Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

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Cadet57
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Cadet57 »

Otto Vondrak wrote:
Now, since you decided you need a model of CNJ's Jersey City Terminal, I'm going to assume you have the room to incorporate such a model into your railroad layout. At the very least, I assume you have the room to display the station scene by itself, even if its not incorporated into a layout. Let's say this scene is at least 8 feet long, even with selective compression. So if you're going through all that trouble to recreate a scene of Jersey City during the CNJ era, I'm going to assume that dropping $500-$800 on a custom-built structure is not going to affect you that much. Especially when you consider that the average list price for new diesels out of the box are anywhere from $100-$150. So essentially, for the price of six or seven locomotives, you have the cost of your custom-built model (and you'll need six or seven diesels if you are going to pose passenger train consists at the platforms, right? Never mind that heavyweight coaches in HO scale range anywhere from $30 to $60 each, depending on accuracy and detail).

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Wow! $150 sounds like chump change to you! Guess I know who i'll be hitting up for birthday money!

Eliphaz
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Eliphaz »

If you hired me to replace your kitchen faucet and install an RO system, I'd bill you at $50/hr and you'd pay it.
I'd happily paint your model trains for $25 an hour. 5-6 hours sounds about right.

that's $250 for the kitchen sink job and $125 for the locomotive paint job.

That kitchen sink was money down the drain, just upkeep, and wont last 10 years.

Youd have the unique custom loco on your layout for the rest of your life.

jaystreetcrr
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by jaystreetcrr »

Since my current interest is N scale traction, a microniche within a niche, I can't expect much from the mass market. Where's that Brooklyn open car with sound, DCC and working trolley poles, at a reasonable price? Not happening.
So where do I start? There's the cheap Bachmann PCC and Brill cars and their awesome new Peter Witt. The Peter Witt comes in a Brooklyn scheme but the car isn't correct. So I can whine, live with it being close enough, or start working on a kitbash. The PCC and Brill cars are inexpensive and you can do a lot with the shells. So far I've Brooklynized a Brill and turned another into a pole-less Third Avenue Railway car. Wrong number of windows, details a little off, but good enough for me.
My point, which other above posters have made, is to not wait around for your dream model, especially if you're modeling anything out of the mainstream. Kitbash, customize, compromise or shell out some $ to a custom builder or painter. It all depends on how accurate you want to be and what you can afford.
Think of our forefathers hacking and filing away with white metal and brass, hand lettering models...then look at how good we have it now, with great RTR stuff, small basement specialty manufacturers, ebay, computer graphics for custom decals, worlds of research data out there on the internet...There's no excuse not to have a model you want.
Like that CNJ terminal, which I see across the Hudson every day at work. A daunting project, and no one's going to be making it anytime soon, so what to do? There's a recent RMC article where someone did the Lackawanna Hoboken terminal, a good place for inspiration. Maybe there's a European station structure that would do for a close-enough kitbash. The real thing is still standing, or part of it, so you can do some research if there's no plans out there. To me at least, this stuff is fun, the research, the imagineering, the scrounging, the frustration of compromise and the eureka moments when ideas and materials come together. So much more rewarding that just clicking a button online...
A few years ago I spent a lot of time turning a cheapo Bachmann N scale PCC shell into a prewar Brooklyn car. The wheels are still too big, you can barely see where I spliced the body, and I laid the paint on a little too thick, but when someone at the train show hollered over to the noted Brooklyn trolley historian and said "hey, look at this!"...priceless.
So yes, push the big manufacturers for mass market models that they can actually make a buck on, work with the small time guys by doing some research or paying up front for some castings, and don't be afraid to pick up that Xacto knife or airbrush.

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Otto Vondrak »

Cadet57 wrote:Wow! $150 sounds like chump change to you! Guess I know who i'll be hitting up for birthday money!
No, I don't think I said that at all. What I'm trying to do is provide context for some of these statements. Original poster is "wishing, wanting, hoping, waiting" for an NJDOT E-unit. I just looked on eBay for some price comparison... Just to purchase the base model (the Proto2000 E8), you're going to spend anywhere from $50.00 (for a single E8A, no sound) to $250.00 (for a set of E8A and E8B DCC, sound-equipped models). So to average out the prices, you could shell out $150.00 just to acquire the base model. If you're willing to pay this much just to acquire the base model, is it such a stretch to think you might pay anywhere from $75 to $125 to have this model custom-painted?

Now, if you're not worried about the quality of the model, you could probably find an old Mehano/AHM E8 at a swap meet for far less (also seen them on eBay for $20-$40)... It won't be as detailed or reliable as the newer Proto2000 model, but you'll be able to complete your NJDOT project for a little less. Good custom painting is worth the money, especially if you're trying to create a unique, one-of-a-kind model (like NJDOT purple and gray)! Don't want to shell out for custom painting? Try painting the model yourself! There are many great books out there about how to paint and detail locomotives that you can learn from.

