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Model Power and Rivarossi EMD E8 locos

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  • Member since
    January 2021
  • From: Woodbridge Suffolk UK
  • 32 posts
Model Power and Rivarossi EMD E8 locos
Posted by Virgil on Tuesday, January 10, 2023 2:10 PM

I recently purchased what I thought was a Rivarossi EMD E8 loco on EBay, the seller didn't know what it was and if it ran.

On receiving it and doing some research I discovered that it is a Model Power with metal chassis, 12 wheel drive,  flywheel and large Roco circular can motor.

I'm very pleased with it and consider it to be a better buy than the Rivarossi with its plastic chassis and single truck drive.

The bodyshells look very similar but I don't have a Rivarossi version to compare with, has anyone compared the two locos?

  • Member since
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  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, January 12, 2023 9:27 PM

I also had some Model Power diesels, but no Rivarossi diesels, other than a C-Liner that I had painted and detailed for a friend.

Here's the two E-units...

...they were good runners and capable pullers, too. 
When I backdated my layout's era to the late '30s, those two locos went to a friend in Illinois, along with a matching train of Rivarossi passenger cars...

I also have a number of Model Power Alcos, even though they're too modern for my late '30s layout.

These four are all in great running condition...

...and I have another six of them, most needing new motors.

These two went to another friend, but I wish now that I had kept them...

...this is the Rivarossi C-Liner that I upgraded for a friend...

Wayne

  • Member since
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  • From: Woodbridge Suffolk UK
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Posted by Virgil on Friday, January 13, 2023 5:09 AM

Wayne, that's some very fine work indeed!

I'm especially taken with the FA unit frontal shot just before the C Liner, is that a Model Power/Roco base as well?

Doug

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  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Friday, January 13, 2023 11:14 AM

Your kind comment is much appreciated, Doug.

Virgil
I'm especially taken with the FA unit frontal shot just before the C Liner, is that a Model Power/Roco base as well?

Yeah, that's a Model Power diesel, too, but somewhat modified, as shown in the black & white photos.

The sad aspect of my friend having those locomotives, is that there are so many locomotives and so much rolling stock on his layout that there is almost no room to even run a locomotive more than a couple of feet.
I have, in the past, run 80 car freight trains on my layout, usually with multiple locomotives, due to the many grades.

Wayne

  • Member since
    January 2021
  • From: Woodbridge Suffolk UK
  • 32 posts
Posted by Virgil on Friday, January 13, 2023 12:31 PM

doctorwayne

Your kind comment is much appreciated, Doug.

 

 
Virgil
I'm especially taken with the FA unit frontal shot just before the C Liner, is that a Model Power/Roco base as well?

 

Yeah, that's a Model Power diesel, too, but somewhat modified, as shown in the black & white photos.

The sad aspect of my friend having those locomotives, is that there are so many locomotives and so much rolling stock on his layout that there is almost no room to even run a locomotive more than a couple of feet.
I have, in the past, run 80 car freight trains on my layout, usually with multiple locomotives, due to the many grades.

Wayne

 

I'm envious of your layout size Wayne it must be so satisfying to be able to run long trains and you must obviously need locos with hauling power to pull them!

Apart from the Model Power/Roco E8, I also purchased from the same seller a Model Power/Roco Alco FA2, again with the large circular can motor.

The shell is rather basic but I'm going to detail and repaint to CPR Maroon and Grey, if you don't mind I would appreciate a run down on your detailing and parts used.

Thanks

Doug

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    January 2004
  • From: Canada, eh?
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Posted by doctorwayne on Saturday, January 14, 2023 1:34 AM

Virgil
The shell is rather basic but I'm going to detail and repaint to CPR Maroon and Grey, if you don't mind I would appreciate a run down on your detailing and parts used.

Other than the grills on the 260 and 262, I used small diameter music wire for the handrails and smaller steel wire for the grabirons.  The fuel tanks were modified to better match the real ones, and the roof-top icicle breakers were done using soldered-together strip brass.
Most of the other detail parts (horns, bell, radio antenna, and extra lights (non-working), were detail parts from Detail Associates and Details West.

Nowadays, I'd recommend phosphor-bronze wire for the handrails and grabirons - it's available from Tichy in a wide variety of diameters, and is much easier to bend than is music wire.

A friend, from another on-line forum, did part-time volunteer electrical work at Steam Town, and was kind enough to provide me with accurate measurements of handrails on an EMD A-unit:

All grabirons were 1 1/8" in diameter, as were handrails, eyebrow grabs, handrails at rear steps, ladder rests, and cab interior handrails...

...while handrails at cab and engineroom doors were 1 1/2" in diameter.  (the mounting points of these handrails, however, are only 1 1/8" in diameter (which means that it would be very difficult to do in HO scale )

I'm pretty sure that such a set-up used the 1 1/8" size for the top and bottom mounting points, while the 1 1/2" stuff was pipe through which the 1 1/8" rod was passed, then it's ends formed to facilitate the mounting points.

Wayne

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Saturday, January 14, 2023 11:01 AM

I do know that Roco made an E7 for Model Power, but I wasn't aware of an E8.  Does it have square or round windows on the sides?  If they're square, then it's an E7.

_________________________________________________________________

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  • From: Good ol' USA
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Sunday, January 15, 2023 9:07 AM

Hi Virgil!

Frustrated at the moment because I have a Rivarossi E8 but can't access the pictures.

I took photos with my cell phone and emailed them to myself for editing, like I normally do. Then I send the photos to my photo account.  Well my email account just decided to go on the fritz!  Hopefully the issue will clear up and I will be able to post the photos of the Riv model.

