Have I Plateaued (Rolling Stock)?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by riverotter, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    After three years in acquisition mode I'm beginning to think I've bought virtually all the rolling stock and locomotives I want for my model railroad.

    Even the ads aren't all that enticing these days. I look at them (the new Athearn FP-45s in HO, for example) and think, "very nice, but do I really want to spend $135 for it? Nope."

    I have given deposits on two diesels on pre-order (where they've been for over a year), and I am looking forward to getting them, but lately, I look at what I've already got and more often than not think "maybe I ought to sell some of this." Example: I have four Challengers -- and two of them are still in their boxes.

    Has anyone else been though this phase? What happened next?
  2. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Changing scales.
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I wish I could relate... but I have been working with a limited budget, building my own stuff, kitbashing, basket-case rescuing, small layouts. I see the ads and I want all of it!

    But then reality catches up to me - even if I had the space, and the money, I would still lack time. There are too many other things i like to do to devote too much time to my model railroad. That means, I really can't see ever having much more than a small bedroom-sized layout. Anything larer, and I just don't see how I would ever get it done enough to satisfy me.

    If I was to seriously expand my modeling aquisitions, the next step may be a small garden layout. Or a small n-scale layout just for the challenge.

  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I reached a plateau with my buying also. I've put a moratorum on locomotive purchases and I'm very selective on car acquisitions. Being a logging railroader, I don't have a reason to buy many reefers or tank cars.
    Of course there's always the expense of scenery materials but thats minimal compared to rolling stock.
  5. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    riverotter, i too have hit the mark your at, at this time:winki: ...well, until just recently, i ran into a "deal of a lifetime" that i just couldnt pass up:twisted: , but mark my word, this will be the LAST TIME...i think:119: .

    [​IMG] -Deano
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I find that I reach that stage every once-in-a-while, but then something will come along to tempt me. My solution is to thin what I've got, to make room for the new. The "thinning" can be reasonably simple, like the time that I decided that I didn't have the money or the time to model, in rotation, the '30s, '50's and '70s. The '70s stuff went mostly without too much regret, although there were a few very personalised pieces that were difficult to part with - a good friend helped with some of that. ;)
    Recently, I've decided that trying to model even two eras is beyond my abilities, especially time-wise, so almost all of my '50s-era stuff is going. This one is a lot more difficult, with much more in the way of modified equipment (in which I've invested a lot of my time and abilities) heading to new homes. I feel like I'm selling my children, although, once again, am fortunate to have a couple of good friends who are kind enough to offer them new homes. The money that I realise from these sales will allow me to re-equip myself with rolling stock all suited to a '30s-era layout, and also let me focus on developing the layout to a more completed stage. Some of the rolling stock is currently in use, and needs only to be repainted and re-lettered, while some is on-hand, but as yet unbuilt. I was recently fortunate to be able to pick up some appropriate lettering for over 100 cars, at a very good price, so most of the cash outlay has been made, yet I still have a lot of modelling enjoyment ahead of me doing those rebuilds and repaints. In the end, my roster size won't change much, and there should be enough equipment to operate the railroad in a manner that keeps it interesting and ever-changing, without clogging it with too much stuff. :-D

  7. riverotter

    riverotter Midwest Alliance Rail Sys

    Thanks for your thoughts, Wayne!

    My ultimate goal, like yours, is to have "enough equipment to operate the railroad in a manner that keeps it interesting and ever-changing [that's why I have two interchange tracks], without clogging it with too much stuff".

    Quite often, for me, the emotional bit is what gets in the way of thinning the inventory. I may "know" a certain item "should" be sold, but I just can't bring myself to part with it. I've tried putting these items in a cabinet so they're "out of sight", thinking that if I can live without them on my layout for 6 months, I "should" be able to sell them. That works, but only some of the time. I also remind myself of the items I've already sold that at the time I thought I couldn't live without, but now I don't even think about them unless I come across an old layout photo that includes a sold item.

    Another part of the equation is that I have a hard time selling something for $9 (e.g., on eBay) that I paid $19 for originally.

    Maybe I need to find a "good friend" like the one who helped you [per above].
  8. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    My suggestion, upgrade everything now. Add details. After a year of this, you'll start replacing stuff.
  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Well, I often buy train stuff that's on sale because "nobody wants the roadname", "it's used", "it's damaged", or somehow unwanted by most modellers. I believe that it's possible to "make a silk purse out of a sow's ear", though, and when I succeed, I factor in the cost of the parts that went into making the "purse" and also my time and labour (although, at the rate I work, I'm only worth about $.25/hour):rolleyes: Custom painters charge for paint and lettering, and even more for weathering. As for detailing, kitbashing, and other custom work, I don't see too many people even offering this service, mainly because the market wouldn't bear a cost anywhere near the "value" of the work. Still, if you're offering such embellishments (they should be well-done), I think that it's perfectly reasonable to expect a few dollars above what one would pay for the same object without the improvements. If I can make a $4.00 Train Miniature car look as good as a $35.00 r-t-r Intermountain or Red Caboose car, why wouldn't I charge more than the $4.00 that I payed? Depending on the car and the roadname, I'd say maybe $25.00. I make some money, and the buyer gets the $35.00 car he wanted for only $25.00 - looks like win-win to me. And I do realise that not everyone will pay $25.00 for a TM car, no matter how good it looks. ;):p

    Well, I always offer anything that I'm selling to my close friends first, but it's a good idea to have the price in mind at which you'd sell to anyone. Sometimes, that's the price that I expect the friend to pay, also. Other times, I'm willing to discount that price for a friend because I want the friend to have it (and for the item to have a good home, too);) more than I need to get the full price. It would be simpler, I suppose, if everything were reduced to "economics", but I find that there are a lot more important considerations in play.

  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    This is a difficult situation that I'm sure many of us find ourselves in. :eek:

    I inherited a large MRR collection from my Dad, which included many locos. To simplify, I decided to focus mainly on HO (and the similar British 00) and I sold all of his 0-gauge, S-Gauge and N-Gauge stuff, while keeping and using most of the HO/00 stock. And, during the past 3-4 years, I've bought quite a few of my own HO (and OO) locos.

    Now, I have 14 British OO locos and about 10 HO North American ones. Again, all of this is a mixture of old products from the the 1960s to the 1980s, and modern stuff with its ultra-fine detail. I'm at the point, if I want to acquire more, that I should thin out my collection by selling or trading off some of it. But now I can't decide which to get rid of as I've already whittled it down!

    I have sold or swopped some locos and rolling stock that I've later regretted! So, when thinning out a collection, just make sure that you do want to give them up. Thinning-out is a good option, you just need to be sure of what you're doing!

  11. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Yeah,every time I swear off buying any new car or engine they(meaning Athearn and Atlas) produce something I like or a short line car I don't have.
    Newest item is the forth coming Atlas announced GP15 in N Scale which I want at least 3 of..

    See how it works?
  12. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    About 3 or 4 years ago I reached the point of saturation as I call it. I stopped buying but have a list of gotta haves. My wife knows about the list and about two months ago I came accross a C&O 4-6-4 Hudson number 490. It is the only streamline the C&O had. they planned on more but pulled the plug on the project. Any way back to the model. It is not for sale right now but as paul harvey would say "and now the rest of the story". If I convince him to part with it, I will buy it. I haven't bought anything other than DCC stuff for several years. Well maybe KayDees or trucks. (maintenance stuff) I have given away several locos to kids who are into the hobby.

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