Kato FEF Arrival

Bfagan Nov 28, 2014

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  1. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I already bought a new box of Pop Secret Microwave popcorn..cant wait ;-)
     
  2. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

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    I am passing on this potential p/o/s. Kato builds a terrific diesel and "electric" locomotive. I know I am going to get slammed, but this is even a worse situation than the disaster GS4. Now they make their so called warranty impossible to correct. Remember it took 3 production runs to get the Mikado right, and lots of solutions to correct the GS4 problems in all boards, and for the money spent, I would rather buy the other brands, most of them who stand behind their product, and do so without attitude.
    As to those who overspend on the new FEF GFL.

    Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman
     
  3. gatrhumpy

    gatrhumpy TrainBoard Member

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    Tell us how you really feel.
     
  4. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well I guess I stirred up things a bit to suggest even that their would be a bevy of complaints for either loco. Maybe that was why that strange black drone was seen circling my neighborhood last night. Good thing I power everything down when I retire at night. Oh well back down in the bunker again for awhile. I have room for two more and tonights' menu is Asian BBQ ribs, Shrimp Lo Mein, and steamed vegetables.
     
  5. nightmare0331

    nightmare0331 TrainBoard Member

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    Mr. Willaman believes that a GS4 that was poorly packed that showed up here with extensive damage should have been a warranty claim and is upset because he had to pay for parts and some labor to repair it.

    For what it's worth, there was no demand in his letter of it being a warranty issue (nor was there a receipt or any other pertinent information) either. So his unit got fixed, he got billed, and he got angry.

    The truth...it's not always what people post.
     
  6. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member

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    What????


    LOL.
     
  7. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

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    NIghtmare is your perfect name. Obviously you work for Kato, or are closely associated with them, as you have passed some inside information regarding this transaction. I own over 300 of your locos, including the Atlas and ConCor ones, and even including the steamers that worked (early). I have a pretty vast experience over the years dealing with the various manufacturers. Let me just say that in '96 Mr Kato handled my Mikado problem of a broken drawbar assembly due to your packing, with class, while the GS4 problem was handled with absolutely no class.

    Calling me a liar will not get you out of the mess your insensitive company has become. I sent and paid for the repair, although if you looked more closely or if that female assistant did, you would have seen a letter describing the damage, why and when it was caused and it would have not taken that much to deduce the problem instead of trying to charge me or get out of it. I was not informed to include a receipt nor ever requested one, although I had and still have one on hand. Oh, yeah, it takes more than $45 to make me angry, what it takes is that your supposedly well packed return didn't work!!!!! Even on your own track.....

    My check cleared and the @#$@## loco came back and didn't work--how do you explain that? How dare you? Not one inch!!!! Great job. By that time, I was so aggravated with the lack of integrity on Kato's your part, the experimental product and your personnel's attitude, I decided to initiate a lifetime boycott on any and all new Kato Steam.

    I know others have some issues too. At a swap meet two weeks ago down here, a vendor couldn't get rid of his Kato GS4 for $40. Obviously I am not the only one who had a problem.

    Just look at the facts now. You and I both know how well you can squirm out of your warranty claims now. (original packing, including the inserts, oh come now) and you have a new mechanism not yet proven on its first production run, introducing it at record retail cost after the most devastating recession in many years.

    If you were to ever attend a convention down here in so Florida, you can ask around about my reputation - I deal honestly directly and fairly as I have grown that reputation long before you moved to the US. I carefully cultivate my opinions not based on hearsay, but on direct observation, experience and utmost care in treating my material possessions.

    Also, I believe that the GS4 was a new venture in technology, and despite the characteristic glitches, (shorts, bad traction tires, poorly assembled tender, over-tight packing) you did manage to make a few good runners, but at close to $200 per copy, the inconsistency and poor post-purchase service/handling took you from a top ranked company in my ranking (and others down here) to a second rate firm who now is established and can call its own shots.

    Again, I harbor only routine anger from the frustration of dealing with Kato, and never again will send them anything. If I cannot repair it down here, it will be scrapped and used for spare parts. I am aware enough to learn my lesson after being burnt.

    Last but not least, your female (I chose to forget her name) referred to some "yucky material (?)" and poor packing (who is the poorest packer, anyway) and concentrated on whatever that was, instead of looking at the repair of the loco which was the cause of the transaction.

    In retrospect, justice will prevail, and I really don't give a #$%#$ about this, but did resent being called a liar. Now firms out there are set to kick your #$%$#$#% and already have, looking at the Spectrum steam, Model Power steam, and now Intermountain, and soon to be Broadway Limited I am counting on.

    As a long standing purchasing manager before I retired, I witnessed many firms get real high quality when young and hungry and after success has set in, complacency reigns, and that is my opinion now of you guys.

    As for being called a liar, I have been called worse by better people, and the facts speak for themselves.

    I have stated my position, and this letter would not have been written had you not written yours. I consider a valid argument when the topic remains on point, but when you get personal, and I declared myself the winner.
    If you have the stones, pass this along to Mr. Kato, and maybe he will remember what he told me about honor and dishonor back then, and if he wants to contact me, he is welcome to do so.

