Sunday, April 29, 2012

Model Die Casting (Roundhouse)

   Does anyone miss the MDC/Roundhouse company as I do?

No, I don't mean the Roundhouse company that is now owned by Athearn, but the old company before it was sold? I have heard the arguments about the quality and inferior details compared to what we have today, but I really miss the fun 3-n-1 kits they used to put out. I recall as a younger lad leafing thorough Model Railroader and RMC and seeing those neat ads. It could be the "Battle Mountain Old Timer" series, or the "Snow Fighting Series".

Many images here below to HOSEEKER and his website, a visit for some great historical catalogs and  diagrams.






     Maybe I'm just behind the times, but I enjoyed the western theme (true or not) of these models. Having grown up out west, that's what I love. It just seems that these days, a lot of modelers are going modern, with modern diesels and unit trains or intemodel. I find that boring as hell in a lot of cases. I have always liked the transition era, for all of the reasons we have heard before. But this era had personality that doesn't exist on today's Class A railroad.
             John Olsen's Muleshoe Meadows


   The Jerome & Southwestern and Mescal Lines;



 and Malcolm Furlow's San Juan Central. 



   The original MDC/Roundhouse company, they are long gone but you can still pick up a lot of kits on Ebay (thats where I acquired mine). For those of you who may be like me, and would like to take a trip down memory lane by viewing some of these old kit instructions, follow the links below.





and

19 comments:

  1. I still miss Roundhouse. They were my favorite modelrailroading company. They oldtime stuff was inspiring. Roundhouse was all about kitbashing inexpensively. I remember what a great adventure it was to built the rotary snowplow kit as a teenager. I feel still bad today when I think I didn't buy the boxcab kit at my local hobby shop back in 2000 just because the owner discouraged me from doing so. What a shame!

    Thanks for the nostalgia.

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  2. Rundhuse was great for kitbashingI built a juice-jack,weed sprayer train,and some other w/the 3in1 kits,and other material.Too bad they were taken overTheir kits filled a gap.They will be missed.

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  3. I've just bought an MDC B-2 Shay kit. I realize that building it won't be easy, based on everything I've read. My objective is to create a working model of the Manitou Ltd. #1 42-ton Shay that was used on N Manitou Island in Michigan by Smith & Hull Lumber Co. from 1909 to 1915, for the Leelanau Historical Society museum. That engine was Lima CN 2243, shown at http://www.shaylocomotives.com/data/dataframe.htm. I'm pretty much a novice, main assets are time, patience, and willingness to seek advice. I gather that a good place to start is to get a copy of Richard Appel's book. Beyond that I'm seeking guidance from one and all -- David Higley

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    1. David
      Please check my chapter here concerning the MDC 2 truck build, and also the links on that page.
      http://gearedsteam.blogspot.com/2009/10/new-mdc-shay.html

      Its not really too bad, take your time, clean the flach off of the parts, and invest in the NWSL gear upgrades, they are worth it.

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    2. Thanks, Dean; I think I'll find that quite useful. A few questions: You mentioned NWSL gear upgrades, but what about a can motor to replace the open frame motor that comes with the kit? Do you recommend that? Is Richard Appel's book useful in your opinion? I gather the real MDC Shay bible is Jeff Johnston's manual, which is available from Amazon and second-hand book dealers for a mere $150 or so. Turns out, though, that there are copies in a few libraries around the country, and I think I'll be able to borrow one via Interlibrary Loan! - David

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    3. Hi David
      Your are welcome! What I have experienced, and I was told this as well, is the open motor provided by MDC is a very good motor, the two truck shay I have has one and after doing all of the upgrades , it ran great, so I chose not to leave it alone. The only downfall is they are quite noisy :). I'm am unfamiliar with Richard Appels book, and yes, although I have never had a chance to ever read Jeffs book, it is known as the MDC "bible". Too bad it has not been reprinted.
      If you can get a loaner from your library that would be great!

