What you said is true of the current brass models. Older brass models may be lacking in detail and their drives are terrible.Just like most other expensive models, brass engines and rolling stock have a higher level of detail, better performance, and are overall more accurate models. Brass is usually more expensive then high end plastics because they are notoriously good runners. The weight of the metal helps make the locomotive run very well by giving it better traction. I personally have never owned a brass model, but would like to someday.
The models can be painted, I think they come unpainted because it helps show detail and it allows the engine to be painted in whatever scheme the owner desires.Yeah I supposed, but what detail you gain you loose in realism. I've never seen a brass locomotive before. I guess I just don't get it.
Agreed although there are some such as Hallmark which had more detail than the plastic of its day, but lacking by today's standards (no see-thru fans, etc)Until the last fifteen years or so, the detail and accuracy of brass models was far above any plastic models. Running qualities varied, but the detail made them desirable to modelers. Also, in a lot of cases, brass was the only way to get a model of some locomotives. Additionally, lot of the high price is a result of the fact brass models are pretty much hand made in small runs of sometimes as few as 25 models. Though most runs are more, 500 would be a very large run for a brass model. That really helps keep the price up there.
Plastic has come a long way in recent years, driving the price of some brass down. PFM C&O K4 2-8-4 locos routinely sold for $350 to $400 on ebay until several manufacturers started making good running well detailed plastic models of the K4. Now it is rare to see a brass PFM K4 go for much over $250.
There are still some locos only available in brass, so expect to pay a premium price for those locos. But you can also generally expect a high level of detail and accuracy, especially in brass being produced now.
We either said Brass locos (referring to the model) or brass models which gets the point across just fine.And, they are not models of "brass" locomotives, they are model locomotive made of brass. There are no "plastic" locomotives out there, but that doesn't make a good plastic model any less desirable.
Yes and no. Older models such as the old Akanes and M.B Austin models had crude detailing but were very good runners. 60's, 70's and 80's models such as those by Balboa and Westside had good detailing and good drives. PFM steamers from the same era had great detailing and noisy drives, though they ran well. Early Korean steam and diesel models had issues as the Korean manufacturers made their way up the learning curve (like learning how to solder and clean the models between steps) similar to the quality issues we are seeing today when companies move their manufacturing to new vendors.What you said is true of the current brass models. Older brass models may be lacking in detail and their drives are terrible.
How so? How can you gain detail and lose realism? And not having seen one, how did you arrive at that conclusion? Sounds like you may have got some bad information.Yeah I supposed, but what detail you gain you loose in realism. I've never seen a brass locomotive before. I guess I just don't get it.
A reasonable analogy. One thing you might want to take a look at is how close some brass models are to plastic models in cost. Any of the newer 4-8-4's by Precision Craft or MTH are averaging about 500 bucks if you get the sound versions. Sunset Models just did a brass 4-8-4 for $699.95 (with sound). So for another $200.00 you get the quality of a brass model, in a road name not likely to be done in plastic ever. (Sunset did the NP/SP&S 4-8-4, not another GS-4 or an FEF-3 or a USRA prototype wheel arrangement that can be lettered for anything. That's the big difference. Plastic model makers want universal appeal. They want to sell thousands of models, so they'll pick a common prototype that can be lettered for three or four roadnames at least, and then produced unlettered or undec for anyone to do his own freelance or foobie model. Or they'll pick a famous one and hope to sell it on the "Famous Train" appeal to collectors or guys who'll buy anything. For those of us who want something more accurate and not USRA (for steam era guys) we can get an accurate model for a reasonable upcharge.I get what you're on about. They come looking like brass, but then you paint them.
Nobody leaves them in their original brass finish, except collectors. You gain detail, and the realism comes from that detail and from the paint you apply over the brass.
I wondered the same thing when I first found out about brass engines.
If plastic models are like a normal car, brass engines are like a hand-assembled car made by one guy in a shed in Italy. For most of us, they're excessive. For hardcore modelers who notice if the air hoses on the secondary compressor have the wrong style of fittings (or people modeling unusual prototypes) who don't mind slinging a little paint, they're perfect.
I've been getting interested in really old engines and found this plastic Roco loco...Brass used to be the most detailed engines available. They are ususally made for specific roads and more unusual engines.
With some of the current offerings in plastic that may not always be the case, the "modern" plastic engines may have a better drive and better detail.
Having said that if I want a 1900 era engine, and don't want to do a lot of kitbashing, I will probably be looking at a brass. If I want a specific steam engine from a specific road, I would be looking at brass.
I model the P&R in 1900. The only truly accurate engines for my road in my era are brass.
Very true. Someone new to the hobby and considering brass should do some research before they spend a good chunk of cash.I've seen one up close, held one, and taken one apart! Brass has its share of good brands and junk brands.
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