A thought on N scale and ALCo locomotives

SP&S #750 Sep 24, 2015

  1. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    I received my IM F3A' s SP&S #800-801 today, and it got me thinking about ALCo's popular FA/FB units and Century units.

    Walther's has or had a corner on the market for FA/FB units and the ubiquitous C-424/425. These units while fantastic are not DCC friendly (as in literal drop in friendly, like say an IM F3/7). Why doesn't another manufacturer like Intermountain or Atlas step up to corner the market on these units?

    A DCC friendly (like above) FA/FB1/2 unit has the possibility to become as popular as the F units or modern locomotives in N. I'll admit I'd love to see more SP&S ALCo F's readily available on the market. Same for the C424/425's.

    I'm sure it's probably just wishful thinking on my part but, I'd like to see more of these unit types.
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    While it would be nice to have these, probably looking at the numbers of FA and FB units already made, and they'd sell less than EMD F's. But never say never.
     
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  3. Kenneth L. Anthony

    Kenneth L. Anthony TrainBoard Member

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    Alco FA does not fit prototypes I like to model, but my first N scale loco was an Arnold Rapido New York Central FA. And boy was it heavy! And boy did it run smooth and slow!

    [​IMG]
    Didn't really fit on Colorado layout I built... but it was what I had.
     
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  4. DrMb

    DrMb TrainBoard Member

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    Is this going to be another "What about the RSD-7/15/17?" thread? :p

    However, regarding the FA/B units, I strongly suspect that Rapido has them in the pipe if their current development cycle doesn't change.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
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  5. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    RSD? Don't need no stinkin' alligators!!!!

    :ROFLMAO:
     
  6. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Off subject a bit, but since you mentioned it, how's the paint on the F3's? Does it match the cars Lowell Smith has put out. When he was in Montana this spring, he said they had arrived and he sent them back because the yellow was bad. Hopefully mine will arrive in the next few days.

    I'd love to see some new FA's too, but if someone makes them, they'll probably never do them in SP&S because those would never sell. I'm still trying to find a solution for the bad match of the yellow on the Microscale decals vs the yellow of something that at least resembles SP&S yellow so I can do a couple of FA's in pinstripe with the oxide roofs.
     
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  7. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    I'll check the matching tomorrow and snap a couple pics for ya.

    I find lack of "buyers" is a poor excuse for model manufacturers, but hey we do have Lowell. So there's no problems there.

    I asked him if he'd be willing to pair with Rapido to run an SP&S LW sleeper car #700. Maybe he could run the other two as well?
     
  8. Carolina Northern

    Carolina Northern TrainBoard Member

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    You're right - we want high noses.
     
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  9. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    The thing that frustrates me about the existing Century models is no one has done a credible GBW in red. Its an easy scheme to do, representative of Alco's in the midwest, and would save me a ton of work to make one. But i digress
     
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  10. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I would suspect that given the large number of FA/B 1's that were dumped on the market just before Walthers bought Lifelike that the odds on any manufacturer doing them is minimal. Those locomotives, despite being strictly analog, are great runners. They can be DCCed with frames cut down by Aztec. I got an ABBA set I would love to add DCC and sound. Does anyone make a decent sound decoder that could fit with a minimum of frame removal?
     
  11. Puddington

    Puddington Passed away May 21, 2016 In Memoriam

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    It's no secret that we have produced the MLW FPA-4 in HO scale and have announced the first of at least two runs of FPA-2's and FA2's in HO scale. We'll do FB2's after that. It's also no secret that we focus on Canadian and primarily NE USA prototypes so the Alco's of the F series fit our core business. The question is "do they make sense in N scale?"

    I'm an N scaler; and I'm a dedicated "Alco-holic" and could use a small fleet of high quality FPA-2's and FA2's in both CPR script and thick stripe CP Rail. That said, I'm not convinced they'd sell in N scale well enough to make the project profitable. Here's why, and I warn you it may be slightly insulting...

    N scalers do not tend to spend their locomotive budgets on upgrades, like many HO scale modellers will. Bring out a better RDC or F unit and it will perform well in the HO market. Limited evidence doesn't support the same condition in N scale. Would a $150.00 FA2 sell given the old Life Like units sold ten plus years ago for $70.00? Maybe..... N scalers want, scream for, demand, beg us for, complain about the lack of modern, high quality, road number detailed locomotives, many if which have been done years ago BUT when faced with the modern MSRP of said units they shy away from following through with the purchase; more so than their HO brethren.

    I'd love to pull the trigger on the Alco's.... is it worth the over $80,000.00 in development and tooling to do it like we're doing it in HO? You tell me......
     
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  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    As already noted, there have been and still are already so many in N available. Are for far less than $70.
     
  13. Philip H

    Philip H TrainBoard Member

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    Pud,
    My response is this - how many of those original LL FA's will last long enough for Walthers to get around to doing a new run? Good runners as they are, they will run out eventually, never mind their DCC unfriendliness. So maybe the investment isn't work it today . . .
     
  14. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would hate to have the "responsibility" of choosing a project. I guess it wouldn't be too bad if I didn't need to make money, I'd just make what I wanted and maybe someone else would want them too. I don't envy you fellows.
     
  15. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    Thank you for the input Mike, I will say though that for the time being, Time is on my side.
     
  16. JMaurer1

    JMaurer1 TrainBoard Member

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    Walthers: the worst thing to happen to N scale
     
  17. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Atlas has turned out some Alco models and as stated there are still a wealth of FA1s and 2s out there that can be had. However the Alco market is open for the 415 and the C-636. Neither one had anything near moderate production numbers but still enough roads that are modeled would probably support a small run of each. And never mind that Concor once released the 636. It was not to scale and a poor performing model with a number of issues. And if the 415 was ever made it was most likely in brass since I do not recall ever seeing a plastic model.
     
  18. DrMb

    DrMb TrainBoard Member

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    The obvious question for the C636 is can it use the same chassis as the C630. If so, Atlas would warm up to the idea since it would mean they only have to invest in the shell and the trucks with the added bonus of being able to produce Hi-Ad trucked versions of the C630. If they can't use the same chassis, then the chances of them producing it become considerably more unlikely.
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    It has not been good, and that is certain. :(
     
  20. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    Shhhhhhh, stop thinking they'll box you up and haul you away. Lol!

    But I agree, why an existing frame and parts of the shell can't be used is beyond me.
     

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