Vintage Model Trains: Athearn Coaster Cab Car from Will Ayers

Will was a life long railfan and hobbyist, who tragically passed away in January of 2023. His lifelong friend and fellow hobbyist Patrick Baca (also a published author on MRRT) kindly donated his model in his honor.

This Athearn cab car is special to me (Model Railroad Tips owner Josh) because it was Will's and Patrick decided that I would be the forever steward of this model!

Vintage Model Trains: Aristo Craft Brass 0-6-6-0

Brass models were once the only option for a quality steam locomotive model. While a small amount of Brass model importers still exist, they are few and far between with plastic model manufacturers making the vast majority of locomotives in the US market. This model (while we're unsure of the date made) represents what we consider the height of Brass steam models.

According to the Western Division of the TCA, Aristo Craft HO Brass was produced in the 1950's and 60's (source:

Our model came in as a donation to the museum I manage, and was unfortunately without the orginal box. However if memory serves me right, the foam in those old Brass boxes was unfavorable to the model, as it decomposed and stuck to the models.

Vintage Model Trains: 1956 AC Gilbert HO Scale Transformer Car

The AC Gilbert was a long running manufacturer of HO scale products. This model, Transformer Car 503 was listed in the 1955 & 1956 catalog.

For it's age (66 years old in 2022!) the model holds up well to modern standards. The trucks are cast metal, and actually sprung, with decent flex that isn't too springy.