Author Topic: The Canadian  (Read 6716 times)

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CNR5529

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The Canadian
« on: May 02, 2021, 02:58:48 PM »
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"The Canadian, Canada's first and only stainless steel Scenic Dome streamliner - in daily service between Montreal-Vancouver and Toronto-Vancouver via the Banff-Lake Louise route." - Canadian Pacific Railway, the world's most complete transportation system.

@rapidotrains have been shipping out their latest N scale trainset project: the much anticipated CPR/CP Rail/VIA Rail "The Canadian", built by the Budd Company for a brand new transcontinental service inaugurated in 1955. I just received my 10 car base set, 3 car add on and extra skyline, all in the original Canadian Pacific scheme, and all I can say is I am thoroughly impressed. The plan here is to share a bunch of photos along with my observations on the trainset as delivered, and then continue with this thread as I make a few modifications and upgrades to my consist, just to make it a bit more unique.

Lets start like all good unboxing videos, with the box.

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Rapido have opted for a classy, minimalistic styling for the outer sleeve, which protects the two bookcases that store the 10 cars. It appears that all versions of the train have the same sleeve. (Not that it really matters, but could have been interesting to have unique artwork for the various versions of the train.)

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The first bookcase includes a little information booklet about the prototype and model, as well as some add on details in poly bags and the Rapido light wand. The extra details are super fine stirrups to be installed at the vestibule end. Rapido recommends to keep these off in club environments as they are prone to breakage with excessive handling. That said, for home use they should hold up just fine.

And now the moment everyone has been waiting for, the first look!

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The first bookcase houses the baggage-dormitory, two coaches, a Skyline mid train dome car and the dining car.

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The second bookcase houses two Manor sleepers, two Chateau sleepers and the Park dome observation car. The cars all fit snuggly and seemed secured in the bookcases, while not being so tight as to be difficult to remove and cause damage.

It is already apparent that the stainless steel finish, and the detailing on these cars is spectacular. Up next we will take a closer look at each car type, and some of the crazy level of detailing Rapido has included.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 04:54:23 PM by CNR5529 »
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peteski

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2021, 03:38:42 PM »
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These cars look great (and I know it is basically impossible to capture the look of polished stainless steel in photos).  Interesting that many of the windows appear to have shades pulled down.

One thing about the book-style case foam inserts (and this is not a criticism - merely an observation):  The finger openings to aid in the car removal are made way too small for average-size fingers.  Maybe a petite woman with very fine hands would be able to insert her fingers into those openings, but they look too small for average girth fingers.  Other manufacturers are guilty of the same design - not just Rapido. It is just that those photos reminded me of this problem.

In this particular set the foam inserts appear to be made in a way that the car is fairly loose in them, so removal should not be a problem. I have passenger sets from other manufacturers where the cars are tightly nested in the foam insert, and those finger holes are no help in extracting the cars. Other, more severe means have to be utilized (while praying that the cars don't get damaged while being yanked out).  In those cases it is wise to put a wide ribbon under each car before stuffing them back into their nests.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 08:03:07 PM by peteski »
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thomasjmdavis

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2021, 03:42:47 PM »
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One thing about the book-style case foam inserts (and this is not a criticism - merely an observation):  The finger openings to aid in the car removal are made way too small for average-size fingers.  Maybe a petite woman with very fine hands would be able to insert her fingers into those openings, but they look too small for average girth fingers.  Other manufacturers are guilty of the same design - not just Rapido. It is just that those photos reminded me of this problem.

Manufacturers went with their usual method of determining size for N scale.  They measured the fingers of an HO modeler, and then multiplied by 0.55 to determine the correct  size for finger openings for N scale modelers.
Tom D.

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CNR5529

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2021, 05:33:14 PM »
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Just added a note about it above, but it wasn't difficult at all to get the cars out without causing any damage. At the same time, the inserts are a good secure fit with the cars, so they aren't floating around loosely causing damage in transit. One other thing I noticed is the foam has a faint off-gassing odour, which I imagine will subside over time.

As for the blinds, Rapido has been applying blinds as appropriate since their early Panorama line of PS/CC&F cars. In the past I believe they were a film that could be trimmed and adjusted in position, while on this set they are painted on. The pull down blinds are 1/2 or 1/3 of the way down, per the railway's practice when leaving terminals. Where appropriate, venetian blinds are used instead of pull down blinds. They have also included separate internal safety railing in all narrow corridors throughout the train, but we will get to all that shortly!
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Missaberoad

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2021, 05:49:09 PM »
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Are there group of 7 paintings in the park cars?  :D ;)
Ryan in Alberta

CNR5529

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2021, 05:59:37 PM »
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The set I purchased is the CPR early set #1, i.e. the original Tuscan scheme with Yoho Park at the rear. The reason for getting this set specifically is because Yoho National Park (the actual park) is where my wife and I got married a few years ago, at an old CPR chalet called Emerald Lake Lodge. Naturally, getting the train with Yoho Park (the car) made it a bit of an easier sell! Anyways, lets go look at some of the cool details on each car in this set.

Baggage-Dormitory

The first car in the train is the baggage-dormitory car, which housed the crew and excess passenger luggage. These were numbered in the 3000 series.

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On all cars, the number/nameboards are separately applied, as are all grab irons, stirrups, cut levers, etc. The stainless steel finish Rapido has produced really is exquisite. As mentioned by others above, photos hardly do it justice (but I will still try to show them off anyways rather than not take any photos  :D). The windows in the dormitory area are frosted, and there are pull down shades on the opposite wall of the car.

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End wall and end door details are equally impressive, with car names and numbers printed on each door, and hand brake detail clearly visible behind the safety gates. The side wall and roof Budd fluting looks perfect to my eyes.

