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First Look Review
N scale
Russel Snow Plow
Russel Snow Plow NYC
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

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Atlas offers this N scale Russell Snow Plow which, decorated as New York Central X-623, is catalogued as item 50 004 533. This model is part of the initial release of this new model subject; a second release is pending with new paint schemes.

The Model
What is cooler than the bow of an ancient Athenian Trireme charging ahead of a noble locomotive to splay a fearsome snowbank? Atlas' model catches the rugged curves of the Russell plow.

I don't know anything about these MoW cars except from diagrams. Apparently, Russell made them in different sizes. This model looks most like a "Size #2." A link to a Northern Pacific company MoW schematic can be found at Click here for additional images for this review, below.

This model is almost pure plastic - the only piece of metal on it are the coupler "hoses." Fortunately, molding is top-notch with crisp detail, no flash, no seam lines, no sink marks, nor visible ejector marks. Window plastic is clear. All detail is raised, which makes sense as the cars were assembled with round rivets, except four access hatches to grease the front truck are also raised. I don't know if these were recessed into the prototype but if they were not, then they should protrude outward, as they do on this model.

Plastic wheel sets and trucks are held to the frame with plastic pegs. The coupler is a talgo-type.

Rivet detail is molded to the body. Raised detail simulates everything. The hand grabs are molded on, too.

These plows had extendable wings to shove snow farther away from the track. They are glued to the body and do not extend.

It appears that only the roof walks and the smoke stack are individually attached.

The underside has basic structure and air brake detail, which makes sense because, except for the flanger, you can't see any of it unless it derails and turns over.

Scaling and Weight
A Russel Snow Plow Size No. 2 was 41 feet from the tip of the plow to the rear sill, and 43 feet and four inches to the pull face of the rear coupler. This model measures 43 feet - very close. That size should weight 0.9725 ounces per NMRA RP-20.1 Car Weight. The model weighs 0.7, which is 30% too light.

The plastic wheels roll well.

Paint and Lettering
Atlas put the same high-quality finish on this model as I have found on all of their models. The paint is opaque but does not obscure detail. Printing is sharp and legible, even though I need magnification to read it.

There are eight road names in this release:
    Boston and Maine (Blue/Black/White
    Chessie (C&O)* (Yellow/Blue)
    Conrail (Yellow/Black)
    Canadian National (Red/White)
    New York Central* (Brown/Black)
    Chicago & Northwestern (Yellow/Black)
    Great Northern (Blue/White)
    Rio Grande (Orange/Black)
Coming soon are eight more. These new schemes are listed as:
    Ann Arbor (Red/White)
    Bangor & Aroostook (Orange/Black)
    Burlington Northern (Brown/White)
    Erie Lackawanna (Brown/White)
    Maine Central (Green/Gold "Pine Tree Route")
    Penn Central (Yellow/Black)
    Soo Line (Brown/Yellow/White)
    Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo (Maroon/Black/Yellow)

Snow warning for your layout? You need one of these. It features good molding and excellent printing. Some detail is simplified and yet because you can't see it, I do not consider it a drawback.

Dimensionally, the model is very accurate, although if you follow NMRA RP20.1, it is significantly too light.

This is an attention grabbing model. Recommended.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on RAILROAD MODELING.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Good molding and excellent printing. Dimensionally, the model is very accurate.
Lows: Some detail is simplified and yet because you can't see it, it really is not a drawback for me. If you follow NMRA RP20.1, it is significantly too light.
Verdict: Snow warning for your layout? You need one of these. It is an attention grabbing model.
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 004 533
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 18, 2019
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Atlas Model Railroad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR)

I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art. My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling! My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...

Copyright 2021 text by Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


That is just plain cool. Thanks, Randy
NOV 21, 2019 - 03:16 PM

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