NP NEWS! A new Northern Pacific Heavyweight?!?

EMD F7A Nov 1, 2018

  1. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Good morning everybody! Halloween passed with nary a hitch and here I am sipping over my morning coffee, checking the updates on new releases. Imagine my surprise, when I find that Micro Trains has just announced the first release of a retail/commercially available Northern Pacific heavyweight passenger car, ever! This is fantastic news, and while I truly love Lowell Smith for what he has done I think it is fantastic to see a more affordable option finally coming to market! In the spirit of this, let's go over the list of all of the northern Pacific passenger cars produced thus far, as far back as I know.

    -Rapido streamlined (corrugated) 1960's Loewy Green set with their F units
    -Con-Cor streamlined (smooth side) cars, including the rare box set with F3 ABA locomotives (which I have!)
    -Roundhouse/MDC Overtons in olive with yellow stripes
    -Walthers smoothside in Loewy green
    -Intermountain smooth side cars in Loewy green
    -Intermountain smooth side cars in Loewy green
    -Intermountain smooth side cars in Pine Tree scheme (wrong colors)
    -Rapido (modern release) smooth side cars in Loewy green
    -Lowell Smith heavyweights and smooth sides in Loewy and Pine Tree (all very limited release)

    Mind you, the only trains above that were ever generally completed somewhat accurate were released by Con-Cor, and Intermountain if you don't expect dome cars (which may come someday, but if you haven't already been collecting these cars for literally over a decade you will never have the full train).

    Now the fact that Lowell Smith is about to release a fresh line of stunning passenger cars and from the sample images on his email last week, it looks like us Northern Pacific fans will be included!

    While I know this is just one car, Micro Trains has a tendency to tease upcoming multiple car releases in their heavyweight line with just one or two cars at first. it would be hard for me to truly express my excitement at this, and the idea of having a complete heavyweight trained to pull behind my brand-new BLI F7 set in the matching scheme, well it really has my holiday train-buying plans swiftly perking up!

    MTL-14500320-1359MTL.jpg
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow. Such a reminder of my youth. Classic colors, appearance. (y)
     
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  3. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I agree, it looks great and fits my era. too bad they never made it out to small Pacific Electric branches.
     
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  4. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    I'm sure you've custom painted a fleet by now... did they have any matching-consist passenger trains?
     
  5. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I have a pair of cars, and the PE had four different shades of red that changed over the years, and used to run 3-5 car trains.

    The last red is Santa Fe Red and was introduced in 1939. I will have 5 cars in that red and one in the earlier maroon
     
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  6. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Awesome! Now I wish I had bought the earlier ones.
     
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  7. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    I'll just come out and say it. I won't be happy until we have a Kato release with all the correct car types and matching Kato F units. I know I'm not the only one......
     
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  8. SP&S #750

    SP&S #750 TrainBoard Member

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    Excellent, I have GN cars, now I need to get NP ones back. Man I regret selling off my fleet in '16.
     
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  9. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Oh don't get us started! hahaha

    I've ordered three at my LHS, I'll post pics of these with heavyweights with other brand Loewy cars for color matching when they arrive!
     
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  10. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    We win! These Coaches are BE-A-UTIFUL! I've gotta go to storage and collect other brand cars for a paint color match-up. But... GUESS WHAT?!?!?

    We get a Sleeper too!! HOLY INCOMING PASSENGER CARS, BATMAN! Can't hardly wait to get this train behind my BLI F7's... Happy Holidays indeed!

    Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 9.43.34 AM.png
     
  11. tdtrains

    tdtrains TrainBoard Member

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    F9A93869-956C-4874-8214-896FA3085BFC.jpeg
    In your opinion, who makes the best looking N scale Northern Pacific passenger car? I’m building a 2017 version of a SP4449 excursion train and need to replicate NP #498 with what’s available and ready to run. I know micro trains, Centralia shops, and few others made NP cars. What direction would you recommend?

    thanks for the help,

    td
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  12. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Wow! And Wow again! Is that nice or what?

    Aw gee, I just got my Great Northern set completed along with a Mail Train.

    Now, I want to do what and on my fixed and getting less income?

    Aiiyiiyii !!!
     
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  13. tdtrains

    tdtrains TrainBoard Member

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    @EMD F7A I just thought I’d ask you who makes the best looking NP car and which you like best because you seem to have a variety of NP passenger cars from the top manufacturers. Thanks again, td
     
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  14. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Now that's a tough one. Knee-jerk reaction, I would say that the finest looking passenger car (detail-wise) you can get in N is a challenge between Intermountain/Centralia and Walthers. Of course, the former hardly releases any cars so you may find the need to custom paint doors. The latter gave up entirely on the venture, and has sold all their molds to Lowell Smith who is currently readying the release of the new RailSmith models using those molds! The question is, do you want track powered lighting? The easiest route for that would be to use a Kato car but the detail on those is simply not there compared to the others. That includes window castings and car end detail. The only N cars with track power to light them are Kato, Walthers and I assume the coming Railsmith ex-walthers cars.

    I'd say you should keep in mind, any car you use off the shelf won't be right for the #498. I saw a Travelers Rest in person (and got a personal tour!) in Portland last May. They're unique. If it's a car you 'must' have, I'd say go to brasscarsides.com and get the correct sides; cut it into a Con-Cor base car (basic job, simple tools) and custom paint it (you can use Tru-Color rattle cans) or send it to me and I can shoot it in Tru-Color correct greens.

    I'd say you could message Lowell Smith and see if he has any plans for that car forthcoming... but as far as a close stand-in? The Centralia Western Diner is "squint" close, but the colors aren't. It's a hard car to model, to be sure.

    Color-wise my take on the N scale NP passenger cars:

    Intermountain - Washed greens/ too light (all cars except observation)
    Intermountain Observation - Dark, doesn't match earlier cars but otherwise lovely car.
    Con-Cor - Close color, older cars have cheap white stripes. All lack interior/window detail.
    Walthers - Too light across the board, only a couple car styles ever produced (I think coach, baggage and sleeper?)
    Lowell Smith (before Railsmith) - Great colors, good car models detail-wise, but $$$ and are or impossible to find after sellout
    Micro-Trains Heavyweights - Matches Lowell Smith well! Nice cars, but flat windows and no grab irons etc.
    Rapido - Colors way too dark, but darn nice car detail. I'd use their cars exclusively but only a few bodies ever made so far.
    Kato - Only one corrugated sleeper (Lock series, Ness & Lomond available) but otherwise great cars.

    Scalecoat colors are too dark for NP. The Tru-Color paints are great, but interestingly finicky to shoot consistently with anything but a primo airbrush.

    https://www.intermountain-railway.com/distrib/ccs/html/ccs7054.htm

    http://www.trainweb.org/fredatsf/np54.htm
    (AWESOME little resource there!)

    http://www.brasscarsides.com/catalog/NPcatalog.pdf
     
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  15. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    I assume you know about the Micro-Trains baggage car this month... full coverage in the January UMTRR, but one fact is that the NP did offset the roadname way to the right on the prototype cars.

    Meanwhile, the MTL website shows both the sleeper and coach as having already been sold out at the factory.
     
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  16. EMD F7A

    EMD F7A TrainBoard Member

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    Better believe I'm buying two of each car at a minimum! It's gonna be a good thing if they keep with their habit of doing a roller pack after producing a few cars! If NP cars are sold out, NP cars are selling.

    HEAR THAT KATO?!? ;)
     

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