Oldies but Goodies. The Old Stuff.

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by toptrain1, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Collectable, Rare Old ! As a guy going on 61 (now 63) that had his first train set about 1957. I have trouble with these three words in HO gauge. Ok ! At 61 I'll give you OLD . With the other two I have issues. I have some older stuff. Aquired thro the years. Things that were new when I was little. Some of them have weathered time better than others. These few may be refered to by these two words. Most can't. I don't understand why Revell Ho who's SW7 did not have the best of drive mechanisums but did have excelent product information on it ( the name and dateing on the bottom of the drive trucks ), Doesn't sell for more. The date 1957 on anything else would effect it's value. On a Revell SW7 it is still a out of scale bad running locomotive that only has value in good condition in it's box. Then people can collect it and put it on a shelf, never to run again or at all.
    HO now with all these new highly detailed, expensive models has changed HO, for now. For me finding a old Silvine 0-4-0t complete with nothing broken is good enough. Refinishing is a labor of love. I'd never redo it in a original paint skeam. Especially since I am not a B&O modler. Now CNJ or Reading has a place in my heart.
    Old Names like Gilbert, John English, Bowser, Mantua, Silvine, TrainMiniture, Penn-Line, Hobbyline, Roundhouse, Varney, Lindsy, Ken Kidder, American Train & Track, TYCO, Revell, MarX, Aristo-Craft, All have places on my layout.
  2. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Gilbert HO. Not sure who purchased who. American Flyier seamed to be the name used on their S gague line of trains. Gilbert on the HO. I have 3 or 4 Hudsons and 5 or 6 0-6-0's. I had the B&O 0-6-0 but rather than repainting it for PRR swaped it to another person. The Erie 0-6-0 I never had tho I seen many. I never wanted one because they didn't have a smoke unit. The oldest and I think the first made was PRR #155. This is the only one that has the number cast into the cab. 433 (a pair of),and 31004 are the other two numbers I have in original paint. Another two I repainted 403 and 417. And I have a couple of spare bodys for 31004.
    With the Hudsons. I have kept only the newer drives. The frames with the pitman motors and coined drivers. The old converted AC to DC drives never ran well. And the Verticle shaft driven ones with the smaller drivers also had their problums. Later 443's and the last 31005 both had the newer drives. I kept 2 two of each, repainting 1 of the 443's. Their was a Wabash train set released. All I have from it is a tender.
    The ALCO diesels the red one and the blue bell ringer were large for HO. Most likely made like the Hudsons to a OO scale.
    The little diesel switcher was a good running locomotive. All I can say about mine is it didn't survive the fall.
  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I'm not sure why some old ho plastic is valuable and others aren't. It seems that anything originally made by Varney has value, or it may be that the guys I know who have some original Varney cars just value them for sentimental reasons. I suspect that one reason Revell isn't particularly valuable is that the rest of those companies you listed were pioneers in ho scale along with Athearn, while Revell was more of a "johnny come lately" jumping on a band wagon until slot cars ate into their business, and then bailing out of the model railroad business. In addition, since Revell sold off all of their tooling, and by the number of manufacturers reproducing old Revell kits under their names, they seemed to sell multiple dies for the same model to everybody that wanted to buy their tooling. I'm not sure who got all of the old Varney tooling after Gordon Varney passed away. The only one I know of for sure is the Varney 10 wheeler is and has been a Bowser product for many years. I suspect plastic just isn't as collectible as brass.
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    I believe Bowser bought the locomotive tooling for the Old Lady (2-8-0), Casey Jones (4-6-0), and Little Joe Dcksider (0-4-0T). Bowser still offers all in both upgraded kit and RTR. I think those were the only steam locos Varney still produced at the time of his demise.

    I believe the diesel (F-3) and the plastic car tooling went to Life-Like and formed the heart of their trainset line for many years.

