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@Jim R. posted:

1.  Plastic also becomes more brittle with age.

2.  The zinc problem is with subcontractors in China who O gauge manufacturers depend on for zinc-based components such as couplers, car frames, trucks, truck sideframes and, in the case of my MTH American Freedom Train GS4 from 2002, the locomotive skirting. Some folks here have decided the problem is the alloy. Funny we went decades without any problems until China production became the norm.

So who is to blame? The subcontractors because of ignorance? The Chinese government for not setting industrial standards? The main contractors for not vetting the subcontractors? The import manufacturers for not tolerating top quality control? The U.S. government for allowing domestic manufacturing to be supplanted by foreign manufacturing?

3.  Plain and simple, I don’t know. But it’s clear O gauge zinc pest as in Ben’s sample here is the result.

1. Indeed it does; but the OP had issues straight out of the box. I had a K-Line hopper with the same thing. The examples you site are caused by over stressing the material, not a defect in the material itself.

2. At the risk of "beating that dead horse", it's not a Chinese problem, other than the fact that EVERYTHING we buy now is made there. As I've said (every time this comes up) I've had parts made in Italy (Rivarossi), Japan (KTM brass loco drive components) and good ol' USA (John English and Mantua and even on rare occasion, Bowser). Not excusing it, but it happens.

3. I agree completely.

Mark in Oregon

PS: Yeah, for some reason, a plastic bodied O scale steam engine just seems... wrong. 🤔 🙂

Michael   what makes you think the  people's republic cares?  At any time they can pull the plug on the toy market  , and it wouldnt hurt their GNP one bit!, You can see what holding back electronic components  has done to  markets  world wide. The production  of toys and trains is not a priority and may be cut sooner than you think!

I don't think they care at all. I didn't say or suggest that they did.

This discussion is about zinc pest and the fact that the manufacturers don't care about the issue. Jim and I have once again gotten into a back and forth about the pros and cons of zinc vs plastic. As long as zinc pest is an issue and no one seems interested in remedying the problem then I would prefer they use plastic to eliminate the issue from the hobby. Then we can get to complaining about how bad plastic is and all of the problems we have with it.

@Strummer posted:

PS: Yeah, for some reason, a plastic bodied O scale steam engine just seems... wrong. 🤔 🙂

I just don't get this mentality. I am not picking on you in particular, but this ideology seems to pervade this segment of the hobby and no one can explain it. Just about every other locomotive type, most passenger cars and freight cars are plastic bodied and no one has an issue with it. But mention a plastic steamer and folks don't want to even entertain the idea.

@Mike D posted:

I just don't get this mentality. I am not picking on you in particular, but this ideology seems to pervade this segment of the hobby and no one can explain it. Just about every other locomotive type, most passenger cars and freight cars are plastic bodied and no one has an issue with it. But mention a plastic steamer and folks don't want to even entertain the idea.

Which is why you argue against metal castings anytime you can. You promote plastics with zeal. And ignore plastic failings without even vetting your obvious errors. Now you’re denying the plasticizer problem “indoors” ? My God, examples of toys that have melted onto other surfaces are renown, including on Lionel trains. I had one melt inside a furniture drawer at one time.

Try this thread for some samples and maybe follow my advice and do a Google search to learn more. And while you’re at it, try to gather some information on other plastics problems.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...res-a-new-one-for-me

@Mike D posted:

I just don't get this mentality. I am not picking on you in particular, but this ideology seems to pervade this segment of the hobby and no one can explain it. Just about every other locomotive type, most passenger cars and freight cars are plastic bodied and no one has an issue with it. But mention a plastic steamer and folks don't want to even entertain the idea.

Actually, I totally get it, Michael. Heck, I'm not even sure why I feel this way; a lot of the steamers I have in other scales are plastic, but for some reason, an O scale boiler/cab,etc just doesn't seem right. 😀

Mark in Oregon

@Jim R. posted:

Which is why you argue against metal castings anytime you can. You promote plastics with zeal. And ignore plastic failings without even vetting your obvious errors. Now you’re denying the plasticizer problem “indoors” ? My God, examples of toys that have melted onto other surfaces are renown, including on Lionel trains. I had one melt inside a furniture drawer at one time.

