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121  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Atlas S2, S4, RS3 bodies on Bachmann sound value chassis? on: November 03, 2012, 03:30:52 PM
Hi, Mr B, no offence meant!  I was not suggesting that you copy other manufacturer’s products.  But rather that your parent company, Kadar, produces tooling and models for other manufacturers.  For example, several of the Bachmann range of British prototypes were originally produced by Kadar for Mainline (Palitoy), or Replica Railways, before being absorbed into the Bachmann range when Bachmann decided to launch its own British range.  I have several examples of the same model in a Mainline box and a Bachmann box (Class J72 0-6-0T, Class 57xx 0-6-0PT, Class 43xx 2-6-0, Class 2251 0-6-0 Collett Goods, Jubilee Class 5XP 4-6-0, Rebuilt Patriot Class 4-6-0, Rebuilt Scot Class 4-6-0, Parallel Boiler Scot Class 4-6-0, Standard Class 4MT 4-6-0, and the ex-Replica Class B1 4-6-0.)

“In 1925 a man called Ting Hsiung-chao bought a battery manufacturing company in Shanghai for $500. ….. imprisoned for political reasons …. forced to flee to Hong Kong …. established what became a thriving business in North Point, Hong Kong.  His Company, Kadar, was founded in 1948 and went on to become the largest manufacturer of toys in the Far East.  In the mid 1950s his company started manufacturing for Bachmann and by 1987 Kadar had bought Bachmann outright.  One British company it manufactured for was Palitoy (Mainline).  By the late 1980s Kadar were looking at the European market … formed Bachmann Industries Europe … acquired a number of famous European names including Liliput …  (info courtesy www.kader.com.hk/our_company/history.html).

My hope was that if Kadar had made the original bodies for the Atlas-Roco S-2 or the Atlas-Kato RS-3 the dimensions and fixing points might be the same for it to fit over your new chassis. 

However, those old bodies do have moulded-on detail, so if you would like to produce a GM&O S-2 and RS-1, a Central of Georgia RS-3 and GP-7, a BAR GP-7, a MEC S-4, GP-7 and RS-11, and a New Haven RS-1, RS-2, and RS-3, all with sound and to todays standards, I will be just as happy!

BTW, will the DCC ready S-2 liveries appear with sound in due course if I wait long enough, or if I wanted a Western Pacific S-2 with sound should I buy the DCC ready version and upgrade it?  Grateful for advice, Bill.
122  Discussion Boards / HO / Atlas S2, S4, RS3 bodies on Bachmann sound value chassis? on: November 03, 2012, 08:51:03 AM
The new Sound Value S2, S4 and RS3 locos look very good value and sound good judging by you-tube clips.  I am wondering if their chassis are the easiest way to upgrade my old Atlas Classic locos, several of which which are not even DCC ready and all of which require serious modification to fit sound, and which have liveries Bachmann may never reach.  Has anyone done similar body swaps, and if so are there any tips?

I did hear that the Bachmann S4 body was an upgrade of the old Atlas tooling, in the way that many of the Chinese products for different brands come from the same factory, though my Atlas S2 originated from Roco in Austria, but tools travel around.

Grateful for any advice,
Bill.
123  Discussion Boards / HO / How do you safely remove the domes from the Baldwin Modern 4-4-0 boiler, please? on: October 19, 2012, 06:01:51 PM
I have asked this before, but not got an answer, except for a chearful "if you wreck the boiler you can buy a replacement"!  Surely you can tell us, Mr B, or why do you put an alternative set of domes in with the Baldwin?

TIA,
Bill.
124  Discussion Boards / General Discussion / Re: Web Site Information on: October 19, 2012, 05:43:12 PM
"Will it stop people from buying Bachmann products if this information takes some time to research when another companies information is readily available in one location, maybe (That is called good marketing)."

I think your suggestion is helpful.  I also think that the product info on competitor websites is much more comprehensive, e.g. Atlas, especially their past products lists, and often has bigger product photos e.g. Athearn.  I would have thought Bachmann would naturally want their website to outshine their competitors.

Bachmann do, of course, have this forum, in which they do lead their competitors.

