Trainz Planz

Reviews of new models for Australian market

January 2008 has turned out to be an expensive month for Victorian model railroaders.

Almost at the same time, Auscision and Austrains released models that had been long awaited.

The postman could not fit the Auscision box in my roadside box, but as he was interested in my model railway too, he drove down to the house to hand deliver the parcel.

20 foot Hi-Cube Containers Twin Pack


Con-1 PATRICK   Con-2 GESEACO NATIONAL (hatch)   Con-3 TDG DISTRIBUTION  Con-4 PATRICK (with hatch)  


Auscision had sent 40 x 20 foot mixed containers as ordered and two packs of State Rail L7 RQIW 45 foot container wagons in NSW red.

Thank god first impressions can be quickly overturned! Yes I paid $25 a twin pack for the containers and I received 20 packs!

Recently I had received 20 x 20 foot Walthers mixed containers for $100 and so I felt a little sick at the price charged for Aussie containers that really only looked like the Walthers ones I picked up from Canberra.

How wrong could I be!  The first thing I noticed was the container door locks were all separately applied. This one feature makes them stand out from the others. The next thing I noticed was their height. These containers are 9 foot 6 inches high and they are impressive.

One of my main problems with trying to model a particular train, has not been the logos, but the heights of the containers. Prototype trains present a many varied load of containers and each one seems to sit different to the one beside. I can now present a similar profile with my model container train.

The castings are clean and each model appears to strictly copy the prototype, in other words they are definitely not just near enough repaints.

The containers are extremely well decorated and the smallest reporting marks are able to be read, although you will need a magnifying glass to do so!  The Auscision HiCube Containers are of the highest quality, worth the price and deserve a 10 out of 10.



The SEACO seacoll container is from Auscision pack Con-5

The CAST container is from Walthers 933-1762.

The containers share exact length and width, however the Seacoll container is higher. You can easily see that the door lock detail on the Auscision container makes it a spectacular model. I gently filed off the male lugs on the Walthers container and drilled out the container to fit on the RQIW. My drill size was small, but it is an easy modification.

No modern train should be running without these easily recognized containers. They appear slightly faded and are also 9foot 6inches tall. The only fault I have found with them, is the containers do not sit down snugly on the flat top twist locks. I believe it to be a combination of paint thickness on both the RQIW and the container. I did not have the correct size drill, but I will slightly open up the holes and they should fit ok.

The APL container (Walthers 933-1763) has had its locating pegs removed and new holes drilled to help it sit on the RQIW. However I did not have the right drill size, and will probably make up a template to more easily locate the holes in the future.

It is still a good picture showing the height difference, and the realistic variation found on prototype trains..

NQIW 45’ Container Wagon  State Rail L& 5 car pack NQIW-1      AM 10025

Straight out of box! Very nice looking wagon. It looks absolutely right!  However I will have to dull down the white plastic bits when I weather it. All reporting marks are there and clear enough to read. Bogies are beaut and the wheels LOOK great..but…..

There is a lot if discussion on Aus_Model_Rail forums (here)

Hi All

I'm surprised there has been no comment yet on the new Auscision 45' container
flats. Is everyone in the same two minds as me?
First I am delighted with the way they look and run, even when empty; there is
nowhere to hide any weight so the body is mostly cast metal.
But I am very disappointed with the tacked-on plastic steps. A few of mine were bent or broken when they arrived, and promptly broke off when attempts were made to straighten them. I also broke a couple {also the air hoses and brake wheels) while fitting couplers. The steps etc don't seem to be polyethylene or acetal or something durable; more like polystyrene. Has anyone given any thought to aftermarket, wire replacements yet? I thought "unplug them, drill some holes, plug in wire ones". Wrong; they are super-glued on, hard to clean up. I'll try anyway as they are very prominent and obvious when broken off. The brake wheels are easy to glue back on after drilling a 1 mm hole.
The supplied plastic couplers are not serviceable as they hang low enough for their hooks to catch in track. I used my usual trick of bending up the shanks of Kadee #5 couplers but they had to come up 2 or 3 mm. Probably a better bet would be Kadee #47 under-set-shank couplers to raise the height; use the metal-shank ones so they can still be bent up if necessary.
The Patrick containers are a delight, even to the slightly faded red colour
I'll try to afford some more.

Alan Mac

Although none of the plastic details have fallen off my models they are very bright some twisted or out of shape and I am not game to try and straighten them out.


Railpage has more to say here


I observed a long rake of these wagons at the AMRA NSW branch. The first set of Peco code 100 points they came across they derailed. The problem was every trip pin on the plastic couplings was too low. As for the steam roller wheels, yes you don't get wheel drop in the coarse scale RTR track, but like the earlier coal wagons from Auscission, they are about 0.5mm too small in diameter. My observation of the Auscission couplers is they tend to uncouple sometimes for no apparent reason. I will be sticking with Kadee couplers and metal axles. (Terry Flynn)

Do the wheels on these models have a plastic axle the same as the Proto ones, if so be warned, I got some Proto axles and wheels for the layout at the NRM and while they ran alright to start with, they then started to derail all over the place.

On checking the axle ends we found a couple with the pinpoint almost missing, we then checked the bogie it came out of. No sign of wear on the bogie, so that means that the axle is very soft and pliable. I will not be getting anymore of them as they are more trouble than what they are worth. Next time I will use SEM axles and wheels!
A lesson learn't the hard way!  (David Peters)



If Allan and David are correct, then I would consider that to be a major failing with a model that is after all an expensive RTR model. We should not have to change couplers or adjust coupler heights on such a top shelf model. Wheels from our Importers will always be compared to SEM, which undoubtedly are the best quality available, US market included.

This will have a negative impact on any future purchases from Auscision if these problems are not fixed up. My wheels wobble when spun, although the NMRA gauge indicates they are in gauge.

To summarise I  am absolutely pleased with the way these wagons look, however not having anywhere to run these models I can only listen to those that have been able to operate them. Again Railpage talk about constant derailments, warnings about running these wheel sets on exhibition layouts as the plastic needle points wear quickly enough to disable the wagon. Replacement kadee couplers fouling the brake hoses and derailing vehicles etc.

It would seem that not enough testing of the pre-production models has been done. It is probably not good enough to say Kadee compatible these days. They should be Kadees!

It is not good enough to use brittle plastics either (as reported elsewhere), especially in places where handing is going to be an issue.


I notice that 40 foot containers cannot be used on these model wagons. As on the prototype the 20 foot containers were spaced apart. So  they  can lower the 4 inside connections as well as the ones at the handbrake end. They lift another set up to suit 40 foot containers.  Looking closely at the model it would appear that the pegs are removable. I await confirmation from Auscision that indeed the pegs can be adjusted to allow fitment of 40 foot containers. I have noted 48 fot containers are coming next, forward thinking should mean adjustments can be made even if 40 footers are not yet on the books.


My guess is most of you out there would give this model about 8 out of 10? However if the wagon constantly derails as reported elsewhere and needs SEM wheel updates as well as coupler repairs, it would quickly become 5 out of 10.



Rod Young