Try this thread for some samples and maybe follow my advice and do a Google search to learn more. And while you’re at it, try to gather some information on other plastics problems.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...res-a-new-one-for-me

Jim, there are no obvious errors in my arguments. You present a lot of failure scenarios where an outside influcencer has caused a plastic failure, but none caused by  inherent flaws in the material itself. Plastic doesn't just melt on it's own due to material defect. It doesn't just crack or break on it's own due to material defect. It doesn't just craze on it's own due to material defect. I have plastic items that are several decades old with no issues. No material is perfect. Not even plastics.

Your arguments against plastics reek of an infomercial for zinc products with catastrophe afflicting everything that contain plastic to make zinc look superior. Plastic is everywhere and serves reliably. Like anything, it won't last forever. It isnt isn't perfect for everything and it has it's limitations.

I have made my argument and you have made yours. We will never see eye to eye on this topic. I think it is time to let it rest.

@Mike D posted:

... Most smaller scales use plastic so they don't have this issue. I have lots of N-scale stuff, lots by Atlas, and I don't have this issue with any of it. I wish O-gauge manufacturers would use plastic on their stuff so the O-gauge community wouldn't have to deal with this issue any longer.

Not so. I have plastic models from the 1950s and 60s that I can only look at, not handle.

Plastic models of cars, airplanes, etc. become brittle. That stuff just wasn't meant to last this long. See thread here, on a forum for Tamiya Models:

https://www.tamiyaclub.com/for...es-becoming-brittle/

@Mike D posted:

I just don't get this mentality. I am not picking on you in particular, but this ideology seems to pervade this segment of the hobby and no one can explain it. Just about every other locomotive type, most passenger cars and freight cars are plastic bodied and no one has an issue with it. But mention a plastic steamer and folks don't want to even entertain the idea.

Plastic ain't heavy—unless you put weights in the body—and metal is just more impressive than plastic is.

One of my earliest memories of my trains from when I was little kid was how heavy and satisfying they were. It's an emotional response, not a logical one—not something anyone can argue with.

Not so. I have plastic models from the 1950s and 60s that I can only look at, not handle.

The glue that you used is probably more the reason why you can't handle them than the plastic. I have seen that happen. Car fell apart, BUT, the parts were still intact and the car was rebuilt!
So, I am going to disagree with you naysayers!
In my 60+ years of building plastic kits of all types, I have never had a problem with the plastic...NEVER! I have never seen a plastic model railroad car, in any scale with a problem nor the Delrin trucks.
As I have said many times before, I would welcome a plastic model of a steam loco (or diesel) along the lines of the old AMT 3 in 1 kits. A kit that comes with extra parts to make different versions of the same loco. But, I'm not holding my breath for that to happen as there are too many people these days that don't want to or know how to model!

As for JimR's link above, it is nothing more than comparing apples to oranges. A traction tire is not a car body! Same thing for a rubber band! Boy, do those things rot, even stored away in the dark! So, along those lines, I have seen vinyl-like model tires melt plastic. But, it wasn't the hard plastic's fault, it was whatever the soft, flexible tire was made from. BTW, the "hard plastic" slicks that AMT made for their car models never hatched or caused a defect!

@Mike D posted:

Jim, there are no obvious errors in my arguments. You present a lot of failure scenarios where an outside influcencer has caused a plastic failure, but none caused by  inherent flaws in the material itself. Plastic doesn't just melt on it's own due to material defect. It doesn't just crack or break on it's own due to material defect. It doesn't just craze on it's own due to material defect. I have plastic items that are several decades old with no issues. No material is perfect. Not even plastics.

Your arguments against plastics reek of an infomercial for zinc products with catastrophe afflicting everything that contain plastic to make zinc look superior. Plastic is everywhere and serves reliably. Like anything, it won't last forever. It isnt isn't perfect for everything and it has it's limitations.

I have made my argument and you have made yours. We will never see eye to eye on this topic. I think it is time to let it rest.

No errors, huh.

You said: “Most smaller scales use plastic so they don't have this issue. I have lots of N-scale stuff, lots by Atlas, and I don't have this issue with any of it.”

I pointed out that I have 23 of 49 N scale steamers with diecast boilers or bodies, and that more than half my freight cars have diecast frames, and all but a couple of my diesels have diecast frames. Seems like diecast components are a key component in smaller scales, and since you say you haven’t had any problems with them, well, then, I guess diecast zinc pest isn’t really the ****ing problem you seem to be selling here.

You said: “you fail to provide a valid argument as to why it is superior to plastic.”

I gave numerous examples of plastic failure from the postwar era for toy trains to modern times in all scales — problems tied to aging plastic and its weaker nature.

