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Anyone here into vintage HO? 1940s thru the 60s?

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Anyone here into vintage HO? 1940s thru the 60s?
Posted by I like Vintage HO on Saturday, January 7, 2017 5:05 PM

I just finished up a pair fo diecast Varney F7s and a Varney GG1.  

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Monday, January 9, 2017 10:38 AM

First of all ..... WELCOME to the Forum .... Welcome

I do have a lot of old HO, but don't operate it very often. 

 

GARRY

HEARTLAND DIVISION, CB&Q RR

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, January 9, 2017 10:50 AM

I am, but more by coincidence than choice.  When I started in HO, if I bought something used it was 1950s or older, so I do have rolling stock of that era. 

I had a Varney F3 and it pulled like a son of a gun, but the sideframes and other parts had zinc-rot and deteriorated into nothing.  I was sad because that engine was a favorite, even though the sideframes were shorter wheelbase than prototype.

So did the zinc side frames and front door/headlight castings of the Penn Line shortened GG1 (what you have is Penn Line's tooling which Varney came out with again in the 1960s) that I always intended to get to but never did.  They just crumbled to nothing.  I think I finally threw the body shell casting and some other parts away, or maybe sold 'em off cheap at a swap meet., because the PEMCO GG1 was full scale length.

If you like older HO, I hope you know the HO Seeker website.  It has all sorts of photos, catalogs, and information about HO from the early days. 

http://www.hoseeker.net/

Dave Nelson

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, January 9, 2017 10:57 AM

Like Garry, I've got a goodly bit of old HO stuff.  Even some brass, which I bought in the sixties.

But it's mostly for nostalgic purposes, as the detailing is just plain unacceptable.  I don't DO cast-on grabs anymore.

The only exception that comes to mind would be some Athearn/Menzies metal boxcar kits I've gotta build someday.  Those should still look great, with a little attention.  Some are the round-roofed version.  And I've still got to figure out how to put that little dent in the roof at the top of the side ladders.  Neatly.

Oh, and there's that neat little MEW side dump car.  And some Kadee disconnects.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by arbe1948 on Monday, January 9, 2017 11:03 AM

You might enjoy if you are on

Face Book, Fallen Flags of Model Railroading Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/849363045074879/

Bob Bochenek
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Posted by hardcoalcase on Monday, January 9, 2017 11:07 AM

Well, I'm more in the category of "still have" as opposed to "into", but I have several Tyco/Mantua locos (big 6 with valve gear, little 6 and the General with the Cary boiler) that someday Hmm will get motor upgrades and decoders. 

The shelf queens are my first HO Trains - a Gilbert set with the little gas electric switcher, and a Varney SW-something diesel.

Jim

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, January 9, 2017 11:16 AM

Hi there 'I like Vintage HO',

Welcome to the forums!!   Welcome

I keep my eye on eBay all the time, partially to see what vintage bargains come up for sale. Last year I scored a set of four Star Line stock cars that were in really good condition considering the fact that they are probably about 70 years old. Whoever assembled them had done a masterfull job. There was absolutely no excess glue showing anywhere and yet the cars were quite solid. There was a little bit of damage to a couple of the cars, and I had to remove some of the cast frame to get the trucks to pivot more freely (the original builder must have had some pretty generous curves on their layout), but other than that all they needed were new couplers, a bit of weight, and fresh paint and decals. I love them! They are among my most favourite cars. Every time I pick one up I am inspired by the workmanship.

Here they are as purchased. I have removed the placards, decals and original coupler boxes:

Here they are after the rebuild:

I have also picked up several unbuilt vintage kits and I enjoy the challenge of creating nice models from them. I do have to confess that sometimes some of the original components get tossed in favour of more modern materials.

Please show us what you have.

Regards

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, January 9, 2017 11:37 AM

I am just pondering of "going back to where it once started", which is in my case the early 1960´s, when Santa brought me a Marklin starter set with that infamous tinplate track.

I just love the simplicity of the way layouts were built in those days, leaving a lot of the detail to one´s own imagination and phantasy.

Not so long ago, I sketched a layout idea which followed exactly the way layouts were built in my childhood days.

Marklin locos and cars of that period are available in abundance in my country and can be had for reasonable money. With a little TLC, Marklin locos are virtually indestructible and surprisingly well detailed for their time.

 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, January 9, 2017 12:27 PM

I have 1950's built Lionel Lines O27 Hudson steam engine but thats because I received it for Christmas when I was 4.  Otherwise stuff built back then is much more crude than the past 15-20 years so I don't see myself buying more vintage stuff.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, January 9, 2017 12:40 PM

I was born in 1947, so I'm "vintage," too.

