New Bright & Other Inexpensive G-Scale

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New Bright & Other Inexpensive G-Scale
Posted by bjohns67 on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 7:04 PM
Ok. So I've got the bug bad. I want to begin my G-scale railroading empire. The problem, like many of you wanting to get started, is that it's expensive.

Then I ran across radio control G-scale sets from New Bright for about $40. This appealed to me. The quality is decent, and at least will get me into the hobby. Maybe a $1,000 engine will come later (I doubt it).

But how about track? I can't come up with $300 for the track I want, so I'm proposing another innexpensive solution. New Bright sells their sections of track for about $1 each. About 1/3 of the "good" stuff.

So here's my experiment. I will lay this track down and give it a shot for one full season and see how it does.

Here are my questions:

1. Anyone try this before?
2. Can I spray cheap plastic track with a UV spray to make it last in the sun better?
3. Any thoughts or suggestions?

If it works, it's a way to get into the hobby for under $100. Unheard of!

If it fails, hey. At least it's my money and not yours. :)
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Posted by ttrigg on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 8:55 PM
Krylon (I think) makes a line of paint called "Fusion". It is specifically designed for outdoor plastics. Plastic lawn chairs, webbing on netal folding chairs and such. You might look at using that type of paint. Will it imart UV Risrance? I don't know.

Tom Trigg

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Posted by tangerine-jack on Wednesday, December 21, 2005 9:49 PM
This topic comes up every so often. The New Bright stuff is generally crap, but it can be made to work OK and is a great start for a kit bash or other modification. I would highly recommend NOT using the NB track for any reason; this is one place where you really shouldn't skimp at all. Go to http://www.ridgeroadstation.com/ they have Aritso track at the cheapest prices I've seen. While you're in there, look at USA Trains and Heartland, they usually have high quality locos for a discount price.

You've done the right thing by getting into G scale. Ask a lot of questions, but the most important thing is to get something running and start learning for yourself.

Sadly, though, there is no cure for the G bug.

The Dixie D Short Line "Lux Lucet In Tenebris Nihil Igitur Mors Est Ad Nos 2001"

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, December 22, 2005 8:20 AM
Having gone through a ton of the toy/battery style locos, I would avoid New Bright stuff, especially the earlier stuff. The mechanisms just aren't made to last and the scale is not what anyone else is doing. I'm not saying it can't be done, but for most of us this hobby is not about total maintenance. The stuff made by Scientific Toys is a little more rugged mechanically, but still not made for the rigors of continual outdoor use.
I agree that it's better to try and do the right thing for as little as you can rather than invest in the toy stuff that will ALL have to be replaced.
Find a local Garden Railway Club if you can. People in this hobby are fantastic as a rule, and finding used track, locos and rolling stock is often easily and cheaply done. The Hartland Mack can be found for $30-40 and is a great starter loco.
Getting into this hobby on the right track will save you a LOT of money and grief. It's worth doing it right, that's from one that did it the hard way!
Chris
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Posted by vsmith on Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:07 AM
What he said[#ditto]

If your even thinking of using brass track then a $40 Mack is the best screaming deal in large scale today. and their Mini-car series of kits are under $10 each. New Blight and Scientific cars can be used and are a good source of inexpensive rolling stock.

New Blight and Scientific palstic track doesnt hold up well outdoors and has very little resistance to inadvertantly being stepped on. The secret to buying track is to plan out your layout so you know how much track you will need, then buy it slowly if $ is short, also but straights in the longest sections you can use, believe it or not, 5' sections are the most economical price per linear foot.

I am the self-professed King of Cheap in this group here. All my stuff has been scrounged together over the last couple years, With only 2 exceptions I havent paid more than $75 or any engine, and I have 20+, and I have several of the Scientific and Hartland Minicars also. I have found this scale to actually be cheaper than HO or N if you can belive that.

Good Luck

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Posted by tangerine-jack on Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:31 AM
OK Vic, if you are the King of Cheap, the I guess that makes me the King of Thrifty. Can't have two kings in the same kingdom!

