Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by nicknero, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. nicknero

    nicknero Member

    Looking for to get my first brass piece to run on my layout does anyone have any good websites I dont have a particular era I just enjoy rare and unique locos so if anyone has some ideas or maybe wanna buy my first piece I wont argue
  2. zedob

    zedob Member

    Ebay is a good place to start, but you have to know what you are looking for and what the market price is for a particular piece. Do a google search for "brass locomotive" narrow it down by the scale you are modeling, note the price and then ebay search it. It may be there, it may not. However, ebay is dynamic and must be checked frequently to find those good deals.

    I put a small narrow gauge forney type brass loco that I had bought for $79.00 20yrs ago up for auction and ended up getting $250 for it. Go figure. I'm not complaining, but I can tell you that some people can get all hung up in a bidding war. Be careful.

    Good luck.:thumb:
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    try Ebay sometimes brass can be had at reasonable prices(no steals just a few fair deals)

    humm I'm slow :)
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Be prepared to do some work when you do acquire one. If it's been left unpainted and mostly unrun, it will need cleaning and lubing at the very least. If it's been run heavily, there may be wear problems. Broken or missing parts will be difficult or next to impossible to find.

    For the most part, older imported brass locos would be considered mediocre to poor runners today. There are some exceptions. And some will have been reworked for better running.

    Unless you enjoy these types of projects, or are seeking a prototype only made in brass, you will generally do much better with a modern plastic/die cast steamer. Less money, better performance.

    All the above said, I was able to get a Ken Kidder HOn3 Porter 0-4-0T from eBay for less than $50 last summer. To make it run well, I will have to remotor/regear and tune. I also need to add details and paint. Won't be a cheap loco when I'm done, but it's a fun project. Luckily, I have found/saved web sites and information from others who have worked on this particular loco.

    yours in project work
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Exceptions, and not just in the direction you're thinking. Some not-so-ancient brass engines still run badly. By all accounts the Hallmark N scale Santa Fe 4-8-4 (released 1991) doesn't even qualify as an operating model.
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I would stick with United,Balboa and Tenshodo steamers from the 50/60 era.These was the top brass runners of that era.

    I would stay away from Hallmark,Alco Models and Train Inc..These diesels are from the 60s and was pretty bad runners and howls like a banshee.:(
    It takes a lot of rework to get these engines to run smooth and lower the howl level..
  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    My first brass piece is all the above, cantankerous, ornery, corroded....but I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a United/PFM C&S 2-6-0 Mogul in HOn3 that I was given for helping settle a fellow modeler's estate.

    My most desirable ones would be the tiny teakettle steamers like Mich-Cal #2 or any of the tee boiler climaxes and shays that came out in the early 70s. At the other end would be the 4-8-8-8-4 Virginian triplex complete with a can motor on each engine put out by Oriental in the early 80s. SIGH...I can dream...:)

    Attached Files:

  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Bob,That lil' beauty needs TLC..I bet she would not be cranky then..:D
  9. nicknero

    nicknero Member

  10. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    don't know about the price but sounds like it need repowered the only SOHO i ever had ran poorly.
  11. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Thanks, Larry. I amm looking to remotor it with a flywheel in the tender, it has a similar drive train to AHM/Rivarossi 4-4-0 Americans.

    Zane isn't going to lead you astray, if that's what it's worth, that's what he'll charge. Sweet looking turbine and you're not going to find a whole lot of custom painted brass for that price. Ultimately, it's your it what you want? Are you looking for a model desirable to you or a good investment unit? While my C&S steamer isn't what I would've normally gone for, it is a gift of trust and gratitude worth far more to me than the $275 or so that it would sell for now. On a retail level, as an investment brass issue, it's gained a good bit on it's original $59.95 issue price. On the other hand, you can probably cop the Lionel turbine with DCC, tender and sound for about the same price on a good day.
  12. nicknero

    nicknero Member

    I wanted something I could use on my layout I want to repaint it with my custom lines colors I also wanted to add dcc I know Im doing some odd stuff to it but ya know I just hope itll be worth it because I like Unique locos like the GG1 or the cab forward
  13. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    A brass loco like that one is going to need 22-24" radius curves right up front so keep that in mind. For custom road names I'd stick with plastic or undecorated brass as they do not retain their value as much as if they were painted for their prototype road. I fully intend to paint the mogul in whatever scheme was appropriate for that particular model. DCC in an older brass loco is going to be a bit of work---not impossible---but know that up front as well, probably along the lines of an old Rivarossi. More than likely you'll have to remotor it as well because older open frame motors draw serious amps, enough to smoke the most resilient decoders out there.:thumb:

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