Accurate Santa Fe "mid-range" kits list


Has anyone compiled a list of accurate HO Santa Fe freight car models for our steam era that are in what I call the mid-range of quality? I'm interested in older items that may appear on the secondary market as well as currently available ones from manufacturers.

It's well-known that the near-toy manufacturers (Tyco, etc.), bottom range to me, would slap any railroad deco on any car. Those items were generally of such low detail that I won't consider them.

For the resin, or upper-range, cars there is a nice list in the STMFC files named The list is a bit old, but one can generally consider that virtually any resin kit will be faithful (or can be easily modified) to its prototype.


What I am looking for is a guide to the mid-range items, both kit and factory assembled, for Santa Fe. I have access to all of the prototype info that I need but it is laborious to try to compare online images to ferret out reasonably accurate models. For example, the old MDC Roundhouse 40' gondola (a "shake-the-box" kit from 30 or 40 years depicts a car type that Santa Fe didn't have. ATSF had drop bottoms but not the plain ol' 40-footer. MDC decorated it with the reporting marks from the much-longer mill gon.

A famous manufacturer of nice mid-range kits with added details made some beautiful single-sheathed box cars. Unfortunately, the side framing pattern was "M" when it should have been "W."

My interest is in cars that would be in California in 1939 but I could easily ferret those out from an overall steam era list.

Charley Hepperle

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