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LEGO Techniques - Building a Santa Fe Super Chief 10020

The public really seems to adore these rebuilding posts. I've had an amazing amount of hits to my Millenium Falcon rebuild and quite a few to the Cafe Corner one. Recently it was requested that I do a breakdown of how to build the Santa Fe Super Chief on the cheap. Request granted!


I would not have chosen this set myself since it is fairly low on Bricklink's most wanted list. In fact, it's not even ON the list! The Green Grocer should be the next one I do. The Emerald Night is the first train on that list and that one is about the 20th one down. But let's take a look and see what kind of savings can be had!

As before, crank up the gerbils and open Brickstock. Load the inventory for set 10020-1, NOT the Limited Edition. Right there we saved $25 for a used complete one. For reference, a used one costs $200. Ctrl-A, Ctrl-G to get the price guide data for all parts. Sort by price, highest first. Go to the bottom and delete all the counterparts. They have no price data which means none have sold in the last 6 months. They're all stickered parts that already occur in this list as parts plus the sticker sheet. Head back up to the top.

Ctrl-A to select all the parts. On the left upper side I show that all parts are $368 in new condition. Change condition to used and you can reduce the price to $212. So far, not good. We might as well buy a used one. I'm going to keep the condition as used since many of the old light grey and dark grey parts will be pretty expensive otherwise. We'll test for swapping them to the newer greys later on.

The most expensive item is the sticker sheet. Strike this for over $17. Next is a panel with a porthole window. Unfortunately it is painted light grey so recoloring the train may not be possible without looking off. There are no other versions of this piece available.
The minifigs are each under $2. Striking them doesn't help much. Below this is not much point in changing pieces; they are all low cost anyway. We've gotten down to $195. Add the assumed 12% for shipping and you're looking at almost $220. Might as well buy complete.

So what if we recolor the train slightly? Arrange by color. Select and change all the Light Grey to Light Bluish Grey and all the Dark Grey to Dark Bluish Grey. Hit Ctrl-A, Ctrl-G to reprice the items. Total comes in at $164 and that's assuming that every piece is available in its updated color. Two doors, a decorated slope, and that old chunky SNOT brick are in fact not.

As I'm not a trainhead, I can't give recommendations for reconfiguring the bogies or rejiggering the train base by using several other pieces or updating the couplings. Unless you already own a bunch of older train parts, I would say that you are better off purchasing this set complete then you are piecing it together.

So, request granted?

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