Micro Trains SW1500

Allamuchy Joe Jul 2, 2014

  1. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member

    Personally Joe, I don't know how you or any of the other manufacturers don't go home and drink to oblivion some days.

    Seems to be a thankless job with some of the yahoos in this hobby.
  2. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    I drink to oblivion after reading these forums sometimes.. I don't really need much of an excuse.
  3. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    Just another example of no good deed going unpunished.
    To put it another way, illegitimi non carborundum.
  4. USAF_Andrew

    USAF_Andrew TrainBoard Member

    I applaud MT for bringing these out in N, because as a modeler of the SP in LA, these would fill a desperately wide gap in my roster. That being said, I was dissapointed with my conversation with the MT rep at the Atlanta national last year. When I asked him if they would do SP specific details, he countered with would I be satisfied with the correct trucks. Absolutely not! The SP and SSW had more of these than any other road, by more than 100 examples to the next nearest. After the UP merger and subsequent sales of these from the UP roster, there are well over a dozen different paint schemes that could be done accurately with the SP style body. Didn't seem to make a dent. I will hold off opinion overall of the model until I actually see an SP version, but as of right now, I am not holding my breath. Even Athearn did them with SP specific details in HO... TIme will tell. If they get them right though, I intend on purchasing a bunch.
  5. randgust

    randgust TrainBoard Member

    I got started in N, used to be in HO, and because NOTHING was available in 1972, everything was kitbash material and cannon fodder.

    I learned to paint, and decal, and kitbash in N. And even scratchbuild. I wanted a level of accuracy that wasn't available at the time. I made stuff that looks, by todays standards, pretty crude. But I also didn't wait for it, and if something better came along, it got replaced pretty quickly. Lots of stuff gets replaced without waiting for the ultimate model. Bachmann signal bridges get replaced by BLMA etched ones. Flashers and signals with huge lamps get replaced with scale LED's. Trix container flats get replaced by nearly everybody!

    So I'm still a bit amused at anyone that will trash any manufacturers model for various shortcomings and tradeoffs when the fun is in actually pushing the envelope yourself, not expecting the manufacturers to produce every variation possible. That only leads to spectacularly higher tooling and production costs and makes the hobby that much more unaffordable. You do have the right to speak with your wallet, but it's a often a rather lonely and unrewarding place to live.

    Any effort to put anything out there is at the manufacturers risk, and evaluation of risk vs. reward. You're always at the risk of somebody putting something better out there at less cost and that's the risk everybody assumes in business. I put a GE 70-tonner kit out 2 years before Bachmann did their RTR using a Kato drive, and the total tooling investment just for me (a basement manufacturer) was significant for me. STOMP! I found other uses for the leftover etchings, basically concluded I had a near-miss elephant stomp, and kept moving. My first experiment in using RP as a resin casting master has pretty much been a failure, and not inexpensive. And I keep moving, watching for opportunities and running numbers.

    I'd highly suggest that until you've tried yourself, put some of your own money out there, and run some numbers, cut them some slack. If you really think that it's either lucrative or easy, there are lots of opportunities out there to try yourself, either as a manufacturer or investor. Remember that BLMA (Craig) actually got national recognition as a young entrepreneur. I really admire ANYBODY out there that takes the risk to put a product in this market, admittedly some more than others. The only real swords that get unsheathed from me are things that drive people away from the hobby by being misleading, inherently frustrating, or inexplicably poor quality in performance. What troubles me more is the efforts to make things 'perfect' has led to some rather interesting side effects on cost and performance.

    Stuff still has to actually run. The last Atlas piggyback flatcar I bought was absolutely beautiful, scale sized, and beautifully painted, and impossible to use. It was grinding the flanges on the ejector marks and floor, grinding flanges on the center sill, hanging the couplers on the cut levers, and stringlining on the curves with short-shank body-mount couplers. Sold the three I bought and purchased three more MT's. No, the paint's not perfect, the delrin parts are cast in shiny black, but they don't derail, uncouple, or stringline. Or dump an entire train on the floor when they do. I wonder what happens to the 15-year old that saved money to buy one of these and piles it up on every curve. That bothers me. I can paint the car that works right.

    In the context of this thread, I've got an Atlas MP15 with the 'right' hood width, and it pulls about half what the LL chassis will. It's enough of a lightweight I put it in the display case as I can't fix that one. If it was MY decision between using a lightweight chassis that was the right width, and a slightly wider, proven chassis with better performance and pulling power.... wow. You're going to get it either way, so its all on economics, supply chain, and delivery.

    I've kitbashed up two SW1500's for clients using adapted mechanisms and various kitbashed parts, and this is way, way better than what I could do. So you can make your own decisions, but this isn't a GM safety recall, it's a model business. I don't think I'd have the courage to do what Joe just did on a cosmetic issue.
  6. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

    I'm more interested in how they run, if they run great at scale speeds then count me in for a pair of Reading units even if they come with the wrong trucks!

