To all newbies!

Hi,
I guess one can't expect wonders when paying only 6-8 dollars for a
freight car, but what a piece of garbage I got with Athearn's bargain
freight cars! I would heartily recommend not purchasing bargain
freight cars, but go for the higher quality, regardless of the brand.
I bought (6) such freight cars and upon arrival I learned that they
were kits!!! And what a hassle putting them together. Laying the
coupler on the pin and then trying to clip the lid onto the coupler
box was one thing, but getting that lid to stay clipped...well, that's
a whole 'nother story. Just don't plan on spending less than $15 for a
good qualtiy freight car, where you'll probably get decent couplers
and maybe you won't have to spend any time struggling to put them
together.
I bought (6) of these and now I'm sorry!. I may have to glue the
coupler lid onto the coupler box on a few of them because of the bad
alignment! And maybe, I just may throw good money after bad and buy
decent trucks and couplers. Or maybe I may just leave them on the side
as scenery...in shops, abandonesd, etc.
Mike
Picture Rocks, AZ
Reply to
Michael P Gabriel
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Well, that used to be part of the hobby - leftover from when ALL cars had to be aasembled. If you have some time, and are willing to deal with a little frustration, I think you might find some of the lost joy of the hobby - looking back at your work with a sense of accomplishment. The more you do, the better you get, the more enjoyment you can derive from the hobby. But, ready to run is a sign of the times, and after all, it is what keeps me in business.
Don Cardiff Model Railroad Design Kaneville, IL
Reply to
CBT2000
snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Michael P Gabriel) wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@posting.google.com:
I bought Athern blue box kits 35 years ago and I buy then today, when I can find what I want. There are some frustrations in building kits, but, to me, that is one of the great pleasures of the hobby. To each his own. No, I don't like the design of the coupler pockets and the snap-on covers, but if you are careful to remove the flash and make sure that the shoulders of the little lugs that hold the coupler pocket is square, then you should have no trouble. Also, install the couplers before you attach the trucks, and before you put the underframe/floor assembly on the car, and things go much better. Of course, since I use Kadees, I find that I have to change a lot of couplers, but not as many as 35 years ago.
What gives me fits are the Walthers kits. Some of them have some bad characteristics that drive me nuts. On the other hand, the $11.50 Bowser 70-ton cement hopper kits are a lot of fun. I have put five of them together and really enjoy it.
One thing, when you go to put a kit together, look at the parts and read the instructions, but don't be a slave to them. Look to see what *has* to go on first.
If you will take your time and look on kit-building as one more part of the hobby instead of a chore, you might find that your horizons are opening up and that you have more ways to have fun than you first imagined.
Reply to
Woodard R. Springstube
Mike Gabriel's recent frustration with Athearn kits makes a good segue to an informal poll I'm conducting at
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Athearn HO Kits: When was the last time you built an HO scale Athearn 'blue box' freight or passenger car kit? - Last month - Within the last year - One to two years ago - Two to five years ago - Five to ten years ago - Over ten years ago - Never
To vote, go to
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You can vote right on the home page; the poll is open through July 31.
If you'd rather just see the current results of the poll, they are at
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Reply to
Mark Mathu
You forgot:
- I've got tons of these packed away for future assembly.
Paul K. - "The CB&Q Guy" (Modeling 1969 In HO.)
Reply to
Paul K - The CB&Q Guy
When building a legacy blue box Athearn kit I do the following 1. File the mold parting line and some of the "draught" off the plastic coupler pockets. This makes the metal lids snap on more firmly. 2. Bend the sides of the metal coupler pocket up to real right angles with needle nose pliers. 3. Place a #6 flat washer under each truck to get the coupler height right with a #5 Kadee. I suppose one could find the proper offset head Kadee and omit the washers, but a plain #5 Kadee comes out low on the legacy Athearn coupler pocket. 4. Spray paint the undercarriage flat gray. This kills the plastic gloss and blends in the weight. 5. Spray paint the glossy black plastic trucks with red auto primer. Mask the axle bearing first to prevent them clogging with paint. 6. Glaze the windows, if any. 7. Go with metal wheels. The silvery tread looks better than black plastic. 8. Check wheel gage with the NMRA gage. 9. Check coupler height agains the Kadee coupler gage.
David J. Starr
Reply to
David J. Starr
good segue to an
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right on the home
they are at
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te
That's the one that would get my vote!
Reply to
Len
But when was the last time that you built one? Vote at
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Reply to
Mark Mathu
The last time I built one was last November. I was holding a clinic at the LHS on how to put them together for Mom's on a low budgets, that wanted to get their kids trains as Christmas presents. Several have since moved up to Branchline 'Blueprint' kits.
Now I've finally got a house to build a layout in, I'll probably start on my stash of BB kits in the fall.
Reply to
Len
That, Sir, is a very cool idea and I really like it. It would probably work for various winter time after school programs for kids of the right ages, too. That has got to be a warehouse full of old blue boxes which someone could donate. Only glue might be a problem, but introducing folks of modest means to model trains and how to do it on a budget is very cool.
Thanks for giving!
Ed
in article PTpAc.4661$ snipped-for-privacy@bignews3.bellsouth.net, Len at snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote on 6/17/04 4:42 PM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
Ed,
Thanks for the idea of some kind of after school program. I'll keep that in mind for this coming Fall.
