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Offline Andrey  
#1 Posted : 04 June 2013 22:43:24(UTC)
Andrey

Russian Federation   
Joined: 03/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 641
Location: Moscow
Hi all,

I’m glad to present my short overview of the Soviet model railways and trains manufactured in 1930s-beginning of 1990s.

I presume these models are overlooked by most model railroaders from the Western world. This is quite understandable: in most cases quality of the models presented is far from Marklin and other top brands and they were available in the USSR only.
However, I would say, generations of the Russian modellers (and children) grown-up on that stuff. And thus it’s important part of our history.
Also I know that many Western collectors are looking for these models which are actually very rare items nowadays.

In my opinion, just four, let’s say “major acts” of the Soviet model train industry worth to be mentioned here. And I’m wrong saying about “Soviet model train industry” - it actually never existed. All models were produced by machine-building or instrument-making factories as an accessory stuff.

Please note: when I'm saying about today's offers - it doesn't mean that I'm somehow connected with selling of the items.

1. Model railway by “Press” factory, Serpukhov. 1937-1941.
The first Russian model railway. Presumably based on Maerklin stuff studied by the Soviets.

UserPostedImage

0-gauge. 3 rail system. AC 12 (some sources say 16 or 20) V. The following stuff was produced: - 2-axle steam loco, 2-axle electric loco (resembles German E 69), 4-axle passenger coaches with 2 doors (could be opened), various freight cars, as well as rails, turnouts, crossings. Clockwork versions of the locos also were available. Experts notice very high quality of locos and rolling stock comparable with Maerklin. However, cars were painted in absolutely non-prototypical colors – depending on the paints available at the factory. There were plans to introduce new locos – mostly electrics – but then came the war and factory moved to military products. After the war the factory didn’t produce model trains anymore. All the pictures, drawings, and product samples at the factory were lost. However, some stuff purchased in 1930s and survived later is being kept by collectors and even sold...

UserPostedImage

Current status: extremely rare collector’s item. Some parts available at the Russian web auction.
Today’s offer: loco’s chassis with motor and 7 freight cars – 1370 US $.
http://molotok.ru/model-...e-45-mm-i3297931470.html

2. Model railway “Pionerskaya” by “MosKabel” ("Prozhector"?) factory, Moscow. 1951-1969.
0-gauge. 3 rail system.

UserPostedImage

Set included:
1хEngine (Stalin-era diesel-type in various colors or later Khrushchev-era engine)
2хPassenger Cars (Illuminated Coaches (green is common; blue is rare)
1ХBoxcar (Various shades of brown or maroon with gray roof)
1хFlatcar (Various shades of brown; low sides; no load)
1ХPassenger Station (Impressive accessory with gooseneck lamp posts, horn & interior light)
1хOperating Gateman (Shack with Russian guard plus light in base; similar to Lionel's #45 Gateman)
1хOperating Flagman (Standing Russian guard; the bases and the platforms came in various colors)
1хBridge (Later trussed arch-over type in various colors or RARE early suspension-type span)
2хBridge Approaches (Came with the arch-over bridge only; various colors used for the base and the posts)
1хGate Crossing (Two red & white gates with picket fencing or RARE old-style gate crossing)
3хBlock Signals (Silver-painted, 3-light signal; two different styles were produced)
3хLamp Posts (Gooseneck-type; silver painted; three different versions were produced)
1хLeft-hand Switch (A manual turnout; base comes in various colors)
1хRight-hand Switch (A manual turnout; base comes in various colors)
16хCurved Tracks (Each section is numbered and measures 14 inches long)
7хStraight Tracks (Each section is numbered and measures 12 inches long)
1хWiring Harness (Two separate cables plus a pair of small wires for the flagman)
1хTransformer (75 watts but either 127 volts or 220 volts; a Voltage Reducer was included in some sets)
1хInstruction Manual (12 pages including the covers; also called the catalog as it served as the sales brochure)
15хTrack Pins (Extra track connecting pins supplied in a small white box)
6хLight bulbs (Extra 13.5-volt lamps supplied in a small white box)
Wire (An extra 5 meters of wire with insulation in different colors (red, white, blue, yellow & green)
1хSet Box (Wooden with paper artwork glued to the top; two different box types are known)

UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

Above-mentioned and the following info taken from the useful website dedicated to “Pionerskaya” model railway:

http://www.davestrains.com/index.html

“In 1951 the Soviet Union began producing 0-gauge model train sets that (until recently) have been largely overlooked by the train collecting community.
The sets made during the '50s included an engine with Joseph Stalin's initials on the sides and are known today as "Stalin-era" trains.
The sets made in the '60s included a plainer-looking engine without Stalin's initials and are known today as "Khrushchev-era" trains.
These rather enormous sets contained a diesel-type locomotive, two passenger cars, two freight cars, three street lights, three signals, a large station, a bridge, three operating accessories and various other items (including a transformer, track, switches and wiring) required to operate the trains -- all packaged in a large wooden crate! Some of the set components are clearly recognizable as copies of items produced by other model train manufacturers while other pieces appear to reflect unique designs created by the Soviets. For example, the engine clearly follows Soviet and Eastern Bloc design.
In the years following World War II, the USSR had to focus on rebuilding their country, making food and other essentials available to their inhabitants and strengthening their economy. With housing, eating, clothing and looking for work being foremost in the minds of the Soviet people, it is surprising that the Soviet government would expend time and energy to fabricate what would appear to be a non-essential, luxury item. Thanks to a modest amount of research that has been done over the years, that small mystery has been solved as collectors have learned that the train sets were not intended to be sold -- at least not initially. The first Stalin-era sets were used as gifts to party members, high ranking military officers and foreign dignitaries. They were also used as rewards to adolescent boys who were members of the "Young Pioneers" - a youth group that was the communist equivalent of the Boy Scouts.
The Soviet trains were made for 19 years and production ceased in 1969. During that time, many variations were created because of the various colors that were used to paint the individual pieces and because of the markings used to decorate the items. However, there were very few design changes and essentially there really was only one set made in two decades and it only came one way -- with everything described above! There were no choices, no add-ons and no upgrades available. The Soviet trains are remarkable in that they can be described simultaneously with adjectives that cover opposite ends of the spectrum: the products are superior yet inferior, the designs are clever but simplistic, and the engineering is both innovative and comical with plagiarism. Overall there is a certain mystique about the Soviet trains that is hard to explain but the handful of passionate collectors who have been charmed by these fascinating trains know exactly what I mean.”

My small correction: in the 1960s "Pionerka" was also available at the large toy shops in Moscow (at least), but costed 36 Soviet Roubles (while average salary in the country was around 90 Roubles). Thus it was simply not affordable for the majority of children and their parents.

But it was a real SUPER-TOY!

Full set in action! Video by the owner of the set in excellent condition (with Russian comments).
He’s got his set in 1958.
Watch until the end, please, that’s interesting (and funny)!



Current status: collector's item. Some parts as well as full set available at the Russian web auction.
Today’s offers:
1 loco: 625-1000 US $,
1 passenger coach: 65-125 US $,
1 freight car: 60-110 US $,
Station: 156 US $,
Full set: 2816 US $.
http://molotok.ru/listin...&category=0&sg=0

By the end of 1960s Piko predominantly captured the Soviet market. Eastern Germany became the large supplier of toys and hobby products to the USSR – these products by East German state-owned companies were the part of GDR’s payments for the minerals, heavy machinery and other stuff from the USSR. And it was almost the end for the local manufacturers. Quality of Piko products was higher than “Pionerskaya”, and Piko offered wide range of gauges, locos and rolling stock.
The only omission of Piko was that it almost didn’t produced Soviet locos and cars, so desirable by local model railroaders (in H0-gauge just one freight car was manufactured). And thus our next guest was born…

3. “Ov” Russian steam locomotive, two 2-axle passenger coaches, controller and rails (14 pcs) set. “Schetmash” factory, Kursk. 1982-1991.
This HO-gauge DC set was designed and produces as add-on to Piko stuff.

UserPostedImage

The prototype of the loco was famous Russian “Ov” steam loco designed in 1890. Coaches were also based on the real prototypes. External look of the items was very good: nice running gear, handrails, detachable parts, precise lettering. Besides the coal tender, later steam loco was produced with wood-fired, oil-fired and four-axle coal tenders (road numbers were the same). Various locos were available separately.

