Author Topic: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?  (Read 2477 times)

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2-8-8-0

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WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« on: July 01, 2010, 09:28:27 PM »
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Hey hey all.

So, yeah, Mr Vollmer's comment about a "prototype picking you" hit home. As much as I like steam, meh...it just didnt pick me. So, WM (along with a few moderns) will be the ticket, while I work on a small shelf layout (yep, actually under construction! door is just too big for this apartment) but I am going to get a few locos. Oh, for what its worth, ill be selling/trading my steamers, ill list them here in a little bit.

So, the locomotives I am interested in (and that models are available of in N are)

F7, RS2, RS3, VO1000, GP9, FA (the GP9 and RS3 especially, my favorites!) and most seem to be in production, from atlas or kato. Are there any of these of any make that I should avoid? Any specifics I should look for (besides getting dynamics on the GP9s)? Gonna have to do a lot of repaints, at least theyll be black=)

Thanks!
Just say no to dummy couplers.

SirTainly

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 09:44:58 PM »
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Avoid earlier runs of the V-1000s, Atlas changed the design of the frame and the trucks for the later ones which are a bit better - personally I think this is one of Atlas' less good locos but if you want that model it's the only game in town.

Aim for the later releases of GP9s as these have a frame which allows for a drop in decoder. You can add a TCS split decoder to the earlier ones, but that's more work so avoid it if possible. Shells are backwards compatible so you can buy an older shell and mount it on the DCC friendly mech. IIRC Lee has a kit for helping to change the cab for the WM chop nose versions.

F7s, Kato is a good bet as usual also IM has them, I have both and you'll find reasons to chose either. No idea which is a closer match for WM. Don't bother with Bachmann when you have the above choices.

RS3s, Atlas does these, but the mech is not DCC friendly so you need the special decoder from TCS plus a little soldering skill or you could pay someone to do it for you..Lee does this too (I should be on comission!)

FA was done by Lifelike, good puller and you can get an easy MT conversion. No idea if these have been rereleased with a more modern mechanism.

 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 09:47:21 PM by SirTainly »

DaveB

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 10:10:33 PM »
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Lifelike did the RS2 in Western Maryland fireball, two road #s.  There is a dropin decoder for them.  I have them and like them.  Don't know whether there are any more around.  Lifelike also did the BL2, one each in fireball and speed, and they can be converted to DCC with the TCS lightboard decoders, which is a little tougher.  Got those too, and like them.  They may be hard to find.  Intermountain has done F7s in speed, and they have announced a fireball version, but I am not sure whether they are out yet.  DCC  conversion for the F7s is easy, except for resoldering the headlight, which is a hassle.  For a small layout, I think the RS2s would be hard to beat, assuming you are happy with the fireball paint scheme

sundowner

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2010, 01:00:05 AM »
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avoid anything with a cat on it. ;D
Which ever side of the track I am on is the right side.

Nato

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2010, 01:04:13 AM »
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  Life Like did do a much improved version of the FA1 /Fb1 also the similar later FA 2. These are all very nice locomotives, they are designed for conversion to MT 1015 couplers.I wonder if the older LL WM decorated bodies would fit on the new mechs. I have not tried this ,but I have both version's of these engines. Don't forget the Unique EMD BL2 roadswitcher locomotive,WM had these, Life Like did them decorated for WM. they are not to hard to find at model railroad Swap A Rama's. There were two versions of the mechinism and the 2nd later version is a bit better. Lee can provide more information on these.       Nate Goodman (Nato).

Mr. G

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2010, 04:22:13 AM »
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Both the Kato and IM F7s are rock stars.  I love the detail on the IM version and since they run well, there's no reason not to get some.  The Atlas GP9s are also nice and really strong pullers.  For a small layout, you won't need much more.  A single RS-3 for variety would be cool, but you should really pay a pro for the DCC installation.  For that alone, I wouldn't invest heavily in them.  The first VO1000s were a bit weak, but not as bad as the Arnold S-2s.  Those are little zinc chunks of regret.
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wm3798

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2010, 08:08:59 AM »
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Avoid the earliest Atlas/Kato GP-9.  It shows up really cheap on ebay periodically, but the frame and truck centers is all wrong (they used the RS3 drive) and stretched the shell to compensate. 

