Author Topic: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells  (Read 1113 times)

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OldEastRR

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Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« on: May 30, 2018, 03:00:06 AM »
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Were there phases to the E7? Or did one of these companies really mess up on some details on their shells? Most obvious differences are the roofs, but the side screens are also different.

learmoia

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2018, 12:42:01 AM »
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The Con-Cor E7 dates back to the 1970s, so I wouldn't put too much faith into its accuracy.. the Life Like E7 may be a better comparison.. I don't believe there was much variation other than road specific details.
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 10:40:08 AM »
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Con-Cor's shells for E7s have come from at least 3 different sources over the decades (Roco, Kato, and one or more Chinese companies).  Spookshow has a brief history.  At any rate, there are some differences in tooling between given Con Cor shells as a result of multiple manufacturers.  But for most intents and purposes, it is the same shell originally offered by Altas (made by Roco, to fit a chassis made by Rivarossi for the E8) in the 1970s.  The other problem with the Con-Cor is that the probability that the road it is painted for actually owned an E7 is only about 50-50.  To this day, they still sell an E7 in Warbonnet.

As @learmoia says, the Life Like shell is much better- finer detail and the pilot is attached.  I think the BLI has more road specific pilot options, and of course the separate grabs and details they are known for.  That said, I will admit that i have never measured any of them against EMD plans- so as to which has most accurate location of body openings or best nose contour, I can't say. 

The biggest upside to the LL E7 is that they run $35 each (or less) on the big auction site- and it doesn't bother me to spend some time working on a $35 loco, where I expect a $150 loco to be perfect out of the box.  The chassis of the LL looks like something out of a Varney loco circa 1959, but nice motor, they run smooth (at least mine do), weigh a ton and pull well.  Worst come to worst, if something goes wrong, you can buy another one and trade shells.
Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

Mark5

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 10:46:09 AM »
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Con-Cor's shells for E7s have come from at least 3 different sources over the decades (Roco, Kato, and one or more Chinese companies).  Spookshow has a brief history.  At any rate, there are some differences in tooling between given Con Cor shells as a result of multiple manufacturers. 

I believe the shells were souced from Roco the whole time - what changed was the mechanisms.

Cheers,

Mark

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 03:56:13 PM »
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I believe the shells were souced from Roco the whole time - what changed was the mechanisms.

Cheers,

Mark
As per usual, I was going with "off the top of my head" recollection.  You are, no doubt, correct. 

Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

ncbqguy

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 08:27:14 PM »
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The Con-Cor E7A shell was sourced from Rocco.  The E8A was sourced from Rivarossi until the old Arnold Rapido N scale production started and the shells were no longer available to Con-Cor. Both B units were tooled elsewhere, perhaps Austria or Yugoslavia for Con-Cor.  Both sometimes had the side insets reversed in the molds making the roof backwards.
They used stretched PA drive components with new frame halves.  Long before I got into the industry I mocked up an E8A on PA parts and suggested to Jim Conway he could easily have E7s and E8s with minimal new tooling.
Charlie Vlk

OldEastRR

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2018, 02:04:51 AM »
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The history of the ConCor model is very interesting, but what I'm trying to find out is if there were "phases" of the real EMD E7s, like there are phases of F3s or U-28s. The two shells have differences in features like the roof and side vents, fuel hatch, etc. I know early N stuff sometimes were really butchered versions of the prototype but some items were very good in detail and accuracy.
Or should I ask this question in the "prototype Railroads" forum?

Mark5

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2018, 09:22:01 AM »
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The Roco shell (late 1970s tooling) is probably a poor representation.

Apparently there are at least two "phases" of E7s, Walthers HO did "Phase II":

https://www.walthers.com/proto-2000-diesel-emd-e7a-b-phase-ii-set-powered-w-sound-dcc-new-york-central-quot-20th-century-limited-quot-4024-4108

No idea what the differences are though.

