Is N-Scale Brass A Thing Of The Past?

WM183 Nov 25, 2018

  1. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    There is a bit of mystique that comes with brass, for certain. I love mine, and may try my hand at building one sometime!
     
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  2. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Maybe I should think about giving mine up then...Most of the time SP brass is LISTED at a crazy price but I don't recall seeing them SELL at that price.
     
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  3. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    Right! Lots of people ask crazy prices, but they never move at those prices.
     
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  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Yep, more eBay foolishness to somehow entertain "Sellers" during slow periods in their lives.

    Brass does indeed have a weight and watch-like precision about it that is striking and unmatched in plastic.
     
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  5. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

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    Technological advances in the plastic tooling process have made brass locos obsolete, basically. The industry changed around the late 1990s. Coincidentally, that's also when DCC emerged. So we're in a new era of model railroad manufacturing, which will remain until 3D printing becomes more refined, advanced and user-friendly.
     
  6. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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  7. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Holy mackerel -- that's amazing. You'd think that actual selling prices such as these would entice a manufacturer.
     
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  8. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Wasn't trying to doubt you and no disrespect was intended, just all too often the prices they ASK for seem to not sell. I wish I had some of those engines, but mine are the older and usually smaller Key locomotives (I have one of each of the following already listed on Eway but these are NOT my listings) that don't pull the big prices (and won't sell at the price they're asking either):

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Key-Import...h=item1eef2d6202:g:kJIAAOSwpwRb8zDa:rk:5:pf:0

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Key-Import...h=item46899fed39:g:JlEAAOSwRLxblUkm:rk:7:pf:0

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/N-SCALE-BR...h=item41f0198ee6:g:~zwAAOSwb8Vbu-fJ:rk:6:pf:0
     
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  9. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    I spent less than the asking price for those mikados for both of my brass locos... sheesh.
     
  10. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    N scale brass locomotives... particularly the steam locos... have always peaked my interest. However the cost for me was prohibitively expensive at the time they were most plentiful in the 1980s to 1990. There were very few reliable steam locomotives available in plastic... and the running characteristics of brass was reportly not better. During that period in my model railroading life... I wasn't buying much... and because I had young kids which could not be trusted to care for any expensive trains. One day in the early 1990's I asked the hobby store clerk about N scale steam. He said brass was the best choice to get accurate steam engines. He said he had a very special deal on a particular brass piece that was on consignment. It was skeptical because it was brass... so when I asked 'how much'... he said let me show you first how beautiful this NP class Yellowstone is. My next question... 'Whats a Yellowstone'. He goes to the back storage and brings an orange box... opens it... and puts the engine on a foam cradle. It was gorgeous... first time I had seen an articulated locomotive (I didn't know what an articulated was either). So... then he says... the owner wants to sell it soon and 'only' want $900.00 for it!!! Umm... only $900... is only $800 more than I could pay... I have 3 small kids and not enough to keep monthly bills in check... no credit space either. Thanks for showing me the model... (more like why 'tease me' with that). It was sad... and I don't really know if it was a 'deal' or not. But... today I have many articulated steam engine... but no NP Yellowstone.

    Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
     
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  11. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    I currently have my first and only brass loco, that 4-8-4 NP A-4. Yup, it has electrical pickup issues, like an old Rivarossi style steamer. It's gearing is sweeeet! Top speed is probably about a scale 100? I haven't timed it yet, have to finish fixing the pickup issues. The detail is AMAZING! No contest can be made comparing it to most of the steam made in plastic. And it does have heft to it, which allowed me to put the speaker up in the smokebox, where steam loco sounds should be coming from. Here's the vid,

    http://www.trainboard.com/highball/...modeling-accomplishments.121491/#post-1076133

    All that being said, I think there is a market for both.
     
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  12. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    This is Key's N Scale UP Challenger from 1985. Even after 30+ years, its exquisite detail and operating excellence keep it as relevant as ever.

    UP Challenger 001 for Trovestar.jpg
    UP Challenger 002 for Trovestar.jpg
     
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  13. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I will say that Key made some of the best running N scale brass. Perhaps a better way to put it is that they made some of the only brass that ran.
     
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  14. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    No worries! I didn't take it that way at all. The big steam brass has always caught my attention and the two I really like (AC9 & 2-10-2) always fetch a big price, especially the AC9, which I've seen go for over $2100 before. But as you mentioned, many of the other brass steam goes for under $1000. With so many other road names besides SP I'm sure there are plenty of brass under a grand, too. :)
     
  15. Espeeman

    Espeeman TrainBoard Member

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    I would think so, too! Maybe one day. I sent an email to Jim Conway once asking him if Con-cor would consider making an AC12 in plastic. He replied back and said "no, there is no market for it". Hopefully, some of the other manufacturer's will see the light like IMR did. How many production runs have they done on the AC12 now? ;)
     
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  16. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    I'd love to see Spectrum versions of Mikes and Pacifics, too. The latest Bachmann K-4 models would be easy to convert to B&O P-7s, simply by making new shells and tenders. With the headlight already in the high position instead of centered on the smoke box, I think those would sell well. USRA designs for the Pacifics would require a mechanism with visibly smaller drivers, and a different 2-8-2 mechanism would probably be needed for the USRA Mikes. But, then those USRA Pacifics could be modified to make B&O P-1 and P-6 locomotives with new shells, as well as the B&O P-5s that were USRAs. The USRA light Mikes were Q-3 on the B&O, and the later Q-4s would be simple shell changes. All would need the high headlight position for B&O prototypes. So, Bachmann seems to be in a good position to satisfy a lot of different pent-up market desires with a few mechanisms and some shell work. If they do not feel like making shells, they could still sell a heck of a lot of mechanisms to people who want to make shells with 3D printing or other techniques.

    But, unfortunately, Bachmann seems to be either oblivious to the demand for mechanisms and parts, or even openly hostile to it.
     
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  17. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Those are good points Maletrain. With manufacturers currently offering diesel body shell variants with differences in headlight and numberboard locations, it's not a reach that detailing differences can be offered in steam. A changeable smokebox front would allow all sorts of headlight locations and types, and perhaps provide feedwater heater variations too.
     
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  18. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Don't get me started with ConCor. They DID (at least for awhile) announce that they were going to do an AC-12 back 'in the day' that kept other MFRs from starting one. I'm still waiting on them to re-release their Veranda Turbine (that they actually have MADE before) they have to promising for AT LEAST 10 years (due fall of 2017 last time I looked). How do they stay in business?
     
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  19. WM183

    WM183 TrainBoard Member

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    I still need to get my hands on a Key Allegheny - and it's the only choice for a 2-6-6-6 in N, anyways!
     
  20. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Oooo -- I didn't know that one was made. I'll bet it's a beautiful model.
     
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