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When the HO version of this train was produced, I believe the cast beaver details were actually a separate 3D add on part. It appears that they are flat tampo-printed on for the N scale version. That said, they are very finely printed, and I am in no way disappointed that they aren't 3D.

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In fact, all of the printing and lettering throughout the train is clean and crisp.

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Did I mention full interior? In a baggage car? This is the level of detail and commitment to accuracy that Rapido is spoiling us with. No one will ever see the interior of this baggage car, yet it has a full complement of crew bunk beds, full washrooms and an assortment of storage lockers. Amazing! Now I need to fill this car up with N scale luggage.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 09:27:30 AM by CNR5529 »
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CNR5529

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2021, 06:02:55 PM »
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Are there group of 7 paintings in the park cars?  :D ;)

So there is a book that was put out when VIA overhauled the Park cars, to document much of the artwork as it was being removed, restored and preserved in the National collection. All that to say, I already have the artwork ready for the murals in my lounge! I am on the hunt though for a colour version of the Yoho map mural in the bullet observation lounge, if anyone has it...  :D
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 07:30:56 PM by CNR5529 »
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peteski

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2021, 08:09:36 PM »
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The closeup photo of the car's end nicely shows off the paint. It seems to have that "warm silver" stainless steel look, and it also seems to uniform metallic color with no visible metallic particles.  The glossiness seems also to be just right - not too shiny, not too flat.  Nice!
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CNR5529

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2021, 09:09:35 PM »
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The closeup photo of the car's end nicely shows off the paint. It seems to have that "warm silver" stainless steel look, and it also seems to uniform metallic color with no visible metallic particles.  The glossiness seems also to be just right - not too shiny, not too flat.  Nice!

The finish really is stunning in person. I cant wait to take better photos outside in the sun.
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CNR5529

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2021, 09:37:10 PM »
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Deluxe Coach

From the inauguration of The Canadian in 1955 to about the mid 60s, the next cars in the consist would normally be a trio of upgraded heavyweight tourist class U series sleepers. Although Rapido has not produced this car, a kit is available from Central Hobbies in Vancouver, produced by @Angus Shops. That said, from the mid 60s on, the next cars in the consist would be two Deluxe Coaches. These cars, numbered in the 100 series, would provide comfortable reclining leg rest coach seating for up to 60 passengers going on shorter duration trips.

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I am still in awe at the level of detail and overall finish.

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One thing that Rapido has done is make every car interior in a different colour as appropriate for the car type and era. Each car on the real Canadian was furnished in one of a few interior schemes depending on the car type, and was decorated with artwork, glass etchings and carvings depicting various aspects of Canadian history, places, transportation, flora and fauna, etc. Its nice to see that appropriate base colours are applied here.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 09:27:44 AM by CNR5529 »
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CNR5529

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2021, 10:15:48 PM »
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Skyline Dome Parlor

In the original 1955 consist, a Skyline mid train buffet lounge (coffee shop) dome car was marshalled behind the U sleepers and ahead of the Duluxe coaches. After the mid 60s, the skyline was moved behind the coaches and ahead of the dining car and sleepers. In VIA days, there are usually multiple skylines in each consist, spread throughout the train. These cars were numbered in the 500 series, and provided all sorts of refreshments, snacks, and scenic views to the passengers on board. The Skylines could seat 26 passengers in the coach end of the car, 23 people in the coffee shop end of the car, and 24 passengers in the scenic dome.

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Like the previous two car types, the Skyline is full of era specific fine details such as the vents from the buffet galley. That said, I now have to point out one thing that is missing on these cars which was included in the original renders on the Rapido website: the dome glass tinting (all the glass really). I am not sure if this was a manufacturing error, or a deliberate omission, but the glass should be tinted either in a smokey grey in the original Tuscan scheme or a green colour for Action Red onwards. I know I can fix this problem myself with some clear-grey paint (and I likely will), but I shouldn't have to. Hey @rapidotrains, any reason why you didn't tint the glass like in the renders?

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Once again there is a full interior, and they even have an opening in the light board for the staircase to go up through to connect with the insert in the dome.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 09:27:56 AM by CNR5529 »
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peteski

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2021, 10:25:05 PM »
-1
The lighting appears to be track-powered, not those battery-powered units Rapido sells. Nice! I much prefer track-powered lighting.  The circuit also appears to be rather complex, but I don't see any larger size anti-flicker capacitors.
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CNR5529

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2021, 10:41:18 PM »
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Yup, track powered and controlled with the magnetic wand, default state is on when put on the track. I haven't really tested on dirty track yet but will report back on the flicker status when I can test it a bit more.

Note that HEP era trainsets (VIA) have additional functional marker lights on both ends of every car. These are also controlled by the wand, but default state is off, supposedly.
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peteski

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2021, 12:11:47 AM »
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That's impressive.  On the light board for the dome car I see what looks like 2 white LEDs on the top of the board.  What are those for?



One thing that is a bit wonky on the dome is the way the glass piece is molded, there is a thick "glass" surround on each pane.  Sort of looks like those architectural glass blocks used in  buildings. Kato and other manufacturers found a better way to deal with that type of a window (so teach pane is free or almost free of that artifact).

While I don't have the dome car in question, the Rapido Osgood-Bradley cars had the same type of windows.



Here are examples of flush-mounted door windows in Kato Orient Express car (left) and Rapido OG car (right).
Kato's window "glass" is molded in a way that no thick edge shows, while the Rapido "glass" has that "glass block" look to it.  It has that unnatural look.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2021, 04:17:51 PM by peteski »
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Point353

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Re: The Canadian
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2021, 12:35:21 AM »
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On the light board for the dome car I see what looks like 2 white LEDs on the top of the board.  What are those for?
To illuminate the dome section?