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Posted by vsmith on Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:51 AM
You can still be King of Cheap Jack, Dixie is whole different kingdom from Smogtopia.[:D]

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Posted by markn on Thursday, December 22, 2005 12:21 PM
bjohns67 -I'm so cheap-I'm not putting my two cent in, I'm just putting one cent in-I know where you are coming from-Vic, TJ and the others always have good advice but I would just add this: DO IT-maybe spend another $20 on track to double the basic oval you get with a set-this will make a simple dogbone say 12'x6'-take it outside and run it-find out if this hobby is for you-I finally started a garden railrod this summer and found at the early stages there is more gardening than railroading ie the track and the trains are almost secondary to the site work-I am NOT trying to be negative or scare you off but it is a big step to outdoor railroading -take what you have and find out. If you like it, don't spent anymore money on the toy/plastic stuff- start planning/saving for the better stuff-if you don't like it -you're out $50-or sell it on ebay -Welcome and good luck!
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Cheapskate
Posted by bjohns67 on Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:38 PM
Wow! Guys, thanks!

I know, I know. Trying to save a dollar now might cost me more down the line.

What I'm most impressed with is that some of you have been able to get used QUALITY Gscale stuff for such a great price. Used. I'll start looking.

In the meantime, I'm running the New Bright train (might be Scientific Toys, I can't remember) around the Christmas tree. The puffing smoke gives me a headache, but we crack the window, and the three little ones love playing engineer! I actually realized that it's something I never had as a child but always wanted, so I might as well start creating the memories now. I want my kids to remember the train running around the tree.

In the spring, the train (and others, eventually) will move outdoors. The sound is loud and the smoke better for outdoors, and I'm anxious to get them running. from what I've heard here and read everywhere, good track is essential. And doing a good job of laying it too. I have some of this cheapy track - and about 60' of it or more, so will go ahead and treat it with a UV spray, lay it in ballast, and give it a try. Then I'll get back to you.

Being rainy and right at freezing here in Idaho, it'll be a few months. I cannot wait!! How do you guys handle winter?

and thanks again for welcoming me and not laughing at me.

bjohns67

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Posted by bjohns67 on Thursday, December 22, 2005 10:42 PM
Oh, and on my teacher's salary, I will try to buy a few feet of Aristocraft track each paycheck and replace the cheapy stuff as I can. I'll have to create a fictional maintenance division for replacing track...hmmm.

anyway, that's the plan.

Merry Christmas!

brian johns
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Posted by piercedan on Friday, December 23, 2005 5:15 AM
How do we handle winter, we get a plow and run the trains outdoors. Depends on how deep the snow gets and if it turns to ice.

Thos is the first Xmas in 4 years I can not run due to icey snow on the track.

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Winter Running?
Posted by bjohns67 on Friday, December 23, 2005 1:36 PM
So do most of you keep running in the cold and rain and wind and snow? I guess that's another aspect that makes it mirror the real train world, eh?

How many of you keep running and how many close up shop until spring?

bjohns67
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 23, 2005 1:59 PM
While I'm not yet into G, I have the symptoms. I saw a New Bright set on the net several days ago going for about $120. Have they upgraded their line or was I seeing things?
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Posted by vsmith on Saturday, December 24, 2005 10:00 AM
New Bright for $120? stay away!

Do an Ebay search under "New Bright" you'll get the real value, most sets go for betweem $10 to $30 dollars.

Personall i find the Scientific sets to be a better, as the loco almost kinda looks like a real loco as opposed to the New Brights doesnt-look-like-any-kinda-loco is far too toy like for me.

I bought a Scientific set this year, so i would have a kids sets for the outdoor layout, now were going to my sister-in-laws instead so now I gotta decide...keep it for future visits, or scrap for parts!

