Old Athearn blue box kits

gcav17 Dec 10, 2013

  1. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

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    Then..... What are you doing? ;)
     
  2. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmmm..... Well now that depends on who you are asking. The ex-wife would call them toys. While I would call it 'gettin away from you'. Lol!!
    My kids call it working with awesome. I tend to agree. My dog calls it a distraction. I should be scratching ears instead.
    The hobby shop calls it good business. My wallet says. '' to much!!'' All in all. To me, its trying to model an era thats long gone and dead.

    Sent from my Commando
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Oooooooo! Good one!
     
  4. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    I added to the discussion- I stated that IMO Tyco is worthless. Your opinion may differ- if it does, fine. I don't seem to recall any restrictions when this discussion started, and I was quite civil in my description of Tyco by not naming names, so I stand by my statement vis-a-vis Tyco- it's all junk.

    And for the record, I have Sam Posey's excellent book "Playing with Trains", which is an enlightening look at one man's experience with the hobby. Yes, I AM INDEED playing with trains, but I expect my trains to run & function well when placed on the track. I don't think Tyco is up to the job. And judguing by what you posted about Tyco engines and using a Model Power to pull those Tyco coaches, you seem to have the same opinion. If those coaches are just for funsies, hey, knock yourself out if they make you happy. That's a way you chose to approach the hobby for fun's sake, and that's OK- have at it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2013
  5. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    My point exactly! For just running someting, Tyco may be good until the motor fries (which doesn't take too long, unfortunately), so the play value is pretty much gone. Mantua and Varney were built better, not for the cheap-train-set lines companies put out later. The Mantua GP20s, while not too well-detailed, at least lend themselves to kitbashing and adding of detail parts to make them look better. I feel the same way about Mehano drives from LifeLike. For dependability, I'll take an old Athearn geared drive any day, wider hood be hanged. They're still out there, and considerably cheap when compared to RTR and Genesis models. At least with the Athearn you can still use the horn-hooks and run that Tyco rolling stock to your heart's content.
     
  6. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    LOL...nailed it:teeth:
     
  7. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Yep, and so I added to the discussion as well. Not really trying to poke you personally Bob - maybe I'll just say that damning Tyco to the depths of Dante's inferno struck me as a little....harsh?

    And yes for the record, I'll sign my name to it...Tyco motor drives, pretty much all years, were.....ummmm...."not up to the task". We can have a toast to that one. Now back to the original thread....which was.....BB kits! Love those things! :love:
     
  8. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    You know I find myself asking that question a lot these days!
     
  9. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

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    I have to admit I asked myself that this weekend when my Bachmann Chinese QJ-2 2-10-2 arrived. I mostly stick to SP&S and SP. I just thought it was cool.
     
  10. ScaleCraft

    ScaleCraft TrainBoard Member

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    They all seemed to go down the toilet as time went on, if for no other reason than to be competitive and stay alive.
    I have a complete Athearn dual-geared Geep, plus some spare trucks. Only did them a year or two, near as I can tell. Cast power blocks, machined, oillite bearings, held together with 2-56 screws. Those things are works of art.
    But, cost too much to build. So, they went to the plastic geared trucks.
    Varney. I have several (many?) F units, and some are cast blocks and belt drive (multiple-sheave pulleys) so you can change ratio and speed. Then they went to basically the same setup with a gear on the end where the pulley went, noisier, not as versatile.
    Then it went straight downhill. Soft plastic worm shaft, with worms moulded in, gear on the end moulded on....any load the shaft bends up, mesh goes to Hades, and they are noisier than stink.

    Remember Ipana toothpaste?
    We'd get an Athearn geared diseasemal, new, take is all apart, clean all grease off the gears, coat with the fine grit Ipana, run them in, take them apart, clean it all out, re-grease and oil, and they were VERY quiet.

    I've had some of the newer than those Athearn geared units, with a dozen gears in the truck, and I never did like those.

    I also have issues with trucks that pivot at the worm/worm gear interface.
    Anytime an old Bachmann comes in a box of stuff, they go away. Not even interested in trying to fix them or maintain them.