My point of this conversation is to show that you don't need to wait for manufacturers to come along with your long-desired model... Especially when the desired base model is out of production. If you want it bad enough, you can pay more and get exactly what you want. Or, pay a little and try doing it yourself!

Make sense?
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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Otto Vondrak »

jaystreetcrr wrote:My point, which other above posters have made, is to not wait around for your dream model, especially if you're modeling anything out of the mainstream. Kitbash, customize, compromise or shell out some $ to a custom builder or painter. It all depends on how accurate you want to be and what you can afford... So yes, push the big manufacturers for mass market models that they can actually make a buck on, work with the small time guys by doing some research or paying up front for some castings, and don't be afraid to pick up that Xacto knife or airbrush.
Indeed! The model railroad industry is not built on hopes and dreams, but what the manufacturers think the market will absorb. And never underestimate your own ability to create what you want! Practice, practice, practice...
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scharnhorst
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by scharnhorst »

I would not mind seeing some more Baldwin or Fairbanks diesels in N Scale Even some Lima's would be interesting.
no matter the weather or the country I'll still be trackside!

jaystreetcrr
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by jaystreetcrr »

Of course, the surest way to get a big manufacturer to make your dream model is this, based on my experience in narrow gauge years ago: dig up some blueprints and photos, spend months and months scratchbuilding your model, then just as the final coat of Dullcote is drying, pick up your favorite model magazine to see it advertised on the back cover as Coming Soon!!

jaystreetcrr
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by jaystreetcrr »

Now that I've preached the virtues of self reliance, it's my turn to dream...
An 0-6-0T or other small steam switcher in N scale. Anything ever made before is crude and runs poorly.
A line of HOn30 similar to Bachmann On30 (guess I'm imagining Bachmann doing this) I don't think there was a huge cry for On30 when they first started making those models and now look how big it's gotten. Seems like a "build it and they will come" thing. Narrow gauge has a lot of appeal and this would make it less intimidating for novice modelers and those without the space for On30. By the way, I'm amazed to see those old HOn30 Minitrains sets come back after all these years.
More RTR traction in HO and N! The stuff must be selling ok for Bachmann to keep coming out with new models. What next? I'd prefer something old, and wish they would do the Birney car in N, but maybe a modern LRV would appeal to younger modelers, with all the light rail lines being built these days. I know that Kato and others make LRVs but they're hard to find in the U.S.
Along the same lines, I'd like to see some kind of sectional street trackage in HO. Tomix has the Easy Tram system in N but like those Kato LRVs, you may have to order direct from Japan. Whenever some of that old Tyco street track shows up on ebay the bidding gets up to absurd levels and I don't think it's just some imagined collector's value. There's something very appealing about snap-together tight radius street track. A trend towards Japanese style tabletop modeling might be a market someone could make a buck on.
The Walthers Cornerstone rail/marine stuff in N scale--carfloat, floatbridge, railroad tug, etc. though I'm sure they would have done it by now if they thought the market was there.
And that's my wish list for now....

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Otto Vondrak »

jaystreetcrr wrote:Of course, the surest way to get a big manufacturer to make your dream model is this, based on my experience in narrow gauge years ago: dig up some blueprints and photos, spend months and months scratchbuilding your model, then just as the final coat of Dullcote is drying, pick up your favorite model magazine to see it advertised on the back cover as Coming Soon!!
No truer words have been spoken!
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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Otto Vondrak »

jaystreetcrr wrote:A line of HOn30 similar to Bachmann On30 (guess I'm imagining Bachmann doing this) I don't think there was a huge cry for On30 when they first started making those models and now look how big it's gotten. Seems like a "build it and they will come" thing. Narrow gauge has a lot of appeal and this would make it less intimidating for novice modelers and those without the space for On30. By the way, I'm amazed to see those old HOn30 Minitrains sets come back after all these years.
Blackstone Models is creating ready-to-run HOn3 models:

http://www.blackstonemodels.com

Along the same lines, I'd like to see some kind of sectional street trackage in HO.
Walthers was selling a street trackage system, but that was mostly for freight.

Pennsy Heritage Models has what you're looking for in HO:

http://rrmodelcraftsman.com/reviews/cm_ ... nserts.php


-otto-
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jaystreetcrr
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by jaystreetcrr »

I've seen the Blackstone stuff, and Micro-Trains also makes some RTR HOn3. My thought is that RTR HOn30 would find a niche like On30 due to the ease of using smaller scale sectional track, HO for On30, N for HOn30 thereby making it easier for novices to get into narrow gauge, while also finding a market for more hardcore narrow gaugers modeling 2 or 3 foot prototypes who either live with the 6" gauge fudge or change trucks.
I've seen that street trackage too but I'm thinking of something like the Tomix Easy Tram or old Tyco track, which goes together quickly like slotcar track. Again, this would make traction, a niche, "hardcore" interest like narrow gauge, more accessible to the beginner.

chrisnewhaven
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by chrisnewhaven »

My dream train would be an O gauge Merchants Limited.

