Decisions, Decisions...........

fatalxsunrider43 Mar 19, 2010

  1. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

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    Well, now that the "N" Scale Bachmann Mallet:thumbs_down: seems to be too much of a risk, my sites are starting to turn towards the Proto version, which makes me ask this question. As far as "N" scale steam goes, outside of Athearn and Kato, who's the better choice of these two, Bachmann or Walthers Life Like Proto ?


    Just a side note regarding Bachmann : I will say that my Spectrum 8-40's run without any problems, may not be a DCC candidate, but they run, and run.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2010
  2. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Not really an easy answer.

    Bachmann has made some duds, but they have also made some studs. The same can be said for Walthers/LifeLike. They have some great locomotives like the heavy mountain but also some so-so locomotives like the Berkshires.

    You just have to evaluate each locomotive release separately instead of drop kicking a manufacturer for one flawed unit.

    If you did that, not even Kato would pass the muster.
     
  3. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    Bachmann Spectrum made the Heavy Mountain. Walthers made the 0-8-0 Switcher and the Y-3 Mallet.. LifeLike designed the Berkshire and an earlier version of the 2-8-8-2 Mallet.
     
  4. jnevis

    jnevis TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have also heard that the Light Mountain can be made a good runner with a fairly simple modification. I don't have any steam yet but have looked at a couple for excursions and such.

    Which version do you have? I have been looking at a couple, mainly second/current run, but want to get more opinions on them. Same with the SD45s. The price is right and I'm not a stickler for "It MUST be SILENT to work properly." but if it's going to be something that I need to tweek constantly to keep running, forget it.
     
  5. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    Do you mean the original version or the new H4 that is only starting to reach the hobby shop shelves as we speak? My old 2-6-6-2 with Bullfrog Snot on two pairs of drivers will happily spend all day pulling 40-50 MTL and Atlas hoppers around the club's NTRAK layout. The very first run of mallets wasn't the best but Bachmann steam has been improving since then. If the Heavy Mountain and J class are any indication the H4 might be worth having as well.
     
  6. Bob Morris

    Bob Morris TrainBoard Supporter

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    BFS+2-6-6-2=happiness :)

    Mine also will pull a nice string of hoppers with the Bullfrog Snot. The key was getting a THIN layer on one set of drivers. My Spectrum 2-8-0's are also very good pullers and quiet runners. My heavy mountain outpulls my Kato Mikado's (by two cars) if the mikes have the traction tires.

    Hopefully the new version of the 2-6-6-2 will have traction tires right from the factory. Anyone know?

    Bob
     
  7. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for clearing up my mixup Bob. Goes to show that one should not post with a hysterical baby near by.....
     
  8. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

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    Well, I guess I should have an open mind regarding the Bachmann Mallet that is hitting the stores now. I am just concerned about my J Class and Light Mountain
    being "duds". My overall opinion on Bachmann was that they had good idea's but because of the low quality of their items, they lost knowledgable N scale customers that would have become very loyal if the products would have been produced with more quality and detail, much like they are trying to do now. I have sold everything Bachmann, kept the first releases of 8-40's because they ran good, looked good.
    Only recently bought the J and the Light Mountain becasue of the supposedly good quality, now I am not sure, but I guess I'll keep an open mind for the moment.
     
  9. tphmike

    tphmike TrainBoard Member

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    Hi All,

    I'm a brand spanking new member. I model the Tonopah and Goldfield Railroad in central Nevada. I grew up in Tonopah, Nevada and my great grandfather (mother's side) worked for the railroad. My dad and his father worked for SP Lucin Division out of Montello, Nevada. My grandfather retired and my dad worked there for 4 years before WW II intervened. Then he moved to Tonopah.

    I've been modeling for 20 years and am working on my home layout as well as the club layout.

    I also belong to the Galveston County Model RR Club in Texas City. We have a large 30' X 60' permanent N layout and a traveling N layout which is 4' X 30'. The club also has a large HO layout, Lionel, Z and a G layout.

    I am retired USCG and living in League City, Texas, just south of Houston. I found the site by asking a question on google about wiring the Model Power Vandy tender to the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0. Good ideas and I'm off to the races. I also am a member of other n scale message boards.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 19, 2010
  10. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I think that's reasonable. My philosophy on this is that if it runs well and I like the appearance then it is a good locomotive. That Spookshow reference I posted in that other thread of yours said that there are different releases of 8-40s and some are DEFINITELY better than others.

    I have a Bachmann 44-tonner and it's a real little champ. I replaced the dummy couplers with McHenry's. The appearance is great and I have had no problems with mine.

    When I am deciding on a loco I usually check out opinions and reports here, check to see what sort of procedure is involved in converting to DCC, and also check out Spookshow's site. Kato and Atlas diesels, in my experience, tend to have consistently good quality. I have had some problems with my Kato GS-4 but I think I must have just gotten a dud as they are pretty universally loved.

    I have an Athearn Challenger. There were lots of reports of tenders melting, but I think that was mostly on the earlier versions. Now, mine has the MRC decoder and the motor control is not real great, and the sound is definitely a notch or two below my Tsunami equipped locos, but overall I think this is a nice one.

    I have two Walthers 0-8-0s. These are nice locos, but they are going really fast as Walthers is closing them out.

    The AC-12 from Intermountain is fantastic, and I look forward to seeing more from Intermountain. Wow.

    I need to get more intermediate and small steam. I have heard good things about the Kato Mikado but I do not have one.

    I have a Shay on order from Atlas.

    The N scale steamers group has a lot of good information on N scale steam, and PowerSteamGuy1790 here also has a lot of experience with putting decoders in N scale steamers.
     
  11. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

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    Welcome to TrainBoard Mike! I look forward to seeing more about your layouts!
    :D :D :D :D
     
  12. jnevis

    jnevis TrainBoard Supporter

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    Have you made the modification to improve pulling power to the Mountain yet? It looked fairly easy and is well documented, I just can't remember exactly what to serch on at the Atlas forum or here. It boils down to adding a shim between the frame and the driver bearings to force the drivers to the rail better.
     
  13. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

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    I am kinda hesitant to pull anything apart unless totally necessary for the fear of it
    not going back together exactly the same way I got it.
     
  14. reinhardtjh

    reinhardtjh TrainBoard Member

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    IIRC, it's just the driver bearing with the traction tire (3rd driver?) that need the shimming. The other drivers contact okay.

    Here's a link to a recent thread at Atlas that mentions the problem. http://forum.atlasrr.com/discussion/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=58194
     

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