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Hi All,

My LHS had a carboard box with several of these in it priced at 7.99. It looks like they were "used", as they were already assembled.

I bought 6 of them. Does anyone know who makes them?

Also, my friends and I have always called these couplers "McCrappies". Is that a bad rap? Perhaps they don't work well with Kadees, and a layout with couplers that are all the same would work fine. I use magnets for uncoupling, and my plan is to upgrade these cars with Kadees, which is my usual standard.





BN Modeller
We'd need to see the bottoms for some clues. Is the gon metal or plastic?
Good find for that price!
The plastic couplers are fine for short trains but not too much for longer pulls.

Charles Smiley

I think it's a Model Die Casting (MDC) kit. I bought a bunch in the 1980s and carved off all the details and replaced them. It likely has a cast metal underframe.



Well-Known Member
Staff member
McHenry couplers are Athearn's stock fitting. The box car looks to be one of theirs.

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Also, my friends and I have always called these couplers "McCrappies". Is that a bad rap?
No and Yes, It depends. One problem with the McHenry is they are plastic. Plastic can stretch, warp, and bend. On long trains where the cars are weighted to NMRA standards or heavier the knuckles on the McHenery's in the front of the train can bend right open, or just break off from the stress. Where train lengths are only a few cars this will probably never be an issue.
The other issue is the magnetic trip pin. Since it is just pressed into the plastic knuckle it can become loose. It just pivots around and the automatic uncoupling over a magnet function ceases to work.
Last edited by a moderator:
Hi All,

Thanks Iron Horse. Here is one more. It has a lot of detail added on. Another Athrean?

Unfortunately, I can get too rough when weathering, and before I new it, I had knocked off all four stirrups and the brake wheel on this one. The stirrups I can replace easily enough, but I've been all through my parts boxes and cannot locate an extra brake wheel.



Here is one of the gons I did. Sorry about the grainy shots, I am experimenting with an LED trouble light for photos, I don't like the results. Too washed out.


Charles Smiley

One thing about the MDC gons... The ones I bought had no molded detail inside the walls. No rivets or seams. Just a complete blank. So all mine have loads. Do your MDC gons have inside detail? Did they ever improve on that?

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