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Topic Summary
Posted by: Nitram Posted on: Oct 9th, 2004, 10:07pm
I was wondering if anyone out there models only vintage HO? I am one of these and have not a spec of plastic in my collection. I find and rebuild old Varney locomotives and rolling stock and love the early Mantua metal car kits with card sides, Hobbytown diesels, Cary conversions, and many more including Ulrich, Globe, Red Ball, Main Line, Early bowser, MDC Roundhouse when MDC(Model Die Casting) meant just that, Silver Streak, Comet , Megow, and on and on... I love the old stuff and find plenty on eBay and at local train shows where many dealers are happy to get rid of it. I build many craftsman wood kits such as Ambroid and A-C and some of the new lazercut caboose kits and have a blast doing it.  My layout in progress is also all early vintage track,  cardside buildings and everything.  Its not that I do not want to get with the "times", I just love what HO originally was from the 1930's through the fifties until plastic came in and about  destroyed HO. I'm glad to see the many fine high quality plastic HO RTRs and kits available and DCC too but I really dig what it started out as. Anyone feel the same? Love to hear from some other vintage HOrs. I did not grow up with this as I am 49 years old and was born in the  plastic revolution. A cast Varney Berkshire pulling a string of cardsides and real wood stock cars with a MDC die cast caboose is hard to beat in my eyes.
Posted by: hudsonelectric Posted on: Oct 10th, 2004, 5:46am
Hey, Nitram!
What a great idea.....you're a model railroad preservationist! I, too, remember the printed carstock, cast white metal, and all wood models. No, I don't have anything like ;em in my roster with the exception of some Ambroid kits that I like to build and modify. Got any photos? Hpw 'bout posting 'em?
Posted by: Roger_Hensley Posted on: Oct 10th, 2004, 8:26am
I have a few ‘vintage’ cars on my layout that I keep around for folks who say their loco can ‘pull anything’. Those modest looking 5 or 6 cars are HEAVY and tend to roll like sleds rather than on wheels.  Most locos struggle with them on my 2.5% grades.
But seriously, I have several older models that I use and many more that I have in a couple of display cases. I like to remind myself of our modeling roots. Seeing some of the older items can actually be refreshing. Not all of the old things were poor in quality at all. Indeed, some would rival the best of the detailed plastics available today.
I do not limit myself by not including plastic. I can tell you that some of the 1960 Marx HO (yes, Marx did HO) is really quite good and these were supposed to be toys! The unitized track and roadbed is nothing new. Marx had it in 1960.  
There are accessories that are great fun to assemble and use today as then. Ah, well... thanks for the memories.  
Posted by: hummel1237 Posted on: Oct 10th, 2004, 2:27pm
Great Subject! I want to see pics as well! I'm an HO fan and have about four locos and lots of rolling stock but no "oldies". It would be neat to see your layout too. This sparked some ideas in my head as I could do a 1940s or 1950s peroid layout and use period HO - now that would be cool...  
Posted by: wis_bang Posted on: Oct 10th, 2004, 8:53pm
on Oct 10th, 2004, 8:26am, Roger_Hensley wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I do not limit myself by not including plastic. I can tell you that some of the 1960 Marx HO (yes, Marx did HO) is really quite good and these were supposed to be toys! The unitized track and roadbed is nothing new. Marx had it in 1960.  
There are accessories that are great fun to assemble and use today as then. Ah, well... thanks for the memories.  
I have a 'collection' in storage. A group a atheren 'rubber band' locos; and a MARX set in the box, a freight w/ it's own over/under set of nickle track. There is another boxed set w/ a B & O passinger consist. Also alot of plasticville w/ the boxes. Used to set it up on a green 4 X 8 plywood on saw horses...only at X-mas. I remember Dad winning the sets on a Punch Board...
Posted by: Nitram Posted on: Oct 11th, 2004, 8:00pm
Hey, sure neat to hear from some of you.  I do not have any photos of my layout  but I should shoot a few with some of the cool locos and rolling stock.  I'll have to figure out  how to get it on here. I'm no computer wiz! Yes a true total "vintage " layout is very interesting and quite a differance from the new stuff. I build old Ideal kits of cardside buildings and find a lot of this stuff in junk boxes at train shows for next to nothing. The dealers have been  hauling  it to show after show and can't hardly give it away. I use old original HO American Flyer track and other old track when it appears at shows.  I keep my head in a time warp by only looking at pre 1955 Model Railroader magazines. I have zero plastic in the entire layout and collection and intend to keep it that way. Yes some of the cars are quite heavy but so are the locos from the old days and a cast lead or bronze boilered Varney will pull a lot!  Bowser still makes some fantastic all metal loco kits and MDC has some but they have plastic cabs and tenders now and some now have plastic boilers too. I fine the old all metal ones on eBay. I only have a couple pieces of Oriental Brass which is all in a catagory by itself. Too expensive for my blood.  Well hope to hear from more of you. I will shoot some pics here one of these days.  Nitram
Posted by: NS3360 Posted on: Oct 12th, 2004, 3:02pm
I like the old stuff but have nothing that would be classified as 'vintage'.   I have seen quite a lot of vintage trains at train shows though.  
