Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Next thing to bug MTH about....

Another great pic from a fellow TCA member. The next thing I'd like someone to produce: this amazing Flyer station. As I recall, most of them were made from cardboard thus only a few exist in any kind of decent condition.

By the way: file this under "kick yourself afterwards" - I had a chance to buy that bridge in the background at a garage sale for 10 bucks some years ago. Mint condition, no box. Insert foot in mouth, attempt limbo under a hot fire.Posted by Hello


Anonymous said...

I know that a reproduction of the AF cardboard station have been made. Someone I know was selling them a few months ago at the Great Midwest Train Show. As I remember they were a bit pricey, 4 or 5 hundred dollars. A bit out of my price range so I did not get one. Still it would be nice to have. I did not ask if he still had some when I was at the show Sunday. I did buy 2 track clips fom the AF Mail set in nice condition from him. Tom

Gilbert Ives said...

A cardboard reproduction should be really cheap. For a few hundred dollars, I would want a version in lithographed sheet metal [like the Lionel Irvington Factory of a few years ago]. This reminds me of a TCAQ article by an economist who did a price analysis concluding that the Standard Gauge Classics Line was greatly overpriced when introduced. MTH changed this by selling the Tinplate Traditions line for a much lower price.

Re: Buildings --

In the Riddle Book [p.102]: "Wayne Smith designed and marketed a Standard Gauge engine house large enough, at 24" to hold Lionel's biggest classic period locomotives."

I've never seen it -- nor photo.

Standard Gauge Blogger said...

I have to agree - a couple of hundred bucks for cardboard is a little pricey. Go for sheet metal & lithography. I think a working clock and some basic interior lighting might be in order as well.

This station would definitely be a winner.

Standard Gauge Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
San Diegan said...

I'll have to say that the free standing Glass Dome is an attractive piece, but it's almost a little too ornate for my tinplate world. Pridelines has offered one in the past (about $300, I think).

A number of issues ago, CTT had a construction article for a similar structure using foamcore, matte board, and plexiglass. I built it and am pretty satisfied, but would like to do another with the structural members "glossed up" a bit to better match the other tinplate. I picture the "glass" semi cylindrical dome as the primary feature with a structure matching that of one of the station or freight platforms.

Gilbert Ives said...

Re: Glass Dome -- any comments on the gold-plated version for TCA's 50th?

Re: Accurate vs Modified repros -- I like the idea of identifiable differences and would argue this from a Consumer Protection viewpoint: Make it difficult for some swindler to pass-off repro as original. Putting a screw or two in a different place is a good way of doing this. And if only an original will do, just buy one. This varies from my opinion on restoration whereby I think everything should be done in the same manner as the original. But this brings up the subject of "fakes."

The "problem" has been with us since the days of the first reproduction items. McCoy started producing 6's & 7's that were so hard to tell from originals, got a lot of gripes, and then decided to produce a line of his own design. The Reproduction/Replica dichotomy makes me think about the Period-instrument with Authentic performance style in the Classical Music world. Yes, it's very 18th-century, but does it SOUND better or worse? Wouldn't Mozart enjoy playing a modern Steinway? Wouldn't J.L. Cowen put smoke, whistle, and choo-choo into later-model 400E's [or even other, bigger & better locos like the Hiawatha and Commmodore?].

Standard Gauge Blogger said...

I think a tin-litho version of this station is in order. One reason I really like this station is that it starts to capture the granduer of big stations without gobbling up huge amounts of space.

I love the 113 and 116 Lionel Stations and terrace but I'd like something at the other end of my layout that looks a little different. I could scratchbuild it but I would rather have a great looking tin product.


Anonymous said...

I agree that this is a problem with some of the early reproductions. I don't really think it is a problem anymore though. Most of the Williams, Cohen, and all the MTH reproductions have the company initials stamped in the sheet metal. Not to mention that most of the time the paint and trim look just a bit different on the originals. I suppose you could flatten out and fill the initials before you repainted something. That might help fool people and make it look like an original. But the whole thing would probably cost more then a restored original unless it was something very rare. Let me make it clear that I am for having these stampings on reproductions. I think that their should be marks on all sheet metal parts. I just don't think they should be right on the top.

I like reproductions because most of the time I can't afford the original or I found one cheap but it is missing some parts and needs fixing. If there is a good reproduction I can probably replace the missing parts with ones from that company. I have a set of 4 T-Reproduction round houses. I don't think I have ever seen 4 originals together. I know I couldn't afford to buy 4 originals.

I have though about a tinplate copy of the AF cardboard station and I like the idea. Assuming it is done well, a tinplate copy would be really nice. If I had a cardboard copy I would still have the same problems with dust and dirt. A tinplate copy would be a lot more durable.

If Cohen still ran Lionel I don't think he would have brought back standard gauge. I just don't think there is enough call for it. I doubt that MTH sells a couple thousand of a piece. The reason they cost so much is the limited production. They would be cheaper if there was more demand. Though I do think if the price was lower they would sell more of an item, up to a point anyway. Tom

Gilbert Ives said...

Saw a repro in the Orange Hall [with hedges, mounted on a sheet of (looks like) masonite. Price: $595.00. There's a sucker born every minute. But this time it wasn't me.

Gilbert Ives said...

Re: Different Station for other end of layout

There's always the Pride Lines IVES replica single/double dome [or no dome, just building]. ACE trains has their big covered plexiglas station [Weaver is USA supplier]. I'm tickled pink with my new Station & Terrace -- and made for a truly "reasonable" price.