Paragon2 PRR M1a/M1b

rrjim1 Jun 23, 2015

  1. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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  2. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Engineering samples always get tweaked to near perfection.
    It's when the product hits mass production that things can fall apart (literally or figuratively).
    Seems like they're taking the time to get it right, though. Time will tell.
    Appeared to be a PRR Baldwin centipede sneaking past on the inside track.
     
  3. FloridaBoy

    FloridaBoy TrainBoard Member

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    Hmmmmmmm, I smell a rat. I have very old model railroad mags that have had pre-production examples making test runs for years. I do not plan to buy one for at least 3 or 4 reproductions, as again, I small a RATTUS GIGANTICUS
     
  4. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

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    I am curious, but because I model B&O and steam, I will wait until I see a video of the released model before I decide if I wish to add it to my roster and letter for B&O.
     
  5. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Would you care to elaborate? What is it that apparently set off the alarms for you?

    As for me, I pre-ordered two way back in 2005 when they were first announced. Since then my interests have changed and I did not order them again. This is a mainline locomotive and I am now into branch line and short line railroading. I'll wait an see what develops but I doubt if I will buy any.
     
  6. rschaffter

    rschaffter TrainBoard Member

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    Good to see you, Ken! :)

    I, like Inkaneer, reserved two when first announced, and had the place go out of business in the meantime, so I chose to renew them, in spite of their having sound. I'm looking forward to them; hopefully they run as well as their HO version.. :)
     
  7. Railhead22

    Railhead22 TrainBoard Member

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    Will they ever be out for purchase, really? Mabey 2 more years
     
  8. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    The BLI Production schedule has them listed as November of this year after having them listed at October for awhile. They should be in by the end of this year.
     
  9. Railhead22

    Railhead22 TrainBoard Member

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    It may never come out. Keeps getting pushed back and back. Got us like a rabbit chasing a carrot on a string. In November it will say coming April 2016
     
  10. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I first ordered them in May, 2005. That order was cancelled by the shop when the new announcement was made. I did not re-order. BLI/PCM has left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. I can do without their products which are over priced to begin with. So if and when these engines come out it will be a non-event for me. But I would love to see Bachmann announce the M1 later this month. They are due for a new release and they usually do it this time of year. BLI/PCM has been jerking Pennsy modelers around for ten years. I would relish seeing them get jerked for a change.
     
  11. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    If Bachmann does anything, it is probably going to be a Pacific of some kind, wether that is USRA or a K4. The market for a pacific is too large and empty (Model Power doesn't even count) for it to be ignored any longer. Going straight for the M1 would not be a smart idea. With all of the Pennsy steam types, going for the one already announced makes the least sense. The difference between now and a few years ago is that they have a preproduction sample up and running. It will come. I emailed Williamson recently and he said they will eventually get to everything they have done in HO, so swearing to never buy a BLI product will end up torturing you and distorting the market of interest for PRR products. Bachmann is not going to do every PRR steamer in N. They just won't. Too many other options and they didn't even do anything other than the K4 in HO. BLI is our best chance. Some things are worth waiting for, and I think this is one of them.
     
  12. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Well that's nice that they want to re-produce in N scale everything they make in HO. When? I am 70 years old. It took them 10 years to start work on the M1 from when they first announced it. If they announce a K4 today will it be here when I am 80? That is, of course, if I get to be 80. You never know especially since I figure I am only one jealous husband away from eternity.
     
  13. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    I am sure that once the M1 and Centipedes are released and sell, the process will go much more smoothly. When I talked to the guy at the BLI booth he said it was the recession that delayed work on the M1. They intended to keep every single person at the company which they accomplished, but with the cost of delaying any of the lay-out costs that were described by Puddington in the "Will Snubbing the Pre-Order system get us the Products we Want?" thread. As long as there isn't another bad recession or depression, I do believe that BLI will move much more smoothly and quickly when it comes to designing and producing new steamers. So I recommend buying the M1 and/or Centipede, and voting for any Republican nominee unless it is Donald Trump. Then we are all doomed. A better economy=faster model railroad products. And if you have $100 grand laying around, commission a run from BLI and pay them on top for a swift delivery. Then sit on a throne made of K4s. I know that's what I would do.

    I am sorry, but I suppose we have a slight difference of situations. I have just turned 18 so I am looking forward to a distant future for my goal layout and collection. I can understand, however, that you want the products and you want them now. Unfortunately, unless you have the capital to commission a run or purchase the brass that is somewhat available, the only options are to build or hire someone who can (probably more expensive than brass, though). The saying "money makes the world go round" is very relevant at the moment. I am a college student and will be reporting in two weeks, so I don't have the $$$, but I am fortunate to have generous relatives and parents. This is not ideal, but it satisfies the itch until I have a full-time career and a full layout to play with. The only other option is to switch to HO. It is expensive but if you have seen any of BLI's HO work in action, it would be incredibly satisfying. I saw the H10 this weekend and it is truly a masterpiece. Thus is the problem of a PRR steam-era N scale modeler.

