Denny Anspach <danspach@...>
The model car bodies are generally considered to be quite accurately-rendered, while many of the applied details are not up to standard, or those separate are rudimentary (underbody). Although I can generally be tolerant of molded-on details when they are sharply-formed, the molded grab irons on this model do not meet this standard, and do require replacing, as do the end running board grabs. The brake step requires serious thinning. Excellent fodder for detailing, and none of it is out of the range of usual modeling skills.
The pad printing on the Fifth Avenue cars is better (done by Digital Fox, who also does Accurail's work), and the re-weigh markings are that of specific cars that John Greedy has identified.
The trucks supplied will depend upon whether the model is supplied directly by Ribside, or whether it is the version supplied by Fifth Avenue Car Shops (Jim Singer). Jim also supplies the excellent Accurail AAR "Bettendorf" trucks. However, for the picky, the only closely-accurate truck would be the Branchline Barber S-2s (also-excellent).
As I have mentioned before, the premium Kadee PS-1 metal running boards are an absolute dead-on drop -dead fit (just clip off first all the locating pins!).
All in all, the ribside models can provide pretty solid bases for some pretty fine modeling for those so inclined. Mine seem right at home mixed in with the Sunshine version of the same cars.
A lot of fun.
Denny S. Anspach, MD