Bill.
125  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum 2-8-0 issue on: August 24, 2012, 06:32:19 PM
I had problems with too-tight screws when trying to remove both the loco body and the tender top on the Spectrum MEC 2-8-0.  I got the tender top off, but gave up on the loco for fear of damaging it.  I also had problems when dismantling the non-Spectrum WM 2-8-0 to fit sound.  I suggest that Bachmann should adress this issue in the factory, as the ability to dis-assemble locos is essential for maintenance and for, e.g., fitting DCC and / or sound.

Also, all my Bachmann engines come with detailed parts diagrams, but no dis-assembly sequence.  First time around I often remove a screw only to find that it is not actually the one which secures the body, and need not have been touched.

Off-topic I know, but I also never got an answer to my question about how to remove the boiler domes from the Baldwin 4-4-0 without damaging the loco, in order to fit the old-time alternatives supplied with the model.  If Bachmann supply alternative parts they should also provide instructions on how to use them.  Are these domes glued on, and if so, how strong is the glue?  Can they be removed?  I don't want to destroy an expensive loco in trying the wrong approach.

Bill.
126  Discussion Boards / HO / Question for the Bachmann – your policy on sound for new non-Spectrum locos? on: August 19, 2012, 07:30:00 PM
Dear Mr Bachmann,

On 30 March 2012 in response to a question on sound you said:

“The new sound module setup was initiated with the HO scale EM-1 and the new On30 Heisler. Starting with these two items all Spectrum locomotives will be equipped with a dual mode decoder and a premounted speaker . The user will have the option of purchasing a sound "module" that will mount on this decoder for sound (creating a full SoundTraxx Tsunami). In other words Bachmann will now offer one version of a Spectrum locomotive with an optional sound module available for it. There will no longer be three versions of the same locomotive offered (DCC Ready, DCC on Board or DCC Sound on Board).”

OK, that is clear for Spectrum, but what is the policy for new non-Spectrum locos?  You introduced the S2 in your 2012 NMRA leaflet, but for some railroads they are DCC Ready and for others they have Sound Value.  This seems a change in policy from previous recent non-spectrum locos, e.g. the S4 and the ALCO Mogul, which had both options for each railroad.

To make this specific, if I wanted a Western Pacific S2 with sound, should I be waiting for an inevitable Sound Value version to be released, possibly in vain and see all the DCC ready versions sell out, or buying the DCC Ready version and sourcing my own sound unit, or maybe you will be releasing a Sound Value conversion kit for the DCC ready locos?

The current position seems a bit strange.  If I want a Western Pacific with sound should I feel cursed that there is no Sound Value version, or blessed that I can fit a full-spec Tsunami without being left with a redundant sound value chip?

TIA,
Bill.
127  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Ma & Pa, SAL and general 4-4-0 / 4-6-0 questions. on: July 11, 2012, 06:40:27 AM
Hi, I have now found that:

The real SAL #159 (the number used by Bachmann for the “Richmond”) was one of a pair (159 & 160) built 1898 by the Cooke Locomotive and Machine Works of Paterson, New Jersey for the Florida Central & Peninsula Railway.  These two seem well inside wood burning territory, and I have also found a photo of an FC&PRR 4-4-0 with a straight chimney and a tender loaded with wood, so I know I don’t need a spark arrestor for a wood burner, though most of the FC&PRR wood burners shown do have spark arrestors fitted.

The real SAL #106 and 108 (the numbers used by Bachmann for their “Baldwin”) were a pair built 1889 by the Rhode Island Locomotive Works for the Seaboard. I don’t know where they operated.  I assume that as Bachmann used the numbers they may have started from photos, and I wonder if anyone has references?  The info I have is that many SAL coal burning 4-4-0s which moved south when relegated to branch line work were converted for wood burning, but I don’t know what the conversion entailed.

That leaves my remaining modelling question, how are the domes on these 4-4-0 models secured and how easy is it to swap the domes without damaging the engine or paintwork?

TIA,
Bill.
128  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Spectrum Ma & Pa, SAL and general 4-4-0 / 4-6-0 questions. on: July 09, 2012, 07:22:49 AM
Hi, thanks for advice so far.  I have now received my SAL Baldwin and Richmond 4-4-0s, the jumpers are included and converting to plain DC looks straightforward, but I have further questions. 

Very nice models!  And a nice contrast between domes, chimney, fittings, tenders.

How easy is it to swap the boiler fittings without damaging the loco or paintwork? 