UserPostedImage

But running characteristics were not so enjoyable. Motor placed in the tender required much amperage but had low torque and was very noisy. Transmission required much greasing and worked unstable in the curves. Rails were actually copies of Piko products but not as quality made. The issue of quality was very important. The manufacturer didn’t manage to provide acceptable quality during production, therefore great amount of products used to mark as “flaw” and rejected.
Nevertheless, “Ov” sets were very popular in the USSR and even exported to Germany. Production ceased upon USSR’s collapse in 1991.

Current status: second hand items easily available.
Today’s offers: 200 US $ for 1 steamer, 400 US $ for the full set plus one extra coach in excellent condition.
http://molotok.ru/listin...&category=0&sg=0

In 1982 “Schetmash” announced and commenced limited production of one more loco – TEP-10 Soviet diesel locomotive.

UserPostedImage

This item was regarded as not successful since model had serious discrepancies with the prototype. Locos were produced in very small numbers and are rare collectors' items nowadays.

4. The end of the Soviet era and "Perestroika" were marked by some liberalization of the economical regime. State-owned companies and factories were allowed to start their own business projects to improve their unstable economic conditions. Thus, the group of enthusiasts in Belgorod (Western Russia) designed and commenced manufacturing

DR-1a diesel train by “Sokol” factory, Belgorod. 1992-1993.

UserPostedImage

The prototype of this DC four-unit model in H0-gauge was DR-1a diesel train, designed in 1963 in Riga (Latvia), mostly used in the Baltic States, Ukraine and Belarus.
The model was designed in Soviet times, but presented and marketed already in 1992-1993.
The boom around new model was enormous. External look of the train was regarded as an exceptional, painting, detailing (including interior details) and lettering were excellent (in the eyes of the Russian modellers). But again… running characteristics were far from the normal. Weak and noisy motor, hardly turnable boogies, unreliable transmission.

Despite of the above-mentioned and high price, the model faced certain success.
Apart of the standard (red) version, limited (blue) version was manufactured. It was the same with exception of color, but priced 15% higher than red one.
There were strong rumors that another, green version exists, but I didn’t find any traces of it…

Current status: very hard to find.
Today’s offer: red train in excellent condition at 625 US $.

OK! Thanks for your interest! Now there are other manufacturers and other model trains in Russia, but it could be the subject for another topic...

Best regards, Andrey Smile

Edited by user 03 October 2015 23:05:24(UTC)  | Reason: Picture links fixed

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Offline foumaro  
#2 Posted : 05 June 2013 08:54:42(UTC)
foumaro

Greece   
Joined: 08/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 4,340
Location: Attiki Athens Greece
Very nice and interesting items.I found in the old Athens market the Pionerskaya set.When i saw the set i did not have an idea what was it,know with your help i know.I do not know if the set is complete but it is easy to find out if i will decide to buy the set.The seller have the set for at least 6 mounths.Have you an idea how much is a fair price for this set if it is complete?
Offline Andrey  
#3 Posted : 05 June 2013 12:18:44(UTC)
Andrey

Russian Federation   
Joined: 03/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 641
Location: Moscow
Hi Panayotis,

First press Stalin era set in good condition - 3000 US $ (very rare, produced in 1951-1953 only).
It has arch-over bridge with stretches and green loco with separately attached coat of atms.
Details of the set here http://www.parovoziki.ru/star_p2.htm

After 1953 Stalin era sets were still produced, but locos became sky blue or blue, still with letters "IS" and without white coat of arms. Bridges became simplified (manufacturer managed to introduce less labor-consuming production).
Fair price would be up to 1400 US $ (depending of condition).

In 1960s Khrushchev era sets contained locos without letters "IS" (to dismantle Stalin's cult according governmental decision) and simplified bridges as well. That sets became available commercially - so the fair price would be 700-900 US $.

