steamer suggestions

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by jr switch, Nov 10, 2006.

  1. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    I need some help here guys----just got my 4-8-4 Santa Fe tonight. It runs great, 22" radius curves, AC, no DCC yet. There is a slight muted clicking, I believe from the rear engine truck. There seems to be an excessive amount of side to side movement of the truck frame. The wheels have just a very slight bit of movement from side to side [normal], while sitting on the track. The truck also sits cockeyed in relation to the line thru the curve. When working on a steam engine, to remove a truck to check it, how should the engine be supported? Upside down on soft foam rubber? On it's side? I'm just wanting to be careful so as not to bend handrails etc. Fair amount of hand applied details on this. It's from the new Bachman Spectrum series. Thanks for any help you can give.----John R
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

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    I built a cradle from scrap 1x4 and an old towel. Works like a champ for me. Those holes are for my miniature screwdrivers.

    Attached Files:

  3. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Spurgeon, Thanks for the input, that looks like that would work. Well, I pulled the rear truck and that was not what is making the noise and it isn't the tender, so I'm afraid its a burr or something in the internal gearing---Can't believe it, I waited almost two months to get it and now a problem. Do I send it back to Historic rail for exchange or to Bachman for repair or replacement? First time Iv'e had a problem with an engine. I guess I'll go back to pulling the pass. cars with the 2-10-2 Santa Fe --------John R
  4. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

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    John, did you say that this is a Bachmann Santa Fe 4-8-4? Either it's an old one, or Bachmann lied to me the other day when they said they wouldn't get here till next month.

    Dick
    Texas Chief
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I would send it back to Bachmann. They will repair it for free if it is less than a year old and pay shipping. If it is more than a year old, they will still repair it for free, but you have to pay shipping. They have people who do nothing but repair locomotives, so they know the product inside out.
  6. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Dick, I bought this one from Historic rail magazine out of Minn. Sent them the money order the day after i got the catalog and then called to find out backordered. They didn't start out with many or a lot of people ordered one. This is supposed to be a new release from Bachmann. I waited almost a month and a half to get it. Just got the new catalog from them yesterday and the price on it has gone up $20.00, $119.00 now rather than the $99.95 I paid. ----- John R
  7. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Russ-----Thanks for the info---I guess I'll send it to Bachmann. I really like the engine.Pretty good detail and the 8-wheel trucks on the tender are cool. It pulls well and I like the big 80" drivers.---John R
  8. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Russ-----Just noticed something else, the picture in the catalog clearly shows the wheel rims as polished on engine and tender. The one I got has solid black wheels. Would it do any good to mention this to Historic rail or Bachmann when I send it in for repair?--John R
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    It is probably a case of the pic in the ad being a preproduction prototype and the actual model varied a bit. I have the "Worley book" "Iron Horses Of The Santa Fe Trail" which covers virtually every locomotive the Santa Fe had from the beginning to the late 50's or early 60's. I think they went up to the very early 60's because I seem to remember pictures in it of freight diesels painted in the "cigar band" blue/yellow scheme. I noticed in the book on the pictures of the steam engines that if they were reproducing a builder's photo, the tires on the drivers and truck wheels seemed to be shiny or white washed, but the pictures taken of steam engines in service show no delineation between the driver center and the tires. I suspect that Bachmann blackened the wheels to make them more realistic.

    Of course, you know that I wasn't aware that Bachmann was coming out with a Spectrum version of the Santa Fe 4-8-4. Now I have to get to the hobby shop and spend some more money!
  10. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Russ------About a month and a half ago, I got Historic rails newest catalog, the cover art was a painting depicting a 4-8-4 Santa Fe making a quick stop somewhere and the fireman, engineer and station master all checking their watches while standing next to those 80" drivers. Then, inside the front cover, billed as Bachmanns newest release was the picture and description of the 4-8-4, with DCC capabilities, tender with 8 wheel trucks and so on. I sent Historic rail a money order for $99.95 plus shipping the next day. I really don't think this is a re-release. How much is your lhs asking for this model and do they have it in stock?----------John R
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    John, if you can support your locomotive upside down while applying power so that the drivers turn slowly, check for the siderods hitting something, either on the superstructure of the loco, or perhaps on the counterweights on the drivers. Another thing to look for is burrs on the siderods, as these parts are usually stamped out of sheet metal.

    Wayne
  12. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

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    JR that is probably the new version that Bachmann told me wouldn't be here till next month. The picture is not preproduction but that of the old ATSF 4-8-4 since they published it before the new one was built. Bachmann even commented on this. Russ, don't get excited. The new ones aren't Spectrum. They're standard, just like the old ones except that they have the latest drive mechanism.

    Dick
    Texas Chief
  13. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Gentlemen, forgive me, I did not look closely enough at the ad or the box. This is not a spectrum series. My 2-10-0 decopod came in a real fancy box, foam inserts with cutouts for engine and tender and Bachmann Spectrum on the cover. The 4-8-4 came in molded clear plastic. Big difference now that I think about it. Makes me wonder if there is a spectrum version of this engine. Who makes the most detailed and reliable steam engines? There has to be some diehard steamer fans out there who can enlighten me. I know Bachmann is ok, but not nec the first choice.-------John R
  14. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    John, depending on what you want in a steam engine, the choices have probably never been better.
    I'm a big fan of the Bachmann Spectrum Consolidation, and have six of them.

