How much to get these running?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Kevinkrey, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Here is an item I found on ebay (sorry for the long link, I know no other way), but I would like to turn one or two into a dummy, and at least one powered. How much would it cost to get one running, nothing much, just basic motor? And how hard? How expensive to make the dummys? Would they be worth it?

  2. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

  3. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

  4. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Its gonna cost you around $15-20 to get them on basic DC. The simplest & cheapest way is to buy an Athearn Bluebox SD45.
  5. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Josh, you mean for these shells or convert one of the athearns and ditch these? ​
  6. CNJ999

    CNJ999 Member

    Do you fully appreciate that these are simply shells and a single frame, lacking all the detail parts, like handrails, horns, lights, etc.? Then, as has already been indicated, rather than finding a motor, gear towers and appropriate trucks, it would be far simpler to purchase an Athearn mechanism. However, after all that effort and expense you'd probably be better off simply buying a complete existing model.

  7. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Never thought about all that.wall1 Ill have to think about it. Whats another good way to model an SD38?sign1
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    DON"T GIVE UP YET!sign1

    Proto power west sells complete frames motors and powering parts already built for RPP, and they even have some RPP parts still in stock.

    I bought one of their C32-8 kits.
  9. puddlejumper

    puddlejumper Member

    There are several Athearn (RPP) SD38s on ebay right now, ready to run, as well as Kato SD38-2s.

    EDIT looks like the Athearns are all dummys but you could prolly use parts from a blue box SD40-2 or SD45 to power one of them.

  10. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The seller suggests that the shells will fit a Kato mechanism, which you might want to investigate.

    The other question you might want to considerf is how far will the (minimum) US$29 (min bid $20, plus $9 shipping) you'll spend to get these go towards a different model that may require less work?

  11. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    The seller would be ok with mr picking them up (he lives near me), so as Green Elite Cab posted, I can buy kits for these kits? How about a link. If I could get tem for $20 (no shipping) I think it would still be ok, even if it takes a while to finish them, the price seems ok if I could outfit a dummy loco for another $20, and $30-40 for a powered one.​
  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    buying brand new parts to repower a locomotive can be expensive, but it can also insure your model runs smoother than silk.

    here is a link.

    Frame Detail

    that should have most of the repowering parts, certainly enough to get you running. If your dummy already has frames, then really all you need is a motor, drive train assembly and the powered trucks to get one running.

    The rest you can get dummy trucks and a frame for. All of these parts should match your locomotive.
  13. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    A RPP SD38 will mate to an Athearn SD45 chassis, then you'll have a running SD38. All you'll need are the details then. In the end it'll cost you about the same as buying an Athearn RTR SD38.
  14. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    GEC, do th

    GEC, do they sell handrailins at that site, they are my main concern, everything else can be found elsewhere. But if not does anybody know where I can find handrails?​
    I just looked bak at the site, $17 DOLLARS FOR HANDRAILS? Is it just me or is tha outrageous?
  15. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    they do, but they are the metal kind you'd find on a blue box kit. You can probably go to and order direct from athearn SD38 handrails. Since the Athearn ones are pretty my RPP remakes, they should be compatible.
  16. Grain Baron

    Grain Baron A newbie to MRR

    My approach is to buy good running and complete kits of anything close to the unit you want, preferrably unassembled, and rework the kit to suit. You can but alot of Athearn Blue Box kits from $20 to $25 that are complete, buy a spare shell of the right road or strip it and repaint, and be far ahead if you want. The price of the frame, drive mechanism, and detail parts is far higher than a NOS Athearn blue box on eBay.

    I have about 30 SD40s and GPs that are in progress of being rebuilt to my standards starting with $20 Athearn kits. Detail kits from places like Details West take it to the next level.

    Bottom line: Don't build from parts, kitbash is faster/cheaper!


    P.S. I just had a NOS Athearn GP38-2 delivered from eBay for $25. Once details, new handrails, tune-up, and a re-wire are done. It will be a great unit.
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Just in case you are interested, I was at the "World's Greatest Hobby" train show in Del Mar Saturday, and Athearn had a booth set up. They are coming out with r-t-r Sd38's due in to hobby shops at the end of February. Possibly more expensive than building them up from parts, but if you want dcc and sound, the locomotives equipped with dcc and sound may be less expensive than buying the decoders to make them dcc & sound equipped.
  18. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Russ that is good news, they have already released some SD38's, but on the website it said discontinued on the DMIR units, maybe they will make some more. So that makes it easy to make powered units, but how much for an unpowered unit if I have the shells?

  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't think they offer dummy units any longer. Do you have any Great American Train Shows, World's Greatest Hobby shows, or model railroad swap meets in the Twin Cities area? Your best bet is to look for bargains on older Athearn blue box locomotives. They never offered the Sd38 in blue box, but you might be able to find Sd40-2s that could contribute frames and trucks. You might also try contacting Athearn via email to see if the trucks for an sd40-2 are available with side frames as spare parts. Athearn used to carry a full line of spare parts for their locomotives, but they don't list them on the web site now. I know they still carry a lot of parts, but you need to contact them directly with an inquiry to get them it seems. If you get the trucks, you could make your own frames out of brass stock. I may have misunderstood when I was talking to my friends at Athearn at the show last weekend. I thought the pamphlet that I picked up was covering locomotives that they are coming out with in the next couple of months, but it may be all of the road diesels they make and the sd38's may have already been released and sold out in some road names.
  20. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    I guess I just wont get them, it sounds like a lot of jumping through loops, I thought it would be an easy way to save money, but I can always just go to RPP and buy one.

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