Looking for a Bowser locomotive kit? Keep reading for a little history and some kits currently available. There was a time when everything came in kit form. Why you could even order a house kit from Sears Roebuck! So it was with HO scale as well, there were many kits around. I remember the Bowser locomotive kits as being one of my favorites. While they have been out of production for some time, you will still find them in the aftermarket. I am seeing more and more complete kits coming available.
While as you may have guessed, the most desirable for most are the Bowser Challenger and Big Boy. And of course they are harder to find. Bowser made locomotive kits that included the 4-6-2 Pacific, one of my favorites, the 4-4-4-4 Duplex, 2-8-0 Consolidation, 2-8-2 Mikado, 4-8-4 Northern, 4-6-0 Casey Jones, 4-8-2 Mountain and even a 2-10-2! You will also be able to find some small switchers. That’s just the Bowser steam locomotives, they also had some diesel and traction locomotives as well.
If you have a Bowser locomotive that is missing parts or if you are looking for one of the super detail kits, don’t despair, they seem to be coming out of the wood work as well. Tender kits both standard and Vanderbilt are there as well. You will also find many built and partial bit kits out there too.
To be sure, building one of these locomotive kits can be a real challenge, but so rewarding. You can find some building tips including painting tips from Bowser here. The ones my brother and father built usually ended up be the standard dark gray or black, which really made a pretty nice representation of a functioning steam locomotive. Craftsmen are becoming a rarity these days as are these Bowser Locomotives. Find one, complete it and you will have a piece that you will truly be proud of.
Over the years, ConCor/Rivarossi packaged some very interesting collector train sets that included a locomotive and a set of cars. Many were done in a simulated wood grain cardboard box. Try releasing something like that today you would get laughed at! But as it is, many of these older sets are very collectible. Con Cor/Rivarossi offered both freight and passenger train sets in these collector boxes. Both steam and diesel sets were available. Many railroads were covered in the Con Cor Rivarossi sets including Erie Lackawanna, NYC, PRR, Great Northern, Grand Trunk Western and even the US Army just to name a few. Price for these sets is varied but generally in the $200 to $400 price range. One thing that is nice about the Con Cor Rivarossi train sets is most are still in very good shape, The box seems to get more wear than the trains ever did. There is no doubt that Con Cor/Rivarossi has offered some true n scale icons over the years. These boxed train sets are continuing to be a hot product!
The complete passenger sets were always my favorites. Available in both steam and diesel, these were, and still are a great way to add passenger service to your layout. These sets are becoming more and more collectible as are many of the older sets by Con Cor and Rivarossi.
In addition to complete sets with the locomotive, you will find some nice diesel sets, both in road diesel and switchers. Con-Cor and Rivarossi also offered some nice three to six car passenger sets in many different road names. I have been around n scale since the early 70’s and I just love looking at the old Con Cor Rivarossi stuff on ebay, it’s like opening a time capsule!
Over the years Marklin has produced a variety of z scale cabooses from American railroads that have become quite collectible. Some were available as individuals and others in sets. You can find Marklin z scale cabooses in CB&Q, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, Santa Fe (some of which are the most collectible) Chessie, Burlington Northern, Santa Fe, New York Central, Texas & New Orleans, Northern Pacific, Milwaukee Road, Pennsylvania, Southern, Baltimore & Ohio and Central New Jersey. I think that is the majority of them! So where can you get these great little Marklin cabooses? Your best bet is to check out ebay and be patient, they come and go. I have been able to find some great buys on them. They tend to hover around $35 to $60 range for the most part while the blue AT&SF can trend higher. Some of these cabooses came in sets so you may have to buy a kit and break it up if you really want that one.
You will also find some used Marklin cabooses that have LED lighting added which is a really nice feature. I have seen both interior and end lighting on the caboose. Most of them are done with a flicker free system. What a nice little detail to add to your z scale layout. I have a few favorites like the Burlington Northern and the Northern Pacific that I like to keep on display in my office. Whether you collect, hoard or run z scale, the Marklin z scale caboose is a great addition.