The Baldwin comes fitted with what I term medium fluted domes on the boiler, but has a packet containing a set of what I term extreme fluted domes.  The exploded diagram suggests that the domes sit on pegs which are part of the boiler casting.  There is no indication of how the domes are fixed, but I assume they are glued.  Is that correct and how firmly are they are fixed?  And are the boiler and domes painted before assembly or sprayed afterwards?

I don’t necessarily intend to do any dome swapping, as I have not yet found a photo of SAL #108 and so for the present I am assuming that those fitted are correct, but it might be an option if Bachmann re-issue the 4-4-0 with new numbers, as using the extreme fluted domes would further distinguish the engines.

Should the Baldwin have included wood and oil bunker loads for the tender?
Should a wood burner have a spark arrestor chimney?

My Baldwin only had the coal load, and the exploded diagram only shows that the Great Northern should have an oil bunker, and the wood load is not mentioned at all, but the description on MB Klein’s website said the SAL model should include all three options, and when I contacted Klein’s they generously sent me a wood load taken from another model. 

The importance is that the SAL 4-4-0s were mainly used on branch lines and some did burn wood until quite late as it was cheaper than coal the further you got from Alabama!  But I am not sure if it is enough just to change the tender load from coal to wood.  I have not yet found directly relevant photos.

What is the provenance of the Bachmann choice of road numbers? 

I cannot find Baldwin 4-4-0 #108 or Richmond 4-4-0 #159 in the Seaboard loco rosters or in any google searches.  Has the Bachmann invented these engines, hence my inability to find them, or have I just not looked hard enough?  #108 might be an ex-Georgia & Alabama engine with its pre-1911 number, or #108 and #159 might represent engines after 1911 when surviving 4-4-0s were renumbered into a single 100 series.

I appreciate this may be the wrong site to ask some of these questions, but as Bachmann produced the models, presumably based on some research, it seems the place to start.

Any chance the Bachmann will re-issue the Baldwin 4-6-0 as a SAL engine? 
The 4-6-0 was the most numerous SAL type at one time, and was used both for passenger and freight.

TIA,
Bill.
129  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Bachmann Annoucements for new locomoitives on: June 06, 2012, 06:35:40 AM
A few tweaks would turn the 2-8-0 into a passably Ma & Pa #41, and complement Bachmann's other Ma & Pa engines.  A few more fittings would produce #42 and #43.

Bill.
130  Discussion Boards / HO / Spectrum Ma & Pa, SAL and general 4-4-0 / 4-6-0 questions. on: June 06, 2012, 06:20:07 AM
Hi, I am wondering:

1. Are the Ma & Pa 4-4-0 #4 and #5 models identical apart from the numbers, or are there other detail differences? (Bachmann 83403, 83404).

2.  Do these two and the other Richmond and Baldwin 4-4-0s and 4-6-0s with the dual mode chip come with jumpers so that the chip can be disconnected?

3.  Specifically including SAL Richmond #159 (Bachmann 83408), and SAL Baldwin #108 (Bachmann 80104).

I ask because I have decided to retain a DC layout as it is not practical to convert all my older engines to DCC and sound, (and I want all the engines on my DCC layout to have sound as there is no point in having some with and others without), but I have found that under DC the older DC / DCC ready engines can be controlled much better especially at slow speeds than their dual mode chip fitted exact counterparts.  My specific example is the Baldwin 4-6-0 DC, DCC ready Ma & Pa #27 (Bachmann 82302) compared with the DCC & sound Ma & Pa #28 (Bachmann 84905).   I have found this with two different controllers: an old H&M Duette (my test track), and a more modern Gaugemaster Combi (my old layout).

Grateful for any info.  As I have to buy on-line I can't ask the retailer.

Thanks,
Bill.
131  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Most popular HO Bachmann Steam Locomotives on: May 29, 2012, 04:58:07 AM
Hmmm.

On serious, I would say that Railroaders go for large layouts whilst Modellers go for small ones, as life is just not long enough to fully detail a large layout.

On favourites, mine are the Baldwin 4-6-0 and Richmond 4-4-0, both for level of detail and for accuracy for the Ma & Pa.  But they will obviously never be all-time best sellers.