    On a lighter note, I have a home-brew remedy to the lack of Belapaire fireboxes on our railroads. I cannot call it mine because I purchased the models from Ebay, but I wish I could because it is a neat idea. It started with a Spectrum 2-8-0. Instead of using a GHQ casting, my H10 has two pieces of styrene added to the sides of the boiler and a piece of sheet styrene on top, cut to resemble the distinct shape of the firebox, touched up with modeling putty. The dome was removed and the space filled in with modeling putty, and the headlight was removed and a non-operating headlight was removed from an old B-mann 0-6-0 and put on top of the boiler. Styrene pieces were used to make a Lines West-esque tender. The PRR plate on the front is a brass piece, not sure from where though. Boom. H10. Valve gear aside, It is not a bad representation at all, and once weathered, no one can tell that it was brush-painted instead of using a spray brush. The same thing was done to a Kato Mikado that I own. Unfortunately, it had the headlight circuit board removed, so no DCC and it might have to hit the auction block, but it can be done. While these models are far from accurate, they can be done with relative ease. Using a Minitrix boiler could make the firebox even more believable. I love these models and they have seen good service for me, but I would replace them in a heartbeat if BLI made models of them. They do what I wanted them to-satisfy the itch.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2015
  14. silentargus

    silentargus TrainBoard Member

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    The N2s is also a viable kitbash, since Bmann makes a USRA 2-10-2. PRR owned many more of those than it did its home-grown N1s. Minitrix upgrades and bashes are also a modeling subculture all their own at this point. So yeah, there are options. The lack of a good ready-to-run Pennsy steamer is still galling... especially because it's so blindingly obvious that it would sell (look at how well Minitrixes and brass engines sell; the former are a 40-year-old design, the latter cost as much as a whole fleet of diesels and some of them aren't very good performers either). Make of that what you will.

    But... it is completely valid to complain about BLI's handling of the M1a/b. It was announced ten years ago. I was fresh out of high school! BLI also wasn't shy about accepting pre-orders on them back then (nor were a great many hobby shops), and an awful lot of folks got burned on those. There's no sense of entitlement in paying for something and then expecting it to actually be delivered instead of vanishing without a trace... and even since they re-appeared out of the Bermuda Triangle, the date has been pushed back so often it's long past ludicrous. Fall 2014... no wait Spring 2015... May! We really mean it! May release! No wait, August. Hmm, on second thought, October. November! November 2015 for sure!

    Pull the other one. Past a certain point it stops being an understandable delay and starts looking a great deal like mismanagement.
     
  15. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

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    10 years?! I didn't think it was that long!
     
  16. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    I am not one to go to bat for BLI (in N), but their strategy was keep their employees through the recession instead of working on this project (I don't agree with it but that is what they told me). Once they started working on it, they probably found out that N isn't HO and they are working on the final product now. My guess is that the preproduction sample didn't pull at all. In the video it's pulling only seven cars or so. They are most likely trying to fix either that or a similar problem that would require a redesign of some sort. They have high standards for their other stuff, so they are probably trying to meet those standards for this locomotive. So complain for sure, but when it comes out and you want the locomotive, put its schedule in the past and PLEASE buy it.
     
  17. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    IMO BLI wouldn't have shown a video if they weren't pleased how the M1 looked and ran. As far as pulling only a few cars I would say that's because there test track in not large enough and would have looked kind of dumb for the loco chasing the caboose.
     
  18. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah it could be that the track was small, but if you are trying to get people excited about the product which is what this video was intended to be, don't you think you should show off it's power? Ken mentioned that it wasn't up to BLI standards yet and they pushed it back again. It sounds good and it runs smoothly, but it's only pulling five cars. That was my reasoning. I guess we will have to wait and see. I hope it outpulls my Bmann Berk. It's really nice to be able to run long trains behind steam.
     
  19. silentargus

    silentargus TrainBoard Member

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    Oh, I will buy it. I'd buy it if it arrived in pieces. I'd buy it if I had to remotor it fresh out of the box- goodness knows I've had to do that to all my other Pennsy steam; I still have a few in the shop. I'd buy it if they left a bag of burning dog poop on the front step when they delivered the package. The only way we're ever going to get a decent variety of steam locomotives in N scale is to buy them, so that the manufacturers understand that there's demand for 'em! Plus, I just want an M1b in N scale that badly, and I know the end result is likely to be worth the price tag (if not the horrendous wait); I have several BLI engines, including their HO scale M1a, and they're all top-shelf stuff... but this one still leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Someone, somewhere, a long time ago, should've had an "uh...guys?" moment and delayed something redundant (like the umpteenth set of E units or PA/Bs) instead of something that nobody else was offering, is offering, or ever has offered. I know, I know... go with what you know will sell when times are tough... but they've pitched, developed, produced, and sold many other products, including a significant number of road-specific HO steamers from infrequently modeled roads that had no wider appeal than an N-scale M1 would have, in the time this one's been in limbo.
     
  20. KevinTheSPF

    KevinTheSPF TrainBoard Member

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    I love this response. Burning dog poop is a new one. The "uh...guys?" moment was exactly what they needed a few years ago, but this is what happened, and when it comes down to it, we need to hold up our end of the bargain and just buy it. I totally agree with silentargus here and now more than ever I wish I could get a second one somehow. What he said about it "coming in pieces" struck me also. HO PRR steam came as RTR from that company I forget the name of but later as kits from Bowser. What if a quality manufacturer went a step above the GHQ and made a complete model kit with mechanism and everything? Just a thought. All of the manufacturers that I would buy something like this from don't really deal in kits at all, so it's probably not feasible at the moment. I assume GHQ does OK with their L1 kit, though. It even has a hefty price tag of $125 plus a mikado mech, which isn't cheap by any means. Then you have to put the damn thing together, detail it, paint it, decal it, and then deal with the whole thing having the wrong valve gear and pulling like a stick of butter. I'm sure someone out there could improve on that model in RTR or kit form (sorry GHQ, it's still a great thing for the hobby, but we as modelers do better when someone beats you).
     

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