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Santa Fe F7 Question.

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Santa Fe F7 Question.
Posted by RMax1 on Thursday, August 16, 2012 6:21 PM

Some where long the way I picked up a Santa Fe F7 dummy in yellow and blue paint. This is the scheme from the 60's and 70's.  This unit has 2 nose lights.  All the pictures I can find have only one.  Did Santa Fe have any with 2 lights?   Any help would be great.

RMax

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Posted by DSchmitt on Thursday, August 16, 2012 10:09 PM

Two lights on "Warbonnet" locos, (built originally for passenger service).

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=16624

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=82570

Freight paint scheme,  single light

http://www.rr-fallenflags.org/atsf/atsf206csa.jpg

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

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Posted by RMax1 on Friday, August 17, 2012 5:05 AM

That is exactly what I found.  All the freight F's had single lights and all the passenger F's had dual.  Now I understand the rivet counters!  Seems manufactures just throw anything out there and call it acceptable.  Here is a perfectly good body with a glaring mistake unless there are some F's out there hiding like this.  I have modeled aircraft and armor and you would almost never see anything like this.  I'm sure the manufacture probably used the same shell for both the  passenger and freight F's in their line and said "It's an F".  Saves on the cost of making another mold.  I'll just repaint the body into G&W "Generic and Western" colors use the frame else where.  Thanks for the confirmation!

RMax

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Posted by wjstix on Friday, August 17, 2012 8:00 AM

It depends on the manufacturer and when the model was made. Some companies like Athearn weren't too concerned on getting things exactly right, and since their products were normally not expensive, most modellers were OK with either using them 'as is' or adding details themselves. In recent years Athearn (and other builders) have gotten better about things like that. Their blue box F7 is still a generic F7 A-units come with either one or two headlights, and they usually are pretty careful now to get it right.

FWIW I picked up an A-B set of Athearn New York Central F7 bodies at a flea market that had two headlights (which the NYC never had, even on passenger units) on the A unit. I was able to fill in the lower headlight opening and paint over it and it came OK, but then it was in the 'freight' black scheme so was pretty easy to match the paint.

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Posted by RMax1 on Friday, August 17, 2012 9:55 AM

That's got to drive some people absolutely nuts.  I am not overly picky.  I have no problem changing road numbers and adding a few details.  I have been buying F shells to play with and change out.  Usually I can get them for a buck or so.  I'll add the dress up kit and try to match the prototype as best I can.  Most locomotives I can find pictures fairly easy and go from there.  A couple of manufactures numbered every F they made regardless of road as 4015! lol  It isn't hard to figure out that Santa Fe if they had a 4015 it was most likely an SD39 and Conrail's 4015 was an E8.  OR since I can't find picture of either one who knows.  Tyco's 4015 is a model number and everything regardless of road is numbered 4015.  I have Athearn, Bachmann and Tyco shells and there is a little weirdness with all of them.  They make great parts to kitbash if they are not too weird.

I am still trying to figure out my Sante Fe C-liner but that's another story!  Great track testing loco.

RMax

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Posted by Southwest Chief on Saturday, August 18, 2012 1:39 AM

I'm guessing, based on your description of the paint scheme, you have the classic Athearn F7 (possibly road number 271C).  It looks like this:

This paint scheme is accurate.  But this was a very late and somewhat experimental scheme started in the 1970s.

However, since you mention the 1960s, maybe you mean the "cigar band" freight scheme which actually started in the mid 1950s.  It looks like this:

Or maybe you might even mean the early "cat whisker" scheme, which looks like this:

Regardless of the paint scheme, you are correct that Santa Fe freight F units had a single headlight.  Santa Fe passenger F units had two.  On the passenger F units, the upper housing was a mars style light.  The headlight was in the lower housing.  Santa Fe freight F units did not have a mars style light.

And the headlight is not the only issue with the Athearn F7.  The Athearn model has steam generator exhausts on the roof.  Santa Fe passenger A units did not have steam generators.  Only the B units had steam generators.  And Santa Fe freight F units didn't have them in either the A or B units.  So the model is not accurate.

If you want to get more complicated, Santa Fe had passenger F units called dual service units.  They were geared for freight and slower passenger service.  So you could see them pulling freight trains.  And they had two headlight housings.  But they wore the passenger red warbonnet scheme.  And although some did wear experimental blue bonnet and yellow bonnet schemes (some freight varieties) in the 1970s, these schemes maintained the stainless steel side panels.