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, December 24, 2005 1:12 PM
bjohns67 - I understand you desire to be thrifty but as noted earlier, the first place you will want to make a meaningful investment in in your track. As most people he know, Aristocraft has a big track sale in the Jan/Feb time frame where you buy 4 and get one free. Shipping can get expensive if you don't have access to a local dealer with internet pricing. One way to pick up track over time is to watch eBay for track that is within your driving distance so you can avoid shipping.
Also, key an eye out for Bachman rolling stock sales. Their stock is designed for outside plus can be found for low cost as a starter set. Don't try to use Bachman track outside. It is steel and will quickly rust away.
WELCOME ABOARD!
Paul D
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 3:51 PM
Set-up a Scientific set in the garden last summer, and my Grandkids, including the one-year-old, ran it every time they came over. Brought it in and ran it around the Christmas tree for 4 weeks. Got extra track on eBay(not cheap), but I can't find any retailer selling it. The set was the best $39. I ever spent.
I'm a "O Gauger", but do not want to be screwing-around with electric outdoors. Until I find a better-looking READY TO RUN battery set...this will do. Joe
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 18, 2006 9:10 AM
The only thing I can really add is subscribe or find a store that sells Garden Railways! Between the web and the magazine Ive learned a lot about the hobby. Dont be afraid to experiment there really isnt a right way or a wrong way, its whatever works for you and your skills. EBay can be your friend but research the prices from companies like St Aubin, TrainWorld, Charles Ro before you start bidding, its easy to pay too much on ebay when the bidding wars start. Good luck and welcome!

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Posted by piercedan on Thursday, January 19, 2006 5:13 AM
Always check out www.ridgeroadstation.com.

Some sites have consignment and used equipment.
I have bought used items and I have found that the worst part is the plastic wheels were worn out, but I always convert to metal wheels and I just use the plastic ones for decorating on the RR.
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Posted by bjohns67 on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 11:37 AM
thanks everyone. Just by looking at the sheer numbers of views and responses, there's some interest in running inexpensive trains.

I have 60' of the cheap track, but just ordered 60' of the good stuff. Was told in another forum that cheap trains might be okay, but cheap track is definately NOT. I agree. When building a foundation, it must be strong.

The extra 60' of plastic track might be fun indoors somewhere. Shelf layout perhaps.

Again, thanks for all the feedback since I inquired about New Bright and other inexpensive trains!

Brian Johns
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Posted by vsmith on Wednesday, February 8, 2006 6:38 PM
Brian one thing you will want to consider is adding some wieght to the locomotive. My Scientific Toys engine chronicaly derails at the slightest whim. Its due to the lack of any real weight over the driver wheels on the loco. All the weight is with the batteries in the tender. I suggest using those peal and stick self adhesive lead tire weights Pep Boys and a few other auto places sell (and most good train shops). They come in strips that can be snapped into smaller 1oz and 1/2oz sizes segments, peal the adhesive strip off and adhere the strips to the inside top of the boiler. This is what I plan to do with mine. Also add a small 1/2oz wieght on top of the pilot wheel to help it track thru the corners.
Later Vic
 
editI have since removed the pilot wheel, it just wouldnt stop derailing, removing the pilot solved this.

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, April 28, 2006 2:41 PM
I was told (more years ago than I care to remember) to
get some track down and run some trains so what if the track isn't perfect or the rolling stock less than real once some thing moves then the drug gets you and in no time you will find the means to the ends. There are a lot of railroad addicts out there only too willing to help, to sit on your butt and dream well that's about all you will get, dreams. So what if your track is plastic or your loco only cost a few dimes it gives you pleasure at the end of the day that's what counts. I must confess that I do envy you folks you are surrounded by like minded people here I am in a desert. The locals think I am a nutter their only interests seems to be in killing things thankfully their accuracy with their shotguns is about as good as their sense of creativity. So to sum up you press on
with your newbright and enjoy it just keep the trains a running.
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Posted by vsmith on Friday, April 28, 2006 10:40 PM
All you Cheepo's out there..

