Sunday, January 30, 2005

Some great sets....

Anyone seen these mint? These sets are gorgeous, I wish they'd get remade. I have some mint 1912's from Jim Cohen and one very good original 54. But nothing like this. I'd love to see what a fully mint, boxed set looks like.

M Posted by Hello

Elegance & Simplicity

Just browsing a 1922 Lionel catalog and there it was. Plain as day, a gorgeous layout that reflects a simpler time with architecture and toys that are as much art as they have play value. My son wants to pelt as many trains as he can at my layout when he has control. I love the serenity of the above.

By the way, sorry I tended to ramble in some of the prior posts. I was exhausted from the show and visit to Amatos but I wanted to get everything down while it was fresh in my mind. When I tend to get writing I start to prattle, especially when I'm tired. At any rate, don't hesitate to ramble at me and shoot me all the pics you possibly can! Everyone wants to see the train shows and standard gauge in Redmond, WA, Ontario, CA, Dallas and Atlanta! We want to see standard gauge from every state!

M Posted by Hello

Back to standard gauge....

Anyone out there have a solid standard gauge layout based on 10 series cars? The simplicity of these cars is amazing and I love the truck varations. You can actually tell real wheels and trucks from fakes by flanging (one method). And I have seen quite a few. Still, in the last three months at least 200 to 300 10 series cars have made their way onto and off of eBay. Who has a really nice 10 series set? I have two amazing 10 series car I am going to put up for everyone to see (and see how great these things are).

M Posted by Hello

Mianne Benchwork

This was the one thing I will definitely buy from the show. This goes under the heading "I shoulda thought of this.". I put the link/url at the top. This is modular benchwork that is customizable for almost any layout. If and when you get a chance to look at this stuff close up, you should.

The benchwork is designed with wood to be flexible for different seasons and different levels of moisture in the air. I know everyone thinks that their hammer builds the only and best stuff but I urge you to check out this benchwork. Just the flexibility of being able to add benchwork ad hoc as needed is a huge time saver. And this stuff pretty much supports anything you can throw at it.

M Posted by Hello

Amatos Tinplate Plane

This is really nice to see in a hobby shop. Even if it isn't for sale just seeing one of these is enough for me. I have been trying to get one of these to hang above my "train city". By the way we've discussed what kind of cars we have on trainsets but never what kind of plane. And where does everyone get those amazing Zeppelins from?

M Posted by Hello

Kingsbury Fire Truck @ Amatos

Arrggh. It isn't for sale (I asked). It's a boxed Kingsbury Firetruck at Amatos. Part of the toy museum they want to start. It is in very mint condition. Did I tell you that I think great old toys compliment standard gauge train rooms?

Ok, if I didn't, I think Wyandotte, Kingsbury, Buddy L and so on are great to have (if you can afford them) in copious quantities in any train room. I gotta get some sleep!!!

M Posted by Hello

Some auto's at Amatos

I went into this place before Christmas and I had never seen such a huge assortment of different kinds of cars, trucks, and so on. If you are looking to stock your layout with vehicles, this place is a very good start.

The funny thing is that while I got really excited about all of the great cars in the place, the kids could almost care less. Quite a few of them got very excited about this remote control Lego stuff. Hey, at least it uses their imagingation and makes them build something.

Although I remember when I was a kid, if I had seen that kind of "carnage" I would have made my Mom and Dad snap up at least a half dozen cars on the spot. Ok, me and my two brothers would have snapped up a half dozen cars on the spot. All I know is that we would have walked out of there making Henry Ford very proud, he could have counted all of his chickens well before they hatched.

I did grab a couple of cars for my standard gauge layout. And well under 20 bucks.

MPosted by Hello

View from the back of Amatos

This is a view from the back of Amatos. You can see that this is one big place. Like I said before, I need a camera with a wider lense. The nice thing is, it just doesn't cost much to buy a couple of nice things there. A decent Duncan Yo Yo is about 2 bucks. Ok, it isn't a 214R reefer but it's a start.

M Posted by Hello

More Amatos Trains

Again, this is a hobby and toy store, not necessarily a train store. But they really do a good job rounding out everything.

M Posted by Hello

Amatos Steam....

Amatos has some steam for sale! Seen that in your hobby shop lately? And put in with a nice collection of toy soldiers and cars. I seem to remember a discussion about cars for standard gauge coming up on the Yahoo Groups. These guys have a TON of nice cars for train layouts of HO through G.

M Posted by Hello

Train Display at Amatos

This is how a train display should look at a toy store! They don't even have everything out after the Christmas rush (yet). As I said, I wish my camera had a wider angle lense. Off to the right they have a ton of Lionel, they have Cub Scout and Boy Scout gear and on and on. Check out some more of the train pics!

M Posted by Hello

Standard Gauge and Others at Amatos

Well look at that, they even have a few standard gauge pieces hanging around. And frankly, one's that I kind of like! The really nice thing about this store is that if you asked, they would probably find more standard gauge between their other store and local collectors. Seems as though they buy old trains and toys but not for resale. They are trying to start a collection/museum to show the public. I'll post some pictures of some of their museum pieces later on...