If you are looking for accurate Santa Fe F units, take a look at Athearn Genesis.  They are good on getting the overall look fairly accurate.  And I personally think Athearn Genesis paint is the best of all manufacturers for both Santa Fe passenger and freight F units.  I currently only run Genesis Santa Fe F units.

Also If you'd like to read up on Santa Fe F units, I'd recommend the link below for thorough information on both passenger and freight F units:

Santa Fe F units

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, August 18, 2012 6:12 AM

RMax1

That is exactly what I found.  All the freight F's had single lights and all the passenger F's had dual.  Now I understand the rivet counters!  Seems manufactures just throw anything out there and call it acceptable.  Here is a perfectly good body with a glaring mistake unless there are some F's out there hiding like this.

  RMax

RMax, you raise a very good issue.

There are the rivet counters at one extreme and the undemanding hobbyists at the other extreme.  But, somewhere in the middle are the rest of us who would like to think that the locomotives and rolling stock (passenger and freight) that we are running on our layouts reflect the prototype.  How much trouble, in terms of time and cost, would it be for the manufacturer to do it right in the first place?

Rich

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Posted by RMax1 on Saturday, August 18, 2012 11:37 AM

Matt that is very helpful.  I just recently started messing around with this.  For me this is the best part of the hobby, finding out a little history.  I bought 2 Proto 1000 F3's for $20 each a while back and thought I would find some F7's to go along with them.  I knew I had a bunch of shells and some were in the Santa Fe freight scheme.  I like to do some background research before doing a project.  Went to fallenflags.com and noticed everything had one head light.  The shells I have are in the cigar band scheme.  Now I know that what I am going to want is the Genesis F7's  to go along with them. 

I have another question or two that maybe you might know.  Both of my F3's are numbered 200c.  The only thing I should have to do is change the number board to 200a on one of them and and I should be good?  200b was the b unit and I will be one the look out for one of those.  From what I remember reading Santa Fe only had one set of F3's in freight scheme?

Matt thank you for your help!!!

RMax

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Posted by RMax1 on Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:06 PM

Rich

This drives me nutz.  Since I model a little bit of everything and my layout is very generic (the Generic and Western, somewhere in north central Texas subdivision) I am a little more tolerant of weirdness.  Some how I end up with all kinds of things, some I buy (my fault... lol) and some end up here who knows how.  I bought a Bachmann DCC system and it came with a Santa Fe GP40 in the package.  Santa Fe only had one GP40 and it was 2964.  The Bachmann GP40 was numbered 3502.  The 3502 was a GP38.  No big deal to renumber and paint the trucks.  I waited a long time for Amtrak Proto 2000 E8's to be reissued.  I bought 2 of them.  Almost all the Amtrak E's have porthole weirdness.  Glad my layout is generic because the Proto 2000 E's are too!  Little expensive for generic in my opinion.  I understand it is expensive to make unique loco's and for the masses to be generic is probably a wiser move.  In my collection of weirdness are two Santa Fe SD35's and a C-liner,  none of them ever existed.  I have a BN F9 mutation.  The list seems to go on.  It's all good I am having fun with them.  I do wish that the manufactures would be a lot more careful when they produce items.  They do not have to be perfect to the bolt or nut but there are some things that just do not make sense.

RMax

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:34 PM

Along those same lines, I would add another issue.  Sometimes, no matter how faithful the model is to the prototype, it is often somewhere between difficult and impossible to find the right loco for the right time period.  So, I sometimes have to be buy a loco for a road name that I need which is not the correct loco for the time period I model, simply because that is all that is available.

Rich

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Posted by RMax1 on Saturday, August 18, 2012 1:24 PM

I too have had the time period issues.  The nice thing about the bottom part of my layout is that it is a very generic sorta Texas look.  I can run anything western on it and it doesn't look really odd.  I have sets for the early 70's, early 80's and modern.  Being not a natural or native railroad person I first found which railroads interacted with each other and what time frames.  Then I grouped loco's and rolling stock together.  So one night may be early 70's MKT night with a little Santa Fe and Amtrak phase I.  The next night could BN or something else.  The top of my layout is a switching setup.  It's freelance also.  Every once in a while my Southern E8 shows up there(It's been lost for a long time now, looking for the torpedo tubes that Lifelike forgot to put on it).  I have an SD70 that shows up.  THEN there I  just say what ever and throw anything up there.  But matching cars and loco's to time frames will drive some people completely crazy.  Seems railroading is always  changing.

