Santa Fa' Get about it!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Howard, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. Howard

    Howard New Member

    heheh, get it Santa fe, Santa forget.....anyway, as long as I'm waiting for my pizza to arrive, I'll be sticking around to this forum for a while....

    My question is, in my short time in the hobby (4 months now maybe) from what I've been told the santa fe (silver and red) engines that everyone had as a kid in those starter sets is more less a joke, so taking that to heart I cracked a joke against a hobbyist (4x's my age, my size, my knowledge, and my confidence in winning fights) that was wondering why his beloved treasure was only priced at 16$ at a hobby shop, well things got escalated, he said my Atlas U30C, Phase II Missouri Pacific was rubbish, and I returned the favor by suggesting maybe a starter set so that he could pay 60$ for the engine even though the only reason the price was higher for the set was b/c the cheap plastic caboose had a made in Spain sticker on it, well he just sighed and said "Typical"

    Now, I've reviewed my behavior and found it completely unacceptable and uncalled for, (I did know the old man, however I don't think he knew me so I was basically trying to yank his chain and spin him off) but really now, are those santa fe's really of any value, I understand his obsession with their colors and appearence, I love them myself, but they can't run on anything less than 180 degrees, flat terrain......and they're starter kit engines.

    Bar the emotional attatchments we may all share with these attractive works of slave labor, are these really that good? Are they just the standard, low quality, but tough model to work for kids kind of train or what? I'm hungry.
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    That red and silver livery is called the warbonnett. I guess it resembles a full war bonnett on an indian chief. Anyway it is the most popular paint scheme of any railroad. For that reason manufacturers make virtually every train set with red and silver warbonnett diesels whether Santa Fe ran that model or not and whether they painted it in red and silver or not. The red and silver was actuallya passenger paint scheme that came out on the early diesels on the first Super Chief in 1938 or so. Thqat scheme was used until Santa Fe dropped passenger service in favor of Amtrak in 1972. I think virtually every Santa Fe diesel painted in that scheme before 1972 was some sort of cab unit, first the E units, then Alco PA's and F units. In the mix were a set of Fairbanks Morris Erie built streamliners. In the late 60's early 70's they got the fp45's and some really ugly G.E. units. After 1972 the red and silver disappeared until Santa Fe revived the scheme for intermodal service in the 80's. BNSF has since decided to replace the red and silver warbonnett with their orange and black pumpkin scheme. This is probably much more info than you were wanting! Actually the value of model locomotives is more dependent on the level of detail, and engineering of the drive than paint schemes. Generally ho scale engines don't have a lot of value unless they are made of brass. Interrestingly, Model Railroader had an article a few years ago about some goofs in the midfifties when a leading manufacturer of ho scale brass locomotives discovered that some of the locomotives were equipped with 1.5 volt motors instead of 12 volt. The manufacturer issued a recall and received back less than 10% of the production run for correction!
  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Which tells me that 90% of brass locos either:

    1. Don't ever get run anyway, or

    2. Get remotored anyway, or

    3. Break the scale sound barrier (for a brief moment)
  4. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    In the early days of Sante Fe's Warbonnet scheme, they actually paid Lionel to feature it on Lionels F units.
    Sante Fe also put a blue and gold paint on their freight locos, which too was called Warbonnet. BNSF is actually painting some of their older diesels in this scheme. I saw a GP-30, two months ago in Pheonix working a yard, freshly painted, sporting this scheme.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Just a couple of comments:
    Lionel's Santa Fe F3s were almost the top of the line locos -- a pair of them cost as much as my whole steam locomotive set. (The GG1 was the top loco.)
    Lionel managed to split the cost of manufacturing the F3 with GM/EMD, New York Central and Santa Fe -- I think each of them paid half. Try that with UP and CSX today!
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Just to keep from misleading anyone, this 1.5 volt motor issue was with one manufacturer in the fifties. The interresting point made by Model Railroader about the issue is that apparantly most buyers of brass, buy to collect not run the trains and were never aware of the prolblem because they never put their locomotive on a track to run it.
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    I'm new to all this, but on my drive to work this morning, I saw a silver and red santa fe, probably GP series, coupled to a couple of BNSF units... I should drive back over and take some pics if they are still there. Didn't get a good look as I was going past at 50 mph, but nonetheless, there was the silver and red in all its glory
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If you see a red and silver warbonnett, get pics. They are disappearing as BNSF repaints units into various orange and green schemes.
  9. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Unfortunately I did not get pics, was unable to leave work this morning to get back by there. I live on the southeast side of Houston, TX, and have about 4 miles on my drive each morning and evening that parallels BNSF trackage with a small yard that serves an industrial area. There is an intermodal yard, a plastics molding plant, a huge pipeyard, a warehouse, incoming autos stored at a huge facility, and a couple other buildings that I'm not even sure what they do, usually has some tank cars there.

