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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since this discussion sort of took over the C18 thread, lets move it here. While I love the lower gear ratio of the Accucraft Shays, the single eccentric per cylinder is a huge put off. Thats not how real Shays are and with all the waggly bits out front and center, the full Stephenson valve gear is what they need. I love the prototype for the upcoming new 2 cylinder model, but once again Channing is taking the cop out way and putting the same single eccentric and reversion valve instead of proper Stephenson motion, which would take that model to the next level. We know Accucraft can make that type of valve gear and has on past models. Simulated is fine when its out of sight between the locomotive frame, but out in the open like a Shay, it really needs to have full valve gear. Only way to get that is to buy a Catatonk or Aster(with its higher speed gearing). If I could merge the lower speed gearing of the current Accucraft Shays with my old Aster Shay's beautiful 3 cylinder engine...... Maybe one day Channing will finally give us a Shay with proper valve gear, till then my wallet is staying in my pocket.
 

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From a business point of view, he has little incentive to do so. Adding the correct valve gear, only adds cost with likely minimal impact on sales. The 2 cylinders sold well and they still command good prices today. So, i seriously doubt you’ll convince him to upgrade unless you have a list of several hundred buyers sitting on the sidelines waiting for the correct valve gear…which he does—at least he strongly believes he does—but only for the same good ol’ reliable 2 cyl version…

Sam
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
How about just doing it to make the model correct. There are more than one reason to fit proper valve gear. I know Channingn himself is a train buff. I think it will take someone doing a specific Shay model to get it to happen, like Jason did with Fairymead, having the model optioned out to have proper valve gear. Maybe his competitor, Bowande, will make a Shay at some point, they seem to be into making models more "correct" in regards to valve gear. Like I posted, I dont mind simulated gear when its mostly out of sight on a model. But on a Shay, its right there, in full view. They might sell well, but unless its given to me, I wont own one. Give me an Aster(despite its fast running nature) or a Catatonk with its proper valve gear. Sorry, not sorry.

Btw, if folks just say they dont care, then why should Accucraft. BUT, if they said that they would rather the model have proper valve gear, then maybe, someday it will happen. Accucraft seem to be giving more options these days, with models in kit form, options for pilot and or trailing trucks. But I need their Shay model to have full Stephenson valve gear. GIve that option or equip the new 2 cylinder model that way and I will preorder one. Heck, I would take a rerun of the Mich Cal deuce with proper gear. Thats the business aspect, reissue of a model is just that, but will be more expensive anyways. SO...upgrade the models features...give it proper valve gear, working lights. We are at a price level where another 100 or 200 to the price on each engine is a drop in the bucket for most buyers at this level. Just my 2 cents, they will do what they are going or not going to do and I will vote with my wallet. I am sure it will be a good seller no matter what.
 

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Speaking for myself, and possibly others in the same position: Was much younger when the hobby was in it's stride, worked as long as my eyes were open so had more 'disposable' income. Being now retired, fixed income and the economy being what it is that extra $200 would be a stretch, and I think that would be on the very conservative side of an increase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Depends on the size of the production run and if more runs are planned in the future, the more they make, the cheaper it gets. They seem to have no trouble selling high doller models, even with today's economy. But your correct, there is a breaking point for everybody. It should have been done a few runs ago before costs went way up. I will stick with my non Accucraft Shays for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I wish I could adapt the gear ratio used in the Accucraft trucks to my old Aster Shay to slow it down, thats the only down side to them, 2:1 gear ratio makes them a bit touchy to keep running at slow speeds.
 

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Probably not going to be the "right" answer for many here, even though I do fully understand the desire for the most accurate prototypical representation that you can buy for your buck. But the fact of the matter is that even down to rivet counting level, our models fall short of true prototypical appearance, especially when in operation. In truth, even our best efforts at track work clearly falls far short of looking and being truly prototypical. Steam plumes also fall far short of looking scale, and the total lack of any chance at billowing black smoke coming out the stack is a fail no one has found a practical way to remedy. The actual motion of the engine and cars is clearly not a true scale representation of the real thing either.

Having come from a lifetime of HO/HOn3, I long ago determined that the best way to deal with all these scale shortcomings is to adopt an attitude that accepts models for what they are, and so I came to the conclusion that "stand-off" scale is the best approach for me. In HO/HOn3 my typical stand-off distance was 3 feet, so that if it looked about right at a glance from that distance, that was good enough. In Fn3 and associated scales, I find that 10 feet seems about right, as with ground running, I'm rarely much closer and most often much further away anyway.

Your imagination is the best tool you have to accept these failings and enjoy that which we do have. But if you feel the only way you can truly enjoy these things is when viewed under a microscope, then I think your only way forward is to turn to scratch-building, and I truly wish you the best of luck at achieving what you desire.

Meanwhile, back to the valve gear on the Accucraft Shay, I would suggest that you continue your crusade to try and enlist fellow enthusiast to rally the Accucraft management into providing a more realistic option showing multiple valve rods for each cylinder, and even have them fully functional and conspicuously different in forward and reverse. But I suspect that the cost might be a bit more than you think. Perhaps another possibility would be for you to add the other valve rod to each cylinder yourself, as I see that the crank mounted cams actually have substantial room for another valve rod, even if it is only a dummy.

Just a thought.
 
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