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Model Railroading > HO Metal RDC models?

Date: 01/20/08 22:42
HO Metal RDC models?
Author: Clarence

A buddy of mine just bought two old metal RDC cars off Ebay and is wondering who made them. Both of them have cast aluminum ends silvery metal car bodies, and white metal underframe parts. The power car (one truck powered) is a RDC3/4 (RPO and baggage), and the RDC-1 coach is unpowered.

Any ideas who made these?

Date: 01/21/08 01:30
Re: HO Metal RDC models?
Author: fbe

I believe the earliest Athearn models were metal models like you have described. Later, Athearn went to injection molded plastic bodies. A couple of brass manufacturers have made similar attempts as well.

Date: 01/21/08 07:00
Re: HO Metal RDC models?
Author: Chicagoboy

They are Athearn. They are NOT scale length - "shorties" I guess is the word.

I have three of them, two of which have had the carbodies chrome-plated. Since they don't look right with my P1Ks, I guess they'll just sit here in the box...


Date: 01/21/08 10:52
Re: HO Metal RDC models?
Author: NebraskaZephyr

The prototype RDC4s (the all baggage-mail version) WERE shorter than the other versions with passenger seating, so that model is likely scale length or very close.

If you want a model RDC4, this is about as good as it gets without buying brass. I'd hang onto it. If not, put it on ebay and I'm guessing you'll get a good buck for it.

As info, the Athearn RDCs also featured the "late-model" ends with the high headlight, beefed-up pilot and the wrap-around fluting. The P2K models represent earlier production with the "slab" ends, smaller pilot and low headlight. Depending on your prototype you may find the Athearn car, even with its shorter length, looks "more correct".

You may be able to perform an "end-ectomy" between the Atheran and P2K shells, but I have no idea if the body cross-section is compatible. Never tried it, just an idea I had.


Date: 01/22/08 17:26
Re: HO Metal RDC models?
Author: jdb

I've got four.

Two are Athearn. One is an all coach and the other is half coach, half baggage. They are NOT scale lenght. Both have the corrugation that wraps around on the front. The details on the frame are identical except that one says Athearn Inc. Los Angeles, Calif Made in U.S.A. The all coach one has both trucks powered with rubber band drive. (all rubber bands are broken) The coach/baggage is a dummy.

Third says Life Like Made in China on the frame. It has flat ends. One truck is powered with a gearbox truck.

Fourth is a Hallmark Models made by Samhongsa. It is a model of the SP/NWP car that was single ended. Both trucks are gear box powered.


Date: 01/23/08 15:49
Re: HO Metal RDC models?
Author: jdb

The inside front cover of the April 1953 Model Railroader has a full page ad by Irv Athearn. It is about the Railway Diesel Car.

All Metal Construction (note: All Metal Constuction)
All Parts Finished
Easily Assembled
Pittman Motor
Price: $14.95

It has the plain ends unlike the plastic Athearn I have. Also, it has eleven windows. My plastic Athearn only has ten.


Date: 01/25/08 12:05
Re: HO Metal RDC models?
Author: JimBaker

Nit-Picking Department--

RDC: Rail Diesel Car

Date: 01/25/08 13:52
Re: HO Metal RDC models?
Author: jdb

JimBaker Wrote:
> Nit-Picking Department--
> RDC: Rail Diesel Car

Hmmmmm.......... How would you like some more from the ad?

Model Railroader, Athearn ad, inside front cover, April 1953.

"More and more of the American railway systems are
daily finding these Railway Diesel Cars very profitable
equipment to operate. Operated in single and mul-
tiple units they are being added as rapidly as
they can be manufactured."

Now then, I get to looking at it and it appears that Irv did the 1953 version of Photoshop here. All background has been removed in the ad photo. It looks like it is a real RDC-1 and not a photo of the model. The hoses, wiring, and handrail detail is too fine for 1953 models. Also that would explain the 11 windows when the model only has 10.

The June 1953 Model Railroader Trade Topics has the "new" Athearn HO Rail Diesel Car (MR doesn't say Railway) with a MR staff photo. It is different from the ad. This model only has 10 windows. And that is mentioned in the article. It says it scales to about 73 feet minus the one window. The MR photo shows that it does not have the corrugation across the doors and around the front that the later plastic model has. The MR photo shows two vents above the engineers side where the plastic model only has one. (the plastic has two above the firemans side) The truck side frames in the MR photo are different than the Athearn ad.


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