Author Topic: BLI units  (Read 2822 times)

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sd75i

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BLI units
« on: September 02, 2023, 11:16:31 PM »
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  I dont have any BLI units, but I am thinking about getting a few DC units.  Any opinions on those that own  BLI units?  Thanks!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2023, 03:42:00 PM by GaryHinshaw »

MVW

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2023, 09:34:47 AM »
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I have a couple E units, couple F units, and a 4-6-2 from BLI, with a 2-8-2 on the way. Love 'em all. (I run 'em on DCC, though.)

I'm not a locomotive maven, but I see no reason to hesitate. If BLI makes something you want, you'll probably enjoy having it.

Jim

daniel_leavitt2000

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2023, 10:03:13 AM »
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Detail is usually pretty good. They miss some obvious things (like end handrail paint) that you should get at this price. They do not care about phases much. Some engines are well designed, while others had head scratching defects. Their sound is generally pretty good but does not play well with ESU.
There's a shyness found in reason
Apprehensive influence swallow away
You seem to feel abysmal take it
Then you're careful grace for sure
Kinda like the way you're breathing
Kinda like the way you keep looking away

Canadian-Atlantic

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2023, 03:01:51 PM »
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I picked up a pair of AC6000's and would say detail is about the same as Atlas. The drive was smooth but I wasn't impressed with their sound so I sent them out to have esu installed.

jdcolombo

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2023, 02:54:06 PM »
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I don't own any BLI diesels other than their PA-1's.  I do have 4 of those, and six of the light Mikados.

Operationally, they are all excellent.  Smooth running, and the steamers pull more than you would expect from an engine this size.  The PA's had an impressive number of NKP details correct and the Mikes are extremely well-engineered, IMHO.

I'm not a fan of the sound decoders.  The Paragon 3 was particularly bad, with an inability to do really simple things like keep the headlight on when the engine was in reverse.  Any kind of prototypical lighting was a no-no with that decoder, and the sound produced for the Alco PA's was terrible.  I'm told the Paragon 4 has solved the lighting problems and apparently some people like them.  I tore out all the Paragon decoders and replaced them all with ESU decoders and custom speakers.

Your mileage may vary.

John C.

sd75i

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2023, 10:19:47 AM »
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 Thank you for the responses.  I dont have any Kato ES44ac's, but I do have some FVM ES44ac's.  Probably get a couple Katos after I get a couple BLI ES44ac's and compare them all.  DC of course!

kscessandriver

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2023, 03:37:39 PM »
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My biggest beef with them, and the reason I stopped buying was the Paragon decoders. Now that they've gone and made the decision to come out with the Stealth series. I'll have to try them out with ESU for a decoder.

Scottl

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2023, 03:52:23 PM »
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The BLI SD70ACe units look a bit strange to me.  I can't put my finger on it but it has been enough to keep me from considering buying one.  My point of comparison was the Kato unit.

I had a similar vibe with the HO units from MTH.  They just looked off to my eye, despite being marketed with extra detail.

As far as ES44/ET44 units, I have a number of from Kato, FVM and Scale Trains.  They all run fine but the FVM have more operating noise.

lock4244

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2023, 07:59:31 PM »
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@Scottl

They look fake, at least in the BLI supplied pictures I've seen of them. I can't explain where that impression comes from, but it may be the way they photograph / process images of them. Can't speak towards having seen one in person... it's highly likely I have (probably at Trainfest) but can't say with certainty as their offerings aren't really on my radar. I get the same vibe from Kato as well, but not as much.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2023, 08:18:50 PM by lock4244 »

Scottl

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2023, 09:04:47 PM »
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@Scottl

They look fake, at least in the BLI supplied pictures I've seen of them. I can't explain where that impression comes from, but it may be the way they photograph / process images of them. Can't speak towards having seen one in person... it's highly likely I have (probably at Trainfest) but can't say with certainty as their offerings aren't really on my radar. I get the same vibe from Kato as well, but not as much.

I looked at one in the display case of the LHS and it definitely looked different (off) to me compared to the Kato unit next to it.  It might be an eye of the beholder kind of thing, but coupled with the mixed sound reviews it was off my list.

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2023, 10:19:48 AM »
+1
Something to add to this: I believe Kato has been gaslighting us for YEARS about how model locomotives "should" look.

I realized it when debugging my impressions of the Intermountain SD40-2s.

"Why do these seem to ride so high compared to Katos?"

"Oh, it's because the Kato version is too low"

It was an eye opener.

Now, I don't have a fix, because, to my eye, the Kato units still look "right", but it might be a contributing factor here.

squirrelhunter

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2023, 10:36:05 AM »
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Something to add to this: I believe Kato has been gaslighting us for YEARS about how model locomotives "should" look.

I realized it when debugging my impressions of the Intermountain SD40-2s.

"Why do these seem to ride so high compared to Katos?"

"Oh, it's because the Kato version is too low"

It was an eye opener.

Now, I don't have a fix, because, to my eye, the Kato units still look "right", but it might be a contributing factor here.
And the IM ones do ride too high, but you are right that the Kato units have a lot of compromises that don't pop out visually as much as ones for other mfgs do.

That said, I agree the BLI AC6000W/SD70 locos do have a "toy like" look to them, even though they don't have any notable issues to them- my theory is the finish they use (when put on a hood unit) has the high gloss look that comes with paint applied too thick, and for most modelers thick heavy paint = toylike tooling.

Scottl

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2023, 10:53:15 AM »
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Something to add to this: I believe Kato has been gaslighting us for YEARS about how model locomotives "should" look.

I realized it when debugging my impressions of the Intermountain SD40-2s.

"Why do these seem to ride so high compared to Katos?"

"Oh, it's because the Kato version is too low"

It was an eye opener.

Now, I don't have a fix, because, to my eye, the Kato units still look "right", but it might be a contributing factor here.

I'm ruined for life  :D

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2023, 12:02:39 PM »
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I'm ruined for life  :D

Model railroading, where the motto should be "it's better to not know".

peteski

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Re: BLI units
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2023, 02:07:04 PM »
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It is your railroad (or collection): buy what *YOU* like.  :)

I like turtles!
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