have for contemporary era intermodal modelers.

Walthers released single unit cars, like featured here, and 5 unit articulated sets.  Paints schemes range from DTTX in both the black & white TTX logo, and current red "foward thinking" logo; to 5 units sets decorated for BNSF, and SFLC, both owned by BNSF Railway.  MSRP ranges from $29.98 for single cars, to $139.98 for the 5 unit set.

Quick Review: True Line Trains MP36

Checking out the TLT MP36, details and operation

I was afforded the opportunity to stretch the legs so to say, of my new True Line Trains HO scale Metrolink (SCAX) MP36PH-3C on the overshadowed San Diego Model Railroad Association's HO scale San Diego & Arizona Eastern layout in Balboa park, San Diego.

True Line Trains did a wonderful job of replicating the MPI MPXpress MP36/40 series. Although it's nearly three years after I expected to have mine, they finally got to the Metrolink MP36PH-3C in the summer of 2013. I preordered mine through Overland Hobbies: http://www.overlandhobbies.com/

Quick Look: ScaleTrains.com Dash 9

In January of 2019, 5 year old ScaleTrains.com announced their HO and N scale GE Dash 9 locomotives, in Rivet Counter and Operator Lines.  They had industry leading, In-Stock BNSF and Norfolk Southern models in Rivet Counter both Sound & DCC equipped, and DCC Ready.  I ordered one Sunday, a day after the announcement!

Seen here is BNSF 4313, As delivered Heritage II Dash 9, with DCC & LokSound V5.  This article is intended for you to familiarize yourself with the model in anticipation for the fast looming one month away. I will not review the sound capacities here, you can visit their YouTube for that.

Quick review: Arrowhead Models HO Scale Greenville 2494 Railgon

This car represents Arrowhead's 2nd production model, shown here in CSXT patch exclusively from Lombard Hobby.

Let me put this out here first, upfront, I like new manufacturers, I get excited to purchase their first models.  Look back though the archives, I jumped on Exactrail when they first arrived on the scene.  When I hear Blaine Hadfield, who was an influential designer at Exactrail had founded his own company, I got excited.  Arrowhead's first release just didn't do it for me, I model always modern, with a -10 year allowance on freight cars, and -5 on locomotives.  That first car was just a little too old for my allowance for error.  July 10th 2020, along comes this accurate representation of a Railgon, hyped to be better than the only other entry, a Walthers MainLine.

Within a few minutes of the Facebook live announcement I had ordered one.  3 were available, but I'm holding out for 2 of the as delivered scheme.  Lombard promptly shipped, and it arrived a day ahead of USPS estimates, (yesterday as I publish this).

Quick Review: Athearn Genesis GP40P-2

I recently acquired this incredible GP40P-2 model from Athearn Genesis. Athearn has been striving for detail and matching road number detail for detail.  These GP40P-2's were built for Southern Pacific with their usual light cluster.  It was repainted at least once in Southern Pacific hands, and later into Union Pacific paint after the merger.  #1373 models a unit in Union Pacific paint, with a lightning stripe on the hood, thus effectively dating this as a contemporary model.


Intermountain Railway Company Procor Pressure Flow Hopper


Intermountain Railway Company's first release of the Procor 3300 cubic foot pressurized unloading hopper came decorated in 3 paint schemes. Stock numbers 48901-01 through -06 featured a Canadian/Canadien National scheme, with gray paint, and red lettering. This model is shown here, is stock number 48901-03, CN #374537. Also available were 6 road numbers for British Columbia Railway (green and black with white lettering), stock numbers 48902-01 through -06, and one road number for a Halliburton leased car (light gray and red with white lettering), stock number 48903-01.

The cars are ready-to-run, and come equipped with Kadee #78 couplers, and standard tread (Code 110) 36” wheels. The prototype was equipped with truck mounted brakes, Intermountain included this detail on the trucks. The roof walks are finely etched metal, as are a number of the details.

These cars have a retail price of $32.95, and are available now. Intermountain announced a second run, due in March/April 2011. The second run will include the following schemes: Stelco (green and black with white lettering), stock numbers 48904-01 through -06; Mountain Minerals (tan with black lettering), stock numbers 48905-01 and -02; Canadian National (white with red lettering), stock numbers 48906-01 through -06; and Procor (gray with black lettering), stock numbers 48907-01 and -02.