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N Scale - Life-Like - 7718 - Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical - Borden's Farm Products - 210

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N Scale - Life-Like - 7718 - Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical - Borden


N Scale - Life-Like - 7718 - Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical - Borden


Stock Number 7718
Brand Life-Like
Manufacturer Sanda Kan
Body Style Sanda Kan Reefer 50 Foot Mechanical
Prototype Reefer, 50 Foot, Mechanical (Details)
Road or Company Name Borden's Farm Products (Details)
Reporting Marks BFPX
Road or Reporting Number 210
Paint Color(s) Green
Print Color(s) White
Coupler Type Rapido Hook
Coupler Mount Truck-Mount
Wheel Type Chemically Blackened Metal
Wheel Profile Standard
Body Material Plastic
Release Date 1990-01-01
Item Category Rolling Stock (Freight)
Model Type Reefer
Model Subtype 50 Foot
Model Variety Mechanical
Prototype Region North America
Prototype Era Era IV: 2nd Gen Diesel (1958 - 1978)
Scale 1/160



Model Information: Life-Like contracted with Sanda Kan in China sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s to produce these 50 foot mechanical reefer models. Sanda Kan also produced these same cars for Industrial Rail. They feature metal wheels and Rapido couplers.

Prototype History:
The purpose of a mechanical reefer is to keep perishable items cold. Early reefers were of all wood construction and used ice for cooling. By the 1940s, new reefers were being built entirely of steel. Insulating techniques improved to the point where economical refrigeration could be accomplished using steel side plates in place of wood sheathing. Fifty foot mechanical reefers date back to at least the late 50s / early 60s.

The mechanical reefers could keep a more regular temperature, and often times colder than what the ice bunker cars were capable of. Initially mechanical reefers were used primarily in frozen food service. This would soon change as mechanical refrigeration began to replace ice-based systems. Soon after, mechanical refrigeration units replaced the “armies” of personnel required to re-ice the cars.

Road Name History:
Borden, Inc., was an American producer of food and beverage products, consumer products, and industrial products. At one time, the company was the largest U.S. producer of dairy and pasta products. Its food division, Borden Foods, was based in Columbus, Ohio, and focused primarily on pasta and pasta sauces, bakery products, snacks, processed cheese, jams and jellies, and ice cream. It was best known for its Borden Ice Cream, Meadow Gold milk, Creamette pasta, and Borden Condensed Milk brands. Its consumer products and industrial segment marketed wallpaper, adhesives, plastics and resins. By 1993, sales of food products accounted for 67 percent of its revenues. It was also known for its Elmer's Glue and Krazy Glue.

After significant financial losses in the early 1990s and a leveraged buyout by KKR in 1995, Borden divested itself of its various divisions, brands and businesses. KKR shuttered Borden's food products operations in 2001, and divested all its other Borden operations in 2005. The Borden dairy brands are currently used by both Dean Foods and Grupo Lala (as Borden Milk Products) for milk and by Dairy Farmers of America for cheese.

From Wikipedia

Brand/Importer Information:
Life-Like Products LLC (now Life-Like Toy and Hobby division of Wm. K. Walthers) was a manufacturer of model railroad products and was based in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was founded in the 1950s by a company that pioneered extruded foam ice chests under the Lifoam trademark. Because ice chests are a summer seasonal item, the company needed a way to keep the factory operating year round. As model railroading was becoming popular in the post-war years, they saw this as an opportunity and so manufactured extruded foam tunnels for model trains. Over the years, Life-Like expanded into other scenery items, finally manufacturing rolling stock beginning in the late 1960s. At some point in the early 1970s, Life-Like purchased Varney Inc. and began to produce the former Varney line as its own.

The Canadian distributor for Life-Like products, Canadian Hobbycraft, saw a missing segment in market for Canadian model prototypes, and started producing a few Canadian models that were later, with a few modifications, offered in the US market with US roadnames.

In 2005, the company, now known as Lifoam Industries, LLC, decided to concentrate on their core products of extruded foam and sold their model railroad operations to Wm. K. Walthers.

In June 2018, Atlas and Walthers announced to have reached an agreement under which all Walthers N scale rolling stock tooling, including the former Life-Like tooling, will be purchased by Atlas.

Read more on Wikipedia and The Train Collectors Association.

Manufacturer Information:
Established in 1973, Sanda Kan was originally a venture (subsidiary?) of Life-Like products. In 1979, Mr. Wai Shing Ting, formerly of Cox Hong Kong, joined Sanda Kan and took over as de facto CEO. At some point ownership of the venture changed hands and Mr. Ting became the primary owner. In 2000, Ting sold Sanda Kan to ZS Fund. The company was later resold to Kader Holdings, the venerable Hong Kong based toy manufacturer. The original location of the Sanda Kan facility was in Hong Kong, but after the liberalization of the mainland Chinese economy, the primary manufacturing site moved to Guang Dong (Canton), while the administrative offices appear to have remained in Hong Kong. At its height, Sanda Kan operated in 10 factories across Guang Dong with over 10,000 employees in 1.2 million square feet of space.

Sanda Kan is a highly recognized developer and manufacturer of precision models. It produces a full range of model train locomotives, from the very small 1:220 scale to the large 1:22 scale products. Other hobby items include electronic slot racing cars, sophisticated digital controls as well as accessories such as scenery, promotional cars and trucks. It continues to work closely with some of the world’s leading brands from concept to mold construction through to final production.

Sanda Kan’s unique structure allows for maximum flexibility. Its production facilities are located in Songgang, Shenzhen and Wanjiang, Dongguan. Each location is outfitted with mould shops providing full service on-site mould construction and maintenance. Both locations are also sub-divided into individual factories capable of manufacturing complete products, which are comprehensively equipped with injection moulding machines, tempo printing and spraying facilities, and dedicated assembly lines. This arrangement provides our clients with the dedicated capacity, service and privacy levels that they may require.

In 2008, Sanda Kan was acquired by Kader Holdings, the parent company of Bachmann and Tinco, but remains in operation producing model trains for numerous clients including: Atlas, Lionel, Aristo-Craft, Micro-Ace, S-Helper, Hornby, Brawa, Marklin and Tomix.

For more on Sanda Kan and Mr. Wai Shing Ting, please visit the Atlas Model Trains article on Wai Shing Ting.

Item created by: gdm on 2017-04-28 08:17:26. Last edited by gdm on 2019-01-10 11:05:06

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