Posted By norman on 09/11/2008 11:41 PM
Dear Mr. GNSteamer:
Would anyone care to post digital photos to compare the detail level of the Aster Reno and the present Accucraft 4-4-0 ?
- I have seen both run and also compared the Accucraft to the Argyle SPC 3. As for details the Accucraft and Argyle are based on the same prototype but vary in many ways. The most drastic is the large boiler on the Accucraft. As for detail and castings they all are highly detailed. The Accucraft tender is also very different from the Argyle but it seems at Accucraft too a shortcut and used the mogul tender as they are identical.
Years ago I called up Accucraft and spoke with the late Accucraft President Charlie. I explained that I could not afford his brass locomotives but that I would like to purchase some Radely Hunter smoke stacks. He explained that these are a rare item and that he only has three of them at the China factory which he would be visiting next week. He asked if I could wait a few weeks for his return and he would mail me one. Of course I said that would be fine and Charlie agreed to sell me all three ( all of his stock ) which he personally brought back to the US in his briefcase carried onboard the aircraft.
- All their parts are still a rare item as they do not make surplus parts for stock. The replacement stacks were made up within a few weeks of the request. Pretty fast but they received many calls. The drive rods
Fast track to the present day and the 4-4-0 side rod and melting Radely Hunter smoke stack problems were solved quickly, were they not ?
- The stacks were requested pretty fast Yes. The side rods are still not available and Cliff told me probally the fall as they have to make these as they do not have any parts available. Their parts program is use what damaged ones come back fcrom shipping. The 4-4-0 had no damages and all 260 models Cliff said were sold. If you need a part he said it could take 6 months.
I believe Aster owners are very concerned that the constantly improving Accucraft product line is threatening the Aster resale value. That is commerce.
- I beg to differ. Look at the Aster GS4 before the Accucraft came out. They were selling for about 4-5,000 on the used market. Fast foward to the Accucraft coming out with the problems it had it made the Aster more desirable and now they are selling for over 10,000. This is from a person that owned one 1st hand and sold if just before the Accrucraft unit came out and followed its resale to the current owner. It had changed hands 3 times and value has just increased each time.
All of these trains are just toys for enjoyment. They are not a financial investment tool. Look on ebay to see what has happened to the resale value of high priced LGB electric locomotives. Some MINT models are being sold at 1/2 or 1/3 their original retail price.
Anyway, compared to 3 1/2" gauge live steam, the Aster #1 Ga. locomotives are just toys, not models, right ? (Don't blow a cylinder head gasket, that was a joke)
Another thread, regarding the Bachmann K-27 problems, descended into a three or four way personal insult boxing match. The model sells for peanuts compared to the brass Accucraft model. Their expectations are unrealistic for a plastic model. Just like an automobile, one needs to wait for the next release to get the bugs out. These are complicated items to design and manufacture perfectly.
Anyway, ALL of us are free to assemble the required RISK capital to approach the appropriate Orient subcontract builder and present a product to the market place.
- I agree that some are too harsh on the details of some of the angines and rolling stock but I do belive that they should not take shortcuts or change things like running gear to simplify the models. Many parts are interchanged on the Accucraft models but some differ a lot from the prototype.
At 48 years of age one becomes aware of one's limited time on earth. I have had several relatives and friends pass away from illness or accidents far younger than myself. One Canadian Sergeant, in his twenties, killed in Afghanistan has just had his funernal here today. Life really is too short to get into these personal assults. If anyone cares to, let me have it.
I have to go now and play with my trains.
- Now I'm going to play trains all weekend