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HO automobiles

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HO automobiles
Posted by hbgatsf on Sunday, October 9, 2022 8:37 AM

I need to start accumulating cars to add to urban streets that I am working on.  As a start I got one made by Busch and a more expensive on by Woodland Scenics to see what the difference was.  Both will have their place on the layout depending on whether they are easily seen or not.

What brands have you found to be a good bang for the buck? 

Rick

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, October 9, 2022 4:02 PM

My most recent acquisitions have mostly been from Oxford Diecast. These are nicely detailed at a decent price point.

 Autos at the depot by Edmund, on Flickr

I used to be able to find Classic Metal Works at reduced prices at train shows but lately it seems the prices have escalated for that line. Athearn, Brekina, Busch and their ilk all seem to have significantly increased in the last few years.

I always look for sales and discounts. MB Klein sometimes has considerable discounts on vehicles now and then.

Here's a brand I'm not familiar with but the price looks good, after discount:

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/schuco-ho-452617601-1953-cadillac-eldorado-baby-blue/

Sometimes there is a particular vehicle I'm looking for and in that case I simply have to pry my wallet open Indifferent

This Athearn Model B Mack mixer was close to $30 at the time but it was one I wanted as I remember seeing them in the '60s.

 Mixer_mishap by Edmund, on Flickr

Sometimes I treat myself to a highly detailed vehicle from Artitec. Beautiful models but that detail comes at a price.

 Payloader2 by Edmund, on Flickr

 Road-crane1 by Edmund, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

DrW
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Posted by DrW on Sunday, October 9, 2022 4:26 PM

gmpullman

My most recent acquisitions have mostly been from Oxford Diecast. These are nicely detailed at a decent price point.

 Autos at the depot by Edmund, on Flickr

 

I strongly second Ed's suggestion of Oxford Diecast. I just received a shipment from Modeltrainstuff containing (among other items) four Oxford cars. Interestingly, three of them are the same as on Ed's pic, the Chrysler wagon, the Dodge truck, and the Buick wagon. The forth is a DeSoto with luggage on the roof rack.

JW

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, October 9, 2022 4:31 PM

hbgatsf
What brands have you found to be a good bang for the buck? 

Oxford, in my opinion, gives the best bang for the buck. Less than $10.00 each, and they look really good.

The yellow car is Oxford.

-Photograph by Kevin Parson

I model 1954, so I also have models from Busch, Classic Metal Works, and many others.

I have en entire Home Depot small moving box filled with vehicles. I had No idea I had that many. My wife loves the little cars. When we are at train shows she always buys any that we do not already have. Now I have way too many.

-Kevin

 

Living the dream.

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Posted by hbgatsf on Sunday, October 9, 2022 6:36 PM

Thanks for the suggestions.  I will check them out.  

Rick

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Posted by azrail on Monday, October 10, 2022 2:23 PM

The current CMW line is now all plastic, and the quality has gone down while the price has gone up...wobbly wheels, crooked printing, too much flash

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, October 10, 2022 2:57 PM

Depending on your era, if you can track down the old Life-Like Scenemaster vehicles, they do a great job filling in like street scenes or parking lots where you don't need super-detailed cars. They haven't been made for a while, but still show up online and at RR flea markets.

https://www.gatewaynmra.org/2003/model-buildings-gateway-central-ho-scale-project-train-layout-part-2/

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/1260/4747/products/LIF1620.jpg?v=1614702162

 

Stix
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Posted by chutton01 on Monday, October 10, 2022 3:56 PM

The eternal debate on acquiring location and era-correct vehicles for you module/diorama/layout...without spending way too much money on it...continues

First, there was a recent debate on this forum on 'generic' looking model cars, and my opinion was "heck yeah!". To me, those who said they would NOT accept generic vehicles make no sense - fine, for the up-front edge of your module use those exactly modeled F350s or Mustangs or whatever else you can find (which can be limited), but in the farther-back street scenes, or in a big parking lot, or a highway packed with other vehicles around, generic is plenty good enough. BTW, those Woodland Scenics vehicles mentioned above (not sure if you meant the 1940s/1950s ones like 'Hitchin a Ride' or 'Rusty's Regret' or the more recent 1980s era ones like 'Marron Coupe' or 'Blue Sedan') are generic models, sort of based off of actual vehicles, but IMO they still work (I have one or two). Heh, I see on Woodland Scenics own Vehicle webpage their 'Passenger Van' has no windows in the back - that seems like an bit of a mislabel on WS's part.

