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VN scale – 1:160 – Kato USA

Kato USA recently introduced a wide range of RDC models – covering all four original designs – the RDC1, RDC2, RDC3, and RDC4. Each is available in a choice of roadnames and an undecorated version. Most are sold in appropriate pairs but single units of some of the models are also available, including the original Budd RDC1 demonstrator. Arguably the Kato N-scale RDC is the most accurate model available with a below-the-windows motor driving the wheels via very prototypical drive shafts, head and tail lights and optional interior lighting. They come with MicroTrains™ compatible couplers and can be fitted with DCC using the Digitrax DN-122K2 decoder. We’ve prepared a detailed guide on installing this DCC decoder into the Kato RDC, providing a better looking final installation albeit with more work. Kato have recently released an LED lighting kit for it which is DCC-compatible, which nicely completes the model.

HO scale – 1:87 – Proto 1000 by Life Like Inc

Like Like Products have a range of HO RDCs available in their Proto 1000 range. Their range includes the RDC1, RDC2 and RDC3 in a variety of road names. They also make additional RDCs in Canadian roadnames for Hobbycraft Canada. The PCB is DCC compatible but does require soldering to fit a decoder, any standard “with wires” HO decoder should work. We’ve prepared a detailed web guide to installing a DCC decoder on this model. Although the supplied knuckle coupler is one of the better plastic ones, we’ve had a number break in operation and now replace them all with Kadee No.5s which fit just fine. I’d consider the RDC2 and RDC3 the better models of this series, since they obscure the motor block within the baggage compartments and thus allow the windows to be less darkly smoked providing through vision; the lack of tail lights or interior lighting options is disappointing.

G scale – 1:29 – Aristocraft

Aristocraft have a G-scale model of the RDC1 which is available in a range of road names and an undecorated version. They also make additional RDC1s in Canadian roadnames for Hobbycraft Canada. They also have an RDC3 on the drawing board. A plug-in DCC decoder is available from Digitrax (DG383AR) for the socket fitted to these models. The model also has a smoke generator fitted, and speakers and provision for a sound card. Unfortunately for such a large model, there is no interior detail and the frosted windows to disguise this are most unprototypical – we plan to add some to ours and report here on the work required. Sadly there were also mistakes made in their prototype research, and the BCRail and CN Wet Noodle RDC-1s have been given road numbers that were in fact carried by RDC-3s, not RDC-1s.

O scale – 1:48 – Sunset Models Inc

Sunset Models Inc have a Brass O-scale model of the Budd RDC1 currently shipping in both two and three rail variants. They have also announced plans for an RDC2 early in 2006.

S gauge – PA Heritage Models (non-scale)

There is a non-scale S-gauge model of the RDC available from PA Heritage Models. It is shortened to make it compatible with older three-rail trackage systems.