Fall S Fest 2018

I attended this years Fall S Fest in Orland park, IL yesterday.  Unfortunately I'm unable to return today.

So here goes:  All in all, a pretty good Fest.  As usual, Gilbert Flyer predominated, but there was a respectable amount on post-Gilbert Flyer present.  I'd say the mix was 60/40.

The surprise was DesPlaines Hobbies showing up.  They haven't attended a Fest for some years now.  Ron and Sue had a good selection of S Scale America, Pacific Rail Shops, New/old stock of SHS and some preowned goodies, all at 40% off (Sorry, no new SSA gondolas.)

American Models was also there, unveiling the return of the Pacific, this time with Vanderbilt tender:

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The tender will be available with either coal load or oil tank.

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The cab also appears to be retooled.  It's more USRA and less Mantua copy:

Due February-ish.  Roadnames to be determined.  Prices: AC Hirail w/whistle, bell, smoke, choo-choo - $599.95; AC Hirail w/smoke, choo-choo - $544.95;  DC Scale w/smoke, choo-choo - $499.95.  I expect we'll see ads just before or after New Years.

Fest 110318 005

As for myself, I picked up a set of 7 scale AM UP Budd cars (the UP 4-car sets are sold out at AM) and placed an order with AM for the UP E8's.  Also in my usual Fest-Quest for a custom or unusual car, I picked up this custom painted SHS PS-2 covered hopper lettered for Spokane International:

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Both the hopper and AM UP Budds were bought from Gil Hullin, who came all the way from Oregon via Amtrak and rental car to attend.

Finally the Fest cars.  They could be preordered with your registration as with either scale or Hi-Rail wheels and couplers, two numbers each. 

CASG offered an Illinois Central Dairy Dispatch plug door boxcar:

Fest 110318 025

The car is a "stand in" for the reefers IC had, much like the Burlington cars State Line offered last year.

Other than an S-Fest sticker on the boxes there are no Fest markings on the cars, and the plug door cars even have end numbers, a nice touch:

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Also available was an IC covered gondola:

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I only picked up one of the two gondolas.  Surprisingly, the scale wheel version sold out.

That's about it.

Rusty

 

 

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Original Post

I was at S Fest today, just left. The new Pacific from AM looks good. Should be available around April. I checked with Ed Goldin. He can put in TMCC/cruise/Railsounds, fan driven smoke and an operating rear coupler. Just buy the DC only version. AM also had a leftover Streamlined NYC Hudson for sale. These are hard to find. It was the scale version.

I contributed some money to DesPlaines hobbies buying a number of Hirail cars. I see that Rusty left a lot of scale cars behind. It was a good event, for me worth the trip from California.

Tom

37DF60EE-1FA6-4B87-91FA-1B15CA641187I had a table to unload some of my left over S.  The crowd was down from last years, and according to my source, registration for venders was too.  Odd....prices mostly stayed the same????

I was happy to see Des Plains there with some of their stuff.  The 40% off sale had some nice stuff.  I was really surprised that there was no example of the new Thrall gondola or the new well intermodal cars just to get them in front of the consumer.  

Once again, AM had some “last ones” at their booth.  Had I not departed S I would have been all over the BN wide nose SD60.  AM really needs to look in all the nooks and crannies for out of production stuff.  

Ben

NASG&CASG

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Roundhouse Bill posted:

Interesting that Ron at AM is reissuing a steam engine.  He said just over a year ago he wasn't going to build steam again because Lionel had flooded the market.  I am glad he is as that is a nice product.  I hope it will be adaptable to Legacy or DCC.

I thought about that, but in the NASG article Ron just indicated that he wouldn't do a Mikado because Lionel "flooded the market."  I haven't counted, but seem to recall Lionel doing all most as many Pacific's as Mikados...

However, AM's Pacific was released in 1997, four years before Lionel's Mikado (add a couple more years for their Pacific,) so the AM tooling is already developed, siting idle.  The Vanderbilt tender is a nice addition.  Plus, AM's Pacific's are just about the best running steamers I've seen.  I expect at least one of the new Pacific's will eventually find their way onto the Great Plywood Glacier.

Interesting that Rapido Trains is copying AM's mechanism style for their HO CP Royal Hudson...

Rusty

That is excellent news about the AM Pacifics. Maybe I should call Ron and lobby for the Katy to be re-issued. Now I feel a little better about the Legacy Berks being cancelled.

Also, I'd like to get two of those IC dairy cars. I wonder if there are any leftovers.

traindavid posted:
Wonder if AM will consider selling Vanderbuilt tenders alone; to be used on other engines???

David,

Ron usually will sell just about anything separately if you ask.  But since they're not ready to be shipped yet, he may not have them on hand.  Give him a call. 

I recently purchased two sets of ALCo power trucks for a project, and a few other bits and pieces.  For instance, the diaphragms for his Budd cars are available for those of us who want to kitbash old, beat up, junk box Gilbert cars.  He's a modeler too. 