On future all-time best sellers, I would agree that the 2-6-0 may have the greatest potential.   However, a Baldwin 0-6-0 tender loco with quality and detail to match the newer spectrums could be up there.  But then I might just have in mind Ma & Pa #29 + #30.  Sadly the current 0-6-0 doesn’t cut the mustard, and the 0-6-0T has too short a wheelbase not to stall on some of my pointwork.

Bill. 
132  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Western Maryland 2-10-0 on: May 14, 2012, 12:27:47 PM
Hi, I did not know there was a Spectrum Western Maryland Decapod with sound.  I am assuming this is the Russian Decapod.  Can anyone tell me the Bachmann product number so I can search for it, and also what livery it is in, please?

Thanks,
Bill.
133  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: 2-6-0 undecorated????? on: April 23, 2012, 09:12:33 PM
The 2-6-0 is the perfect shortline engine, and I would have thought would be the perfect candidate for an undecorated release.  The undecorated Baldwin 4-6-0 with sound went first at Kleins and everywhere else.  I know, I missed it!  The undecorated Baldwin 4-4-0 with sound has only hung around because for some reason folks like Trainworld are asking $60 more for it than for the decorated versions.

Bill.
134  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sound Modules for new DCC Equipped locos question on: April 02, 2012, 06:19:53 AM
Thanks for your replies.  OK, I understand now!

Hi, Jonathan, on 2-8-0 tenders, the original tender base of my WM #766 (older, non-Spectrum Bachmann 51306 DCC, no sound) is moulded with the mounting ring and perforations for a speaker.  As I think this was the edition before the current edition (WM #760, non-Spectrum Bachmann 51307 DCC, no sound), it seems that the non-Spectrum 2-8-0s have been shipping with the speaker ready tender chassis for some time.

In contrast, the tender base of my unlettered, Spectrum 83601 DCC no sound 2-8-0 (bought to provide Ma & Pa #41), has a solid tender base.  The tender chassis shown in the Bachmann spares catalogue is even older, and dated July 2010.  Bearing in mind the importance of a good seating for the speaker it would be good if sound ready tender chassis mouldings appeared in the spares catalogue soon for folks who need one to replace their older chassis.

Thanks again,
Bill.
135  Discussion Boards / HO / Re: Sound Modules for new DCC Equipped locos question on: March 30, 2012, 05:19:16 AM
Thanks for your reply.  Yes I am new to DCC and Sound.  In fact I am still running my layout on DC, and getting the DCC Dynamis equipment is my next step. I do have the Model Railroader “Basic DCC Wiring, etc., A beginners guide to decoders, DCC systems and layout wiring”.

 But your reply still leaves me confused:

1 You say Bachmann do not sell sound modules.  I now see that the page on the Bachmann website which I clicked on, which clearly states “Bachmann also sells a separate sound module to plug into the 21-pin connector”, is actually a link to SoundTraxx.com. (On the Bachmann website click on “Parts and Service”, then on “DCC On Board”, then on “SoundTraxx Tsunami”).   Are SoundTraxx anticipating a Bachmann product not yet available but of which they have advance notice?

2 You say I can buy another brand decoder, and to just make sure it has an 8-pin plug.  But the webpage referred to says that the new (i.e. shipped after late 2011) Bachmann DCC models expect a 21-pin connector.   And if these new models already have “a SoundTraxx Mobile Decoder that has a 21-pin plug and a speaker already installed.”, then simply buying a third party sound decoder will not work, because it will duplicate that part of the sound installation already present.

3 So to move to specifics, it seems like if I buy Bachmann 51307 Western Maryland 2-8-0 #760, if I get one which shipped from Bachmann before late 2011 it will have no sound equipment, just DCC, and will take any sound card with an 8-pin connector, plus speaker.  But if I buy one which shipped after late 2011 it will have a partial sound installation including “mobile decoder” and will need a specific complementary module with 21-pin connector, and that module does not seem to be listed anywhere.

What I am keen to avoid in all this is the need to do any soldering, as I am pretty sure I could not solder it fine enough with all those pins so close together.  At present I am running WM #766 (older Bachmann 51306 DCC) with the tender top fitted onto the fully sound equipped tender base from Spectrum 84509 (MEC #507) which I saw being discounted, but that is an expensive way to get to a sound equipped loco, but it should have all the correct programming ready done.  It seems to work in limited fashion under DC in dual mode, but I have yet to see if it is perfect under proper DCC control.

Bill.
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