Author Topic: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives  (Read 3158 times)

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Steveruger45

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2019, 01:41:54 PM »
0
Looks like you have more locos than rolling stock!   :o

Who doesn’t?   :D
Steve
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randgust

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #31 on: November 22, 2019, 01:26:13 PM »
+6
I'll admit that this is drift in two different directions.....  First, this actually qualifies as a 1960's" as it came out in 1968, I think....
Second, because it's become a bit of a Woodsman's axe - new trailing truck, all-new tender, new cab.

BUT, original chassis, lead truck, pilot, cast-brass boiler, and five-pole motor - the 1968 Jamco 4-6-2, the first brass locomotive ever in N:



This came in as an inoperative Ebay parts junker with a damaged pilot and smokebox and frozen mechanism.... but I have to admit, from the time I first saw it in Model Railroader, I was absolutely hooked.   I ALWAYS wanted one.   And with all the labor I put into it, it runs really well.  About the only thing that gives it away is the flanges - I could have turned it, but the ATSF layout is already C80, so the stability through turnouts on a short steam wheelbase was an issue. 

These are the same design vintage as the Trix K4 4-6-2 and the Rapido 4-6-2 - '68-69 was a good year for US steam and it's astounding how well those old chassis designs have held up.   Not so well with Rivarossi and zinc pest.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 01:37:10 PM by randgust »

wm3798

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #32 on: November 22, 2019, 01:36:11 PM »
0
One of the Retro Revival projects that really spurred me on!  Thanks for the inspiration, Randy.
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Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

Doug G.

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #33 on: November 22, 2019, 10:57:12 PM »
0
Yeah, that Jamco looks great!

To demonstrate some of us have old HO, too, here's my Tyco Mikado I built from a NOS (from the sixties) kit in 2017. It was really fun. There is a Tyco website and those guys collect all the old stuff.




Doug
Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

Rich_S

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2019, 11:27:51 PM »
+1
Question for the group:  Do you think HO people retain their Tyco/Lionel/rubber band Athearn/AHM inventory like we are seeing "back in the day" stuff displayed here?

Yes, I still have my old HO Scale Athearn, AHM, Bachmann and TYCO lomotives and rolling stock.

Here's just a few.







I made the switch to N scale back in 1989, so this stuff is all stored away and will probably go for $2 total when I pass  :facepalm:


Doug G.

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2019, 04:02:27 PM »
0
I have an Athearn SD45 and Hormel car too. I updated the SD45 a bit by painting the trucks silver which I'm pretty sure Athearn did on the later ones. It is a very smooth runner. Hormel was founded in my hometown in 1892. Mine were both kits in the Athearn solid blue boxes (no window). The extent of the SD45 being a kit was to install the handrails, not an extremely easy task.

Doug
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www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

Doug G.

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2019, 04:09:29 PM »
0
The infamous Q1b:




Mine actually runs pretty well after a bit of work.

Doug
Atlas First Generation Motive Power and Treble-O-Lectric. Click on the link:
www.irwinsjournal.com/a1g/a1glocos/

Rich_S

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2019, 06:49:25 PM »
0
I have an Athearn SD45 and Hormel car too. I updated the SD45 a bit by painting the trucks silver which I'm pretty sure Athearn did on the later ones. It is a very smooth runner. Hormel was founded in my hometown in 1892. Mine were both kits in the Athearn solid blue boxes (no window). The extent of the SD45 being a kit was to install the handrails, not an extremely easy task.

Doug

Hi Doug, The SD45 and freight cars were part of an Athearn train set I received as a Christmas Present in 1967. The truck side frames are metal, but due to age they are not as shiny as they use to be.

Here's a photo of the train set box, it was a giant size of the original "Blue Box" kits.



Here's the original instruction sheet for the SD45, if you notice closely these models were produced before Athearn started adding flywheels to the locomotives.



It's my understanding the Athearn "Picture Window" boxes were the true "Ready To Run" and most often found in the early Athearn train sets. I believe a few years after my train set was produced, Athearn quit offering fully assembled Ready To Run models and from that point forward only offered "Blue Box" kits.





wm3798

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #38 on: November 24, 2019, 07:36:16 PM »
+2
Just received my latest acquisition...   One of my favorites, and a total blast from my own past...


Atlas E-7 (Roco) that appears to be hand painted, maybe with a roller, in PRR 5-stripe.  I can assure that it's not the one I did in the exact same manner, but damn, it's close!
The best part is I got it for less than $20.  The trick is set your search to "used, for parts or repair"  5 minutes with the soldering pencil and I fixed the pickups and put an LED headlight in, and it's now flying around the Retro Loop hauling the Broadway.

