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First Look Review
N scale
Thrall 4750 Covered Hopper
Trainman Thrall 4750 Covered Hopper, Scoular 45275
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by: Frederick Boucher [ JPTRR ]

Originally published on:
RailRoad Modeling

Thrall 4750 Covered Hopper
Roadname & No.: Scoular 45275
Series: Trainman
Item: 50 001 136

This N scale Thrall covered hopper is in the Atlas Trainman series. Trainman are Atlas’ basic ready-to-run models yet are factory equipped with knuckle couplers and feature excellent paint and printing.

Thrall Covered Hoppers
Covered hoppers are the most common freight car in the United States today. They carry light bulky commodities like carbon black, cement, flour, grain, plastic pellets, sugar, and a host of loads sensitive to moisture. Experimental covered hoppers came out in the 1930s and have been perfected into larger cars capable of heavier loads. Several loading and unloading methods are used depending on the cargo.

This covered hopper model is based on a late 1970s 263,000 lbs GRL (Gross Rail Loading) 4750 cubic-foot capacity designed by Thrall Car primarily for grain transport.

Thrall Car Manufacturing Company was established around 1917 and build several types of freight cars. Their rotary gons held a significant market share in the 1970s. In 2001 they merged with rival Trinity Rail Group, Inc.

Knocking around
Atlas lists dozens in their catalogue. Atlas packs these models in hard plastic lid-tray jewel cases designed for protection, presentation and stacking. Inside is the rail car securely held in a form-fitted cradle, protected from scuffing by a soft plastic sheet. Atlas included no parts diagram or other documentation.

This ready-to-run model is of a 263,000 lbs GRL (Gross Rail Loading) 4750 cubic-foot capacity Thrall Car three-bay 15-panel design. For those of us who are technical types, this car is:
AAR Rolling Stock Type: C113
AAR Class: LO

The body design and construction characteristics are high-hip, low-arch roof, exterior-post, vertical trapezoid bolster/jack pad face, stepped side sill, and welded corner posts.

    • Weighted body
    • Equipped with AccuMate® Knuckle Couplers
    • Accurate painting and lettering

Molding is to a high standard with no flash, visible ejector marks, sink spots, or burrs from removing pieces from their sprue. Raised and recessed detail is sharp. It appears Atlas molded the body as a single piece. The roof hatches are molded to the top while the plastic running boards are separately applied. Stirrups, ladders, grabs and stiffeners are molded. The model rides on a pair of plastic trucks holding brown colored plastic wheels. Atlas equips the model with body-mounted AccuMate® knuckle couplers. Underneath are the three separately molded outlet gates. Vibrator brackets are represented on each outlet bay.

Good surface detailing. Grab irons and ladder rungs are overscale - common in N scale. Separately applied items are the hand brake wheel.

The visible air brake system is molded-on yet respectable. Atlas Trainman is a compromise between detail and economy. Basic AB brake components represented are:
• AAR Standard brake wheel and chain pulley block
• Lever slack adjusters and lever rods
• Retaining valve
• Reservoir
• Cylinder
• Cut-out valve panel

Molded hangers over molded slack adjusters are present.

Paint, Livery and Printing
Finish of this model is excellent. The paint is smooth and opaque. You can easily read the car was built in August 1978; that 2-inch HF comp shoes equip the brakes, and the warning to open the hatches before unloading the compartments. Amazing!

This sixth edition of the Thrall 4750 hopper includes four new paint schemes along with an undecorated model:
    1. First Union Rail (Full Repaint)
    2. Illinois Grain
    3. Scoular
    4. SSAM
    5. Undecorated

All are available with four different road numbers.
A nice starter RTR covered hopper. These have been very popular for Atlas and I can see why. Sharp molding, AccuMate couplers and great finish and stenciling. The brown wheels look better to me than blackened metal wheels. Grab irons and ladder rungs are overscale - typical for N scale. Overall Atlas has made a nice model of a ubiquitous modern freight car in N for a good price. Recommended.

Please remember to tell vendors and retailers that you saw their products highlighted here - on RailRoadModeling.
Wilson, Jeff. The Model Railroader’s Guide To Freight cars. Waukesha: Kalmbach Publishing Co., 2005. ISBN: 0-89024-585-1
Highs: Sharp molding, AccuMate couplers and great finish and stenciling. The brown wheels look better to me than blackened metal wheels. Incredible printing.
Lows: Grab irons and ladder rungs are overscale.
Verdict: A nice starter RTR covered hopper.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: N Scale
  Mfg. ID: 50 001 136
  Suggested Retail: $17.95
  Related Link: Atlas HO Trainman® Thrall 4750 Hopper Car
  PUBLISHED: Sep 13, 2013
  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.


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