SwapMeet Challenge

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I purchased an HO steam engine kit at a swap meet that came through town.
It was only $5.00 and figured it would make for a good winter project.

However, there is a good reason that its only $5.00... there's no instructions!

I will try to provide pictures later. For now, I will do my best to describe what I have and see if any of you recognize this kit and could point me to some directions/instructions:

1) It came in an Athearn box and the box has no identification marks or numbers. (However, I do not even know if the kit is Athearn. The box may just have been "The Right Size" to sell the kit in at the swap meet).

2) It is a Shay style steamer with 3 geared trucks (Each truck has 4 wheels) and one non geared truck.
Each truck is powered by a drive shaft from the motor. These drive shafts connect to each other allowing the power to transfer from truck to truck.

3) The body of the steam engine was originally a rust colored red that some previous owner has painted dark green.

4) All the plastic kit parts are molded in black.

Sorry about being so vague, I'll get some pics uploaded shortly.
Yep. Im working on the pics now. The cameras batteries are charging.

My biggest hurtle will be finding the instructions/directions on how to build it... if nothing else, at least a photo of what the final product is suppose to look like.

Thanks, I'll get the pics up soon.

Ok, got the camera working and took a couple of shots of what I was describing:

Id appreciate any help, ideas, or direction you all can provide.

I have no clue why there is an unpowered truck in there. It probably doesn't belong to the kit. However, the model looks to be an unassembled three truck shay from MDC. You should be able to get instructions for it if you get in contact with MDC. My advice is find a good local hobbyshop, tell them what you have, and ask if they can get you instructions. They'll probably send them to you for little or no cost, but it might not be fast.


I will second ABC and say that it it a Shay. THere is a great bok out that tells you how to put those locomtives together and get it to work the first time. I would search walthers website under books for it. I highly recommened anyone who is going to build one of those locos to make the investment.

Be Wise Beware Be Safe
"Mountain Goat" Greg
Spent some time taking a better look at what I have.

Looks like Im missing the frame. There does not appear to be any way to connect everything together (Hince the missing frame).
Perhaps, thats why it was only $5.00 !

MDC = Model Die Casting, the manufacturer.

Your best bet is to find a hobby shop carrying MDC products and ask them. MDC was recently purchased and combined with Athearn, so writing them directly may not be the best route right now.

So in short, call a local hobby shop and explain what you need. Or, even better, go in with your kit box and tell them you want to get the parts to finish it. A *good* store will be more than willing to find out what parts you need and get you them as well as the instructions.

If you cannot find a decent shop in your area willing to help, I am sure someone here can recommend a store that would be willing to.


I'd recommend the Shay Handbook. Although I have no idea who wrote it, I'll bet someone here does. It's an indinspensible tool for building one of these locomotives, and I'll be picking one up if I ever get to putting my 3 and 2 truck models together.

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