Lee
« Last Edit: November 24, 2019, 07:41:03 PM by wm3798 »
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glakedylan

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2019, 08:51:49 PM »
0
my Xmas gift from Mom and Dad in my 12th year was a tyco HO scale train set.
it featured the 4-6-2 PRR, sans the Belpaire firebox and with white lettering and numbers.
what did I know? i was 12. it was the coolest thing i ever saw.


with the first run around the oval, the rods on the engineer's side popped off and got bent beyond repair.
was so bummed.
it did, however, still run well (in high gear)!


at 25 i discovered, quite by accident, the mantua kits which also came in individual parts.
tommy gilbert in gettysburg came to the rescue.


installing it all together with those micro-rivets was a bit of a challenge but i got it together
installed on locomotive and planned on getting back into the hobby
it took a few years as a poor student to get an oval built, but when i did i placed the train on the track


it ran like it was brand new (justy as fast as it did years before)! what did i know, i was a newb
and had just discovered there was a company named Athearn (my entry into transition era) and F7's


i turned my back for a moment, and no sooner did i begin to smell something burning.
dang! the screw that held rods to driver turned itself in so tight that the wheels would not turn
and the motor burnt up before i could turn off the power.


i still have the locomotive, but it is packed away with all my other HO equipment. i haven't run HO
since 1993. maybe some day i will pull it out and replace the motor and get her rolling again.


sincerely
Gary

"...that each may live for all,
and all may care for each..."

randgust

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2019, 09:10:47 AM »
0
I had one of those Mantua 2-8-2's as well.   Pulled every car I had and also pulled over an amp out of my power pack and under full load could barely move - I remember this is why I had to upgrade my power supply from an MRC Trainpack.   I do remember the 10' gap between loco and tender...    At that time I think that was the biggest engine Tyco sold until the 2-10-4 came out.

I also had one of those N Atlas/Roco E-units.   Those were REALLY well designed for a power train and ran very well, one of the best designs Roco ever did, actually.   But me being me, I made an attempt to make one into an Amtrak SDP40F by modifying a Lima FP45 shell and putting over the E-unit mech.   It ran, but man, it looked odd in the trucks and I ended up selling it.   But under the 'walked uphill both ways' heading, this is what you had to do back when if you wanted an Amtrak SDP40F in Phase 1....at least Micro-Scale had decals by then!

wm3798

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2019, 11:02:34 AM »
0
Growing up I had a "Royal Blue" Mantua/Tyco Pacific... not a kit, unless my dad built it during my larval stage...  Ran the heck out of it hauling those short fluted cars with the black silhouetted passengers on the back lit white windows.  Listen to the clatter, the rumble and roar!  Many years later I took to the BSME to give it work out, and just sat there like a dead fish.  Probably just needed a good cleaning, but I left it there displayed in the engine house...  I guess when they converted to DCC it went to the White Elephant Table...  I wish I had held onto it.

Alas, its N scale cousin, the President Polk, now holds forth on the Retro Layout, so it's all good!

Lee
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robert3985

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2019, 02:26:04 PM »
+1
*Yawn...*  I got rid of all my old POS N-scale stuff about ten years ago because they were all infested with black widow spiders from being in a shoebox sitting open on its lid for years. Mostly passenger cars, with a few Bachmann diesels.  Still have my first HO scale Tyco "trainset" all jumbled in a plastic grocery bag somewhere...with a 4-4-0 American, several Civil War era freight cars and a combine on the rear.  Never ran worth a crap, and I never got around to putting the motor back in the tender when the rubber drive tube rotted away.

First N-scale engines were a bunch of unpainted brass Hallmark F-3's, F-7's, GP-7's, GP-7 B's, GP-9's and GP-9 B's, then I got an unpainted A-B-B-A set of Oriental Limited EMD E-8A's & B's then my first painted brass engines, my Key brass U.P. Alco FA-1/FB-1, which still run and look great. First plastic N-scale engines I bought were some first-run un-dec'd Kato "Toonerville Trolley" Geeps, along with some N-scale of Nevada retro frames, which made 'em look more in proportion, but they were still noticeably too long, especially when viewed alongside the brass Hallmark Geeps.  I never painted the Katos, and gave them to a fellow Ntraker in our club because they didn't bother him like they did me.

Later, I picked up some older plastic N-scale models, but my first engines were brass, most of which I still have...even the Hallmark ones which run great after Bobby Hall sent me all of her remaining brass idler gears to replace the cracked nylon idler gears that eventually plagues every early Hallmark N-scale diesel model, and is why you shouldn't buy them on eBay unless you specifically ask if they've been run, and they run great.  "Brand New" ones that have never been run have about an 85% chance of having cracked nylon idler gears, and unless you have drop-in replacements for them, it's a PITA to change 'em...and they won't run acceptably if at all without 'em.

