Missing Lifelike Locos

Dampfloko Mar 23, 2013

  1. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I have three sets of the FA/B 1's and all are great runners and can pull 150 car trains [when I run on a layout that can handle 150 car trains] Still one wonders why Walthers bought the LifeLike line if they were only going to sit on it. Same is true of Bowser buying the Delaware Valley line of rolling stock. Why buy it if you don't intend to get a return on your investment?
     
  2. Kevin M

    Kevin M TrainBoard Member

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    The first good locomotive I bought was a LL plastic frame GP18 in NP. I bought my first MT car the same day, a NP wood caboose. I still have the caboose but not sure what happened to the GP. I ran that thing into the ground and eventually the moster leads broke off the trucks. It was a great runner and if I came across another one I pick up in a heart beat for nostalgia. I also had a GN A/B set of FA's with the plastic frame. That A unit could out pull any locomotive I had and ran smooth as silk. As I have gotten older (31 now!) and wiser I wish I still had some of those older LL loco's for no other reason then my 5 and 3 year old could play with them without me worrying about them breaking a nice detailed Kato or Atlas loco.
    Kevin
     
  3. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

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    Speculation is that Walthers mainly wanted Life-Like's HO stuff and likely would've been more than happy to leave the N scale items out of the deal if they could have. Of course, that's just conjecture, so grain of salt.

    -Mark
     
  4. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I would love to see Atlas buy the shell molds....
     
  5. Jolly

    Jolly TrainBoard Member

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    For those that wish they had more, I have 3 NEW UP GP20s looking for a new home, send me your offers and I'll review them tonigh before they get relisted on ebay.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hahahaha
    That's exactly what I did years ago.
    My daughter's "E3A"
    [​IMG]
     
  7. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

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    Most of you know that I am a performance nut. It is hard for me to endure a poor running loco- no matter how it looks.

    Well, recently a friend gave me a couple of old locos cleaning out. One of the ones I wanted was a LL SD7 since I had never run one.

    The end rails look like crap. But I was astounded at how smooth and quiet this loco was.
    Highly recommended.
     
  8. TJS909

    TJS909 TrainBoard Supporter

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    I got a few of those years ago when a shop in Fla blew them out. I made a nice B-unit out of one too.
     
  9. marty coil

    marty coil TrainBoard Supporter

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    '''Lamenting Life-Like's absorbtion into Walthers'...Amen!!!! I have and have owned, SW's ,FA's, Erie builts, E-7's all quiet, good pulling locomotives. Why Walthers has not more agressively pursued N Scale somewhat dismays me.
     
  10. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    When they bought the stock of LL locos, they did a fire sale and blew out $30 locos for $15, and set the future for Walthers and N, They taught us to sit back and wait for Walthers to do a fire sale. Now they feel like N Scalers don't buy their stuff
     
  11. YoHo

    YoHo TrainBoard Supporter

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    I don't understand why the old plastic framed LLs would be hard to DCC. I'd think they'd be dead simple. I mean, no motor isolation needed. Just cut the leads and splice in the decoder. Heck. I was a firm believer in the old LL GP38-2 for $25, she was a champ.
     
  12. engineer bill

    engineer bill TrainBoard Supporter

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    At a sale over the weekend I found a GN SD7/9 in a MicroAce box like brand new, my frend TJS909 told me it was a Life Like for overseas sale only! When I got home I looked it up on Spookshows site and whatdoyaknow he was right, learn something new everyday. So is Life Like and MicroAce one in the same?
     
  13. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

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    I wouldn't go so far as to say that. Who makes what and who ultimately sells it (and in what packaging) has always been a fairly tangled web. Just ask Charlie Vlk :)

    -Mark
     
  14. Spookshow

    Spookshow TrainBoard Member

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    Leave us not forget that there is a large (and mostly silent) percentage of the model railroading populace who wouldn't know one end of a soldering iron from the other. Even the prospect of simply pulling off a locomotive shell and swapping out a lightboard in favor of a decoder likely scares a lot of newbies (especially given how much stuff costs these days). From the perspective of a manufacturer and/or reseller of locomotive models, these folks are a significant portion of the potential buying public, and as such, must be considered.

    And no offense to the timid neophytes. I've certainly been there myself!

    -Mark
     
  15. 8man1320

    8man1320 TrainBoard Member

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    Fully half of my locos are Life Like. Most are plastic chassis. E7s, PAs, SD7s, etc.
    I always check the listings on the auction site for LLs first.

    Of all the hardwired decoders that I've done, I think they are the easiest.
     
  16. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

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    I saw a lot of Life Like stuff, including SD7's, in Micro Ace boxes in Japanese hobby shops in 1990 and 1994. Not sure of the relationship between the two but the Atlas 2-6-0 was made by Micro Ace and some of my Intermountain diesel boxes are suspiciously identical in design and material to some of my Micro Ace boxes. Japanese company Kawai sold some Bachmann stuff including the Plymouth switcher and old time coaches in it's own packaging under the guise of similar Japanese prototypes, and a lot of their Japanese stuff has obvious Bachmann genes like coupler pockets and truck mounting methods.

    I always say who owns what and who makes what?
     
  17. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    There's not a lot of room unless you cut away one of the weights. These are not heavy to begin with. IIRC, there's very little play in the wires, so you're also looking at re-wiring the pickups, which were not reliable to begin with. I've got eight of them as they are great runners and pull fairly well, but they are still near the bottom of the list for decoders.
     
  18. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Let's not have the tail wag the dog here. There remains a large contingent of N scalers who are not DCC inclined for a variety of reasons but mostly based on a cost/benefit basis. The only figures that I have heard on the matter is that DCC has about 35% of the total N scale market. So while the DCC crowd may denigrate them the LifeLike engines are very much welcomed by the analog community.
     
  19. bumthum

    bumthum TrainBoard Member

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    Agreed. I will probably never make the space/time commitment to have a layout that requires more than two operators (I always plan on being able to operate with only one), trains are only one of my hobbies so I won't ever make a large space available for them and multiple trains running at the same time aren't practical within my size limits. DCC really doesn't offer me anything I need, inexpensive locomotives do however. To me the plastic frame and even later split frame Life Likes have been great runners and very welcome on my layouts because they do what they are asked and they allow me to have a more varied roster without a huge investment.
     
  20. PGE-N°2

    PGE-N°2 TrainBoard Member

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    I have a whole bunch of LL locos. I had a long time ago a GP38, which I hated because it was in CN zebra stripe, and a GP18, which has such a slow speed creep, it's almost un-measurable. I never really did like the GP18 too much, because I felt the brake fan housings were too oversized and not realistic.

    I do have 3 SD9, in Milwaukee Road colours, of course, as well as a BL2 just for fun, and several Erie-Builts, although one suffered minor damage in a drop over the weekend. I also have several SW1200s and SW9s, and a whole fleet of C-Liners in various states of operability. The C-liners are solid, but I've found the Erie-Builts have to have one of the best made motors of any N scale engine. They can run for hours and stay stone cold, and they just cruise along at realistic scale speeds. And they can service being dropped with only a few hairline cracks. (Okay I didn't fall too far).
     

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