PS- Jim, what does your current layout look like?
Posted by: x600 Posted on: Oct 17th, 2004, 12:25am
That is a unique idea! I think it's way cool. I have a few old wood kits with embossed card sides that I built just for fun. I also have a few old Athearn Metal kits that I have messed with. I mostly model N and now look at some of the old stuff with a different outlook . Instead of looking at it as old junk, I can appreciate it for what it was. The old HO kits surely make you respect the early modelers more.
Kind of like the old O scalers that used tin cans and scraps to make a locomotive.
COOL STUFF! post photos when you can!
Greg O
Posted by: hummel1237 Posted on: Oct 17th, 2004, 3:40am
on Oct 12th, 2004, 3:02pm, NS3360 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I like the old stuff but have nothing that would be classified as 'vintage'.   I have seen quite a lot of vintage trains at train shows though.  
PS- Jim, what does your current layout look like?

I have a five year old so I bring it out of the closet now and again. I want to make a more portable way to do it and it's not a layout by no means. The layout is whatever and whenever I can do it like over Christmas. I was thinking about taking two 2x4s and make two long straightaways that can be stored behind the sofa. Two "U" shapes for the ends that could also be removed for storage. The thought is that I would only have to fit the Us and the straightaways together quickly and tear them down quickly too...
Posted by: ErieBerkshire Posted on: Nov 6th, 2004, 10:37am
Just stumbled upon this site a few days ago, as a link from one of my protoype railfanning forums.  Great topic!  Noticed the last post here was several weeks ago; I'd like to see it stay alive.  Almost everything I own (in HO) is vintage stuff, with the exception of a few plastic models.  In defense of plastic, I have to admit that Branchline is doing a great job and I can appreciate Kar Line.  'Nuff said on that.  I'm a bit older and was brought up during those earlier times, when I'd pick up an issue of Model Railroader and drool over a Bowser ad picturing a Challenger.  Glad to see at least Bowser is still with us.  I started around 1975 collecting the older stuff and got a good jump on lots of guys who decided to collect a lot later on.  When properly and carefully put together, the vintage models look every bit as good, and in some cases better, than anything put out today.  Some of the older models, like Blue Line, look just as good as brass.  I have most of the Athearn metal cars produced (most meaning the car numbers, not just the reporting marks).  I really like all of them, even some of the less detailed ones like Comet.  As with engines, you could always superdetail them, w/Cal-Scale or Kemtron and they could also look as good as brass.  Nothin' like a Varney engine with or without the V-2 Supermotor.  The V-4 powered F-3's were real smooth runners.  And Campbells made great building kits.  Ray
Posted by: ErieAtlantic7597 Posted on: Nov 16th, 2004, 8:57am
Holy mackeral, I have'nt thought much about all those old HO names in years. I've got a buch of them. And I ran them until I got hooked on 1 1/2  inch live steam.  
I believe my favorite loco is my Bowser Challenger from 1957. I purchased it at a flea market as a basket case. I have many of the old names  and some that I can't identify. But I ran them all, collector items or not. In amongst them are Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, Varney, old Athern, and Model Die Casting. And some I just could never find a name on. I still have them, they're just all packed away now.
Its good to find out so many folks still have some of the way back HO equipment yet.
Posted by: toptrain Posted on: Jan 31st, 2018, 7:51am
* Another topic I found back a few pages here at railfan. I agree with these modelers of about 15 years ago. I to like Vintage HO models, cars, and locos.  
* Here are the eight Mantua old all metal tank cars, with embossed paper sides, that I have. I am missing 4 of the other ones.
V 332
Posted by: toptrain Posted on: Feb 8th, 2018, 3:22pm
It took me so long years and years and years to get the 8 tank cars in the previous post. Last Saturday at Timonium Maryland I found number 9. For one dollar. I had to replace the frame and touched up the black.  
No 9 is the Union Tank Line Co. # UTLX 29341.
Of the 12 cars made I am missing General American, Texaco, and Deep Rock.  
UTLX and GATX ( General American Transportation) are still common recording markings on cars today.