MicroAce A0651 9800-9812 Mallet SL (original type) MicroAce A0652 9800-9801 Mallet SL (modified type) -------------------------------------------------- Well they are finally out - probably MicroAce's most anticipated steam loco, and already being planned by modellers as the basis for other articulated locos of various nationalities, as well as the mechanism for larger scale narrow gauge locos. The main differences between these locos is the extra piping and tanks on the sides of the boiler on A0652 and the tank on the rear tender deck of A0651, as well as differences between the front pilot handrails. Of course they are black all over, but the cab window frames are a brown 'wooden' finish. The loco numbers and a Kanji symbol on the cab are in gold. Unfortunately like most N scale steam locos, the motor is highly visible at the back of the cab. The two sets of three driving axles are flangeless on the middle axle and the front axle on the rear bogie has a rubber tyre on both sides. The wheels are all blackened and the headlight is reasonably bright at low speed. The 3 axled tender has an unusual mixture of one fixed axle and one bogie !!! They can run very smoothly and quietly, but out of the batch I received, only one started off by itself smoothly straight out of the box. They do seem to start and run a lot better in reverse for some reason !!! Judgement - very good in appearance - not as good in operation as expected until you "run them in" for a while. One comment was made that "if all N gauge steam ran this well ... we would have nothing to complain about."