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31  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: roadnames on: November 08, 2011, 01:57:02 AM
Mr. Bach-Man,

On the subject of roadnames, does Bachmann offer hobby shops, clubs or NMRA regions the opportunity to purchase On30 rolling stock for use as "souvenir" or "convention cars" with custom roadnames? This is common practice in HO and N scales, where a 300-car minimum order can be more easily sold. But in On30, organizations might be wary of being stuck with more than 100 or 150 specially decorated cars. Would Bachmann insist on having the cars painted and lettered at its factory in China, or would clubs be permitted to buy undecorated cars for painting and lettering locally?

For example, the 2015 NMRA national convention will be held in Portland, Oregon. What is the possibility of the local On30 club obtaining 100 Bachmann coaches to be decorated for the Sumpter Valley Railway? Or a Southern California club might want to produce 100 combines for Southern Pacific's "Slim Princess" line. Maybe a hobby shop in Vancouver, B.C., would gamble on selling 150 White Pass & Yukon parlor cars.

What is Bachmann's current policy? Does Bachmann actually print the Thomas Kincade and other collector's market cars that have been offered, or simply provide the undecorated cars to the sponsors?

Gil Hulin
Eugene, OR
32  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Excursion cars on: August 01, 2011, 05:23:28 PM
If there isn't sufficient demand for a ready-to-run excursion car, I would recommend the made-in-the-USA kit from Mount Blue Model Company <> designed to fit the Bachmann passenger car chassis. From the Mount Blue website, click on "rolling stock" and scroll down 24 "add to cart" buttons to see the excursion car photo. On your way, you might discover a caboose or two of interest. I have no connection with Mount Blue Model Co. other than being a satisfied customer. The kits are easy to build and all make use of various Bachmann trucks, couplers and underframes.

Gil Hulin
33  Discussion Boards / Plasticville U.S.A. / Re: When is Bachmann going to remake some of the missing older Plasticville on: July 31, 2011, 04:23:26 PM
It was Halloween, 2009, when Rocco asked about the availability of older Plasticville dies. Bach-Man replied the next day that he would look into this. Rocco asked for an update in January, 2011, and this topic has been dormant ever since.

Perhaps the questions should be related to the factory conditions in China. Does the factory have the manpower to to search among thousands and thousands of dormant dies to find the Plasticville tooling? If everyone is needed on the production line, do the occasional American visitors have the time to take inventory of long stored tooling? Are the dies that have not been run since being sent to China sufficiently labeled so as to be identifiable? Most American forget that Bachmann's British and German lines also contribute to the inventory of stored dies. Even if the Plasticville dies are found and are useable, is the production schedule filled months or years in advance, allowing little chance for low priority items to squeeze in?

The popular Revell HO building dies of the 1960's have changed hands several times. Would selling the tooling to a small U.S. manufacturer be the best chance for some of the older Plasticville dies to be rerun? Has Bachmann ever sold any of its out-of-production tooling to any other company? What U.S. injection molder would even consider buying 40-year-old tooling for which the demand is unknown?

Gil Hulin

34  Discussion Boards / Plasticville U.S.A. / Last New tooling on: July 31, 2011, 03:31:44 PM
I am not a Plasticville collector nor have I purchased any of the various guide books to Plasticville history and variations. I did own many of the O/S buildings in the early 1950's when my 60-plus year adventure in model railroading began. Looking at the hundreds and hundreds of structure kits and built-ups available today in Z, N, HO, S, O and F/G scales, it is amazing that the Bachmann Plasticville line can claim perhaps the only hospital, turnpike toll-booth, TV station and adjustable height apartment house in any scale. Most "craftsman kit" manufacturers today lean towards railroad-oriented structures, with obvious reason. But Plasticville was and is a fully-developed community with numerous buildings unrelated to the town's railroad.

I would like to know what was Plasticville's last completely new tooling? Has a new building been created in the last 30 years (since 1980)? I am not one who is asking for new structures, but find it amazing that enthusiasm and interest continues for a product line that has remained unchanged for decades.

