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Bowser F7?

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Bowser F7?
Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:20 PM

Hi everyone,

I have developed quite the comprehensive plan for my layout roster. It's quite expensive, to the degree I think it may be unattainable, but I'll look at it optimistically.

One locomotive on the list is an EMD F7A for the Lehigh Valley Railroad. That leaves me two options--the Athearn Genesis model and the Bowser model. However, only Bowser's is in the correct paint scheme. I need either #562 or #572 as they appeared in 1971. And I've found one at a reasonable price with DCC and Sound (ESU).

Is it a good model? How does it sound? Do any of you have video of it? I can't find any video of it, aside from an old run-by with minimal sound showcasing and is low resolution.

 

EDIT: I decided to find a seller with a stock photo of the model. Here you go.

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971 and railfan of Norfolk Southern's Lehigh and Reading Lines of the modern day.

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:39 PM

I owned the Bowser F 7 in Alaska Railroad guise and was very happy with it. The detail was spot on, the sound was great and it ran nicely. The paint job was acceptable, with the parting line between the blue part and the yellow part not always sharp.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 4:12 PM

I have a number of Stewart/Bowser FTs & F3s and really like them - especially their operation.  The Buehler & Cannon motors are 2nd to none in smoothness.  Not as keen on Athearn - even the Genesis locomotives.

If the paint is spot-on on the Bowser version, that would get my vote without hesitation.  Big fan of Loksound decoders, as well.

Tom

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Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 4:42 PM

tstage

I have a number of Stewart/Bowser FTs & F3s and really like them - especially their operation.  The Buehler & Cannon motors are 2nd to none in smoothness.  Not as keen on Athearn - even the Genesis locomotives.

If the paint is spot-on on the Bowser version, that would get my vote without hesitation.  Big fan of Loksound decoders, as well.

Tom

 

Tom, unless you have owned the Genesis F units, I would not use experiances with other Athearn Genesis locos as a measure of the Genesis F unit. It is easily the best shell in terms of detail and accuracy, and it and the Intermountain F unit are easily 1st and 2nd in detail.

No question the original Stewart drive in the Bowser F unit is top notch, and has an edge over the others. But both the Genesis drive and the Intermountain drive are smooth, quiet and reliable.

In terms of bang for the buck, most runs of the Bowser/Stewart locos lack hand rails and other fine details, yet are similar in price to Genesis or Intermountain.

Regardless of brand, my many years both modeling and selling model trains has shown me time and again each product stands on its own merits, and the name on the box means little.

A Genesis SD70 may have issues, that has nothing to do how good or bad a Genesis F unit is.

All my Genesis F units are great locos, about 8 of them if I recall, same with my Intermountain F units.

But, the OP is looking for a specific roadname and color scheme, that would drive my choice because the overall quailty of ALL the current high end F units on the market is outstanding.

Sheldon  

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:02 PM

HO Hobbyist

Hi everyone,

I have developed quite the comprehensive plan for my layout roster. It's quite expensive, to the degree I think it may be unattainable, but I'll look at it optimistically.

One locomotive on the list is an EMD F7A for the Lehigh Valley Railroad. That leaves me two options--the Athearn Genesis model and the Bowser model. However, only Bowser's is in the correct paint scheme. I need either #562 or #572 as they appeared in 1971. And I've found one at a reasonable price with DCC and Sound (ESU).

Is it a good model? How does it sound? Do any of you have video of it? I can't find any video of it, aside from an old run-by with minimal sound showcasing and is low resolution.

 

I am going to offer my thoughts on one additional aspect of your question - sound quality.

I would suggest there is no possible way to judge the sound quality without hearing the loco in person.

No Youtube video is going to be a fair representation.

This opinion comes from someone who designs HiFi speakers as one of my other hobbies, and who perosnally does not like ANY onboard sound in HO scale do to its overall low fidelity.

I understand that many people like onboard sound, but again, what quality of speakers would you be listening to if you watched a video? How good would the recording equipment or acoustics be for the making of any such video?

Too many variables.

The sound of a locomotive played thru 1" speakers is of no listening value to me....

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:13 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
In terms of bang for the buck, most runs of the Bowser/Stewart locos lack hand rails and other fine details

That does not go for the Bowser Executive line - they are very well detailed.

Happy times!

Ulrich (aka The Tin Man)

"You´re never too old for a happy childhood!"

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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:03 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

I would suggest there is no possible way to judge the sound quality without hearing the loco in person.

No Youtube video is going to be a fair representation.

This opinion comes from someone who designs HiFi speakers as one of my other hobbies, and who perosnally does not like ANY onboard sound in HO scale do to its overall low fidelity.