    On those tracks, I have seen Santa Fe red and silver but mostly the blue and yellow), BN, BNSF, UP, Port of Houston switchers, Norfolk Southern, FerroMex, CSX, Southern Pacific and probably a few others I am forgetting.... Everything from old GPs to big ol huge modern stuff.

    I need to keep my camera in my truck. Bad thing is, not many places to pull over to take pics on that stretch of road.
  10. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    ***ALWAYS*** keep a camera in your car. They are absolutely invaluable in case of accident--and darn handy to have if you happen to stumble across really cool railroad equipment, old buildings, or whatever else you might want to memorialize! I always keep a disposable or two in the glove compartment for just that reason.

    Anyhow, Howard: take some time to learn. As mentioned above, there really was an AT&SF "Warbonnet" scheme, used on the Super Chief and immensely popular for decades afterward--heck, I have seen modern safety-cab equipment decked out in warbonnet colors (from just before the merger) as recently as a few years ago. The blue-and-yellow scheme is sometimes called "blue bonnet" as it is based on the warbonnet's shape if not its colors.

    Whether or not something painted in AT&SF Warbonnet is valuable depends on just about everything OTHER than the paint scheme on the locomotive. Is it a cheap Tyco with rubber-band drive and an open-frame motor? A pristine American Flyer or Lionel model from the era when railroads paid toy companies to advertise their railroads? A modern, superdetailed model of a specific AT&SF locomotive with a dual-flywheel can motor, DCC, lights and sound? An imported Japanese brass model, painted for actual use instead of left unpainted for mounting in a display case?

    So maybe you're asking the wrong sort of questions. You can buy cheap crud if you want, or you can buy quality, or you can buy decent middle-of-the-road stuff and learn how to detail and perfect it by hand, or any combination thereof. The bottom line is that we are, for the most part, grown men (and women) playing with trains, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's fun, and even if this fellow's beloved warbonnet is a ghastly toy-train thing vaguely based on a locomotive that never wore the bonnet, it's still his favorite locomotive and he probably would consider $1000 too small a price tag to part with it.

    Bottom line: There's a lot to learn in this hobby. Whether you're in it for four months, or four years, or four decades, you'll find there is always more to learn, and thus more fun to be had. So take the red and silver pill, and see how far down the rabbit hole goes...
  11. Dragon

    Dragon Member

    One other question. For "value" do you mean how much you can sell it for, or how much it is worth to you.
    I have an old Cox F7 in BN livery that doesn't run, has no "glass" in the indshield, and looks like hell, but I'll always keep it since it was one of my original three engines when I was a kid.
    (the others were a Tyco Warbonnet that got repainted in Susquehanna black and yellow and an old AT&SF 0-4-0 which might be Tyco or early Bachmann)

    While these engines might be worth two-bits to someone at a swap meet, they are highly valuable to me as one of the few things left from my childhood (my brother and I used to run over matchbox cars with these engines - my brother has long since "left")
  12. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I think the pill wears off before you get to the bottom :D

    On the subject of brass as a "collectible", when I bought my Sunset Models B&O EL3a 2-8-8-0, I made mention that I was going to correct some detail errors, and paint and weather the loco.....practically everyone around me grabbed for their nitro pills! :D :D

    The value of a "starter set", is "in the eye of the beholder". My first locomotive was/is not a great runner, but it is my first locomotive, so it has far greater value to me, than the market would support.
  13. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    Well, I saw the red and silver Santa Fe on the way in to work today, and had the camera with me. Also there is the bonus of several other BNSF units working the yard or just sitting there waiting to start their run.

    Attached Files:

  14. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Got to love those War Bonnetts:D :D :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

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