I started in HO about 1960, with what was then a brand-new, modern-era Athearn train set.  I took down the layout when I went to college, but I kept everything in boxes that moved with me for 30 years.  Finally, I opened them up.  The engines did not run well enough, so some of them have been turned into dummies and others still sit in boxes.  Rolling stock has mostly been converted to metal wheels and Kadees.  A few structures have been cleaned up and placed on my layout, too.

Old trains are like old friends.  You hate to let them go.  The detail may not be as good as modern offerings, but they have their place on my tracks.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by 7j43k on Monday, January 9, 2017 1:07 PM

hardcoalcase

...and a Varney SW-something diesel.

Jim

 

 

The Varney was (and is) a phase III NW2.  The SP&S's NW2's were phase III.  It is the only phase III available.

I've got one on my bench now.  It's getting re-powered (Hobbytown slow speed), re-cabbed (Kato or Cannon, don't know yet), re-stepped (Kato), re-other stuffed, and DCC/soundified/keepalived (Loksound).  And weighted.

The basic body casting (which is about all the Varney I'm using) is pretty good.  It's actually got flat body doors (as opposed to slightly raised), which I don't think any other HO EMD mass produced switcher has.  Surprisingly, it's pretty light.  I think because of the wall thickness of the casting.  I couldn't find any zinc pest.  I have another one of these that doesn't have any, either.

 

I am hoping this project turns out a super switcher.

 

 

Ed

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Posted by rrebell on Monday, January 9, 2017 1:26 PM

Sir Madog

I am just pondering of "going back to where it once started", which is in my case the early 1960´s, when Santa brought me a Marklin starter set with that infamous tinplate track.

I just love the simplicity of the way layouts were built in those days, leaving a lot of the detail to one´s own imagination and phantasy.

Not so long ago, I sketched a layout idea which followed exactly the way layouts were built in my childhood days.

Marklin locos and cars of that period are available in abundance in my country and can be had for reasonable money. With a little TLC, Marklin locos are virtually indestructible and surprisingly well detailed for their time.

 

 

Even back in the 60's I tried for relistic, didn't do that well back then though. I have some central valley car kits and some built from that era, also a few of other brands but don't collect anymore because I can buy RTR with better work than I could ever do and at a not much more cost.

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Posted by Dominion Atlantic Railway on Monday, January 9, 2017 1:28 PM

 Have what is left from an old HO Lionel train set I received back about 1961.It saw rough use, from a kid who just saw it as a toy to play with.:).Loco no longer works and cars are in pretty bad shape.The old transformer still works well though.

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Posted by RR_Mel on Monday, January 9, 2017 1:34 PM

I’m not really “into it” but my pride and joy is my first HO locomotive, a MDC/Roundhouse 0-6-0.  I bought it as a kit back in 1952 and it still runs like new.  I watched eBay for about a year looking for another 0-6-0 until found an unopened MDC Kit in 2013, the instruction sheet has the same date on it as my first locomotive 1952.  I added a Digitrax Sound DCC decoder in the tender of my original locomotive and it runs and sounds great.  My second will remain as a stock built locomotive with the exception of LEDs for the  headlight and backup light.
 
They’re max pulling capacity is 3 MDC old time (light weight) coaches or log buggies up my 3½% grades and they look fantastic.
 
The original 0-6-0 cost me $6.85 (my hard earned paper route money) new in 1952 from H&H Hobby Shop in El Paso Texas.  The second 0-6-0 cost me $50 off eBay plus shipping in 2013.
 
I’m not into newer locomotives, I prefer to buy older clunkers and restore them back to new or better condition.  
 
Memories, Memories, aren’t they great?
 
 
 
Mel
 
Modeling the early to mid 1950s SP in HO scale since 1951
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by IRONROOSTER on Monday, January 9, 2017 5:34 PM

I have all my HO stuff from the early 70's (when I started in the hobby), much of which was available in the 60's (maybe earlier).

I also have my Fleischmann train from the 50's.  It still runs.

Over the years I have picked up some older HO (and S and O) as I have seen them at good prices.   I have some MDC metal cars, some Tyco locomotive kits, some old S scale Kinsman and Ambroid kits, some old Mainline and Athearn O scale.  Some of these I'll build eventually, but others like the MDC cars I probably won't. 

Eventually, I would like to build a small layout using the old stuff of those early years in the hobby.

There are a few manufacturers still making kits like those from years ago.  Ye Old Huff n Puff, LaBelle Woodworking,  etc.  Some of the details may be updated, but some are very vintage.

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, January 9, 2017 8:25 PM

I have lots of vintage rolling stock, Athearn metal cars, Varney metal cars, Original Athearn "Yellow box" kits, hundreds of blue box kits, many built, many not. Here is a small sample:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I kitbash and upgrade most of them a little, but honestly, many of them are very good in terms of detail and overall appearance. My only older locos are a set of seriously upgraded Athearn F7's, replacement motors, GSB cab interiors, diesel dressup kits.

