HO Scale Absolute RDC Project

HO Scale Absolute RDC Project

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NEW – Exclusive Australian Commonwealth Railways Budd RDC with Notch 8 Precision Models.

For a full listing of first run paint schemes please click here.

Aiming at creating a low operating cost alternative to a conventional passenger train, Budd introduced it’s RDC models starting in 1949. Nearly 400 units were built over the next thirteen years, entering service with railroads worldwide.

The last few years have seen an explosion of super-detailed locomotive and passenger car models hit the market. But for us HO scale modelers looking to add some RDC (Rail Diesel Car or “Budd Car”) service to our layouts, we have an unappetizing choice of models 20 – 60 years old. It’s time for that to change.

CPR Phase II RDC-1 with cab front door-mounted Mars light.

CPR Phase II RDC-1 with cab front door-mounted Mars light.

Rapido is proud to announce the Absolute RDC model!

Why is our RDC called the “Absolute” RDC? Because once you buy our RDC models, you’ll never need to buy another one again!

Budd offered its RDC in five major variations. The RDC-1 contained coach seating only. The RDC-2 was a combination coach-baggage. The RDC-3 was a combination baggage-mail-coach. The RDC-9 was a trailing coach unit with no cab and only one motor. And the RDC-4 was a shorty RPO/baggage only.

We are initially tooling up the RDC-1, RDC-2 and RDC-3, each in both Phase 1 and Phase 2 configurations. To answer the questions many of you might be thinking right now: If the RDC-1, RDC-2 and RDC-3 do well, we will produce the RDC-9. If the RDC-1, RDC-2 and RDC-3 do exceptionally well, we will produce the RDC-4. So please order your RDC models by the dozen!

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New Haven Phase I RDC-1.

New Haven Phase I RDC-1.

You can see from the photos that this model is unlike any RDC model ever produced in any scale. The full interior is just stunning, as is the jam-packed underbody detail and end chains. If you thought your 60-year-old model with rubber-band drive or your 15-year-old model with moulded-on grab irons is “good enough,” you may want to think again…

This is the first RDC-1 model ever produced with a full interior, including see-through armrests. There is no motor visible through the windows or tinted windows needed to hide what's inside. Production models will be fully decorated inside including correct seat and wall colors.

This is the first RDC-1 model ever produced with a full interior, including see-through armrests. There is no motor visible through the windows or tinted windows needed to hide what’s inside. Production models will be fully decorated inside including correct seat and wall colors.

Unmatched underbody detail on our RDC-1. No blobs here!

Unmatched underbody detail on our RDC-1. No blobs here!

Our HO Scale Model Features:

  • Accurate Phase 1 and Phase 2 details and fluting
  • Correct Phase 1b, Phase 1c and Phase 2 roof blisters
  • Numerous American and Canadian paint schemes
  • Rapido’s acclaimed “stainless steel” finish
  • Full interior detail with constant lighting
  • Two five-pole, skew-wound motors hidden in the actual engine bays
  • Crazy amount of underbody detail
  • Separate underframe piping and conduit
  • Lit number boards and class lights
  • Optional working front door Mars light, if appropriate
  • Fabricated or cast truck sideframes, as appropriate
  • Minimum Radius 18″
  • All wheels powered
  • Separate grab irons and front door chains
  • Etched-metal roof grills and fan covers
  • Wrap-around nose fluting, if appropriate
  • Separate diaphragms, if appropriate
  • Loads of roadname-specific details
  • DC Silent or DC/DCC/Sound
  • Rapido RDC Underframe with CRAZY underbody detail – a Rapido hallmark.

For a full listing of first run paint schemes please click here.

The VIA Rail Canada units also feature the characteristic roof mounted headlight and numberboard box.

The VIA Rail Canada units also feature the characteristic roof mounted headlight and numberboard box.

Design Objectives

In setting out to produce a worthy model of such an iconic and widely-used train, we had a number of objectives:

  1. 100% accurate dimensions
  2. Full interior detail
  3. Hidden drive system
  4. Complete underbody including all of the glorious piping

The only way we could encourage you, our customers, to invest in a new RDC fleet would be to achieve these goals. The first one was the most important – make sure the thing matches the prototype. The only way to do that was to go out and scan one. So we did! In fact, we scanned two!

With the help of our friends at VIA Rail Canada and Creaform 3D, we did a 3D scan of both a Phase 1 RDC (an ex-B&M unit) and a Phase 2 RDC. There are significant detail differences between the two: ends, roofs, radiator blisters, corrugations, etc. In order to capture the correct details of both phases, we had to scan two prototypes.

HO RDC Drive system

A Revolutionary Drive System

Using the normal big motor housing on our RDC model was a no-go as we wanted to include Rapido’s typcially nuts level of interior and underbody details. Fortunately, the best solution ended up being the simplest! The prototype RDC has two engine compartments under the floor. So we’ve hidden two small motors and flywheels in those engine compartments!

Canadian Pacific Railway Phase II RDC-1 #9063 heads off into the distance.

Canadian Pacific Railway Phase II RDC-1 #9063 heads off into the distance.

First Production Run

The first production run comprises just RDC-1s. We will be producing models with road and era-specific details for both American and Canadian units. We’ve already got almost 100 item numbers and we’re only announcing fewer than half the possible RDC-1 paint schemes! So if you don’t see your favourite (or favorite) scheme listed, please have no fear! It may be that your railroad did not have any RDC-1s (ALASKA!) or that we just coundn’t fit it into the first run.

The order deadline has now passed for these models. Please contact your dealer. Delivery starts in fall 2016.

For a full listing of first run paint schemes please click here.

Budd Company photograph, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Collection

Budd Company photograph, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania Collection

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