Well...................... on the hopper cars, you might want to cut the plastic stirrups off (4 of 'em), they tend to interfere with the truck swing. And, you may have to cut or shave off a small plastic protrusion on the hopper body, both sides, at each end, for the exact same reason (on the body frame, right above the truck bolster). Fortunately, they're quite small and not very noticeable to start with.
These hopper cars have metal trucks on them. Occasionally you might get one with an axle popped out of place, or some other minor problem. I have got a few cars that way, but I fix them myself. Haven't run into one yet that I couldn't fix. Or Menard's will make good on them, if you are unable to fix yourself.
The hopper cars are also fairly light, you may want to add some weight to them. But you don't necessarily have to. Overall, I'd say they're a fairly good value for the money, even if you have to trim a little plastic right from the start.
I have quite a few of Menards rolling stock. They are a good car for the money as far as details, size and weight go. The only issue I have is with the trucks and couplers when they first came out. The trucks had a coating that pealed off and weren't great trackers. The couplers would not let the cars come apart. Newer versions have improved trucks and couplers, but lack a manual opening tab which I use a lot. I understand that the trucks have again been improved, but have not purchased any of the newer ones yet due to lack of room for any more. I will continue to shop for new ones if they have the uncoupling tab and wouldn't hesitate to buy them. I think that Menards is doing the train hobby a tremendous service with their extensive variety of cars and buildings (which I also have many of) and offering them at an affordable price.
I have a few of them. Hoppers, box cars, auto carriers and timber transport flat cars. I have had no problems with the hoppers but I do not run tight radius curves either. They are a good bang for the buck and do not break the bank. If you are fortunate to have a Menards by you you can have it delivered to the store for free. Plus a lot of time they have internet sales that when you buy something for 19.99 they throw in something free...........Paul 2
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