I understand that many people like onboard sound, but again, what quality of speakers would you be listening to if you watched a video? How good would the recording equipment or acoustics be for the making of any such video?

Too many variables.

The sound of a locomotive played thru 1" speakers is of no listening value to me....

Sheldon

 

 

You make a valid point about how a YT video can't demonstrate sound quality. I more was referring to what the horn, bell, and prime mover sound like; not really the sound quality. It is important, but I don't expect a 1" speaker to perform particularly well. I more want realism and accuracy, and I know what to expect from a standard speaker on an HO scale model.

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971 and railfan of Norfolk Southern's Lehigh and Reading Lines of the modern day.

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:07 PM

Tinplate Toddler

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
In terms of bang for the buck, most runs of the Bowser/Stewart locos lack hand rails and other fine details

 

That does not go for the Bowser Executive line - they are very well detailed.

 

Agreed, but Bowser sold a lot of both. And the Executive line did not come along until well after everyone else included those details as standard.

So one should clarify which Bowser version they are looking at.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:39 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

tstage

I have a number of Stewart/Bowser FTs & F3s and really like them - especially their operation.  The Buehler & Cannon motors are 2nd to none in smoothness.  Not as keen on Athearn - even the Genesis locomotives.

If the paint is spot-on on the Bowser version, that would get my vote without hesitation.  Big fan of Loksound decoders, as well.

Tom

Tom, unless you have owned the Genesis F units, I would not use experiances with other Athearn Genesis locos as a measure of the Genesis F unit. It is easily the best shell in terms of detail and accuracy, and it and the Intermountain F unit are easily 1st and 2nd in detail.

Sheldon

Sheldon,

I actually own a Genesis F3A-B and I still prefer the Stewarts - even if the detail isn't quite as good.  The new Executive Line Bowsers are quite nice and do have improved looks.  And the older Fs can always be spruced up with the Cal Scale Superdetail sets.  I also have an Intermountain F3A and agree that they run smoothly.  That said, I'd still choose a Stewart - given the choice of my road name.

Anyhow, since the Stewart has the correct paint scheme for the OP, the Stewart is the better choice in this instance.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:18 PM

tstage

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

tstage

I have a number of Stewart/Bowser FTs & F3s and really like them - especially their operation.  The Buehler & Cannon motors are 2nd to none in smoothness.  Not as keen on Athearn - even the Genesis locomotives.

If the paint is spot-on on the Bowser version, that would get my vote without hesitation.  Big fan of Loksound decoders, as well.

Tom

Tom, unless you have owned the Genesis F units, I would not use experiances with other Athearn Genesis locos as a measure of the Genesis F unit. It is easily the best shell in terms of detail and accuracy, and it and the Intermountain F unit are easily 1st and 2nd in detail.

Sheldon

 

Sheldon,

I actually own a Genesis F3A-B and I still prefer the Stewarts - even if the detail isn't quite as good.  The new Executive Line Bowsers are quite nice and do have improved looks.  And the older Fs can always be spruced up with the Cal Scale Super detail sets.  I also have an Intermountain F3A and agree that they run smoothly.  That said, I'd still choose a Stewart - given the choice of my road name.

Anyhow, since the Stewart has the correct paint scheme for the OP, the Stewart is the better choice in this instance.

Tom

 

Tom, my preference for Genesis and Intermountain for F units is largely based in the fact that I am a freelance modeler.

Long before Bowser ever offered an Executive version of their F units, the Highliner shell kit that Athearn uses was available to build F units with a long list of specific detail options and that kit builds F2's thru F9's.

To accomplish the same thing with a Stewart/Bowser model, you needed to buy the undecorated loco in the correct phase/dynamic brake version, and buy a lot of seperate detail kits/parts, at considerable more expense back then.

Intermountain offered their FP7 in kit form, also easily allowing it to be detailed to the builders needs. The ATLANTIC CENTRAL likes FP7's........

And again, Intermountain and Genesis also offered the prototype roads I also model, in paint schems for my era, fully detailed, long before Bowser Executive Line did - B&O and WESTERN MARYLAND.

I also have a set of Walthers/Proto2000 F7's in C&O. They too are nice locos. But they made the mistake of only offering the undecorated loco with the modernized shell depicting typical late 60's early 70's modifications - hard to back date, so I passed on them.

Again, I think all the high end F units out there are of excellent quality, hard to go wrong in my view. And I agree the OP needs to go where he can find his paint scheme. That's why my C&O units are Proto.

Other Genesis stuff, I have no experience or interest. I prefer older Proto2000 for other first generation diesels and have a large fleet of GP7's, FA's, PA's, BL2's, SD9's, etc, from Proto.

