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1  Discussion Boards / Large / Bachmann 1:20.3 Climax Keeps Shutting Down on: June 02, 2018, 06:16:44 AM
Good morning,
I recently took another leap and this time purchased the Bachmann 1:20.3 Climax w/ DCC sound, but I've had some issues with the model since I got it.  The first issue I noticed was that when I ran the model for the first time, only one of the trucks on the model would run, which wouldn't allow the model to move.  I just simply tapped the truck on the side frame with my fingers and the model ran afterwards.  However, I've been running the model outside on my garden railroad the last week or so, and the model seems to present more problems.

Occasionally I've started up the model and it does begin to move and the sounds come on, but the model will suddenly stop and then the sounds will start again and the model will start to move again.  I've also had the model running up to an appropriate speed and it will suddenly stop and then start again, or sometimes just stop completely.  Last night I was running the model and it stopped on me twice, and I found that the model was still powering, but the sounds weren't going and only one of the trucks was powering.  Overall the model tends to run find and the issues I've mentioned don't happen all the time, but I'm curious if this is something to be concerned of considering the model is basically brand new.

Something else I should also mention is that I currently run the model on DC power and not DCC.  I have also taken the time to make sure the tracks are clean and have also made sure I have appropriate voltage to run the model.  If someone can shed some light on the issues I'm having and offer suggestions, it would really be appreciated.

-Rusty
2  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: May 20, 2018, 10:57:17 PM
Seeing as this thread has been inactive for over a month now, I think it's time I made a post on what I feel Bachmann should include in the 2019 large scale announcements.  My list is as follows...

James the Red Engine w/ DCC Sound (with moving eyes)
Emily w/ DCC Sound (with moving eyes)
Toby the Tram Engine w/ DCC Sound (with moving eyes)

Lets discuss why Bachmann should add these 3 additions to the large scale range.  For a start, large scale announcements over the last few years have pretty much been a letdown with the exception of some of the van recolors and possibly even the Spiteful Brakevan.  This is because the common trend we've seen with the large scale range is the constant addition of recolors, rather than new toolings that people keep asking for like Henrietta and/or Edward.  Diesel would have been the saving grace for large scale this year, but seeing as the model was cancelled due to a potentially high RRP, it leaves Bachmann skating on thin ice with Thomas fans and/or large scale modelers.

Now it's understandable Bachmann is clearly trying to save on production costs (and oblige to Mattel's BS), but I think there's a better way of doing it.  If Bachmann were to introduce James, Emily, and Toby with DCC sound, they would simply be taking their existing models and installing the existing DCC sound module in them.  Now there is a little more to it than just throwing a sound module in the models and calling it a day, but I just want to stick to the basic's here without getting caught up in how everything works.

One of the big reasons Bachmann should introduce James, Emily, and Toby with DCC sound is that the models would be more cost convenient for the buyer.  I myself (like many others I'm sure) would rather buy the models with DCC sound factory installed, rather than go through the headache of adding it myself.  After doing substantial research and talking with fellow large scale modelers, it's pretty clear that the cost of adding DCC sound to the large scale Thomas & Friends models is outrageous.  Just the sound module alone is going to cost around $100 at the least.  Throw in a solder pad, speaker, and all the other hardware you're going to need to install everything, and you might as well just slap another $100+ onto the project.  Not to mention the cost you'll have into paying someone to do it for you, that is unless you want to attempt the project yourself.

As I've seen, in the case of Thomas and Percy, it would actually be cheaper for someone just to go out and buy the existing models with DCC sound factory installed, rather than trying to convert the models they already have.  I actually decided to make that switch last year and just sell off my old Thomas and Percy models to buy the DCC sound ones.  However, unless Bachmann makes James and Emily as well, my models (James and Emily that is) won't have this feature.  Although I'm still yet to get Thomas and Percy, I have seen video's of the models running and the sound feature on them is excellent.  Bachmann wasn't kidding when they said, "Bring the sounds of Sodor to life..."  I'd really like to hear the other sounds offered by the module as well, but seeing as the cost to convert existing models is too expensive for most modelers, this is yet to be attempted if it ever will be.

Aside from collecting just the Thomas & Friends line from Bachmann, I also got into the Spectrum line which offers some great models that come with sound as well.  For a start, the iconic Bachmann 10-wheeler and the 2-6-0 Industrial Mogul have speed synchronized sound, which really adds life to the models.  My most recent addition, the Two-Truck Climax includes DCC sound on board just like the Thomas and Percy models, but only a little more elaborate and with more sound options.  Having DCC sound added to the models gives them that much more life and only adds to the models appeal.

