Author Topic: Just take my money already  (Read 1891 times)

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SPsteam

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Just take my money already
« on: March 19, 2017, 12:06:11 PM »
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New to the forum.  Spent quite a bit of time on another. 

I've been watching some recent auctions and wonder why manufactures are not producing more steam era models. The HO community has a release every few months whereas we get one once a year or so.  I would like to see a faster turnout if possible, or a manufacturer delve back into the world of brass / mixed media to turn out prototypical models in smaller runs.  The market is there if the manufacturers would just pay attention. 

Here is my "take my money list"
SP AC-9
SP MT-4
SP GS-1
SP P-10 (with and without skyline casting)
PRR T-1 (someday by BLI)
Heisler
Jordan Spreader


When any of the above show up in brass, they demand top dollar.  Are the manufacturers of seeing this?

powersteamguy1790

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 02:31:02 PM »
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I'm with you old friend. Good to see you here. 8) ;)

Bob............. 8) 8)

peteski

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 03:05:11 PM »
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Why?  I think because it is quite difficult (and expensive) to design, produce, and assemble a smooth-running and good-looking N scale steam engine.  Much more difficult than the larger scales.   It is much easier to make Diesel locos - much fewer moving parts which need to be kept in perfect alignment and much fewer tiny delicate details to add to make it look good.

Because of that, steam models are usually much more expensive than Diesels, and the number of N scale modelers willing to buy those locos is tiny compared to H0.  SO, it is not a very profitable proposition for the manufacturers.

European modelers are luckier - there is a much wider range of N steam loco models available out there.  But many of them are simply improved reissues of older designs. European manufacturers were always more active in steam loco production that US manufacturers. Maybe because 1:1 steam locos  in Europe were in use much  longer than in US.

BTW, didn't  Intermountain produce AC-9s?
--- Peteski de Snarkski

Dave Vollmer

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 03:07:47 PM »
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PRR T-1 (someday by BLI)


I don't know the timeline for actual delivery, but BLI is apparently making progress on its T1 in N.   I recall seeing what looked like a 3D printed shell that may have been a proof of concept.  I'll be honest, the prospect of a BLI T1 in N scale factored into my decision to keep part of the Juniata Division and most of my Pennsy N scale fleet even though I'm switching to HOn3.
Silver San Juan Scenic Line

SPsteam

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 03:13:54 PM »
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IM made cab forwards from AC-8 to AC-12.  The AC-9 was built by Lima and was actually a normal steam locomotive, not cab forward.  The obvious builder for this one would be Bachmann on the heels of their successful EM-1.  All it would require are a new shell and tender. 

peteski

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 03:44:03 PM »
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IM made cab forwards from AC-8 to AC-12.  The AC-9 was built by Lima and was actually a normal steam locomotive, not cab forward.

Ah, not being familiar with SP I thought that AC-9 would have been similar to AC9- through 12.  I consider myself enlightened.
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garethashenden

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 04:25:23 PM »
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Why?  I think because it is quite difficult (and expensive) to design, produce, and assemble a smooth-running and good-looking N scale steam engine.  Much more difficult than the larger scales.   It is much easier to make Diesel locos - much fewer moving parts which need to be kept in perfect alignment and much fewer tiny delicate details to add to make it look good.

Because of that, steam models are usually much more expensive than Diesels, and the number of N scale modelers willing to buy those locos is tiny compared to H0.  SO, it is not a very profitable proposition for the manufacturers.

European modelers are luckier - there is a much wider range of N steam loco models available out there.  But many of them are simply improved reissues of older designs. European manufacturers were always more active in steam loco production that US manufacturers. Maybe because 1:1 steam locos  in Europe were in use much  longer than in US.

BTW, didn't  Intermountain produce AC-9s?

They're also the issue of 50 or so Class 1 railroads which all have a variety of classes that are all visually distinct from each other. The differences between a Boston & Maine K7 and a K7 (both 2-8-0s) may not be that much, but if you try to pass off a K8 as a PRR H10 people would have a fit. Whereas both the B&M and the PRR had GP7s and while there are visual differences there aren't as many and they are smaller.

We therefore end up in a situation where the USRA classes get made and the really notable classes get made and everything else gets overlooked. That's why there are Big Boys and K4s and cab forwards, but no one is making something like a Central Vermont 2-10-4.

atsf3751

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 05:28:45 PM »
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I would love more steam but I also realize it is a problem for manufacturers to make. There are many more moving parts that have to be made to work together in a small model. Another problem is that every railroad had their own idea of what a good steamer should look like. A 4-8-4 is not a generic steam loco, every railroad built theirs differently and they come in different sizes. To complicate that even more was that not all engines in the same class looked the same, that was up to the master mechanic in the shop that worked on the engine. He would add his own touches.