One diesel brand I will not buy is Broadway. Aside from my obvious lack of interest in DCC and sound, every Broadway diesel I have ever seen seems just a little short on fine detail, like maybe they think sound and easy handling are both more important ?

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:39 PM

Hi Robert Liam, (sorry I got your name wrong)

If I were you I would go for the Bowser unit for a few reasons.

One is that it will perform very well. I don't think anyone will argue that.

The second is that it has your very specific livery. That saves a lot of paint work, even if you do have to add handrails.

Third is that Bowser's customer service would appear to be excellent. I'm only basing that on the experience of one of my fellow club members so the following is limited proof. My friend bought a brand new Bowser SD40 and proceded to have it hit the floor before it had even gone half way around the club's mainline the first time. Somebody left a track diagram across the rails. The front truck was jammed up inside the shell pretty good. Rather that attempting to repair the locomotive himself my friend sent it back to Bowser to be repaired. He sent it not knowing what the repair cost would be. He got the loco back in about three weeks and the bill was $0.00. They even paid the return postage IIRC. We are in Canada so the shipping wasn't cheap.

You can't go wrong with that kind of commitment to good service.

My 2 Cents

Dave

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:43 PM

The ESU Loksound 567 prime mover sounds excellent.  None are better in HO scale, IMO.  One thing I notice about the V4.0/Seclect is a motor hum that can bleed through the sound at low speeds and low volume.  I do a lot of switching under those conditions, so I am sensitive to the buzz.  Many people can't seem to hear it.  New locos are starting to use the ESU Version 5, which has eliminated that problem.  Don't know if the loco you are looking at has the new V5 or the more common V4.

Motor control is excellent.  Much better than the Tsunami 2 at slow speeds (Tsnami also sound great), but the F series is a road unit so I assume you'll be running it at road speeds and not slow speeds so you should have no issues.

As has been suggested, you need to hear the loco in action.

- Douglas

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Posted by tstage on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:16 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Long before Bowser ever offered an Executive version of their F units, the Highliner shell kit that Athearn uses was available to build F units with a long list of specific detail options and that kit builds F2's thru F9's.

Sheldon,

I've been working on a Highliners F2A shell for my NYC roster (they had only 2) and the detailing is beautiful.  I have it on a Stewart F3 chassis and the fit is spot-on.  And, even though it's not completed (i.e. it's painted but no decals yet), it's quickly become one of my favorite locomotives and operates as smooth as glass.

And I don't deny that Athearn (and Intermountain) locomotive shells are very nicely detailed.  I simply prefer the Stewart shells because they allow me "options" that pertain to my prototype - particularly when it comes to their older undecorated kits.

In either instance - it's a nice problem to have. Big Smile

Tom

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Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:17 PM

hon30critter

Hi Robert,

If I were you I would go for the Bowser unit for a few reasons.

One is that it will perform very well. I don't think anyone will argue that.

The second is that it has your very specific livery. That saves a lot of paint work, even if you do have to add handrails.

Third is that Bowser's customer service would appear to be excellent. I'm only basing that on the experience of one of my fellow club members so the following is limited proof. My friend bought a brand new Bowser SD40 and proceded to have it hit the floor before it had even gone half way around the club's mainline the first time. Somebody left a track diagram across the rails. The front truck was jammed up inside the shell pretty good. Rather that attempting to repair the locomotive himself my friend sent it back to Bowser to be repaired. He sent it not knowing what the repair cost would be. He got the loco back in about three weeks and the bill was $0.00. They even paid the return postage IIRC. We are in Canada so the shipping wasn't cheap.

You can't go wrong with that kind of commitment to good service.

My 2 Cents

Dave

 

 

I'm not sure if this was for me or not...I don't know who Robert is, lol. My name's Liam.

I do like F units, but Alco's are my favorite. If nobody offered one of these models in my specific livery, I'd skip over it. F units were so rare on the Valley by '71-only 562 and 572 remained.

As per good service, glad to hear it. I'll be rostering several other Bowsers, including a C628 and a DS 4-4-1000.

Liam

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971 and railfan of Norfolk Southern's Lehigh and Reading Lines of the modern day.

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:28 PM

HO Hobbyist
I'm not sure if this was for me or not...I don't know who Robert is, lol. My name's Liam.

Hi Liam,

I totally apologise for getting your name wrong. I thought I saw 'Robert' at the bottom of your post but it must have been another post.

I'll correct my post.

Dave

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Posted by HO Hobbyist on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:30 PM

hon30critter
HO Hobbyist
I'm not sure if this was for me or not...I don't know who Robert is, lol. My name's Liam.

