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Discussion Starter #1
I couldn't locate a place for polls so I'm putting it in here, sorry if this is the wrong spot. I was just wondering what everyones thoughts are on upgrading the stuff we grew up with such as Tyco, Varney, Mantua, and the old Life Like stuff. I do it and quite enjoy it. If you do what products and techniques do you all use? Hope to hear back from many:)
 

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I've recently dusted off the trains I had when I was a kid (mostly HO, some O). I built a 4x8 HO layout (little town, mountain/tunnel, not too complex), but opted to go "old school" for most of it. Straight DC trive (no DCC), re-use of the old locos/cars, buildling, etc. I did upgrade to new Atlas track, and got a newer (2nd hand) transformer. But in thinking of "new" vs. "old", I kinda opted to go more along the nostalgic route. As my boys and I push ahead, we might consider a few more modern control systems, but for now, we're enjoying "life in the past".

TJ
 

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I'd start by asking you to define "upgrading", as it means different things to different people. For some, it means computer control systems; for others, it might mean altering the appearance of an engine or car. Either way, it's an emotional issue. I'm most comfortable with the idea of my hand on the throttle and switches determining whether I have a train wreck or not. I also wince at the idea of someone chopping up a 50-year-old engine to turn it into something new, but that's just me. I support his right to do it: I just wish he wouldn't. He can cut the new stuff up to his heart's content, though!
 

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Never say Die!

Hey OldAthearn,
I'm gonna sound like Will Rodgers(Anybody remember him?) and say "I never saw a Train I didn't like!". For The past 20 years I've picked up some of the most God Awful looking Engines that have or should been scrapped long ago. From Rivarossi Berkshires High Fi drive Athearn to Mantua Mikados from the 60's there must be life left in these old hulks. Case in point I have a Mantua Mikado that literally had hay and mud in every working part known to man that had not run in over 25 yrs. A guy heard I played with trains and dropped it off at work. What a mess. Anyway....it took me about a month to clean it up, dremmel tool off rust & corrosion, remove the worm drive and piece it back together. I haven't replaced anything on it....it still runs. We still have my sons original Life-Like Geeps and most of the cars(he wants to sell them or donate them to the Uof Min. Model railroad club) so the stuff is old and obsolete yet in his mind has value. Updating old equipment can be costly but I guess its up to you the individual and how you feel about your collection. And just to show I'm not an extinct Dinosaur I'm going to a DCC Shop class to ....introduce myself to the NEW WAVE of Model Railroading. Your never too old I guess. So OldAthearn put me down in the Poll for never say Die!:thumbsup:
 

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On my way to work!

Thanks Reck,
This critter out weighs my Mallets and pulls like a mother....Had to change and regrade my turns on the layout because of the shear weight of this thing. It has a sister but she is in need of a major Facial...new front end/pilot...tender needs new truck..looking for Mantua 6 wheeler. Hey are you off today or at work?...cuz if its work,you must have TOO much time on yer hands:laugh:!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
MacDaddy55 that looks great! I applaud you for your attitude of never say die! I'm the same, now I have old BlueBox Athearns that are under the knife for DCC. I know thats not quite as old as some stuff out there. I also have put some time into taking old Lifelike and Tyco stuff and putting body mounted couplers on and steel wheelsets, some of the older stuff just has an emotional conncetion for me so I keep it and make it better. I have one old Milwaukee road box car that I put body mounts on and steel wheel sets and it runs like a champ! Keep up the good work guys:)
 

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Thanks Reck,
This critter out weighs my Mallets and pulls like a mother....Had to change and regrade my turns on the layout because of the shear weight of this thing. It has a sister but she is in need of a major Facial...new front end/pilot...tender needs new truck..looking for Mantua 6 wheeler. Hey are you off today or at work?...cuz if its work,you must have TOO much time on yer hands:laugh:!
I'm at work----can't you tell? *L* My job is like a model train engine with a bad armature. You go like the dickens, everybody calls and flags you down to do this, go here, answer that....and then suddenly, you hit that dead spot and it all grinds to a halt. There's only so many fires to put out. That allows me a quick 3-5 minutes here and there, throughout the morning, to check the site and do a quick reply.

And by the way, I have 4 sisters that area all in need of a major facial. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah I kitbash a bit. I'll have to get some pics, I have an old Bachmann F7 project I'm working on right now, I'll have to get some before and after photos of it. :)
 

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my opinion - only if there is sentimental value to the items. i fix them (and sold some) but i generally don't care about old models really.
BUT!!! if i ever get to lay my hands on BR130 (russian export locomotive. still used in many european countries) by PIKO, as crappy and non prototypical as it is, i will be all over it.






 

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actually just last week i seen the red one. Canadian seller was asking 60$ as first bid + shipping. screw that, i'm not paying that much for that stuff (its really primitive inside), LOL. today there is even more optimistic person from bulgaria, he is only asking 120$...
but in future i might go for a neat fleishman model of br130, much more detailed. far future that is.
 

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All I have really done is convert some DC locos to DCC. It isn't that hard, but I kinda wish I had gone with DCC ones in the first place! Now I only buy DCC trains.
 

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I currently have been remotoring some old stuff with CD ROM motors...so far I'm very pleased with the results...





...I'm still looking for a shell set for this Tyco 2-8-0...



...this '70s Model Power N scale GP40 was remotored with a tray drive motor...



...and this Tyco GP20 was remotored using an Athearn GP35 frame.

 

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When I was a boy, and that was many years ago, I had I believe it was a lionel train set that I gave away when I was a snot nosed teenager who thought he knew it all, and boy, do I wish that I had that set now. Upgrading? I wouldn't even know where to begin, but by all means keep the old stuff chugging.
 

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Now THAT....is what I'm talkin about..Good old YANKEE ingenuity!:thumbsup:

That little saddletanker is a pip...it hauls 7 cars steady without a hiccup and one of those is a trackcleaner. The jury is still out on the tray drive motor, Model Power wasn't a good mechanism to begin with. The Geep is sweet, as all Athearn drives are. The tender drive for the Tyco 2-8-0 runs great with a flywheel like action, just having trouble finding a shell set for it.

...Oh...and I'm Amish :p:D
 

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I have a bunch of the old stuff that I picked up when I found it cheap. Some of it has been sorted into the "possible upgrade" category. If I didn't enjoy tinkering with the stuff, then I wouldn't bother.

And I'm neither Amish nor Japanese. I'm just hard to live with. :D
 
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