Author Topic: A Question For Peteski: Or, A Tale of Two V200s  (Read 1934 times)

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strummer

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A Question For Peteski: Or, A Tale of Two V200s
« on: September 06, 2015, 03:37:00 PM »
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In one the the other discussions, you mentioned that you think that Fleischmann is on a par with Kato.

I have a small amount of Euro stuff (no Fleischmann), and I find some "loks", such as Roco, to run really well, so I'm curious as to what you think of some other brands, ( Roco, Trix, etc.), as well as what is it about Fleischmann that makes it superior in your opinion?

I'm totally with you in your opinion of Kato, so I'd like to get your take on the above...

Mark in Oregon
« Last Edit: March 25, 2017, 11:01:54 PM by GaryHinshaw »

ljudice

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2015, 10:52:52 PM »
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I'm no Peteski, but I do collect Euro N...

I would put Fleischmann at or slightly above Kato - especially more recent E-lok releases.  For example with the OBB 1x16 series they have done multiple models, kept paint colors consistent and build quality and running  is superb. 

Kato Japan and Fleischmann both make an SBB 460 - and the Fleischmann is clearly superior.

I would rank Hobbytrain, Jagerndorfer and Minitrix a cut below - but in line with Atlas/FVM in US profile.

Roco absorbed Fleischmann - but generally has morphed towards Fleischmann virtues....
« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 10:55:18 PM by ljudice »

peteski

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2015, 11:42:02 PM »
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Basically what Lou said.  I mostly own Fleischmann N scale seam loco models and they are really well designed and assembled.  They don't have many free-standing details on the shells, but the shell moldings are exquisite! The mechanisms are also really well made.  The valve gear detail is excellent too.  While I don't know if it is a curse or blessing, Fleischmann locos with separate tender are pretty much all tender-driven (loco is a free-rolling dummy used only to pick up power) using old-school straight-wound 3 pole motor. But these motor are well made and have quite a bit of torque.  There are couple of recent tender locos which use a very unusual coreless motor.  I took one apart and I have never seen anything like. One of these days I'll post more details about that motor.  One of the locos (a 2-4-0) utilizes a very clever driver equalizing mechanism (mostly to increase reliability of electrical pickup).

Diesels and electrics also use old-school mechanisms with inside-bearings and back of the wheel pickups.  Of course, these also use those same 3-pole motors used in the steamers.  This is where IMO, Kato has an edge over Fleischmann (the diesel and electric mechanisms). But the shell detail and decoration very well done on Fleischmann models.

Minitrix also makes good models. They are also mostly old-school design, but few recent steam models use coreless motor for very smooth running.  However I just recently bought a Minitirx steam loco where the color of the plastic used to mold the driver's spokes didn't match.  Some were lighter, others darker.  The color difference was quite pronounced. That model was not made in Germany but in one of the Eastern European countries - not sure if that has any bearing on the overall quality of the model though.  I have returned the model to the dealer and they are sending me a replacement with better-matched drivers.

Hobbytrain/Lemke models are a mixed bag. Lemke models are actually made by Kato (so they are Kato-quality) while Hobbytrain models are  made in China (and most likely designed there too), so the quality is not quite as good.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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strummer

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2015, 10:54:09 AM »
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Interesting; my thanks to both of you for responding to my question. I may have to pick up a Fleischmann unit just to see for myself!

What I find also interesting is that the "fit and finish" on the Euro models I have seems vastly superior to North American offerings by the same firms. For example, I have a Trix V200 that is 'way better than any N.A. Trix I've ever owned, both in the way it runs and the way it looks; same with their passenger cars. And as I mentioned in a previous post, I have a Roco V200 that runs almost as well as my Kato diesels; really smooth and quiet. What's also "weird" is that both of these V200s will run on Atlas code 55 with very little interference from the spike heads.

Anyway, thanks again for your insights.

Mark in Oregon

Cajonpassfan

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2015, 12:10:42 PM »
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Mark, the reason for the differences in quality is that you're comparing relatively new European models with old Trix offerings tooled close to 40 years ago... To my knowledge, (Mini)trix hasn't done anything in North American N scale in ages, and even those models were often redos on German loco mechs (K4, Decapod).
Otto

strummer

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2015, 05:04:04 PM »
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Well, that may be true, except the Trix V200 I'm referring to I bought used on eBay, and didn't come with a case, so it's hard to say for sure how old it is. The Roco engine is from the '80s-'90s, so it has some age to it, and yet it's awesome!

Mark in Oregon
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 12:06:34 AM by strummer »

peteski

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2015, 05:33:25 PM »
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The various versions of V200 German Diesel have been made by most European N scale manufacturers.  These are like the F-units of Europe. 

The most recent one I have is by Arnold.  It is a newly designed model. But I think that the older Roco V200 I own has better details.  I don't own any Minitrix V200s. Fleischmann also has a V200 model but I suspect that it is the ex-Roco model.

