Athearn blue box

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Athearn Locomotives

Athearn Hyatt 33" Roller Bearing 2. Athearn Bettendorf Trucks 2. Athearn 33' Metal Wheelset Long Axel 8. Athearn 36" Metal Wheelset, Long Axle 8.

Wheels for older Athearn blue box cars?

Athearn 33" Metal Wheelset, Short Axle 8. General Disclaimer Prices are subject to change without notice. Prices in stores may vary. Some prices are for mail order only.Our new search experience requires JavaScript to be enabled. Please enable JavaScript on your browserthen try again.

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Athearn locomotive tune up tips! Stock Drive system!

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Blue Black 2.Any of the diesel models presented would easily make for a solid subject for individual articles, and some are currently in the works for future editions of HOC. Consider this to be an introduction or general survey of those well-known Athearn models and not an in-depth examination of any particular one. The arrival of the Globe Models F7 in the mids is the starting point and the final Blue Box diesel model presented is the SD variations delivered in Athearn is now a company differing greatly from what it was during the Blue Box era.

This tooling is probably the longest-serving HO-scale diesel model on the market that has essentially never been out of production. Collectors should look for examples in Globe Models boxes, which are all-plastic unpowered, basically static, models to obtain the earliest issues for this popular F-unit.

Athearn brought a drive mechanism to the Globe F7s, as did a number of other companies at the time. The company also sold O-scale freight cars in similar design kits prior to the mids. All rights reserved. HO Collector is the only quarterly magazine dedicated to collectible HO scale trains. HO Collector Extra Board. Share on Twitter Tweet. Send email Mail. Print Print.I must have seen hundreds and hundreds, maybe close to a thousand of them for sale at a local Train Show I just attended on Sunday, November 13 in Batavia NY.

How much were people asking? To me, Athearn blue box kits are kitbash fodder, rarely finished cars. They need to be priced as such. Even the kits that will end up more or less as intended usually get new trucks, couplers, and details on most people's layouts, and that adds to the cost. I attended a local train show this weekend also. Lots of Athearn blue box in evidence there as well, locomotives and cars, and mostly at reasonable prices.

I considered getting one or more just for the mechanism parts. I decided to skip the etched parts and live with plastic running boards, so I'm OK with what I paid. Perhaps I'll be scratchbuilding some hinge eyelets and a hopper discharge gate. These remarks sure sound familiar. If the kits are assembled and have couplers, it's 20 times easier to sell them, even at double the kit price. Rob's reply reminds me of something I've found lately -- a lot of the old kits I look at are missing significant parts.

athearn blue box

Whether people 'borrow' pieces for other projects, or if stuff is pilfered while it's out for sale I have no idea, but a lot of trucks, detail packages and so on just aren't in the boxes. My club was one of the hosts of the International Railfair in Roseville California this last weekend. Kadee couplers very clearly increased the price of the Rollingstock as did wheel upgrades. I also saw a surprising amount of McKean and Front Range kits. There were also a lot of well priced engines there.

Atlas bought Branchline, and seem s? Accurail is the other big kit manufacturer, their brief foray into RTR models has ended -- and rightly so, they have an excellent balance between well-detailed and shake-the-box. I think Bowser is also still producing kits, but a visit earlier today to my LHS also revealed the damn-near-brass-quality locomotives they are now producing -- wow! Walthers has a very limited selection of kits, it's kind of nice to see them "going back", even if it is on a limited basis.

So all hope is not lost yet. Stuff looked terrible. Magazine Home Payment rates Contact us. Questions and answers Request an article, book, or video Submit magazine trouble ticket How to read the magazine MRH posting guidelines Contact us. Mynxx Optima Geneva Helvetica.

Lucida Georgia Trebuchet Palatino. For those who are looking for Athearn "Blue Box" Kits Sun, — kleaverjr Locos and rolling stock Locos - Rolling stock general. Ken L. Login or register to post comments. Like Ken, most of what I saw actually being purchased was newer stuff. There were lots of Athearn and MDC kits and used assembled models. Prices varied much more widely for assembled kits, but typically the variation was based on: 1: Couplers 2: Metal wheels.

