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Older Athearn GP50 Phase II

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Older Athearn GP50 Phase II
Posted by khier on Monday, April 16, 2018 12:28 PM

Dear All,

As if having three different lines of products is not confusing enough, I found lately what seems to be partially built locomotives without detailes like hand rails and grab irons.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Athearn-Lot-Of-2-BN-Locomotives-GP50-Phase-2-II-New-In-Box-Power-Dummy/401497281423?hash=item5d7b1a538f:g:qz8AAOSwJIlaj3JG

What are these actually? and how do they compare to the present products in terms of details and quality?

 

Regards

 

Walid

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Posted by tin can on Monday, April 16, 2018 1:37 PM

Those are Athearn blue box locomotives.  IMHO, nothing wrong with them.  Not DCC friendly, but a great canvas for adding as many detail parts as one wishes. 

Remember the tin can; the MKT's central Texas branch...
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Posted by BRAKIE on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:15 PM

tin can
Not DCC friendly,

 

All you have to do is isolate the bottom of the motor from the frame and proceed to install the decoder of choice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH5rjFdZFOM

DCC/Sound

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxzcfVebKBE

 

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.
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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:23 PM

Just a repeat of those before me, the handrails are in the box.  The little envelope holds the stanchions.

That's about all you get for details, the rest you add as you please.

My experience with the run of Athearn blue box GP50's from the 90's has been excellent.  A decent motor to convert to DCC, as they run great on DC right out of the box.

Gear lube might be a little stiff from sitting, but Athearn was generally stingy with it because of the type of plastic they used for the gears.

The worm gear and splined drive shafts are the noisy part, but after a run-in, they're fine.

Mike.

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Posted by khier on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:48 PM

Hmmmmm... now it is getting more puzzling. Is it really worth to get one of these, go through the entire detailing and modification process to finally get the same result I can get for 30 or 40 $ more? I guess for someone who enjoys scratchbuilding or a revet counter who heaviley modifies his models these kits are the right start, but for a main stream modeller who wants decent models to run I think a Walther's, an Athearn Roundhouse or even a Bachmann is the right answer. 

 

Thank you all for your replies.

 

Walid

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Posted by mbinsewi on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:54 PM

The only bargin of those locos is the free shipping.  They are over priced for me, even though they appear to be NOS. 

The "dummy" unit is just that.  No motor, plastic wheels, and usually no gears in the towers.

There are lots of RTR choice out there.

Mike.

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Posted by khier on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:57 PM

mbinsewi

They are over priced 

Exactly

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Posted by khier on Monday, April 16, 2018 3:58 PM

 BTW, are these the same as the current RTR locomotives?

Regards

Walid

 

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Posted by blabride on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 3:02 PM

The current rtr models have much better handrails and many have grab irons, enclosed pilots and are dcc ready. The GP50 is available in these as well.

SB

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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 3:15 PM

khier
BTW, are these the same as the current RTR locomotives?

No.  The RTR have grabs, ladders, see through fans and grills, a much quieter, and smoother drive, much closer to prototypical hand rails, to the point of being fragile, detailed pilots that include MU hoses, a brake hose, and coupler lift bars, and they are DCC Ready, meaning you plug in the decoder of your choice.  They also have NS wheels, as the blue box locos use a sintered metal for the wheels.

Mike.

 

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Posted by khier on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 5:27 PM

Mike & SB, thanks for your replies. I see these old things are waste of time, unless someone loves kitbashing. 

Regards 

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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 12:23 PM

I still buy the old Athearn blue box kits because they match my other Athearn blue box kits. It’s about symmetry and having the same level of detail on matching locomotives. Adding the details can get monotonous but if you enjoy building models it can be enjoyable too. I feel a lot more connected to a model that I spent some time assembling than something I just opened the box.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by Lone Wolf and Santa Fe on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 12:30 PM

P.S. I personally wouldn’t buy that set because they have matching numbers. They are available in different numbers so that you can run them together without having a duplicate locomotive number wise.  But the price is about right, $50 for the powered unit and $35 for the dummy.

Modeling a fictional version of California set in the 1990s Lone Wolf and Santa Fe Railroad
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Posted by khier on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:49 PM

I see your point. Building is certainly an added fun factor to the hobby. The problem is time. Even the smallest layout is built from scratch.  I have not even started building one, how would I ever find the time to build the locomotives themselves. Second point is cost. Why would I spend 50 dollars and start detailing to bring it finally to the level of the 80 dollars model. Unless I like building like you I find it not worth.

 

Regards 

 

Walid

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