Skip to main content

I posted a few days ago about getting a couple of Midgage cars. At that time I mentioned that the couplers reminded me of what you'd find on the old Athearn HO scale cars. Here is a side-by side of both:

side by side

Although certainly not identical, they are surprisingly similar.

I also have some of the old Model Die Casting couplers of a similar vintage: these are a little bigger than the Athearn types, and look pretty close to the Midgage couplers, at least in terms of coupler "head" size:

coupler comp.

Since the MDC's actually do work, I wondered if they could be adapted to fit the S scale cars. I first had to enlarge the slot in the shank to accept a 2-56 screw. Lots of fussy filing:

MDC couplers

Due to the much shorter MDC shank, I also had to move the coupler pocket mounting screw forward:






...and it works! Midgage on left...


I don't suppose there's much interest in all this, but I was home today and figured "what the heck"... 

Mark in Oregon





Images (7)
  • side by side
  • coupler comp.
  • MDC couplers
  • Hole
  • midgage
  • MDC
  • done
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Thank you for your interest, Chuck. I find this kind of stuff fascinating, even if few other do.

All "Midgage".

First up is the Santa Fe Reefer I got the other day:


Next is the MDT Reefer (bought at the same time). This is the one I put the MDC couplers on:


Both of these have that heavy cast bolster/coupler pocket set up you asked about.

This is the kit I got earlier (last month I think). Please note the car number (34859) is the same as the car in the first photo:



This kit has those stamped steel bolsters, and does not include trucks. Apparently this was sold under "The House of Trains" brand, yet you can see it is also marked "Midgage". Perhaps this "House of Trains" bought the remaining Midgage stock to sell under their name(?)

The instruction sheet for this kit (printed on an 8/12" x11" sheet) looks to be of a much newer vintage and has no date. The address is pre-zip code ("Chicago 15").

It is completely different from the sheets that came with the 2 (already built) cars I got last week. Those are on 11"x17" paper, are far more detailed and have a copy write date of 1946.

I can take more photos if needed. 

Mark in Oregon


Images (4)
  • unnamed
  • unnamed
  • MG4
  • MG5

I had not heard of Midgage, so I looked them up in the NASG product gallery. I see that legendary S scaler Dick Karnes has some of these. These must be some of the earliest attempts to create scale model kits in 1/64th.

BTW - if you are trying to figure out which couplers you like best, I suggest you try these...

They also come in black.  Althouh they are On3, they fit fine in S scale coupler boxes and are compatible with Kadee 800/802's.  I exclusively install these now although most of my stuff still has Kadee 800/802's.

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.