Speaking of Parts Swapping…

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Milepost 1325


In my previous post, I talked about how Model Die Casting/Roundhouse did a lot of parts swapping with their various caboose models.  No sooner had I finished that post than I got an email from the fine folks out at River City Railroad telling me of another caboose made up of a few new parts and mostly parts from other models.  From a model maker’s standpoint, I can see where this can save them lots of money; after all, cutting molds for injection molding IS expensive.  So if one could re-use parts from another model, why not?

The folks out at Accurail do a similar thing.  Recently, they have released several different 36-foot boxcar models and some of them use the same floor.  This makes sense for two reasons… first, there’s the cost savings then second, there’s the thought that unless one is building a contest-quality model, the underside is probably the least detailed “side” of the entire project.  I have at least one rather expensive brass caboose model that only has a few minimal details on the underside.  If it’s good enough for a $200 brass model, it should work for an $18 kit.

But back to the MDC/Roundhouse model…  If you are at all familiar with Roundhouse cabooses, you can immediately identify parts that have been borrowed from other kits.  About the only new parts I see with this particular offering is the body and the cupola.  Everything else looks like it has been previously used.  This is reinforced by the parts numbering system… note that only the cupola & the body have 349** numbers.  All of the other parts are from different numbering series.


Another interesting little tidbit is that the photo of the finished model on the instruction sheet (top photo) doesn’t include the truss rods & queenposts yet the instructions clearly show them as parts of the kit.  Either the person who assembled the car for its photo forgot to add them OR some roads used steel frames and did away with the necessity of the truss rods.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to score a couple of the cupolas for my “stash of stuff.”  That appears to be a lower profile cupola and might not look too bad on some of those war emergency cabooses made from repurposed boxcars.

Oh, the wonderful world of kit-bashing! 🙂




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