Bachmann is making a lot of steam (more than anyone else) and most are very good models. BLI has made some also and more are slowly coming from them. Athearn is releasing a new Big Boy soon, 4014, to represent the one UP is rebuilding.

The steamer on top of my want list is the Santa Fe 3800 class 2-10-2 because they had 200 of them. And, no, the Bachmann 2-10-2 is not the same engine.

But those of you that have been in N Scale a long time will remember that used to be the norm with all engines, steam and diesel. We were lucky to get one new model a year.

Marty Young
San Diego, CA
Marty Young
San Diego, CA

peteski

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 06:45:10 PM »
+1
Yes, Bachmann makes N scale steam locos, but I would argue about their design and overall quality standards.  They did also sell tenders which were a great kitbashing fodder.

Let's not forget about Kato's Mikado, GS-4, and FEF3 (and many Japanese prototypes, some of which can be Americanized).

Then we have Model Power (now MRC) with a nice range of N scale steam locos.

Atlas also sold some early 4-4-0 and 2-6-0 locos (and the Shay).

Going back in time, Rivarossi (sold under multiple brands) has a nice range of American steam. Even Minitrix made few American locomotives.

Maybe we aren't as deprived of steam loco models as it might initially look.  :)  As mentioned earlier, the big problem is that due to the number of individual railroads, there were many variations of the basic locomotives which we as modelers would like accurately depicted.  That might be tough considering the size of the N scale steam market. for example I'm not expecting any manufacturer to make a range of Boston & Maine specific locos.  But with some basic kitbashing, and even nowadays with 3D printing, it is now easier than ever for a modeler to build a model of their favorite prototype.
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brokemoto

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 07:14:03 PM »
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The road specific stuff seems to sell well, be it large or small.  Several dealers and vendors have told me that B-mann's EM-1 outsold the Kato GS-4 and Athearn Challenger combined.  That surprised me, given that a challenger still runs, as does a GS-4 whereas all the EM-1s are now licence plates and screen doors.   I guess that explains why two versions of the Fox Valley waggontop cabooses were sold out before they left the manufacturer.

B-mann's K-4 appears to have sold well, as has the Big Boy and FEF.

What would I buy?

B&O P-1c or P-7 (look much like USRA heavy)
B&O P-3-Washington/Baltimore commuter trains.
B&O Q-4
B&O T-4 (bought used from the Busted and Mined, so could be sold to B&M modellers)
B&O Big Six

P&LE A-2a-ALCo's last US steam.  I am surprised that no manufacturer has done this one.
P&LE H-10, especially with a vestibule cab.

peteski

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 07:28:33 PM »
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The road specific stuff seems to sell well, be it large or small.  Several dealers and vendors have told me that B-mann's EM-1 outsold the Kato GS-4 and Athearn Challenger combined.  That surprised me, given that a challenger still runs, as does a GS-4 whereas all the EM-1s are now licence plates and screen doors.

B-mann's K-4 appears to have sold well, as has the Big Boy and FEF.


What is the location of those dealers? Maybe it is a regional thing?  I wonder how the Life-Like Mallet sold at those dealers?

Speaking of Fox Valley, they have also made a nice 4-4-2 steam locomotive.  Another one to add to the N scale selection.  :)
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PiperguyUMD

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 07:33:03 PM »
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I'd jump on a WM Challenger.  All Athearn needs to do is swap out the pilot deck, smokebox front, and the tender on their new run and they'd have it.

SPsteam

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2017, 07:33:27 PM »
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I forgot to add the B&M T-1 Berkshire.  Some were sold to the SP and Santa Fe, so that is a loco that can fill several roads.


central.vermont

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2017, 07:59:31 PM »
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We therefore end up in a situation where the USRA classes get made and the really notable classes get made and everything else gets overlooked. That's why there are Big Boys and K4s and cab forwards, but no one is making something like a Central Vermont 2-10-4.

I would give my left you know what for ten of them!!!!!!!!!!!  In N scale obviously.  :D :D

Jon

Missaberoad

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Re: Just take my money already
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2017, 08:31:34 PM »
+1
Jordan Spreader

I would pay over 100$ for a quality version of this... High blade and low blade @Shipsure hint hint  :D
Ryan in Alberta