Re: Branchline and other box cars offerings

Gene <bierglaeser@...>

Kits can often be found on eBay. Some are quite old; some fairly recent. Prices seem to reach both extremes; way too cheap and waaaaay too expensive.

Back in 1966 the Exchange at Fort Bliss closed out Northeastern kits for ridiculously low prices. My stash is almost gone. I have seen ads for current-production Northeastern snow plows at some relatively high prices but, at one time, these were state of the art.

Many (most?) of us have assembled Ambroid, Central Valley, LaBelle, Northeastern, Red Ball, Mainline and . . . there must be more than these. With careful assembly and some added details these kits came out looking pretty good and left us with a sense of accomplishment. Some followed a prototype pretty closely while I am not too sure of others.

My personal favorites were the Walthers metal/wood passenger cars (Oops, wrong group!). They were ill-proportioned but fun to build in my opinion.

The thing to notice about the kits mentioned above is that RTR versions would likely have been more expensive because of the difficulty of assembly. On the other hand injection-molded plastic kits go together pretty easily if assembled as intended. Any unskilled non-modeler can be trained to do it in a day. Is the absence of plastic kits really something we should bemoan?

The thing that puzzles me is why models get sent all the way to China for assembly. That seems to add about $10.00 to the price of each car. Couldn't some enterprising, Spanish-speaking model railroader set up a kit assembly plant in Mexico? Shipment costs would be lower and transit times shorter. I think all this adequately attests to the fact that my level of business acumen is near zero.

Gene Green
Always willing to change sides just to keep the argument going.

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