 

Hi Liam,

I totally apologise for getting your name wrong. I thought I saw 'Robert' at the bottom of your post but it must have been another post.

I'll correct my post.

Dave

 

 

Lol Dave, it's fine. I never revealed my name until that reply anyway.

Modeler of the Lehigh Valley Railroad in Bethlehem PA, 1971 and railfan of Norfolk Southern's Lehigh and Reading Lines of the modern day.

http://hohobbyist.weebly.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIYnPo26Y8nsXyKhtpvSWwA

http://instagram.com/lvrr_hoscale

http://twitter.com/lvrr_hoscale

"When railroading time comes you can railroad...but not before."

- Robert A. Heinlein

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Posted by hon30critter on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 10:05 PM

HO Hobbyist
Lol Dave, it's fine. I never revealed my name until that reply anyway.

I just discovered where I got the name 'Robert' from. You have a quote at the bottom of your post by Robert A. Heinlein. I wasn't reading carefully enough.

Cheers,

Dave

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 10:34 PM

My grandpa has a pair of EDIT: Bowser F7s in the SP&S broadstrip scheme. They were pretty good locos, nice detail, sound was good. The only issue we had was that the two of them would not run well together out of the box, for some weird reason their speeds where way off! I don’t know why. We have yet to fix that issue so we don’t run them much, but I still think they are pretty good models!

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by tstage on Thursday, October 17, 2019 7:47 AM

SPSOT fan
My grandpa has a pair of F7s...

Stewart/Bowser?  Athearn?  Intermountain?  None of the above?

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, October 17, 2019 10:16 AM

I haven't run any of the Bowser version, but my KATO made Stewart F units have the best running chassis I have experienced.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Thursday, October 17, 2019 11:25 AM

tstage

 

 
SPSOT fan
My grandpa has a pair of F7s...

 

Stewart/Bowser?  Athearn?  Intermountain?  None of the above?

 

Newer Bowser Executive line, sorry! Will edit original post!

Regards, Isaac

I model my railroad and you model yours! I model my way and you model yours!

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Posted by tstage on Friday, October 18, 2019 6:29 PM

Isaac,

Perhaps a good cleaning and/or some light lubrication would be a good place to start.  Sometimes locomotives do arrive dry because the factory forgot to lube them.  And sometimes they come over-lubed, which poses it's own issues.  It also depends how long a locomotive sits on the shelf and/or under what conditions.

Tom

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Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

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Posted by SPSOT fan on Saturday, October 19, 2019 7:57 AM

tstage

Perhaps a good cleaning and/or some light lubrication would be a good place to start.  Sometimes locomotives do arrive dry because the factory forgot to lube them.  And sometimes they come over-lubed, which poses it's own issues.  It also depends how long a locomotive sits on the shelf and/or under what conditions.

Yeah, I’m sure the issue could be figured out if someone would really take a good look at them. However, as I previously stated they are my grandpa’s models and are at his house quite a ways a way from where I am right now... so not much I can do right now... perhaps I’ll take a look next time I visit!

Regards, Isaac

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Posted by PRR8259 on Saturday, October 19, 2019 7:23 PM

That Bowser LV F unit is very well done.  I almost bought one...had it set aside at a dealer.  It will run well, look good, and be a very reliable engine.  You won't have to worry about any details falling off, as most are actually separately applied metal (brass castings and wire grabs).

 

John

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Posted by tstage on Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:07 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
One diesel brand I will not buy is Broadway...every Broadway diesel I have ever seen seems just a little short on fine detail, like maybe they think sound and easy handling are both more important ?

I have only one BLI diesel, Sheldon - a NYC SW7 - and it has nice detailing.  I don't own any Bachmann locomotives so I can't really comment on whether it has better or worse detailing than BLI.  I do think that Bachmann offerings tend to be less prototype-specific than BLI. 

Other than the SW7 that I picked up on eBay 2-3 years ago, I haven't purchased a BLI locomotive in nearly 10 years because they have not offered anything of interest for me and the prototype I model.  And I don't expect that to change with Bachmann either.

Tom

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Posted by Autonerd on Saturday, October 19, 2019 11:08 PM

I have an A-B set of Bowser F7s and am very happy with them for detail, running characteristics, etc. Can't comment on sound as one is silent and one has a sound decoded with no speaker (yet). :) I also own three Bowser Alcos and have had trouble with detail parts falling off (sometimes before they arrived to me!) but that wasn't a problem with the Fs. I do wish the packaging didn't have those silly screws... they seem to forget that some of us like to store our locomotives in the boxes.

I own a couple of Genesis units (not Fs) and am happy with them. My fellow clubbies have plenty of Genesis Fs and are happy as well.

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