Kadee couplers very clearly increased the price of the Rollingstock as did wheel upgrades So not so bad a deal really.To quote Monty Python, they are not quite dead yet. I sitll see lots of them at train shows. Many others seem to be the same, which is why Athearn probably decided to drop them. Regardless, there are still alot out there - go get'em.

My Railroad. First we need to buy and built theor so that are still floating around out there in the hands of dealers. About 2 weeks ago I did a informal count of bluebox kits for sale at a train show. One dealer, a friend of mine, had over kits available. There were at least 4 other dealers who had over each pushing the number closer to 1, Add in all of the other tables that hadsmaller piles and I would guess the number went up to the 1, region. That was just at one show. How many shows were there that weekend?

I do remember a year ago or so I was at a show and one dealer had over 5, kits stacked up on tables. He had about 5 or 6 tables stacked about 10 deep. So, there are plenty out there yet. It is new in the box unassembled but there has been no interest in it for the last several years. I am going to put it together and give it to my son, he is getting old enough now to appreciate it.

athearn blue box

I can see why they stopped production after seeing all the others for sale at shows and I never see anyone walking around with one in their bags. My first HO stuff was all Athearn carsand they were the staple of my collection and layout operations thru the '80s. They are still the majority of my cars, many still in kit form.

What a joy it was to get them for Christmas and birthday and Father's Day gifts when I was younger! Believe me, with KDs, IM wheels, a bit of mild weathering and some Dull Cote, they are as good of runners as you can get. Like Mobilman44, I started in HO with Athearn- not only the BB kits, but one of their train sets that my Dad gave me one Christmas as well inafter the Lionel set was getting too cumbersome.

That train set led me down to my LHS and I discovered the BB kits, It was sort of "magical" that a kid could save his quarters and dollars shoveling driveways and sidewalks, etc and go down to the LHS and get one or two BB kits that would become treasured parts of a layout-in-progress.

Perhaps it's nostalgia on the part of many of us, but that same nostalgia feeds our present participation in the hobby today, does it not?.

You never tire of a great old movie you liked as a kid- that you still watch once in a while as a DVD- and you never tire of enjoying the memories of youth. Athearn BB kits were my gateway into the hobby- and I still enjoy those I can get today! It would be nice if they were re-issued as "retro" packages today, but I will take what I can find. What I would like is that they offered their current super-detailed models as kits.

Not only BB kits with molded grabs and underframes but complete kits with etched metal walkways and all those wire details. The new tooling gives much finer detail when compared to older BB kits. The same would be nice about Atlas and Walthers too! At the 3 shows I have attended so far this year the BB cars and locomotives are still plentiful.

athearn blue box

Martin4 What I would like is that they offered their current super-detailed models as kits. In many cases we have that already. Have you looked at an Intermountain, Branchline or Proto kit? Many of the best Athearn Genesis and Ready to Roll items come in kit form if you buy them undecorated.As I've posted before, I'm reviving a layout started in and not touched until last Summer.

You guys got me going in setting up my DCC system and now that works great. My problem now is I have about 50 cars mostly box cars of the old Athearn blue box series that still have the plastic wheels.

Searching the Athearn parts site, I find 33 and 36 inch wheels along with short and long axles. What is correct for these old cars? Obviously, I would rather buy in bulk, so getting the proper size is pretty important.

I'm not hung up on specifically Athearn wheels, unless the other manufacturers and are not as good price also a consideration. Intermountian metal sets have replaced the plastic wheels on all my Athearn BB cars. Ribbed back for WWII era and older cars:. Imho, they're very good for the price. As with all axles, check the gauge before installing them and once installed, before rolling the car on the track give it a few spins and make sure that there is no "wobbling" or excessive play from the journals.

A truck turner is a good tool to keep handy. BTW: A number of hobby shops sell these axles for prices lower than what you see on Walthers website.

