My first trip to the hobby model railroad shop

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Oracle_9, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. Oracle_9

    Oracle_9 New Member

    I finally got the urge to go to the hobby shop to look at some trains. It was a delightful experience with its good and its bad. I was completely amazed at the details to some of the engines. The nice clerk there happily assisted me with my questions and showed me the different classifications of trains. I never seen those smaller scale trains first hand, until today. I was shocked to see the N-scale, of how small it was when the guy showed me. Then he shows me Z-scale, I was like...:eek:, after not really recovering from the size of the N-scale. (Note: I couldnt find a :eek: with bigger eyes in the edit box here).

    Then I asked them about the prices......:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:!!!!!! I hope this explains my reaction, no??

    There was this beautiful, highly detailed, steam locomotive, I forget if it was HO or N, but I do remember being $750! Anyho, there were like diesel locomotives for like $50 - $150. And I thought my rc airplane hobby was expensive.

    All in all, I had an enjoyable morning for the most part. I also have some serious thinking to do and a lot more research to do as well.
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    750.00? Sounds like you were looking at the Marklin Big Boy.Thats is the asking price. Of course, it really is a nice loco, highly detailed, great for taking out second mortgages, or helping the economy by spending that tax refund.

    I hope you got some ideas while you were there.
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    There can be a lot of sticker shock at the hobby shop! I tend to go toward the more moderately priced items and also look at flea markets and the discount room of my local hobby shop that sells used and reconditioned locos.

    Glad you had fun looking. Yep, keep researching until you figure out what is right for you.

  4. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Don't be put off by the prices. Deals are to be had online and at train shows, but you are better off starting your shopping at the local hobby shop rather than taking a risk on your own with something you know little about. Like I said, sweet deals are to be had at train shows, but there are a whole lot of lemons.

  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Oracle: there will be a list of shows and flea markets on the CARM site (Cdn Assn of Railway Modellers). These will give you another perspective on prices.
  6. cntown

    cntown Member

    There are a few good LHS in the Toronto area,which one did you go to? If you are ever in Burlington stop in at Trains on Brant,they seem to have better pricing on all the new stuff. I find that they sell brand new stuff for cheaper than Train show sales of old stock,but shows are where you can haggle for a better price.Lots of shows coming up in the next month or two.The closest one to you would probably be at Humber College in April.This show brings out lots of seller's but no layouts to look at.
  7. Oracle_9

    Oracle_9 New Member

    I went to John's Photo & Hobby at Woodbine and Danforth. There is also a place called George's Trains at Mt. Pleasant and Eglinton, also in Toronto, but they are closed on Mondays. I think they have more selection than John's, not sure of their prices though.

    Thank you for the posts. I will check out the places that were mentioned later this spring.
  8. Oracle_9

    Oracle_9 New Member

    Oh, the one I saw for $750 was not a bigboy. It did have a long tank, but only 2 pistons, not 4.
  9. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    You might also want to try Hornet Hobbies on O'Connor south of Eglinton. They have great staff, an excellent repair service, offer good advice, but (sorry to say this!) their prices seems a little high! :eek: I visit Hornet a fair bit since it's very close to where I live.

    eBay is also an excellent source for getting good deals but, as others have pointed out, it might be safer to start with LHS's for now.

    There is another George's Trains store in Markham which is like a 3-minute walk from where I work, so I'm constantly tempted! The staff there are very helpful and I don't think the prices are that high. They also offer a "Spikes" savings program to customers (you earn "spike" points when you buy things).

    I also know about John's Photo & Hobby and have been there a couple times -- for some strange reason, I hardly ever go there, yet it's also close to where I live.

  10. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I'd bet it was brass.

    In the past, there were three options for locomotives:
    1) injection molded plastic
    2) diecast kits
    3) brass

    The best plastic engines were made by Rivarossi and would cost $100-$200. The diecast kits ranged from $30-200. MDC was the most popular diecast manufacturer, and Bowser made what were probably the best detailed models.
    The third option was brass. With substantially lower capital investment per locomotive...but much higher unit was ideal for the production of locomotives that didn't have a large enough market for styrene or diecast it was easier to correct mistakes from batch to batch.

    Unfortunately for many of us, there is a collector aspect to the brass market. Fortunately, the newer diecast imports (Broadway Limited, Precision Craft, MMI, etc...) as well as the new styrene imports (spectrum, LL P2K) are reducing the demand for brass and making it reasonable (again) to the rest of us.
  11. cntown

    cntown Member

    I used to stop in at John's but I always got the feeling that they think I am going to steal something.Hornet Hobbies is a nice store also but just like Robert said the prices are a little high.Georges Trains in Markham is a great store for HO&N and the guys there are very helpful especially Dan and sometimes you can buy used at a good price from estate sales they have,also you can watch trains go bye at the same time. The one thing about that location I miss the most is Dave Morgan(Railview) he would always have time to answer your questions especially when you are new to MR.
  12. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Yes, Dave was a great guy and I do miss him. He sure knew MR stuff inside and out. And yes, he would explain things to people who were new to MR. However, when I was just getting into the hobby a few years ago, he would often roll his eyes at some of my basic scenery or coupler questions! but he always took the time to answer my questions.

    I just have to look at my layout and I can see all sorts of places where I put his advice into practice.

  13. cntown

    cntown Member

    The were a few times for me also but he was patient.I was able to buy a number of cars that he had weather for himself and a few buildings before he passed away,and they will always remind me of Dave.

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