The only downside I can really see to the DCC sound models is that they will be a little more expensive than just the standard Thomas models, but the payoff is worth it in the long run.  Thomas and Percy have an RRP of about $80 more than their standard counterparts, but I think that's still a better deal than paying over $400 for a large scale Devious Diesel.  I think it may also be beneficial for Bachmann (if they add DCC sound to all their engines) to just discontinue the standard models considering the DCC sound models are setup to run on either digital or analog anyways.  If someone doesn't want a model with sound, then it's easy enough to just turn the sound off or remove the speaker.

Now I'm sure there's at least one of you out there wondering why I didn't bring up adding Winston with DCC sound to the range.  This is because if Bachmann couldn't even give the model moving eyes (because they were already fighting just to put a motor assembly in it) then there's no chance in hell they would have the room to fit a speaker and sound system into the model either.  In addition to that, Winston would require a sound module to be made for him, as the existing module doesn't include his sounds.  In the end there would be no beneficial reason for Bachmann to do this.

Another thing Bachmann could consider for 2019 is adding a DCC sound Thomas set to their large scale range.  Considering the Thomas, Annie, and Clarabel set was discontinued this year, it does leave newcomers without a starter set that comes with Thomas.  It also leaves others a little confused as to why Bachmann made the choice to discontinue the set, when it was in fact the best seller in the Large Scale Thomas & Friends range.  Furthermore, it comes as a surprise that Percy of all characters manages to keep a set over Thomas.  As Bachmann themselves has said (and I quote), "Usually when people buy a set, they want one with Thomas in it."

If Bachmann were to make a DCC sound set, they could simply bring back the Thomas, Annie, and Clarabel set with a DCC sound Thomas, or do something different like Thomas with 2 or 3 wagons.  Maybe if Bachmann feels the sales would be there, they could introduce 2 different sets.  Updating Percy's set with a DCC sound Percy would possibly be another thing Bachmann could do, but I honestly feel it's more likely Bachmann will discontinue the set before that ever happens.  Then again, large scale over the last few years has been pretty unpredictable, and as I said before, surprisingly Percy has managed to keep a set over Thomas.  Although some are probably still a little unsure about a DCC Thomas & Friends set, it could give Bachmann another something to add to their 2019 large scale announcements.

So what are my final thoughts on adding James, Emily, and Toby with DCC sound on board to the range?  Considering the chances of Bachmann making a new engine character again doesn't seem practical, I feel this would be a great way for them to redeem large scale after almost half a decade of underwhelming announcements.  Just updating James, Emily, and Toby might not be as impressive as Edward getting announced, but these models would definitely move better than the tanker recolors Bachmann served us up for 2018.  The demand for these models is definitely there, and adding them to the range may encourage more people to go out and buy Thomas and Percy as well.  As I said before, the only real issue I see is that the models would have a higher RRP, but at the same time Bachmann would have less costs into production and wouldn't require any new toolings.  So to wrap things up, this is definitely something Bachmann should consider for the 2019 announcements.

-Rusty
3  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Large Scale Thomas on: May 07, 2018, 03:50:09 PM
It might not work with it being a slightly different gauge, but I happen to know that Marklin makes a Gauge 1 BR 78, the locomotive that, from what Iíve heard, is the type of Locomotive used to make Gordon and Henry in the show, specifically, their chassis. Gauge 1 is close to G Scale, but I donít know if itís close enough to be compatible, like HO Scale and OO Scale are.

G scale would be 1:24 scale and Gauge 1 (or #1 scale) is 1:32 scale which would be smaller than G.  The Bachmann Thomas & Friends models themselves are actually 1:22.5 scale which is in between both scales.  As I don't own too many Gauge 1 models, I can't really give you the best comparison out there, but I can hopefully show you somewhat of the difference between the two scales.  First up, here's Percy next to my Bachmann Gauge 1 speeder.  Winston would probably have been better to compare if I had him, but I choose not to waste my hard earned money on something so mediocre.



Next is James next to an Aristo-Craft Gauge 1 hopper car.  Keep in mind that a James should be pretty much in scale with the hopper if the model (James) were in fact Gauge 1.



As I said before, I can't really give you a picture perfect comparison as I don't have many Gauge 1 models.  I myself am looking to make 1 or 2 additional Thomas & Friends characters for my large scale collection in the future.  I did at first plan on building them in Gauge 1, but later decided to build them in 1:22.5 scale so they would be in scale with my other Thomas & Friends models.

By the way, anyone out there interested in a Bachmann Large Scale Thomas and/or Percy?



-Rusty
4  Discussion Boards / Large / Re: Looking for Train Shows for Large Scale Trains on: May 07, 2018, 03:11:50 PM
Thanks for the reply, Bill!

Unfortunately I'm not seeing many shows around my area.  Does this just cover the bigger shows or are model train shows in general a dying trend?

