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Date: 05/24/23 08:35
Current Kit Offerings
Author: jericson

Does anyone actually make kits for things like well cars and modern locomotives? Is everything only RTR now? I've been buying old Blue Box kits to get my fix of kits... but my son wants some more modern equipment in kit form. Am I missing something?

Date: 05/24/23 09:20
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: mcdeo

If you want true blue box kits, you'll have to go to the online selling sites. However, if you want kit like stuff, you can get undecorated models from many manufacturers to build and add stuff. You'll also have to paint the models.

If you want basic RTR engines that you can add details to, you can get 'value' stuff from a few companies. Scaletrains has operator level models, that you add stuff to. Atlas has 'trainman' level, that you can add details to. I don't know of other HO scale stuff for locomotives. 

RTR has become the go to option for companies to sell. They sell better than anything else.

There are several 'master quality' type of kits for cars still available. But I do believe they are older, non-modern stuff that you are mentioning. 

Mike ONeill
Parker, CO

Date: 05/24/23 11:14
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: NiagaraMike

What about Accurail kits, they are really nice !

Date: 05/24/23 11:15
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: Lighter

In addition to Mike ONeill's comments:

ScaleTrains has "Kit Classics" available occasionally. Some of the prototypes ran in the 21st century. Currently - today - the only stock showing are some fifties hoppers. These are very much like the classic Athearn "Blue Box" kits.

A-Line made Gunderson intermodal cars from the mid-eighties. The kits may still be out there. The prototypes are still running but are at the end of their days. The kits need scratch-building skills to do the details. A-Line also has the remnants of the 
RPP - Rail Power Products Locomotive Bodies, frames, and parts. Again, advanced modeling skills to get something that looks good. The shells have been updated and vastly improved by Athears as part of their RTR line.

Tangent always has kits of their new releases. They require advanced modeling abilities and make you appreciate the RTR versions! Many are still available. Many prototypes can be seen on the rails today.

All in all, slim pickings. 

I would suggest that locomotive and freight car detailing would be as enjoyable, or more enjoyable than simply getting a kit onto the rails. Fitting an RTR intermodal car to a place in time could be quite challenging. The same for putting RTR locomotive details up to date. Most detailing projects start with a partial or complete disassembly. ie, You make your own kit.

Date: 05/24/23 14:08
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: wingomann

I was just changing out the couplers on a couple of Atlas "Master Line" boxcars.  To do so required removing the trucks and coupler pockets, swapping out the coupler pockets with the ones supplied that work with Kadee couplers and reassembling,  It's easy to do but it reminded me that the steps required were not so different than building an old Athearn Blue Box boxcar.  

Date: 05/24/23 17:21
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: funnelfan

The old Walthers kits can be found cheap at train shows and sometimes online, and they had a whole variety of modern car types like doublestack cars and spine cars. Here is an example of that kind of kit.


I would also recommend Accurail who still produces easy to assemble kits and the old Proto2000 and Intermountain kits that are more advanced.

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR

Date: 05/25/23 06:36
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: SALGUY

jericson Wrote:
> Does anyone actually make kits for things like
> well cars and modern locomotives? Is everything
> only RTR now? I've been buying old Blue Box kits
> to get my fix of kits... but my son wants some
> more modern equipment in kit form. Am I missing
> something?

For my Tampa Northern Railroad, im using a lot of Athearn Blue Box diesels that ive picked up off of ebay.  I've grabbed GP38-2s, SD40-2s and several other diesels.  If you shop around you can find the detail parts necessary to do these units up right.  
Be sure to follow the Tampa Northern Railroad https://www.facebook.com/groups/879490203259220/?ref=share_group_link

Date: 05/25/23 10:03
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: binder001

The old Blue Box Athearn kits are a horrible joke, 1950s Varney tooling that was produced for 20+ years without changes or much-needed corrections.

Accurail produces some really nice cars.  They are easy to assemble and represent what they should be.  Further, Accurail offers parts (a rarity these days).  The line includes old and newer car types and they are relatively easy to super detail.  Added to that it that, in my experience, they track well very well.

Many of Intermountain cars started in their line of kits, and these can often be found at swap meets or online.  Exactrail, Tangent, and Moloco have offered undecorated kits of their offering, just not in great numbers as the national demand for kits is limited.

Walthers Mainline locos are pretty good deals.  Most have a Kato-type mechanism, they can be had with sound or without and the fine details need to be added.   One might equate them to a "Blue Box" for the 21st Century.  Many Athearn locomotives can be purchased at "reasonable" prices and many are from the era where many of the details need to be added or corrected.

The kits are out there, at our local meets many vendors have a hard time moving kits, so be patient and watch.

Gary B.
Waverly, NE


Date: 05/25/23 11:30
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: jericson

Thanks for all the really good input... one of you even PM'd me with some ebay links.

It seems like the best way to get more modern stuff is to look for undecorated... for example an undecorated ScaleTrains Rivet Counter engine is basically a kit in and of itself. More kit than an old Blue Box just due to the number of details. Similar for Athearn Genesis and Rapido and many others. We've managed to find some undecorated well cars and containers that are kit form that we are going to try out.

Date: 05/29/23 14:18
Re: Current Kit Offerings
Author: TomG

If your looking for real kits, and of course it depends on your era, probably the best value still to date is Tichy. Great kits, fun to build and still at great prices.

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