MDC/Roundhouse Overton coach cars

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jflessne, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    I'm looking for the above coach cars in the Illinois central roadname.

    I see a set on ebay right now but the seller for some silly reason broke up the set into single auctions.

    My question does MDC still exsist? Walthers doesn't seem to list them. I went to Roundhouses web sight and they seem to make the overton coach cars but no Illinois roadname. :(
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Roundhouse was bought out by Horizon about 1 year after they bought Athearn. You won't find them in Walthers because Horizon does their own distribution and as a company policy will not use a "middle man."

    I don't know if the overton cars were ever offered factory painted for the I.C. You might need to custom paint an undecorated set. Teh prototype for the Overton cars were specially constructed for the Sierra Railroad. They were used on the Angels Branch between Jamestown and Angels Camp. They were only 34 feet long because that section of track was so steep and so curvy that nothing longer than 34 feet could negotiate the curves. Passenger power consisted of Shays, because the grades were too steep for rod engines. If memory serves, the distance between Angels Camp and Jamestown as the "crow flies" is 15 miles, as the railroad ran it was 45 miles. It went from a 3500 foot elevation down to almost sea level and back up to 3500 feet with 2 or 3 switchbacks. The schedule from Jamestown to Angels Camp was something like a 6 hour run, I think. This last paragraph is way off topic, but I find the Sierra Railroad history to be fascinating.
  3. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    As Russ said, MDC/Roundhouse was bought out by Horizon Hobbies, along with Athearn. Models of pre-WW2 prototypes are gradually being re-issued under the Roundhouse name, but so far RTR only. Tooling and models have seen some upgrades but no Roundhouse kits have been produced since the take-over. Models of more modern prototypes are being re-issued under the Athearn name. In N, I believe all the re-issues carry the Athearn name.

    Roundhouse produced 4 variations in the Overton line; the Sierra Railway only had 2 - coach and combine(?) or baggage(?). I was told that the reason for the short cars was the length of the switchback tails on the particular route Russ discusses.

    You can obtain cars and repaint them to suit.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Correct Fred. I forgot the curve radui were tight, but the switchback tails were too short for longer equipment. Roundhouse took the 2 exsisting prototype cars, a coach and a combine, and extrapolated their other 2 models as "what if" models. Those 2 prototype cars are still at Jamestown. The Sierra Railroad turned over their Jamestown shops, property surrounding the shops, and obsolete rolling stock to the Ca. State Railroad Museum, the same folks who operate the museum in Sacramento.

    To get back on topic, the only road names I've ever seen from the factory on the Overton cars were Sierra, V&T, & D&RGW.
  5. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Roundhouse also painted the Overtons for John Allen's Gorre & Daphtid model railroad. I think (memory is fading with age so I'm not sure) I have seen some factory painted for SP and UP as well. D&RGW and SP were Roundhouse's favorite prototypes and paint schemes. The Overton set was/is one of Roundhouse's best sellers so there may have been a lot of fanciful paint schemes over the years. I will check my 2004 Walters catalog tonight - I kept the 2004 because it had a reasonably complete listing of Athearn and Roundhouse.

    Russ, thanks for bringing back my memories.
  6. jflessne

    jflessne Member

    Hey guys I don't know if you guys have read my signature. I'm terrible at creating things. I would lump painting things into that catorgery. Good information however. Interesting

    It looks like these IC overton cars are rare hence the $15.00 a pieace they seem to be going for on Ebay. I thought they would be perfect for my tight curves. (On my layout of course.) I have large curves:rolleyes:
  7. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The 2004 Walters catalog lists the following road names for the Overton cars (all were $9.98 each):

    D&RGW (green/black roof) - kit & RTR
    Undecorated - RTR
    Baltimore & Ohio (blue & cream) - RTR
    Central Pacific (green/cream) - RTR
    Colorado & Southern (green/black roof) - RTR
    D&RGW "Silverton" (black/yellow) - RTR
    CB&Q (Hannibal & St Joesph) - RTR
    Illinois Central (dark green/black roof/yellow lettering) - RTR
    Maryland & Pennsylvania - RTR
    New York Central & Hudson River (Pullman green/black roof/gold lettering)
    Northern Pacific (green/silver)
    Oregon RR & Navigation Co/UP
    Pennsylvania (maroon/cream)
    Santa Fe
    Sierra RR (Pullman green/cream)
    Southern Pacific ((yellow/maroon letterboard/black roof/gold & red lettering)
    Union Pacifc (Pullman green, cream)
    Virginia & Truckee (green/yellow)
    White Pass & Yukon

    There were other paint schemes such as Battle Mountain, G&D over the years. And as described earlier, only the Sierra Railway actually had such cars. The rest are, at best, could-have-beens. But they do look sweet on our model railroads! I have both the Roundhouse and Ulrich (all metal) versions.

    Last thought, pick yourself up some throw away cars and experiment with removing lettering and putting new decals on. As you gain proficiency, learn to repaint to suit your desires. It's a skill worth having, and fun to learn! You are no longer dependent upon waiting for the manufacturer to produce in the roadname you want. This is especially true if your chosen prototype never had the car or loco in question. Just don't start with your prize locomotive!

    my thoughts, your choices
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    To add to what Fred suggested about getting some cheap practice cars, train show generally have vendors with "grab boxes" of cheap used freight cars. If there is a local model railroad club, check to see when they will have swap meet. Finally, 2 other sources of cheap practice cars, you can order undecorated bodys for most Athearn or MDC kits. The body only will cost a couple of bucks at most. You can get a cheap airbursh from Harbor Freight for less than $10.00. My local hobby shop carries a line of toy train cars in ho scale for less than $2.00 each. They aren't worth it for me to buy for layout use because by the time I change the trucks and body mount Kaddee couplers I will have spent as much as it would have cost to get an Athearn or Accurail kit to begin with.
    For something to practice painting and decalling on, they are perfect however. The advantage of buying something cheap to practice on is that if you mess it up, who cares? Just wash the paint off with some Pinesol or brake fluid and start over. If you are wanting to practice a passenger scheme, but only have cheap boxcars, practice putting your passenger paint scheme on the boxcars.

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