Bachman FT's

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by MilesWestern, Jun 12, 2006.

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Do you think the Bachmann FT is Good

Poll closed Aug 29, 2006.
  1. Yes! I would recommend this product!

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  2. Yeah, I like it, but I wouldn't buy another one.

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  3. Nah.

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  4. Heck NO!!! Buy something else, it's a waste!

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  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    I would like to know as much as possible about these Bachmann FT's as I wish to buy one, or Four (A-B-B-A) units to have fun at my club with.

    Do they Pull well?

    How do they look?

    What nessary improvements would make these look better?

    Are they smooth Runners?

    Are they worth the $32.00 (DCC version, $19.99 non equipped) price tag at trainworld?

    Is there a place where they can be had for less?

    I need your honset opinions, espically from those who own them. This may be a big purchase (About $130) and want to know if they are worth it. Thanks for your imput!
  2. isboris4449

    isboris4449 Member

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    First I've heard they produce an FT.

    Tom
  3. ross31r

    ross31r Member

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    ive got eight (two complete A-B-B-A sets) - one A or B unit alone can pull about twenty cars around our club layout. Very heavy and surprisingly powerful considering their price.

    not as detailed as more expensive offerings - but then you wouldnt expect it to be!
  4. Scoobie

    Scoobie Member

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    I also have a Bachmann Ft -A unit. I'm more of a Athearns buyer, but I haven't had any problems with it ( FT), it's smooth, quiet and it's powerful. I'm looking to buy an B unit for it.
  5. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

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    Bachman FT

    Nice photo, RockIsland!

    The Bachman FT is not new. I bought a Bachman FT about 20 years ago and wasn't satisfied with the running gear, so I put the shell on an Athearn frame and motor. That was a long time ago.

    More recently, I bought Bachman F7 A-B-B-A units and was amazed at how smooth they ran and how heavy the frames were. The only problem there is that the F7 shell fell short in a couple of ways. First, the pilot is much too high off the rail tops; and second, the red paint used on the ATSF units was an orange-red and not a true Santa Fe red.

    I must conclude that the revised Bachman FT is not only a better looking shell, but it is sitting on a highly improved frame, motor and trucks. Besides, you just can't beat a Bachman warranty!
  6. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Ed, are you saying the F7's pilot is too high, or the FT's?

    That's some good pulling power! Does it handle grades well?

    Is it a good canidate for detailing?

    I plan to repainted it into the As-delievered Santa Fe scheme (Catwhisker yellow& blue) so the color doesn't matter!
  7. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

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    Bachman FT

    Dear Miles Western,
    It is the F7 shell that has the pilot way too short. I replaced the pilot with one taken from an Athearn shell and after a little filing and filler it looks good. I only have to mask and repaint the red areas with true SF red.

    I am pleased with the detailing on the FT body. Like yourself, I chose to add lots of detail including the lighted side number panels (similar to the Alco PA), metal screens on the upper screened panels, front steps on the pilot, and a handrail set from the Walthers Dress-Up kit. I also bought a Cary cast metal FT B unit (five portholes on the side) which I put on an Athearn chassis and applied similar detailing.

    Happy detailing! Please share photos of your handiwork.
    -Ed
  8. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Could you provide a picture, and perhaps a tutorial on how you did it, Please? If I'm going to spend $130 on four locomotives, they'd BETTER look good! :)
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I bought an a-b-b-a set of ft's when Stewart first came out with them in Santa Fe cat whisker scheme. The b units are dummys, they are not dcc (I think they predated dcc standards) and the price for the 4 units was over $200.00, in fact it may have been close to $300.00. The detail on the Stewarts is better, but the difference in price could buy a lot of detail parts.
  10. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    That's exactly why I don't buy stewarts...they're WAY too expensive for what I want, although, I must admit, they do look good! :thumb:
  11. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

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    Bachman FT

    Miles,
    I was hoping you wouldn't ask for a photo of my FT conversion. Its at my other house in Canada. However, I will be there by the end of the month and can do.

    My fear is that you will not be able to find a B unit. I have photos of the warbonnets in what was a typical A-B-A configuration and I used a Cary FT B unit casting on top of the Athearn chassic. I have not checked to see if Cary is still around. One thing to bring up is that the last truck on the B unit was not on the same centerline as it is on the A unit. It is well forward of that centerline, leaving an overhang that is quite characteristic. Although not accurate by any stretch, I accomplished a similar effect by trimming the Athearn chassis and sliding it forward in the B unit shell to leave an overhang at the back end.

    Here are some websites that may be of help:
    http://www.atsfrr.net/resources/funits/

    http://www.atsfrr.com/resources/funits/ftp7.htm

    Don't forget to add the lighted number boards on the sides of the A units!

    -Ed
  12. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    Nobody's straight-up answered all my questions!!! (or even one....) Come on guys! :)
  13. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    Hi Miles,
    I bought a shell for $1, so I can't say how they preform, but as far as the shell goes I have stripped the paint and want to add a bit more detail before repainting.
    Grab irons, lift rings, MU hoses and recepticles and flush fit windows will be some of the things I plan to add.
    I'll post some photos when I get around to working on it.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think the ft has the same drive as the new f7s. Bachmann used to have three levels of trains. The toy train set locomotives had one power truck, and the other truck just picked up power. Those units were good for shells only to be repowered by an Athearn drive or something similar. Bachmann+ used the same shell as the toys, but a drive like n scale with the chassis being the weight and split in half with a can motor/flywheel drive. Finally, Spectrum had the good drive with much more detail on the shell. I think Bachmann has dropped the standard drive and made what used to be Bachmann+ the standard Bachmann drive. If so, they are good runners. I can't see any manufacturer offering a poorly designed toy train locomotive with dcc. If it says "8 wheel drive" in the description, it will be a good runner. Also Bachmann offers a lifetime warranty. If you get a set of ft's, before you do anything to them, run them as is out of the box. If you find any issues, send them to Bachmann for repair. I think for the first year Bachmann even pays the shipping. If you send a new locomotive back to bachmann for repair, it will come back better than new.
  15. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    How do you add flush-fit windows? And those certianly seem like great additions to this model! Tell me also how you strip it too, as I have to do the same to look like this:

    http://pages.tca.net/lruback/atsf-ft.jpg
  16. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

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    To add the windows, before I paint a shell, I hold a piece of clear plastic (from blister packaging or whatever is available) inside the shell and mark the windows by scribing the outline with a pin or sharp hobby knife. Then cut them out, file, sand and fit them. After the shell is painted they are installed. To secure them I apply a liquid styrene cement from the inside then a small dab of super glue before the styrene cement dries, The styrene cement helps keep super glue from fogging the windows.
    I stripped my shell by soaking it in Dot 3 brake fluid then scrubbing it with an old toothbrush in soapy water (dish washing soap).
    That's the same paint scheme I want to paint mine. I picked up a couple sets of decals from one of the club members for a couple bucks.
    According to the decal sheet, the yellowish cream color has to be custom mixed.
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    If you have a sample of the color, before you mix paint, you might check out the craft paints at at a craft store or Wally world. You might find a color very close to the cream used by Santa Fe in the catwhisker scheme.
  18. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    What about Floquil's Santa Fe catwisker yellow?

    Also PLEASE(!!!!) could you make this a tutorial? If there would be one tutorial I would need the most, this would be it! Thanks SO VERY MUCH if you can!

    (just post it in this thread if you wish, or start another)

    Thanks do much if you can!
  19. ross31r

    ross31r Member

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    Will have to see what i can do with one of my sets then!