Model Railroader

Milwaukee, Racine & Troy HO scale three-bay covered hopper


Price: $27.99 Manufactur­er

Produced by Accurail, available from Kalmbach Hobby Store KalmbachHo­

Era: December 1997+

Comments: The Kalmbach Hobby Store is offering Accurail’s HO scale American Car & Foundry 4,600-cubic-foot capacity Center Flow covered hopper kit in a new Milwaukee, Racine & Troy paint scheme. This run is decorated in the freelanced railroad’s Mineral Red scheme with white graphics.

The injection-model car is based on Accurail’s 2000-series tooling. The kit has a one-piece body with molded end cages, running boards, and grab irons. The hatch cover and brake wheel are modeler-installed parts.

The slope sheets are separate castings. The sheet for the B end has mounting holes for the brake cylinder and air reservoir. I had to scrape paint off the mounting pins on both parts so they would fit in the holes. I used liquid plastic cement to secure all freestandi­ng parts.

The underbody is a one-piece casting with molded draft-gear boxes, bolsters, and shaker bracket detail on the hopper bays. The top of the underbody visible inside the end cages has molded lever and support bracket detail.

Freestandi­ng underbody parts include the draft-gear box covers and outlet gates. Use care when removing the outlet gates from the sprue as they have delicate parts.

A small plastic bag contains the roller-bearing trucks, Delrin engineerin­g plastic 33" wheelsets, Accumate couplers, and four 2-56 x ⁄16" screws (for

3 securing the trucks and draft-gear box covers). I used cyanoacryl­ate adhesive to attach the metal trip pins to the twopiece Accumate couplers.

The kit also includes steel weight. Notches on the back of the slope sheets help hold the weight in place. I used Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate, a waterbased contact adhesive, to further secure the weight. Do not use solventbas­ed adhesives as they may damage the plastic.

At 4.7 ounces, the car is at the correct weight per National Model Railroad Associatio­n Recommende­d Practice 20.1.

The MR&T covered hopper would look good in unit grain train or as part of a modern-era manifest freight. If you’re looking for an excuse to do some modeling, pick up one of these kits. – Cody Grivno, senior editor

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