Check out the latest issue of GR, the featured Scenic Express RR is all El Cheepo battery stuff, plastic track, and looks surprisingly looks terrific!

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Posted by cruikshank on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 3:29 PM

Since it's been 8 months, what did you end up doing Bjohns?  and what did you do with the new bright?

I would like to see that article, I'll have to find some used GR  which month was it?  I know I spoke to Vsmith and probably others about this very subject on MLS board.  I got in real cheap, a Scientific Toys set for $4 at a flea market.  I am missing 4 curves, and hate to pay even E-bay prices which are much more than I paid for the whole set.  I'm watching Ebay for a HLW loco, I want to build a mining layout since I'm from Coal country in Eastern PA.

What do you put in the New Bright/ Scientific stck for smoke?  I see there is a plastic buld type item under the stack.  Thanks,  Dave

Large 3 rail club layout (24x55' 6 mainlines) in Frackville PA looking for new members NOW ! Always interested in info and sites for Anthracite Coal Mines and Railroads. Looking for fellow modelers around Reading PA. Work in "N" and Hi-rail "0" scale
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Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 10:29 PM

    Hi there,

I'm new to this forum as I model Ho scale, but a couple of years ago a friend gave me a Scientific set and I was hooked. I looked high and low for the stuff (did not want to deal with ebay). Joe0315 said he could not find a retailer that sold the stuff so I wanted to share the info. I found out that Kaybeetoys.com sells the sets as well as track sets really cheap. I even found a few of the stores carried the sets (in NJ). I just picked one up today. I know these are considered toys but hey, I've heard the same about my Ho stuff. I say as long as you have fun....that's what matters.

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Posted by vsmith on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:15 AM
 Lady-CNJ wrote:

    Hi there,

I'm new to this forum as I model Ho scale, but a couple of years ago a friend gave me a Scientific set and I was hooked. I looked high and low for the stuff (did not want to deal with ebay). Joe0315 said he could not find a retailer that sold the stuff so I wanted to share the info. I found out that Kaybeetoys.com sells the sets as well as track sets really cheap. I even found a few of the stores carried the sets (in NJ). I just picked one up today. I know these are considered toys but hey, I've heard the same about my Ho stuff. I say as long as you have fun....that's what matters.

 
Sign - Welcome [#welcome] to the forum.
 
Please read what I said at the top of this page about adding weight to the engine, it does help alot. I found I had to remove the leading pilot wheel in order to keep the engine from derailing on my switches, I'm using brass track.  Another forum member (who hasnt been around in a while) Captain Carreles, also used a few of these engines, repainted to look more realisticly, on his layout.
 
I just picked up another set as well , its a good source of inexpensive rolling stock, I've been rebuilding the cars with 2 axle trucks and link and pin couplers. I came to the conclusion that the Scientific cars are just as detailed as LGBs Toytrain line but are so far less expensive as to be worth grabbing a set each Xmas. I keep the straight track for display and train storage but dump the curved track. Its worthless to me but it does hold up well outdoors.
 
Anyway, whatever floats your boat is my motto, so enjoy, dont be afraid to ask any Q's. Later Vic

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 4:29 PM

      Hey there,

Thanks for the advice Vsmith. I will try it. I also have a problem with the engine derailing and I was wondering how to fix that, so that helps a lot. One question though. Will adding weight hurt the engine? As I said before I model Ho so I don't know much about battery powered locos or G-scale. So your advice is a big help.

Thanks again! Danielle

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Posted by vsmith on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 5:40 PM

Hi Danielle

Heres what I did, from another forum:

Yes, I added weight to my Scientific loco by unscrewing the boiler and adding self-adhesive tire rim weights that should be avalible at PEP BOYS or similar auto parts shops. I'm lucky in the my LHS sells them. They come in 1oz. and 1/2oz sizes and have a peal off adhesive backing. They come in strips about 4 inches long and break down into 1/2" squares, I added as many 1 oz weights as I could by sticking them to the inside of the boiler in whatever space I could find onto the inside face of the boiler, being very carefull to make sure that they didnt interfer with reassembly. I figure I added 12 to 16 oz of weight, 1 oz at a time, which these badly need.