Differences between sets: http://www.davestrains.com/ussrlist.html

All the best, Andrey Smile
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Offline Markus Schild  
#4 Posted : 05 June 2013 13:08:36(UTC)
Markus Schild

Germany   
Joined: 14/01/2006(UTC)
Posts: 1,748
Location: Wurttemberg
Hi Andrey,

Thank you for the informations. When I drove from Germany to Moscow and St.Petersburg (Leningrad these days) in the mid - 1980s I never saw any Piko anywhere. Was it just necessary to know the right adresses where to buy, or did you need "more" (valuta/swap-goods) to buy these?

Regards

Markus
Offline foumaro  
#5 Posted : 05 June 2013 15:24:37(UTC)
foumaro

Greece   
Joined: 08/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 4,340
Location: Attiki Athens Greece
Thank you for usefull information Andrey.The loco is similar to that we see at the display case,very heavy and solid.I would like to have the set,maybe i manage to have a good deal with the seller if the set is unsold yet.
Offline Frankenbahner  
#6 Posted : 05 June 2013 17:28:31(UTC)
Frankenbahner


Joined: 15/09/2006(UTC)
Posts: 624
Location: Nuremberg, Bavaria
I remember to have read an article in a German model train magazine about the "Ov" set, as a child. As far as I can remember, in this article someone had managed to acquire such a set directly from the Soviet Union.

Regards,
Florian
H0 3-rail AC with DCC, MM and mfx, 2-rail DC streetcars, and N gauge
Offline Andrey  
#7 Posted : 05 June 2013 20:10:06(UTC)
Andrey

Russian Federation   
Joined: 03/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 641
Location: Moscow
Originally Posted by: Markus Schild Go to Quoted Post
Hi Andrey,

Thank you for the informations. When I drove from Germany to Moscow and St.Petersburg (Leningrad these days) in the mid - 1980s I never saw any Piko anywhere. Was it just necessary to know the right adresses where to buy, or did you need "more" (valuta/swap-goods) to buy these?

Regards

Markus


Hi Markus,

thanks for your comment. You are right - you had to know the right address - Piko was sold mostly in some selected toy/children goods stores in Moscow, Leningrad and other large cities. And you had to come in right time since even in those stores Piko was not in stock permanently.
Practically the same situation was with all quality goods imported from the West - they were simply sweeped away from the shop's counters, especially in the end of the Soviet era. Permanent shortage of goods was typical for the Soviet socialism. I recall the Soviet joke - in the foodstore сustomer asks the seller: do you have a meat? The seller: we don't have a fish. Meat is absent at the next counter.
That was truly the Jurassic period...Smile

Best regards, Andrey Smile

PS. You have an excellent picture on the Avatar.


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Offline Andrey  
#8 Posted : 05 June 2013 20:15:16(UTC)
Andrey

Russian Federation   
Joined: 03/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 641
Location: Moscow
Originally Posted by: foumaro Go to Quoted Post
Thank you for usefull information Andrey.The loco is similar to that we see at the display case,very heavy and solid.I would like to have the set,maybe i manage to have a good deal with the seller if the set is unsold yet.


Glad that you found my info useful, Panayotis.
It would be interesting to know, what set is being offered in Athens.
I don't think it's a complete set though, most probably - the part of it. Full sets in decent condition are very rare nowadays.

Best regards, Andrey Smile

Offline Andrey  
#9 Posted : 05 June 2013 20:26:47(UTC)
Andrey

Russian Federation   
Joined: 03/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 641
Location: Moscow
Originally Posted by: Frankenbahner Go to Quoted Post
I remember to have read an article in a German model train magazine about the "Ov" set, as a child. As far as I can remember, in this article someone had managed to acquire such a set directly from the Soviet Union.

Regards,
Florian


Hi Florian,

Thanks for your comments.
I never heard that this kind of goods were purchased from the Soviet Union remotely - via orders.
Most probably that guy visited Soviet Union himself or asked someone to buy it for him or got it as a gift from somebody.

Best regards, Andrey Smile

Offline petestra  
#10 Posted : 05 June 2013 22:39:08(UTC)
petestra

United States   
Joined: 27/07/2009(UTC)
Posts: 5,649
Location: Leesburg,VA.USA
Hi Andrey. That was excellent! I really enjoyed the story of Russia's Model railways from you. The video

was fun too. This train in O scale was probably able to run on O scale American Lionel track.