The reason I didn't get into N-scale in its early years in the 60's and 70's was because of two things...really bad looking models, and the putrid track.  I made the jump when brass models of common engines became readily available, and I was able to fiddle with 'em to get 'em to run well...and then when Rail-Craft introduced their N-scale C70, C55 and C40 flex track, that was "it" for me, and I got special dispensation from my Ntrak club to use RC C70 flex on my 12' of modules as long as I supplied and installed the joiner tracks, and guaranteed that my hand-built turnouts would function reliably.  So, I never experienced any pleasure whatsoever from sectional N-gauge track...just the opposite.

I never had "good feelings" for the POS early N-gauge stuff...and in the late 70's and early 80's I had already been employed for half a decade by Battelle Labs in Washington as both a Senior Graphics/Technical Artist and Senior Industrial Model Maker, then with Thiokol as the same, having been building museum-quality 19th century sailing ships for customers and museums since my first year in the USN as an Illustrator/Draftsman in my four year hitch from 72 till 76...soooo...my scale-model orientation was well locked into my brain since it's what I did for a living. 

Looking back on the badly built, badly researched, badly executed early N-gauge models just makes me very thankful that in the past 25 years or so, I have been able to buy quality plastic N-scale models of the engines I want and need for my layout's location and era, that are exponentially better looking, and better running that all that retro, early, ill-proportioned, huge-flanged, made-in-The-Soviet-Union krap.

Just sayin'....and...

Have a nice day!!  :D
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 03:29:36 PM by robert3985 »

wm3798

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2019, 02:43:03 PM »
+1
I dig, Bob.  For many, many years, I was in the same head space.  Once the Atlas Kato RS-3 hit the market, it was lights out for pretty much everything else, save for the high end brass, which I could never afford (I think in my entire career I only ever had one brass caboose... and I ended up selling it). 
But as I've described elsewhere in these pages, last January, my cousin showed up and dropped off a box of trains that he and I had played with when we were kids.  And not all of it was junk!  Yes, there was the inevitable Atlas E-8 that isn't worth the space in the bin it takes up, but there were also a couple of engines that ran fairly decently once they were tidied up a bit.  The smell of aged cork, the tactile delights of snap track on the kitchen table, and unmistakable whirr of the Rapido FP9, and that was that.

Suddenly, I understood all the money those old guys would drop at the train shows on the Lionels and Flyers they had when they were kids.
There's also something wonderfully simple about those old engines.  DC from the track and a dim lightbulb for "special effects"... And with those coffee grinder gears, who needs a sound chip?

One day, I hope once again to Vollmerize a layout.. realistic settings, painstakingly accurate models, and all the electronics necessary to operate a realistic model railroad.  But for now, I've got a hollow core door in the corner of my office with four loops of track on it.  The sights and sounds of old shiny Rivarossi side rods and all those metal wheels bouncing through less then perfect trackwork is jut the tonic I need right now to keep my head on straight and pointed in the right direction!  At least until the motor burns out or that truck wire comes off... again!

Lee
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 02:44:48 PM by wm3798 »
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randgust

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Re: Retro 1970s & 1980s N locomotives
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2019, 04:02:45 PM »
+1
I did all kinds of modelbuilding, but still stayed focused on trains.   I just had no space to do anything as a teenager when I lost the battle of the basement to my fathers extensive wood shop and the resulting fine sawdust, despite partitioning off the train room.   I sold all the HO but a couple pieces and gave up model railroading out of pure frustration.     N was my salvation, I could actually do something on a 3x6 that fit in my dust-free bedroom, almost.   But I was used to HO and that performance level, and was rather disgusted at the quality of N, actually.   Had a long way to go, but it was either give that up as well or just start cutting, painting and hacking to improve it.   And I'll admit that as the only N scaler in my area, I felt like I had a score to settle with the HO guys on what could be done to mechanisms, body, paint, scenery, everything.   When the HO guys started telling me that mine ran better than their HO layouts with less derailing, I knew I was getting there.   

3x6 was built in '72, and I had 'hands off' operation with RAPIDO couplers (B&R lifting magnet ramps) and had my sceniced layout first published in RMC before Kadee revolutionized everything with their cars and couplers.   I'm not sure how many maniacs every tried that stunt - lifting ramps EVERYWHERE you needed to cut cars.    Very little remains from that era today as I'm on a philosophy of continuous upgrade, like retiring nearly every Trix caboose I had when Centralia Shops came out with their epic ATSF Ce- series cabooses.   

To this day I'll defend the guys that still have to live with tight curves and small layouts, hey it got me here.   And I still don't really have enough space to do anything but N - I scarcely have space to even stack up all my T-trak modules I've built.   I like what Lee has done with his retro layout, but I don't really feel like going back there again, either, walking uphill both ways one more time just for sport!