login   |    register

First Look Review
Mack B Dump Truck
Southern Railway Mack B Dump Truck
  • move

by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

HO RTR Southern Railway Mack B Dump Truck
Item : 90304
Scale: HO

Mack trucks are synonymous with heavy duty trucks, the iconic Mack bulldog adorning the hood.

The Mack B Model was a heavy truck produced by Mack Trucks between 1953 and 1966. It is perhaps the best known classic Mack truck and many still survive to this day in both restored and unrestored conditions. Some owners still use them daily for both business and leisure. They were available as fire trucks, school buses and in a variety of truck configurations. The B model was replaced by the R Model. [1]

Mack B trucks were powered with Mack Thermodyne 707(11.6L) inline 6 or 255hp V8 engines transmitting power through a choice of Mack's duplex (5x2), triplex (5x3) or quadruplex (5x4) manual transmissions.

HO RTR Mack B Dump Truck, Southern Railway
The Mack 'B' was first produced in 1949 and remained in production until 1966 when it was replaced by the Model 'R'. Both series of trucks enjoyed a long service life with many of the 'R' models still in service today. During their long lives both types of Mack trucks were converted for a number of tasks including two and three axle tractors, tow trucks and construction trucks. [2]

Over 170 Mack trucks by Athearn are available in over 20 company names, including a cement truck, tow truck, and tractor.

Key Features

    • Mack licensed model
    • Factory assembled with all detail parts applied
    • Razor sharp painting and printing
    • Clear molded windows
    • Vinyl tires

Athearn packs this model in a two-piece bubble held between a sturdy card backing/label. All of the parts are sharply molded and I cannot find any flaws—no flash, visible ejector marks or seam lines. The chassis is molded in black and features the heavy frame, fuel tanks, air brake reservoir, the underside of the engine and transmission, drive shafts, axles, journals, and suspension. Ten "rubber" vinyl tires with good tread detail fit around detailed hubs.

The cab is features fine recessed lines for panels and doors, and some appropriate raised features. Headlights are simulated with clear lenses and brake lights with tinted clear lenses. Solid painted orange running lights top the brow of the cab and applied signal lights stand upon the front fenders. Twin air horns top the cab roof and separately applied side view mirrors jut out from the side windows. All of the windows are undistorted clear styrene which affords a good view of the cab interior. A big silver exhaust stack with a simulated perforated muffler and shield finish the cab.

The big dump body features raised framing on the exterior without any detail inside, of course. The sides are quite thick and although out of scale, it affords you enough material to stress and dent the interior without fear of punching through. The dump door is of the same molding and opens. The dump pan features the door release lever on the driver’s side. Naturally, the dump body raises, although the actuator and cylinder are enormously whopping over scale.

First, the Mack bulldog hood ornament is mounted right on the top of the radiator, very fine in scale. Inside the visible cab is a bench seat and a big steering wheel, all molded in beige.

Exterior details include separate windshield wipers.

Curiously, no spare tire is mounted anywhere.

Paint and Lettering
Smooth paint covers the model without obscuring detail. While the Southern Ry. herald and Southern Railway on the doors is sharply printed, the gold paint is dark and hard to see. However, the Mack logo along the side of the hood looks great!

I have no information that Southern Railway ever painted their work trucks in Sylvan Green. Regardless, it is a good looking model.

Off the Lot
This good looking HO model makes a nice addition for your late steam / early diesel era layout. The sharp molding, lenses for lights, separately applied parts, soft tires, good detail and paint are very impressive. An over-sized dump cylinder and lack of contrast between the green and lettering for Southern Railway are disappointing. Overall, this makes a fine model of a heavy duty dump truck.

Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here – on RailRoadModeling.

[1] Wikipedia. Mack B series. 28 December 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mack_B_Model.
[2] HO RTR Mack B Dump Truck, SOU. Athearn Trains. 2011.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Vinyl tires, detailed chassis, cab interior.
Lows: Gold Southern Railway printing is hard to see.
Verdict: A fun, quality model of the Mack B for your layout or diorama.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:87
  Mfg. ID: ATH90304
  Suggested Retail: $24.98
  Related Link: Mack Truck Series
  PUBLISHED: Jan 10, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States

Our Thanks to Athearn!
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.

View This Item  |  View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

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.


What's Your Opinion?

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move