Been away from HO for a while but have ?'s

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blues90

Member
I sold a lot of Atlas and Kato and Proto and stewart and walthers SW-1's and H10/12-44's loco's 4 of each of those, now I am left with some box box Athearns SD40-2 bluebox and SD-40-2 newer blue box and two Athearn GP38-2's and a few railpower shells and frames with no trucks except a railpower GP-35 I placed cannon hood ends on both ends and made it a high hood riding on an Athearn modified frame. I still have 2 Atlas FP7's and an Atlas S-4 looking for S-2 side frames. One Bachman baby trainmaster which looks prety good and 2 stewart AS616's and one Stewart RS3 that I made into a hammerhead. And 5 Athearn blue box trainmasters. And one Proto GP-30 which I made into a high hood and a kitbashed Athearn VO1000 I made using 2 athearn baldwin switcher shells to get the scale hood width and the hood length and used the Kato drive that I took out of an old concor SW and made that frame longer. Right after that stewart came out with a VO1000 but it would not pull much I know I had two of them.

There are many I wish I had kept and not sold if I knew the later models cost so much or are no longer available.

I anyone else still using older units or am I the only one?

I was all into kitbashing making C&NW and Katy Alco/EMD rebuilds and Baldwin/EMD rebuilds.

I want to build another RS3 witha GP long hood and stewart still sells the shell kits but no frames and where would I find a GP9 or GP18 long hood and a frame? I don't thing front range is still around . I do have one stewart RS3 shell kit completed but used the short hood front to make the hammerhead.

I can't seem to find trucks or some parts to finish these and I am not into ebay anylonger. I think it was this forum back in 2009 that someone was talking about railpower shells , I have a few and they still seem to sell Athearn 6 axle trucks , I don't know if railpower improved on their shell castings but some were pretty crude and they sold all that was left to A-line.
 

riogrande

Active Member
I still have a few of my older rolling stock I began collecting in the 80's, but I've sold off most if it in favor of more accurate models when I discovered many didn't match any real freight cars but were only generic.

Today, the choices are vastly better than the olden days. We still have all the old blue box Athearn items of the past (just go to any major train show and you'll see) plus there has been a lot of really nice accurate models come out in the last 10-15 years. Just look at all the named passenger trains which are car for car copies of the real thing. Athearn btw has made some really nice models of signature diesels of the Southern Pacific, including many of the major classes of tunnel motors and SD45's. This truly has been the golden age of the hobby.
 

blues90

Member
I still have a few of my older rolling stock I began collecting in the 80's, but I've sold off most if it in favor of more accurate models when I discovered many didn't match any real freight cars but were only generic.

Today, the choices are vastly better than the olden days. We still have all the old blue box Athearn items of the past (just go to any major train show and you'll see) plus there has been a lot of really nice accurate models come out in the last 10-15 years. Just look at all the named passenger trains which are car for car copies of the real thing. Athearn btw has made some really nice models of signature diesels of the Southern Pacific, including many of the major classes of tunnel motors and SD45's. This truly has been the golden age of the hobby.

Yes I now know , I've looked at what Athearn has put out since they came out with the rtr new models and I would be quite happy with the rtr models . I was just not looking around in the last decade . I really like the high hood GP-38-2 or GP40-2's yet at the same time I was and am quite happy with the old blue box GP38-2's I built into high hoods and detailed. They were only $27 back when I got them. I really like the MP15AC's .
I suppose if you add in the cost of all the detail parts and paint then the old GP-38-2 would come close to the rtr newer models but I get most of my joy doing the work. I felt stewart did a great job on their F series but they were back then $100.

One thing I liked was the fact that one could use proto power of rather Life Like PK2 alco trucks on any older stewart frame and would fit right in and were much nicer than the old Athearn alco side frames with the wrong wheel base. I have one stewart/athearn RS3 hammerhead I build and it's sitting on proto alco trucks , What I wish now and since no one makes them are the re-builds like Katy did or C&NW using RS3 front with GP9 long hoods and I wish I stocked up on the frames and front range GP shell and I can at least still get the steward Baldwin now bowser AS 16 shells but not the old frames. I just like kitbashing. I does seem like the trucks Athearn used on their RS3 are the same as proto used .

But yes there are many new loco's that are great now no doubt about that.
 

sd24b

Member
I sold a lot of Atlas and Kato and Proto and stewart and walthers SW-1's and H10/12-44's loco's 4 of each of those, now I am left with some box box Athearns SD40-2 bluebox and SD-40-2 newer blue box and two Athearn GP38-2's and a few railpower shells and frames with no trucks except a railpower GP-35 I placed cannon hood ends on both ends and made it a high hood riding on an Athearn modified frame. I still have 2 Atlas FP7's and an Atlas S-4 looking for S-2 side frames. One Bachman baby trainmaster which looks prety good and 2 stewart AS616's and one Stewart RS3 that I made into a hammerhead. And 5 Athearn blue box trainmasters. And one Proto GP-30 which I made into a high hood and a kitbashed Athearn VO1000 I made using 2 athearn baldwin switcher shells to get the scale hood width and the hood length and used the Kato drive that I took out of an old concor SW and made that frame longer. Right after that stewart came out with a VO1000 but it would not pull much I know I had two of them.