Ok, description-wise you're not missing out on anything. For early 1980's tool/mold technology, it's not bad. It has the typical molded-on details. Engineer and Fireman's side window frames have no vertical pillar for the 'sliding windows". windshields don't even have molded on wipers. Horns are single Leslie A-200 "Honkers".  Rear pilot has molded on air hoses.  Just as with Doc Wayne's MP E-units, the shell will look nice with added detailing and weathering.

Respectfully, for the similar price range on ebay, you'd be MUCH better off with a LL P2K E-8. Better detailing, smoother running, and weight-wise they're miniature bricks!

Some modelers are critical of the LL E7 / E8 nose contour being slightly off, compared to the prototypes, but you'd have to judge for yourself. I own 12 Life Like P2K E's and like them. Additionally, they are very easy to paint strip with either 91% Iso-alcohol or the purple "Super Clean".

My plans for my Rivarossi E8 are to paint strip, paint, decal it in the SCL scheme, and donate it to a local railroad museum that is interested in displaying a model of a typical passenger train that ran in the area back in the 60's.

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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  • From: Good ol' USA
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Sunday, January 15, 2023 5:50 PM

Photos came through. My apologies for the lighting. I got this black Rivarossi E8 from a friend, years back.  Minor damage, but easy to fix. 

Under the carbody is a 3-pole motor mounted on the rear truck. When comparing vintage apples to vintage apples, the Roco powered Model Power E-unit is a better locomotive.  

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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  • From: St. Paul
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Posted by garya on Sunday, January 15, 2023 10:08 PM

Darth Santa Fe

I do know that Roco made an E7 for Model Power, but I wasn't aware of an E8.  Does it have square or round windows on the sides?  If they're square, then it's an E7.

 

Roco/Model Power made E7s, E8s, and E9s.  Wayne's picture shows E8s (I think) and E7s.

There was a blog post that discussed the Model Power E units, and how to overhaul them, but it seems to be gone:

http://magicicada.org/Other/2017/04/05/model_power_e/

I used the wayback machine, and brought some of it back:

https://web.archive.org/web/20191228102209/http://magicicada.org/Other/2017/04/05/model_power_e/

 

Gary

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Posted by Autonerd on Monday, January 16, 2023 8:21 PM

Great old units -- detail is outdated, obvioiusly, but they had a massive motor and tremendous pulling power. Personally I'd take one over the Rivarossi units (and their simple motors and pizza-cutter wheels) any day.

That said, the Like Like Proto 2000 (blue box) units are better still -- very heavy, excellent pullers, and easier to convert to DCC if needed. Lots of detail and surprisigly not *too* fragile.

Aaron

  • Member since
    January 2021
  • From: Woodbridge Suffolk UK
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Posted by Virgil on Wednesday, January 18, 2023 3:54 AM

Autonerd

Great old units -- detail is outdated, obvioiusly, but they had a massive motor and tremendous pulling power. Personally I'd take one over the Rivarossi units (and their simple motors and pizza-cutter wheels) any day.

That said, the Like Like Proto 2000 (blue box) units are better still -- very heavy, excellent pullers, and easier to convert to DCC if needed. Lots of detail and surprisigly not *too* fragile.

Aaron

 I agree that the Proto 2000 units are better still, (though not than the Rapido version Big Smile) but the Achilles Heel for all Proto locos is of course cracked axle gears.
Maybe not so much of a drawback in the USA where replacement wheel sets are freely available but they're not so easy to get hold of in the UK.
 

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Posted by Cicada2 on Saturday, June 24, 2023 6:20 PM

That was my site for the Model Power E units.  I lost access to it, and it got wiped out; I'm in the process off trying to reconsititute it.

The tape drive motor E's I built are good, the Holland Micro Motor ones excellent, but since the website went down, I've found something even better-- I'm currently building a Model Power chassis with a Hobbytown flywheel, hybrid Con-Cor/Model Power trucks, and a 24V coreless DC motor. It looks like it's going to be a winner-- it starts crawling on a triple A battery and won't stop for anything, plus it's silent. It also has a low enough top speed that it can run on the solar powered railroad around the top of my office (my other project) relatively unattended without the kinds of spectacular accidents that claimed the test bed for my Nebraska Zephyr as well as the precursor of the locomotive that became my actual Nebraska Zephyr.  If and when I can get a website going again, I'll post photos.  

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, June 25, 2023 8:25 AM

Cicada2
It also has a low enough top speed that it can run on the solar powered railroad around the top of my office (my other project).

That sounds very interesting.

Cicada2
If and when I can get a website going again, I'll post photos.

I would love to see them. You can share in here if you don't mind the clunky way of posting pictures.

-Kevin

Living the dream.

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    January 2019
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Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, June 25, 2023 9:18 AM

Back in the 1980s I was modeling UP and I had a pair of E-8 Rivarossi locos. I also had a pair of E-7s which I can't remember if they were Model Power or Life-Like. Given the quality of those product lines back then, it could have been either. The Rivarossi locos were far superior runners. I know Life-Like quality under the Proto line has improved tremendously since then. I don't know about Model Power. It's been at least 40 years since I bought one of their locos. I didn't even know they were still making them. 

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Posted by PM Railfan on Monday, June 26, 2023 3:48 PM

Off topic) For those who take pics with phone and "email" them to yourselves, theres no need. (unless for legal reasons, obviously)

Tech Tip: For Andriod phones, you need only plug the phone into your PC/Laptop (via your usb charging cable) and transfer the photos/files/etc directly to your puter. Androids and IBM Compatibles will work with each other, NO special setups. No need to email or otherwise add any extra steps.

 

On topic) Put me down as a Model Power E over the Riva E. All around they were a better loco IMO no matter what shell was on them - 7, 8, or 9.

 

 

PMR

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