Don Valentine wrote:
"I'm sure some will disagree vehemently but I will take the Ertl cars over this junk any day of the week. Hopefully what Walthers is depicting are only pre-production samples. If not, as stated, the Ertl cars are quite satisfactory and can be improved with little effort."
There's a nice USRA DS boxcar model hiding in that Ertl box. The major faults (which can be easily fixed) are as follows:
- Most of the paint and lettering schemes are bogus or poorly executed, the result of following a fantasy Mainline Modeler lettering summary.
- The weathering is overstated and too consistent from model to model.
- The model comes with cast steel trucks and should be replaced with Andrews trucks.
- The models come without additional weight to allow the addition of loads that were marketed separately.
- The styrene grabs are a bit heavy, but are easily replaced with wire grabs.
These are still fairly common on the secondary market. The original MSRP was ridiculously high, but many freight car models were sold at very reasonable prices as Ertl departed the HO market. I picked up a bunch when The Great Train Store chain went out of business.
Ertl did not make a USRA SS boxcar or rebuilt boxcar.