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Could some of you out there please give me your opinions on the following ...

i am still trying to decide on what type of track to go with ... marklin 1/32 (code 200?), some custom track (code 215 or 250) or typ usa / aristo track

in the meantime i am also trying to decide on some locos / engines too

i am very interested in the mth trains - will likely wait for a vo 1000, am also very interested in aristo doodlebug and am now thinking i might like a big old steam locomotive

i picked up a copy of Beebe's 'Highball' for inspiration and a bit of 'schooling'

initially, as i am trying to stay as close to 1/32 as i can - i am considering an mth hudson ... if i could locate

but i am also wondering about aristo pacific and mikado as options -

what i would like to know is can anyone compare the two brands - scale aside - pros vs cons - although 1/29 the aristo seem to be easily available, with wide selection and at a more affordable price?

any advice or comments to help me make a decision much appreciated - regards, Ron
 

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Could some of you out there please give me your opinions on the following ...

You, sir, have now opened up a very large can of worms, but here goes anyhow...

i am still trying to decide on what type of track to go with ... marklin 1/32 (code 200?), some custom track (code 215 or 250) or typ usa / aristo track

If you intend to stick to Gauge 1 then Marklin track is a good product, but PECO [with a very large range of formations in G1] and others are just as good and more readily available in most places, except, maybe where you are in deepest BC. Remember that if you ever have open days on your track, that just about everything else that your visitors will gring along to play with will run sounding like a machine gun on your low profile Code 200 track, and may not actually go through your switches at all due to flange depth. Many of us over here in UK and Europe use Cliff Barker's excellent range of scale trackwork, but with its Code 180 profile you might not be able to run anything except Gauge 1 - PROPER Gauge 1 - at all.

On the other paw, I run every scale you can think of from Gauge 1 right up to 16mm [1/19th] on Tenmille G45 and Aristocraft track with total success.

i am very interested in the mth trains - will likely wait for a vo 1000, am also very interested in aristo doodlebug and am now thinking i might like a big old steam locomotive

The Aristo doodlebug is 1/29th and has very coarse wheel profiles. it is, however, a great looking piece. My pal Broos picked up a Santa Fe version NIB for just over $150 here in UK and is mightily pleased with it. 'Big old steam locomotives' in Gauge 1 range from MTH [$$], but they use a dedicated control system to get sounds, to Maerklin [$$$$ - but no US/Can models] and getting pricey, to Accucraft US/Can outline in electric and live steam [$$$$$$] on up to Aster live steam [$$$$$$$$$$], but then you get what you pay for. The great German makers like Huebner [$$$$$$$$$$] and Bockholt [$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$] don't make US/Can stuff at all.

initially, as i am trying to stay as close to 1/32 as i can - i am considering an mth hudson ... if i could locate

They are still to be found and are VERY good indeed [see Rayman4449's excellent site with tons of vids] , but if sound is not an issue with you, an all-metal Aster electric version has a better heft in the hand, if you can find one for around $4500 or less.

but i am also wondering about aristo pacific and mikado as options -

These are 1/29th scale and are both pretty simplified models by comparison with the Gauge 1 MTH. The Pacific is representative of one line only, in spite of being available in many road schemes. Art Knapp, whom you mention in another post, actually has these in CPR colours, and very nice they look too, in spite of having so many inaccurracies that I don't know where to begin. The mike is a rather odd-looking beast, but is an impressive hauler. Again, both could be in serious trouble on your Code 200 track.

what i would like to know is can anyone compare the two brands - scale aside - pros vs cons - although 1/29 the aristo seem to be easily available, with wide selection and at a more affordable price?

As I can't post images I'll shut up now.

tac
 

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MTH: Real nice. Very pricey.
LGB: Some is very nice, some is junky.
AMS: Very expensive, beautiful detail. Electrics are a little weak.
USA: Lots of nice detail. Reasonably priced. Their diesels are work horses.
Aristo: Not as detailed as USA and a little less expensive. For my budget, seems a nice balance between detail and price.
Bachmann: Not as detailed as Aristo and less expensive. Except for their newer models, which are most beautiful. The "Annie" is a treasure of detail, cost and reliability.
Heartland: Very reliable. This stuff never quits working.
 