    I have seen lately that a lot of people have taken up a new hobby, bash everything they can, praise nothing.
  7. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

    I'm an SP guy and I am working at getting the SP appropriate Light and number board packages done when we release that version of the loco. Don't despair :)


  8. arbomambo

    arbomambo TrainBoard Member

    don't need the 1500, but glad they're doing them, especially if sales of them continue allowing MT to produce more items!
    I'm just happy that MT is doing a heavyweight baggage!...gonna need a bunch of 'em!
  9. Glenn Poole

    Glenn Poole TrainBoard Member

    My feelings exactly---I see so little complaining on the lack of running models today that I have assumed that most modelers must not run trains. I could name almost all the new manufacturers with at least one or more cars that simply were NOT RTR. By the way, MT's most recent log cars were in this group also. I run 40 car trains and these new cars do exactly what you say. I keep going back and building my trains with MT cars with truck mounted couplers.
  10. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    When I look at layout pictures I can usually spot the cars that aren't normal mass produced models. These are the ones that I pay the most attention to. For example not long ago I saw some pictures that had a large variety of Fine N Scale models. I knew that this fellow was a builder/ painter and was very attracted to the pictures.

    I wonder how much attention a photo of my model of Randgusts SW-1 would get ? Perhaps coupled to a Traincat products chlorine tank cars? At train shows and whatnot I always look for the modeler built cars. Many of us are attracted to Bill Dentons products and photo's for that reason. Bill is a model builder, not a model buyer.

  11. scottryan

    scottryan TrainBoard Member

    The problem is when I look at the latest generation of HO models, I see the correct road specific headlight arrangements, horns, winterization hatches, and cab roof details. Look at the latest run of HO Atheran GP7s.

    This has never been done before in N scale. We are lucky to have trucks that are even close, which is not acceptable anymore in 2014.
  12. Randy Stahl

    Randy Stahl TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm not blind to the latest generation of HO model prices...

    Many people here lament the passing of little companies like Sunrise Enterprises, you know , the little 2-4 dollar bags of headlights, winterization hatches, and other detail items with left overs to do additional detail work if desired. Now, instead of buying all the neat little parts and working on our rolling stock, we'd rather have someone in China do our model building for us. At least the modelbuilders left in the hobby now have Shapeways and subsequent improvements to the tech.
  13. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    I have no problem building an engine. I just finish one of Randgusts CF7s, and I did a little write up on modifying an SD70ACe (July/Aug NSR Magazine). Every engine on my layout is custom built by me or a close friend of mine who also builds. People track down my modules at shows just to get pics of my engines, walking past dozens of stock engines to do so. I do the same thing when I know Bill Denton has his work out for display.

    I will be very honest in the fact that the 6" of extra width on this engine doesn't phase me at all. That's only .0375" per side, and you very rarely get the chance to eyeball an engine from that angle. My eyes are good, but they can't measure that.

    Yes, the trucks are fixable, and I could do that. I will poke fun of MTL for messing that up. Yes, it normally would cost me an hour to fix it, when they could have fixed that in the design process, but for the SW1500's I want to build I have to use a different truck all together. Que sera sera. I've got decals waiting, I hope these get back to the stores soon, errors and all.

  14. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

    "Every model is a compromise" is not sarcasm. It's fact.

    As for a later comment about MTL sending us back to 1969-- I doubt that the commenter had N Scale in 1969. I did.
  15. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

    I must have missed some of those posts, what you say sounds fair enough.
  16. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

    If, indeed, that commenter was disappointed with the state of N Scale in 1969, he only had to wait two short years for the Atlas "SW1500" to make its debut.
  17. uptoday

    uptoday TrainBoard Member

    the rest of the story. in 1969 i looked at n scale and thought it was toy like looking so i got into ho scale instead.kato got me back to n scale in about 2000.i am 68 years old now and maybe too picky and my hobby dollars are few.
  18. mcjaco

    mcjaco TrainBoard Member

    This. This. THIS.

    I started in HO, and didn't move to N until I met Bill Denton and Mike Skibbe at a local train show where Bill was showing his Kingsbury Branch. I was looking to change scales due to space limitations from apartment living, and both told me to check out what could be done. I grew up on Athearn Blue Box kits, where adding details was the norm if you wanted roadname specific anything. No one batted an eye and getting your Xacto out and chopped off molded on details to make it more accurate. Have you seen the amount of HO detail parts there are? It's astounding, considering there's little bang for your buck in producing those. It's also the one market that is sorely missed in N. BLMA fills a niche, but there's so many parts that are missing from the catalog (gong bells, SP light packages, etcs.), and don't get me started with Minatures By Eric. Nice castings but terrible website, and pictures. Never sure what you're looking at. The loss of Sunrise was huge.

    I always like to say, lets put the model back into model railroading. The truly ready to run HO stuff does not excite me. I like kitbashing and making a model my own.
  19. Jwieczorek

    Jwieczorek New Member

    Long time reader, first time poster.. I have read this thread with interest and no one has asked the question. Does the old LL SW9 body fit on the new mechanism? I have a couple of the SW9s that I was going to convert to DCC. I see that the chassis is DCC ready, so can I just take the shell off the old model and place it on the MT chassis? Even with the friction bearings, this would be very helpful to me.

  20. johnh

    johnh TrainBoard Member

    You can easily convert your SW9 with the new digitrax decoder. No need to change the mech, the only difference is a contact strip change

Share This Page