Paragon2 PRR M1a/M1b

rrjim1 Jun 23, 2015

  1. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    If times are/were "tough", you do wonder if bringing to market a couple of redundant diesel models was the appropriate decision.
    I have trouble envisioning someone in the product planning meeting saying "but we're going to load them up with DCC and sound and charge three times as much as Kato does for a basic model, so customers are bound to trample over each other in a rush to buy them" - and then everyone else around the table nodding in agreement.
     
  2. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    The Video for the E8s was the same, they had one pulling the same short train. I purchased 2 E8s and even replaced the traction tire wheel sets with regular wheel sets and they still pull great. I would look at BLI track record for there E8s and PA1s, they run and pull great. I would expect the same from there M1 and will continue to do so until I get a BLI loco that doesn't run or pull well.
     
    KevinTheSPF likes this.
  3. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    If Kato produced more than just a few road names than I would agree with the redundant diesel models. By the time you take a Kato unit, paint, decal, and install DCC the BLI unit is less expensive.
     
  4. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

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    I have nine BLI E-units. [All in B&O or IC.] I do not understand if they are really serious about offering this or any steam locomotive in n-scale based on the long ongoing delays. I say this in view of their steady release of HO steam locomotives during this same time frame. I like the E-units especially the dcc and sound. I have had very satisfactory service from BLI during the time I have owned the E-units. Now I wonder if they are testing to market to see if there is an adequate interest to produce this in n-scale; just one person's honest opinion.
    I have lost interest completely.
     
  5. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Apples and oranges comparison - repainting any model will add to the price.
    A Kato PA or E8 can be had for about $65, versus about $175 for the BLI version.
    Are you really spending over $110 for paint, decals and a decoder?
     
  6. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm late to this show... but... not being a Pennsy M1a/M1b buyer I felt I would stay out.
    Until now...
    I doubt the M1a/M1b will only pull five cars. It has been BLI' practice to have at least one traction tire driver on the diesels.. so... it would be very strange if they don't have at least one traction tire driver on these steamers. The traction tire would make this pull a reasonable length train on level track.
    I would like to see BLI put out this model so we can see what they actually can accomplish with N scale steam. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt until we see these models on actual layout conditions.
     
  7. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    BLI "poisoned the well" when it announced the M1 then said it didn't have enough pre-orders. No one was going to touch the M1 or any PRR steamer after that. That was proof that "Pennsy didn't sell." For the record, BLI stated they did not have enough pre-orders to do the M1. That was the reason given for not doing it. If you recall, they even had a 'pre-order meter' on their website allegedly showing the shortage in needed pre-orders. So I don't buy this bit about the recession (which, by the way, started under Bush not Obama) and wanting to keep their employees. Ten years is a long time to 'keep' non productive employees. And keeping those employees did not interfere with their release of HO steamers. So I'm not buying the BLI spin on this story. Furthermore, if BLI didn't have sufficient pre-orders before then how did they get them now? I think BLI had sufficient pre-orders all the while but they wanted to concentrate on the more lucrative HO market. I can understand and accept that. What I can't accept is their act of "poisoning the well". BLI did N scale no favors and really put the screws to Pennsy people.
     
  8. Primavw

    Primavw TrainBoard Member

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    I model modern era, but I'd be happy to pick one of these babies up. There's something about Pennsy that I love...
     
  9. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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  10. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    I fully expect Bachmann's K4 will beat BLI" M1 to the dealers. Last year Bachmann announced the EM1 in August with an October delivery. They were at the dealers the last week in September. Surprised the heck out of me and probably a lot of other people too.
     
  11. silentargus

    silentargus TrainBoard Member

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    Well, Bmann's new video shows what appear to be production models, not pre-production samples, pulling ever so slightly more than five or six cars. The full-page advert that popped up a few days ago claimed that the models were already being shipped. That would seem to align with your experience with the EM1.

    Hopefully this'll light a fire under BLI, but unless they invent a Star Trek replicator, there's no way the M1s will beat the K4s to market. Fortunately, they're two different engines, so it shouldn't really matter which one arrives first as they're both in demand.
     