I have Silver Streak kits from before the Walthers takeover that I built in the early 70's as teen. 

I still buy and build "new old stock" kits from any era.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, January 9, 2017 10:00 PM

Sheldon:

I have always admired your sizable collection of TOFC cars.Bow I'm slowly expanding my fleet but current prices on eBay are usually way too expensive, especially when you add in the shipping cost to Canada.

My club puts on a big show/sale in February. Last year I found three TOFC cars for great prices. I hope I can do the same this year. Wish me luck!

Cheers!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, January 9, 2017 11:06 PM

hon30critter

Sheldon:

I have always admired your sizable collection of TOFC cars.Bow I'm slowly expanding my fleet but current prices on eBay are usually way too expensive, especially when you add in the shipping cost to Canada.

My club puts on a big show/sale in February. Last year I found three TOFC cars for great prices. I hope I can do the same this year. Wish me luck!

Cheers!

Dave

 

Thanks for the kind words Dave, one day I will photograph some more, and finishing building a few more.......

A large portion of the TOFC fleet are the kit bashed Athearn cars in these photos, and while not exactly "to scale", you would be amazed at some of the prototype photos they are a good match for. a great many of the Athearn cars were kits purchased at "bargain" prices, but some are actually the newer production RTR versions, also reworked regarding trailer axles, rub rails and bridge plates.

My other TOFC equipment includes about 18 Walthers F39 75' cars in PRR, WABASH, ATLANTIC CENTRAL and a few others.

I have a few Walthers GSC flats as piggys, and about two dozen of the new Bachmann cars. The Bachmann cars ride too high out of the box, so I change the trucks and install offset Kadee's to get the decks down to the right height.

Then there are some odd balls, Ullrich 40' piggy flat, and some other 40' flat/32' van sets I kit bashed. Seldom modeled, there were actually a fair number of 40'/45' piggys built early on, B&O, NKP, ERIE and a few others, but I don't think any of them went to TrailerTrain in 56-57.

But I model the fall of 1954, before TrailerTrain with just a little "license" about a few details.....

Yes, I model the 50's, with a fair number of models from the 50's......

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, January 9, 2017 11:53 PM

Sheldon:

I have followed your suggestion of removing one of the axles from most of my TOFC trailers. I also invested in a bunch of Details West flat car trailer hitches and connecting ramps. I really like the appearance of the hitches despite the fact that I don't think they are quite right for the late 50s era. I really don't care. I'm not a rivet counter.Smile, Wink & GrinLaugh I have also moved all the trailer bogie wheels back a notch so they can actually be hitched up to a tractor should I decide to do so. I did manage to glue the connecting ramps to the wrong side of the flat cars at first but that was easily corrected.Dunce I have five newer Athearn Canadian Pacific TOFC RTR flats with the green trailers with yellow lettering on them, and I have four sets of Canadian Pacific 25' trailers without the flat cars too. I haven't modified any of them yet. I seem to lack the courage to rip into brand new RTR models. If I could find the matching decals I would convert a lot of the other road name TOFCs to Canadian Pacific. I might have to do the decals myself. The Athearn TOFC Canadian Pacific flats with trailer loads are some of my favourite models.

Thanks for the inspiration Sheldon!

Dave

I'm just a dude with a bad back having a lot of fun with model trains, and finally building a layout!

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Posted by BRAKIE on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 4:05 AM

rrebell
Even back in the 60's I tried for relistic, didn't do that well back then though. I have some central valley car kits and some built from that era, also a few of other brands but don't collect anymore because I can buy RTR with better work than I could ever do and at a not much more cost.

Modeling realistic could be done back in the 60s by using brass steam engines Athearn and Roundhouse cars which was highly acceptable back then. Of course some removed the molded on grabs on freight cars and replaced them with wire grabs-some even made those grabs with closer to scale wire.

All depends on how much time one wanted to spend upgrading his freight car fleet.

I did not worry about such things because like today I preferred prototype switching operation.

Even today I still enjoy switching cars with my BB SW7,GP7 or GP35 as much as I do one of my Atlas,P2K,Athearn RTR or my lone Genesis GP9 or my lone Kato GP35 engines.

Of course every freight car and locomotive must be era specific-no Seaboard System locomotives or CSX cars will be seen in my 77/78 era nor will IPD boxcars be seen in my 94/95 era.

Larry

Conductor.

Summerset Ry.


"Stay Alert, Don't get hurt  Safety First!"

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Posted by I like Vintage HO on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 2:42 PM

Hi Dave.  Still a lot of bodies on Ebay.  And yes, you gotta watch for rot.  I'll buy a rotted shell if the inside is complete simply because I know I can get another shell.

Ho Seeker has some diagrams, but as we all know, toy trains are like cars, a NEW & IMPORVED model every year.  Research drives one nuts.  Ho Seeker doesn't carry every version you will run into.  

