A roll of the dice for 2slim

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by 2slim, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. 2slim

    2slim Member

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    Hi guys,
    Just got the November Model Railroader and saw this guy in the Bachmann ad:

    D&RGW FTA

    I'm going out on a limb and ordering a AB set of these because they have DCC decoders installed and they are in the Orange and Silver paint. But the real reason is I have no time to paint a set of Stewarts :D :D I'm not expecting Stewart quality for $86 but if they run as good as Athearn standard line locos I'll do a cart-wheel! They are just shipping The A's so I will do a 'field test' and report my findings.

    2slim :D :thumb: :D
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think mechanically those are Bachmann Plus, they should run decent, have can motors, and have about the same level of detail as a "blue box" Athearn, Lifelike P1k, etc.
  3. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

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    It's been a long time, maybe 8 or 9 years, but I bought an AB set of Bachman F's back then, they ran somewhat intermitantly, until I hard wired the power oickups. As I recall, the motor sat on a phosper bronze strip which was one of the power points. Soldering wire instead made a huge difference, and the locos pulled well. The other difficulty was installing Kadee's, they make a special kit for these locos, if I'm remembering correctly I had to trim some of the plastic of the clip that holds the truck sideframes on. Or live with the couplers sticking out too far.
  4. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

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    I've seen these advertised on Ebay for months now. FT's are too early for me and any F units I do have are Stewarts or Genesis. It's too bad Stewart doesn't to yellow/silver Grande FT's since they look so much better than the original black scheme.
  5. petey

    petey Member

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    Gary, The F-7s you speak of were Bach Plus, and the couplers mounts are as you described. I recently purchased an ABA unit on eBay, as I recall they ran OK. Previous owner had broken some of the coupler mounts, and the replacements had to be trimmed in order to fit. I believe "short" shank couplers could be used to improve the inter-unit spacing. I bought a FT in Canada in 2001, heavy, and a smooth runner, and much less expensive than the old Plus line. Since then, the discount price has gone down, and then back up, but still a good buy.
  6. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

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    I Have Some, Too!

    I have the Bachmann Plus F-7 AB units. Got them at a fire-sale price on a closeout. The only complaint I ever had was that the couplers were super hard to convert, and I wound up making drawbars to connect the units. I ran the powered ABs with a pair of dummy ABs from Athearn. They run very smoothly, and are nice, heavy locomotives. I personally have no serious gripes with them, other than the couplers. Here's a shot of them, (first two from the left) stripped from the original Pennsy colours, and repainted to CN stripeys. The third from left (dummy B Athearn) was repainted as well, and the last one is an out-of-the-box Athearn dummy.

    Attached Files:

  7. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

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    I read the reviews of Bachman plus when they first came out. Some comments I remember from the reviews:
    -F7 has an odd mix of phase 1 and phase II details not normally seen on most F units
    -F7 pilot was too high including the batten strip.
    -F7 shell sat high off the rails, noticably higher than the B unit (correctable)
    -Couplers were near impossible to convert to scale close coupling
    -Mechanism ran fairly smooth (on the up side)

    I don't really care for anything Bachman makes in the diesel department, but if anyone is looking for nice low cost F units, I'd take a close look at Proto 1000 F3's - they almost look like Stewart's, and run very smoothly, and cost similar the the Bachmann Plus.

    If you can afford a little more, Stewart F units can be had for attractive prices with all the Athearn Genesis and Intermountain Regal F units on the market. Stewart F's have the best smoothest running chassis I've seen, better than the 2 more expensive makes, and the shells have nice proportions and come in many phases of F3 and F7. Kadee makes an easy kit #450 to convert Stewart F units to scale 3' close coupling and they look nice. My 3 cents worth.