  12. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

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    I have no insight about the operation of these two model railroad manufacturers, so I am puzzled how one can bring out two n-scale steam locomotives in a rather short time, and the other has been promising one for a X number of years.
     
  13. rrjim1

    rrjim1 TrainBoard Member

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    Who knows how long Bachmann has been working on there n-scale K4, one thing for sure there good at keeping it quiet. Looks like Bachmann has already guessed how many K4s to manufacture, were BLI want people to pre-order.
     
    rogergperkins likes this.
  14. Charlie Vlk

    Charlie Vlk TrainBoard Member

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    I don't know how long Bachmann's product development lead times are but you have to factor in the relationship Bachmann has with Kader, their parent company, which certainly must streamline things in many ways.
    Plus, Bachmann / Kader have almost 50 years of N Scale production experience which makes a huge difference in the time it takes to bring out a model.

    I have been involved in a consultative way with the BLI M1a/b project for over ten years now and, like everyone else, would love to have seen the project out in the market place and be looking for the tenth new project rather than anticipating release (finally) of the first BLI steam engine.

    I can tell you that from the drawings and the test samples I have seen BLI and their factory incorporated my recommendations in the product and it promises to be a solid performer. Contrary to some comments in this thread the pre-production samples are not specially-tuned one-off examples tweaked to achieve approval but works in progress which are tested to point out any potential problems. Changes are being made based on the samples .....BLI has taken to heart my advice that the product has to be top-notch, especially a first time entry like the M1a/b, to establish BLI as a serious N Scale supplier.

    As I have had a small part in the BLI N Scale program (having pushed for N since I started working for BLI and acting as BLI's consultative N Scale advocate) I thank those of you that have purchased BLI E6s, E7s, E8/9s, PA/PBs, and freight cars and buildings. Taking off my consultant hat and giving my personal opinion as a long-time N Scaler (1966) I feel BLI has delivered products worthy of today's N Scale market.

    Right now a limiting factor for BLI is the size of their current generation of sound decoder. It will not fit into a medium steam locomotive tender or a narrow hood unit. Fortunately BLI has plenty of previous larger prototype HO project R&D packages to choose from and there is work being done on making the electronics smaller which will be useful on some HO projects as well.

    I hope that more of you will look into the M1a/b and the Centipedes and the upcoming PRR K7a stock cars with sounds and without!.

    Charlie Vlk
    Railroad Model Resources
     
  15. silentargus

    silentargus TrainBoard Member

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    The 210F75 tender shown with these M1s is very nearly as long as the engine itself... it'd have more interior space than a 40' box car. Just how big are these sound decoders?
     
  16. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Charlie, are we to take your post as an admission that it was not a lack of pre-orders that held up the M1 for ten years nor was it the downturn in the economy and BLI's desire to keep their employees on the payroll rather than spend the money on tooling the M1 while all the while turning out HO models? Because that is exactly what it sounds like. How many more excuses will we have to endure from these guys? I will not order or buy an M1 or any other product from BLI. I can't trust them and therefore, I won't reward them with my business.
     
  17. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Do you mean to suggest that it took hiring a consultant to convince BLI that releasing just any old piece of [junk] into the marketplace might not exactly help cement their reputation as a "serious" supplier of N Scale steam locos?

    Was it your advice or purely a BLI decision to (thus far) only offer the M1 with DCC and sound?
     
  18. Railhead22

    Railhead22 TrainBoard Member

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    Can you just release some steam without sound? So tender size wont be factor? DCC ready, holes drilled, sound friendly interiors, but for a cheaper cost? What made my pre order for 2 soundless M1s disappear? That purchasing option was removed because...?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  19. gatrhumpy

    gatrhumpy TrainBoard Member

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    I might still buy one of these, but purely from the "That's interesting" department.
     
  20. rogergperkins

    rogergperkins TrainBoard Member

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    Charlie, thank you very much for your comments. I appreciate learning this from a person within an inside perspective. I have purchased BLI E units in n-scale from the 6, 7 and 8 versions. It is those locomotives that are at the basis of my interest in sound in n-scale locomotives. As to space for sound, I had dcc and sound installed in two of the Bachmann n-scale 2-8-0s and am delighted with the results thus size is less of an issue in 2015.
     

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