Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Brass Bug, Part II

As a shared in part 1, I though the brass bug had gone dormant.

This past summer in Orlando, the National Convention had the usual fair, including the silent auction.

I always peruse the auction since you get a chance to look through a wide variety of stuff. Some of it is crap (brass track that looks like it has been pulled up from at least 4 railroads), some of it is a treasure (long out of print books and magazines), and some is in between (slightly older engines, the odd fast tracks jig).

Normally there are a couple of pieces of brass. I normally see a bit more steam that diesel, but on occasion it will swing wildly in one direction or another. I've seen some passenger cars and other brass rolling stock, but engines dominate.

You could potentially see stuff that was imported in the early sixties to stuff that was just imported in the last few years. This means that pricing, quality, detail and interest are all over the map.

At this auction, there was a fair amount of brass offered.

Some of it wasn't great. There was a SAL E6 (I think it was Overland, but maybe not) that had been painted poorly in its past and really made it hard to tell just how good the underlying model was. The starting bid on it was also high with respect to how much work faced the purchaser, even if you wanted to just return to a natural brass model.

Some of it was interesting, such as a couple of interurbans.

The pieces that I took particular note of, where a pair of Overland P40s (labeled by them as the "AMD-103") in their as-delivered scheme that was a modification of the standard Phase 3 Amtrak paint - the stripes faded in a somewhat pixelated way towards the back of the carbody. There was also an Overland F40PH in Phase 3.

All of them had low starting bids at just over $200 each. That was an attractive price point, as that isn't much higher than what plastic sells for (for a comparison point, look at Rapido's asking price on their F40PH run this last year for a DC version, much less the DCC/sound edition!), and one of the units already had DCC installed.

I talked myself into taking a flyer on all the models at the starting bid after I saw the the brass guide showed pricing into the $400 to $500 range. One of the P40s had a few blemishes on the paint, but as I intended to use them to run the Auto Train on the layout, it didn't bother me much at all.

In a surprising turn of events, I was the opening and SOLE bid on each.

So, I came home from Orlando, having now quadrupled my brass fleet.

The bug wasn't dormant anymore.

(Slight edit February 2018 for phrasing and grammar)

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