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N Scale - Roundhouse - 8934 - Boxcar, 36 Foot, Wood Truss - Presidential Cars - 1896

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N Scale - Roundhouse - 8934 - Boxcar, 36 Foot, Wood Truss - Presidential Cars - 1896


N Scale - Roundhouse - 8934 - Boxcar, 36 Foot, Wood Truss - Presidential Cars - 1896


Brand Roundhouse
Stock Number 8934
Original Retail Price $8.98
Manufacturer MDC Roundhouse
Production Type Regular Production
Body Style MDC Boxcar 36 Foot Wood Truss Rod
Prototype Boxcar, 36 Foot, Wood Truss (Details)
Road or Company Name Presidential Cars (Details)
Reporting Marks WMCX
Road or Reporting Number 1896
Additional Markings/Slogan McKinley's Coffee - This Century's Favorite
Paint Color(s) Boxcar Red
Print Color(s) Black & White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Injection Molded Plastic
Wheel Profile Small Flange (Low Profile)
Ready-to-Run No
Kit Complexity Easy-Build
Kit Material(s) Brass and Injection Molded Plastic
Release Date 1998-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Boxcar
Model Subtype 36 Foot
Model Variety Wood Truss Rod Underframe
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era II: Late Steam (1901 - 1938)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: This MDC tooling models a pre-1900 boxcar with a truss-rod underframe. The MDC Truss-Rod underframe 36' Reefer and 36' Boxcar are very similar models. They were introduced in 1997 for the former and 1998 for the latter. The easiest way to tell the difference is that the reefers have plug doors and the boxcars have sliding doors. Like all of MDC N-Scale molds, this one was also acquired by Athearn in 2004 when they acquired MDC. The MDC releases were supplied in both 'kit' and RTR (Ready-To-Run) versions.

The Athearn (post 2004) releases come fully assembled and feature:
  • Fully assembled and ready to operate
  • Separately applied brake wheel and roof walk
  • Molded truss rods with turnbuckles
  • Molded plastic underframe with brake cylinder
  • Screw mounted trucks for accurate tracking
  • Truck mounted magnetically operated knuckle couplers
  • Plastic wheels.

Prototype History:
Boxcars in the early 20th century frequently featured a "Truss-Rod" design. The purpose of truss rods was to prevent the railcars from sagging in the middle by the use of turnbuckles in the center of the truss rods for tightening. Due to the limitations of the materials available at the time, there was a tendency for the railcars body to sag in the middle, between the trucks. Truss rods were designed to prevent this. They have the same purpose as I beams or channel beams do in more modern equipment; or, the unitized body of automobiles do today. They give strength in the direction needed to support the load placed on the car.

Brand/Importer Information:
MDC Roundhouse was founded in California in 1938 and relocated in 1993 to Carson City, Nevada due to statewide restrictions on painting. MDC Roundhouse was a producer of both RTR (Ready-to-Run) and kit versions of N Scale rolling stock as well as RTR locomotives. They entered the N scale market in 1979 with a Thrall Hi-Side Gondola and a Hi-Cube Single Door Box Car. MDC Roundhouse was purchased by Horizon Hobbies in June of 2004, when its owner since 1938 C. H. Menteer retired, and merged into their Athearn line.

Unlike many of their contemporaries which contracted with European firms to produce their products, MDC made their own toolings. They made several popular body styles and produced them for road names that many other vendors (even Micro-Trains) wouldn't touch. This made them popular with modelers. Also, their un-assembled "kits" permitted a lower price point so they were popular with "runners" as well as "modelers".

Of particular interest was the attention given to modern 50 foot steel boxcars. They made some attempt to accurately mold the differences into distinct models to represent each of the major prototype manufacturers products. They have distinct toolings not only for the different products from FMC, BFF and PS, but also multiple models for each of these manufacturers including "standard" vs "Youngstown" doors and "waffle" vs. "rib" sides. In total they produced 13 different versions of the 50 foot steel boxcar.

Item created by: scottakoltz on 2019-12-18 19:20:49. Last edited by meadowsn1956 on 2020-08-11 15:52:30

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