MTH P3 coach, my impressions

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at
Mon Jul 18 17:43:25 EDT 2011

Greetings all,

Arriving in the mail today much to my glee is an N&W P3 coach, part of MTH's
new Powhatan Arrow set. The rest I hope will be delivered soon.
Now, I am not a detail snob, but I can get picky at times, so though I
didn't measure out the car, the dimensions looked good at first glance. In
comparing the model to the photos and drawings in Dixon's Powhatan Arrow
book I find the model compares very well in terms of fidelity to detail and
paint and lettering. Only having had Walthers and Spectrum cars to compare
this model too, I'd been impressed by the level of detail included, such as
the cut-levers, air, steam and signal lines, plus all the under-frame

The car came standard with a variety of Kadee's #58 coupler, and rather free
rolling metal wheels.
I rather liked the stock lighting, though waiting for the capacitor to
activate on DC might take a bit of time as it says in the instructions.

The interior includes not just molded seats, but also seats in the smoking
lounges and restroom accouterments. but they tried to approximate the style
of seating used with the armrests molded like the originals. The seats and
floor are a dark-brown while the sides are a light greenish-brown (I have a
hard time with some colors so forgive me if that's not accurate).

There are two screw holes for the couplers so one can have the cars closer
coupled if they like.

That had been the good, now here's what I am not so thrilled about:
The interior has the chair surfaces barely above the floor, so anyone
seeking to add figures will need to chop off legs. I did so though I can see
I'll have to do so to the conductor figure as well as he towers well above
the other figures. Some of Preiser's passenger sets do not include the full
legs, so they'd work well.

I don't like that the diaphragms do not compress in, but only swivel, but
even so for those with very wide curves I am imagine they'll look great.

That being said, with the alternatives being scratch-building, car sides and
cores or brass I'd happily take the MTH cars and look forward to the rest of
the series.

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