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Looks like I have a couple of Mantua diecast tankers as well...They certainly need some work.  Does anyone run these with newer trains.  What type of couplers have you found work on these?  I am familiar with the older standard of Kadee #5's but not sure if they will fit the cast in boxes.  I also see Kadee has introduced versions with the springs integral to the coupler shank.IMG_1442IMG_1444IMG_1446IMG_1462IMG_1463


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I don't have any of the vintage Athearn or Mantua metal cars... yet.

BUT, I've taken a fancy to Varney's tinplate cars. They look surprisingly good. Just recently I purchased these three Varney's:


I have already fitted Kadee coupler boxes and Kadee's to the PFE and ATSF car, as well as installed steel wheels and attended to "issues" that I saw.  The MDT reefer is going to take a bit more work on account of the pot metal coupler pocket. These look plenty good enough to run among newer plastic models of such era equipment. I was specifically impressed with the sharp printing on the sides which is better than found on Athearn "Blue Box" injection molded cars!

I still find myself checking eBay for some deals on more Varney metal cars.



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I always felt that this era of H0 was the best: maybe because that's when I got started. To my mind you just couldn't beat these and others (Silver Streak, pre-plastic Mantua, Ulrich, etc.) for superior printing, free-standing details, durability (metal, after all). Sure, you had to build 'em, but that's what I liked doing.

Remember the Walther's annual "H0 Railroad Catalog & 'Craft Train' Reference Manual" of those times; a large portion of it was dedicated to parts and details, as well as all those wonderful structure kits.

Very much like post -war Lionel and Flyer, parts were always available, as were matching paints, trucks (think Central Valley), and I think the Kadee type you mentioned were number 58(?); an H0 version of their 0 scale coupler. I'll have to double-check on that.

Mark in Oregon


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F887A2FE-2647-499A-8A67-8CE42E566BC1DB13D8A9-0BCC-443D-A0E3-3D9C507E86A296812B70-1E48-44DD-84DF-8C8CF6BA6D02DB308BB0-3A9C-4D9E-973D-8632F4ED9CF2I dug out some more of my litter, think these are Silverstreak. They aren’t too bad but I am missing two buffer beams and one tank wnd between the four cars. I’ll have to clean them up up a little. Construction is a diecast frame, ends, and dome with a wood dowel tank and a metal foil wrap glued to the dowel. They have real nice sprung metal trucks as well.


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Last edited by Dennis Holler
Dennis Holler posted:

B394E082-197E-4EA7-BC73-2240349409C6I also picked up this fairly nice Magnolia tanker. It’s an Athearn shorty all metal tank car same as the Crystal car line above.

Oooo! Lovin' me a Magnolia tank! 

My mythical "Kansas City & Gulf" runs from Kansas City, down through Arkansas to New Orleans (the KCS needed some competition!), and passes through Magnolia, AR in the process. (I'm modeling a portion of my KC&G's Ozark Sub as it could have been in the early-mid 1960s.) The KC&G's main shops are at Magnolia, referred to as the "Magnolia Shops" by the railroad/railroaders.

In reality, there was a significant amount of oil industry around Magnolia up into the 70s, I think.

Gotta' have me one of dem' dare Magnolia tanks!

This is a really fun thread. Even by today's "good 'enuf" standards, these old metal cars look good 'enuf!


BA85E709-02AF-4CE5-9A16-01C6EA79434BD954A842-A632-4F3E-8B52-508FAE2AE2660F579585-510B-4B52-8B69-A84C50BBAB624119FC99-F1EE-4BE7-A57D-B9F48BAE564FI picked up a few things. The Globe Warren cars came and look good. I need to figure out if the built one is just dirty, maybe nicotene, or was it weathered. I’ll want to change the red trucks as well. Also managed to buy a couple of unused Mantua tank wraps as well!

I guess the question will be wether I am man enough to try to install a wrap on my wrapless Mantua tankers.  Nothing to lose really they only cost $3 each.  Maybe I should scan them in first.



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Last edited by Dennis Holler

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