Thanks! Peter ThumpUp ThumpUp ThumpUp Smile
Offline Andrey  
#11 Posted : 06 June 2013 15:14:07(UTC)
Andrey

Russian Federation   
Joined: 03/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 641
Location: Moscow
Originally Posted by: petestra Go to Quoted Post
This train in O scale was probably able to run on O scale American Lionel track.


Hi Peter,

thank you so much for your comments. ThumpUp I'm really glad that you liked my post - I knew that it would be interesting for you.
You are right - "Pionerskiy" train is able to run on Lionel track since "Pionerskaya" is based on Lionel. Soviets got Lionel railway, carefully studied it and created "Pionerskaya" then.
I read in the Russian forums that people looking for some track extention or changing track parts on their "Pionerskaya" are advised to get O-scale Lionel track.

Best regards, Andrey Smile


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Offline pa-pauls  
#12 Posted : 07 June 2013 22:54:52(UTC)
pa-pauls


Joined: 08/06/2002(UTC)
Posts: 1,802
Location: Norway
Thank's Andrey !

Nice Reading ThumpUp

When I did visit Moscow last year I actually was at the Train Museum in Moscow,,, Amazing !

I did even manage to find a model Train shop that sold Märklin, but expensive ! It was located Close to a cinema,,,
Pål Paulsen
Märklin Digital, DB and SBB Era III
Offline Andrey  
#13 Posted : 08 June 2013 14:01:32(UTC)
Andrey

Russian Federation   
Joined: 03/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 641
Location: Moscow
Hi Pal,

I'm glad that you enjoyed my post!

Yes, the museum is very good. It's rather new (founded in 2004), but already well-known. Some of the unique stuff attracts visitors from all over the world.
You can refresh your memories by watching pics:
http://kud.su/album/phot...ary/2011/railwaymuseum1/
http://kud.su/album/phot...ary/2011/railwaymuseum2/
http://kud.su/album/phot...ary/2011/railwaymuseum3/
Unfortunately, territory of the museum is very limited, it doesn't allow to contain all locos, railcars and rolling stock which could be potentially displayed.

As for the Train shop at the cinema - it was closed last year. No-one wanted to buy model trains at a hefty price set there, so closing became the only option. And another large model store at the center also ended it's days last year.
Center of Moscow is not about hobby shops at all - rental is one of the world's highest. Thus hobby trading almost moved to the Internet.

Best wishes from Moscow, Andrey Smile




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Offline foumaro  
#14 Posted : 08 June 2013 15:57:58(UTC)
foumaro

Greece   
Joined: 08/12/2004(UTC)
Posts: 4,340
Location: Attiki Athens Greece
Thank you for the very interesting photos,we saw something different today.BigGrin
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Offline franciscohg  
#15 Posted : 09 June 2013 18:40:05(UTC)
franciscohg

Chile   
Joined: 10/07/2002(UTC)
Posts: 3,177
Location: Patagonia
Great post Andrey!
I had really enjoyed it!
UserPostedImage German trains era I-II and selected III, era depends on the mood, mostly Maerklin but i can be heretic if needed XD, heresy is no longer an issue.. LOL
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Offline Yumgui  
#16 Posted : 09 June 2013 22:59:29(UTC)
Yumgui

United States   
Joined: 20/03/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,657
Location: Paris, France
Great information Andrey, thanks for it !

I had earlier been looking for the MOSVABEL brand name of Russian model trains ...

As I don't see it above in your history, and unless I missed it somewhere, what does this name say to you ?

Plz let me know,

Yum ThumpUp
If your M track is rusted ... DON'T throw it out !
Working on : http://www.arep.fr/en/#/welcome
Inspired by : http://www.nakedmarklin.com/ ... I am not alone in this universe, phew.
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Offline Andrey  
#17 Posted : 10 June 2013 20:31:11(UTC)
Andrey

Russian Federation   
Joined: 03/12/2012(UTC)
Posts: 641
Location: Moscow
Originally Posted by: Yumgui Go to Quoted Post


I had earlier been looking for the MOSVABEL brand name of Russian model trains ...

As I don't see it above in your history, and unless I missed it somewhere, what does this name say to you ?



Hi Yum,

Your question is simply par excellence! ThumpUp

The right spelling of the name you refer is "MosKabel" (it means "Moscow Cable", "Москабель" in Russian).