What I do own is a really early Trix/Minitirx V200. It is a die-cast push-toy which is close to N scale size.  It has flange-less wheels.  Of course this toy cannot be compared against the powered N scale V200 models.  But it is a Minitrix. :D







EDIT:  I found a photo of one of the Minitrix V200s. It looks fairly crude by today's standard. I would venture a guess that it is from the same period as the U.S. prototype Minitrix locos (about 40 years old).  You can't really compare that model to any of more recent models (like Roco or the new Arnold).

« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 05:40:32 PM by peteski »
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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strummer

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2015, 05:59:45 PM »
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Very cool; the push toy reminds me of the non-powered Lone Star stuff.

My Trix 200 must be a newer release than the one you posted; the details are finer, and it has blackened wheels with smaller flanges. Mine runs well, but is louder than, and not as smooth as the Roco V200. It's similar to the first issue Kato F3 I have; the Roco is closer to a typical Altas diesel.

You probably already know there are some very good German websites that track various manufacturer's models with dates made, etc., but I not yet found a good source for Trix models...

Mark in Oregon

ljudice

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2015, 09:41:19 PM »
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Mark, what country/era are you modeling...??


strummer

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 10:42:12 PM »
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Actually I'm not, really.

When I first got into model railroading in the late '60's , I was fascinated by the Marklin ads, which at that time always seemed to feature a V200. I did pick up a little Marklin HO in the early '90s, but was not overly impressed (sorry!)

So just in the last few months I've been picking up a few things, here and there, in N scale, just for a bit of variety. I'll say I have been quite impressed.

To best answer your question, I'm mostly drawn towards German Epoch lll/lV.

Mark in Oregon

ljudice

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 11:07:37 PM »
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Same here, the fascination running to the SBB and OBB of recent times....

peteski

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2015, 12:50:22 AM »
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Same here, the fascination running to the SBB and OBB of recent times....

Put me also in the same category - I'm just collecting European models.  I grew up in Poland and had a small (European of course) TT layout as a teenager.  I might someday build a small (maybe HCD) European layout, but for now I'm just collecting stuff.
--- Peteski de Snarkski
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ljudice

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Re: A Question For Peteski
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2015, 10:29:45 PM »
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My persistent idea is based on Göschenen in Switzerland by the Gotthard Tunnel - modeling the station and the meter gauge connecting line.


strummer

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Re: A Question For Peteski: Or, A Tale of Two V200s
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2015, 10:18:31 AM »
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 Peteski

I see there's an entire set listed on ebay with what looks like your Trix "dummy" V200 and a couple of cars...

Also, I gave my Trix "V" a long run yesterday; guess it had never been fully "broken in", as it now runs really quiet; as quiet, I'd dare say, as any Atlas or maybe even Kato I have. It is now quieter than the Roco V200, though not as "smooth". But it is REALLY fast;  :o will start to move almost as soon as you open the throttle, (which is fine), but is as fast, I think, as any model I've ever had. Just FYI...

Mark in Oregon
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 10:46:57 AM by strummer »

peteski

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Re: A Question For Peteski: Or, A Tale of Two V200s
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2015, 01:30:50 PM »
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I'm glad that you're having fun Mark.  :)

One thing I noticed is that for you the amount of noise a model makes seems to be a very important criteria for evaluating model's performance and quality.  While it is important that the mechanism is is as quiet as possible, to me there are other more important factors when it comes to judging quality and performance of a model.

Things like smooth operation (especially slow-speed), pulling capacity and the overall design of the mechanism are more important than noise. Things like whether it us a rats-nets of wires inside or a clean wire-free design, what type of material gears are made of (plastic which can often stress-crack or metal) are to me important fasctors when evaluating a model.

My friend, for example, has an Atlas GP38 which runs as smooth as silk but it sounds liek a coffee grinder.   It has been like that for the last 15 years or so of operating on his layout. He gave it a quick look but didn't find any easy fixes. SO he just continues using it as-is. After all, it runs very well.  While the amount of noise generated by the mechanism is usually directly tied to the quality of its design and assembly, to me the above example  shows that noise is not always directly related to the running qualities.

Good to know that the Minitrix has been broken-in and that it runs better and quieter.  It has a different motor and different gear-ration than the Roco model so that is why the speeds are mismatched.  If it starts even at the minimum throttle setting then I suspect that it has a very efficient motor and you have an old rheostat-based throttle which needs a heavier load from the motor to lower its output voltage.  Most Kato locos are real speed demons -  if you had one to try I would be surprised if the Mninitrix was faster.  :)
« Last Edit: September 11, 2015, 01:32:56 PM by peteski »
--- Peteski de Snarkski
--- Honorary Resident Curmudgeon