Old Athearn blue box kits

gcav17 Dec 10, 2013

  1. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    Out of curiosity. How many of you HO modellers still have an interest in these kits and what are they worth to you??
    I am talking about cars and locos that came as kits and still need assembled. They are not ready to run.
    Thanks for any feedback!

    Sent from my Commando
     
  2. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    I am still interested in Kits, Roundhouse, Athearn, Accurail and so on. As far as what are they worth to me? Thats very difficult to say. Guess it would be based on the kit. I see them anywhere between 3 -10 dollars at shows and swap meets. I like them as they can easily have weight added and customized without having to break them apart to do it. I would need to get them pretty cheap as by the time you put weights, KD's and good metal wheels under them you would likely, have more in them than they might be worth.
    Same for loco kits, you can modify and detail them to your hearts content. Kits are better in some ways, and RTR stuff is better in others.
    Those old Blue box kits are great starting places for people to learn about the prototype and build something too.
    But thats just my opinion :)
     
  3. LegomanBill

    LegomanBill TrainBoard Member

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    I am a rather big fan of the old Blue Box kits (and the Roundhouse kits). Mainly because they are quite affordable (4-10 bucks a car at train shows) and I feel that they have a reasonable amount of detail. Nothing too fancy, but they definitely look the part. Funny enough, the majority of my freight rolling stock is comprised of Blue Box kits.
    Now if you happen upon an old JC Models "Silver Sides" kit, there is a fun build.
     
  4. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

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    I have a ton of Blue Box kits (assembled now, of course). I love all of the different roads and paint schemes that have come out through the BB line over the years.

    I used to live near a hobby shop that had a massive supply of older BB kits selling sometimes at original marked price (2.95-5.95) and at discounted rates (5-9.99). I'd walk home with a dozen at a time or more every couple weeks. I probably acquired over 100 cars that one year I lived near there. They went out of business a couple years ago.

    Detail not spectacular by today's standards, but after 50+ years they are still quite good. The roadname variety is outstanding (includes the Rail Runner and Bev-Bel customs).

    Sent from my LG-P930 using Tapatalk 2
     
  5. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    I learned a lot of my kit-bashing skills by chopping up BB passenger car kits and creating cars that were not available. They were inexpensive and I had the courage to take on a project that would not be a waist of a lot of money if I blew it.

    Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 2
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    When I have worked with standard gauge HO, I have built my share. It never even dawned upon me that their BB stuff could possibly be phased out.
     
  7. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Here are a few of my kit-bashed cars.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    I love those kits. Every time I go to a train show, swap meet or flea market, I hunt for old Athearn, Roundhouse, and other kits. I found a couple from the 50s and 60s. I accumulate them and whenever there's a "bored" day - like too hot, snow storm, etc. - I pull one or more out and take my time assembling them. Great fun and very satisfying to do something with my hands.

    Russell - that heavyweight in the last photo is gorgeous.
     
  9. LegomanBill

    LegomanBill TrainBoard Member

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    Wow Russell! Those are some pretty sharp looking cars!
     
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    They sure are! Proves what can easily be done, with a little time at the work bench, all the while having a bit of fun.
     
  11. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Thanks guys.
     
  12. Bob Horn

    Bob Horn TrainBoard Member

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    Not to change the subject but I am an N scaler, the last time I built a "Blue Box" loco was almost 50 years ago. I have an SD-40-2 which I have had custom painted for FEC as a display unit. I am having fits with the handrails and stanchions bending them to fit the handrails. I need some advice from the old hats so I don't destroy the few I have. The kit was a 10-12 year old one I found in GA. Any help would be great. On N scale as Bob Horn. Thanks.
     
  13. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Beautiful cars! Russell, could you give a brief (or long) explanation of how you built the silver heavyweight?
     
  14. gcav17

    gcav17 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, those are sweet looking!! Did you photograph them outdoors? The lighting is awesome!

    What I am lookin at is maybe picking up a bunch of these and reselling them. My concern is that so many people like the ready to run. How much market would I have? Or should I offer the option to assemble for cost?

    Sent from my Commando
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Most likely you won't know, until the idea is tried. I'm afraid that anything else is going to be guesses.
     
  16. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    Thanks.
    For that one I started with the heavyweight observation car. I added Air Conditioning ducts from New England Rail Service. I had to modify them a little because they are made to fit Rivarossi cars. The roof and underbody detail is a mix of New England Rail, Precision Scale, Details West, Details Associates and probably a few others. The shadow line decals are available from Microscale. I scratch built things like the roof hatches and marker lights. The photographs were taken outdoors.
     
  17. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Very true. It's hard to gauge the market with any certainty. I think you'll find plenty of interest - but at the same time, the interest is a good bit of nostalgia about the good old days of the BB kits, when they were affordable options for modelers. Modelers like me have a lot of interest in the BB kits, as long as they are as affordable as we recall them being. As stated in some above posts, they are generally available at train shows for around $3-$10. Prices above that I think the nostalgia would fade.
     
  18. JNXT 7707

    JNXT 7707 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks Russell - the shadowlines really set off the car, I didn't know Microscale made them.
     
  19. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

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    Like many people, I have bought more kits than I had the desire or time to build over the years. I have kept some blue box kits that work for me - most are built, and have sold most of the one that are inappropriate for my modeling era and location, along with a number of other kits I didn't need.

    Like many, I really like the newer high quality rolling stock which is more accurate and detailed and have replaced a lot of my older cruder models. That's not to say I won't keep my older models where they are useful and appropriate. My guess is a lot of big fans of the blue box kits are looking through the rose colored glasses of nostalgia and sentimental memory. I understand this and to some degree myself but I'm also practical and realize I only have so much space when I've moved over and over and what's the old saying? "out with the old and in with the new!

    So in summary, my sentimentality over blue box Athearn only goes so far.
     
  20. Texastailboard

    Texastailboard TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hi guys I couldn't help to read you conversation regarding the kits, it is often a fun topic to hear the different opinions about. Man Russell " I hope its ok to call you that since I'm new here" But that was an awesome job on the cars, really being honest, not because I am partial to Santa Fe, lol .. Really super fine job. The lighting was spot on. Back to the famous BB conversation, I totally agree with many that the kits should have been kept in production. It was a sad day when they stopped, because I have been told by many people that they share the same story that I do, of starting in the hobby building their first kits, and having a sense of ownership in their models. Now some of the new guys to the hobby that start with the RTR stuff, it seems its easy to set it aside and move on to other things when they have not invested much personal time in something. Regarding to selling them, that can be a tough thing, we have sold literally hundreds, but most of the time its to someone that needs parts for repairs or kit bashing, also one might be looking for that particular car that is out of production. It is a shot in the dark. If one can get them extremely reasonable you can sell them, but it is tough to support you personal hobby doing so, we usually list a few hundred on our site and when they sell down we list others, we would list more often but it is extremely time consuming. I am the type of guy when I visit a town I always stop by the hobby shop to dig around to find special cars, well at least to me they are. I have discussed this thing with many manufactures and they are so skiddish producing a "run" without having a solid guarantee of sales. They call it confidence, but I always ask them where is their confidence in the consumer, the long lost " build it they will come" idea, they never give me a credible answer. Sorry for the soapbox guys but I really had to share that, man I feel a bit better. If you want to move some of those kits or get some insight PM me I will be glad to answer any questions or help.

    Brooks
     

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