Reply to
Len
Chalks are good, but Dullcote marries with the chalk somehow and turns it nearly invisible. I had a really good chalk weathering job just sort of disappear after one coat of DullCote. on structures, which don't get the handling that rolling stock does, I omit the Dullcote step. You want to be careful with "or simular" I had a bad experience with a satin clearcoat spray, it made all the decals wrinkle badly, something that DullCote never did.
David Starr
Reply to
David J. Starr
If you're gonna quote me, at least spell it correctly, as I did. 8^)
David makes a GREAT point here. When working with any unknown, try to test the product before ruining the project. I built, painted, and decaled a Sunshine PFE 50' wood reefer (and it looked GREAT, if I may say so), then a close friend offered to weather it, after I had admired some of his previous work.
It's been five years, and he STILL won't let me see it.....
Reply to
Brian Paul Ehni
David and MRR Folks
I have been building HO Athearn Blue Box kits for over 20 years and I have done most of what you have done. I used to install new brass ladder rungs and grab irons, paint and re-decal to new road number. The only thing I do now is drill and tap out the hole for a 2-56 coupler screw and install kadee couplers and sprung trucks.
Should any of you like the Athearn Blue Box Kits please visit OMRS's web page for the Washington State Grain Train latest (2003) cars.
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Reply to
Jerry Barnes
Agreed that the "clown face" look is easier to achieve than the realistic, subtle look.
But one other observation is that the model MUST be painted to agree with the lighting under which it is to be viewed. A model painted to look good under 'flat' interior lighting will look overdone in harsher outdoor lighting. Similarly, a mode very subtlety done to look right in direct sunlight will appear too 'flat' under softer lighting.
Similarly, the different lightings produce color shifts, with incandescent lighting being too 'orange' or 'yellow', and fluorescent lighting being too 'blue'. Sunlight is greenish-yellow in color. Different paints react to these illumination colors differently. Hence a model that looks great, perfectly color matched, under one lighting, may look quite strange under a different illumination.
All such things affect how we perceive the model.
Dan Mitchell ==========
Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell
...snip...
That's the reason that the quest for "prototypically correct paint" is doomed to failure.
Besides, two protoype cars painted the protoype colour could look quite different after a few years, depending on the sunlight, weather, dust, etc that they wre exposed to in different parts of the country.
Moral: trust your taste and judgement. And respect other people's.
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir
```````` We do something similar each year for two sessions over the course of a Saturday as part of helping Boy Scouts who are interested in earning their Railroad Merit Badge.
Very satisfying...
Paul - "The CB&Q Guy" (Modeling the 1960'a in HO.)
Reply to
Paul K - The CB&Q Guy
```````` And your guess would be incorrect...Not true at all, unless possibly applied to the masses who are recent entrants into the hobby or more "rivet counting" oriented. The vast majority of modelers I've met and known over the years have layouts populated almost entirely with shake-the-box kits, and continue to purchase them and assemble them. It's what they've gotten used to - in appearance, ease of building, and reasonable price. Tbese guys are more "model railroaders" versus "railroad modelers". The BB, et al offerings are simply "good enough" for their needs.
Very many are extremely knowlegeable on their prototype having become so after years of what those who wished to learn more about railroading and prototypes before there was the Internet did: read magazines and books on the subject and attend clinics. To many of them, the relatively recent Internet method of knowledge and research is either not going to tell them much new or not be of much interest at this point in their modeling. They may occassionally buy a high end, resin type kit, or even one of the highly detailed RTR offerings, but usually only to try something different or to get a model of something their prorotype had, and is sorely needed for their layout's operational orientation or era, which isn't available at lesser cost. I'm in that camp as well...
Basically, I just hope you weren't suggesting that only the "ignorant", "simple minded", or non-"serious" model railroader would bother to acquire, build, and actually run on their layouts a BB style, shake-the-box kit...because you would be wrong. Very, very wrong!
Paul - "The CB&Q Guy" (Modeling 1960's In HO.)
Reply to
Paul K - The CB&Q Guy
It's unfortunate, but kids today don't seem to build models anymore. My club helps Boy Scouts out with the Railroading Merit Badge and the inability to understand even easy instructions or how to hold basic tools is shocking. Watching one try to assemble an Athearn 40 foot boxcar can be a real learning experience. Gene ABV61-1043.001.HCB
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"Skinny Dipping and Other Stories" On the web at
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or
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and look for "Into Joy From Sadness" soon.
Reply to
STEAM GENE
...and that's why we are seeing a rise in the RTR product mix.
My overall take on this is that some of us (my 12 year old daughter included) really enjoy building a model. She happens to like structures better than rolling stock. Others just want to get stuff on the layout and will buy RTR and built up structures, trading time for money. If one doesn't enjoy building stuff, and the attendant disasters while you are learning how, then why would you spend money and time doing it.
My additional experience with others is that many newbies start with RTR and build up structures, and then decide that they want something they can't buy, or a different color, whatever. After they get over the initial smeared glue hurdle, many find that they actually enjoy the build it yourself aspect of this and similar hobbies (model cars, doll houses, etc.).
Ed
in article snipped-for-privacy@mb-m04.aol.com, STEAM GENE at snipped-for-privacy@aol.comOpFoot wrote on 6/25/04 8:26 AM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates

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