problems with athern latley?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by matt fisher, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. matt fisher

    matt fisher Member

    hi guys

    has anyone had problems with ordering a athern bluebox kit ? well i had found the locomotive i wanted which was a gp40-2 western pacific atherns web site said that it was available and but i was later told that a new shipment would be in at the end of this month but when i called to make sure those guys at athern dont seem to know anything when it comes to asking a question or trying to find out if or when the item you will be buying will be in.
    anyways i did get my loco from a hobby shop that i hate, railroad juction in lodi ,ca
    what killed me was the shipping the total was $51.33 for the loco and the shipping thru the post office charged $4.70 they told me they needed $7 for shipping so i sent in $8 so tell me do you think i burned and should i get my $4 extra dollars back or should i just let it go.
    matt fisher
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I suspect there are a couple of explanations. #1 Athearn dropped blue box locomotive kits a few years ago. They got massive amounts of flack from model railroaders complaining about the difficulty of installing their handrails, so they made locomotives available only as ready to run. #2 I think the web site was being optimistic since they knew the engines would be in soon. I believe all of their locomotives are now made in china instead of the U.S. so that adds some more difficulty in determining how soon they will be available. #3 Regarding the shipping charges, They probably pad the charges a bit for special orders because someone has to find the particular locomotive you want and pack it special for you. If the hobby shop ordered a bunch of those engines in the same W.P. scheme and still hit you with the handling charge, the hobby shop may be padding their profit. I don't think I'd make a big deal over $3-$4. $51.33 seems like a reasonable price to pay for a new Athearn RTR locomotive.
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    It appears that the majority of todays modeler doesn't have time to build these simple locomotive kits.Athearn has also discontinued the production of metal handrails for all BB locomotives according to a e mail reply I received from asking about handrails for their GP7..
    You can buy the newer RTR GP38-2 and GP40-2 for $50.00 from several on line shops.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    When you pay $50.00 on line and then pay shipping, you are probably within a dollar or two to what Matt paid.

    I don't like plastic handrails at all. Fortunately, the stanchions are offered in brass castings, and I can bend up my handrails from wire and solder them to the brass.
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I agree with you about the plastic handrails, Russ. I modified an Atlas RS-3 to match a CNR prototype, which involved adding another battery box in front of the cab (long hood end). To alter the model's handrails, I retained the plastic stanchions, but removed the railing between them. I then drilled out the stanchions and fabricated new handrails from .015" music wire. They're not only nice and strong, but also hold paint beautifully, especially at the step-well areas, which always seem to take some abuse.
    I can't understand how the Athearn railings could be considered too hard to assemble: a small file to deburr the part that gets inserted into the side of the walkways, and a pair of needlenose pliers to push them in and bend over the tab at the top. Once everything is together, align the stanchions vertically on both planes and apply a little CA to the top and bottom of each stanchion: voila - decent looking handrails that can be painted any colour and that will stand up to rough treatment.


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