First time model loco buyer, any tips/advice please.

Discuss model railway topics and news that do not fit into other sections.
User avatar
captrees
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri May 25, 2018 7:45 pm
Location: Kalamunda WA.

Re: First time model loco buyer, any tips/advice please.

Postby captrees » Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:14 am

I too was a beginner 18 months ago. I wanted a Black 5 as my first loco, but was a bit put off by the price of the new ones, and didn't want the railroad model. I got a new Hornby standard 4MT 4-6-0 instead for approx 2/3 price at a fair. It was DCC fitted, but I'm running analogue currently. I was surprised at its performance. I have a circuit with hills and twisties, and by all accounts it seems comparable with what I should expect from a Class 5.

Later I bought a Bachmann Jubilee 4-6-0, DCC ready. It took a bit of fettling initially as it derailed too easily, but that was easily fixed, and it is as good as, if not better than the 4MT. It is certainly the smoother runner, and has been totally reliable to date.

I like my 4-6-0 locos, but the second loco I bought is arguably the best. It is a Bachmann Fairburn 2-6-4. It handles everything with ease, derails much less than the others, and is easier to put back on the line when it does derail. Its my favourite, and perfect for a beginner. (I should know, lol)

I picked up an as new Hornby Princess class recently, and almost wish I hadn't as both it and the track need some fettling to suit. Not too hard, but not a beginners loco. Now I have six locos, which is too many, but I can say that if I buy another it won't be without a lot of research and I'd pick practical performance over sentimental choice.

grs
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:15 pm

Re: First time model loco buyer, any tips/advice please.

Postby grs » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:53 am

Thanks for all the tip, guidance and insight. The black 5 is one of several on my wish list so I might leave it for now, see if someone makes an updated model.
Would the bigger makes of ready-to-run models be Hornby, Bachmann and Heljin? Any other to look out for/avoid.
I presume there are smaller companies or private individuals make high quality/detailed small production runs of models from time to time as well.

Bigmet
Posts: 7573
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: First time model loco buyer, any tips/advice please.

Postby Bigmet » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:32 am

grs wrote:...Would the bigger makes of ready-to-run models be Hornby, Bachmann and Heljan? Any other to look out for/avoid...

Those are probably the largest at present. There's a whole heap more, and a section on this site to help get you navigating them. viewtopic.php?f=10&t=50229. Those three dominate my RTR OO purchases, but I also have items from Rapido and Oxford Rail, and have had examples of Dapol and Hattons products to give the once over to and will buy from them when they make something of interest, and am open to buying from anyone else making the right stuff such as Accurascale/IRM, Cavalex, Kernow, OOworks, Suttons Loco Works.

What I would suggest is avoiding anything by DJM, a manufacturer that has just gone under rather publically and painfully, as there are question marks over longevity and spares.

In OO what you mostly have to be cautious about are mechanisms of older products. There's many tons of production by now disappeared brands of variable quality and limited spares availability to be wary of, despite an enticing s/h price. Airfix GMR, Hornby-Dublo, Lima, Mainline, Triang, Trix, Wrenn, are what you might see most frequently. Caution also applies to older Bachmann (split chassis) and Hornby (UK production) and Replica (split chassis). You need to know what you are looking at before jumping in, ask if unsure.

grs wrote:...I presume there are smaller companies or private individuals make high quality/detailed small production runs of models from time to time as well.

There's a 'high end' in this hobby, hand assembled Korean brass offered by the likes of Golden Age and others; also bespoke production in the UK typically from etched kits by individual builders, often in a partnership with a specialist painter (high prices, long waiting lists).


Return to “General Model Railway Discussion / News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests