Bachmann 4-4-0, More than shay?

Discussion in 'On30 Forum' started by TrainGuyRom, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. TrainGuyRom

    TrainGuyRom Member

    I just looked through my bachmann catolog, and found that in On30 the
    4-4-0 is more expensive than the Shay! N scale section:4-4-0 second most expensive (first being a 4-8-4) 1:20.3: Third most expensive engine (1st being the K-27, 2nd being the three truck shay) By $50.00!

    Seeing this makes me wonder "why is the 4-4-0 so expensive in all these scales"

    If you have any ideas or comments please post them.
  2. ytter_man

    ytter_man Member

    4-4-0's have traditionally been harder to produce because they're so small, therefore more expensive :cry:

    Try micro-mark, they usually have bachmann stuff really cheap. I got an HO shay for about $100.
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    It may have less to do with the style of loco, and more to do with what the production costs were.

    Things that were in the pipe before the dollar tanked and Chinese labour costs started rising will cost less than more recent additions to the lineup.
  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Another important thing, which connects both of the above together.

    How many 19th century models are there? IHC & Rivarossi's OO scale 4-4-0s (which are marketed as HO, but aren't). B-man's 4-4-0s, Atlas's 2-6-0. The MDC/Roundhouse stuff was typically 1900+ stuff masquarading as 19th century models. Mantua's General. Mantua's OO scale 1890s 4-6-0.

    In the (distant) past, manufacturers attempted to sell 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s models, but found little market for them. Yet, the tooling isn't much cheaper than modern stuff. While I agree that fluxuations in the cost of Chinese labor is a (or the) component, I believe that the standards have also gone up...and the 4-4-0s are not expected to sell as well. A model will cost less if the $50,000 in tooling costs are spread out amongst 10,000 models rather than 1000. If the models were resin, the smaller engines would be cheaper...or if the tooling costs didn't exist.
  5. TrainGuyRom

    TrainGuyRom Member

    Interesting. I think it's the guiding wheels. maybe they cost more becouse this is the only engine that uses them?I don't know. Any other thoughts?
  6. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Is it the only locomotive that uses the wheel sets? The truck is simple, and I would suspect that the shay's special tooling/labor for the geared axles, cylinders, and drive train would trump anything on any other locomotive (except maybe the climax).

    Another this point, the shay's tooling costs have probably been paid off. I seem to recall that it used to cost more...or at least I didn't know of any sources as cheap as I know of now.

    Also, the economics of pricing can change over time. Perhaps the B-man thought that lowering the dealer price (but not necessarily the MRSP) would result in more units being sold...and that it would offset for the reduced unit price. Ultimately, I think that the tooling and appeal of the model (projected sales) is the greatest component of the cost.

    I just read an interview with Phil Jensen (Hartland Loco Works) in which he discussed the massive costs involved in tooling for a plastic locomotive ($500,000 for a large scale engine). Clearly, that is a different realm than the shays ( much of the shay and 4-4-0 construction is single piece, complex castings and how much is Chinese labourers assembling them?).
  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    My guess is it is a simple matter of economics. They probably sell three or four shays for every American type they sell, and so the fixed costs of production are spread much thinner with the Shay.

    MMI (the cast locomotive division of PSC) was planning on producing American types (4-4-0's) In Hon3 and In On3, and were taking reservations. An American type hasn't been produced in Hon3 in almost 30 years since the rather plain FED's I See my Hon3 locomotive shops thread over in Narrow gauge). Those few of us who love the early narrow gauge were excited, but enough reservations to get the project to production were not made. The HOn3 American was canceled, and the On3 was shifted to brass production which won't have as much pre production cost.

    So at least in Hon3, and in On3 Americans don't sell well. I love them, and would kill to get my hands on a Old Rivarossi O scale Genoa kit (with the powering kit) that, and some Labelle O scale open platform coaches would make a killer mantelpiece model.

    Bill Nelson
  8. kennyrach

    kennyrach Member

    Hi go to Ebay you can get then for $100.00 or less

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