Author Topic: Considering selling my N scale stuff.  (Read 1344 times)

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Hiroe

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Considering selling my N scale stuff.
« on: May 16, 2010, 01:35:30 AM »
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This is the sort of stuff i used to do:http://www.darn-ntrak.com/html/drew.html#nec

The deal, for those not aware of what all went down:

Used to live at home. Upon moving out, did not have room for my train stuff, so it stayed in storage at my parents' place. Then the 12-year-old kid across the street from my parents broke in to their house, and stole all my rolling stock, plus a few of the modules. Specifically my trains, and nothing else, because he wanted them to be *HIS* trains. Total value of the theft, $30,000. We recovered about 85% of the models/modules themselves, although there was about $5k in damage to them, as he was extremely destructive. I had stored them all in custom foam trays, which he then emptied by dumping all the models into two giant boxes, and *rooting* through them to find what he wanted. He also deliberately stomped some of it to death, and tried to "weather" a fair bit of my custom work by coating it in brown spraypaint. Most of the dcc equipment had the decoders cooked by running on a poorly-filtered cheap DC powerpack; and anything with pantographs had them forcefully torn off.

We prosecuted, won, i got a check for $9k. Which my roommates at the time promptly stole. So it's gone. Could have gone on an epic shopping spree at Timonium. Oh well.

I've dealt with my disappointment about it; now it's time to be realistic about moving forward.

As things stand now:
*The models and real estate i did recover all still need a huge amount of work.
*I no longer have the roommates, but nor do i currently have the space or energy for rebuilding all of it.
*I likely won't have the space for several more years.
*I do not know if my heart will ever be back into it at all, as there's just so much damage to the equipment that it's overwhelming any time i get it out to consider fixing something.
*The Ntrak club i used to show with is in a slow death spiral. No more shows, no place to run. I haven't had the opportunity to run any of my stuff since.
*I suppose i could easily join South Jersey Ntrak if i was really looking to do shows again; but not sure if i care to play the modular setup-run-teardown dance anymore. Too much like work, not particularly satisfying.
*The Ntrak clubs in the area all seem to use Digitrax for their DCC systems. I've never liked it's user-unfriendliness. I regularly get paid to install decoders, but i can't consist locos on Digitrax.
*O scale is neat.


Having the space would be a huge help, but how long should i hold on to it all, waiting for that magical "someday" to happen? I'm tired of all this stuff sitting here in boxes staring at me, and not being able to *do* anything with it. I no longer own it; it owns me now. I've really been considering just selling it all. Modules, equipment, catenary jigs, etc. I realize i won't get nearly what it's worth, but maybe it can go to someone who will love it (and hug it, and call it George). And i'd love to spend the cash on O scale electric equipment. P5a's, MP54s, E44's, E33's, B1's, O1's, FF2's, etc.

Feel free to hit me with good reasons why or why not. What would you do in my place?

--Drew
« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 02:54:06 AM by Hiroe »
To "call a spade a spade" is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. The Oxford English Dictionary records a more forceful variant, "to call a spade a bloody shovel", attested since 1919.

SirTainly

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Re: Considering selling my N scale stuff.
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2010, 05:45:50 AM »
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What a bum ride you've had there, sorry to hear it. :(

I know exactly what you mean about a project becoming too large uninviting to pick up again though, and I agree that sometimes it's best to get shot and start over with something different. At least for me, I divest myself of any emotional involvement in a project once I've sold it on, and all the bits and pieces that I've bought to support it.

If you tried to pick up with the N again would you always be left with the unpleasant thought that some of those models looked better than they do after a repair, and that you'd always miss the items that were destroyed - no doubt some were irreplacable, I know I would?

Thus MHO is that if it was me, I'd probably sell the lot on and go with the O scale, and having seen the quality of your work with that I think it'd be a good long term prospect.

