Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fine Art Models on eBay

So I'm watching the new seaon of the Sopranos and I see this T-1 on eBay. I bid on it a little but it is up to $5k. A little too rich for my blood. I am curious about it, that's all.

The seller says that this originally was $6.5k. I seem to remember seeing these advertised. I also remember seeing a standard gauge Crocodile by the same maker.

Has anyone actually seen these things run? Maybe it is just me but even when I see these expensive models in standard gauge, all I can think of is the dumb pissing match that scale o-gauge has devolved into.

I have seen a couple really prototypical standard gauge products and I have several in o-gauge. Still, when I see this product I think of the masses of product Lionel and MTH, K-Line and the usual littany of O-Gauge scale manufacturers put out.

Someone tell me I'm wrong, they've seen these things run and they are like watching masterpieces/works of art chugging around a layout. For me, all I think of is yet another article or bit of recent literature waxing on about how amazing a scene looks from a layout and how the builder used actual dirt in his highrail layout to get a "real world" effect. Why am I not impressed?

Maybe because if I wanted realism I'd get an HO/N/Z layout from Marklin at a fraction of the price standard gauge costs that fits an entire West German City into my home office. Or I'd grab some G-Gauge and plow down my backyard and convert it to a massive freight empire.

If I'm spending $6.5k for anything, it better be something kissed by Joshua Lionel Cohen himself (yes, I know he changed his name to Cowen but I prefer to think of him by his real name). Don't sign me up at the scale train warrior clinic anytime soon.

Marc

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Marc, you are so "on the money" with the points you make in this post that I wouldn't even know where to begin telling you how right you are. And FWIW, don't spell JL's last name "Cohen" on any of the forums, or some nit-wit will chastise you, saying that he preferred "Cowen" so that's how it should be spelled. Then they will belittle you for operating "toy trains" and say you need to get a life - you know the routine. There are some real a-holes in this hobby nowadays, I'm sorry to say. Fortunately, the vast majority of them seem to be confined to the O gauge arena.

And for the first time ever, I'm going to withhold my name from this comment. If I didn't, I would be hearing about it for the next month. Thanks again for the great blog!

Standard Gauge Blogger said...

It's one of the reasons I never post on the forums. The guy's name is Cohen, not Cowen. I know why he changed it and I don't approve of his reasons. More posts are coming!

aprochek said...

Marc, Fine Art Model is 1 gauge, and is several cuts above everyone else. The stuff is museum quality; check out their website (fineartmodels.com) especially the boats and cars. Amazing. The prices are quite good for what you get too, though its another whole catagory of price. Note every production run is always sold out, even all 100 of their $16,000 big boys. My friend has a Fine Art GG1, went about 5' before the gearing blew apart. I assume they make better mechanisms now, but I don't know anyone who runs them. But here's a point, last year they announced on their website they aren't developing any new train models because they said the train market is dead - OK maybe dead for $10,000 engines, but do you think they might be the canary in the coal mine?
Alex

Anonymous said...

"There are some real a-holes in this hobby nowadays, I'm sorry to say. Fortunately, the vast majority of them seem to be confined to the O gauge arena."

You obviously have not been over at the S Gauge Group lately..... :O)

Anonymous said...

"waxing on about how amazing a scene looks from a layout and how the builder used actual dirt in his highrail layout to get a "real world" effect"

Hey, be happy if the builder is even the owner and not another Clarke Dunham-$500-a-square-foot cookie-cutter "masterpiece."

Standard Gauge Blogger said...

I perused the Fine Art Models website. The prices are absurd and I saw something that always concerns me:

I can't really tell what the entire model look like or what they are supposed to run on. There is no clear picture of the entire engine/cars that gives a clear depiction of what it actually is.

Anytime I see "in our opinion, this is the finest model that anyone has done anywhere" I get a whiff of arrogance that I don't like. I don't like it when other manufacturers do it either but for $10k to $16k, they should be a little more humble.

I'd rather have a nice State Set.

M

Standard Gauge Blogger said...

Interestingly enough, the T-1 is over $6.5k. I hope it is worth it.