LCCA for S Scalers?

I just joined the LCCA – Lionel Collectors Club of America. I know, so what? It looks like the LCCA is going to release an S Gauge American Flyer set sometime soon and it also looks too good to pass up for a Flyer junkie like me. I’ve been wanting NEW Flyer stuff since, like, forever and I’ve also decided to quit buying O Gauge stuff for awhile and concentrate on S Scale, so the timing is perfect for me. Anyway, the set will have a small diesel switcher painted in Union Pacific colors, a box car, “special” (I guess just for this set) watermelon car and auto carrier with two Hot Wheels cars, and a “specially painted” caboose. It’s supposed to be a Ready to Run set so I’m guessing it will include a transformer and track.

I also joined MTH’s Railroader’s Club last week to get their special boxcar. The experience between the two is night and day. When I joined LCCA, I was immediately given my Member Number and password to the web site. I joined MTH’s RR Club on the 19th and have yet to receive so much as an email acknowledgement that I’d joined, even though my credit card has already been charged. I called MTH yesterday and was told the due to the backlog (whatever that means) I shouldn’t expect to receive my membership number and login password for 2 or 3 more weeks. What??? If they can charge my credit card automatically, why can’t they automatically generate my login info and email it to me?

Snooze you lose…

Well, crap… I was feeling bad about wasting money on an O Scale train set, especially considering some of the S Scale companies are having problems. I decided maybe it’s time to “get while the gettin’s good” and since I don’t have a large pile of money just sitting around waiting to be spent I made a list of the 3 things I just couldn’t live without (as far as S Scale trains go). I decided on 3 things from American Models: a Southern Pacific Budd passenger car set with the extra coach, a 4-8-4 Northern painted for Santa Fe, and a Fairbanks Morse Trainmaster painted in the factory demo scheme. The Northern wasn’t a problem – Hoquat Hobbies had one at a discounted price of $369.95 and they even threw in free shipping. No Budd passenger sets or Trainmasters though so I tried to order directly from American Models. The Budd passenger cars were in stock (thankfully) but no Trainmasters in the demo paint scheme to be had… DANG!!! I’m kicking myself because I almost ordered one of these last summer but I couldn’t make up my mind between scale or hi-rail wheels. IDIOT!!! I guess I could buy one in a different road name and have it repainted in the FM demo scheme but that would add about $200 to the cost. I’m still kicking myself. The take away from this is to order things when you want them. If you wait, they might not be available when you get around to it – especially in S Scale.