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I run mostly in 1:29 but wish i had started with 1:32. I think it looks better, especially if you run big "modern" steam. !:32 engines and cars are significantly smaller, which to my eyes means they look better on small curves,/smaller layouts.

I have a mix of stuff and you can "get away" with mixing scales depending on what you're mixing. A modern 1:29 boxcar looks too big next to a modern 1:32 boxcar, but other kinds of cars look fine together


As to track it's worth considering how you want to run--track power or battery? I like track power, am not a precise modeler and so I use a mix of brands of code 332 brass track. I have LGB, Aristo, and AML track and it all seems to work equally well. I recently started installing some aristo stainless track: If I were starting from scratch and had more money I'd go with all stainless steel. It's not a big deal keeping brass clan but it's even less of a deal keeping stainless clean. . Code 223 is less realistic looking but it holds up well to kids stepping on it.


Brands:

MTH makes great stuff and they have sound and remote control built in. They are more expensive up front but in the long term probably less expensive, especially if you factor in the time required to learn how to wire a loco/ set up DCC etc. The MTH DCS system is sophisticated and sounds and runs great. But MTH stuff seems to be hard to find. I don't have any MTH engines because I don't want to install the DCS system and it seems foollish to buy an MTH loco and rip out the DCS. If I were starting from scratch i would probably commit to the MTH DCS system and if I bought other companies locos, convert them to DCS


Aristocarft: I have two aristo engines and a bunch of rolling stock. They make good stuff at good prices, customer support is good, quality control is often spotty. I have a Pacific and a Mikado. I really like the MIkado a lot. The Pacific shows up all my bad trackage by wobbling. The plug and lay socket makes it very easy to drop in decoders.


Bachmann: They are noticeably too big for 1:29 and way too big for 1:32. I run a Bachmann Annie, which is in my opinion the best bargain in large scale, but it looks way too big and I only run it by itself



LGB: The old LGB stuff is extremely well made but they are out of business in the US, replacement parts are hard to fnd, and it's not clear if or when they will be back


USA Trains: I have one diesel, and it arrived with the dreaded "split axle" problem. I sent it back they fixed it, and now it's one of my favorites. It runs very smoothly and well. The detail level is very good and the build quiality is very high, split axles aside. If USA made more steamers in plastic I'd be buying them. The metal ones interfere wth wireless remote, which is what I use
 

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Bottom line is if I was just starting out I would have gone MTH. Good quality system little pricey but then I would have what I want as far as operations and more to proto operations and real chuffs of smoke. Later RJD
 
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Posted By Chucks_Trains on 10/13/2008 7:09 PM
MTH...



MTH SYSTEM ALL THE WAY.....................Look at her puff.......Smoke um if you got ummmm
 
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OOOOOOOOOOOO by the way, lately i have been reading that people think you can only run MTH with the DCS controller and its not true,i havent yet installed my dcs controller on the track .all my trains you see running, that have MTH installed with the puffing smoke and the awsome sounds are running on DC power only...and that includes any MTH loco will run on dc with sound and smoke with no controller hooked up..The MTH system can be installed fairly easily in just about any loco,Ray and Chuck have done some really cool installs of DCS..
Nick...
 

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Hello,

As for track, I would also assess what type of abuse it may be subject to. When I made my first (OK, second
) track purchase I went with Aristo Stainless 332. After talking with some folks and getting their feedback I know that mine is subject to kids, dogs, and me. My track at times is also a sidewalk, a trip hazard, a playground, etc... This being the case, I wanted durability as well as good conductivity being, yes, a powered track user. Now if I went for scale and protypicalness, not much beats the 250 track. Would it have held up in my layout? Maybe, but it may have likely looked like a pretzel in my layout by now. At the cost of track nowadays, you are forced to do some quality research unless you make a transition late.

Thanks, Bill
 

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Ron,

If you are planning to use track power (and I haven't seen anyone running battery power through the MTH DCS system, don't know if it can even be done), then I would not do anything other than stainless steel.
 

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I had brass in the asylum and stainless in the shop. I liked the more prototypical gray color. Running trains most every day, I generally only had to clean the brass if I'd left it sit for a few days with no trains. I only had to clean the stainless where I'd spill water on it filling the pond.