You'll want inch wheels. I would suggest buying a few wheels from each manufacturer to try them out. I use Intermountain wheels. I think they were the cheapest, perhaps because they offered the best deal in a bulk pack. But, I do have trouble with some very old Athearn trucks, and I've had to discard some of them. I suspect the trucks themselves were just too old and loose, and would have had to be replaced regardless of which wheels I bought.

Also, get a Micro Mark Truck Tuner. This little gadget will ream out the conical openings for the axle tips, and give you smooth-running trucks. ProtoReBox, Exact Rail, Kadee, and Intermountain, among possible others, make replacement metal wheel sets that seem to all be pretty equal in quality.

I would also advise that you get a Micro-Mark Truck Reamer tool. Ribbed back wheels were outlawed prior to or during World War 2 because they were cast iron and had a tendency to shatter.

Steel wheels are smooth-backed and would probably be 99 percent of what your rolling stock calls for. Get a Micro-Mark 'Truck Tuner' to ream out the journals and clean out any 'flash'.I have "rediscovered" several athearn blue box engines from early '90's that I would like to super detail and convert to DCC.

I have read several articles about improving the Athearn drive train and was wondering if any one had any success stories or advice? I have read that replacing the steel wheels with NWSL is one of the best things.

Yes, upgrading the wheelsets it an excellent idea - the sintered iron ones have a lot of traction, but are also prone to sparking and pitting - both the wheels and your track. The primary thing to remember when converting these locomotives to DCC Digitrax make a nice wiring harness conversion kit is to electrically isolate the motor from the frame.

All the Blue Box locomotives I've had to deal with use the frame to conduct one side of the power to the motor. Because if you use the stock metal-frame-mounted coupler mounts, use Kadee or other metal couplers, and couple a pair of these locos "back to back" think pairs of F-units or SD40s with cabs at the end of the consists.

Besides watching for such "gotchas", detailing a BB Athearn can be a ball of fun The easiest way to isolate the motor from the frame is to reverse the clips that hold the end bearings to the center section. The "bottom" clip has two "fingers" designed to provide power pick up between the frame and the motor. If you put that clip on top and use the top clip on the bottom you now have a pair of convenient tabs to solder wires from the decoder to the motor.

You can then solder the other motor wire from the decoder plug to the end of the clip now on the bottom and mount the motor with double sided foam tape to complete the isolation. I am in the process of evaluating similar conversions to my BB Athearn locos. I have NCE decoders, with a rating of 1.

Digitrax DHAT for athearns is 1. The F7's are decoder cookers! So, I need to look at motor replacement, and probably drive train tuneup.

RIP Athearn Blue Box Kits

Myself, I replace the wheels with NWSL and then repower the units with A Line Proto Power can motors, that's the best thing you can do for yourself and the locomotive itself. If your blue box Athearn pulls more amp load than that without sound or light packagesyou need a tune up. They need to have the commutator cleaned regularly, and the armature segments cleaned out with the smallest micro screwdriver.

The best solution is to remotor with a can motor, though. All the time and money actually my time equals money in the final equation spent to get an Athearn SD mechanically and electrically up to par with a DCC'd Kato SD, I'd just go get a better unit and be done with it.

I know I'll get nasty comments here, but after all the money spent on new NWSL wheels, a new motor, your time, etc Alright I know there is the personal challenge of doing it, but I'm not getting any younger and I've already got hundreds of kitbash and scratchbuilding projects to do. Why add to the workload when it won't even really save money in the end? Also, the old 'bluebox' Athearn SD would still ride 6" to high, and have the wrong truck spacing.

But to each their own. Certainly, I have thought of just selling them, and buying new DCC ready, maybe even sound equipped. I was just curious if anyone had a cheap quick and dirty way to get them working with DCC.

However, it seems like I might need to change my focus here. All very valid points regarding the blue box engines. I have a dozen units all with stock motors and all with decoders. I have never had a problem but I keep them tuned and clean.

If you have a ton of money buy new, If not, get a bunch of BB kits and have fun. I may have to do some painting and decaling. Of course You can't get every locomotive at prices like that, plus some aren't made in newer versions, so those will have to be upgraded.

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