There are many I wish I had kept and not sold if I knew the later models cost so much or are no longer available.

I anyone else still using older units or am I the only one?

I was all into kitbashing making C&NW and Katy Alco/EMD rebuilds and Baldwin/EMD rebuilds.

I want to build another RS3 witha GP long hood and stewart still sells the shell kits but no frames and where would I find a GP9 or GP18 long hood and a frame? I don't thing front range is still around . I do have one stewart RS3 shell kit completed but used the short hood front to make the hammerhead.

I can't seem to find trucks or some parts to finish these and I am not into ebay anylonger. I think it was this forum back in 2009 that someone was talking about railpower shells , I have a few and they still seem to sell Athearn 6 axle trucks , I don't know if railpower improved on their shell castings but some were pretty crude and they sold all that was left to A-line.
My roster contains many Athearn BB, early Atlas/Roco, Stewart/Kato power. I'm finding these engines are more durable than today higher(2-3X) priced ones. A few of the Athearn have been remotored and received constant lighting to slow them down to run with the early P2k engines. I will probably keep my old stuff because I'm not that impressed with the pulling power of most of the engines today Phil
 

riogrande

Active Member
Yes I now know , I've looked at what Athearn has put out since they came out with the rtr new models and I would be quite happy with the rtr models . I was just not looking around in the last decade . I really like the high hood GP-38-2 or GP40-2's yet at the same time I was and am quite happy with the old blue box GP38-2's I built into high hoods and detailed. They were only $27 back when I got them. I really like the MP15AC's .
I suppose if you add in the cost of all the detail parts and paint then the old GP-38-2 would come close to the rtr newer models but I get most of my joy doing the work. I felt stewart did a great job on their F series but they were back then $100.
Well, you can have the best of both worlds. Again, if you can search the web for the train shows schedules and try to visit a big show coming to a city near where you live, you can hunt for just about anything, including blue box Athearn diesels - they still can be found at shows if you still want to buy certain engines.

Here is one thing to be aware of about the RTR line of Athearn - there is a lot of variation. For example, the RTR GP40-2 is basically an improved version of the old bb version, with a hex drive, plastic handrails and better pain job. I own two but haven't had them apart yet, but I'm told these are not DCC ready - ie, no DCC ready plug, rather they are supposed to be about the same as the old blue box version where you have to remove the motor, insulate the motor seat and hardwire in the decoder.

In contrast, other RTR loco's like the SD40T-2 has a DCC plug and quite a few more details so those loco's in many cases look almost like a finished brass loco - they have correct snow plow, coupler lift bars, mu hoses, nose signal lights, roof air conditioners and leslie antenae's etc. They are nearly Genesis quality except they still have the RTR chassis/motor.

So be aware, the RTR line varies quite abit. In fact I own a bunch of their newer SD45's and Athearn even has paid attention to variations between differences in road numbers or paint - as an example, D&RGW owned 26 SD45's but there were paint differences including how the nose signal light area was painted or the brakes were. Two of the small Rio Grande herald version were produced, #5319 (low mount brake cylinders) and in the same order #5324 had high mount brake cylinders - to which Athearn matched these details in the model. One of D&RGW's SD45's had a reverse paint herald where the lettering was black on an orange back ground rather than orange lettering on a black background #5333, Athearn matched the real thing in this way - which is pretty amazing. So you do get these little details that Athearn has paid attention to on many of their models. Not all are as accurate but they do it where it is possible within a reasonable cost.

As for Stewart F units, those are still easy to find at train shows, I see them all the time and I'm sure you can find them on Ebay. Except for the price gougers, you should be able to find them for reasonable prices because there are a lot of F units out competing for the hobbiest interest with fancier features - so I'd imagine you could find Stewarts in the $40-60 price range if you are patient and hunt around. I still have 17 stewarts left on my roster and plan to weather most of them up as they would have appeared in the mid-1960's still in thier 4 stripe paint. They run like swiss watches.
 

wongsing

Member
I'll be the first in line to make a blue box loco the basis of my superdetail project! There is still a pretty good market out there for them and many times they start out so sparsely detailed that it makes prep work a piece of cake!