By the way, this shop is in the middle of down-trodden New Britain. Not the greatest area but I have been to worse. I see why they like it though, their space is absolutely huge and the building is clearly prewar. Very old and it looks like it is in good shape.

M Posted by Hello

Amatos is like I remember....

No, I do not get paid one red cent to push these folks. But just look at this display! What does it have to do with standard gauge? Well, nothing. But is this a place where standard gauge folks can spend some serious time? You bet.

And guess what? The prices are extremely reasonable and the help isn't some pimple faced kid that is working inbetween semesters.

You'll see why this is our kind of place in a second....

MPosted by Hello

Amatos (I wish I had a wide angle lense)

This picture doesn't do Amatos justice. This store is huge. And guess what I don't see when I walk in? Video games. Not one. And the high tech in this store is very, very limited. But more on that in a minute. By the way, I love planes hanging from the ceiling. I experimented with them when I was a kid. I never got past that Cox plane that whirred me around until I threw up. But that's another story....

M Posted by Hello

Amatos Hobby and Toy Store

Ok, climb into the Wayback machine (see if you can catch the Sherman and Peabody reference) and check out this store. It's just plain incredible.

Remember when you were a kid and your Dad, Mom, Uncle, Aunt, whoever took you to the best hobby/toy store you have ever been to? It was probably a whole lot like this place.

My father took me to some jaw dropping places in Detroit when I was a kid. Heck, the whole blocks where they were don't exist anymore. But this place does. I have put the link up top to the URL where you can get more info about where and who they are. Suffice to say, if you are in Connecticut and you are looking to explore a little, this place is worth it.

Some pictures will help tell the story....

M Posted by Hello

A big picture...

Just a big pic of the Amherst show. I think this is building 3. There was everything at this show, from G to Z. I wish they had more standard gauge but I liked everything I saw anyway.

M Posted by Hello

Some additional high railer pics from Amherst

Some additional Hi-Rail pics from Amherst (N Gauge). Posted by Hello

Signals and such...

I saw tons of signals but very few lights (like the MTH remakes of the Lionel street lamps). Still, it is nice to see original products and a good selection of them as well. This was actually in the third hall we went in. By now we were getting hungry and tired. I got fleeced for three hot dogs and two sodas: $15.75 from a person missing a few teeth. It's important to have teeth when serving food to others. Enough said...

M Posted by Hello

Amatos at the show....

Amatos had a huge booth at the show. Most of you are saying: who the *$*#)@ is that? Well, I'll show you in the next few pics. They are really something.

But before I do, the showing from MA dealers was impressive, there were quite a few of them there and they seemed very friendly and ready to help. That seems to be quite the opposite for most of the dealers now-a-days.

I walked into several dealers in the last month and there are the typical scowling old men sitting behind the glass case. I know they are thinking that this kid is in here to look around and probably doesn't even have a starter set. There were quite a few of them at the show and I have seen many of them at TCA meets. These guys are train guys that say these are no longer toys, they are high priced collectibles and part of a grown up hobby. And humbug to anyone that doesn't think like them.

Remember, if a scowling old man is reading this: it's easier to attract bees with honey. My Mom always said your face is gonna freeze if you keep scowling like that. Guess it was true! Seriously though, I was wheeling my kids around the show today and while quite a few folks held the door open and were quite pleasant, an equal amount looked at me as though I dared to bring kids to a train meet! The nerve! Lest we forget, someone's gonna have to play with this stuff when we are no more.... Enough said.

MPosted by Hello

Big Boxcar

This gives you idea of how big theese trains are. The nice thing about these HUGE trains is that they have some very similar attributes to standard gauge. The colors really stand out (as does the shine) and they are definitely big toys! I'm not sure I'd like needing another person to help me move my boxcar.

This showcase (for these huge trains) is a little different every year at this show. They bring different boxcars and engines. It's hard to get a clear shot of these things because there is always a crowd, eventhough they (the trains) aren't moving.

M Posted by Hello

Gryzboski's Booth

It's always kind of cool to see someone in person, real, and live. I have seen these folk's ads in CTT for years. They are decent, honest and have a great selection and good prices for a show. They are in the same place every year and usually bring a wide array of stuff. They don't have much up the way of standard gauge but they do have an occasional piece here and there and some decent left over LTI stuff.

M Posted by Hello

What the?

This is one of those things you see on a table and go: either someone had a stroke or a stroke of genius, I have to give it some thought. If you can see (at the back), it's two 385's that have been shoved together to make a 2-8-4. The copper band binds them (I think). There was also a heavily modified 400E on the table as well. Now, these 385's didn't look too bad but I didn't look to see if they had been refurb'ed.

I am not sure I would have done this with two good 385's but again, it's someone being creative and I guess we never should stifle that.

M Posted by Hello

Nice 408E shot

This is just a nice shot of a 408E. Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 29, 2005

408E and Crazy Train Caboose....

Ok, I know you are probably getting tired of this layout. I liked it because it is simple and campy!

M Posted by Hello

Only McCoy at Amherst

This was really the only McCoy I saw at Amherst and it wasn't for sale! Looks kind wierd, that big engine pulling those little refurb'ed Lionel cars. Guess they have something really heavy in them. Maybe it's a gold train! Ah well, we had a good time watching it fly around that track....

M Posted by Hello