problems with athern latley?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by matt fisher, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. matt fisher

    matt fisher Member

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    hi guys

    has anyone had problems with ordering a athern bluebox kit ? well i had found the locomotive i wanted which was a gp40-2 western pacific atherns web site said that it was available and but i was later told that a new shipment would be in at the end of this month but when i called to make sure those guys at athern dont seem to know anything when it comes to asking a question or trying to find out if or when the item you will be buying will be in.
    anyways i did get my loco from a hobby shop that i hate, railroad juction in lodi ,ca
    what killed me was the shipping the total was $51.33 for the loco and the shipping thru the post office charged $4.70 they told me they needed $7 for shipping so i sent in $8 so tell me do you think i burned and should i get my $4 extra dollars back or should i just let it go.
    matt fisher
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I suspect there are a couple of explanations. #1 Athearn dropped blue box locomotive kits a few years ago. They got massive amounts of flack from model railroaders complaining about the difficulty of installing their handrails, so they made locomotives available only as ready to run. #2 I think the web site was being optimistic since they knew the engines would be in soon. I believe all of their locomotives are now made in china instead of the U.S. so that adds some more difficulty in determining how soon they will be available. #3 Regarding the shipping charges, They probably pad the charges a bit for special orders because someone has to find the particular locomotive you want and pack it special for you. If the hobby shop ordered a bunch of those engines in the same W.P. scheme and still hit you with the handling charge, the hobby shop may be padding their profit. I don't think I'd make a big deal over $3-$4. $51.33 seems like a reasonable price to pay for a new Athearn RTR locomotive.
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

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    It appears that the majority of todays modeler doesn't have time to build these simple locomotive kits.Athearn has also discontinued the production of metal handrails for all BB locomotives according to a e mail reply I received from asking about handrails for their GP7..
    You can buy the newer RTR GP38-2 and GP40-2 for $50.00 from several on line shops.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    When you pay $50.00 on line and then pay shipping, you are probably within a dollar or two to what Matt paid.

    I don't like plastic handrails at all. Fortunately, the stanchions are offered in brass castings, and I can bend up my handrails from wire and solder them to the brass.
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    I agree with you about the plastic handrails, Russ. I modified an Atlas RS-3 to match a CNR prototype, which involved adding another battery box in front of the cab (long hood end). To alter the model's handrails, I retained the plastic stanchions, but removed the railing between them. I then drilled out the stanchions and fabricated new handrails from .015" music wire. They're not only nice and strong, but also hold paint beautifully, especially at the step-well areas, which always seem to take some abuse.
    I can't understand how the Athearn railings could be considered too hard to assemble: a small file to deburr the part that gets inserted into the side of the walkways, and a pair of needlenose pliers to push them in and bend over the tab at the top. Once everything is together, align the stanchions vertically on both planes and apply a little CA to the top and bottom of each stanchion: voila - decent looking handrails that can be painted any colour and that will stand up to rough treatment.

    Wayne