Simon

learmoia

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Re: Considering selling my N scale stuff.
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2010, 10:05:02 AM »
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Wow.. what a story..  Makes me greatful for my good fortune though the years with my collection though a couple of moves and college life.

I don't know if I'd stay in it after something like that.

Anyways.. I agree with Simon, I'd look into O scale (if you feel you want to stay in it at all.)

If your looking at Electrics, MTH has a nice assortment, although.. as time progresses, they may well build the same models in HO scale.

You may want to consider selling what you have left and put it behind you and step away for a year or 2 and just watching the newsgroups and magazines in all 3 scales (Save up some cash while your at it).  See if the bug bites again.. and jump back in.

For a while I jumped out of N (with about as much as you had) and got into HO to work with a local club.. then the club lost their building and disbanded.. I thought long and hard if I should stay in HO on my own or not.. I watched the new products coming out and decided to jump back to N and haven't looked back.

But.. after all that at least for me I would suggest you get compleatly out (inactive) of one scale before going into another.

~Ian
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Dave V

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Re: Considering selling my N scale stuff.
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2010, 11:04:39 AM »
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That really sucks, man.  You have some serious talent.  I can't in good conscience counsel someone to leave N scale, but I've seen your O scale stuff and think it's spanktacular.  I would be interested in your N scale catenary techniques; I'm considering doing some dummy cat (no wires, just support poles) for Enola Yard on my layout.

What might make your decision easier would be a better selection of electric locos in N.  I LOVE my Kato GG1, but wish Botchmann would pony up with an N scale E33.

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daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: Considering selling my N scale stuff.
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2010, 03:43:06 AM »
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In 1998 I took a long break from model trains. It was a combination of factors: finishing high school, girls, new car, girls, frustrations with the hobby, girls, oh and girls. I boxed all my equipment up and left it to rot in the attic.

Around 2001, stress from college, work and other issues made me look for a hobby again. I had some money saved up and after several $400+ trips to the hobby shop, started what I have today. I eventually dusted off my old boxed trains, but most of it was impossibly bad: kitbashes done incorrectly, everything brush painted, very bad weathering... I managed to salvage a few Kato chassis, but the shells were too far gone. That is one of the reasons why I started the C30-7A kit-bashes.

I think you may be where I was 12 years ago. Stressed, pissed and wanting just to be rid of the hobby. I'll tell you, it never really goes away, and you will return.

So my advice? Repack all your good trains and store them in your mom's attic. Give away the old MDC cars or anything else easily replaced. When the time is right, start over by picking up new models at the shop. When you are pleased with your new equipment, then open the box in the attic.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 03:45:00 AM by daniel_leavitt2000 »
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Hiroe

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Re: Considering selling my N scale stuff.
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 11:22:27 AM »
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Quote
If you tried to pick up with the N again would you always be left with the unpleasant thought that some of those models looked better than they do after repair, and that you'd always miss the items that were destroyed - no doubt some were irreplaceable, I know I would?

Therein lies the root of much of my conundrum. Sure, some of it might return to an acceptable state, but is that really what i want to invest my time and energy into? Reachieving the former status-quo?

Quote
I think you may be where I was 12 years ago. Stressed, pissed and wanting just to be rid of the hobby. I'll tell you, it never really goes away, and you will return.

I've moved on from the anger, into more of a general malaise/funk about it. Like a colossally bad meal, it just sits heavy on the gut. And not so much about the hobby in general; just that specific aspect of it.

(Although i will admit that i still want my epic shopping spree at Timonium.)

Quote
You may want to step away for a year or two and just watch the newsgroups and magazines in all 3 scales (Save up some cash while your at it). I watched the new products coming out and decided to jump back to N and haven't looked back.

Well, that's definitely a point with merit to it. I never thought we'd see auto-parts or X58 boxcars in N, but hoo boy. Perhaps by the time i'm ready for looking at this stuff again, there'll be a bunch of shiny new hotness to put in that particular pile.