RMax

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Posted by RMax1 on Saturday, August 18, 2012 2:29 PM

A correction I need to make.

Only two sets of F3's were purchased by the Santa Fe for freight service. Locomotives 200LABC and 201LABC were delivered in October and November 1948 just before EMD shifted production to the F7. Santa Fe had concentrated on early F3 purchases for use as passenger locomotives in order to dieselize all of the remaining major passenger trains on the system and by the time that was accomplished, the F7 was ready to enter production.

RMax

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Posted by RMax1 on Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:59 PM

I just looked at the Genesis F7 Santa Fe units and they are very nice.  Being stuck in the middle is the hardest part of this hobby.  While I was on the site I looked at the RTR F7's too.  While they are are wrong you can still buy 4 sets of them for 1 Genesis.  Of course you need to deduct for DCC and Sound.  So it's more like 2 to 1.  Splurge for the details and better quality?  In this case it is a lot of money but if you are modeling this seriously it is most likely worth it.  It's stupid and genius at the same time.  It forces you to buy the Genesis product if you are really into this part of the hobby or it makes you feel weird knowing that the trains running around the track are not right.  Live with whatever you feel comfortable with I guess.

RMax

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, August 18, 2012 4:44 PM

I have an older set (2003) of the Athearn Genesis F7ABBA Waronnets (passenger).

If you are thinking about those Genesis units, think no more.  Buy them. 

I own very little in the Athearn Genesis line, but when it comes to diesels, they make a great product.

Rich

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Posted by Southwest Chief on Saturday, August 18, 2012 8:00 PM

RMax1

I have another question or two that maybe you might know.  Both of my F3's are numbered 200c.  The only thing I should have to do is change the number board to 200a on one of them and and I should be good?  200b was the b unit and I will be one the look out for one of those.  From what I remember reading Santa Fe only had one set of F3's in freight scheme?

Matt thank you for your help!!!

RMax

The 200a numberboard would display 200.  No "a" displayed.  So, if possible, you should renumber one of them to 200.  Only the "c" was displayed in numberboards.  So 200C would be in the numberboards.

And Genesis F units are simply stunning to look at.  They rival some brass models.  The key is the Highliner shell Athearn uses.  Probably the best F unit shell ever made in HO scale.

Here's a photo I found that shows my Santa Fe passenger F3s and freight F7s...both Athearn Genesis products:

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
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Posted by RMax1 on Saturday, August 18, 2012 9:08 PM

Thanks Matt,  

That should make it even easier.  Those Genesis F's do look nice and the layout looks like the videos I have seen of places in New Mexico.  I have been watching some stuff around Abo Canyon. 

RMax

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 20, 2012 5:45 AM

This subject interests me, so I did some additional research.

I found lots of photos on the Internet showing F7s with dual headlights hauling freight.  Here is an example.

http://www.railpixs.com/atsf2/ATSF335_EagleLakeTx_June76a.jpg

Another interesting point is that the Highliner produces kits to modify its F7 shell to match the prototype.  Here is a link.

http://www.walthers.com/exec/productinfo/328-1001

So, it seems to me that the OP should be able to reproduce the prototype with lots of prototypical detail if he desires to do so.

Rich

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Posted by RMax1 on Monday, August 20, 2012 4:07 PM

Rich,

I think those F's are dual service units.  They are also known as Blue Bonnets.  There are also Yellow Bonnets.  From what I gather after Amtrak's arrival Santa Fe had extra passenger F7's and they started using some of them for freight.

RMax

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 20, 2012 4:35 PM

RMax,

Which are you looking for?

Single headlamp freight F7A's ?

Blue Bonnet?

Yellow Bonnet?

Time frame?

Rich

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Posted by Southwest Chief on Monday, August 20, 2012 5:01 PM

Rich,

The photo you posted shows a former passenger loco.  Note the stainless steel side panels. 

After Amtrak took over in 1971 Santa Fe had a lot of surplus F units from the passenger pool.  So they experimented with different paint schemes to apply to these former passenger locos.  The first link of #335 is a Blue Bonnet.