    If you want to get personal, just remember that I stand by my statements by signing my real name to my threads and have since 2000. Have a nice day, Nightmare.

    Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman
     
  8. drasko

    drasko TrainBoard Member

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    Hey florida boy, 3 runs to correct the mikado? Id love to hear what was wrong with it....... I believe I have at least 20 of them that I use to make 2-10-2s and have numerous from every run. What exactly did you find wrong with them? Oh and the gs4.......... between superturbine(jason smith) and I, we figure we own or have used the chassis for a kit bash and sold over 50. Yes they had a few issues but nothing a modeler shouldn't be able to fix or have someone fix pretty easily.

    On another note, nightmare, Kato hit a homerun here and I cant wait to get my hands on a couple. Ill keep modifying the gs4 into my Santa fe northerns and keep the fef just as it is minus painting it two tone grey for the 1940s conversions to oil.
    Oh and flo-rida send the guy that had the gs4 for sale for $40 my info and ill paypal him the money.
     
  9. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Gentlemen, and I am using the term quite loosely here, this is not the time nor place for garbage such as you are posting. It really infringes upon the rights of many other people.

    First Ken, it appears that you have a personal ax to grind with KATO and that is fine, perfectly within your rights. A public forum is not the place to vent your frustrations with KATO or any manufacturer. In my opinion, and last time I checked we still live in the USA and are entitled to our opinions, you should have never made your first posting flaming KATO and an employee or two,. In my book that is slander and you have done so on a very public forum. If you don't plan on purchasing KATO anymore, so be it, but keep it off of here. Where would all your mentioned steam manufacturers be today if KATO had not raised the bar, years ago, with their Japanese steamers and the Mikado. Sure, they have had some problems, but you can not name one competitor of theirs that hasn't as well. One more thing, I may be wrong, but I think the Mr. KATO (that you eluded to, whom I met in Long Beach, CA) has long since passed.

    Second, to "nightmare0331", sir or madam, if you are an employee or very close person to KATO, it is totally unacceptable, in my book, for a manufacturer to post on a public forum comments or information regarding one of you customers and problems you are or have had with that customer. Very distasteful on your part and makes me wonder if some child is making your postings.

    Now, let's kiss and make up and get back to enjoying model railroading. After all, this hobby is supposed to be fun. Let's do so.

    Respectfully,

    Carl Sowell
     
  10. nightmare0331

    nightmare0331 TrainBoard Member

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    I have no vested interest in not keeping people happy...there is alot more backstory to the above however. Is the GS4 perfect? No. Has it been improved on later runs, and issues we spotted with it addressed, especially on the upcoming FEF. I've personally fixed a ton of them and in alot of cases, there was no charge. We did try to work with the above individual.

    Regardless, the FEF's should be hitting store shelves within the next few days, and they are all sold out at least at Kato. The DCC equipped ones are already being worked on along with the lighted passenger car sets and those will ship shortly.

    Enjoy!

    Kelley.
     
  11. jwomble

    jwomble TrainBoard Member

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    Have more Atlas locos than any other brand but some examples from all other importers. Have about 15 Kato locos and never any problems. Have the latest release of the Kato USRA 2-8-2 and it runs like all other Kato engines - perfectly. Sorry I can't say that about any other brand. Just wish Kato would make more 1940-1960 era locos.
     
  12. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

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    When the mikado first came out in about '94, I was eager as hell for one, because of my super positive experience with Kato JNR locos and the ConCor/Kato Hudson and S-2 Northern. I was struggling developing a new company but managed to do without lunches to finance one. I got it for $135 from a reputed box house, and these were the problems. First, getting it out of the box. The box was over-tightly packed and even with care the drawbar broke when removing the loco from the box. (Repaired/new boxes and packing on subsequent productions). In addition, the loco was barely strong enough to pull 3 or more cars out of the box. We got explanations from Jim Kelly from Railroader to run them and run them long and the longer you run them the stronger they become. We didn't get that info from Kato. Third a small aftermarket parts company in California advertised a traction tire, and the later production runs came with the traction tire and the kato coupler. By that time, the n scale population was loving this model as I do. It took 3 times, but the mods were easy to do, Mr Kato sent me 11 drawbars for n/c and now I have 8 Mikes and love them dearly.

    However, compared to the Spectrum 2-8-0 which came out shortly after, the Mike paled in comparison in detail and performance. BTW I have 6 of them as well.

    Please read in detail my original letter. I blasted only recent steam issues, and complimented just about every diesel (even that disaster ATlas GP 7/9 (from 1989). I have a copy of everything since the Atlas RS3 and everything runs great. Even the ConCor F3 with Kato power runs well on my layout.
     
