G-Scale Junction has or had the best price on the mallets, also Puffmd on here has two of them and likes real well. He is on chat almost everynight if you would like to chat with him. I'm considering one down the road myself and have talked to puff about them. The Regal there is a picture of his two on my web page in the picture section if you would like to see his two. http://blueregal.angefire.com/ take a look in my picture album. The Regal
There were several that had binding issues in the running gear. Some aristo steam engines had the problem of the screw holding the drive wheel on comes loose allowing the driver to wobble, and the running gear to bind.
Some also had problems with the drawbar connection.
Other than those, these seem to be good engines.
Do a search here or on the aristo board. Might have to search the MLS archives.
If you have a loose wheel, be sure to clean the axle tip and the inside of the wheel before reassembling, then clean any old red loctite off the screw and reinstall with loctite blue, the red stuff will make you strip the screw head. If the screws don't want to come out, heat a screwdriver close to red hot and use it to heat the screw, and melt the red goop.
The second run of mallets seem to have no problems, I have one, no problems.
I have some writeups on the mallet, and the prime mover hardware on my site.
I saw the one in the classifieds, but thank you anyway, I'm looking for the N&W roadname, but thanks for the heads-up. And Greg, thank you for the website, it will be of priceless help to me, I have printed out every page. I cannot thank you enough!
Greg’s web site is definitely a good read. There is a lot of useful information there.
Keeping a web site updated can be a full time job. I still have articles that I want to update with better pictures and new and improved technical tips. But it’s tough to open a locomotive that’s already running when there are several in boxes untouched.
I used links in my articles to make it easy for people to find supplies like the 2-pin plugs from All Electronics, but they just upgraded their web site and changed most of the links. I am going to have to re-think that one.
Our web site has three features, other than the left side bar, that make it easier to find information. The first is an Site Index that automatically updates when a new page is added. If the proper page titles are used, topics of similar interest appear grouped in the index.
The second is a Search engine. As an example, searching for “lithium-ion battery pack” will list 39 references.
The third is a manually updated Changes Log. The Ottawa Valley GRS does not publish a monthly newsletter. Instead we constantly update our web site with articles and photos, and then post a news flash about the additions on the Home and News page. The news flashes roll over so quickly, however, you may miss something if you don't visit frequently. So all the changes are listed in the Changes Log by the date they were posted or updated. Previous references to articles are deleted when the updates are done to keep the list as short as possible.
I have three and really like them. I've noted the problems that I've encountered on the engines on my website modification page: http://www.rayman4449.dynip.com/Gardenrr_mods.htm See the Aritocraft Mallet section.
The drivers getting out of quarter can perhaps be related to the center screw coming loose in some cases, but I found the main reason they mine were loose was the axle end taper and inside driver taper end are tighter than the rest of the taper resulting in an insufficient seating of the drivers to the axle. I have a writeup on my site you can read further.
What I chose to do to ensure limited future problems was to test each driver with a stiff hand turn, if it turned, I took the driver off and reworked the axle, if it didn't I left it as is. Unfortunately I had to redo a number of the axles but they run reliable now.
With all that said, I would not hesisate to get one. They are a great looking engine. Many mfg have their own issues and if you choose to not buy a model because of problems reported you might very well only end up with very few engines on your layout.
Just wanted to let everyone here know that I am now the proud owner of ART-21607-- A Norfolk and Western Mallet. After reading about them, most of the issues with them are fairly minor. I ordered from G Scale Junction, paid $419.95 plus shipping
I have one. Matter of fact it was my first purchase for this hobby - a gift from my wife
I like it a lot. But I like lots of smoke, so I need to get off my butt and order a MTH or a TAS smoke unit and install it.
Wow, 3 or 4ml of smoke fluid? I always put no more than 1ml or so into my LGB smoke units. I've mostly had experience with LGB, but I've had experience with two USA GP38-2s, two U25Bs, and and a Blue and Yellow FA1 and FB1 set. Never had any problems with any of them, and I was only about 8 or 9 at the time we had all of those, so I'd hate to think what they went through, being that I hear I was pretty rough on things. We also had an original Aristo Pacific that had a very major accident when it rolled down a hill about 40 feet. Every single detail part was missing, but the dog-gone thing kept running, so I guess that says something about Aristo quality, being I hear they're even better now.
It's only been two business days since I ordered it, and I'm already in agony from the waiting. It shipped out Monday, so I'm hoping it will be here tomorrow, but G scale junction didn't give me a tracking number or anything, so I have no idea when it's supposed to be here. I hope it's soon!