Welcome back to the hobby! Good luck on your hunt too!
I'd say you're in good company here.
-Rich
 

blues90

Member
Well, you can have the best of both worlds. Again, if you can search the web for the train shows schedules and try to visit a big show coming to a city near where you live, you can hunt for just about anything, including blue box Athearn diesels - they still can be found at shows if you still want to buy certain engines.

Here is one thing to be aware of about the RTR line of Athearn - there is a lot of variation. For example, the RTR GP40-2 is basically an improved version of the old bb version, with a hex drive, plastic handrails and better pain job. I own two but haven't had them apart yet, but I'm told these are not DCC ready - ie, no DCC ready plug, rather they are supposed to be about the same as the old blue box version where you have to remove the motor, insulate the motor seat and hardwire in the decoder.

In contrast, other RTR loco's like the SD40T-2 has a DCC plug and quite a few more details so those loco's in many cases look almost like a finished brass loco - they have correct snow plow, coupler lift bars, mu hoses, nose signal lights, roof air conditioners and leslie antenae's etc. They are nearly Genesis quality except they still have the RTR chassis/motor.

So be aware, the RTR line varies quite abit. In fact I own a bunch of their newer SD45's and Athearn even has paid attention to variations between differences in road numbers or paint - as an example, D&RGW owned 26 SD45's but there were paint differences including how the nose signal light area was painted or the brakes were. Two of the small Rio Grande herald version were produced, #5319 (low mount brake cylinders) and in the same order #5324 had high mount brake cylinders - to which Athearn matched these details in the model. One of D&RGW's SD45's had a reverse paint herald where the lettering was black on an orange back ground rather than orange lettering on a black background #5333, Athearn matched the real thing in this way - which is pretty amazing. So you do get these little details that Athearn has paid attention to on many of their models. Not all are as accurate but they do it where it is possible within a reasonable cost.

As for Stewart F units, those are still easy to find at train shows, I see them all the time and I'm sure you can find them on Ebay. Except for the price gougers, you should be able to find them for reasonable prices because there are a lot of F units out competing for the hobbiest interest with fancier features - so I'd imagine you could find Stewarts in the $40-60 price range if you are patient and hunt around. I still have 17 stewarts left on my roster and plan to weather most of them up as they would have appeared in the mid-1960's still in thier 4 stripe paint. They run like swiss watches.
The way finances are here I won't be buying anything for a while . I just want to finish what I started years ago . I got a stewart F-3 shell not long ago and adapted an Athearn F7 frame and drive into it so at least the car body is correct. I used a Atlas FP7 shell , I got two un-dec shells many years ago and removed the cast on grabs and built a frame from brass stock you know square tubing and flat brass and used an Athearn F7 fuel tank and it's all soldered together and the tank screw mounted and Kato trucks and it's just in need of grabs and paint and decals . I also years ago got a dummy model power C420 shell and again made a frame out of brass and built the fuel tank from a scale drawing and for the drive I actually used the trucks from an old MDC RS3 since at the time they were the best out there other than Atlas. I build a VO1000 years before they came out in plastic from Athearn S-12 shell , I used two and removed the headlamp and cut them in half and then down the middle to get the correct hood width and used a concor /Kato drive from a to wide hood concor SW2.

This is what I do because for me buying a rtr all done just sits there in a box in a drawer since I have no layout other than a long test track . I'll post photo's . I had some on atlas forum od a few I did but not these.

Later I finally located two Atlas FP7's in SOO rtr but then the number boards are aweful so I can do that. I have lots to finish in my old age.

I will have to start somewhere to get the feel back so I might put the 81" shorthood on my Athearn SD40-2 or build an odd loco like use the long hood of a railpower SD9 shell and place it on a stewart RS3 walkway short hood and then make a new shorthood I cut off but the walkway is in tact. If it does not work out I will at least get my skill back and if it does I will have something different.

Certainly there are loco's I would like to have but there are things I can live without.

I certainly can g o on and on can't I?
 

riogrande

Active Member
This is what I do because for me buying a rtr all done just sits there in a box in a drawer since I have no layout other than a long test track . I'll post photo's . I had some on atlas forum od a few I did but not these.

Certainly there are loco's I would like to have but there are things I can live without.

I certainly can g o on and on can't I?
You sure can! Sounds like you have lots of plans and things to keep you busy. I too don't have a layout and am too poor to afford a place in the DC area where I'd have space for one, at least for a while yet.

Cheers!
 

blues90

Member
I'll be the first in line to make a blue box loco the basis of my superdetail project! There is still a pretty good market out there for them and many times they start out so sparsely detailed that it makes prep work a piece of cake!

Welcome back to the hobby! Good luck on your hunt too!
I'd say you're in good company here.
-Rich
I am certainly with you on the BB Athearns . My hunt for parts is not going very well so I will begin simple and finish what I have parts for , I am still gathering all my tools together since I have used them for other things .
 




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