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Moloco HO scale 50-foot plug door boxcar

Read this review from the November 2015 Model Railroader
Moloco HO scale 50-foot plug door boxcar
Moloco HO scale 50-foot plug door boxcar
Like the prototype the 1981 repaint version of the HO scale Moloco boxcar doesn't have running boards and features rooftop grab irons on the B end.
The Moloco HO scale Santa Fe boxcar features a fully detailed underframe.

Want a little color in your HO scale boxcar fleet? Do you model a time period between the 1960s and 1990s? Then check out these finely detailed HO scale Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. Indian Red Super Shock Control 50-foot cars from Moloco.

The prototype. These plug-door boxcars were built in two classes by the Santa Fe in 1965 at its Topeka shops. The 1966 Official Railway Equipment Register lists 228 class Bx-94 cars and 120 class Bx-97 cars.

These insulated cars were equipped with load dividers to help protect the lading. Super Shock Control was Santa Fe’s name for its cushioned underframe, designed to absorb the impact of heavy couplings and slack action.

The model. Moloco’s 50-foot plug-door boxcar is a gem. From the etched-metal running boards to the complete brake piping and rigging done in wire, there’s nothing left to do but place these cars in service. Well, maybe a little weathering, but otherwise, everything is there.

All ladders and grab irons are separate pieces, as are the latches and locking bars on the 10-foot plug doors. The lower door rails are separately applied as well. Brake hardware is matched to the road number, with Ajax, Ellcon-National, Equipco, Klasing, or Universal types depicted.

One of the sample cars had a loose weight, but I found I could easily pry the roof off with my thumbnail. A couple spots of cyanoacrylate adhesive secured the wayward weight. The car is built up from flat pieces, with separate ends, sides, and floor. The cushion underframe details show well on the all-red 1981repaint scheme.

Speaking of paint, the Indian Red and black on the other two samples was well done, with sharp separations and opaque coverage. The silver-painted roofs have a mottled texture that simulates the look of galvanized steel. The all-red car was also evenly painted. This 1981 repaint had no running board and cut down ladders on the A end, and handgrabs on the roof of the B end.

Lettering is sharp and opaque and matches published photographs. There are some voids where the large Santa Fe herald and Shock Control lettering cross the vertical channels on the sides. All but the smallest lettering is legible under magnification.

The car is about a foot too long over the coupler pulling faces, but this is typical of model couplers, even the scale couplers the Moloco model is equipped with. The couplers were mounted at the correct height, but on one of the cars, the trip pin was too low.

Overall width and height match figures from the Official Railway Equipment Register for 1966.

On the layout. The cars operated well on the Model Railroader club layout, the Milwaukee, Racine & Troy. I had no trouble running through switch ladders and crossovers, either pushing or pulling the Moloco 50-foot boxcars.

These cars carried a variety of loads and could appear across the United States from their construction in
1965 through the end of the Santa Fe Ry. and into the era of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Ry. Anyone modeling the latter half of the 20th century could find a home for these beautifully detailed cars.

Price: $49.99; $45, undecorated kit

193 Lakewood Drive,
Oakville ON, L6K1B3

Road names: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, class Bx-94 (5 roadnumbers), and class Bx-97 (10 roadnumbers)

Era: 1965 to late-1990s, depending on paint scheme

▪▪Cars offered with and without running boards to match era-specific schemes
▪▪Car-number-specific handbrakes, Ajax, Ellcon-National, Equipco, Klasing, or Universal
▪▪Etched-metal running boards, cross-over and brake platforms, and cut-levers
▪▪Metal wheels and axles, in gauge
▪▪Kadee scale whisker couplers, at correct height
▪▪Weight: 4.5 ounces, matches National Model Railroad Association RP-20.1

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