Life Like C-424 Reviews Anyone?

JKeenan0407 Jul 16, 2012

  1. JKeenan0407

    JKeenan0407 TrainBoard Member

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    I'm tinkering with buying a Life Like C-424 to have it repainted for the SP&S line, but curious:

    How does it run compared to your Atlas or Kato? I'm new to N Scale and have only run an Atlas locomotive. The rolling stock I've seen from Life Like well "ain't that great".

    There is a DCC equipped C 424 for sale. Worth the plunge?
     
  2. wm-webb

    wm-webb TrainBoard Member

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  3. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    Good engines, but wrong phase for an SP&S. If you are buying one to repaint, I would invest in an Atlas C420 shell and do a little surgery on the shell by replacing the rear "brow" with the C420's "notched" numberboards. Other than that, they are smooth runners (I have a few and am pleased with them).
     
  4. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

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    Also, in terms of Mark's comment in his review:

    "Performance on these models is perfect in every way - smooth, quiet, flawless pickup and throttle response, great pulling power, etc. Oddly enough though, this model will not run without its shell. With the motor free to move around, it will spin itself out of contact with the chassis and lose power. Bizarre!"

    I have never had a problem with then running without the shell. I suspect the one he tested must have had a broken plastic mount, as that is were the anti-rotation lug is.
     
  5. bdennis

    bdennis TrainBoard Member

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    I have 4 of them all converted to DCC using DZ125's (with slight frame modifications). They all run well with no issues on Atlas Code 55 rail.
     
  6. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

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    I have a pair of EL's and a pair of blue N&W's..I think they run better than most,good pulling performance,quiet,but,yeah,they look a little "off",but they really only show that at track level..I'm eventually gonna try to scare up a few more,love to do a few in RDG..If those N&W's weren't so rare,they'd already be repainted,LOL!!
     
  7. JKeenan0407

    JKeenan0407 TrainBoard Member

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    For the soon to be ejukated: "Wrong phase"?

    If me gets one, I may need some help with what to mill, etc. on the frame to fit DCC. Umm..it would be my first.

    P.S. Is there some way on the forum to get updates to this thread as they occur?
     
  8. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    If you weren't aware (you said you were new), LL actually made the 424 in SP&S broad band paint back in 2003/2004. Road numbers were 302 and 305.
     
  9. Flashwave

    Flashwave TrainBoard Member

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    Coompare it to a running cahange in a new car. the locomotive builders were klnown to change and tweak things on their locomotives as they went. These were called "phases", were on a car they would be called "Model Year". Commonly, it has to do with placements an sizes of vents, or special features becoming standard. Phases didnt neccesarily change every year, and typically there are 2-4 of them in a long runnng locomotive style. Perosnally, I would rather slap some paint on and hum a few bars about the minor details.
     
  10. JKeenan0407

    JKeenan0407 TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks....I was thinking it had to do with the Life Like production schedule...now I knows.
     
  11. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Joe,

    I just looked at the Spookshow entry on that locomotive, and it looks like a candidate for the TCS CN/CN-GP type decoders, but I am saying this without actually having one in my hand to investigate.

    Adam
     
  12. bdennis

    bdennis TrainBoard Member

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    Adam,
    Your correct.. A TCS CN/CN-GP would go in easily.. I did mine with the DZ125 but thats just the decoder I like to use..
    The TCS would be a sinch with no frame mods needed.
     
  13. SteamDonkey74

    SteamDonkey74 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I've gone that route, too. It often depends on how badly I want to convert something and what I have on hand.
     
  14. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    From memory, the TCS CN-GP's are installed reverse to normal so all you need to do is reverse the direction and lights when programming. Otherwise it's a slip fit - no mods except some space for the motor wires.
     

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