  13. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

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    On another note, nightmare, Kato hit a homerun here and I cant wait to get my hands on a couple. Ill keep modifying the gs4 into my Santa fe northerns and keep the fef just as it is minus painting it two tone grey for the 1940s conversions to oil.
    Oh and flo-rida send the guy that had the gs4 for sale for $40 my info and ill paypal him the money.[/QUOTE]
    According to my information, this new FEF has a coreless motor and new drive. I think that anyone spending the big bucks on an unproven product and little/no warranty program is wasting his money.
    As for the swap meet guy, at the end of the swap meet, I offered him $5 for it (it had no traction tire, and the valve gear was loosey goosey) he refused it and disappeared into oblivion.
    Ken "FloridaBoy" Willaman
     
  14. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    When I posted my tongue in cheek comments on post #19 as shown above I certainly did not wish to set off a firestorm. The current release due from Kato just doesn't fit my modeled roads and thus I have no need of it and neither does the pending release of the Berkshire fit into my modeling scheme or road. However I have many fine products from Kato and have had no issues at all with any, and some I have had for quite awhile. Should they decide at some point in time to release an oil burning version of an NP A-3 I will be a participant in that feeding frenzy.

    It has been interesting, even amusing, to this old dog the amount of excitement that has built over this loco. In fact I haven't seen anything like this since ought 45. However just like the mounting excitement over the E-5 when it came out and then the danged nit picking started. Which locomotive by the way is in my collection and I have yet to experience or see the problems folks were complaining about. I have the older Kato made S-2 and a small fleet of varying ages of Mikes which all have been problem free along with a number of their F units.

    So I personally hope this release is a huge success because just maybe they will be tempted to follow up with the other Northern out there in excursion service. SP&S 700 or also the NP oil burning A-3 which is basically the same loco but for a few minor points.

    Meanwhile I will continue to sit back and watch this thread and await the first arrival and running reports with some amusement and pleasure.
     
  15. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

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    John,

    I knew it was your fault :). That aside, I'm pretty sure KatoUSA will stand behind these units during the warranty period. They wouldn't allow the company that makes most of our steamers have a monopoly on standing behind new releases. I expect mine to be perfect, but have had my share of locos that require tinkering or depot repair. I tinker, or send them out, as needed. While they are out, I play with other toys (this is what I do for fun). Everyone has a horror story with a store, with a manufacturer, or with a customer. You can't tell a whole story in a forum, so.... Let's focus on the hobby. When, not if, but when the threads start about 1 FEF doing this and one not doing that, let's do what we always do: help each other.
     
  16. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    What is going to be interesting is to sit back and see what this loco will be able to pull. A good evaluation on a decent layout with no trying to tackle our 2 and 3 or more percent grades, but a more realistic water level to .5 or 1 percent gradient. With some of the consists that I am seeing some folks putting together it will be interesting to see if the single loco can handle that. If the loco can do that Kato will have solved the issue of the decreased tractive effort of the more recent releases of steam or diesel and maybe more than a few other manufacturers will sit up and take notice.
     
  17. EspeeGoldenState

    EspeeGoldenState TrainBoard Member

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    Considering the HO P42s were dual coreless motors, I haven't heard any issues about those motors (lets not talk about cosmetics). I doubt that the FEF will be bad.

    Ken, I will gladly try the new steamer out with my GS-4, that sure has had some minor issues, but I also bought that 3rd hand. Intermountain took how many runs to fix their Cab Forwards, and then still you would have to pay for the final retrofit kit to get a decent one? Boycott all the Kato steam you wish, that's your choice. Everyone else will gladly accept what they receive and go from there. If there wasn't people that bought 1st runs of anything, manufacturers could never improve or fix anything, and that goes for all types of products whether cars, planes, locomotives, microwaves, TVs. Perfection is NOT born.

    Chris
     
  18. Xmtrman

    Xmtrman TrainBoard Member

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    If #844 comes up short, I can doublehead with my Athearn #3985. :teeth:
     
  19. Carl Sowell

    Carl Sowell TrainBoard Supporter

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    Bob, that would be cool and very prototypical as well. The last time I saw 844 she was in El Paso heading up a New Mexico / Arizona excursion train. She had the heritage unit for SP, the SD-70Ace, and was headed west. I took some good video shots that day. I will run my SP heritage or another UP diesel in my consists, if necessary, as I want the excursion that is typically running. I am bashing a Con-Cor box into UPP 9336. Should look good as I found a set of decals for the box.

    I will post my You Tube vid, it is 18 minutes long but somebody may want to watch part of it. I have to admit that the way the engineer plays that UP whistle sends chills up and down my spine and tears to my eyes. I can't keep from getting emotional as I am remembering back 70 + years into my childhood when I lived within a block of SP main and saw and heard AC-9's, cabforwards, 2-10-2's and other large SP hosses. My father was a hoghead and I have some images of him on a 2-10-2 heading up a work train. Those days are long gone. Nostalgia is what it is all about. No darned wonder that I am so hooked on trains, even diesels. Hope you see some nice informative images.

    carl

    http://youtu.be/bFjBGoYypGk
     
  20. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    I can't wait to see the posts when you guys actually get you hands on them.

    In the meantime here's a review by a Japanese modeller, he doesn't mention its pulling power but he has a lot of nice close up shots.
    http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~toyoyasu/fef-3.htm

    P.S. it's in Japanese so you'll have to run it through a translator if you want to read it.
     
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