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  • Topic: comparing cheap small rolling stock

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    • January 26, 2016 10:55 AM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      comparing cheap small rolling stock

      Vic has lead me down a path for a starting point for bashing little micro locomotives. And as such has steered me away from the cheap "toy" trains like New Bright etc. But what about rolling stock. I like the Lil Big Hauler stuff and will likely have some of it but what about the New Bright stuff and other cheap toy trains. Mind you this is for bashing so the cheaper looking shinny details would either get replaced or at least painted. But are they a sound enough starting point to be used for rolling stock on a micro. Would wheels and trucks need replaced? What are other sources for N American rolling stock that is meant for tight corners. I am shooting for 1/24 but that's only so I can fudge either way and am in no way sticking true to scale.

       

      My goal is for everything to be proportionally right with the exception of being compressed lengthwise. This does not have to be realistic but I don't want a toy train either. So any suggestions on rolling stock that would fit the bill is welcome. Oh and cheap. I am not spending 50 or 60 a car for the micro. 

       

      This post was edited by Devon Sinsley at January 26, 2016 10:56 AM EST
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    • January 26, 2016 10:59 AM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      Oh i forgot to mention I like the Aristo small stuff thoughts on it?

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    • January 26, 2016 11:39 AM EST
      • Chaco, Paraguay
         
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      look at these.

      they did cost me about 9 $ per car.

       

      http://kormsen.info/trains/

       

      may i steer your attention to the wheels?

      look ghastly, don't they? but they run without derailings on my track.

       

      edit: they are 1:32

      This post was edited by Korm Kormsen at January 26, 2016 4:33 PM EST
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      My Chaosplace ->  

    • January 26, 2016 11:51 AM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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      I like Hartland stuff too.   They make nice little tankers and gondolas and their "Mack" engines are pretty strong. 

      LGB also had really short equipment but it is more expensive. 

      I have a lil hauler caboose which is cute with decent enough molded in details.  The couplers on the lil haulers are all upside down and will not work with your typical hook and loop but they can be changed out with a bit of modification.

      I also have some of the short Aristocraft cars but those are a bit bigger than the others.   They all have 2 axles.

      Keep an eye out for shorty equipment most of it can be found for under $20 per car.

       

      Short engines on the other hand can get expensive like the LGB ones $100 plus but the Hartland Macks can be found for $50 and up.   Bachmann makes a small 0 4 0 porter. the ones from starter sets are not that good but the spectrum ones are.   I do like my PIKO 0 6 0.    For a small diesel you can't go wrong with a a bachmann Davenport.  

       

      Happy RRing

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • January 26, 2016 12:29 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Devon Sinsley said:

      Oh i forgot to mention I like the Aristo small stuff thoughts on it?

      You mean the 20 footers? I'd like them much better on 4 wheel trucks. Good bashing material  tho'

      John

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      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • January 26, 2016 4:50 PM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      John right now I am thinking two thoughts. Most all of the short stuff is single axle it seems. So I am thinking of just leaving it that way as one option. The other option is convert to double axle trucks. I want to play with this. Vic has made two suggestions to help get short equipment around tight corners, first is to switch everything to link and pin so it can't uncouple (I don't at all like hook and loop so its going away) on tight corners with the addition of longer links. Also He installs ball bearing in the wheels to slide over the axles (not the journal bearings in the side frame) which allows each wheel on an axle to rotate independently. I have also considered on the link and pin idea to go with Bachmann #1 coupler pockets and making draw bar/coupler pockets that are like the knuckle coupler so that they will pivot.

       

      Now the thing is I don't know how radical I will need to get. Vic is talking very getting around a 21" circle. As designed right now I am limiting myself to no less than 30 diameter. So basically I will do only what it takes to get them around that holding all these ideas in reserve as needed.

       

      Switching to double axle trucks may happen just because it looks nicer in my opinion. So I might make a small truck that fits the now abundance of plastic wheels I have.

       

      Great ideas thanks for the sources

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    • January 26, 2016 5:39 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Devon, on the LGB single axle cars, as you call them, the axle assemblies pivot, and the couplers are mounted on the truck (if we can call it that). Put together that way, those things will negotiate some small curves. But, they don't like being pushed backward through tight switches and tight curves. If you make the "trucks" so that they don't pivot, and body mount couplers then they don't play as well on the really tight curves, but what you are talking about doing should be feasible.

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    • January 26, 2016 6:29 PM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      Devon don't be put off the "cheap stuff" I use them all the time. It's the toy battery engines that are usually crap and should be avoided. Scientific and Echo toy train cars can be made into very useful cars. Here is a Scientific boxcar repainted and with new trucks

       

       

      I could have left the 2 axle wheels but I had the spare trucks, even those came off a $20 christmas train set from Big Lots. A year later I got an even crappier christmas train set from Big lots and took the crappy cars from that set and made these from them:

       

       

      My favorite cheap cars, my ore cars, came from the uber-crappy Big Bird Express toy sets, repainted and ore load added they are very effective.

       

       

      Point being, use what ever you have available. I use HLW, Lil Big Haulers, Aristo, LGB, no-name-china...anything really. the switch to link/pins and ball bearing wheelsets for the tight curves being the biggest changes, otherwise its all mostly repainting and weathering them that makes the difference.