Eventually all but a handful were converted into CF7s.  That's why there are (except for the AB lashup in Sacramento) virtually no surviving Santa Fe F units today.

RMax is looking for a Santa Fe freight F7.  Those would have a single headlight.  Time frame I'm guessing is the mid 1950s to the 1960s, or the "Cigar Band" paint scheme era.

Unfortunately Athearn Genesis has not issued a cigar band freight F7 for quite some time.  I have an ABBA (#217LABC).  But it took me forever to find the two AB sets as I got them several years after they were initially released.  True there are other brands out there, but in my opinion nothing beats the Athearn Genesis shell and factory paint...at least the paint on their Santa Fe models.  Others may beat Athearn's motor, but they can't compete with the shell.

Matt from Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO
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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, August 20, 2012 5:32 PM

Southwest Chief

Rich,

The photo you posted shows a former passenger loco.  Note the stainless steel side panels. 

RMax is looking for a Santa Fe freight F7. 

My only point was that the dual headlamp was used for freight, so at least you could argue that the dual headlamp for freight was prototypical. 

That said, I agree that Athearn got "lazy" by not producing a single headlamp specifically for freight.

One question in this regard.  In the Highliner EMD F Unit Body Shell Kit, does it include a detail part to convert the dual headlamp to a single headlamp?  Probably not.

Rich

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Posted by ChadLRyan on Monday, August 20, 2012 6:03 PM

The Clear parts in the Highliners kits (& seperately) include most light types, including the Single bulb/Reflector version. I believe they are sized for both ports. The Nose light is accurately larger than the Door light. They are cast in Clear & I used Alclad on a set I got to place in another model, very nice dress-up parts, even if you don't make an entire shell.

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Posted by RMax1 on Monday, August 20, 2012 9:00 PM

What started this mess was me collecting F7 bodies.  I bought a whole bunch of different bodies over time.  The idea was to practice painting them and then using them.  Most only cost me a buck or two.  Well I have a couple of Proto 1000 F3's that I bought for around $20 and I really like them.  So  while they were running I looked into the pile of F's and pulled out a shell that matched closely.  It has 2 head lights and a steam generator on it.  It's sort of in cigar band paint.  Well I got doing research and found that no such animal actually existed.  So I haven't decided what to do with it exactly.  It was attached to a Bachmann dummy chassis but looks like it could be either Bachmann or Athearn.  Either way it's not prototypical with out a lot of work.  I really like the look of the Santa Fe freight diesels from this era.  The nice thing is that they weren't too far from where I live.  Most came around Cleburne and Ft. Worth.  They would fit with a lot of different things I have.  Since my bottom layout is really small and this is where they would call home, I don't need a lot of them. 

Here is a picture of the shell.

Here is a MKT project that I have been doing with the same kinds of things.

This is the real one!

and here is a sample of the scenery on the layout.

Hope this helps.

RMax

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Posted by RMax1 on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:07 AM

Rich,

I guess the lesson learned is to really research the real trains you are interested in first before trusting and buying anything.  Seems you can't trust the manufactures to be faithful to the prototype.  To a point I can't blame them.  If you don't know exactly what you are doing, ie road numbers and details you could find out later something that might make you unhappy.  It all depends on what you want out of the hobby.  I like history but I am not a rivet counter.  I like nice details and expect the model to be accurate.  The Athearn RTR line is nice but seems it was created with flaws and is considered close or good enough.  If good enough is ok then ok but it bugs me.  It's buying a toy train.  Buying the Genesis F is a whole different deal.  And for some of us that are not complete experts when we do learn more are we going to be that much more disappointed.  This is not a black and white hobby.  It has more gray areas than I ever imagined.

RMax

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Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 8:19 AM

RMax said

"It seems you can't trust the manufacturers to be faithful to the prototype?"

As a former employee of Bowser Manufacturing, I must respectfully disagree with this statement.  The outright lack of understanding reflected in some of these comments is huge.

