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I am quite surprised at how many of us have a mix of many different brands.  There is quite a difference between the variouse brands in scale size, scale accuracy, and quality.  As many have stated, with all the different proto types out there, we can get away with it to some degree.  As indoor railroaders, we can't get away with quite as much as the outdoor guys.  Someone suggested if we stick with the same scale figures(little people), as well as other scenery details,our scale descrepencys wont be noticable.  I'm wondering why you have the brands that you do?  Do you have a preffered brand even though you have others mixed in.  I see some of you are using brands I've never heard of and wouldn't know where to find them. 


Where do you folks buy your stuff?
 

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Hmmm....

When first thinking of getting into large scale, my impulse was to go 'Aristocraft'. A 'out of stock' type screwup at the online discount barn I chose ended that, so I went with Bachmann instead. It was (and is) my perception that the Bachmann stuff is both cheaper and more widely available than most of the other brands, and with some exceptions, fairly reliable mechanically, though their track is of low quality. Out of curiosity and a lingering memory of the 0-27 layout I had as a teenager, I bid on and won an old Lionel large scale 'Frontier Freight' set. Despite being more than twenty years old, it is still in surprisingly good shape. From the little I've seen, the Bachmann and Lionel stuff are about the same scale (whatever that is) and have compatable couplers to boot (though I intend to switch over to kadees here soon). Aristo couplers are only 'semi' compatable with Bachmann.

LGB looked interesting - but the prices were too dang high: one new LGB starter set runs for close to double what a Bachmann set does - and you'll likely end up with more cars than does the LGB set. Plus, at the discount barns I checked back when, the LGB stuff was usually out of stock.

For me, for the time being it is a cost and compatability issue.
 

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It's my opinion that the first question to ask is "What do I want to model".  Once you narrow that down then you can decide on what manufacturer would be the best for that.  With a focus on what you want you will eleminate the impulse buying that will leave you wishing otherwise down the road.  It will also help keep you from mixing scales.


Back when garden railroading got it's foothold in the US there was little choice and mixed scales was about the only way to make up a train.  Today we have many choices in several scales.  If you are on a working man's budget and like US mainline railroading the easiest place to start is with Aristocraft and USAT equipment.  Just stay away from USAT's American series or Aristo's Classic series as they are different scales and eras.  The majority of the stuff I run is from these two manufacturers.


If on the other hand your working man's budget wants narrow gauge then Bachmann has a nice selection at reasonable prices.  Most of their current stuff is 1:20.3...somewhat larger than the Aristo and USAT equipment. Just be aware that the Annie (4-6-0) is scaled to LGB's equipment which is again a different scale.  A number of people have built new cabs for their Annies to run with their 1:20.3 stuff.  That works.  Also Bachman's older Jackson Sharpe passenger cars and their older freight cars are scaled for LGB not the newer 1:20.3.


Again, the question of the day is "What do you want??"


 


 
 

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I have an LGB Porter that's very sturdily built and very reliable. Judging from the height of the cab, it scales out just right for 1:20.33 scale. The Bachmann Porter had to be sent in for repairs as it didn't work well right out of the box. It wasn't as sturdily built either. I'm very impressed with the quality of LGB and will probably get more. As far as the price, with the discounts (I never pay MSRP!) I find there no more expensive than some HO locos and actually cheaper than 2 rail O scale. LGB locos aren't very detailed but I'd rather add my own details. While detail and accuracy are important to me, what good is all that if the loco runs bad or is unreliable.
 

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Posted By sftalc on 01/07/2008 7:19 PM
 LGB Porter . . . scales out just right for 1:20.33 scale.
Really? That's good to know because I have four of these LGB Porters that I chose to use in an upcoming 1:20.3 project, but was not sure about the scale.  This is good news, indeed! 
 

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Posted By wmumpower on 01/04/2008 10:14 PM


. . . the first question to ask is "What do I want to model".  Once you narrow that down then you can decide on what manufacturer would be the best for that.  With a focus on what you want you will eleminate the impulse buying that will leave you wishing otherwise down the road.  It will also help keep you from mixing scales.

In those few words, that's some of the best advice for a novice in this hobby that I have seen.  When I started in LS there was no MLS or LSOL, nor did I have access to the internet. I had to wing it--and I have some expensive mistakes to prove it. 

--Ron at the CRD, Cicely, NX-AK
 

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Posted By wmumpower on 01/04/2008 10:14 PM


It's my opinion that the first question to ask is "What do I want to model".  Once you narrow that down then you can decide on what manufacturer would be the best for that.  With a focus on what you want you will eleminate the impulse buying that will leave you wishing otherwise down the road.  It will also help keep you from mixing scales.



I also totally agree. I started out buying everything on eBay that looked cool and was a decent price. I ended up with three different scales, which didn't really  bother me, but since I decided to model ~1880's to ~1920's logging and mining, I have sold most of what I first bought.
 

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There is some first hand experience there..:confused:  Those starting in the hobby today have it much better than when I did.  Then you took what was offered..or went without.  There was no real choice.  As new items came out I had to have it..until I realized I had so much stuff..and nowhere to put it..AND..no direction in my modeling./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif
 

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Posted By wmumpower on 01/20/2008 4:22 PM
There is some first hand experience there..  Those starting in the hobby today have it much better than when I did.  Then you took what was offered..or went without.  There was no real choice.  As new items came out I had to have it..until I realized I had so much stuff..and nowhere to put it..AND..no direction in my modeling.
Yes, that experience seems to parallel mine, except I knew what I wanted to model.  Choices were extremely limited and I bought what I could not realizing that there were some significant differences in the scales, among other things. I can remember waiting for years for Aristocraft to come up with that darn mikado that first appeared as an upcoming product under development when? .  . . about 94 ?  


Now those entering the hobby have the benefit of the experience of the rest of us who definitely have a few things to say that might save them significant bucks and otherwise avoid a few unnecessary frustrations as well.


--RS
 

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In another thread, and I can't remember if it was here or on another forum, the question came up a little differently, and Kevin Strong explained very well that while Aristo or Hartland, or LGB and others may be 1:29 or 1:24, or 1:22.5 some of the cars they have out there work very well as 1:20 narrow gauge early 1870-80's cars or lighter production ng steam engines.  I believe  he also had an article in the Garden Rail magazine on the same subject some time ago.

The situation really goes to Warren's point "what do you want to model?"  The first thing I look for is; "Does it look good with the rest of my equipment?" /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gifand then second for me is; "Is it good enough at 10 feet and do I like it?" /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/satisfied.gifand third, "If you don't think it is, I do!  So.....do you want to run trains or go home?":mad:

As you can tell I'm not a fine-scale guy!!:cool:

Mark
 
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