Author Topic: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?  (Read 8100 times)

WVMNut

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IMO, yes, if it runs well and is generic enough. Look at On30. Bachmann took a chance and is apparently doing pretty well. I'm surprised they (or someone else) hasn't considered HOn30. After all, a lot of On3 guys take the On30 stuff and widen the gauge.

BParrish

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 01:20:42 AM »
Gents.....

Blackstone markets a line of n3 locomotives that are RTR.  They are pretty proud of them but they are out there.

I've had good luck over the years at watching ebay for brass without the box and has some obvious minor damage. I'm not intimidated by changing gear cases and installing can motors.

I've got a fleet of old light brass, NG and Std gauge and with the up grading for DCC I'm still into most of them for under 200 per loco. There is not a lot out there for any less. You only need to be willing to work on them.

see ya
Bob

gordon

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 09:59:44 PM »
I own two Blackstone engines, the K27 and C19, both D&RGW, which are considered RTR and I think they operate pretty well.  Detail is well done, the sound is well done and, using NCE, I sat them on a test track and ran them right out of the box.

To answer the question, I'm not sure if it will bring more (new) people in, but it might regenerate interest of those who let the hobby go because of very high priced brass models.  That said, I have a Sunset C16 and think the detail is better, but there is the issue of paint, sound and lettering, which you already get from Blackstone. 

GPatton

railtwister

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 06:20:18 PM »
It already has. A lot of people have come to HOn3 because of the Blackstone RTR locomotives, and to a lesser extent the Blackstone rolling stock. The trend in the hobby, no matter what scale, is toward RTR. There are fewer people willing to build kits or from scratch anymore, especially in the USA. Japan, Germany, and the UK still seem to have a few model builders left, if pictures posted on the web are any indication.

I'm not sure the Blackstone track will be any more help bringing people into the hobby however, at least in this country, due to it's excessive cost, limited selection, and the fact that it doesn't represent typical narrow gauge track very well, the roadbed is too pristine and the ties are too perfectly placed to look right for narrow gauge. It will make for great test tracks however, and for those who want to run their trains but don't have room for a permanent layout (such as in places like Japan), it should be useful. If it is held to the same quality as the Kato N and HO product lines, it should be reliable.

The observations about Bachmann's On30 line of narrow gauge products are also correct, On30 has quickly become much more popular than On3 in the past 15 years, while On3 hasn't grown noticeably. 

Bill in FtL

SundayNiagara

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 09:25:34 AM »
It already has. A lot of people have come to HOn3 because of the Blackstone RTR locomotives, and to a lesser extent the Blackstone rolling stock. The trend in the hobby, no matter what scale, is toward RTR. There are fewer people willing to build kits or from scratch anymore, especially in the USA. Japan, Germany, and the UK still seem to have a few model builders left, if pictures posted on the web are any indication.

I'm not sure the Blackstone track will be any more help bringing people into the hobby however, at least in this country, due to it's excessive cost, limited selection, and the fact that it doesn't represent typical narrow gauge track very well, the roadbed is too pristine and the ties are too perfectly placed to look right for narrow gauge. It will make for great test tracks however, and for those who want to run their trains but don't have room for a permanent layout (such as in places like Japan), it should be useful. If it is held to the same quality as the Kato N and HO product lines, it should be reliable.

The observations about Bachmann's On30 line of narrow gauge products are also correct, On30 has quickly become much more popular than On3 in the past 15 years, while On3 hasn't grown noticeably. 

Bill in FtL

But I can't get you into HOn3, Grumpy Bill!
Mark

cadetpwr

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 10:36:13 PM »
The combination of Peco doing nice flex track and turnouts, plus what Blackstone is doing has rejunivated HOn3 quite a bit.  Blackstone stepping outside of Colorado would help matters. An EBT Mikado, White Pass DL535e Alco, Westside 3 truck shay, Westside 2 trk Heisler or the dainty Mich Cal 2 spot.  While K's and C's are beautifull engines, between brass and Blackstone they have been done to death.   But I suspect we will see the rest of the K class and probably another C or two before we see anything else.  RTR cars from Microtrains and Blackstone are wonderfull, a bit on the pricey side but an astute shopper can find deals out there.  Most modelers are still intimidated by brass, that its somehow more difficult to work on.  I personaly find brass much easier to work on over the new stuff, much more forgiving and once you tackle your first repower, be it just a can motor or full gear box plus motor, then its all down hill from there.  Plenty of painters out there if thats beyond ones ablities.  I am one of the few where I live that will work on brass and I do so for several dealers and local modelers.  If anything, the new stuff has put a bit of a price check on brass.  Just check out how many K27's Caboose Hobbies has in their brass dept, and most have been on the list for a long long time now.  I would put a PFM K27 up against a Blackstone any day for retaining its value and that it will still run in another 50 years.  Will these Chinese imports be running in 50 years????      Cheers   Mike

Batey

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2013, 12:47:29 AM »
It would certainly make me more motivated in this scale. Ive got to many average brass locos and i dont care for c16 or anything like that. I would just love a generic tank loco or davernport or anything like that that would be of use on micro layouts or small shelf layouts. Not everyone has the room to build a large prototype.