You need to understand there were literally thousands of F units built; they were one of the diesels that vanquished steam, and of those thousands of F units, Santa Fe had the largest fleet.  Books have been written that focus heavily on modeling just the Santa Fe F units.  Like many railroads, the Santa Fe units had countless variations and upgrades over their lifetime as money-earning machines.  As others have stated above, you have to look at a specific unit in a specific year or few years to get any of the Santa Fe F Unit models "correct".  Especially on Santa Fe, F-3's were upgraded so that externally they look like F-7's, and roof fans of various sizes could appear on any Santa Fe F unit.  There's so much more to modeling Santa Fe F units than just the single vs. double headlight issue.

If a manufacturer is going to sell an F unit--ANY F unit--at a reasonable price point that most folks could afford, just which ONE particular version should they do?  Tooling costs money--why should Athearn do separate low priced models in Santa Fe--I bet fans of every other railroad might want their road's F unit instead of a Santa Fe version.  Research time and tooling costs money--money that isn't there for low priced models.  When they already own paid for tooling that brings in profit, why should they upgrade it?--instead Athearn chose to offer, for those who demanded it, an entirely separate line of locomotives that is largely correct for each railroad offered.

Athearn is being incredibly accurate with their Genesis F unit models--they didn't model just the rare early 1970's Santa Fe yellowbonnet version, but instead modeled at least 3 different variations of the paint scheme on A units, all of which are photodocumented as being exactly correct--with the correct horns, lights, nose rings, and other details uniquely correct for each individual unit.  Now sometimes Athearn's assembly fit and finish may not be quite up to par on an individual unit you find in a store--but then the Proto 2000 F units are exceptional in that department--however, they do not generally offer all the road specific details of the Athearn Genesis units.  Instead they usually focus on as-delivered or (in the case of Santa Fe, 1950's era) versions with less modifications, but that is changing.

Finally the various manufacturers have done a tremendous job of modeling the F units in disgusting detail.  If you search long enough on Ebay, you can find really nice models of F units in most of the prototype paint schemes, as they have been produced in HO, or are coming out soon.

I use Athearn Genesis, Intermountain, and Proto 2000 F Units on my layout, depending on the paint scheme my son "has to have".

John

Perhaps Athearn might one day upgrade the basic F-7 tooling--but others (like Walthers Proto 1000 line) already have done so.  It probably makes more economic sense for them to do completely different models that the other guys don't already have.

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Posted by RMax1 on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 9:17 AM

This is my quote.

My quote

I guess the lesson learned is to really research the real trains you are interested in first before trusting and buying anything.  Seems you can't trust the manufactures to be faithful to the prototype.  To a point I can't blame them.  If you don't know exactly what you are doing, ie road numbers and details you could find out later something that might make you unhappy.

You say that you can not trust the manufacturers and people go bonkers.   There is no way manufacturers can be 100% accurate on this grade or really any grade of product.  This is why I say I can't blame them to a point.  Modelers need to do research(what I was doing) to make sure what they do buy will make them happy.  If you are not 100% sure what you are doing pick a road, road number and research the unit.  You can not trust that the manufacturers unit will be 100% correct.  It is expensive to make these things.  There are cases of blatant in accurate models and I am sure that it may be due to economics.  NOT to trick or fool the public.  There are so many F7's there is no way to expect the one you want to come out of the box perfect.  BUT a little closer would be nice and that is what the Genesis unit is.

RMax

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Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:18 AM

People on these and other forums forget that they are all toys.

The Athearn economy line F Unit shell is a legacy from well before I was born (1968).  It was a different era then, and the toy train manufacturers weren't concerned with accuracy like today.

If you think about it, the profits from those economy models help to fund the Genesis models.

I am not an Athearn lover per se, have experienced QA/QC issues with their products in the past due to the Chinese assembly and occasional corner cutting by the Chinese during assembly where defective models slip through into the U.S., but the design of the Athearn models themselves is truly exceptional, and as a practicing civil engineer, I have to respect what they have achieved with the body shells because they have done such a great job!

Research time to get all the variations right-or even just very close--is expensive--and generally speaking, they have done well.  There is a cost to all that.

It's even worse with steam as each road's steam looked different from almost all others (with limited exceptions like some 2-8-4's and USRA steam).  In steam, manufacturers can and do pick one generally representative prototype, make it, and paint it for all the roads that had "similar" power (example: the recently introduced Bachmann 2-6-0 is modeled from a GB&W engine for which drawings were published).  Otherwise they'd go broke attempting to get it right.  Plus in HO there comes the question of which one drive axle on a steam engine do you want in the right place? because clearances in the model realm have to be looser than prototype clearances in order for it to run on a layout.  Our flanges are deeper than prototype, etc.  Or they put the axles in the correct location but undersize the drivers so they can fit (Bachmann EM-1).

