RTR Freight Car(s)

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by CN1, May 18, 2004.

  1. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Guys,I freely admit I like the RTR cars far better then kits lately. :D
    While we all have our preferences between kits or RTR I believe we are getting the same results-enjoyment of the hobby.Now for me I am not a stickler for down to the last minute detail on cars so I avoid the high dollar cars except for the Atlas brand although I tend to favor the more reasonable price Athearn and Walther's RTR cars. :D I suppose I got burnt out on building car kits after years of building the good old Uncle Irv's kits. :thumb: :D
    Is this the norm? $45.00+ for a box car?
    Sadly that is the norm for the higher detailed cars..However IMHO the newer Athearn and Walthers RTR cars fills the bill quite nicely for less then $20.00.. :thumb: :D
  2. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    You know what? ;)

    I'm rebuilding and detailing an old Concor box car that I bought brand-new for $5.00 CND last year. Actually it's what's left of it that I'm rebuilding ;)

    I replaced the trucks and wheelset (intermountain) and the couplers (#5 Kadees) and rebuilt it as a flat car!! The brake lines and air reservoir details are nice and since they're underneath I 'll leave it the way it is.

    I'll install a brake wheel and stir-up from my "bits & pieces" box :thumb:
  3. Catt

    Catt Guest

    I support my co-horts in crime. :D If you can't state it politely please don't say it.Thats how my forums are run and oviusly Fred will run this one the same way.
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    In my experiance, most folks in Iowa are about like most folks everywhere else I've been.
  5. Hey, I have to try that one on my wife! I don't know why I bought it, honey, really, but it sure did FEEL fine! KABONNNNG!!! Instant dog house! :eek: ;) :D
  6. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Haa! But the trick is not to have the "Dog House" in the first place....
  7. You're right about the 'dog house'...when the credit card statement comes in, I could tell her to be happy that I'm not into hot rod cars or boats! :D But as the discussion goes, the longer we stay in the hobby, the more we understand the variety. But we also understand our own preferences, too. I think that a sense of proportion is involved. I have a mix of brass and plastic, $15.00 kits and $60.00 kits. The 60.00 kits I have are no picnic, either, they're tough to build...real construction projects. :eek: But they're of headend cars that no other manufacturer will produce, hence small runs and high prices. In most cases, we get what we pay for. Want better detail and sharper looking models? Pay more, that's all. Want a REALLY sharp looking model? Get it in brass! You should see my DL&W milk cars! At a couple of hundred bucks each, they should be nice. :thumb: Does this mean I consider anything from Accurail or Con Cor or Walthers to be junk? Of course not. The variety of models out there means difference, not 'good' and 'bad'. Now, I certainly understand what junk is. I've also had my share of things that are poorly manufactured, don't fit, don't run, break and crap out, etc. etc. etc. :curse: I bought a small suction mount vise for my bench one time. What a joke! My big complaint is poorly written instructions. :rolleyes: I bought a 45.00 caboose kit with instuctions that I threw out once I had the main part of the kit built. The manufacturer made big statements about contacting him with questions, problems, etc. I did. Never heard back from him. How's that for customer service?? :mad: :curse: With age and experience, I think we all mellow out and understand this over time. :)
  8. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I just built my first accurail kit. Took me 30 minutes and most of that was waiting for the epoxy to dry (for the weight) What a beautiful car! It's a 40' outside-braced CNR boxcar. The wood grain in the sides in fantastic! Highly recommended :thumb:
  9. mykroft

    mykroft Member

    I prefer the Branchline Blueprint kits myself. Of course, I enjoy building rolling stock (I'm starting on resin kits these days, just finished building my first, a Point 1 40' CN Flat).

    Of course, I'd rather pay $40 for a kit of a car than $30 for the RTR version. But given that I've got a 4x8, not much room for anything bigger and I love building stock, I don't see any value in RTR for me.
  10. davidvd59

    davidvd59 New Member

    I have never YET had derailment problems with an Atlas rtr car. They give me such joy that I don't have to spend time getting them to run right. Their detailing needs some work sometimes. I love Atlas cars, I wish their was more variety!
  11. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    You're right 'bout that. I also learn more about Railroading too... :)

    I know what you mean. I would spend good money to get a nicely detail CN Turbo Train but that's because no one is making one :confused:

    most cases is the key word...

    Beauty is in the eye....

    unless you're like me and refuse to grow-up! :D :) :thumb: :thumb:

  12. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    AMEN to that, CN1!!!!!!!
  13. hd8091

    hd8091 Member

    My .02..Athearn, Round house and Accurail are are all fine kits .You can upgrade them at your leasure. Easy to put together, inexpensive enough so you can have cars to run. Sure the expensive cars have great detail , but when I invest $ 20.00 or more percar I expect it. The time factor is another thing ,I only have limited time for my hobby and have to invest my money and my time wisely. At least that's what I tell the wife when she sees the credit card statements,I'm more likely to run my inexpensive cars the the ones I've invested lots of time and money in; they usually end up on the mantel or in my office along with the brass engines I have. (great investment ,Honey) .
    Don't get me wrong though I run the expensive spread also just not as much.
  14. Chessie1973

    Chessie1973 Member

    I may as well throw my bit in here as well.

    I have rolling stock that runs the full range from Blue Box all the way up to RTR Atlas and from a standpoint of what runs better I can honestly say that all my rolling stock run about the same.

    The big thing to me is this. Can I, with my current level of skill at modelling make a kit of a type of car look as good as this RTR car I am looking at. If the answer is no then I will buy it if it is in the budget. Another consideration is can I find that same car in a Kit form elsewhere. Again, if it is no, then I buy the RTR.