       

      The only ones I would really avoid are the latest stuff from Lionel, that's because they scale out to smaller than 1/32, they are really small, like O size bodies on G trucks.

       

      PS the ball bearing wheelsets are factory made, from LGB Piko or from Roll-EZ, i just pop them in like regular metal wheels.

       

      http://www.roll-ez.com/

       

      If they are shorty cars like HLW body mounted link/pin couplers work just fine, but anything bigger that 15 scale feet, like the Scientific boxcar or Aristo 20 footers, are best used with new trucks or like set up Scientifics or LGB's pivoting single axle set up.  I mounted link/pin couplers on the existing coupler tangs.  Body mounts like standard on Aristo 20' cars dont work at all on cars 20' long cars on curves that tight, or even on R1s for that matter

      This post was edited by Vic Smith at January 26, 2016 6:40 PM EST
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      Have fun with your trains
    • January 26, 2016 6:44 PM EST
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
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      Talking about HLW's 4-wheel mini cars, my goal this year is to acquire a couple of the kits each month this year to build and bash for my little freelance traction company.
      Going to leave them as 4 wheelers and be a mix of stock, bashed, and scratchbuilt, bodies.


      And, yes, their 4-wheel Mack and Sparky locos are quite nice runners, simple and sturdy.

      The Mack is based on an actual 21 ton gas powered loco Mack Trucks offered. Sparky is same mechanism and cab with different hoods and a pole or a pantograph.
      Being 4-wheelers they can have current pickup issues on rough and/or dirty track, so I figured how to run m.u. between them so two, with RC car plugs to connect the wires, and in one case even 3, can share pickup.

    • January 26, 2016 6:50 PM EST
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Vic, yea, I have been keeping a look out for more of them Big Bird cars.

       

      2 of them don't make a very impressive train.

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      Shannon car Shops
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      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • January 26, 2016 6:51 PM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      Forrest Scott Wood said:

      Talking about HLW's 4-wheel mini cars, my goal this year is to acquire a couple of the kits each month this year to build and bash for my little freelance traction company.
      Going to leave them as 4 wheelers and be a mix of stock, bashed, and scratchbuilt, bodies.


      And, yes, their 4-wheel Mack and Sparky locos are quite nice runners, simple and sturdy.

      The Mack is based on an actual 21 ton gas powered loco Mack Trucks offered. Sparky is same mechanism and cab with different hoods and a pole or a pantograph.
      Being 4-wheelers they can have current pickup issues on rough and/or dirty track, so I figured how to run m.u. between them so two, with RC car plugs to connect the wires, and in one case even 3, can share pickup.

       

      The Mack is based on the shop switcher used at the Mack factory. I have the Sparky and several Mack's, they are simply one of the best things in large scale period!

       

      One thing recommended with the Mini-cars, either change out the stock plastic wheels for all metal ones, or add an equivalent amount of weight somewhere on or under the body, these little cars are great stuff, but as built from the kits they are extremely lightweight and will suffer running issues as such, adding the metal wheels adds sufficient weight and makes a tremendous improvement to their tracking and coupling behavior.

      This post was edited by Vic Smith at January 26, 2016 6:52 PM EST
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    • January 26, 2016 6:55 PM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      David Maynard said:

      Vic, yea, I have been keeping a look out for more of them Big Bird cars.

       

      2 of them don't make a very impressive train.

      Keep a weather eye on Ebay, they still crop up fairly often.

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    • January 26, 2016 9:26 PM EST
      • Post Falls, Idaho
         
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      OK thanks for the clarification about the couplers being truck mounted that works also. If I make the trucks that would be real easy to do. And it is obvious why that would be better.

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    • January 26, 2016 9:27 PM EST
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      David M. PM message sent
      This post was edited by Vic Smith at January 26, 2016 9:30 PM EST
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      Have fun with your trains
    • January 26, 2016 9:39 PM EST
      • Cape Cod,
         
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       Here is a good deal on a new Hartland Gondola kit on Ebay right now.

       

       http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hartland-G-Scale-15010-Gondola-Car-Kit-NIP-/272116748839?hash=item3f5b6c1227:g:7cYAAOSwJb9Wp-AV

       

       

    • January 26, 2016 9:50 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Vic,

      Is it my eyes or are the truck frames on upside down on the Grande box?

      John

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      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • January 26, 2016 10:24 PM EST
      • Missouri, It's like Floodsburg, man
         
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      Vic Smith said:

       The Mack is based on the shop switcher used at the Mack factory. I have the Sparky and several Mack's, they are simply one of the best things in large scale period!

      One thing recommended with the Mini-cars, either change out the stock plastic wheels for all metal ones, or add an equivalent amount of weight somewhere on or under the body, these little cars are great stuff, but as built from the kits they are extremely lightweight and will suffer running issues as such, adding the metal wheels adds sufficient weight and makes a tremendous improvement to their tracking and coupling behavior.

      Yep! Mass matters; and triply so on such little cars.
      I'm building (sloooooowly) some full length trucked box and flat cars out of cardboard, balsa wood, and basswood, they too are getting metal wheels; and probably some internal weight.

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