    There was a unique yello pipeline gondola car Varney made that had one end open with a high pipe frame around the open end. I had one but ruined it by being careless with a file when trying to fit Kadee couplers to it - that was my first attempt at coupler conversions.:cry:
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    American Flyer was an established namein Toy Trains between the wars. At some point around WW2, the founder needed someone to continue the line and sold it to AC Gilbert, who had lines of educational toys. Gilbert kept the AF name for the S gauge (They changed from O to S after the war) but I don't think ever applied it to the HO.
  6. iker3

    iker3 New Member

    Collectable, Rare Old

    Toptrain; These names all ring a bell for me as I have been modeling for some 60 years. I now am in the process of thinning out some of my collection with a great portion being gone by now. I still have a few pieces, parts, etc. that I plan on selling.
    If you looking for anything of special interest please let me know and I'll see if by chance I have some of them on hand.
  7. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Die cast Alco PA1s

    I remember their were a few diecast Alco PA1s. Most have seen the Hobby Town PA1s. They have been made for along time. Only reciently has the line diasapeared. It was reciently purchased from Hobby Town of Boston by a New Jersey firm who released many different locomotive kits. I guess kit building and the fact their drives were of a old tecnology helped to keep their sales down. One thing these engines did was pull.
    Another line was the Lindsay. They made a Alco PA1 with a very different drive system. As you can see the drive was suspended from a overhead frame. Oldtimers will recognize the motor which looks like the Varney V1. This drive system truly floats and is very quite. When this photo was made I was doing 2 PA1s in Pennsy brunswick green. #s 5757 and 5758.
    -To go on Fleischmann made a very large Alco A that may pass as a PA1. Most recient is the Marklin-Trix PA1s. I have only seen them in Union Pacific. What can you add to this?
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Availability has a lot to do with collectability. How many million Revell train sets are out there? Tyco, same thing. If people who had them as youngsters had bad experiences with them, the memories still linger.
  9. CNJ999

    CNJ999 Member

    Indeed, rarity is the key facet in HO collecting. Therefore, perhaps the ultimate prize is the Penn Line Reading Crusader (circa 1947/48 ) in good condition. One recently sold on eBay for $1600!

    Personally, I tend more toward the unusual items of the past, particularly unique rolling stock. One of my favorites is seen below, a mid 1940's example of the Laconia Models Mathieson Dry Ice Reefer that still operates on my layout today. Get a load of those early diecast couplers!


  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    cnj999: Those are definitely big, sturdy couplers.
  11. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Nice Pics everyone..... Great scenery CNJ999 :D :D :D
  12. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member


    That is one nice ICE car. The coupler looks like the old Varney dummy couplers. A KD type can if not couple to them, will attach to it. That car is in great shape.
    As to the avialability of Revell train sets! Their are not many complete boxed sets arround my area (NY-NJ metro).Tho their are indivdual cars around. The only boxed car I have in revell is a track cleaner work car.
  13. bigsteel

    bigsteel Call me Mr.Tinkertrain

    is that the rare car that had in MRRC magazine? i never thought i would see one in such good shape so soon! great lookin car,definatley one of a kind!--josh
  14. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Old wood Reefer cars. Who made them?

    I have three old reefers that are of the same make. Does anyone know who made them? They were kits and decals were applied long ago. I found them a few years back at a train show.

    Attached Files:

  15. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

  16. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    More Old Reefers

    Here are a few old Mantua reefers from the late 1940s to 1950s. Gerbers baby food, NYC Merchants Dispatch Refigerator Lines, Pacific Fruit Express.

    Attached Files:

  17. CNJ999

    CNJ999 Member

    Yup, that's indeed the same car as cited in RMC's May 2007 Collector's Consist article. The only difference between that car and mine is that I swapped out the handbreak mechanism, as the one accompanying the kit was incorrect for the actual car.

  18. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    still more old reefers.

    These are more I don't know who manufactured.

    Attached Files:

  19. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    Varney ART reefer

    Old metal Reefer by Varney. American Refigerator Transit, car # 24248, MP and Wabash.

    Attached Files:

  20. alastairq

    alastairq Member

    as a newcomer on this site....I still have 'infant' status.....leastwise, I THINK that's what it says..old eyes a bit blurry now.....I have half a dozen old Varney shorty ore hoppers......plus, I think, their boxes ....then there's a Binkley tank.....picked up 'ere in yUK years ago when I belonged to the NMRA Brit region.....shamefully sat in a garden shed for the past 12 years.......(went a bit 'off' US prototype stuff!).....( I got a 'name' for buying up unsellable Roundhouse HOn3 shays, and figuring out how to convert to HO gauge.....at the then- current equivalent of around $15......lost a lot of sleep setting up the external driveshafts!)

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