Gil Hulin
Eugene, OR

35  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: At the NTS... on: July 22, 2011, 01:15:34 AM
Ned and anyone else interested,

I got the impression that Grand Central Gems prefers to sell their new buildings already assembled. I didn't mention that they appear to be resin, and I don't recall if the pre-production samples displayed at the NTS were painted. If so, it was just a flat tan. I requested, and was given the OK to order, four of the buildings in kit form. I believe that the pre-assembled buildings will retail for $100 to $150 each. I emailed GCG today to inquire when I might expect delivery, and to say that I don't need any assembly instructions written just for me. At the local hobby shop today I noticed that Grand Central Gems' HO scale trestle bents are in packaging that says "Made in Mexico". It seems possible that the resin structures could also be made in Mexico. If so, I am not going to look for a package from Salt Lake City for several weeks.

To answer your question Ned, I don't know if you can get the buildings as kits, but if so, the price may be half of what GCG is asking for assembled structures. The key to building resin kits is to wash all parts to remove any mold release before gluing or painting, and to use appropriate glue (ACC "super glue," not a styrene plastic glue).

36  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: At the NTS... on: July 16, 2011, 11:34:47 PM
While I enjoyed my day at the National Train Show and examined Bachmann's Heisler, Porters and skidder, I have to admit that the new product that caught my attention the most was Grand Central Gems' line of O scale "Western" structures. Although presumably intended for late 19th Century "wild west" layouts, the two saloons, sheriff's office, barber shop and bank can be fitted with different signage and used as other businesses in small town settings up through the mid-20th Century. Grand Central Gems, better known for scenery (trees) products and trestle bents, unfortunately doesn't picture the structures on their website yet.

Gil Hulin
Eugene, OR
37  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Pacific Northwest On30 Organizational Meet on: June 01, 2011, 07:51:15 PM
Want to be part of a large On30 modular layout at the 2012 National Narrow Gauge Convention in Bellevue, Washington?  The June 4 organizational meeting at Portland, Oregon, is first step in introducing Oregon and Southwest Washington On30 modelers to the standards developed in the Seattle area over the past year. Key members of the PNW-On30-Modules Yahoo Group will be in Portland Saturday with sample modules and to answer questions. The June 4 meeting will also include three vendors: McKenzie Iron & Steel, Sidetrack Laser and RS Laser Kits.

Gil Hulin
38  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Pacific Northwest On30 Organizational Meet on: May 19, 2011, 01:56:30 PM
Just a reminder that the On30 meet June 4 in Portland, Oregon, is just two weeks away. While the Seattle-based PNW On30 Modular group will have samples of their modules on display, the meeting is not only for modelers who want to build portable display layouts. Perhaps some of you just want a social club where you can compare or seek help on your latest scratchbuilding or kit-bashing projects. This gathering for On30 modelers in Oregon and Southwest Washington has no pre-determined goal other than to allow like-minded individuals to meet one another. Bill Roy (McKenzie Iron & Steel) will present a clinic, and everyone attending is invited to bring a model or two for "show and tell." Time and place are in the original announcement. For more details, email

Gil Hulin
39  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Who models the post-steam era? on: April 22, 2011, 12:41:00 AM
Since initiating this thread just over three weeks ago, we've had a comprehensive listing of prototype North American narrow gauge diesels and some discussion of available On30 internal combustion models. But no one has come out and admitted that they model a 1970's, '80's, '90's or current day freelance railroad that is 100% diesel-powered. The hobby of model railroading has long been compared to a time machine, and apparently narrow gauge attracts followers who prefer to live in the past. Either that, or this forum is not read by modelers outside of North America where modernized inter-city narrow gauge survives today.

Gil Hulin
40  Discussion Boards / On30 / Icing platform for those billboard reefers on: April 12, 2011, 05:42:30 PM
Bachmann has sold an awful lot of billboard reefers, but has anyone used the Atlas O ice house and icing platform to service these cars? If you have, did you (1) elevate the tracks to get the rooftop ice hatches closer to the icing platform, (2) shorten the numerous platform legs to reduce the platform's height, or (3) simply leave a significant distance for the blocks of ice to fall before reaching the tops of the cars?

