Author Topic: Horizon and Comet Cars in N & HO - Plus a lot more!  (Read 16637 times)

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thomasjmdavis

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Re: Horizon and Comet Cars in N & HO - Plus a lot more!
« Reply #240 on: November 09, 2021, 11:17:43 PM »
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Who knew AMTRAK cars in N scale would be more expensive than some tickets to ride the real trains that feature these cars.
That's always been true, as long as you didn't go too far.  I'm so old, I used to ride the C&NW for less than the cost of a Rivarossi sleeper. 
Tom D.

If you don't know what it is, don't throw it out.

peteski

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Re: Horizon and Comet Cars in N & HO - Plus a lot more!
« Reply #241 on: November 09, 2021, 11:37:23 PM »
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I really like the cars but the snubber assembly is really delicate and prone to breaking. I had one truck broken out of the 15 cars I received. Rapido is sending a replacement.

The other issue I have is that the trucks are not attached by pins but rather split pegs. These can break if you remove the trucks several times. Since the pegs are integrated into the chassis, you need to order an entire new floor assembly to replace it. Not only that but there is a very small and fragile washer between the truck and body that forms a "U" shape. This needs to be oriented correctly around the split pin. This is also very prone to breaking and I needed to make one out of .05" sheet styrene. It is a very perplexing decision to have made the trucks this way and I hope they revise this on subsequent runs.
I agree on all points, but I have serious doubts that they will revise the kingpin design.  After all, these were not designed to be repeatedly removed by the modeler.

The very delicate parts of the suspension (you call snubber, Rapido calls stabilizer) look great, but like you said, are very fragile.  It is one of those things that they made decision to include for realism, but not really good for operations (handling).  Horizon trucks have slightly different, but much sturdier design for the protruding parts.

I don't know why they added those washers.  Ride height? Probably not.  I already lost couple of them, so I'll try my cars without them. I can always easily make replacements if needed.  BTW, it is not 0.05"  If anything, it is 0.005" (looks more like 0.010" to me).

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As for the body color, I'm OK with the silver. These things appeared to be delivered in a bright aluminum finish - maybe not polished, but pretty close to stainless steel color. They quickly changed color, but I found they changed colors on railroads differently. For example, the Amtrak car seen earlier is much lighter than many MBTA comets I have seen.

My guess is that different car washers affect the aluminum surface differently. For example, circular scrub pads used on some railroads might leave a fine surface swirl which could lead to a more uniform oxidized surface. I think that is what is going on with the Amtrak cars.

The MBTA uses fiberglass bristles on a roller to clean the MBTA cars. This leaves deeper groves along a single plane and may account for the slightly darker color of the MBTA cars.

In either case, Rapido is modeling the cars "as new" so I think the silver they chose is appropriate. By the time the MBTA cars took on a dusty graphite look, the purple also faded considerably. Both can be modeled by a fade coat. The windows pop out with ease, even though glued in.

I could live with the bright color, but it is the paint texture that really bugs me.  Even without my reading glasses, the texture is really pronounced. Like I mentioned, at first I thought they used a "hot" silver paint that crazed the plastic, but I think it is the paint itself that does not have smooth surface.  I'm really surprised that very few notice that.  The photos I posted earlier clearly show what I'm describing.


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Yeah the cars are expensive, but they required the engineering of an engine to get everything right. I counted four different paint colors just on the interior for example.

Yes, especially the electronic (gadgetry). It is cute, but if I could have a car with just simple interior lighting and pay $10 less, I would be all over that.  What's not cool is that power loss resets the circuit to default settings.  And on the cab car, there is no way to fully turn off the cab end lights. Either headlight or the markers will always be on.  It is just the way the circuit is designed. I have the circuit figured out. I'm planning on posting instructions on how to install la DCC decoder to control the lights (but the install will not be an easy task).

What they did get right is the LED brightness.  They run those LEDs on very small current (red LEDs @ 1.4mA and white at only 0.7mA!), but the entire circuitry seems over-designed to me. Internally the circuit operates on 3V. Maybe they originally designed it to be battery operated (2 x 1.5V coin battery), like the easy-peasy lights, but then decided to use the track voltage.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2021, 11:44:35 PM by peteski »
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kscessandriver

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Re: Horizon and Comet Cars in N & HO - Plus a lot more!
« Reply #242 on: November 10, 2021, 12:04:08 PM »
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I agree on all points, but I have serious doubts that they will revise the kingpin design.  After all, these were not designed to be repeatedly removed by the modeler.

The very delicate parts of the suspension (you call snubber, Rapido calls stabilizer) look great, but like you said, are very fragile.  It is one of those things that they made decision to include for realism, but not really good for operations (handling).  Horizon trucks have slightly different, but much sturdier design for the protruding parts.

I don't know why they added those washers.  Ride height? Probably not.  I already lost couple of them, so I'll try my cars without them. I can always easily make replacements if needed.  BTW, it is not 0.05"  If anything, it is 0.005" (looks more like 0.010" to me).

I could live with the bright color, but it is the paint texture that really bugs me.  Even without my reading glasses, the texture is really pronounced. Like I mentioned, at first I thought they used a "hot" silver paint that crazed the plastic, but I think it is the paint itself that does not have smooth surface.  I'm really surprised that very few notice that.  The photos I posted earlier clearly show what I'm describing.


Yes, especially the electronic (gadgetry). It is cute, but if I could have a car with just simple interior lighting and pay $10 less, I would be all over that.  What's not cool is that power loss resets the circuit to default settings.  And on the cab car, there is no way to fully turn off the cab end lights. Either headlight or the markers will always be on.  It is just the way the circuit is designed. I have the circuit figured out. I'm planning on posting instructions on how to install la DCC decoder to control the lights (but the install will not be an easy task).

What they did get right is the LED brightness.  They run those LEDs on very small current (red LEDs @ 1.4mA and white at only 0.7mA!), but the entire circuitry seems over-designed to me. Internally the circuit operates on 3V. Maybe they originally designed it to be battery operated (2 x 1.5V coin battery), like the easy-peasy lights, but then decided to use the track voltage.

I'll be interested to see how complicated they really are. I just don't understand why Rapido didn't make them DCC ready in some way, for cab lighting control