Moving on, how about a recent era GMC Top-Kick in...oh wait, they are no longer made in HO scale. Or are they? (yes,  solid core - ugh - and grainy feel seems almost filament printing to me).  How about a Nissan NV van (pretty common in reality), or a Sentra, or an Altima, or Toyota Corolla or Avalon, or Subaru Impreza - You get the idea as there not many of those around in HO.  Audi's and Mercedes and BMWs, they're pretty easy to find in reasonably recent era (e.g. 21st century) as well as earlier eras. (I have plenty)  IIRC this used to be because a) Europe had/has a large HO vehicle collection audience, hence quite a number of German-prototype vehicles b) every model vehicle collector wanted the cool stuff, hence loads of sporty vehicles, luxury vehicles, racing vehicles and no so much daily driver sedans or pickups...except c) Ever wonder why Roco had a 1970s Dodge Ram pickup back in the day? Military and Emergency vehicle collectors - that Dodge was the basis for the US Army M880 eries 1 1/4 ton truck (and a darn useful model for a then-recent era vehicle until the Tridents showed up). I admit I have two fire trucks from Boley, a fire chief SUV from River Point, and a late model Crown Vic police cruiser (which admittedly by late 2010s era would be relegated to auxiliary/secondary duty - I could use 2 late model Ford Explorers  like this from Shapeways.  So yeah, I get the appeal of Military and Emergency vehicles myself. 
BTW eBay - 1:64 S scale is NOT 1:87.1 HO scale - please make a note of it. Thank you.

So where I am going with this? My medium range plan (and I believe the plan of many if not most others in the hobby) is to keep an eye on the current state of home 3D resin printing (forget the filament, IMO that takes too much sanding and finishing to get it looking good) - probably I will jump in a few year depending upon cost and capabilities of the next gen printers (and the consumibles - how many models can you create from $50/litre resin). This includes good control of sharpness, thicknesses, contouring and especially good hollow printing capability is a must - I remember those Magnuson Models solid cast truck cabs and no, painting the window areas dark metallic blue or whatever just did not work for me, even putting the truck in the far backfield of a module, so hollow cab/interior only. After getting familar with 3D printing, liikely starting out by purchasing a few decent 3d print model files and crank out copies out. Hopefully learning how to create my own 'generic' vehicle knock-offs (and the ability to print items like dumpsters, gondolas (a dumpster on wheels...I kid), street details, and even catenary like our Marklin of Sweden friend does.

So, how many vehicles can one use? Well, it has been said a model railroad (set in a humid climate) can absord trees like a sponge does water, and IMO this applies just as well to vehicles in a 20th/21st century built up environment.

ETA:
1: I have a set of those Life-Like Scenemaster vehicles, but more like early 1950s style ones. 4 colors, the red one i cut off the back and made an HO scale car couch from, the others I will use in a diorama some day.

2: S-scalers - they have  a vast array of decent 1:64 vehicles from brands like Johnny Lightning, M2, even Matchbox in many cases, ranging from the 1950s to current day...and too dang many choose to model the 1920s/1930s. Why shoot yourself in the foot?

3:  If resin printing is eventually superceded by something cheaper and better (perhaps not faster, as you can only choose two of "Cheaper", "Faster", "Better", then I will pay attention. Not certain that will happen in the next 2 years though.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, October 10, 2022 5:27 PM

I used to find die-cast HO cars for about a dollar and a half at Walmart. Thise days are gone.  They persisted for higher prices at train shows.  Now, i have most of what i want, but will still pick up an Oxford or CMW for a particular model.

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

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Posted by hbgatsf on Monday, October 10, 2022 6:00 PM

I now realize that I should have mentioned that my setting is 1983.  That has been stretched as time goes by and I now have some rolling stock from much later.  That means most of the automobiles that I will get will be from the 70s and 80s, but I don't have a problem with generic that is newer although I would certainly draw the line on a Tesla.  

I missed the thread on generic cars.  How long ago was that?

Rick

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 7:10 AM

There seems to be plenty of 50's auto's, and some 60's, but not a lot of 70's.  Some but not alot.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by chutton01 on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 8:33 AM

hbgatsf - c mid-80s time period? Then those Woodland Scenics "Modern" vehicles I linked to in my earlier post should be a fair start, although the affordibity of them is up to you to decide (To me it looks like WS sort of copied other models already out there and modified them a bit (the van in particular seems almost Trident like), any way the range would be good up to mid-1980s IMO.  Also if you can find them at train shows Bachman used to sell a set of 6 1970ish automobiles, nominally to populate their Tri-level Auto-Rack. While nothing spectular, they do fill the back-streets IF you strip and repaint them (at the time, the finish was horrid - I owned a set in the 1980s and repainted them) and replace the very crude wheels (and put some sort of simple interior - scratchbuild a floor pan and  some seats out of styrene), they aren't too bad.  One chap on the 1/87 Vehicle Modele's web site made a decent looking Cadillac IIRC using the coupe in the set.
MisterBeasley, I remember the Fresh Cherries line of HO diecast (likely source of any Pacers or Pintos you may see on a HO layout), but there was another set back then (not the "Reel Rides", although that had a decent pickup based off the one from "Fast Time At Ridgemont High" IIRC) - maybe Hot Wheels 1/87? Model Power? I don't recall (and I have several of those models stashed away - they were decent enough).  Of course, now all those useful HO vehicle models have been relegated to eBay and Train Shows, so I wish hbgatsf luck.

