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Discussion Starter #1
I have an opportunity to purchase some vintage rolling stock that seems to be in pretty good condition, and seem to be very good quality as well, but I am unfamiliar with the brands. I am hoping that someone can shed some light on this for me. I have googled the brands, and it does give me some useful info, but I would like to hear what y'all think, the guys who have years in the hobby and can probably remember when these cars were new. I can read what the manufacturers say about them, but I want to know what y'all think. Unfortunately, these were likely produced before I was born. Anyway, here are the brands in question.

Kadee
LaBelle (this one I am vaguely familiar with. Never actually seen one in person).
Ambroid
Paul Moore
Ulrich
Silver Streak
Red Ball
Ye Olde Huff and Puff
 

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I don't know enough in HO to comment on the quality of the stock listed, but when considering vintage stock from different manufacturers, bear in mind that the couplers on each may be different, and you may have to switch out various couplers to get everything to be compatible with each other.

Cheers,

TJ
 

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ulrich and huff n puff are -relatively- new [or newer ..]
red ball -used- to be fairly simple brass models, good for collector maybe ..


if you want more realism , maybe look for Funaro and Camerlego models, cost is a fair bit higher though, depends on what you want .. they give a time frame used in, on their web page
 

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Kadee - Good stuff

LaBelle (this one I am vaguely familiar with. Never actually seen one in person). Very nice classic craftsman wood kits. Careful work will give you a very nice model.

Ambroid - Also classic wood craftsman kits. Their "1 of 5000" kits were very nice models of some unique prototypes. Like the LaBelles, careful work yields a nice model.

Paul Moore - Somewhat basic wood and cardstock kits, mostly of trolleys. Extra work and extra parts needed to make a good model.

Ulrich - Mostly made cast metal car kits. Reasonably detailed for their time. Definitely don't need any extra weight!

Silver Streak - Fairly basic wood craftsman kits - maybe a notch below the Ambroids. Look OK from 3 feet.

Red Ball - Generally wood and cast metal kits. About on a par with the Silver Streaks. Red Ball also imported some nice brass loco models.

Ye Olde Huff and Puff - They took over the Quality Craft line of craftsman wood kits. Many build up very nicely.
 

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All the model makers listed are of good quality, except not familiar w/ Paul Moore. Replace the couplers with Kadees if they have anything else. Do the same if the trucks have "pizza cutter" wheelsets, replace those. Would also recommend replacing plastic wheelsets with metal ones as plastic ones collect & spread dirt on the railheads.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your comments. Yes I am aware that some of them may not come with trucks, couplers, etc. The person selling them is an older gentleman who has been in the hobby for a little while, and he has spare parts and whatnot as well. I would more than likely replace necessary parts as needed.

One more question, if I may. Is there a manufacturer or wholesaler who has an actual print catalog of detail parts and whatnot? Looking online is great, but I would like a hard copy as well.
 

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Walthers catalogs.

Thanks everyone for your comments. Yes I am aware that some of them may not come with trucks, couplers, etc. The person selling them is an older gentleman who has been in the hobby for a little while, and he has spare parts and whatnot as well. I would more than likely replace necessary parts as needed.

One more question, if I may. Is there a manufacturer or wholesaler who has an actual print catalog of detail parts and whatnot? Looking online is great, but I would like a hard copy as well.
Oregon_Trunk;

Walthers published catalogs in book form for many years. I guess that they still do, unless they have gone to online only? The catalogs were scale specific. You would want the HO-scale catalog. The Walthers catalog showed just about everything available, in many brands, including a whole section of detail parts.

good luck;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Oregon_Trunk;

Walthers published catalogs in book form for many years. I guess that they still do, unless they have gone to online only? The catalogs were scale specific. You would want the HO-scale catalog. The Walthers catalog showed just about everything available, in many brands, including a whole section of detail parts.

good luck;

Traction Fan:smilie_daumenpos:
The Walthers Sourcebook (as they call it) is no longer scale-specific, and as such much less useful than it was. Their website, on the other hand, is well organized, lavishly illustrated and annotated, and easy to search. Since they are the largest wholesaler of model railroad stuff in North America, and arguably the world, that's a close to a comprehensive list as you're going to get. The DON'T carry all brands, however, especially not those of their nearest competitor,, Horizon Hobbies (makers of Athearn, among other brands).