You said, in response to Tom Tee’s example of plasticizer problems: “Indoor plastics, like our trains, especially those painted, won't suffer from that same type of deterioration at anywhere near the same rate as outdoor plastics and will last longer.”

Tom Tee and I were saying that plasticizer problems were inherent in flexible plastics, not merely outdoor plastics, and have presented themselves indoors quite readily. (And to Big Jim, the forum topic I linked to was not only about traction tires, if you read through it.) Learn more. Do a Google search for plasticizer migration and read.

And the biggest error of all? You keep on talking about the lack of problems in plastic-bodied steamers in other scales. Tell me, which diecast bodies have failed in O gauge in the China era? This isn’t a rhetorical question. Answer it. The problem remains with subcontractors in China who do not follow best practices in manufacturing, not the main factories that make the bodies of our diecast models.

And here’s the clincher, something that seems to escape your apparently never-wrong mindset. I never said I didn’t favor plastics in scale trains. In any scale. Plastic-bodies diesels have never been an issue, and I accept them as a tradition, even if they were brought about by the postwar plastics boom that allowed for a more inexpensive form of manufacturing. I also have bought plastic-bodied N scale steamers for models I cherish.

You see, I wasn’t advocating that all those plastic products be remade as diecast. But you seem to be trying to convince the rest of us who favor our diecast O scale steamers that manufacturers should switch to plastic. Whose doing the overselling here?

@Tom Tee posted:

This thread seems to underline the reason for buying Sunset brass.

Plastic may or may not fail.

Zinc pest may or may or may not attack.

Old brass just seems to live on indefinitely.

I would prefer brass castings over zinc, if manufacturers and buyers would accept the added production costs.

I’m fact, here was an innovative effort by a Michigan company in the 1970s to make a brass shell (which I assume was produced from a lost wax brass casting) sourced from the original Rivarossi plastic shell of the IHB 0-8-0 modeled in N scale. (It fits perfectly on the original Rivarossi diecast chassis.)

C6E747BA-76A4-4A18-9959-DBF827F7F45F

But sheet brass manufacturing is a labor intensive process that’s only suitable for small production orders, such as those which Third Rail commissions. If you had to make 2,000 O gauge brass locomotives, it certainly would increase the labor costs for the manufacturer.

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Finally, on the central post of this thread, the Atlas frames that have crumbled from zinc pest, we have a real problem and no one to advocate for us. I’m afraid it will continue as long as production standards remain unchanged in China concerning subcontractors.

I feel fortunate, compared to some on this forum, to have been faced with zinc pest only three times so far. I didn’t mind when it claimed the sideframes on one 1990s Williams F-M Train Master and the trucks on my MTH White Rock Water diecast reefer, both easily remedied. But losing the skirting on my 2002 MTH Premier GS4 represented highly visible damage to one of the favorite locomotives. I’m glad MTH had new skirts available from a later production run, but we can’t count on replacement parts being available in the future.

So, yeah, the frustration is real.

Jim, I don't care about diecast or plastic steamers. None of my main arguments are about zinc used in that application. You are hung up on the steamer thing, not me. I only brought it up because some people feel like a plastic steamer is not right in O gauge. That stems primarily from a sentimental point of view and not necessarily from a logical perspective as someone has already mentioned.

The items we deal with that suffer from pest the most are the detail items like fuel tanks, trucks, sideframes, pilots, couplers, smoke units, etc. This is the area where zinc is causing the most problems. This is the area where plastic would outperform zinc and eliminate a lot of the problems we are dealing with. I personally have had zinc parts in all of the categories I just mentioned fail due to pest. With the exception of the smoke units, plastic would adequately replace all of the aforementioned parts.

You are clearly reading way too much into my posts if you think that I want all zinc eliminated from our products. I only want it eliminated if it can't or won't be produced properly in China. I am in no way advocating for zinc to be completely replaced by plastic because I feel plastic is superior to zinc. I want to see plastic replace zinc in many of the parts on our trains because zinc isn't being produced properly and I feel plastic would be far less problematic in the applications where we are seeing failing zinc parts.

None of the N scale items I own have zinc pest issues. But I have had quite a few issues with it in O gauge and therein lies the issue. That is what this whole thread is about, not diecast vs plastic steamers, not plasticizers, and not N scale. Those things were only brought up as points of discussion to show that similar parts made in plastic aren't failing due to material defect.

I am not trying to sell a problem. It has already been sold and we bought it. I want to see it go away. If that means plastic then so be it. You can't seem to handle that solution and apparently are content to continue to throw your money away on products with defects rather than have another material that can perform the job satisfactorily. I would rather buy a product and have it last longer than me.