How many people have given On30 a go with a small shelf layout and the portors or davernports?
Cheers Adrian

HOn3 Logging Modeler from Down Under

railtwister

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 11:05:37 AM »
The biggest problem with small locos like Porters & Davenports, is their limited amount of contact points on the track, combined with light weight due their small size, makes their operational reliability pretty low. This is true in On30, and even more so in HOn3. The new DCC "keep alive" technology might help operations, but again, the small size makes fitting the decoder difficult.

Bill in FtL

Batey

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 07:39:41 PM »
Yeah exactly right with the contacts on smaller locos. I have enought problems getting larger locos to run smooth (old brass).
I guess it will be a long timre before we see rtr geared steam but i can only keep dreaming.
Cheers Adrian

HOn3 Logging Modeler from Down Under

Gddavis

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 11:43:41 PM »
Yes,
RTR was definitely a factor in my growing interest in HOn3. The Blackstone models are very nice and lured me right into what I had previously perceived as a scale modeled largely with brass locomotives and scratch building. I'm primarily a Clinchfield and SCL prototype modeler (rivet counter) in HO and am amazed at what can be done with HOn3 in limited space. I wouldn't have time to dabble in narrow gauge without Blackstone supplying my rolling stock.

Greg Davis
St Petersburg, FL

railtwister

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2013, 01:41:44 PM »
Hi Greg,

Are you involved in any model RR clubs in St. Pete?

Bill in FtL

Batey

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2013, 06:42:20 PM »
One of these days im going to buy a blacstone loco and turn it into something for a logging line.  might convert myself to DCC then if that happens.
Cheers Adrian

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Loco Chris

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2013, 07:45:20 AM »
A big yes & no

No for the "would Hon3 RTR bring more people to Narrow gauge" as there are several scales to get modellers into narrow gauge now like On30 and generic G scale, but yes it will bring more people to Hon3 narrow gauge so that makes it a yes in a roundabout way.

RTR Hon3 has rejuvenated Hon3, as a scale.

The Hardest thing With Hon3 scale is getting past The old Model railroaders perception that Hon3 is only old brass with poor running like old N scale and dodgy track work.

 Add to the ready to run  loco's & rolling stock the new Peco track esp the flex track that is so easy to lay when compared to ME's solid flex and Hon3 starts to look like a good option to model in,
 Space required for a decent looking train is 1/3 of that required in HO so space poor modellers can create something and as it is narrow gauge you can do what you like with locos/rolling stock run them as is or modify to suit your theme.

I have had Some Blackstone + Roundhouse items hidden away for some time and after the Peco track release I decided to have another go (my first attempt with ME's flex put me off for a while as the order arrived as rail randomly attached to the odd sleeper due to the hard plastic used and a rough trip around the world) the ME points are ok and I Have used a combination of the two ME + Peco and with some internet searching I was able to quickly build up the roster of locos and rolling stock with the fine examples from Blackstone and be running trains, I am now on to starting the scenic side of the layout in a very short time.  (See layout section Tourist RR)
Most people in the hobby, that know I have started the Hon3 layout comment that they think its only old brass available or ask if I have to scratch build everything and are amazed that so many items are available.
As to the cost of a Blackstone RTR loco consider any main stream scale, buy a quality loco then add a DCC Sound chip + speaker and its about the same, then when you factor in the small Hon3 Market as compared to the Main stream scales HO / N and the price is about right the rolling stock may be a little bit pricy but as a time poor person to build a kit to the quality and paint standard as per current RTR I am happy to purchase the RTR items, I have shopped around and have found some shops have good discounts on the current Blackstone items.

I would encourage people thinking about getting back into or changing to Narrow gauge to have a look at the current range of RTR you wont be disappointed.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2013, 07:53:42 AM by Loco Chris »
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trainman2

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2013, 01:48:50 PM »
I personally think that the brass locomotive is pretty much dead, at age 68 I've had many of them over the years, some very nice and some pretty much junk. Since we are dealing in a hobby that is pretty much dying over the past years I don't expect to see brass ever be what is used to be. Now take what has happened to the hobby, we are running DCC engines and rolling stock like Blackstone has brought to the market. This has defiantly brought new model railroaders into the market and older ones like myself back. If it wasn't for Blackstone, Bachmann, and other producers of stuff that works really well off the shelf, myself and others would be out of the hobby. I personally think those who want brass today, didn't grow up with it, and still think that it is the ultimate model, it still could be, but at what cost, three or four times the price of a Blackstone K-27, I don't think so.

John
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 01:51:02 PM by trainman2 »

swissboy

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Re: Would RTR HOn3 (not brass) bring more people into narrow gauge?
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2014, 05:21:02 PM »
......................  Will these Chinese imports be running in 50 years????      Cheers   Mike

Not sure about the DCC, I think rather NOT. But I think the DC versions might well still be around. All depends on the type of plastics used.

The other question who of US will still be around then? So I try to concentrate my activities on the present. And that's where these "Chinese imports" shine much brighter than brass for the vast majority of us.

By the way, pretty much ALL the brass models are Asian imports as well. Maybe not China, but Japan, Korea and the like. And most of them do not even have built-in lights!
« Last Edit: January 21, 2014, 05:33:05 PM by swissboy »
Robert