What was your first brass engine/rolling stock?

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Actually it was kinda like 9 years ago. The Athearn Genesis cabooses announced 9 years ago in 2011 were 2 cents shy of $100 MSRP for the lighted version. So it's only a 10 dollar increase for the new announced runs after nine years have gone by - not a big increase really.

Of course never mind the street price was $69. I expect these $110 caboose will be around $79 street price.

But the "model train hobby is too expensive" diatribe has been going on for years now, and will continue as regularly scheduled.

I'm not a steam guy but I've heard others complain that plastic steam doesn't hold up as well as brass steam as a rule. One guy had gone through a number of HQ plastic steam engines and eventually sold them off and replaced them with brass after getting an education from Mr. Howard Zane, who used to run the Timonium show.
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Its already here, have you seen the prices on the new Athearn Cabooses, MSRP of $110.00!
Yes, but to put this into proper context, this is Athearn "Genesis", with lots of fine details, road-specific details, full DCC-controlled lighting packages, and you can even get a with-sound version with a sound decoder that includes air whistle and brake noises.


Your father's blue-box model, with a frame piece and a body piece and cast-on details, this is not.

All this might be overkill, but they also have several other caboose models in their "Roundhouse" line for under $30 and lacking all those extras.


And over at Atlas, their "Master Line" ICC caboose has an MSRP of $47 USD.


Or this "TrainMan" line North-Eastern caboose for $37

 
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I agree. The Genesis cabooses are yes prototype specific with lots of details. I have 11 of the Athearn SP bay window and they are excellent and a real boon for SP fans.

So there are expensive plastic trains that can be trotted out to make a point, but by and large, most are under $50 each.
 

cv_acr

Active Member
Another piece of context:

For many, having *accurate* prototypical equipment may not matter, but to some modelers it really does.

For years Canadian modelers could only be content with American models with Canadian paint schemes standing in for Canadian cabooses which tend to have a very unique look compared to those American models. Accurate models involved heavy kitbashing, scratchbuilding, craftsman kits, or suck it up and accept it's not possible.

When Overland Models made the correct cabooses for my road, I paid ~$300 (Canadian dollars) a piece for several of them, thinking it'd be my only chance to get the correct equipment. (Accurate cars, nice solid detail, factory decorated, working marker and inspection lights.)

Several years later, someone actually did produce the same design in plastic, but that company is pretty much off the field now, and those *plastic* models that originally retailed for ~$80-90 CAD are now selling for over $200 CAD (although that may be an outlier, desperate demand for these is pushing prices way up). A re-run of the model would be extremely welcome by many if the company weren't basically dead at this point. :(
 

cv_acr

Active Member
And you can make the same argument on rolling stock - Tangent and Rapido cars are pushing $50 but these are loaded with fine detail.

Accurail still exists and their cars are < $20.
 
Another piece of context:

For many, having *accurate* prototypical equipment may not matter, but to some modelers it really does.
It probably matters to more than can afford them, to have accurate prototypical equipment. Ever since I got into D&RGW standard gauge in the 80's and 90's, I've wanted correct engines and cabooses but back then I couldn't afford brass. Eventually plastic engines were produced that do have D&RGW signature details (primarily plows and nose signal lights) and after 2000 I began picking up D&RGW brass cabooses. A few were painted for $220 each and I picked up a couple unpainted for $150 off of the Rio Grande io groupls email list. In the past two years I've been watching fleabay and most of the painted D&RGW Overland brass cabooses sell in the $450-650 range, but I managed to do a "best offer" and negoiate $270 for one and $280 for another, both painted Overland brass cabooses.

At present I have 7 Overland and 1 Div Pt D&RGW shop built cabooses, one still needs painted. I also got lucky and won an unpainted Overland D&RGW Extended Vision caboose for $95, a very good price as most seem to go for well over $200.

For years Canadian modelers could only be content with American models with Canadian paint schemes standing in for Canadian cabooses which tend to have a very unique look compared to those American models. Accurate models involved heavy kitbashing, scratchbuilding, craftsman kits, or suck it up and accept it's not possible.

When Overland Models made the correct cabooses for my road, I paid ~$300 (Canadian dollars) a piece for several of them, thinking it'd be my only chance to get the correct equipment.

Several years later, someone actually did produce the same design in plastic, but that company is pretty much off the field now, and those *plastic* models that originally retailed for ~$80-90 CAD are now selling for over $200 CAD (although that may be an outlier, desperate demand for these is pushing prices way up). A re-run of the model would be extremely welcome by many if the company weren't basically dead at this point. :(
I remember there was a company that did really nice plastic Canadian cabooses, but they seemed to go out of business. Jason Schron with Rapdio has been a major boon to Canadians getting many more trains but I"m sure there are still gaps.
 
And you can make the same argument on rolling stock - Tangent and Rapido cars are pushing $50 but these are loaded with fine detail.

Accurail still exists and their cars are < $20.
I'm surprised that Tangent has held the price same for ten years on their very nice freight cars. The 4750 covered hoppers only recently went up $4 with the most recent run, but so far most of the other freight cars have held at $44.95 or some of them less, like the coal cars and flat cars.

People can complain about prices but the really nice accurate stuff is going to cost a premium. Companies like Tangent and Moloco do a lot of the research and put out freight cars that you can hold up to the photo's of the real cars and they match very well.

But for budget minded, there are aways to afford the hobby too with Accurail and Walthers mainline and Atlas Trainman etc. or there is secondary market you can hunt for bargains.

IMO, this is the golden age of the hobby.
 




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