I personally don't care about the materials that go into our trains as long as the end result is a quality product, free from defects, that performs the task it was designed for and lasts a long time. Since we aren't getting that with zinc, that is why I am an advocate for plastic to replace it. I don't see that as being unreasonable. I'll bet the OP and many others with hundreds or thousands of dollars tied up in trains that are worthless and unusable to due zinc pest would agree.

I have read about plasticizer migration and how it effects plastics and materials in contact with those chemicals. I only mentioned the outdoor plastics because that was the example used by a fellow forumite in his response. It is not really that much of an issue with many of the plastics we use in our hobbies.

Last edited by Mike D
@Jim R. posted:

I’m fact, here was an innovative effort by a Michigan company in the 1970s to make a brass shell (which I assume was produced from a lost wax brass casting) sourced from the original Rivarossi plastic shell of the IHB 0-8-0 modeled in N scale. (It fits perfectly on the original Rivarossi diecast chassis.)

C6E747BA-76A4-4A18-9959-DBF827F7F45F



Yes; there were several outfits that took N scale plastic shells and "lost" it in the process of making a poured brass replacement. Works fine, as long as you have enough plastic shells to sacrifice. 🙂

(Thought I'd throw this in before the moderator shuts this down...)

Mark in Oregon

That stinks.

I just had a MPC U36 lose a truck side due to this. You just never know...

That's the "fun" part of Zinc pest, you never know what will set it off or when it will happen. A friend had a Lionel Torpedo steamer, pre-war IIRC, that looked perfect when he purchased it around 1990. Within a year it began to expand and a few months later was reduced to crumbling pieces.

@BobbyD posted:

That's the "fun" part of Zinc pest, you never know what will set it off or when it will happen. A friend had a Lionel Torpedo steamer, pre-war IIRC, that looked perfect when he purchased it around 1990. Within a year it began to expand and a few months later was reduced to crumbling pieces.

You don't want to be the last man standing with an expensive piece before it disintegrates.  I used to collect 1:18 diecast autos and some of the more expensive ones had zinc rot.  There were photos where you could see through the plastic window the diecast car inside crumbling to pieces even though the box was never opened.

Also, how many of us have items that we bought years ago and never opened.  A rude surprise might be waiting for us!

You don't want to be the last man standing with an expensive piece before it disintegrates.  I used to collect 1:18 diecast autos and some of the more expensive ones had zinc rot.  There were photos where you could see through the plastic window the diecast car inside crumbling to pieces even though the box was never opened.

Also, how many of us have items that we bought years ago and never opened.  A rude surprise might be waiting for us!

Should we always be skeptical where they show the trains either wrapped or still in the box through the window Frank? About a year ago a friend found a Lionel engine he wanted for sale on "that auction site" advertised as new. The images showed it in the Styrofoam package with the lid off. When my friend asked for images of the actual item the seller said he didn't want to unwrap it for photos because it was "sealed" up. My friend passed on it.

Last edited by BobbyD

BobbyD - thank you, but I'm still a little confused.  I'm interested in 6434-8 (Lehigh Valley War Emergency hopper), but when I go to the Atlas website I see that 6434 was produced in February 2007, September 2008, and May 2012.  I don't see a specific part number? I clicked on the links but that just showed a picture.

Sorry if this is all obvious and I'm just being dense.LV

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Last edited by Zeke
@Zeke posted:

BobbyD - thank you, but I'm still a little confused.  I'm interested in 6434-8 (Lehigh Valley War Emergency hopper), but when I go to the Atlas website I see that 6434 was produced in February 2007, September 2008, and May 2012.  I don't see a specific part number? I clicked on the links but that just showed a picture.

Sorry if this is all obvious and I'm just being dense.

It says new road numbers each production year, though too bad the website doesn't show them. I'm thinking a call to Atlas could get you that information. Let us know.

Road #14020?

Last edited by BobbyD
@coach joe posted:

"No experience, no knowledge(?), no control,...no care...,"   Quality control isn't just looking at one in a thousand of the finished product as it is slid into it's packaging, it should include materials making the parts that make the assemblies that are assembled in a proper fashion to provide a finished product free of blemishes and defects that functions as intended and designed.  .

