Train Miniatures - Good or What?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by kchronister, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    What is the experience with Train Miniatures? Specifically, I have the chance to buy a large lot of reefer kits, in the box, but am unfamiliar with this brand (thought I knew them all!)

    Picture attached for reference.


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  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I think they were reasonable basic plastic kits. I think they dated early 70s.
    They did pull a clanger with a CN Stock car -- they whitewashed the top instead of the bottom.
  3. ak-milw

    ak-milw New Member

    Kris, Don't feel bad, I have never heard of them either. I don't really know how picky you are but I don't recall Schlitz ever having a reefer that looked like that!

  4. petey

    petey Member

    I have been selling a large collection. There are many Train Miniature models. There are a number of Schlitz reefers. They build out quite well. A good looking product for the money.:wave:
  5. KCS

    KCS Member

    I have a handful of them myself. 3-12 car blocks to be correct. They build easy. If I didn't know any better, they build as easy as the basic Athearn kits. I bought my car's at a show about 6 years ago at a good deal price of $2.00 a car still in the box, never opened. I had been looking at them for the past few shows prior to purchase and they weren't selling and the guy wanted to get rid of them so he said if I buy 10 or more they would only be $2.00 each and I figure they cost about as much as a basic Athearn kit so it was I deal I couldn't pass up sense I was on a reefer frenzy anyway. I'm slowly gaining a stock pile of Kato trucks to replace the old ones but won't get changed until I have enough trucks to replace all three blocks. I say go for it. You never know but you might end up with a hard to find collectors car out of the deal.
  6. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    I have a TM FA1. It uses early 70s era Athearn drive parts and is a decent running, well built locomotive.
    I would rate the cars as similar to Athearn BB cars.
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Ray is right: very similar to Athearn but with some style variations. They offered several styles of boxcars and reefers with a lower roof line than Athearn's versions, making them suitable for representing some of the cars from the '30's, '40's, and '50's. Like Athearn, the roofwalks, stirrup steps and door tracks are a bit clunky but these details can be easily changed. They made a decent version of Pennsy's X-29 boxcar: I have several of these on which I've updated the clunky details, and then painted and relettered and they are indistinguishable from the X-29 offered by Red Caboose. If you model in the steam or early diesel era, the varied rooflines really help to set the timeframe. I'm modelling the '30's and one of my favourites is the plug door boxcar: by shaving off the door hardware and extending the door track to the left, you can make a very credible door-and-a-half automobile boxcar using cut-down Athearn doors. They made several styles of wood and steel boxcars, reefers, stockcars and hoppers. There were also work cars (bunk, tool, rail and tie car and even a small crane. The original Train Miniature became Train Miniature of Illinois and then was eventually taken over by Walthers, who, as far as I know, still offer them.
  8. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Thanks for all the feedback, folks. Definitely what I needed to know.

    ak-milw: not that picky, and I get particularly "loose" with beer reefers since I've got a whole collection of them which I assemble into the "beer train" on occasion... a fun one to run around when non-buffs come over and definitely NOT prototypical in many ways.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Does the beer train have a name? Maybe "The Kegger"? ;)

    We run an all-tanker local at HOTrak sometimes called "The Oil Can". CPR used to run an evening/overnight (I believe) freight on the Bruce Sub called "The Moonlighter".

  10. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Informally, we call it the "brew comet"... I'm still trying to figure how to get a loco equipped to blow bubbles out the stack so we can call it "old foamy" and have it lead the train...
  11. hd8091

    hd8091 Member

    I like their kits, easy to assemble reasonable detail and if you use metal wheels and bring them up to weight they run well. Matter of fact I'm looking for a bunch of their gondolas right now. They were bought by Walthers and produced by them for quite some time using the same molds. The only tihing is the unrealistic paint jobs and fantasy cars they put out.I love finding undecorated ones.
  12. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Train Miniature = Walthers (sort of)...Walthers bought Train Miniatures in about 1985-86 and began producing the Train Miniature line as "Walthers". So...if you're familiar with Walthers 40' woodside reefer and like them, this is the same kit. I think Walthers' versions had a little bit better decorating, a little bit more opaque, but TM was very good nonetheless. I have several old TM cars on my layout and am quite happy with them. Walthers also did about some other TM cars in their line (I think the woodside boxcar, X-29 steel boxcar, 42' flatcar), then began adding their own designs.
  13. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Back in the late 70's I bought 20 TM hopper car kits, data only. I intended to have freelance logo decals made. Back then I was told by the custom decal folk I needed to make my lines thicker to reproduce well. So I dropped the idea and a few years ago I tried again, nowadays the finer lines I wanted are no problem, so I had decals made and when I went to build the cars I found that half of them had trucks from some other model, they were useless for the hoppers! But other than the trucks the kits are fine.

  14. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Kris,Those TM cars really date back to the 60s..These are simple kits and easy to build and are a nice car over all..TM also produce wooden boxcars,gons,flat cars and if I recall correctly a composite hopper.I also recall they did a PRR X29 boxcar.
    BTW Walthers bought TM some years ago..
  15. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I had about 3-4 TM FA-1s that I bought at a swap meet last year. Solid construction and all drive compontents can be swaped with athearn parts. I sold them off again when I got a good deal on a P2K FA-1 in CNR paint.

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