Thanks for the line and I hope to chat again soon.

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Posted by I like Vintage HO on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 2:57 PM

Hi Ed,

 

Cool!!  But they are all fun.  I've even got some old Comet kits. I have not (knowingly) done the Athearn kit you mentioned.  Lots of kit round house's though. My wife and my Mom made my Dad and I clean out stuff this year.  We dumped a 1,000 different cars and about 300 engines on an auction.  So, with that many the memory gets fuzzy.  My Dad and I generally had a weekend sale every year but they didn't go well the last few years so there just wasn't room any more.  Besides, we restored them to be played with. He and I are just big kids but too many is too many.

I have the MEW switcher. It runs great.  I gotta find a box for it one day though.  The last box I bid on went for about $25.  My wife would of killed me since I only paid $3 for a big pile of odds and ends that contained the complete switcher.

 

Look forward to talking again.

Randy

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Posted by I like Vintage HO on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 3:09 PM

Hi Dave,

 

NICE!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will get some pictures together and post them soon.  As for curves, especially for old passenger cars like Varney, American Beauty, and among others bigger is always better. Especially if you got a old Gilbert or Mantua steamer pulling them.

I bought a new house two years ago and have to build a new layout.  They just don't do well for a move.

Look forward to chatting again,

Randy

 

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Posted by I like Vintage HO on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 3:19 PM

Hi Mister Beasley,

I still have my first Varney engine and my Athearn Hi-Fi Rio Grande set.  They are old and loved friends.  I was born in 54 so I lived thru the absolute height of the orginal hobby boom.  

I have not had much problem with getting motors to go again.  Usually a good bath goes along way. Although  I have found some interesting things stuck inside of them from time to time.  And usually you can find the specs to check them out on a multimeter.

Hope to chat again.

Randy

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Posted by I like Vintage HO on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 3:30 PM

Hello Sir Madog,

I take it you are in europe then. More likely Germany since that is where Marklin orginated.  I have not done much with Marklin.  I occassionally run into some on an auction or an estate sale.  

They are however very beautiful.  I have a friend in California that I usually sell them to when I come across any.  I just can't make room for more than one operating system.  

I came across 30 prewar Marklin passenger cars, most with the complete orginalbox and wraping paper.  Unfortunately, only 2 or 3 still had good trucks. That was my first exposure to Marklin.  I am surprised i don't find more of them here in WI. with it's German heritage, but I suppouse nearly 80 years has taken a huge toll.

Thanks for showing me.

Randy

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Posted by ggnlars on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 5:23 PM

Randy,

like you, I rehab and refresh these trains.  I came across an auction last year tha had several Gilbert/Varney HO diesels and cars.  Ten Lackawanna F2's and the same namer of depressed flats with transformer loads.  The cars were an easy fix.  The engines took a little more.  All but two came alive to almost like new.  The last two were just to far gone and were sold as parts.  All the items sold easily, so there are people out there who use or collect these vintage trains.

Larry

www.llxlocomotives.com

So many trains, so little time,

Larry

www.llxlocomotives.com

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 11:51 AM

I like Vintage HO
Thanks for showing me

You are welcome, Randy.

Marklin never really had much to offer in terms of US-prototype engines iand cars. There was a rather crude interpretation of an F 7 in the 1950´s and 1960´s, a nicely detailed USRA Mike and the ubiquitous UP Big Boy, and a handful of 40´box cars. Most of the Marklin stuff came over with GI´s returning home from their stay in Germany.

I never understood why Marklin never really took a keen interest in developing the US market for their products. Being European market leader in terms of quantity and quality seemed to be enough for them.

Marklin is still #1 manufacturer in Germany, despite their proprietary 3-rail AC system. I guess it´s a tradition to own a Marklin "train set".

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Posted by ACY Tom on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:09 PM

Marklin has a reputation for fine German engineering, and the items released under the Trix label are US-compatible.  Their Big Boy never appealed to me because it doesn't fit into my scheme, and I missed out on their USRA 2-8-2, which has a fine reputation. I wish the Mike would be re released. Now they have announced a UP Challenger. I might be interested, just because the engine appeals to me, but I probably won't go for it because it looks like it will be released as a black oil burner with smoke lifters. I would want it in the passenger gray paint scheme or as a traditional coal burner, but I can't see repainting or modifying the engine at that price. 

Tom

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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 12:47 PM

ACY
I wish the Mike would be re released.

Back in the market - see here

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:57 PM

Sir Madog

 

 
ACY
I wish the Mike would be re released.

 

Back in the market - see here

 

 

In only one roadname? For a locomotive that was used by 32 different railroads, and who's later clones included even more railroads.

No wonder Trix has never gained much market share in the US, they simply do not understand this market.

Sheldon

    

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