      Are you familar with the MDC Yahoo group? A lot of good information as well as seasoned modelers there to help as well (I'm a member)Check them out at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mdcroundhouse/

      Also please check out "Garrettfans" build at:
      http://www.modelrailroading.nl/ProjectShay2/Shay2Index.html

      He does a beautiful build of a 3 truck MDC shay, great pictures and detail.

      Do you have a blog or website by any chance? If you wish you can contact me via email at dkershner"at"yahoo.com :)

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    4. My site has been reorganised. You can find this page here:
      http://www.modelrailroading.nl/Projects/Shay01/index.html

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  4. Dean, I sent you a couple of emails a while back; did you receive? Junk-mail filters are sometimes overzealous - David

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  6. I built many MDC Roundhouse kits over the years. Their parts were available one or a 100 pieces, what and when you wanted. now you can't find diddle. Does anyone have an old timer cylinder block for the 2-8-0 or 0-6-0 switcher? Thanks, Mike bluffcreektrains@wccta.net

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    1. Mike
      You may want to try over at the MDC/Roundhouse Yahoo group.

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  7. I miss the MDC/Roundhouse 40' reefers.

    Long live Malcolm Furlow!

    Jaime

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  8. Does any one have instructions for kit 370 a 3 truck shay? I bought a kit at ashow which appears to have all the parts less instructions. Thank!

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    1. Yes sir, go to this website link

      http://hoseeker.net/mdcinstructions.html

      Right column, 3rd choice down is the "Kit 370 Truck Shay instructions, you will have to open and save 1 page at a time.

      Hope this helps.

      Dean

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  9. Built lots of the MDC Old Timer kits back in the late 80s - Union Pacific locomotive and a special set of boxcars. Have those all boxed up waiting for a layout. Also have an unbuilt Galloping Goose and a V&T locomotive. About ten years ago I went on a buying spree on eBay and got three sets of the Old Timer Passenger car sets... or maybe it was four? Also bought all the Battle Mountain kits I could find because the art work is so darn good. I must have around 30 unbuilt MDC kits. I too really miss MDC.

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  10. Hi Gordon

    Thanks for the note, I enjoyed reading the part about a buying spree on Ebay picking up the 3 in 1 kits and Battle Mountain series.

    I recently picked up the static display Hon3 Moose Jaw lumber company engine on Ebay, and the hard to find steam shovel. Like you I very much enjoy the artwork and the kits, they are fun to build.

    Thank you for your comments.

    Dean

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  12. Came across this page while looking for info on building the MDC 2 truck Shay. I purchased two cheap off EBay, one kit and one RTR (though it doesn't). Got a budget and these two locomotives fit the bill. I understand these are challenging to get running right so I'm digging up everything I can. I have to laugh because a lot of people suggest the book written specifically for these models, but I'm not paying $60-$70 for a paperback. I payed less than that for the two Shay's.
    Enjoyed looking at the site. I own a fleet of the short MDC ore cars. Wanted some ever since I first saw the cars used on John Allens's layout. His Mogul built from an MDC 0-6-0 was one of the things that got me hooked on this hobby.
    I agree with you about modern railroading. While I realize the diesels of today are light years superior to earlier locomotives I find them boring. It's like modern cars. Yes they are way better in design and some have astounding HP numbers for a mass production vehicle. I would still rather spend the same amount of money on the cars I've always wanted since I was a kid. Trouble would be deciding which one.
    I too like the transition period. Yet what I found I really like are the layouts I remember from model magazines I read when I was nine. So I tossed aside all the effort it takes to model a real railroad faithfully. I went back to the stuff that was fun when I was a kid. Now I'm retired and in my sixties and those things are still fun today.
    Regards,
    Frank Musick

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    1. Frank
      Thank you for the post! Yes, those MDC's can be difficult, but with patience, I have seen the operate quietly and smoothly. I need to get back working on mine, but was lured away with sound decoders, sugar cube speakers, led's :)

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