    I personally like the P2K cars a lot. And I dont buy the RTR ones, I buy the "some assembly required" P2K cars that you have to glue on the grab irons and such to. Great detailing when done right and not as expensive as the full blown RTR stuff is.

    The most I ever paid for any rolling stock was 24.00 for an Atlas RTR Clinchfield cemet hopper that no other manufacturer makes. I model Clinchfield trains so I bought it. For this same reason I have been looking at the offerings by Kadee and other high end RTR makers that have Clinchfield stuff that I cant find or make myself. Some of those cars are nearly 50 dollars a pop. Will I buy them any time soon, most likely not. But I would still like to own one or two someday just because they look so nice.
  15. atsfman

    atsfman New Member

    Might as well join in as a refugee from Atlas forum. My layout is fairly large, and does have over 1000 freight cars on the roster, about 60 percent are on the layout at any given time, the rest are stored on shelves near staging track areas to be swapped on and off between operating sessions.

    I have been in the hobby since I was in high school in the early 50's. My first cars were Athearn, MDC, etc. I was never happy with the level of detail on most of them, nor the accuracy of the car models themselves. I spent 11 years with the Santa Fe in Topeka after college in a job that was programming the new computers at the GOB, and my particular project was the building and maintaining the live car file, which tracked movements of all cars on the Santa Fe, plus Santa Fe owned cars off line. I spent a lot of time in places like Barstow, San Berndo, Corwith, KC, Texas points, and between in training personnel. I became very observant of freight cars, their manufacturing differences, details, paint, etc. After leaving the computer field and Santa Fe, I started building my model of the Santa Fe in Okla in 1989, reasons not important here. My intent was that rolling stock accurately reflect the real thing, and that Santa Fe cars, in particular, be as accurate as possible.

    My car fleet today contains no Athearn blue box, only three MDC box cars, 1 MDC FMC covered hopper, and some Accurail, Bowser, Stewart,Front Range and LBF. Also some unidentifiable stuff, and a few scratchbuilts. Everything else is Atlas, P2K, IM, Walthers (with heavy modifications) and Genesis cars. Also a few Branchline. I have nothing against Athearn blue box per se except that they don't meet my personal criteria for what I want on my railroad.

    Also, I seldom pay full price for the quality cars. Discounts can be found with a little work. Because I am now fighting arthritis in the joints, a lot of the detailing I used to do is not possible or enjoyable anymore.

  16. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    RTR Vs "bluebox"? My rolling stock gets packed, unpacked, handled, run on modules, and in general is subject to some rugged "abuse". Cars, like the Kadee RTRs, are really beautiful pieces, but after two shows, would look worse than a basic Athearn blue box kit. There is a place, in the scheme of things, for everything, and everyone. In my case, if it will survive "checked baggage" on a commercial airline, it IS beautiful!
  17. mykroft

    mykroft Member

    CN1: Rapido Trains is doing a Turbo Train kit with Kaslo shops. Should arrive later this summer. It's looking good so far, but it will be an expert-level kit.
  18. Benny

    Benny Member

    Face, every guy is more or less talented then the next guy, and some guys don't want to or feel the need to anymore when they are better at making income then spending time on building things when they could be building other things. I myself jsut discovere the Athean UP Overland heavyweights...my are they sharp in that paint scheme, and here I am never liking that dingy green of the ATSF...though I love ATSF...

    Now the trick with the Dog house is, you build a tunnel between it and yuor train room...
  19. Mastiffdog

    Mastiffdog Member

    Uh, gentlemen, what's all this talk about the "Dog House"? I resemble that remark. Since loosing DOG in May, we have two new baby girls in the "house". Sophie and Sadie - 11 week old Mastiffs!

    About the car kits. I like many of the brands, RTR, some assembly and detailed assembly - I have lots of all kinds. Just depends on what YOU like and what fits your budget. I am not a detail nut, but I really appreciate displaying a Kadee car, like the new hoppers, and running them too. But I also have lots of other great cars including many of the older Train Miniatures that are weak on detail but run just fine.

    In many of the cases you are getting what you pay for. In other cases, some of the RTR made in China are reasonably priced and quite nice. It's all about YOU.

    With respect to the bashing, rolling stock ain't the right category. First, bashing can have it's place and can be quite entertaining. I mean, how many times does everyone want to talk about #5 Kadee couplers? Second, bashing usually rears it's ugly head when there is controversy. You want contoversy? Go to the Atlas forum - The Gauge is a tranquil modeler's site. I am not bashing the Atlas forum, heck, I have a ton of fun on there. And all of you refugees who don't get in the mix, c'mon and admit it, you love reading all of the stuff. And I would bet nickels to donuts that when Atlas is back up and running many of the defectors will go back and The Gauge will become the quiet forum once again.


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  20. atsfman

    atsfman New Member

    You ole dawg, good to hear you bark again. The Gauge is certainly quiet after Atlas, but when Atlas is resurrected, if that happens, it may be a quieter, more friendly place due to new rules.

    the new kids are cute.

    As I have said before, my reluctance in buying Athearn comes in part because for so many years, they were about the only game in town. I can't say I built a lot, since building implies more than gluing on a brake wheel, changing and adding couplers and wheel sets, or gluing a couple of detail parts on. Also I never got past those "door claws". I do admit to having a couple of Athearn 54' covered hoppers on the railroad. I found them on a siding recently in a string of IM and P2K cars. I thought they had all been purged, but these two escaped. They had been repainted and decaled for Union Equity Coop, but they still "stood out" in the crowd for me by the overly heavy details.

    Happily for me, I have more than enough cars on the layout/shelves, and I now only purchase a car(s) that is really exceptional and meets my criteria. The arthritis in my hands is enough that I don't do a lot of kit bashing or scratch building any more, and I have more time for operating sessions and scenery work.

    Again Dawg: good to find you alive and barking.


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