Themetallurgical knowledge, control, and, yes, concern BY THE CASTING ZINC SUPPLIER was exactly the point of my original comment.  Of course there's no way to detect ZP in the finished product as it's boxed for its journey to your layout.  Atlas undoubtedly has had a lot of experience in helping their sources control this at its most basic level...when their products were made within their direct control in the USofA.  They have no such control in that land far, far away.  It's up to their contracted supplier of the finished product to manage such issues.  And, good luck with that for as much as we've learned about far, far away sourcing in a land controlled by government fiat.

It is what it is.  And as the cartoon sez...

cheaptrains

...including Zinc Pest.

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@dkdkrd posted:

"In the end"...?  I'm afraid zinc rot, zinc pest, ...whatever name you choose...will never "end".  At least not as long as the products are made far, far away, without metallurgical analysis/control/concern, in a land of dynamic labor and sourcing.  It's not a guaranteed certainty, but it is so widespread among manufacturers in that environment that the odds are sometimes rather dismal that you'll just be lucky in your purchase to have avoided it...sooner or later.

"How many products were produced with this issue"??...If it's die cast from that land far, far away, it could easily find its way into your whatever treasure...rolling stock, freight or passenger, locomotives (diesel, steam, electric), accessories, ...you name it.

Zinc pest, as it's commonly called, was the bane of some Pre-War Lionel in-house production until the metallurgical anomaly was identified and corrected.   Dad's 1835E tender, ca mid-1930's, got bit...badly. (I've shown the photos in prior threads.)  Lionel stepped up and provided a pest-free replacement wiki-wiki.  Then 'the pest' seemed to disappear as an issue in this hobby...until we became obsessed with having our choo-choos made in that land far, far away.  No experience, no knowledge(?), no control,...no care..., pretty certain what happened thereafter.   The other exciting characteristic is that sometimes it manifests itself within the warranty period, but sometimes not until long after.  Oh joy.

Want more on this issue as it affects us all?.....search the Forum on "Zinc Pest".  Keep the aspirin and vino handy, pal.

While this is a long time issue, truth is the blame lies with the companies that contract out, you get what you pay for.

Zeke, the war emergency and fishbelly hoppers are diecast bodies and chassis. I’ve had no issues with either and haven’t read of any issues. The fish belly’s have been around for close to 20 years.

It seems it’s a certain run of 55 ton hoppers that have the problem. They feature a plastic body on a diecast chassis. After the chassis is screwed to the body. Detail items are added. It’s not a simple fix even if the parts are available. I have a couple that are still perfect. A few  I was able to make a new truck mount for and one that just completely dissinegrated.

The ones I have replaced are all from the first run of the 55 ton hopper   So far none of the later or different variations have had problems



If you have any of these check them out  If you see the ends of the car bulging out its a sign   Look at the hopper doors and the frame itself   If you remove on of the trucks it will be easier to see

JUNE 2004
3-RAIL MSRP: $49.95 2-RAIL MSRP: $52.95
8450Undecorated9450
8451Chesapeake & Ohio*9451
8452Lackawanna9452
8453New Haven9453
8454NYC*9454
8455Pittsburgh & Shawmut9455

If this is a general zinc pest info thread, here’s some-Until recently, I’ve only had zinc pest issues with one K-line operating flat car which was a little, $10 purchase at a train show.  Haven’t had issues with any of my Atlas rolling stock(knock on wood), but I haven’t yet seen on this board issue I’m about to present.

Just bought this 2004 Lionel SD40t-2 on eBay from a someone selling his dad’s collection. Pictures looked great. Here it is on my layout

23137518-0404-48F6-A6EF-99A465ECA3C5

unfortunately when I opened it up...

93AC2AA0-B85C-4907-A1BC-2A3C10263742
These were laying at the bottom of the styrofoam. It looked like it hadn’t been run in awhile judging from the dust, so these broke off in shipping. Notice the cracking, one is slightly warped, too

24A6450D-B2D7-4705-B2DF-8899B37ABF7E

the side frames aren’t available anymore but I think I can fit new sd40t-2 side frames on to it. That said, I still to get the paint to match. Instead of returning it i decided to take a 60% discount after negotiating.

Early to mid 2000s Lionel is known for its QC issues, but up until now i haven’t seen a diesel affected.
just a heads up to fellow forumites. And, if anyone has solutions to offer regarding side frames, I’d appreciate it

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Thought I would chime in here after looking at a couple of the links, one of them about the traction tires melting.  I don't know if it is a cause, but air pollution does attack things you might expect to be impervious.  The foam suspension on speakers disappears after several years in a polluted environment, especially if you live near a paper mill.  I moved from a town with 3 pulp mills, to an area where the closest is 30 miles away, and have had no issues with speakers since, where before, 5 years was about it for the foam. While not an issue with zinc, bad air could be getting to other materials taken decades to degrade them, or then again maybe not, but it is still something to ponder.  Perhaps posting questions about the condition of vintage trains in places with zero air problems vs places like LA or towns with heavy industry may generate some data.