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Posted by G Paine on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 9:08 AM

What timeframe are you modeling? Some manufacturers seem to concentrate on a particular era

George In Midcoast Maine, 'bout halfway up the Rockland branch 

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Posted by azrail on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 10:54 AM

I like the fact that Oxford doesn't just do the standard Ford/Chevy stuff..they have Pontiacs, Buicks, Olds, Chryslers, Mercurys...even an Edsel and Corvair!

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Posted by azrail on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 11:10 AM

The Asian automakers are very tight on their licensing for minature vehicles, plus the vehicles they sell in N America are different than what they sell in Europe or other countries, and our product safety/trial lawyers (If Baby Num-Num swallows a piece of a toy version of a Toyota, then not only the toy maker gets sued but Toyota itself)

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Posted by hornblower on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 1:06 PM

gmpullman
Sometimes I treat myself to a highly detailed vehicle from Artitec. Beautiful models but that detail comes at a price. Payloader2 by Edmund, on Flickr

 

Edmund

I really like that Artitec loader.  I needed a similar vehicle for my sugar beet plant.  I found a Life-Like construction set at a train show for around $12 that included a tracked steam crane, two stake bed trucks, a generator and a few small detail pieces.  The crane looked rather toy-like right out of the package.  I "updated" it to a diesel powered crane by shaving the smokestack off the roof and replacing it with an exhaust pipe.  I also scratch built a clamshell bucket and re-rigged the crane assembly.  Add new paint and weathering and the toy became a rather nice model!

  

  

 

Hornblower

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 5:12 PM

In my never-ending quest to conquer not just space but also time, I also have a set of 1930s vehicles to complement my later-era cars.  A of these are Jordans, which I suppose are no longer available.

From my teenage years, i still have a collection of cereal-box cars which don't belong on my streets, but dang, they look great in the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.  These get mercilessly weathered, including cutting the doors and hood open and drilling out those solid plastic windows.

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

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Posted by PC101 on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 6:34 PM

MisterBeasley

In my never-ending quest to conquer not just space but also time, I also have a set of 1930s vehicles to complement my later-era cars.  A of these are Jordans, which I suppose are no longer available.

From my teenage years, i still have a collection of cereal-box cars which don't belong on my streets, but dang, they look great in the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.  These get mercilessly weathered, including cutting the doors and hood open and drilling out those solid plastic windows.

 

If you guys want to double up with your junk yard vehicles. It kind of follows the pattern of building a lumber load for a flat car with a hollow inside. You only need to see the ends, sides and top.

Cut a vehicle in half crosswise, heat up the roof and flatten down that roof. So now you have a front and a rear of the same vehicle. Now sit them side by side, now you have what looks like two vehicles the same color sitting side by side. Put full/non cut vehicles on the tops of the halfed vehicles and along the sides. So you have the hollow effect as with the lumber loads. Seperate the vehicles that are the same colors with other vehicles of different colors for a better visual effect.  

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 2:31 AM

My layout is set in the late '30s, so a lot of the vehicles are from Jordan, but I do have some from Williams and Sylvan, and others from unknown sources, too.

I'm not overly fussy on worrying about whether a vehicle is truly appropriate for the time period, though, so there may be some that are a little too "modern".

Here are a few...

...not sure of this one, but I think that it was originally a military vehicle...I scratchbuilt the moving van portion...

This one was a gift from a friend...

A quick on-layout count revealed just a few under 100 vehicles, with a few more on-hand, yet to be built.

Wayne

 

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Posted by nealknows on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 4:16 AM

I'm on vacation over in Europe and will be stopping at a train store in Berlin on the 18th. In searching their website, they list new items coming down the pipeline.

One of these vendors is Brekina and I browsed the brochure. They're coming out with US vehicles for the 60's and 70's, mainly in the Chevrolet brand, plus some US tractors. I then checked the Walthers website and the ones I was interested in should arrive in January 2023. Some nice stuff!

Busch on the other hand, list their US license for Ford. I did see some Ford vehicles on their new item brochure. Some US vehicles, but you won't see them in the US for sale; at least not at Walthers.

Neal

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Posted by HO-Velo on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 12:50 PM

Dressing up and detailing vehicles is fun, adds character and can bring a backgroud model to the forefront, but depending on details does increase cost.  Luke Towan's vids about vehicle detailing are inspiring and helpful.  Good memories are rekindled every time I see the Ford pick-up my late father owned in the early 60s, even if a stretch upon a mid-80s era layout.