There is no such thing as a perfect model and they are all toys--even the brass ones.

Most of the "blatantly inaccurate models" are legacy products from years ago.  They still sell, but some are so inaccurate that to fix them would require completely new tooling of everything.  With the new GP-7/9 series, Athearn has demonstrated the willingness to completely re-tool some models where it makes economic sense to do so.

On some Bachmann items, such as the large scale narrow gauge 2-8-0 of several years back, one can tell where they ran out of budget to finish a model--the cab interior of that engine is a fantasy--but the outside of the model is virtually dead on accurate in every way.  It appears that at some point the budget was shot, and they had to have a finished model, so they did what they had to do to finish.  Either that or information just wasn't available...

John

 

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Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:58 AM

One of the best sources for anyone modeling Santa Fe F Units is The Santa Fe Diesel, Volume I, by Dr. Cinthia Priest.  Good luck finding it, as it is out of print and desirable.

Some folks are asking $150 per copy or more for that book.  I have a friend who has one copy (it once was mine), and might possibly be persuaded to part with it if someone wants to go there...

John

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Posted by RMax1 on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 6:30 PM

John I agree,

The one thing I would like to see is Athearn update the F7.  At least a little bit.  The model is over 50 years old and will stay the same way for another 50 unless they do.  They have upgraded somewhat in the RTR line but there are a few things that need to happen.  The first is they need to at least make it DCC ready.  The second is come out with a couple different model variations.  This model has been the bread and butter of model railroading as far as diesels for generations.  My guess is that more F units have been sold by Athearn than any other unit.  Modelers are demanding more and you really can not blame them.  The Genesis line for some is the answer but the cost is not in range for others.  If Athearn and others(which is now happening) would update some of their older more popular products it would be fantastic.  When the negatives of a product out weight the positives people end up buying something else.  Not saying that the Athearn product is bad because it is not but when you take into account no DCC, inaccurate etc etc.  it gives any competition some room.  Even if that competition is another Athearn model.   If I can buy an F with DCC ready and close to the same look for the money the DCC versions at least got one sell. The Genesis line will still sell fine.  I think there will not be a problem selling products of that quality if price and demand stay inline.  As long as the manufacturers stay the same and do not update that's the problem.  The buyer today is not the same as they were in 1968.

RMax

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Posted by UP 4-12-2 on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 12:00 PM

RMax--

The Athearn F-7 predates 1968...by how much, I have no idea.

I predict that we will not see an upgraded economy series F unit from Athearn within the next 5 years.

Why? 

A.  Bachmann just announced one, so Athearn will not attempt to go head to head with Bachmann (otherwise both will lose in that game).

B.  Walthers/Proto 1000 already offers some really fine economy series F-3 units that are better than the current Athearn F-7.

Granted, the Proto 1000 and Proto 2000 F units are available in less roadnames and paint variations than Athearn offers--and there are a few people who don't care for the P2K cab front windows, as for some they don't appear to look as nice as Athearn's Genesis series windows.  Overall, the P2K F unit is generally speaking (based on the examples I've seen and owned) better assembled than the Athearn Genesis F unit, with better paint than what Athearn has offered (except some prefer the brighter red warbonnet on the Athearn units).

I really love the one P2K plated, red warbonnet Santa Fe F-7 that I currently own.  I also like the one Genesis Yellowbonnet #341 F-7.  I'll probably buy more of the Walthers/P2K red warbonnet units as soon as I have the funds.  (The plated yellowbonnet Genesis F-7's are largely gone, though my favorite store has 2 sets of them remaining, each with minor issues that make them unacceptable to me).

To each his own.

John

P.S. I did just put a Genesis WP FP-7A with sound on layaway because my son wanted it, along with a BLI Paragon 2-8-2.  Walthers does not offer the WP FP-7A, and the fit and finish on both the Genesis ones that my local store has in stock was notably better than on the regular Genesis Santa Fe F-7's I've seen lately.

With Genesis, one must shop carefully.  One run may be truly outstanding, and the next run may have annoying minor issues that really detract from the finished model--that's also imo why some of them linger in inventory for awhile.

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