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Who knows if MTH will get enough shells. Maybe if the shell is in good condition or small cracks, repair with auto body putty and recast in silicone and make a bunch of plastic ones that will last forever. They made their money and probably don't care. Just like the problems Lionel had with their scale GG'1's.

@CAPPilot posted:

It was mentioned to carefully take off the shell then line it with epoxy to hold it together.  Would this actually work?

Frankly, I doubt it.  Dimensionally, how close are the P5a's to a GG1?  Could you "kitbash" a P5a shell by shortening a GG1??  I think that approach (plus a little Bondo to hide the seams) is more promising than trying to stabilize a crumbling shell with epoxy.  My $.02.

After reading the question and comments, and looking up the locos, my question is why MTH would use a metal with the known deterioration issues, and how many locos have zinc frames?  All of them?  I just had a coupler break off a loco that I had running on a floor level track for my grands, when the cat pushed the A-B-A set over.  Looking at the metal, it seems to resemble a fine granulated styrofoam than  something substantial.

@Gene H posted:

Midge at MTH emailed me back in January 2021 before she retired and added me to the list for a replacement shell for the P5a. She told me they should be available September or October 2021and they will contact me when they arrive. Now 4 years later I'm still waiting and doubt that they will ever be available.

I believe they did a second run of shells and that's it.  If you haven't received one by now, well I'm sorry to say but you're out of luck.

@CALNNC posted:

After reading the question and comments, and looking up the locos, my question is why MTH would use a metal with the known deterioration issues, and how many locos have zinc frames?  All of them?  I just had a coupler break off a loco that I had running on a floor level track for my grands, when the cat pushed the A-B-A set over.  Looking at the metal, it seems to resemble a fine granulated styrofoam than  something substantial.

Zinc has been used for models for 100 years +.   The properties for low cost casting and finishing make it useful.  The problem is not in the formula of the metal, it is with the quality of the metal. The cause and fix has been known for 100 years.   The higher the impurities the faster the rot.  Zinc rot today comes from VERY POOR quality control of the metal in smelting or at the foundary.    I have 80+ year old engines with no problems.

Casting with other materials would make it too expensive for most all of us.

@Gene H posted:

Midge at MTH emailed me back in January 2021 before she retired and added me to the list for a replacement shell for the P5a. She told me they should be available September or October 2021and they will contact me when they arrive. Now 4 years later I'm still waiting and doubt that they will ever be available.

They actually were made available a couple years ago when the new P5a came out.  The new P5a came out late in 2022, and the shells were available.  Several people posted here in OGR about their experience getting then installed as they had different wiring.

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