Monthly Archives: January 2008

One mold, three companies, 25+ years…


When you been in the hobby long enough, you might notice that some things look an awful lot alike. This caboose is a classic example. The first is a reworked Mantua from the 1960s, part of a box lot of trains found in a dilapidated barn scheduled for demolition.

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The second is a Tyco issue from the late 1970s. It is true that Mantua/Tyco were one in the same for awhile but, when it became fully Tyco, the quality dropped noticeably—no metal frame,plastic axles and wheelsets, lower grade plastic casting, etc.

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The final one is an IHC offering from the mid 1980s, Corkey’s Carnival Caravan, part of a complete train and carnival setup they offered. I used to work the midway of a amusement park in the summers of ’77, ’78 and ’79—the “Shoot out the Star” BB machine guns—so this one holds a special place on my mantle.

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HO scale logging caboose is now finished…


As john the Baptist once said, “He (Jesus) must increase, I must decrease.” Such is the way of my hobby in my life. As the responsibilities of holding home Bible studies grow and the need for more in depth and intense research and prayer grows with it, my hobby will have to take its rightful place in the grand scheme of eternal things. While it will always be my hobby, I will not have—nor do I desire to have—the time to invest in it like I used to.

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Marklin HO scale SBB Ce 6/8III “Krokodil” circa 1950s…


I hope I got the nomenclature right…it’s not mine but I did “own” it for about 20 hours. Once I told the original owner how much it was worth, he understandably wanted it back. Worth about $700-1000 last I checked…hope to see another one as I’ve always wanted one.

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.”

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High Speed “N scale” Southern Pacific GP 38 dummy…


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Too many of these show up on Ebay to ignore so I figure I’ll put a post in pointing them out in the hopes that it will save some newcomers some grief.

—THESE ARE NOT “DUMMY” OR “NON-POWERED” MODELS— These are, at best, caricatures of locomotives and equipment given out by Reader’s Digest as a premium for subscriptions. They have poor rolling and tracking ability, the trucks do not swivel well and the couplers do not and cannot ever operate. I know of one that was repowered and that with extensive reworking beyond the abilities of most newcomers.

I picked up all six cars and this engine for $.50 at a yard sale in their original boxes and with the pens that came with them for the express purpose of showing them to newcomers and to let them decide for themselves without getting burned on their own.

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These HO scale trolleys are another Reader’s Digest promotional item. The good news about these is that they are based on Bachmann models and can be fairly easily modified to run on Bachmann mechanisms from the same type trolley. They make great scale push around toys to give you an idea about your child’s model handling ability and maturity. I always kept mine with my other model trains so that they could “play with Daddy’s trains” without harming one of my other models. In time the green one will make it to my model bench to be turned into a model of a produce stand that stood near my house as a child.

Fleischman HO scale 5327 and 5355 four wheel goods vans…


A son make you a father but a daughter makes you a daddy…

One Father’s Day some time back, Momma came to me to tell me that our daughter really, really wanted to buy some kind of train for her Daddy. Knowing that I didn’t care for much that is offered nowadays, she was looking for any suggestions I could offer. I told her that I had seen a local flea market vendor had two cars sitting on his table for sale and that he wasn’t asking much for them. I think my girl did rather well for an eight-year-old…

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Kronen refrigerated van…

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DBR goods van with brakeman’s cabin…