Brass locos

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by hoppercarmaker, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Wich brass locos are good? I see them on ebay alot and seems to be good prices. But I realy dont know anything about them.
  2. chooch.42

    chooch.42 Member

    OK, the least qualified to comment gets 1st go at it ! Brass locomotives are the most detailed models, fabricated with sheet, bar and castings by skilled workers in limited numbers. The types and details can be very prototype-specific in shape, structure and equipment, so each will be a very close representation of a real loco. Because of the material, method of construction, and limited numbers, brass is expensive to build and is made more so by collectors, who treat these as investments to be left untouched, in-original-box, factory paint (or unpainted). The mechanical functions, are "less important", so perhaps less than the best in some cases (the buyer isn't going to RUN them, anyway). If you see a loco that you like, or want because of prototype or because you "like it", and the $$ is reasonable for your priorities - go for it ! All but the worst cases of bad running can be remedied (most will at least require motor/electrical isolation to apply DCC), and a little soldering amnd painting skill will repair/modify most light damage. At worst, you will need to build/buy a display case for your mantel queen. Buying "pre-owned"?- be sure you know what you are getting for your money - if your an E-bay kinda guy, good luck, and watch for those last second run-ups $$$$$$$$$$. I'm sure some others will jump in later with more/better counsel. JM$.02! Bob C. (myusername at
  3. Thanks for the reply,I found a site that has a buyers guide. It appears that I need to learn a lot more before buying any brass.
  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    You have several variables. The importer, the builder, and the case of popular locomotives that were imported several times, the run.

    My experience has been primarily with Geared locomotives, and a few small rod locomotives.

    I will trust a PFM unit built by United. Out of the box the shays , Climax and a Ma & Pa Consolidation I have had experience with had good mechanisms, which needed only extra electrical pick up, to be very good runners (with DC)

    I have several Westside locomotives, two class A climaxes and a Heisler, which have been good performers.

    I have a very old Gem 2-4-4-2, which had multiple problems with it's drive train, which it took me years to figure out and fix.

    I have a NWSL Sierra #8 2-8-0, which was an extremely good runner out of the box. I have had to rebuild the tender drawbar.

    I plan on adding extra electrical pick up to any brass locomotive (and anything else that doesn't come with pick up on most wheels)

    It pays to deal with a trusted dealer, who will put the locomotive you are interested on the track, and tell you how it does.

    If one won't run well the first thing to go is hit the commutator of an open frame motor with some tuner cleaner.

    Bill Nelson
  5. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

    Yeh' why have one of these when you can have a Bachmann consolidation :mrgreen:

  6. nw-fan

    nw-fan New Member

    As an HO modeler, I can say that this particular product from Bachmann The auxilliary tender) was a Godsend. Previously, I owned 2 NWSL, and one resin version of this aux tender. Now, thanks to Bachmann, I have 10+. The Bachmann's go for $25, while the NWSL's were going for $100+ prior to this model becoming available. Recent offerings from Bachmann, Rivarossi, and Walthers/Life-Like have driven down brass prices for us N&W modelers/collectors.
  7. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    The auxiliary tender looks nice. I bought one of those Paragon 2 Y6b's for use at the club, and after watching videos of them in action I think an auxiliary tender might be a good idea some time. It might be fun to try to hide a diesel mechanism under one. put a decoder in it, and monkey with the cv s until it runs at the same speed as the locomotive, and consist it to the locomotive for some extra oomfh.

    As for the Bachman consolidation, I have one in southern passenger livery that was one of my southern railway staging locomotives. the last time I tried to run it it's motor ran, but it did not go, as if it had something broken in the drive train. It is not real obvious how it comes apart. I have been taking brass apart for painting and modification for years This thing must have some hidden screws or some other trick to getting it apart.

    Bill Nelson
  8. GN.2-6-8-0

    GN.2-6-8-0 Member

    Take a look over on the Bachmann website ,on the left side under product references they have the break down drawing of all 3 versions of the 2-8-0.
    Also on speaking of the N&W aux. tender thats a hoot cuz I posted a wrong picture,remember the subject was brass locomotives was supposed to have been a picture of my Akane DM&IR Yellowstone,instead accidently added the bachman aux. tender picture.....DOH!
    Thats another story,bought two of'em for me and a buddy to run behind our new BLI Y6s only to realise way to late they was N scale not HO. Double DOH!wall1wall1

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