Since option 3 is not visually pleasing nor realistic, and option 2 requires a lot of pre-assembly planing, cutting and gluing, option 1 may be the easiest to model. The subroadbed can be built up an inch or more to raise the level of the reefer rooftops close to the icing platform level. Then a brick, concrete or wooden retaining wall would be added next to the elevated trackage on the side facing the icing dock.

Gil Hulin
41  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: Who models the post-steam era? on: April 01, 2011, 12:22:32 AM
North America's largest fleet of narrow gauge diesels was not based in Skagway, but in St. John's, Newfoundland. Lasting until 1988, the former Canadian National (Terra Transport in their final decade) 42-inch gauge six-axle diesels worked a 500-plus-mile mainline over roller coaster terrain.

More typical of a narrow gauge railroad, however, was the Grand Falls Central shortline between Grand Falls and Botwood, Newfoundland, powered by General Electric's only narrow gauge 70-tonners. Again, this was 42-inch gauge. I rode the GFC in 1976, before abandonment, and saw GFC's bright orange boxcars in 1980 operating in Costa Rica.

Most modelers of Newfoundland's railways work in S scale, where 1/64 car bodies on HO scale mechanisms work out to accurate 42-inch (three and a half foot) scale.

Gil Hulin
42  Discussion Boards / On30 / Who models the post-steam era? on: March 31, 2011, 12:03:45 AM
It seems that 95% of the posts on this board concern steam locomotive issues. How many readers model a post-steam era railroad, or one that is at least 80% dieselized? And of those in this category, how many care if their locomotives have sound? A dieselized On30 layout could have a few Bachmann Plymouths, as well as Boulder Valley, Backwoods Miniature and Mount Blue conversion superstructures over HO or S scale mechanisms.

Every time the subject is raised as to what new motive power Bachmann should produce, the response is almost 100% steam. If the question is what internal combustion locomotive would you most like to see, what model would top your list?

[I model a 1950 transition era railroad with a 50-50 motive power split.]

Gil Hulin
Eugene, Oregon
43  Discussion Boards / On30 / Pacific Northwest On30 Organizational Meet on: February 25, 2011, 03:05:58 PM
A meeting only for On30 modelers will take place June 4, 2011, at the Columbia Gorge Model Railroad Club in Portland, OR. Hours are 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and admission is free. Attendees are invited to bring one or two examples of their models. Other activities may include up to three clinics by Oregon O scale structure manufacturers, a display of On30 modules from Washington and California clubs, and discussion on future gatherings. For more information contact Gil Hulin,
44  Discussion Boards / On30 / Proposed new paint scheme on: January 26, 2011, 05:31:53 PM
Although the billboard reefers are colorful, I would like to see the On30 refrigerator car offered in the Railway Express Agency scheme, suitable for inclusion in either freight or passenger trains. Of course, I want the classic lettering and herald with Railway Express Agency spelled out on the red diamond on dark green car, rather than the later appearance with revised herald showing only REA initials on a brighter green carbody.

Gil Hulin
A fan of mail and express trains
45  Discussion Boards / On30 / Re: DCC for reversing (streetcar) track? on: February 01, 2010, 01:58:32 PM
Thanks for the input. Looks like I will use one source for DC power to the reversing shuttle track, and make the first use of my E-Z Command DCC system for the rest of the 3'x3' micro layout. The entire scene is enclosed within tall, brick manufacturing buildings. One-car trains will shuttle among seven loading spurs and a backstage storage yard. The layout will have one Atlas HO turntable in front, and a sector plate and traverser behind the backdrop. In fact, the entire staging yard will be on the traverser. The reversing track on an upper level will keep something moving when the ground level train is backstage preparing for its next appearance. The layout, with a 1"x2" lip around the bottom edge, is designed to fit over a standard card table. Current drafts call for 8" radius curves. If that doesn't work, I'll switch to shorter cars.

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