This brings to mind my first early teens encounter with something l had never then heard of...l ordered a diecast HO steamer kit from a heavily advertised mail order NE hobby shop, almost forgotten, but l think kit was Mantua brand. It arrived with a warped boiler.  Ended mail-order for a long time.  Heard of and encountered it again when admired, at first, three rail Flyer, and then again, recently, when l bought raikcar trucks.  Have wondered when that shop closed and ads disappeared from MR, but probably should wonder how prevalent zp was in HO then?

@StevefromPA posted:

Just bought this 2004 Lionel SD40t-2 on eBay from a someone selling his dad’s collection. Pictures looked great. Here it is on my layout

unfortunately when I opened it up...


These were laying at the bottom of the styrofoam. It looked like it hadn’t been run in awhile judging from the dust, so these broke off in shipping. Notice the cracking, one is slightly warped, too

the side frames aren’t available anymore but I think I can fit new sd40t-2 side frames on to it. That said, I still to get the paint to match. Instead of returning it i decided to take a 60% discount after negotiating.

And, if anyone has solutions to offer regarding side frames, I’d appreciate it

(Edited and photos omitted)

This is pretty easy. It’s not like touching up something on the shell. Go to the Lionel parts site and order matching frames from another SD40T-2 or SD40-2 model. Either Testors Bright Silver or Minuteman Models Scalecoat II ATSF Silver will be a close enough match for this project. These are available in rattle cans. Just take your time and apply light coats.

RM

This brings to mind my first early teens encounter with something l had never then heard of...l ordered a diecast HO steamer kit from a heavily advertised mail order NE hobby shop, almost forgotten, but l think kit was Mantua brand. It arrived with a warped boiler.  Ended mail-order for a long time.  Heard of and encountered it again when admired, at first, three rail Flyer, and then again, recently, when l bought raikcar trucks.  Have wondered when that shop closed and ads disappeared from MR, but probably should wonder how prevalent zp was in HO then?

In HO: I've got a bunch of old John English stuff and probably a third of it has "zp"; have also seen it in some AHM/Rivarossi parts.

I think some of the early Atlas N scale Mikados and Pacifics were notorious for that as well...

Mark in Oregon

Last edited by Strummer
@dkdkrd posted:

"In the end"...?  I'm afraid zinc rot, zinc pest, ...whatever name you choose...will never "end".  At least not as long as the products are made far, far away, without metallurgical analysis/control/concern, in a land of dynamic labor and sourcing.  It's not a guaranteed certainty, but it is so widespread among manufacturers in that environment that the odds are sometimes rather dismal that you'll just be lucky in your purchase to have avoided it...sooner or later.

"How many products were produced with this issue"??...If it's die cast from that land far, far away, it could easily find its way into your whatever treasure...rolling stock, freight or passenger, locomotives (diesel, steam, electric), accessories, ...you name it.

Zinc pest, as it's commonly called, was the bane of some Pre-War Lionel in-house production until the metallurgical anomaly was identified and corrected.   Dad's 1835E tender, ca mid-1930's, got bit...badly. (I've shown the photos in prior threads.)  Lionel stepped up and provided a pest-free replacement wiki-wiki.  Then 'the pest' seemed to disappear as an issue in this hobby...until we became obsessed with having our choo-choos made in that land far, far away.  No experience, no knowledge(?), no control,...no care..., pretty certain what happened thereafter.   The other exciting characteristic is that sometimes it manifests itself within the warranty period, but sometimes not until long after.  Oh joy.

Want more on this issue as it affects us all?.....search the Forum on "Zinc Pest".  Keep the aspirin and vino handy, pal.

Prewar Flyer 3/16ths O gauge diecast items suffer from zinc pest, Dorfan was probably the earliest victim (I've dubbed zinc pest Dorfan's Disease in their honor), Lionel also had their share of zinc pest problems, but it appears they weren't zapped as badly as Flyer and Dorfan were. Postwar Lionel and Flyer seem to be pretty clear of the problem (I assume both arrived at the need for high purity zinc/not reusing miscast or scrap from sprues/discards from clean-up of floors or work areas where scrap could accrue either just before/during/just after WW II ended).

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