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Lownote,

I saw three at the TCA Fall event in 2006.  Held one in my hands.  They had the "Santa" green one, and two others. I assumed these were preproduction runs. 

What struck me was how well detailed the upper portion was and how by contrast, the lower part was very toyish.  I don't usually care, but the flanges on this thing were huge and there was no valve gear, just the main rod and side rods.  If I remember right, the side rods were plastic and seemed very New Bright-ish.  I guess it makes sense, seeing the $400 price point, with sound.  However, it would have been nicer if they had made the whole thing out of plastic and spent the money on detailing the valve gear instead. 

I have been keeping an eye on USA's website, but the pictures there are not updated.  Actually, if you go through their pictures, they have actual photos of the engines for some of the roads.  Take a look.  

If you are going to the ECLSTS, you should be able to see the units I saw two years ago.
 

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The RO website show expected availability as of 3/30.  But , I have found that in most cases those dates don't hold true.  I have also had one in my hands. One solid little loco that must weigh 15lbs. 
 

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Posted By markoles on 03/04/2008 7:55 AM


What struck me was how well detailed the upper portion was and how by contrast, the lower part was very toyish.  I don't usually care, but the flanges on this thing were huge and there was no valve gear, just the main rod and side rods.  If I remember right, the side rods were plastic and seemed very New Bright-ish.  I guess it makes sense, seeing the $400 price point, with sound.  However, it would have been nicer if they had made the whole thing out of plastic and spent the money on detailing the valve gear instead. 
Nevertheless, I wouldn't mind having a couple of these units:
After all, they're still called "toy trains" by some.   I think they look darn good as is.

pictures from the USA Trains website 
 

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Be happy you are not a NYC fan!

I understand cost-cutting has had it's effect!



If it's not obvious, check the #1 driver! oops!

When I saw them at the show, they had no motors or gearboxes... 

I think this will be stillborn, the valve gear should be better than a Buddy L you would think on something for about $500.

I'm buying the AML/Accucraft 0-6-0 switcher first.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg,

I don't think it'll be stillborn, they have already made some preproduction units.  I think if they had made it to market a year ago, they would have sold a lot of units.  Still, the price point isn't that bad, considering it has sound in it.  Who's sound is a good question.  The stillborn one is the PRR B6B!! They still list that on their website, and in their catalog.  

I hope the AML unit is a good runner.  If they make it to match the currently available 1/29 stock, it will probably sell very well.
 
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Greg, Mark,
 spoke with Roe today, they said these should be here within a couple of weeks or so that they are on the water with the new sd 70's. I  looked at one they had on diplay at the store and it seemed to be very heavy and very well built, if it is like there other diecast it should be a great engine. i'l have a NYC please with all 6 drivers intacted please/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/cry.gif, that picture is funny Greg never noticed that the driver was misssing./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/blink.gif Nick.
 

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Posted By markoles on 03/04/2008 2:05 PM
Greg,

I don't think it'll be stillborn, they have already made some preproduction units.  I think if they had made it to market a year ago, they would have sold a lot of units.  Still, the price point isn't that bad, considering it has sound in it.  Who's sound is a good question.  The stillborn one is the PRR B6B!! They still list that on their website, and in their catalog.  

I hope the AML unit is a good runner.  If they make it to match the currently available 1/29 stock, it will probably sell very well.
I suspect the dockside will do surprisingly well.  I will purchase one to try it out whenever I catch up with the load I placed on myself  for my last year's worth of purchases for Phases II and III projects. 
 

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I reallly wanted one, but the detail level is lacking for me. I could live with this if it had some sort of valve gear greater than the level of PlayMobil. Just disappointed. I'm sure it will pull like a sonofagun, I've hefted this one before.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg,

I don't know that the prototype for that one would have had much more in the way of valve gear.  Looks like saturated steam, slide valves, so it would have been stephenson valve gear inside the frame. 

The thing that kills it for me is the finish on the side rods.  Maybe if the wheels and side rods had been more like what is found on the NYC Hudson or UP Big Boy, it would have made it a more believable model.  Maybe what we all saw was a preproduction model, and the finished product will have better wheels and siderods.  I agree, it had a very Playmobile / New Bright feel from the running boards down.

Mark
 

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One other nice design feature is that all the on/off switches are under the coal load at the rear.  Very easy access.
 
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Mark,

Hey thats a cool picture, based on what i saw on the prototype at usa the level of detail seems to be as good or better the any of aristo's steam loco's and i think you and greg and myself all have at least one of them, my opion is i think they will be nice switching loco very heavy should pull well. i'm thinking it would be a good loco for DCS install WITH proto electronic couplers. Greg, where  do you get the lubricating grease you use on your rolling stock and locos? i have not been able to find any that is plastic compatable.../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif



Nick
 

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Nick,

If you can find it, use the LGB Oil pen for rolling stock and their Gear grease for plastic gears.

As for the comment about detail, what about the Aristo Mallet?  I have yet to see anyone post that its detail was lacking.   Paint on the drivers, yes.  Details omitted or simplified? Not that I am aware.

Its not a fair comparision to look at new steam releases versus the Aristo 4-6-2, 2-8-2, 0-4-0, 2-4-2,  all of which were designed prior to 1993.  OK, the mikado didn't show up until 2003, but it is essentially the exact same mold as the Pacifc.  If you look at locomotives of that vintage, I think you will find that the Aristo stuff was on par with the LGB, and better than the Kalamazoo, and some of the Delton stuff.  Certainly, it was better than the Lionel Atlantic.  Things have changed a lot in the detail department in the last 5 years of large scale.   Aristo is really responsible for making this stuff affordable.  Before them,  the market was LGB (and they had higher prices for their trains than they do now) controlled.  USA was making those wood reefers and boxcars, identical to LGB's.  It wasn't until after Aristo started to gain some ground with their FA, U25B, RS-3, and 4-6-2 that USA got in to the locomotive and freight car 1/29 business. 

How did you feel the 0-6-0T compared to either of your NYC Hudsons or the AML K-4 Pacific?  In my opinion, it looks like they forgot to do the detail work on the wheels and running gear.  The running gear and wheels on both the USA Hudson and the AML K4 look great. Very realistic.   Also, I didn't care for the shininess of the main and connecting rods.  Something about the running gear and wheels makes it look cheesy.  Maybe it will pull well on your RR, but I have no intentions of owning one.

Mark
 
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Mark, 
i must have been looking at a different model than you looked at because the one i saw didn't look to bad but also remember that these are all preproduction mock ups, i think the production one will have better flanges and maybe some more detail on the the production version, we should find out pretty soon. i hope... by the photo you posted i doesn't appear to be much detail on the real version from the running boards down anyway, but its hard to see in the picture.
PS you know you want one/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/w00t.gif
Nick
 

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Nick,
You mentioned he said the new SD70's are on the water.  Did they mean the Heritage units,I hope.
 
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Paul, thats what they said !!! my thinking is if it is true they were trying to make them arrive around ECLSTS.....:rolleyes: MAYBE WE ALL WILL GET A SURPRIZE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS...
Nick/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif
 

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Nick, for grease I prefer one that has moly in it, slipprier and does a better job of "plating" metal parts than the graphited lgb grease.

Hob-e-lube from Woodland Scenics http://www.woodlandscenics.com/ ... I've used labelle lubriciants with good results, but I think hey have not kept up with technology.

Aero-car makes some great stuff, they make a great gel grease that clings to gears... http://www.aerocarlubricants.com/Trains/index.htm

Regards, Greg
 
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