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Discussion Starter #1
ive been collecting some interesting pieces,, however since my layout will be DCC , I want to start converting them little by little. does doing this severely hurt the value of the loco? im not terribly concerned, but its something to think about.
 

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Modifying vs losing value... depends on whether you purchased them as an investment or for the pleasure of playing with trains. If the modification makes them more fun, then keep them and let your heirs worry about the investment value. If you are investing for future monetary value, don't buy toy trains, buy U.S. Savings bonds.
 

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I try to leave the existing circuitry in the loco as much as possible.

Some people insist that you have to physically remove all the original wire and electronics, I think that is a mistake.

You will find advice for converting individual locos to DCC here, and on my web site.

Greg
 

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There are people that only buy original LGB stock, but there are many do not care as long as they run.
This is common in all industries, some people buy autos for looks and others for running into the ground and looks do not matter.
If selling, just be honest about any mods done.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the replies. I was wondering because of exactly what the last poster said about folks collecting strictly stock lgb locos. me, I plan to run them , but at the same time if it came time to sell some , I wouldn't want to take a huge beating. seems these locos hold their value somewhat well and I wouldn't want to necessarily kill it by hacking into the wiring loom - so to speak-. but in the end , I want to enjoy running them as they truly are pieces of industrial art IMO.
as a side note, if I do install dcc in the lgb locos, would it help if I used an LGB mts system decoder? would that be more authentic in some way? as fat as the mts system , is it fully compatible with an NCE DCC system? or does any of this make a difference
thanks
 

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Weathering and kitbashing is what kills value. Collectors like things as close to original appearance as possible
 

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I cut models up like crazy, without a single thought for future value.
Im not planning to sell anything for decades, so I prefer to kitbash or modify them the way I want them..

The only possible issue would be if I happened to "go" before my wife..
in that case, she would have to sell them..but my collection will never be huge, so we arent talking about big-bucks anyway..If a pristine boxcar is worth $80, my weathered boxcar might be worth $50..
not enough to be worried about IMO..She could enlist the help of my club to liquidate my trains.
she would still make some money..perhaps less than if I hadn't modified them, but I dont see any point in having them at all if I cant modify them the way I want to..

Assuming I make it to my 70's, I will probably start thinning out the collection then..
When im 85, I will probably only have one or two locomotives sitting on a shelf,
in our apartment in the senior living community..
but meanwhile, for now, I simply dont worry about the future of my trains..

Its a hobby, its supposed to be fun, its not supposed to be an investment! ;)
I say: Do what you want, and dont worry about it..

On the other extreme, there are people who collect LGB trains and never take them out of the box, to preserve their value..that makes no sense to me at all..but to each their own.

Scot
 

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i agree with scotty.
i buy the toys to play with them.
and the biggest financial loss they experience, is when they are sold for the first time.
 

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I agree 100% with Kormsen including agreeing with Scot. I've been modifying my engines to have the name of my personal railroad, and when I convert to battery power if I have to re-wire, they are ONLY battery power after I get done. I have my trains for my enjoyment now. As others have said, to each his own.

Ed
 

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Your railroad, your way, you're the CEO.

I'm the CEO of mine, run it how I want, however my wife is the CFO ;):p
 

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If you actually run your trains in a real garden setting, forget about resale value. They are bound to get scratches and broken parts, as well as wear and tear.
 

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I agree with the others. Either you collect them in the hope of increased value and keep them in a box, never running them, or you run them for your enjoyment and lose cash value.

You can't do both, unless you buy two of each unit, one to store and one to run and enjoy.

My increased value comes I two ways. My enjoyment in running my trains and if I have bashed or otherwise modified the original, getting positive comments from fellow "G" gaugers about the results.

I have one of the original LGB red and green wood burning moguls. It is now a black coal burner with a straight stack. I gave it a little thought, but not much. I like the way it turned out.

I've also added R/C and battery to some of my locomotives. This was done so that I could run on layouts without track power. My home layouts are analog DC. Any modifications I do, I do for me and my enjoyment. Any change I future value doesn't enter in.

Chuck
 

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weathering if done well can add to the value,,,,, no doubt

but if all your trains are mint you probably only want to buy mint,,,, as a weathered wagon would stand out

so it probably rules out 90% of people who would buy it,

but if not up to scratch and done badly it really can affect the resale price
 

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...if I do install dcc in the lgb locos, would it help if I used an LGB mts system decoder? would that be more authentic in some way? as fat as the mts system , is it fully compatible with an NCE DCC system?
From a re-sale point of view I suppose there will be folk who would consider it more "genuine" if it were an authentic MTS decoder. There are advantages in that some MTS decoder models are designed to directly plug into the main boards of suitably equipped LGB locos.

I run locos with MTS decoders on my NCE system, but none of mine are examples of the early decoders which have limitations on addressing, speed step support and especially function support (early MTS uses a "serial" protocol for functions which NCE doesn't support - you have to simulate it by pressing F1 multiple times). The worst case I have is a factory-fitted decoder in a Mikado from the early 2000s which appears not to recognise long addresses and only supports 28 speed steps (not 128 steps), but it does recognise the more normal "parallel" function commands.

To be honest I consider even the later MTS decoders poor value for money. The Massoth equivalents are better value but even so you may still get more "bang for the buck" by foregoing the convenience of the direct plug-in option and wiring in a different brand of decoder.

Recent LGB locos have started to be supplied with Marklin decoders, and it seems from what I've read that there have been minor compatibility issues with other brands of DCC system.
 

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All I can do at this point is be redundant and say that, yes, it depends on what is defined as value, and defined by/to whom.
For me, value is play value; for others, value is investment value; for others value is decorative value.
There is room for all.
I would suggest be true to what is value to you as that will bring you the most satisfaction - as in, be yourself for you, with whichever definition of value is in your heart, it is more congruent than being someone else for others.
 

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Yes, words such as 'value' and 'investment' do not necessarily have anything to do with 'money'.
Modifications if done very well can increase an item's worth because there should be someone who appreciates the genuine effort it took to do but if done rough or just to cover up damage will only detract from the item's worth. Anyone can effortlessly smudge about some black paint and call it weathering.
Most items in this hobby are consumable plastic toys so the value is in the enjoyment by those who appreciate them.
I have plenty of items new in box, never used. Taking possession, getting past it then selling later for some profit helps pay for the items I more desire. Sometimes I only break even. More fun than ogling over a bank account.

Andrew
 

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I generally buy used stuff, so no worries there about value. I do modify my equipment for my enjoyment. I have started saving boxes some on recent purchases, since it does sell better if you have them. But I've bought lots used that did not have the boxes. If you do want to gain in value, then never take them out of the box.

I have nothing in boxes, run everything. I keep my better trains in plastic totes in my shed, but many sit on the shelves, some with a little cover over them, some not and get natural weathering!

Hobbies are for fun, so enjoy your purchases is my theory. My wife has the Trainz phone number and I've tried to keep up an inventory of what I have. Need to update that, seem to be buying more than I make these days. Old I guess...
 
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