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Steam Engines- the 40's

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  • Member since
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Steam Engines- the 40's
Posted by scotchman on Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:16 PM

I am new to the hobby and have just built my first layout. At least I've laid the track, and everything seems to work well! What is the preferred manufacturer of steam engines? Athern; Bachmann; Rivarossi; Mantua? Or who? Looking for a nice Southern Pacific 4-6-2, or 4-8-4, or 2-10-2, or whatever. Bot a nice Stewart/Kato F3 diesel and it runs beautifully. Would like to find the same in an HO steam loco. Thanks for your advice, John 

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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:32 PM

Well,  generally, the best stuff is what the in-crowd calls "brass" (you may know that already).  It's sorta expensive, but if you want an SP engine, that's where you go.

EXCEPT, Athearn makes a really nice SP 4-8-2.  I hear.  No one's made an SP 4-6-2 or 2-10-2 in (shudder) plastic.  The SP 4-8-4's are everywhere, I think.

But, you asked about the preferred manufacturer.  As opposed to importer.  I think Boo-Rim would be it.  Others, please correct me if I'm wrong.

And, if any manufacturer is listening, I think a LIGHT SP 4-6-2 would b e nice.  Because it would also work well as a UP light 4-6-2--such beautiful engines!

Ed 

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Posted by jrbernier on Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:49 PM

  If you are looking for solid performing steam engines, I would look at the following:

  • Walthers Proto Heritage 
  • Bachmann Spectrum
  • BLI(Broadway Limited)
  • Athearn Genesis(the new stuff is great, the older 2-8-2/4-6-2 engines had problems)

  Most Rivarossi is quite old and only the newer 2-6-6-6 is really state of the art.  Rivarossi went out of business and Hornby picked up the line.  The 2-6-6-6 is available again.

  Mantua/Tyco is another one that went of of business, but Model Power picked up the line and has been re-issuing some of the models.  Sort of 'hit & miss' as far as detail/performance.

AHM/IHC stuff is no longer made as well, and can problematic if it is old(as well as unavailability of parts).

  Brass has been mentioned above.  Most of the newer brass performs quite well, but the price is going to be out of sight.  Older brass made before 1990 can be a problem.  Most do not have 'all wheel' electrical pick-up, and many times have 'shorting' issues on curves or going through turnouts.

  Myself, I have a pair of BLI Heavy 2-8-2's, a pair of Spectrum 2-8-0's, a Proto 0-6-0, a Spectrum 2-10-0 and a Spectrum 4-6-0 - All very good performers.

Jim

Modeling BNSF  and Milwaukee Road in SW Wisconsin

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Posted by zxb1 on Sunday, November 18, 2012 10:52 PM

You might wanna take a look at bli , walthers proto , even athearn . Before you think of sinking a fortune into brass models . Steamers can be a finicky bunch if you really don't have any experience with them , I'm sure others might wanna chime in on the do's and don'ts of steam engines . If you can try to stay away from used equipment and cheap manufactures.

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Posted by galaxy on Monday, November 19, 2012 4:10 AM

HI

You MAY have to go wiht NAY manufacturer who makes hwat you want! Not all manufacturers amke all models..

I favor Bachmann Spectrums, though I have some of the regular lines and they operate very well.

I only get the Bachmann DCC OnBoard locos as I only run DCC.

Now, FInding a Southern Pacific in the wheel arrangements you specify might be another matter.

Amazon.com {amazingly enouhg} has a link to Southern Pacific 2-8-0 consolidationshere;

http://www.amazon.com/Bachmann-Southern-Pacific-Consolidation-Locomotive/dp/B004NHBV2W/ref=sr_1_3?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1353318632&sr=1-3&keywords=ho+scale+southern+pacific

My favorite online {and brick and mortar} store has the 2-10-2s in DCC heere:

http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=200411578

IHC has a listing of one here:

http://www.ihc-hobby.com/product/98Pac  {Though I don't know if I'd trust it,}

Is this what you had in mind for the 4-8-4??:

http://www.trainworldonline.com/catalog/bachmann/ho-scale/steam-locomotives/southern-pacific-railfan-daylight-4449-4-8-4-50201   Note:may not be in stock