Regards, Peter

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Posted by HO-Velo on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 1:08 PM

hornblower
sugar beet plant.

Hornblower, Your clam-shell crane looks real good.  Also, your nicely done sugar beet operation is quite interesting and makes me think Spreckels.

Regards, Peter

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 1:11 PM

Yes, it seems the market is stronger for earlier eras than my 1980s layout.  I'd love some pick-up trucks for a farm or other types of cars workers would use at various industries.  I've got some figures at different businesses but need a way to indicate arrival/departure.

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Posted by azrail on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 2:41 PM

A lot of 70s vehicles would still be around in the 80s.

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Posted by TheK4Kid on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 3:33 PM

My HO layout has a Pennsylvania Railroad theme from the early 1940's to the very early 1960's.

I use M2 Machine cars , even though they are slightly out of scale at 1/64, they are very detailed and well built!

I also like that M2 has a much wider selection of vehicles than any other outfit.I am not a rivet counter so the being slightly out of scale doesn't bother me at all. I think M2 vehicles are much more detailed than any othe manufacturers and provide good service.Many also have opening doors and hoods and  so they can be posed in many different situations.Also that M2 brings out new batches of vehicles fairly often

A local Walmart has carried them for quite a few years . They are well built being almost all metal, and there is a wide variety of car makes and years.

I have around 150 of them.

Price wise they range from about just under $4.00 to about $8.00

I usually buy 2 to 3 of them every month.

They range from the 1930's to early 1960's.
my latest purchase was a 1953 Ford Crestliner.

I also collect 1/18 scale cars I have in a display nextn to my workshop.

Mostly Ford and Shelby Mustangs, but also other 1/18 scale cars , one being a replica of CLark Gables 1935  Boattail Duesenberg.

I live 18 miles from Auburn Indiana where they hold the annual  Auburn-Duesenberg-Cord Festival every year around Labor Day and have the Parade of Classics through downtown Auburn.

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Posted by HO-Velo on Saturday, October 15, 2022 2:01 PM

nealknows
Brekina and I browsed the brochure. They're coming out with US vehicles for the 60's and 70's, mainly in the Chevrolet brand, plus some US tractors. I then checked the Walthers website and the ones I was interested in should arrive in January 2023. Some nice stuff!

Neal, Thanks for the Brekina new arrivals heads-up.  The 68' Mustang fastback looks to be a good one.  Brekina models are well proportioned with some nice details.  Their Chevy Caprice looks good too, and five bucks or so less than Rapido's model.

Regards, Peter

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Posted by tommymr on Thursday, October 20, 2022 6:09 PM

Model Power made some pretty nice ones too. 

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, October 20, 2022 11:07 PM

kasskaboose
Yes, it seems the market is stronger for earlier eras than my 1980s layout.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why it is so easy to get vehicles for my 1954 layout, but people mdeling the 1980s and newer have such slim pickings.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

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Posted by chutton01 on Friday, October 21, 2022 8:14 AM

SeeYou190
For the life of me, I cannot understand why it is so easy to get vehicles for my 1954 layout, but people mdeling the 1980s and newer have such slim pickings.

-Kevin 


The answer is because life is unfair and random.

Anyway, although I did mention it in passing a number of posts up, I realize I did not link to the 1/87 Scale Vehicle Club who you may have encountered at large US train shows (Amherst definitely - they had 3 sections I think in 2020, and at other shows as well). Somehow I keep thinking they were inspired by the erstwhile Mainline Modeler magazines HO scale vehicle modeling series, but likely it was only a conicidence.  The photo galleries if you haven't seen them (there are normally 16 image sets of different models,  so with 814 galleries (latest October one here - BTW this gallery includes a modified 1970s Dodge Ram p/u I mentioned in a previous post) that's 13K images sets (a few are are "encores" of previously posted vehciles, but most sets are unique) - I've gotten inspiration and tips and leads from the galleries, as likely any HO modeler can.

Also relevant, they have a reasonably comprehensive Manufacturers link page kept somewhat up-to-date including "white-lining" out defunct manufacturers, including sadly Jordan (yes, not contemporary, but they had really nice pre-WWII vehicle kits for dioramas and such). 
So for the handful of ho scale modelers who have NOT yet visisted the site, set aside some time and go the the photo galleries and have fun.

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Posted by HO-Velo on Saturday, October 22, 2022 1:17 PM

SeeYou190
why it is so easy to get vehicles for my 1954 layout

Don't know how much water this holds, but read where 50s 1:87 vehicles are more prevalent due to the popularity of modeling the 'transistion era' of steam to diesel.  Not to mention all those nostalgic 'boomers' who like taking a 1:87 drive down memory lane.  

chutton01,  Thanks for the reminder and link to the 1/87 Scale Vehicle Club.

Regards, Peter

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