Good money after bad or you get what you pay for

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Gil Finn, May 8, 2007.

  1. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Don't get me wrong, I have some nice cars and engines I have bought used also a few I have kit bashed or repainted and recoupled for a certain projects, but I wish now I had acquired most of my cars and engines new and in sets. I will tell you why.

    I bought a lot of cars and some engines on ebay, at shows and train shops that sell used stuff from estates sells, ect.

    At the time I didn't have a layout or a real solid idea of what I wanted to build when I did make a layout.

    I find now I have a lot of mismatched cars, cars and engines that are junk or have problems and just a load of items I have no use for.

    For example, sometime this winter I bought and F7 A&B unit in C&O colors to pull and passenger train. I also bought a number of A units that, being made by different makers had some paint and decal variations and I had to do some repainting.

    The A&B unit I find today is junk, the engine is trashed. Fortunately I was able to swap shells on the A unit and coupler on the B unit and once the glue sets on the shell it make run OK.

    I have 2 dozen coal hoppers and about 8 of those need serious work to operate with the others and so it goes.

    Now I wish I had bought a couple of sets of hoppers with consecutive numbers in 6 pack like Walthers for example.
    I wish I bought better engines. I have two old steamers that wont run worth a plug nickel I got cheap on ebay. You truly get what you pay for and being in the hobby a long time I should have been wiser but naturally wanted something for nothing.

    . Spending a $100- $175 or more I would have but several steamers that I would have been happy with. I do have some that came from my local shop however and they give me no trouble and I do have some nice ones I actually bought on ebay

    Some of those I tested with a transformer and two hot wires but not on a track. That doesn't tell you a lot.

    I do enjoy projects and I love to paint and make kits, kit bash and weather them, still not all my stuff is junk but I could have shopped wiser.

    The point is buy the best and plan your purchases and you will be happier and thriftier in the long run.

    Expect to get the quality you pay for is my creed now.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Also, decide on what you want to model before you start buying. I decided early on that I wanted to model the Santa Fe in the 1950's, so when someone comes out with a great model of a Challenger or Big Boy, I don't have to get tempted. I'm not a bit tempted with any of the brand new diesels, they don't fit my era. It seems there is enough stuff out there in my era that was used by the Santa Fe to keep me broke without adding stuff the Santa Fe never had or had at a time other than when I'm modelling.
  3. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    I'm modeling a purely fictional railroad, so whether any one actual railroad ever had all the gear I'm running doesn't matter. But staying in period does, and has resulted in only one 'unusable' locomotive, bought for me as a gift before I'd managed to really get myself entrenched in my desire for steam. (which is a shame, it's a really nice Atlas SD-50) Other than that, my most poorly spent money has been on incompatable equipment, such as a nice freight set, with incompatable and unreplaceable couplers.
  4. train1

    train1 Member

    The only problem with that Russ is that you don't (unless they are specialty trains ie coal). For example, you would never see a Canadian National locomotive consist pulling all Canadian National box cars for instance. It's a hodgepodge of boxcar roads from all over North America. That's what makes railfanning fun and it should spill over into your modelling.
    My Canadian 2 cents.
  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    To a degree. You're not going to see CN F-units pulling Detroit Edison Coalporters, however. Nor will you see an Amtrak F40 pulling an 1870s-style circus train. There are limits to what's possible in reality, even if there isn't in the imagination. What Russ is saying is that it would be best to narrow down to some degree, like by decade, what equipment you're going to collect.
  6. stripes

    stripes Member

    I agree! I started out buying just for the sake of having rolling stock. Now I am starting over , BUT, being very specific. No more Bachmann or Tyco,
    just quality kits with metal wheels and magnetic couplers.

  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    It depends on what couplers you want to standardise on, but if it's Kadee, they make a wide selection of couplers to suit almost any situation. I've yet to see a car or loco that couldn't be modified to Kadees.

  8. Travellar

    Travellar Member

    Well, to be more specific, the couplers on the trucks they came with are incompatable, and molded to the trucks. I've got spare trucks, but the rolling stock itself is incompatable with those.
  9. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I couldn't agree with you more. I have found having a defined time frame for modeling limits my spending (to some degree at least) and also keeps me from running equipment that never would have run together. For instance, running modern 1995-2005 diesels precludes me from buying boxcars with roof walks. It always helps me to step back and ask myself if a piece of rolling stock or a locomotive would fit in my time frame, locale, and consist. Although, I have to admit to the occasional "modelers license" for adding a caboose to some of my freight trains.:mrgreen:
  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Now! How do you get all of the beginning MR folks to read these posts before they get all hyped up and get on Ebay and buy everything that says train on it?
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I inherited a very eclectic mix of model railway stock from my Dad -- he obviously had a wide variety of tastes! So this has affected my layout and actually made it more flexible and fun.

    My main focus, for example, is SW England and I've bought and added a lot of my own trains for that region. However, I also have a lot of stock suitable for northern Britain. The time period for both, though, is roughly the same -- 1930s-1950s.

    Had I started out on my own, I would have focussed more on one region, but it is fun to be able to have a couple regions to play around with ! (And did I mention I also have a collection of North American trains -- some inherited and others recently bought -- for even more variety?)

  12. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Put "Rare" and "Vintage" in the title. :D
  13. darkcurves

    darkcurves Member

    I have done this before, bought a Model Power Alco 420 and Bachmann Dash 8-40C(old run) just for the sake of increasing my locomotive number, and they are just junks.

    I still dont regret getting those cheapo LL 50FT boxcars though. I cant learn weathering on a Atlas or MT car, hehe.

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