However, seeing that isn't going to happen anytimes soon, I'm building my own. So far I have:
Observation-Bar-Lounge Bunker Hill, from an MTH set
A coach (non prototypical w/ 8600 series #), MTH set
Parlor Car Danbury, scratch built from balsa wood with full interior
Parlor-Smoking Car New Rochelle, also scratch built w/ interior
Freelanced Dome car Thames River, MTH set
PA A-A set, MTH

I like the dome car on my version of the Merchants as it adds variety to the roofline. All of the above passenger cars are actually a scale 60 ft (15 inches in o gauge) instead of 85 ft due to curve restrictions. I am planning on scratchbuilding a Osgood-Bradley Lightwight or a 8600 coach next to replace the MTH one.
C.J.V.
Every problem has an answer and every answer is a problem.

Desertdweller
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Desertdweller »

Scharnhorst,

Life-Like had a run of N-scale Erie Builts, both A's and B's. They looked good in pictures, I have not seen them "in person". Contrary to earlier comments, Life-Like locos from the past ten years or so are pretty good quality. It is the earlier stuff that has not been updated that is questionable.

V-line had a run of Erie-Built N-scale body shells in the 1990's. I think they were intended to be used on PA drives.

I have a pair of Life-Like FM C-liners in N scale I am happy with. They are Milwaukee Road, so do not see a lot of use on my Denver-based layout.

Back when the great hobby store in Greeley, CO was in business, I went shopping for a SP PA/PB set for a Daylight train. That store had a fantastic stock of N-scale locomotives, and a test track where you could try them out before buying. He had both Con-Cor and Life-Like SP PA's in stock.

You know, the Con-Cor PA has been around forever. For many years, it was the industry standard for N-scale passenger locos. I have a pair of Con-Cor powered PA-1's (UP) I have had since the early 1980's that still are excellent runners.

I was able to test run a Life-Like SP PA against a Con-Cor SP PA. They were both smooth as butter. I wound up buying the Life-Like, it had a little better detailed paint job. I picked a Con-Cor unpowered PB to go with it. The color matched identically.

Imagine a hobby shop that had not only the loco and color scheme you are looking for, but had it in more than one manufacturer! And a track you can try it out on! You can see why we grieve the loss of this place.

This place was fantastic! The basement of the shop was all trains, from O to N scales, with an N-scale inventory equal to its HO. The street level was all plastic kits: model cars, ships, and planes. The upstairs was R/C models of all types, and coins. It was the greatest hobby shop I have ever been in.

There is a hobby shop in Manchester, CT that had a similar arrangement (different hobbies on different floors). I have heard it has cut back some since I've been there. Time Machine Hobbies. It is located in the old Bon Ami cleanser factory. When I worked for Connecticut Southern, we ran a turn there out of East Hartford a couple times a week. We would tie down the train behind the store and take our break shopping at the hobby shop.

Les

Cadet57
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Cadet57 »

Desertdweller wrote:
There is a hobby shop in Manchester, CT that had a similar arrangement (different hobbies on different floors). I have heard it has cut back some since I've been there. Time Machine Hobbies. It is located in the old Bon Ami cleanser factory. When I worked for Connecticut Southern, we ran a turn there out of East Hartford a couple times a week. We would tie down the train behind the store and take our break shopping at the hobby shop.

Les
Funny you mention this place. A friend brought it up the other night on Facebook and remarked how they have a HUGE selection of all sorts of hobbies including a whole floor just for trains. We were talking about taking a ride down to see it.

Desertdweller
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Re: Dream models that you hope will be manufactured

Post by Desertdweller »

Cadet,

If the store is as I remember it, the trip will be well worth it.

If you have an interest in industrial archeology, you will find some gems in the area along the tracks behind the old factory. There is a poster explaining the building's history posted in the stairwell of the hobby store. It says the Bon-Ami operation dates to the 1890's, but there are parts of the factory complex that are obviously much older. At least one of the factory buildings uses construction that is clearly pre-civil war.

The factory complex included a lumber yard operating out of the old factory when I worked there. It was one of our customers. Across the tracks from the factory is a very old brick and stone industrial building that has had additions added to it over the years. Just over the hill to the east is an old grain elevator that is part of a feed mill. It serves many of the farms in Connecticut. The elevator is served by the CS RR, and is now the end of the Manchester Branch.

This area is the industrial core of an otherwise very modern small city. The contrast is striking, with modern stores and banks neighboring the antebellum industrial area. Unlike a lot of towns, the old industrial core is well maintained and not an area of urban blight.

Les

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