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Thread: Athearn 20k Tank Car

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    Default Athearn 20k Tank Car

    Has anybody else purchased the latest 20k tank car from Athearn?

    I picked up a 3 pack and was excited to get them as building a tank car fleet for my late 70s based layout has not received the attention it should.

    Once I opened a pack I was quickly thrown....... Thrown back to 1980 and early N scale rolling stock.


    The cars did not have hand rails on the end, but in the pic you can see they put the mounting point on the car ends. Next thing I noticed is a faint seem line going right down the top of the car, and finally the chunky ladder.

    Did I miss something on these cars? I have purchased other Athearn N scale rolling stock and have been happy with the results.


    Modeling Steel in N scale

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessemer Bob View Post
    Has anybody else purchased the latest 20k tank car from Athearn?

    I picked up a 3 pack and was excited to get them as building a tank car fleet for my late 70s based layout has not received the attention it should.

    Once I opened a pack I was quickly thrown....... Thrown back to 1980 and early N scale rolling stock.


    The cars did not have hand rails on the end, but in the pic you can see they put the mounting point on the car ends. Next thing I noticed is a faint seem line going right down the top of the car, and finally the chunky ladder.

    Did I miss something on these cars? I have purchased other Athearn N scale rolling stock and have been happy with the results.


    https://www.nscale.net/forums/attach...4&d=1603154032

    Eeek, yikes. Looks like old Roundhouse tooling. Does it have body-mounted or truck mounted couplers?

    Metro Red Ln (Metro Red Line)
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    Quote Originally Posted by donzi View Post
    You are right about that, did not notice that when ordering. Granted I never have looked for that in the past. Atlas tank cars that I have purchased over 15yrs ago came with end rails and thin ladders.

    Just goes to show, you should never assume. Even in 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroRedLn View Post
    Eeek, yikes. Looks like old Roundhouse tooling. Does it have body-mounted or truck mounted couplers?
    Oddly enough, yes. Also metal wheels.
    Modeling Steel in N scale

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    This is Athearn’s most disappointing car. They are pumping out Roundhouse cars with zero detail while they have the best tank cars on the market at the same time (the 33k cars). On the previous run they announced the body mount couplers but didn’t deliver them. I emailed them and they thanked me for letting them know. They retracted the ad and replaced it with one that didn’t say body mount. Fat lot of good that did those of us that preordered based on the ad.
    Karl

    CEO of the WC White Pine Subdivision, an Upper Peninsula branch line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    This is Athearn’s most disappointing car. They are pumping out Roundhouse cars with zero detail while they have the best tank cars on the market at the same time (the 33k cars). On the previous run they announced the body mount couplers but didn’t deliver them. I emailed them and they thanked me for letting them know. They retracted the ad and replaced it with one that didn’t say body mount. Fat lot of good that did those of us that preordered based on the ad.
    They should have kept the Roundhouse name as a subsidiary brand, "Roundhouse by Athearn" and used that for the low-detail, entry-level, budget line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    This is Athearn’s most disappointing car. They are pumping out Roundhouse cars with zero detail while they have the best tank cars on the market at the same time (the 33k cars). On the previous run they announced the body mount couplers but didn’t deliver them. I emailed them and they thanked me for letting them know. They retracted the ad and replaced it with one that didn’t say body mount. Fat lot of good that did those of us that preordered based on the ad.
    Athearn . . . good grief. Like @MetroRedLn said, it's the old Roundhouse tooling from the early 1990s (or earlier?).

    Not improved with age at all, although I did have a nostalgic moment for the Gin Blossoms. ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Athearn . . . good grief. Like @MetroRedLn said, it's the old Roundhouse tooling from the early 1990s (or earlier?).

    Not improved with age at all, although I did have a nostalgic moment for the Gin Blossoms. ...
    Roundhouse was smart and released these cars as a kit. Athearn might as well do that. I upgraded many of the ones I had with GMM detail kits. That helped significantly.
    Karl

    CEO of the WC White Pine Subdivision, an Upper Peninsula branch line.

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    Many of the Roundhouse cars have fared well with the Athearn upgrades, especially the 50-foot gondola. I have a few examples in Chicago & North Western and Detroit, Toledo & Ironton that look great, simply by moving to multi-color pad printing and upgrading the trucks and couplers.

    I was at first disappointed in the transition from Roundhouse to Athearn, based purely on price, until I saw the new runs in person. (That's not to say, however, that it applies to everything they've produced, as we see above here.) If you want to talk lack of value for your dollar, we can discuss what happened to the Walthers freight car tooling...

    That said, as the hobby evolves, "manufacturers" (on the U.S. side) are paying for the production slot the same way they are for labor and materials, so the "value" offerings just won't be there like in the past.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jpwisc View Post
    Roundhouse was smart and released these cars as a kit. Athearn might as well do that. I upgraded many of the ones I had with GMM detail kits. That helped significantly.
    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-nU1RpZXEG...0/DSCN1518.JPG

    That turned out very well!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetroRedLn View Post
    They should have kept the Roundhouse name as a subsidiary brand, "Roundhouse by Athearn" and used that for the low-detail, entry-level, budget line.

    I agree 100%. Nothing wrong with different levels of detail offered. Just make sure its known. I still buy Trainman products from Atlas, but they are even more detailed then this!?!?!?!
    Last edited by Bessemer Bob; 20th Oct 2020 at 08:04 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bessemer Bob View Post
    I agree 100%. Nothing wrong with different levels of detail offered. Just make sure its known. I still buy Trainman products from Atlas, but the are even more detailed then this!?!?!?!

    Atlas is a good example of those sub brands, though they should have used BLMA as Atlas' top-of-the-line sub-brand ("Best Looking Models by Atlas").

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