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    They're smooth runners, pull well, and have decent detail. I also have two of the Bachmann Ten-Wheelers, which are also smooth runners but, due to their small size, not real powerhouses.:D I have one of the older Santa Fe Northerns too, although mine has had a few changes.

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    She runs fairly well, although not a big puller. I seldom run her, as I'm modelling a secondary line, which wouldn't normally use such a big loco. I also have one of the non-Spectrum Consolidations, bought new for $15.00. Considering the low-quality motor, she runs quite well, and is a respectable puller. Apparently, these locos are quite durable, as she has survived, with very minimal damage, a six foot drop to the concrete floor. I did have two of the Spectrum Santa Fe's (2-10-2), but returned them to the store, as they were too long for my turntable. They ran smoothly and pulled well. There are many other Bachmann locos that I don't have, so someone else will have to fill you in on those. Generally, the Spectrum locos are much better quality the standard Bachmann locos, although Bachmann stands behind all of their locomotives with repair or replacement service and a good range of parts, for both repairs or kitbashing.

    The Athearn Pacifics and Mikados are both very smooth runners, but extremely poor pullers. They have hade some problems with split gears, too, but replacement parts are now available. I have four of the Mikados, but they have been extensively modified to increase their pulling power.

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    Athearn's bigger steamers, the Challenger and Big Boy, are both excellent looking locos, but I've not had any first-hand experience with them. I'm sure someone else can add a few comments.

    The only IHC steamer that I have is the 2-6-0 Mogul. It's a decent runner, but its small size limits its pulling abilities. The lower-quality motor, while smooth running and quiet, requires a bit more voltage to get rolling than most of my Bachmanns.

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    Many Gauge members have posted favourable account of other IHC locos, particularily the 2-10-2, so I'll let them offer their appraisals.

    The Proto2000 Heritage-series steam locomotives, by all accounts, are smooth runners and are also well-detailed. The only one that I own is the USRA 0-8-0, and it has been modified quite extensively. This loco was an extremely weak puller, but has been modified to improve that situation, too.

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    The only other steam locos that I have which are currently in production are from Bowser. These are kits, and, if assembled with care, can be extemely good running engines. Because the frame and boiler are cast metal, they also pull very well. Sorry, but I don't have a photo available.
    Broadway Limited is another supplier of steam locomotives, with a fairly extensive range of wheel arrangements available. I have none, so can make no objective observations about them, although there are several Members that can offer more info.
    I hope this will be of some assistance in your search.

    Wayne
  15. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Wayne, thank you---that is exactly the kind of info I'm looking for. Right now i have the Bachmann spectrum 2-10-0 Decopod, the IHC 2-10-2 Santa Fe, the 4-6-4 Hudson by IHC and the Bachmann Northern 4-8-4. All of them run well, but I have not had any of them long enough to comment on reliability and I have not accumulated enough cars to try and judge pulling power. For some reason, the 4-6-4 could find areas of the track it didn't like while the rest, and a diesel, had no problem. My birthday is just around the corner and my great wife just informed me to pick out another engine to order. I'm going to get a consolidation. Been looking at them and got to have one. ---- The photos of your engines are terrific. Do you weather them with an airbrush? Also, the layout looks to be completely professional. Have you ever posted photos of sections of your layout? I'd love to see more! Thanks again ----John R
  16. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, John. The locos are weathered mostly with an airbrush, but there are some areas where a fine brush is used, too.
    There are lots of photos of my layout, mostly in the Photography Forum here. I think that folks must be getting sick of them by now, as I haven't had any new ones to post since last spring.:rolleyes: You can also check threads and posts by my good friend cn nutbar, as he often photographs his locomotives on my layout.
    Here's a link to a thread that's full of links to some of my older postings:

    An update, so as to not overwhelm this page...

    And another link to a thread by cn nutbar, which has a (crude) drawing of the layout, which may be of help when trying to understand where the various photographs have been taken:

    something new on the eg&e

    You can also see photos, but with little or no explanation of them, in the Gallery. These are in the form of thumbnails, which will enlarge if you click on the image. Be warned though, as there are almost 400 images. Here's a link:

    some foe-toes

    I think that you'll be very pleased with the Spectrum Consolidation, which will help to ensure a bday1 !

    Wayne
  17. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

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    How well do the 2-10-2's run?

    You also might want to check out Broadway Limited Imports! They have a 3750-class 4-8-4, and an ATSF 2-10-2, with DCC and sound.
  18. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Wayne----thanks again for all your information. I had been looking pretty hard at the 2-8-0's and you pushed me over the edge. I have one of the steam engine dvd's from Historic rail and some of the best looking engines are the consolidations. Your unbelievable weathering might have had something to do with it also. Your layout is fantastic. I had my wife looking over my shoulder and at first she thought they were photos of real engines. She asked what city it was. She was blown away when I said this was a layout. Quite the compliment to your abilities. Thanks for the best wishes-------John R
  19. jr switch

    jr switch Member

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    Miles--The 2-10-2 I have is the IHC Santa Fe and so far it has been perfect. Runs quiet and pulls my four heavy weight pass cars and my four freight cars and caboose easily. It looks good, fair amount of detail and of course is DCC ready. I got it thru Historic rail for $129.00. It's worth it---------John R