Hello from Longboat Key Florida!
Posted 18 May 2016 - 12:13 PM
Posted 18 May 2016 - 01:02 PM
Yes, very much interested in Japanese trains but finding them in my area challenging
welcome scott! lots going on here and great people to chat with. Are you interested in japanese trains?
Edited by Xowi, 18 May 2016 - 01:03 PM.
Posted 18 May 2016 - 01:24 PM
Hello Xowl. Your challange is over (and your full wallet also ). Its actually pretty easy to get Japanese trains imported from Japan. We have Modeltrainplus, Loco1Hobby, Amiami and many more places to get them. Nariichi from Modetrainplus and David from loco1hobby are very helpful.
Posted 18 May 2016 - 02:22 PM
Check out the suppliers forum and you will find threads for shops that export to the us from Japan
Hobby search is a big hobby shop with English speaking staff and an encyclopedic web site of a lot of what has been offered over the years
Loco1hobby.net and Modeltrainplus.net are two small shops with English speaking owners and excellent and personal service!
There are few options to buy much of any Japanese trains here in the states. Mb kleins (modeltrainstuff.com) brings over a few kato trains now and then but that's about it today for anyone importing much of any Japanese trains. Walthers is starting to import some tomytec buildings, track, and the bus system, but no trains I think and they are really hiking the price up even with a direct deal with tomix. It's unfortunate. Of course katousa distributes unitr to many us hobby shops. Smattering of stuff on ebay now and then and a few stray Amazon sellers sometimes.
Shipping is two options, SAL and EMS
SAL takes 2-3 weeks via air. No tracking or insurance unless you get it registered for an extra $4-5. Good up to 4lbs the gets expensive. I've never had an Sal go poof to California or Maryland and can save you a lot over time.
EMS is express air and takes 3-6 days. Fully tracked and insured. It comes on the us side as express mail so even delivered on Sundays! It is more expensive, but still not horridly priced.
Ask questions you will find a lot of ways to easily and economically get Japanese trains direct from Japan!
Posted 18 May 2016 - 04:05 PM
Posted 18 May 2016 - 04:34 PM
Yeah lock up your credit card while researching. Way too many tempting trains and the price point is really below us trains and way below euro trains and quality excellent so high bang for the buck, but hard on wallet!
Posted 18 May 2016 - 09:15 PM
What a small world! I'm actually going to be on Longboat Key next month!
Being new in the hobby can certainly be overwhelming. Lots of decisions to be made about what tracks, what trains, DCC vs DC.. the list goes on.. luckily when it comes to Japanese N Scale, you have found the right place! Lots of very knowledgeable folks on these boards can answer all sorts of questions!
Last time I was in the area I found a cool little train shop in Englewood called Amherst Depot. No Japanese stuff, but they did have a nice selection of N Scale. Most hobby shops I've been into tend to be more focused on the larger (and more popular) HO & O scales.
Welcome to the hobby!
Posted 19 May 2016 - 01:00 PM
Welcome Scott. Lovely part of the world you're from - I'm just back from hols in Anna Maria.
I've not found much Japanese stuff in Florida so mail order may be your best bet. Some good links from Jeff above.
Posted 19 May 2016 - 04:16 PM
Thanks flr the welcome!
I whole heartly agree the hobby shops in the Tampa, Miami and Orlando Florida areas are mostly about drones and RC vehicles now and asking about Japan Rail will get you looks like you are from a different planet. I understand the shops catering to the latest fad but hate the idea of few to none brick and mortar shops offer quality model trains.
Posted 19 May 2016 - 04:40 PM
Its that way around much of the country now. I think its the volume of business. Model trains while still popular are a bit more unique in nature so larger variety of stock to have to carry and slower moving, so not as popular to a local brick and mortar store anymore. Without a good selection of trains most of the medium to serious buyers wont bother to buy there (many smaller brick and mortar cant afford to discount trains much as well), so a catch 22 there.
But the good news is there are some larger stores around the country that do have good stock as they have a side internet business that can move the product well. downside is those are few and far between to get to around the country! but good news is these do carry a big stock and decent prices. of course there is shipping and you cant go drool on the display cases (a lot of my childhood was spent this way, the shops probably wished i would bring my own clean up cloth!) and hold things in your hand...
Luckily we still have MB kleins in Baltimore here that we can take a 1 hr drive over if you want the big train shop fix once and a while!
Posted 17 September 2016 - 02:29 AM
Longboat Key, FL, hey? What a beautiful place. I had a nice holiday there a few years ago.
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