Some of you may ask, “Was it worth it?” Were the Sunset models worth upgrading, considering all the work, time, effort, resources, parts, etc. expended?
When I first heard Sunset was planning on producing a set of NSL Silverliner models to match the substitute Liner, I said to myself, it’s time to fatten up the piggy bank. I expected the set to sell for $1,500.00 to $1,600.00 or more. When we consider the train consists of 3 brass models, powered, with interiors, painted in a finished condition, and selling for about $500.00 each, paying $1,500.00 for a set would seem just about right.
Instead, Sunset set the retail price at about $1,100.00. I’ve put about $500.00 into the models, making their value about what I originally thought the price would be: $1,500.00 - $1,600.00.
The completed models are still not perfect and do not completely match what I could have had if I worked with MTS Imports’ painted Silverliner coaches. For 415, one of the available dining car bodies would have to be altered to a Silverliner and 415 as the tavern-lounge, then painted and finished. The cost of all 3 cars would have been far more than $1,500.00.
What is it worth to have a set of models that makes your friends say, “Wow!?”
For the set of cars painted in the Greenliner scheme, the roof and the interior of 415 seems correct for the era. The wall between the kitchen and dining area is still not correct. On the Silverliner models, the Greenliner-era roof detail of 415 is not updated. I know very little about the actual Greenliner paint scheme, but I have been told the color through the windows is not correct. I do not know the correct color. Furthermore, trying to repaint this part of the car on a finished model is hard to do. Perhaps the most glaring problem is the fixed-location couplers.
Finally, for what you get in the Sunset 3-car train, you are getting what you pay for. The set of models could have been more accurate, but the price would have been higher!
As with any endeavor, the work is never done by one individual acting alone. Two individuals who have helped me tremendously are Greg King and Eric Bronsky. Without them this work would not have been finished! A very special thank you goes to both Greg and Eric.
Charlie Pitts needs separate thanks for his photos and instructions on the surface mounting of the couplers and building the J-shaped couch in the 415.
Many more offered me support along the way with photos, suggestions, etc. These are, in alphabetical order, Don A. Bruno, Terrell Colson, John Giove, Tony Hultman, George Kanary, Curt Seeliger Jr., Brian Siegl, Ed Suchas, and Tony Tieuli.
Gentlemen, thank you.
Finally thanks go to Charlie Pitts and Ashley Pollard for their questions and comments during the series of posts on upgrading the Sunset Silver Replacement Electroliner. I enjoyed them and hope you did too.