Those Pacifics are indeed tempting...

 

 

Roundhouse Bill posted:

I talked to a Dealer for AM.  He says Ron has no plans to sell the tender alone till he recoups his tooling costs on it.  That could take years according to the dealer. 

Running some extra unlettered tenders could possibly help to recover some of the tooling costs.  However, rerunning the Pacific could also tie up a fair amount of capital.

It's Ron's business (and $$$,) he has to run it as he thinks best.

Rusty

Gunny

The last time I walked past AMs booth on Saturday around 1pm-ish, they still had it.  I would give them a call and see if you can get it if you want it.  Like I said, if I did not make my exit from S, I would have knocked people over to get to that sucker....

Ben

NASG&CASG

I just talked to Ron At American Models.  He gave me some new information on the new Pacific.  I asked him what road names he was going to do.  He said that he would make any road name a customer wanted on their engine as well as engine number.  All he would ask is that he be able to charge a $50 not refundable deposit.  

This seems just the thing for you guys that want "your" railroad to get a newly produced engine.

I asked him about price.  He said his price for this engine was only going to be at $50 more than the earlier Pacifics even though his production costs have gone up considerable.  

Well, custom printing a roadname and number is an interesting offer.  I assume he's also going to have some "stock" roadnames also.  We'll have to see when the ads come out.

Regarding prices...  These were the prices Ron had posted at this past S Fest:

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And these were the prices in the 2008/2009 catalog:

AM 4-6-2 2009r

Also the prices in the 2013 catalog when the stock was virtually depleted:

AM 4-6-2 beyond 2009r

So, it appears a little more than $50.00, but I do indeed understand that costs have gone up (All you have to do is go to the grocery store...) since the last production run, whenever that was. 

That said, I'm still interested in getting a Vandy version when they become available.  If none of the "stock" roadnames suit me, it'll be the Great Undec RR then.  

AM's Pacific's are good, stout locomotives.  (When they were new, we ran one for 6-1/2 hours straight at a Scenery Unlimited open house...)   Also, my 1998 era AM Pacific is still going strong.

Rusty

 

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Rusty Traque posted:

Well now, doing the whole production as decorate-to-order is an interesting concept.  I can't think of anyone who has tried that in any scale.  Sorta takes the risk out of stocking roads that don't "move" quickly.  It'll be fascinating to see how that works out.

Rusty

Geoff Graebel aka Greenbrier does it for GP-30's.

Roundhouse Bill posted:

  He said that he would make any road name a customer wanted on their engine as well as engine number.  All he would ask is that he be able to charge a $50 not refundable deposit. 

That is great news. I am ready to put down my deposit for MKT 391.

Chuck K posted:
Rusty Traque posted:

Well now, doing the whole production as decorate-to-order is an interesting concept.  I can't think of anyone who has tried that in any scale.  Sorta takes the risk out of stocking roads that don't "move" quickly.  It'll be fascinating to see how that works out.

Rusty

Geoff Graebel aka Greenbrier does it for GP-30's.

Bad example.  The GP30 was initially only offered as an unpainted brass model.  Offering them painted (at extra cost, I recall) was a result of slow sales.  Greenbrier has been trying to unload those GP30's since 1997.  Greenbrier hasn't done anything since that I'm aware of.

Whereas, I presume the AM Pacific is going to any color you want as long as it's black with a gray smokebox with your choice of roadname and number printed (or decaled?) on.

Rusty

Rusty Traque posted:
Chuck K posted:
Rusty Traque posted:
Well now, doing the whole production as decorate-to-order is an interesting concept.  I can't think of anyone who has tried that in any scale.

Rusty

Geoff Graebel aka Greenbrier does it for GP-30's.

Bad example.

Not to me...it's "decorate-to-order" and they are beautiful models that he will paint to any of the dozens of GP30 schemes you want and any road number you want. He also offers your choice of DCC decoder installed or straight DC.  And at what I consider a very reasonable price for a customized scale brass diesel.

Wasn't trying to create a debate, just noting a dealer who will customize his locomotives.

Anyway, come on Pacifics. Looking forward to ordering one or two from Ron.

Well, that answers a couple of questions on how it's going to be done. 

Based on previous catalogs and web pages, artwork for roadnames available should be: AT&SF (Santa Fe,) B&O, CB&Q (Burlington,) CR&IP (Rock Island,) Great Northern, Lehigh Valley, Milwaukee Road, MKT, Pennsylvania, Pere Marquette, New Haven, New York Central, Northern Pacific, Southern, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific.

And we can probably throw in some Northern artwork not duplicated on the earlier Pacifics: C&O, Cotton Belt (SSW,) and Western Maryland.

I think I got them all...

Now all we need to know is when AM will start accepting orders.

Rusty

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