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Hi gang,



I don't post too often any more, I let the new guys do all the work.    So, I just received my new ATLAS Master-line  item number 3007725S O Troop Kitchen/Guard Car Road #G56 (3 rail).  In general I don't purchase much Atlas rolling stock, because they don't make a printed catalog, and their on-line catalog (I think) contains CAD renderings of future products.



So, here is what I consider an exception model from any train manufacturer.  I'l post a few poor quality pictures to try to depict this simply wonderful model, and a true testament to how good our scale model train from Atlas have become.  I will have to pay more attention to their offerings, especially if they improve any of the tooling on rolling stock they just acquired.

The details on this model are truly exceptional.  The model has a die cast "floor."  Underneath it has the BEST brake and air line detail I have EVER seen on a model.  The sides, roof, and doors are all in the same class - exceptional!  The ladder steps have the proper bends, and are not the simple straight ladders, one normally sees on a high end car.  The door handles on the door's on the car ends are awesome!  The fine detail printing on the lowest portion of the side walls is again, exceptional, probably dead on scale for this size of model. Rivet detail all over the car is terrific!  Interior lighting is just the right amount of brightness to see the interior car detailing.  I believe I see some very long tables in there.  My up close vision isn't the best.



So some of my pictures follow.  If you can blow them up, they might help you appreciate what a fine model this is.  I am sure this is not new tooling, and others have already appreciated this car, and Atlas.  Since this is my FIRST car like this, I am overwhelmed just how good a 3 rail model can be!  In the photos, you can see the underside detail, poorly.  It is layered like "3D", with some layers covered up by the highest one in the photo.  There are views of the crisp very small printing on the car sides.  Another photo show the see through grill on the car top.  The top has more fine detail I did not post pictures of.  The close up of the truck details the fine die cast in details of this truck.  There is an unrotated picture of the large door handle on the end door. Sorry I didn't rotate it first.  Very impressive!  I added one surprise picture of another very well done Lionel car, which should be the subject of another post.  You can see the flashing canisters has 2 color illumination!



So my take away is get over there on-line only computer renderings of their cars and try out some more!  This car and it's tooling are truly a very nice surprise from Atlas.  BTW, I always have though Atlas made fine products. just don't like the lack of a printed catalog.  Atlas "O scale division" has been on the ropes financially, and with the acquisition of the MTH products, the prospect of a printed catalog seems further away than ever!  So pick on the poor pictures, but try to see the beautiful detail!  Also posed is a pictures of small plastic parts, in a bag, that came with the model to be added by YOU!  I believe they are MU hoses, perhaps hot water too.  I'm not an expert here!

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Didn't add that I have about 40 Atlas advertising reefers, in 40 ft and 36? ft versions.  Don't want anyone to think I am an Atlas "hater."   Also perhaps I did't mention this is the Atlas Club Car for participating in their Golden Spike Club.  I'm a charter member number 70 I believe.  Once again, this is a beautiful model car!

Don,

Just so you know, Atlas got the tooling for that car (and several others) from Weaver when Weaver went out of business.  All that great detail was designed by Weaver Models and is present in the troop/kitchen/hospital/express cars that they originally made using that tooling.  I never understood why Weaver didn't have more of a following in the hobby.  For many 3-railers, if Lionel of MTH didn't make it, they are completely unaware of it.

@Bob posted:

I never understood why Weaver didn't have more of a following in the hobby.  For many 3-railers, if Lionel of MTH didn't make it, they are completely unaware of it.

Bob,

I believe, but I am not certain, that Weaver made many more 2-rail than 3-rail models.  I used to get Weaver's catalogs.  Most of them, as best that I can recall, were 2-rail.  Perhaps this is the reason that Weaver wasn't as well known by the 3-rail community.  I have a few Weaver 3-rail cars, engines and brass structures.  All of them are excellent.  NH Joe

Weaver started out in 2-rail, but for at least the last 10 or 12 years they existed, all locomotives could be ordered in 2-rail or 3-rail.  Every single freight car could be ordered with 2-rail trucks and couplers, 3-rail plastic trucks and couplers or 3-rail diecast trucks and couplers.  Passenger cars all came in both 2-rail and 3-rail.

To answer my own question, there were not a lot of hobby shops that carried Weaver stuff and most of those that did had very little inventory.  Jim's Train Shop in Homer City, PA had the largest selection of Weaver that I ever saw in a hobby shop.  The later Weaver stuff like the troop cars, Milwaukee Road ribside boxcars, B&O wagontop boxcars, etc. were really outstanding.  Atlas has all of that tooling now.

@donhradio posted:

Didn't add that I have about 40 Atlas advertising reefers, in 40 ft and 36? ft versions.  Don't want anyone to think I am an Atlas "hater."   Also perhaps I did't mention this is the Atlas Club Car for participating in their Golden Spike Club.  I'm a charter member number 70 I believe.  Once again, this is a beautiful model car!

Those are outstanding troop cars. The underside details are exquisite.

I understand that Atlas O does not have the same level of marketing as its competitors, but what they lack in fancy catalogs, they make up for with superior products with better detail, prototypical accuracy, and quality. They are the gold standard in rolling stock, and most of my purchases over the last 5 years are atlas O.

There are trade offs:

- Atlas O rolling stock is exceptionally delicate due to the fine details.

- they require large diameter turns, I have several pieces of Atlas O rolling stock rated for O-45 that won’t handle O-45

- Atlas O simply does not put as much products onto the market as its competitors

@donhradio posted:

BTW, I always have though Atlas made fine products. just don't like the lack of a printed catalog.  Atlas "O scale division" has been on the ropes financially, and with the acquisition of the MTH products, the prospect of a printed catalog seems further away than ever! 

Not sure why you're saying the "O scale division" has been on the ropes financially. If they were on the ropes, they certainly wouldn't have been in a position to purchase the large chunk of the MTH product line they did. They had an unfortunate turn of events a bit over a year ago, when their Chinese manufacturer went south on them, taking a bunch of Atlas' molds and other property, which left Atlas in a position of having to rebuild part of its product line, and obviously slowed production. However, I have seen no evidence that they've been on the ropes financially.

They don't do a printed catalog (although they used to do quarterly catalogs) but they do publish catalogs on line. I never worry about depiction shown; if Atlas O does an item, I'm far more assured with them that the product will be done properly and painted correctly, than with any other manufacturer.

@Bob posted:

Weaver started out in 2-rail, but for at least the last 10 or 12 years they existed, all locomotives could be ordered in 2-rail or 3-rail.  Every single freight car could be ordered with 2-rail trucks and couplers, 3-rail plastic trucks and couplers or 3-rail diecast trucks and couplers.  Passenger cars all came in both 2-rail and 3-rail.

To answer my own question, there were not a lot of hobby shops that carried Weaver stuff and most of those that did had very little inventory.  Jim's Train Shop in Homer City, PA had the largest selection of Weaver that I ever saw in a hobby shop.  The later Weaver stuff like the troop cars, Milwaukee Road ribside boxcars, B&O wagontop boxcars, etc. were really outstanding.  Atlas has all of that tooling now.

Bob,

I was fortunate enough to visit JusTrains in Delaware several times before Kirk passed away.  They carried a massive amount of Weaver as well as other brands.  I recall buying a number of Weaver's B60 and RPOs there (and at York).  That store, located in what looked like an old supermarket, was absolutely loaded.  It was never the same after he died.

George

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