Make sure you study the inside before you start sticking, theres a certain amount of strategy involved because once to stick these weights, there permanent!

I'll add that I did this with the engine on its back so I could lift the drive off, place an individual weight down with backing still in place, close it up and make sure it fits and still closes up, reopen it and then peal off the backing and adhere it in place and move on to the next weight and work my way around the the innards from front to back. Sounds tedious, but theres really not a lot of extra space inside so you have to approach it stratigicly. Be carefull not to add weight beyond the line of the front axle as it will unbalance the engine.

Good Luck


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Posted by Chris Walas on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 10:10 PM
While the weights really do make a huge difference in keeping the Scientific Toys Mogul on track, I've found (in my experience) that it's more important to take the flange off the center driver. The ST mechanism doesn't have the side to side play that better three axle drives have and on the tight radius plastic track, there's a lot of stress on the chassis, which pushes the front driver to walk over the outside rail.
It's easy to take down the flange; turn the loco upside down and turn it on. Simply apply a file to the flange and wait till it's even with the rest of the wheel (i.e. track level) or use a Dremel sanding disc if you're in a hurry. As long as the wheels are turning, it's relatively easy to get an even result. I've done this on four or five of these locos and it works better than adding weight (IMHO). Hope this helps.
Chris
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Posted by vsmith on Thursday, October 26, 2006 12:48 AM

 Chris Walas wrote:
While the weights really do make a huge difference in keeping the Scientific Toys Mogul on track, I've found (in my experience) that it's more important to take the flange off the center driver. The ST mechanism doesn't have the side to side play that better three axle drives have and on the tight radius plastic track, there's a lot of stress on the chassis, which pushes the front driver to walk over the outside rail. It's easy to take down the flange; turn the loco upside down and turn it on. Simply apply a file to the flange and wait till it's even with the rest of the wheel (i.e. track level) or use a Dremel sanding disc if you're in a hurry. As long as the wheels are turning, it's relatively easy to get an even result. I've done this on four or five of these locos and it works better than adding weight (IMHO). Hope this helps. Chris

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Posted by cruikshank on Thursday, October 26, 2006 1:11 AM
I picked up three sets at flea markets over the summer.  I paid $5 for one box of Scientific toys, $10 for a complete New Bright with Sounds,  and $15 for a complete Scientific with Remote.  I ended up with 3 engines, 3 caboose, Cabeese ?, 3 Gondolas, and 3 boxcars plus lots of plastic track.  First I found out that New Bright and Scientic Toys Track are not compatible, the joiner is on the oposite side.  I felt the New Bright was inferior though it did have chuff, Whistle, Bell, and All abord sounds. Corny but the kids and cat love it. I sold the New Bright and track and caboose on E-bay for enough that the Scientific Toys were essentially free.  I will weight, repaint, weather, and probably add a 9 volt rechargable cell to the tender.  This will keep my "G" gauge Jones under control until I see if it's for me.  If it is, then I'll probably go Hartland.  With the sale of the new bright I essentially have nothing in this but time.  The Scientific runs better and seems more substantial than the new bright.  Right now it's all for fun.  Being disabled, we had to move in with my Mother-in-law.  At first she said no way to a garden railroad, but when she saw the "G" in action she was hooked.  I'll check our K-bee for track.  We have a K-bee outlet here in Reading, just a few blocks away.  I like the idea of Battery power, no need to worry about clean track, or multiple trains on one layout.  Like someone else said for now I'm having fun, and have very little invested into it.  Thanks for the forum and this thread.  Dave in Reading, PA
Large 3 rail club layout (24x55' 6 mainlines) in Frackville PA looking for new members NOW ! Always interested in info and sites for Anthracite Coal Mines and Railroads. Looking for fellow modelers around Reading PA. Work in "N" and Hi-rail "0" scale

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