In stock here:

http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/bac/bac50201.htm

A bunch of Southern Pacifics here:

http://www.hobbylinc.com/cgi-bin/s8.cgi?str_s=Southern+Pacific&submit=Search&cat_s=UBH&mfg_s=

Here's one with DCC controller to get you started:

http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=200855165

http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=200435364

http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=200439170

Expensive and pre-order by advanced freservation:

http://www.wholesaletrains.com/Detail.asp?ID=200887064

heres a bunch:

http://www.trainworldonline.com/search.php?bymanufacturer=176&checkbox%5B%5D=119&bycategory=91&x=43&y=11

 

I hope I have given you the links you need for the model{s} you are interested in, OR given you food for thought for OTHER locos!

Geeked

 

 

-G .

Just my thoughts, ideas, opinions and experiences. Others may vary.

 HO and N Scale.

After long and careful thought, they have convinced me. I have come to the conclusion that they are right. The aliens did it.

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Posted by ndbprr on Monday, November 19, 2012 6:36 AM
I would avoid MTH inintially due to non comformance issues. After you get some experience you can make a better decision about the differences.
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Posted by chessiecat on Monday, November 19, 2012 6:38 AM

         You did not state what your minimum radius curves are on you layout, but one thing to be aware is that the radius of your curves and switches can be a controlling factor as to what kind of steam engine you can run reliably on a layout. Many large diesels will run on 18 inch radius curves and #4 switches but put a long wheelbase steamer on the same track and it will derail or the cab will be sticking out at and odd angle halfway around the curve. Most small to medium steam engines will run on anything above 18 inch radius or less. I hope this helps in your decision to buy a steamer rather than buy a large steam engine and then be disappointed when you can't run it!Smile

Jim

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Posted by tatans on Monday, November 19, 2012 10:04 AM

7j43k

Well,  generally, the best stuff is what the in-crowd calls "brass" (you may know that already).  It's sorta expensive, but if you want an SP engine, that's where you go.

EXCEPT, Athearn makes a really nice SP 4-8-2.  I hear.  No one's made an SP 4-6-2 or 2-10-2 in (shudder) plastic.  The SP 4-8-4's are everywhere, I think.

But, you asked about the preferred manufacturer.  As opposed to importer.  I think Boo-Rim would be it.  Others, please correct me if I'm wrong.

And, if any manufacturer is listening, I think a LIGHT SP 4-6-2 would b e nice.  Because it would also work well as a UP light 4-6-2--such beautiful engines!

Ed 

The ''in crowd'' (I own one brass loco) just looked at a brass steam site, here goes :  SP 4-8-2 :$295 & $275- - - 4-6-2: $395 & $295- - - -4-8-4: $295 & $350- - - - 2-10-4 : $295 & $250.   Seems not bad prices, is this because no one wants SP?  prices seem reasonable to me.  (there were 2 pages of locos)

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  • From: Carmichael, CA
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Posted by twhite on Monday, November 19, 2012 12:25 PM

The concensus for SP steam is right on, as far as you're reading here.  Except for Cab-forwards, GS-4 4-8-4's and MT4 4-8-2's, everything else is going to have to be brass.  You said you were looking for 2-10-2 and 4-6-2 wheel arrangements, I would suggest looking for old Balboa or Westside imports.  They are well-made, well-detailed, sturdy and for the most part, excellent runners.  I don't know what your minimum radius is, but for anything above a 4-6-2 in brass, you should be thinking of a 26-28" MINIMUM, and probably a 30" for any 10-coupled loco (2-10-2, 4-10-2).  The Westside SP locos I have are manufactured with relatively loose tolerances (for brass, at least), and generally will take smaller radii than you would think, just looking at them. 

If this helps, here is a Westside 2-10-2 of mine--very smooth runner and quite powerful. 

The loco cost me about $350 used.  That seems to be a ball-park figure for used Westside and Balboa SP steam, from what I"ve found.

 

Tom

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