    However, some of the noisiest "older" engines are MDC/Roundhouse.
    Good Lord those make a lot of racket. Later ones with plastic shells and weights stuck inside just amplified it.
    Personal opinion from the workbench.
    Dave
     
  11. Southern Oregonian

    Southern Oregonian TrainBoard Member

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    Some of the old Bachmann steamers were SO bad that Bowser made full chassis replacements. All you had to do was put the shell on.
     
  12. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Maybe a wee bit harsh, but after dealing with the motor drive/paperweights, IMO they deserve criticism. Like I said, your choice of a Model Power diesel to pull those Tyco coaches would be much better. Those cabooses (at least the ones with the streamlined cupolas) may lend themselves to a kitbash of a passable CB&Q caboose- I know I've heavily modified a couple of Tyco building kits to make them look decent, but I digress.......so it's agreed- motive power bleaeeacchh, rolling stock.....eehhnn, depends on what you get. SO I'll ease up a bit on my opinon of Tyco.......but only a little bit. Let Old Scratch get his trains elsewhere.


    AH yes, blue-box kits and other shake-the-box kits........wee need more of these, not just the ready-to-go cars. Even after assembling the cars, adding proper metal wheelsets & couplers, and weighing them properly, the kit cars are still cheaper. Some of the kit cars are highly detailed and take time to assemble (hello, Intermountain.....nice to see you Proto), but the end result is worth it. And I'm not ready to toss out my custom-painted-and-Frisco-decaled Athearn BB P/S covered hoppers any time soon..
     
  13. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member

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    Funny you should mention ex-wife.......when my first marriage went down in flames, model railroading was my therapy to help me through the darkest times afterward. That, plus the numerous railfanning trips I took. At least my present and forever spouse is much more tolerant of my hobby. I personally don't care what my ex-spouse calls my trains nowadays.....I'm now working on the railroad to show off to my grandkids.
     
  14. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, even Tyco enthusiasts will tell you the motor drives are bad! Love Tyco but hate the drives!
    And as for Bachmann, specifically those horrid pancake motor, single power truck examples....oh my goodness. One bright side is that they convert into some of the easiest rolling dummy locomotives around!;)


    I would like to read the story of how Life-Like transformed itself into P1K/P2K, and how Bachmann moved into their Plus/Spectrum lines. Do you think there was a meeting of their Board of Directors one day when the CEO stood up and said, "Gentlemen, this stuff is ABSOLUTE CRAP!"
     
  15. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    Well I will not be pursuing this folks. The gent that I wanted to purchase a mess of these from, would not come off of his price. But then he thinks it all has a collective value. And well, it don't. For example. A mini trix ( I believe ) crocodile 'n' train set in the wood grained box, and the royal Hudson 4-6-2 set for 325 each. Worth maybe, at best half that. And he wont budge on those either. Poor shame.... They will sit on his shelves for a long long time...


    Sent from my Commando
     
  16. mikelhh

    mikelhh TrainBoard Member

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    Somewhere I have a couple of unassembled Blue Box boxcar kits painted for Guilford. The thing is, the cars have roof walks, but Guilford didn't even exist 'til the early 1980s. All Athearn has done is repaint an old kit. Obviously it's no big deal for me to leave the roof walks off and fill in the holes. I'm not cranky about it, just amused at their way of squeezing a bit more use out of an old kit :cute:

    Mike
     
  17. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Or some sheep who is ready to be sheared.
     
  18. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    I don't think that will even happen boxcab. Most of the folks that come into his shop know what things are. The rest come in and look and walk out. This place is the most disorganized mess of full, half-full and empty boxes and mix matched scale locations I have ever seen. He is retiring in two months and takin it all with him wherever he goes. The fact that he will not come off of his prices tells me he is not interested in selling. He is a hoarder. He has tons of old model train 'junk' in boxes. That basically. Ain't worth squat. So anyway. If anyone has a high 9 figure amount of money. They could get all of his inventory....

    Sent from my Commando
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Which is actually worth low four digits?
     
  20. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    Na.he has two solid rows of rail king.Models. Die cast. Books. And a basement full of things no one is allowed to see. Amongst all the other crap. Which is to much to list. But not worth much. If someone did buy the goods. They would need his internet sales too. Not that he has a website. Just an email..

    Sent from my Commando
     

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