I've referred you to Model Railroad Hobbyist elsewhere. (https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/). This magazine is entirely advertiser supported, and the advertiser list in their magazine runs a full page (50-60 companies in an average issue). Each of them usually has a website with a full list of their offerings.
 

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There is a danger in relying on institutional knowledge: manufacturers are always improving their offerings. 25 years ago, you couldn't have given me a Bachmann loco; now they produce some really good stuff -- smooth running, clean, crisp paint jobs, and nicely detailed for the price. Likewise, MRCs early DCC stuff didn't compare well with the competition; their Prodigy line is now the equal of anyone's (although I haven't had the courage to try one of their decoders again).
 

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One other thing you might want to check on is costs of the additional parts needed. For instance the trucks can be pricey depending on what you're looking for. I have some LaBelle narrow-gauge passenger cars that seemed rather cheap, until I figured out that getting passenger trucks in narrow gauge is going to cost nearly $20/pair. Of course parts for standard gauge are going to be much cheaper and easier to find, but it's still worth considering. For the kits you will also want to think about the cost of paints and decals, whether you want to add additional interior or exterior details and lighting, and sheets of lead to bring the cars up to a standard weight. Kits seem really cheap at first, until you start to build them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Additional cost for trucks, couplers, decals, etc is something I have considered. I am considering these kits mostly for the fact that I haven't really been able to find many new products that match the era I am modeling (roughly 1912, give or take a couple years), and also for the fact that they are priced decently enough that with the initial purchase, trucks and couplers, decals and paint would put me at a price point considerably less than a new one (I think total cost for each car will be between $30 and $50). I have also found a couple of brass locomotives that are around the price point of what a new one would cost that match the locomotives used on my prototype railroad.
 

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Metal wheels on freight trucks

Is it really all that necessary to have metal wheels on all ones
rolling stock buying bulk of 100 brings the price down to approximately.90-.80 cents per set?
Thank you, Regards,tr1
 

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tr1, you've done it yet again, replying to a very old thread and bringing up a totally different topic.....:eek:hwell:

Why don't you start a new thread for your questions? It's not hard to do, no harder than what you're doing.....

Always doing this is annoying if you ask me.....:mad:
 

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tr1, you've done it yet again, replying to a very old thread and bringing up a totally different topic.....:eek:hwell:

Why don't you start a new thread for your questions? It's not hard to do, no harder than what you're doing.....

Always doing this is annoying if you ask me.....:mad:
Ouch, I read all the posts thinking this thread was new

:eek:

:welcome:
 

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You can't go wrong with Kadee.
I have experience with Ambroid kits, and I can say that building them isn't all that easy. My favorite kits these days are Accurail and MDC/Roundhouse.
Most vintage kits didn't include trucks or couplers.
 

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And Latestarter feeds the troll as we try to fight the issue of dead thread resurrection....
 

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Additional cost for trucks, couplers, decals, etc is something I have considered. I am considering these kits mostly for the fact that I haven't really been able to find many new products that match the era I am modeling (roughly 1912, give or take a couple years), and also for the fact that they are priced decently enough that with the initial purchase, trucks and couplers, decals and paint would put me at a price point considerably less than a new one (I think total cost for each car will be between $30 and $50)...
You can buy new quality cars for less than $50.
Unless you are an experienced modeler, you should stay away from very old kits. They are time consuming (I'm guessing your trying to get up and running fast.
 

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Metal wheels

Is it really all that necessary to have metal wheels on all ones
rolling stock buying bulk of 100 brings the price down to approximately.90-.80 cents per set?
Thank you, Regards,tr1
tr1;

Whether it's "all that necessary" (for you) is between you, and your wallet.
Metal wheels roll better, don't get dirty as quickly and consequently don't spread dirt along the rails as quickly. They also provide a little badly-needed weight where it does the most good, at the bottom of the car. For all these reasons, I consider metal wheels to be necessary. The new Micro-Trains metal wheels are excellent, and available in the bulk pack you mentioned. Fox Valley models, and Intermountain, are both excellent as well, but I don't know whether they offer bulk packs at reduced cost, or not.

Regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

PS. Starting your own thread for your questions, in either the "Beginner's Q&A" section, or the "General model train discussion" section, is a good idea.
 
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