Mark

JMaurer1

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 11:18:10 AM »
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Phase 1: Single headlight, screened air intake ports behind the cab doors

Phase II: Second headlight below the first one

Phase III: Shuttered air intake doors instead of screens

Phase IV: Larger numberboards at an angle to the cab

Keep in mind that 'phases' are something that model railroaders added to keep track of the running changes the builder would make. The builder called ALL locomotives of a particular model whatever that model number was (in this case, all 'phases' were simply called E-7s) since the changes just represented 'improvements' to the design of the locomotive.
Sacramento Valley NTrak

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 11:31:21 AM »
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From Walthers description, the distinction they are drawing is in the middle side panel.  "Phase II units were easily spotted by the differences in the middle side panel, which housed several screened filters in place of the double-windows seen on earlier models. An additional air intake was also installed at the upper rear of the body."

That latter style is the one in the picture on the Walther's page you linked.  (Is it just me, or is that a huge hole in the pilot to accommodate the coupler?)

Whether separate phases or just panel variations (E units were prone to this, because railroads established a "look" with their early Es that they tried to maintain on later ones), with any E unit (any locomotive really) it is best to get a photo of the unit you want to model, at the time you are modeling it.  Some E7s "evolved" enough over their service life with parts replacements and upgrades that they were virtually indistinguishable from an E8 by the time they were retired.  To say nothing of situations like the ATSF E1s, which went to EMD for rebuilds, and were E8s when they came out- virtually a trade in vs a rebuild.
Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

OldEastRR

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2018, 03:47:28 AM »
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The BLI and old Roco shells are basically identical on their sides. Same size vents, windows, doors, handrails, etc placement. The Roco has larger rivets is the only difference. The roof details differ; the Roco exhaust pipes are very big compared to the BLI, and the BLI has the roof "fins" (vent openings) divided into four sections each, while the Roco has them divided only into two. So I'm wondering if there were any roof variations in the E7 production series.
BTW, both locos have single headlights, louvers behind the cab, and the double window.
Seems as tho both shells are of the same "phase" E7. however. There is not much difference in the quality of the castings, either. I put brass handrails on the ConCor and it looks pretty good.
I'm modeling 1955.
ADDENDUM: I just noticed the pix in the "E7 grills?" thread and saw some E7s didn't have the vented compartment door behind the cab doors. What "phase" was THAT?
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 03:52:34 AM by OldEastRR »

ncbqguy

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 03:55:49 PM »
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I would have to dig out my Mainline Modeler issues to fully document the differences between Phase I and Phase II E7s. 
Single/Dual (Mars Light) HL, Open/Enclosed Pilot, and Small/45 degree NB are not Phase differences.
The Roco/Atlas/Con-Cor and Life-Like units are Phase I as are the BLI units produced so far.
There are drawings for a Phase II unit but I don’t know if BLIs factory tooled them.  The difference is extra screened vents and screened vents instead of side paired windows as was stated previously.  The roof vents are screened instead of slatted as well. 
The compressor compartment can have either louvered or screened vent doors and these are not necessarily tied to Phases.   Some roads made them blank with no vents.
BLI tooled small and 45 degree numberboards, single and dual HL, louvered and screened vent doors.
BTW the BLI E6B has its own shell different from the E7B shell.  There are two different E6A shells as some prototypes had the front paired side windows closer to the cab than standard.
Charlie Vlk
   
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 04:02:21 PM by ncbqguy »

thomasjmdavis

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2018, 05:56:48 PM »
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Old East- some of the photos in the "E7 grills?" thread are E5s and E6s- showing paint technique for grills/screens and such- and so that may be what you are seeing.  Some of the units were also detailed models of particular locomotives- and both EMD and the railroads themselves modified the locomotives to meet specs desired by a particular road.
Tom D.

"The difference between the difficult and the impossible is that doing the impossible is usually more fun." (my college design professor Russell Whaley)

OldEastRR

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Re: Differences between BLI and ConCor E7 shells
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2018, 11:10:39 PM »
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OK, my curiosity is satisfied. Both my shells are "Phase I".
As a sidenote, I bodymounted a coupler on the rear of the dummy ConCor but rigged an MTL in the swinging pilot truck. The lower nose of the unit is glued to the swinging truck. yeah, I could've made a fixed front coupler and solid nose but a swinging pilot is better adapted to handling both long and short cars with bodymounts w/o tendency to derail them on a curve. The swing out of the lower nose piece isn't that noticeable, and my curves are pretty wide.