And it is manufacturer of the "Pionerskaya" model railway (#2 in my Post).

Why it was not mentioned in my post?

Actually, serious, well-known sources tell that "Pionerskaya" was designed and manufactured by the "Prozhector" factory, Moscow.

However, what we see in the manual of "Pionerskaya"?

UserPostedImage

The manufacturer mentioned on the top of the manual is MosKabel!
And I never seen manual where manufacturer is "Prozhector"! Unsure

To explain that facts I could admit 3 versions:
1. Sources telling us that "Pionerskaya" was produced by "Prozhector" are mistaken.
2. "Pionerskaya" was produced by "Prozhector" and "MosKabel", we just can't find proper - "Prozhector" manual.
3. "Pionerskaya" was created by/with participation of "Prozhector", but later was produced by "MosKabel". Two factories were located (and still are) in couple of miles from each other, why not to admit that kind of cooperation.

In any case, Yum, I have to correct my first post and put name "MosKabel" together with "Prozhector".
I overlooked the info concerning "MosKabel" when created the post.

Thank you so much for your very valuable comments and question. ThumpUp ThumpUp ThumpUp

Best regards, Andrey Smile

PS. I would appreciate if someone correct me or provide more info within above-mentioned versions.




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Offline Yumgui  
#18 Posted : 10 June 2013 21:12:39(UTC)
Yumgui

United States   
Joined: 20/03/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,657
Location: Paris, France
OK, thanks Andrey,

Really great info, you have posted very thorough research ... it's quite valuable !

Now we all know ...

Wonderful model trains, they are now all on my watch list ... though very very rare I see; this is the cross to bear of the collector ... once knowledge acquired, only patience helps ;P

Y ThumpUp
If your M track is rusted ... DON'T throw it out !
Working on : http://www.arep.fr/en/#/welcome
Inspired by : http://www.nakedmarklin.com/ ... I am not alone in this universe, phew.
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Offline Shane Morris  
#19 Posted : 03 October 2015 19:08:21(UTC)
Shane Morris


Joined: 03/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 7
Hi guys,

If this isn't allowed, just get a mod to tell me by PM, and remove it.

I represent an independent model train manufacturing company named Trans-Siberian Models. We've just recently formed, and we've been working rather hard to get our first model to the point where we're happy to go to pre-orders, confident we'll fulfill them.

Our first model is the venerable Soviet era VL8 heavy DC electric freight locomotive, that mainstay of motive power throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, manufactured in H0 scale DC and DCC at present.

We will be using a combination between traditional and highly advanced manufacturing techniques, as our parent operator is a robotics research company. Its just the boss likes trains. And he likes the idea of robots making trains.

We are offering the VL8 in all body styles, and relevant works plate styles for those body styles, choice of relevant liveries, choice of couplers, options for ESU LokPilot decoders (certainly needed for the Buhler motors!), with non-functional pantographs, and working warm white LED headlights that operate in direction of travel.

Pre-order price is US$499 for a base dual section unit, available from TSM's Etsy shop, and will have a projected fulfillment of 12 to 24 months.

See Etsy shop page here:

https://www.etsy.com/au/...8?ref=shop_home_active_1

Our website is under repair right now (the best laid plans...) but we have an active Facebook group in the interim, where we will be posting updates:

https://www.facebook.com...ups/transsiberianmodels/

We are rather proud of our efforts so far, and its been a bit of a rollercoaster ride - but the best part is yet to come.

Many thanks!

Shane.
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Offline Webmaster  
#20 Posted : 03 October 2015 21:12:52(UTC)
Webmaster


Joined: 25/07/2001(UTC)
Posts: 10,837
This project will be interesting to follow indeed.

However, maybe we should start a new topic for it since it's not "oldie collectables"...
Juhan - "Webmaster", at your service...
He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. [Old Chinese Proverb]
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Offline Shane Morris  
#21 Posted : 04 October 2015 05:01:01(UTC)
Shane Morris


Joined: 03/10/2015(UTC)
Posts: 7
That sounds great - should I put the new topic in "Collectors Corner" or do you have a better place for it?

Many thanks!
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