Quote
What might make your decision easier would be a better selection of electric locos in N.  I LOVE my Kato GG1, but wish Botchmann would pony up with an N scale E33.

YES PLEASE. One of the big advantages of O is that i can actually *GET* all the electrics my black little heart desires. Granted, some of the initial capitol investment might have a bit more sting, but the stuff is actually available.

Quote
But.. after all that at least for me I would suggest you get completely out (inactive) of one scale before going into another.....
Anyways.. I agree with Simon, I'd look into O scale (if you feel you want to stay in it at all.)
If your looking at Electrics, MTH has a nice assortment, although.. as time progresses, they may well build the same models in HO scale.

Heh, i've got to admit that i'm about 5 years past the 'going' stage. True, MTH does; although so far i've been focusing on the already-2-rail brass stuff (like my Overland P5a Modified, or the NJ International MP54E3 i got for a song+dance last month). The MTH E33/E44's look gorgeous, and i may eventually snag a pair of each; but my primary annoyance with MTH is that 99% of their stuff needs to be converted from 3-rail.


Quote
Thus MHO is that if it was me, I'd probably sell the lot on and go with the O scale, and having seen the quality of your work with that I think it'd be a good long term prospect.
Quote
I can't in good conscience counsel someone to leave N scale, but I've seen your O scale stuff and think it's spanktacular.

Wow, thank you. It's always great to know one's work is appreciated; this means a lot to me.

Quote from: Dave Vollmer
I would be interested in your N scale catenary techniques; I'm considering doing some dummy cat (no wires, just support poles) for Enola Yard on my layout.

Dave, perhaps some of my pole construction photos could be of some help? The first four here cover one of the span-type poles; i can post more up of the other types as needed.



Overall, i've come to realize that being able to restore any of this stuff won't happen until i have the real estate to set up all my Ntrak modules into something resembling a layout, and i can separate out piles of what survived intact from what needs work. (...along with a big invisible non-pile of what's missing and needs to be purchased.) I will admit one of the things i always did love about N is that building a huge yard full of reasonably-accurate cars isn't impossible (and requires about 1/16th the real estate that O does).

Current plans are, i'm going to be living mostly expense-free for the next year-ish; and things are also looking that i'll be purchasing (for less than half the market rate) my grandmother's old 5br 3ba house (with detached 2-car stone garage) at the end of the 'free living' period. Basement completely for trains, garage for messy shop space. Extra spending cash between now and then isn't a bad perk either. However, keeping the N stuff this year is a matter of putting it in an actual storage unit, which has the attached price tag of about $1400/year. Trying to shoehorn it into that house beforehand is in the same pie-sky likelihood of "i want my own private tour bus with a wet bar that has vitamin Y on tap. And a pony."

In the meantime, one of the big situational advantages of O is that the layout isn't something i need to dedicate actual real estate to. It's a club project in a shared space; and despite the general policy of 'all the cooks get a vote on the stew', i've found that most of my ideas about the stew have been acceptable/followed through on. Such as the cat project: I built a dozen poles, and asked "should i put wire between them? The answer was a resounding YES.
To "call a spade a spade" is to speak honestly and directly about a topic, specifically topics that others may avoid speaking about due to their sensitivity or embarrassing nature. The Oxford English Dictionary records a more forceful variant, "to call a spade a bloody shovel", attested since 1919.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: Considering selling my N scale stuff.
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010, 11:38:35 AM »
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Dude, if you need storage space, let me know... I don't mind signing a contract.

Philip H

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Re: Considering selling my N scale stuff.
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2010, 12:07:01 PM »
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And, unsaid as it has been - when you are ready to parse out your N scale stuff, if ever, many of us would likely help you find homes.

In the end, you need to do what makes you happy in the hobby.  cost is certainly a factor in that, but if you decied tomorrow to go full out in electrified O, none of us would complain one bit.

Well Dave might, but only because he will have to biuld his own cat . . . .
Philip H.
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