New To Hobby - Help

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by adguy58, Aug 5, 2006.

  1. adguy58

    adguy58 New Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this hobby am interested in the HO scale. I have a collector in my area who is offering me the Union Pacific SD-70M #4357 from Athearn Genesis to get started.

    I like the level of detail on this train. I do not intend to buy a lot of trains, but I would like to buy something collectible so I can pass it on. Having a hard time finding information on this locomotive.

    Any help you can offer would be appreciated.:)
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi adguy,
    If you do a little searching, you may find that this is a discontinued 2002 release, still
    listed one or two places, but likely not in stock anywhere.
    One currently listed on e-bay NIB bid of 41.57 with 31 hours to go. I don't know if this
    loco is any more or less "collectible" or desirable than the current Genesis offerings of
    the same loco with different road numbers. If you are going to use it, I would worry
    less about its investment value than its utility.
    Trainworld lists "6110 assorted lines" in stock for $99.99. Were I in the market for one
    of these I would go there first.:thumb: :thumb:
    Good Luck, and welcome to The-Gauge!!:wave: :wave:
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    In ho, most of the collectible stuff is made of brass. There was an article in Model Railroader a few years ago about a mistake by one of the brass train manufacturers from Japan, made a mistake on one production run and put 1.5 volt motors in the locomotives instead of 12 volt motors. If one of those locomotives had been put on the track and run, th motor would have instantly turned to smoke. They issued a recall to fix the problem, and less than 10% of the production run came back. The presumption is that the rest of them went to collectors who put them on a shelf and kept the original boxes put away. Don't worry about collectability. By the trains you want to run and enjoy them. Trains don't have to be collectable to be worth passing on. They just need to be good runners that can pull a reasonable number of cars to make a realistic train. Virtually anything made by Athearn, Atlas, Kato, Lifelike Proto 2000 (abreviated P2K), or Bachmann Spectrum will be good. The only problem I see with the Genesis SD70m is that it is big modern power, meaning it is a long wheel base 6 axle diesel. If you don't have room to build a layout with fairly wide radius curves and room to make it a failry large layout, you may have difficulty operating it. If you start with a typical 4 x 8 plywood board for a layout, you will be restricted to 18 or 22 inch radius curves. The Sd70 will work on the 22 inch, but may be too long to work on 18. The prototype for that locomotive makes 4000 hp, I think ( I model in the 50's so I'm not up on the specs of the latest power). If it is put on a 4 x 8 either it will have to pull a train that is much too short to look realistic, or it will be such a long train that it overwhelms the layout. You want to decide how much room you have for a layout, and then look at the "Givens & Druthers" thread in the Track Planning forum. Then decide how big you can go with a layout, and what railroad, era, and type of operation you want to model. Finally buy locomotives and cars to fit what you want to model.
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge :wave: Russ sumed it up well though it would be a nice loco you might be better off starting with somthing like a a Gp or a SD.
  5. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    A 4-year-old Athearn doesn't sound collectible to me.
    Early 70-series engines were 4000 hp; more modern ones are 4300 hp. The SD70M is, I believe, the most common diesel on UP at present. If you want to model modern UP, then, you can't go wrong with it... as long as you have the space.
    My personal preferences for degree of selective compression would result in a dozen 50' cars behind that size engine, which would make a train more than 8 actual feet long. (Your degree of suspension of disbelief may vary.) This is one of the reasons not to use a 4x8 plywood board: other layout configurations can be more space-efficient...

    I think we'd best take a step back and look at what you actually want from this hobby.

    Why are you interested in HO scale in the first place?
    You'll find a great deal of other equipment of equal quality. Maybe your expectations were too low? :D There's enough good equipment that you don't have to jump on the first thing you find.

    What aspects of the hobby do you want to focus on?

    What aspects of real-life railroading are you interested in?
  6. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member


    announce1 If you want collectable by post war Flyer and Lionel.

    To pass on your trains, buy GOOD cars and engines and take care of them. Quality lasts long after the account has been done. You need not pay $400 for good motive power. Bachman spectums and Atearn are very good as are others that are afordable.

    Compare hobby shop prices with new items on ebay, I have saved 20% to 30% on ebay that way when I educated myself on what I wanted. Same new items as I saw in the dealers cases. Bad for him but good for you.

    Go slow my friend, read the magaizines but dont buy the hotest, newest engine in a magazine review. Buy some videos/DVDs also.

    Always feel welcome here and soak up info like a sponge.
    But dont ask me, I dont know squat.:rolleyes:
  7. zedob

    zedob Member

    Yeah, I've been in the hobby for 30+ yrs and own a total of 3 locos and a handful of cars. I've always enjoyed the scenery aspect of MRRing and never was really into operations, but my interests are/have been changing and prototypical operation is slowly creeping up the ladder.

    It's easy to get so involved with one facet of this hobby and be almost totally blind to others, but that can change almost overnight. Just depends on what you are interested in modeling. Read all you can about every part of this hobby. There's more to it than what is initially viewed as simply "playing with trains".

    It's a whole new world, that you have control over.:thumb:
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge:thumb:

    It's best to stay out of the collector end of the hobby. With 37 locomotives and 120 cars of my own, less than 20 have any collectable value. Of those 20, all but one were destined for the dumpster had they not come my way---the families had no idea what they had or what to do with it. My beloved knows the value of what I have and I've already earmarked who gets what. That they are even desired by my wife and children should something happen to me makes them far more valuable to me and lets me know that they haven't come between me and my family. Find your niche in the hobby and enjoy that:thumb:
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    collecting= crazyness.

    Its more worth while ( and worth your buck) to buy trains to use them. Trust me, when anything gets old, it worth somethign to someone. That SD70M might be worth it to some one in the future when that locomotive isn't particularly available. even if its not, it will still be a nice locomotive if good care is taken of it.

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