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Old 11-08-2019, 01:13 AM   #1
LateStarter
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Build a high performance fleet of freightcars

Bang for the buck
for a high performance fleet.


I'm a big fan of Accurail kits...
A finished Accurail car can be one of the nicest and best rolling cars on your layout.
Forget the fact that they don't have separately applied grabs and ladders, and that they don't exude the expensive glamor of RivetCounter, Proto & Genesis. My real bottom line is 'bang for the buck'.

Yes I have premium brand freightcars.
But Accurail far outnumbers the lot by a wide margin, and I'm equally happy with them.

If you want bang for the buck on a high performance fleet of a particular car that Accurail produces, here's how to do it:

* Buy the cars in bulk or sets, at the best price you can find. LHS sale prices are generally below $10 per car.
* Get Accurail number decal sets for that car... $4 a set. Change all but one car number... up to 12 per set.
* Assemble the cars.
* TruckTune the Accurail trucks.
* Install metal wheelsets.
* Slap on Kadee couplers.

The result will be some of the best rolling, best performing cars on your layout.

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Old 11-08-2019, 06:42 AM   #2
Dennis461
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Still using Kadee #5?

I've started using the Kadee #148 whiskers and semi scale couplers #158 with the Snap-Together Gearbox.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:03 AM   #3
prrfan
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You sure have some nice looking models, Late Starter; both locos and rolling stock.
I do agree with Dennis on the new Kadees. 148s are an improvement over 5s.
I inadvertently bought some 158s. Really don’t see much difference but they are a bit smaller and closer to scale.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:06 AM   #4
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Nice looking box car.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:47 AM   #5
Eilif
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Good process LS,
I'm also not picky about the "finer" details on my rolling stock. Accurail, BB, Walthers, etc are all good to me. I tune my trucks but haven't bothered going to metal wheels yet. Maybe someday when I have a layout big enough to run long consists.

However, you forgot to add "Buy KD's in bulk" to your budget plan. Save some real bucks that way. Also, I'm with Dennis on the #148's. Love'em.

Looks like the decal sets are colored. Are they decals or stickers?
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eilif View Post
Looks like the decal sets are colored. Are they decals or stickers?
They're opaque decals that match the car color.
A shot of DullCote, and you're good to go.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:33 PM   #7
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#5's work well for me...
They'd better -- I got my hands on 1,200 of them at a bankruptcy sale in 2014.
Still many hundreds left, and it'd be foolish to buy another type.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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BTW, I've always used InterMountain wheelsets, but I found a few packages of Tangents selling at a lower price.
There's no real difference in quality, but I occasionally find one that's discolored toward a brownish hue.
No problem... kinda' looks like random aging.
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Old 11-08-2019, 02:22 PM   #9
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No matter what brand... Accurail, Athearn BB/RTR, Rivarossi, Bachmann, whatever --

TruckTuning, metal wheelsets, and Kadees will make any freightcar roll and perform as good as (or better than) anything else on the market. Anything!

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Old 11-08-2019, 03:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
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However, you forgot to add "Buy KD's in bulk" to your budget plan. Save some real bucks that way. Also, I'm with Dennis on the #148's. Love'em.
Bulk?
In 2014, I got 304 packs of #5's at a bankruptcy sale for $50. I think that works out to about 40 cents per coupler.
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