.332 rail scales out to be 9 1/2 inches tall in 1:29. I measured the rail on BNSF going through Macomb at 7 inches. Foamers told me that was VERY heavy rail. Ok, it's too tall, but then, in 1:29, our rails are only 51 inches apart, not 56 1/2, so who cares about how tall they are;)
 

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Ron,

I will echo what's been said about the Stainless Steel track and track power. I did a ton of reading before I made my purchase of track and was not sorry I did, it's even better than I had hoped. I really never need to clean my rail. If you go track power, you really need to go with direct to rail railclamps too. I went with Splitjaws and am glad I did. Since you are wanting to go 1:32 then MTH's product line will probably directly keep you covered in what you are wanting model wise so you may not have to do any retrofit/installs of DCS into other engines. If you do however, the engine will have to have a flywheel or have one installed in order for it to work. That is the only real hurdle with non-MTH engine DCS installs.

On the cost, I think MTH is generally in-line with the other companies when you compare what you get for what you pay. An MTH Hudson will probably cost you ~$650 and a USA Trains about ~$1500?. When you compare those two hudsons, the USA Trains wins hands down as it is just a marvelous piece of work and is all die cast metal with SS wheels. So I think generally you do get what you pay for. A MTH Big Boy will cost you $1000, but you do get an all die cast metal frame and solid metal drivers plus the sound, control, lights and their great smoke system built in and I think good detail. Compare that to a USA Trains Big Boy at ~$3500 and it is much more expensive but again you also what I think is the most amazing Largescale engine ever made. It is detailed down to the last rivet and is all die cast metal as well. Compare to the Aristocraft Mallet, is mostly all plastic, less robust smoke unit but does work good, does have nice detail and no sound but only cost around ~$440 which is really one heck of a bargain for what you get. I am just as happy with my Mallets for what they do and what I paid as I am my USA Big Boy which I keep under glass because of the cost and weight.

Boy compare say Aristocraft to MTH in general... I would say it depends on the models. Personally I like the look and detail of the Aristocraft Dash-9s over the MTH Dash-8s. I'm someone who prefers 1:29 over 1:32 so it also has that going for it too. Steamers I think I kinda covered above but adding in the Aristocraft Pacific and Mikado, I think both of those engines were made early on in Aristo's history when the hobby was less established and they probably had less development funds available. I dont' feel they have quite the finished look or detail as say an MTH Hudson, but again considering when they were built and what you pay $250-300 each? they are much less expensive and I think are a good value if you like them. It really will boil down to personal opinion on whether you like or not. I would say both are good runners.

I agree that there is probably more affordable 1:29 available than 1:32 but MTH has been rapidly expanding their product line so they offer a new real alternative for the 1:32 crowd.

Probably duplicated what some others have said too so I'll stop there.

Good luck on your decisions. There's a lot to consider!


Raymond
 

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Posted By markoles on 10/15/2008 6:14 AM
Ron,

If you are planning to use track power (and I haven't seen anyone running battery power through the MTH DCS system, don't know if it can even be done), then I would not do anything other than stainless steel.




...they do exist, but they are strange creatures and are rarely seen in the wild! :D

http://www.mylargescale.com/Community/Forums/tabid/56/forumid/35/postid/30519/view/topic/Default.aspx


If I started again it would be SS and track power, with a couple of battery engines for maintenance work.

I love my MTH challenger - it's got cool sounds and lights etc. but needed fixes from new even though it cost $1000
I love my Aristo mallet - it smokes well, is a great puller, it needed fixes from new and no sound but it only cost $450
I love my USAt geep - it's got terrific slow speed, pulls great and yes it needed fixes from new but hey, who else does a highnose geep for well under $200?
I love my Annie - it's a real smooth performer, cost $125 but looks like much more - and...didn't need fixing from new!

They all got good and bad. If you can sort the bad (with help from the forums like I have) you will enjoy the good for sure!
 

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fildowns,

I stand corrected!! First one like that I have seen. Nice use of the stock car for your reciever! I also like the use of the wired through cars for your battery connection. Pretty slick.
 
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Posted By markoles on 10/15/2008 1:14 PM
fildowns,

I stand corrected!! First one like that I have seen. Nice use of the stock car for your reciever! I also like the use of the wired through cars for your battery connection. Pretty slick.


 
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