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WAY BACK...WHEN?
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 Posted: Tue Aug 29th, 2017 04:55 pm
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Lee B
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This thread reminds me of all the articles in the magazines about having to re-motor EVERYTHING except out of the box Athearn stuff...
It's one of the reasons (other than cost) than I never got into brass when I was still in HO scale. I knew plenty of guys who bought brass, but very few of those locomotives ran worth a darn.
I don't get why folks like to wax nostalgic about the 'good old days' of the hobby other than how more people were into it and hobby shops were more common. The stuff we use today, out of the box, is light years ahead of almost anything from the 80s or 90s.



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 Posted: Tue Aug 29th, 2017 05:23 pm
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Helmut
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The Mudhen was also dubbed 'Plantation' and it featured an open-frame 5pole motor mounted horizontally in the cab. For me, then having only seen 3polers, it was like revelation. Compared to what I was used to, it ran like a charm ( especially after I tried my first home-built pwm controller on it ) Of course, TRIX had 5pole motors similar to Pittman's, but they were noisy and current-hungry. Oh, the time I speak about is the late 60's!

Last edited on Tue Aug 29th, 2017 05:24 pm by Helmut



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 Posted: Tue Aug 29th, 2017 07:21 pm
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W C Greene
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No doubt about it, things weren't better back then BUT if you wanted to make something work, you ACTUALLY LEARNED how to make it work. These days, it has become a real "lost art".
The KK Mudhen, I had both HO & HOn3 and they ran like...well, they did run to a certain extent. But what could you expect for a $6.95 brass loco? PFM's HOn3 locos were $34.95 (2-6-0) and $39.95 (2-8-0) and had ROMFORD motors in the tender.


C&S 2-8-0



 C&S 2-6-0. Both locos belonged to Mudge, I installed a Sagami can motor in this mogul, the consol had the original motor and both ran quite well.



And Mudge gave me this HOn3 FED 4-4-0 which ran like s$%t...
I took a Moto Tool to it:



Shown unpainted on the On20 Gila Tram, this is what the FED became and she runs very nicely with her Sagami motor.

Woodie



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 Posted: Wed Aug 30th, 2017 06:06 pm
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ebtnut
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That's the first photo I've ever seen of a Brass Betsy. By the time I got seriously into the hobby in the early 60's all you could get out of Kemtron were some of the parts. I tried using the drivers to build an EBT Mike, but the Kemtron gearbox didn't amount to much. Lindsey motors were still around (one friend had a Ghost - remember them?) but I think they had already closed down.

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 Posted: Thu Aug 31st, 2017 03:00 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Yup, I had a ghost. Not a member of my family that I could figure.

Once you got over the novelty of a self-moving boxcar, most tried to use it as a "helper" behind a small loco. That didn't work too well, because of speed differences. The same motor/gearbox unit was used in their trolley-interurban power truck. Had a couple of these that could send up smoke signals on demand.

Herbie



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 Posted: Thu Aug 31st, 2017 06:33 pm
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W C Greene
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I don't recall Great Western "Betsy" parts available from Kemtron but then I was into HOn3 in the early 60's. I did build a Kemtron HOn3 C-16 2-8-0, it ran fine, but my soldering skills weren't much back then. Yes, those Lindsay motors needed to "warm up" but once done, they worked quite well. And they ran hot enough to burn yore widdle fingers. Back then, if you were into HOn3, it was the early PFM brass, Ken Kidder, or Kemtron for locos. There were car kits available also, LaBelle, Pacific Scale, Binkley, etc. I remember building a Binkley (or maybe Red Ball) HOn3 combine and then got the interior detail kit for it. The car and interior was all die-cast and weighed more than my 2-8-0 and the trucks were barely "roll-able" but I loved it all the same. I perverted a couple of Central Valley HO kits to HOn3, their trucks were "state of the art" back then.

Woodie



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 Posted: Thu Aug 31st, 2017 06:54 pm
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W C Greene
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And a couple more "back then"...thinking about brass locos.


A Gem or maybe LMB 2-4-2 "Columbia" in HO. I shouldn't have sold this one, she was a sweetie.
And a PFM 2-6-2 "Prairie King" HO loco. Another neat one which got traded for dinero.

A Ken Kidder HO McKeen car, out of the 1950's I think.

And this-An HOn3 brass PFM "D&RGW" short caboose. Again from the '50's.

And finally (for now) a fairly recent HO "Thomas Flyer" by Precision Scale, using the old Kemtron body but with new PSC wheels and drive train. The original had a "trailer" car which had a Lindsay "Ghost" drive to push the car along. I do have an old "ghost" in a box and an old Kemtron "trailer" casting. This old dude is now owned by someone else also.

Woodie



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 Posted: Thu Aug 31st, 2017 08:56 pm
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Lee B
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W C Greene wrote: PFM's HOn3 locos were $34.95 (2-6-0) and $39.95 (2-8-0) and had ROMFORD motors in the tender.









I always wondered why more locos didn't have motors in the tender. It always seemed to be a much better place to put one, especially in an era when hardly anyone had sound in their locos.
I think it was the Model Power 2-6-0s that had a tender motor, as a pal of mine bought a few of them that weren't working and built them into dummy locomotives, complete with lighting (back in the day when you couldn't double-head anything). The actual loco part had free-rolling wheels.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 31st, 2017 09:15 pm
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pipopak
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I had a loco with sound (the Gilbert mentioned earlier) and several Fleischmann tender-driven steamers. They ran like charms, but OH THOSE WHEEL FLANGES!!!
Jose.



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 Posted: Thu Aug 31st, 2017 11:20 pm
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W C Greene
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Yep, but for some reason the old HOn3 wheels had nice flanges back then. I remember that code 70 brass rail was available and even code 40 rail which could be glued down with Pliobond or Goo and a soldering iron and those old wheels trucked right along with no problems. For some reason, there was no code 55 then.
I had some old AHM/Rivarossi HO locos with the pizza cutter flanges and cars also...they even bounced on HO flex track! But then Athearn locos and cars had nicer smaller flanges. Didn't they call the deep flanges NEM type?
Fun thinking about all this old stuff.

Woodie



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