I can recommend all of the above mentioned highly.  The Walther RS-2 decoder ready drive fits under an Atlas RS-3 drive with very little modification.

Get the split frame BL-2 if you can.  It's a brick and can pull you molars out.  The early run with the plastic frame is readily identifiable buy the open pilot and truck mounted couplers.  It's not a bad engine, but the split frame is miles better.  The early run used number 82 in speedlettered and 81 in fireball, and when they re-ran them with the split frame, they reversed it, so you can get both numbers in either paint scheme.  The old shell will fit on the new drive, but you have to cut the "light pipes" inside.

Intermountain F-7 are fabulous.  The factory paint is very good (although the W is a little off, in my opinion... but easily lived with.  Kato F units are great too, but there are no commercially available decal sets in speed lettering to do this one.  If you can get the WM font from Railfonts, they aren't hard to brew up, although the curved speed lines for the nose herald can be a beeyatch.

For more words and pictures, check the locomotive photo roster I've accumulated on my website.
http://www.wmrywesternlines.net/locomotiveprojects.php#PHOTO_ROSTER

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

2-8-8-0

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2010, 08:36:48 AM »
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Ok, Microscales decals dont do well for the F units, good to know.

Thanks much for the info, going to the "local" hobby shop later for some things, good to know what to keep my eyes open for.
Just say no to dummy couplers.

2-8-8-0

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2010, 09:09:10 PM »
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Lee (or anyone!)

I think the Atlas "phase 2" GP9 is the one I want, am I correct? It has the "box" on the roof that the WM ones seem to have in my diesels book pics (its behind the dynamic brake blister) which seems to be some type of fan shroud?

Amanda

http://www.atlaso.com/images/gp9/1456-1.jpg

edit; found much better pic.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 09:15:01 PM by 2-8-8-0 »
Just say no to dummy couplers.

Chris333

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2010, 09:38:59 PM »
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That is a winterization hatch.

SirTainly

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2010, 09:43:34 PM »
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Your picture is the O scale model, I don't think the N scale one comes with the winterisation hatch. If you want to add it to your N one, then Miniatures by Eric does one.

2-8-8-0

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2010, 10:08:52 PM »
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OK, wondered what it was. Some of the new atlas ones show it, but if it is available as a seperate piece, that makes my life much easier. Thanks so much!
Just say no to dummy couplers.

Mr. G

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2010, 11:30:58 PM »
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OK, wondered what it was. Some of the new atlas ones show it, but if it is available as a seperate piece, that makes my life much easier. Thanks so much!

It is confusing, especially since Atlas used art showing the winterization hatches in their latest announcement of re-run GP7/9s.  As Sirtainly said, you can get them from Miniatures by Eric.  They're nice two-piece add-ons, The brass mesh just needs to be trimmed and fitted to the inside of the hatch and the casting cleaned up before you glue it on to the model.
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wm3798

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2010, 11:46:48 PM »
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Heh.  Despite my attention to most details, I haven't yet installed said winterization hatches on my GP-9's.  They also showed up on the F units at times.  There were also interesting screens that served as "spark arresters" on the FA's and RS units.  I'll get around to that stuff sooner or later, I suppose...

Lee
Route of the Alpha Jets

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

2-8-8-0

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Re: WM modelers (or anyone I guess) locos to avoid?
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2010, 12:10:21 AM »
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I wouldnt be concerned about them if they werent so noticable. If I notice it (in case no one here has noticed, im sort of unobservant at times) then anyone will :P
Just say no to dummy couplers.