-Rusty
5  Discussion Boards / Large / Looking for Train Shows for Large Scale Trains on: May 04, 2018, 10:58:03 PM
Good evening everyone,
Ever since I got into large scale model railroading about 8 years ago, I've wanted to take time and setup some (if not all) of my large scale trains on display at shows.  Last Christmas I had the perfect opportunity to setup at a show a local train club was holding, but I was informed I couldn't setup unless I was a member.  In order to do so, I would have to fill out a registration sheet, pay a $20 membership fee, and was told that afterwards they "may" be able to reserve me a spot for the 2018 show.  In the end, I didn't have the time to be bothered, so nothing ever became of that...

I also had the opportunity back in April to attend a show at the local mall that a group of fellow hobbyists were putting together.  Sadly that show ended up getting canceled after the mall recently changed hands and the new owner didn't want people setting up there.  That was a real disappointment for me being it was only a half hour drive from where I live, it would have been the perfect place to setup.

So the question I would like to ask is, does anyone know some place where I can find information on upcoming train shows?  I'm mainly looking for shows around Pennsylvania and/or Ohio that are about an hour or so drive time from where I live.  I'm also looking for shows that run about a days time where I can setup in the morning and take down in the afternoon/evening.  I also wouldn't mind hitting a few 2 day shows.

If anyone knows where I could find some info, please let me know.

-Rusty
6  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Hornby Discontinues Thomas Range on: April 26, 2018, 12:22:34 PM
What products are Lionel making currently? Because I havenít seen any in a while.

And when was the last time anything was released in the line that was new? That's my point. I haven't seen them make anything *new* in a while.

Lionel is actually coming out with this G scale set for 2018.  By the way, sweet dreams...



I'm a little surprised that Lionel actually decided to make a G scale Thomas set considering the fact that Bachmann owns the large scale rights.  Then again, I think the loophole here is that the Lionel Thomas is not true G scale nor is it your typical DCC or analog operated locomotive.  In other words (just like the O gauge range), it's RC powered and requires batteries.

A few years back now I purchased the G scale Polar Express set Lionel made (mainly because it's the only G scale set on the market) and to be fair, I wasn't really that impressed with it.  The sound features in the locomotive were very nice, but there were many other aspects of the set that were lacking in more ways than one.  I wouldn't doubt that the new Thomas & Friends set probably offers some if not all of the same qualities, but again it wouldn't be anything to write home about.  When also considering the set will probably be around $100-$150, my recommendation would be to spend that little bit extra on an actual electric train set rather than a cheap knockoff.

-Rusty
7  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Hornby Discontinues Thomas Range on: April 24, 2018, 12:42:08 PM
I was actually referring to the most recent rumor of Gordon happening after Tomix ironically decided to bring back the range.  There was also one floating around that Edward was supposed to be in the lineup within the next couple years, but again it's a case of I'll believe it when I see it.

In addition to Chaz's post, I also saw this a few years back when I was hunting for Tomix models.



Quality of the image isn't the best, but you can see that Gordon was indeed in the plans around the same time as Percy and Henry.  Even if Gordon does happen (by some bizarre turn of events) however, I feel Tomix is going to drag their feet as long as they can.

-Rusty
8  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Hornby Discontinues Thomas Range on: April 23, 2018, 11:04:21 PM
In terms of Thomas models, Lionel is now Bachmann's only competition left. Once Lionel calls quits on their Thomas license, Bachmann can eventually make O Scale Thomas models as well.

Not quite.  Tomix is still doing N scale, but it's pretty minimal compared to what Bachmann and/or Hornby and/or even Lionel have/had done.  I think it was a couple years back now that Bachmann actually looked into acquiring the N scale rights, but Tomix didn't want to give them up.  Probably the most ironic part about it was that not long after, Tomix suddenly decided to start up their range again (in CGI of course) after almost a decade of doing absolutely nothing.  I even heard rumors that Gordon is finally going to be brought into the range, but I'll believe it when I see it...  Tongue

-Rusty
9  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: HO Scale Nia and Rebecca Release Speculation on: March 15, 2018, 12:16:16 PM
Mattel has way more control over Bachmann than I think any of us realize.

Alright, lets take a few steps back here for a moment because that statement is not entirely true.  Yes Mattel does have the final say in what Bachmann can/will produce for the range, but at the same time Bachmann themselves (being the ones that produce whatever is announced) does have the final say on whether or not a product gets made.  A perfect example of this would be items like Large Scale Diesel and/or McColl's Cattle Wagon which even though Mattel approved, we're canceled before release.  Regardless of what I've heard from others, Bachmann do listen to what the fans want to see, but in the end they only have so much leeway.  Still, it's not like Mattel is holding them at knifepoint demanding they make characters like Nia and/or Rebecca.

I'm going to be honest and agree with a few people that Rebecca is out of the question simply because of the fact she's a tender engine.  The last time we had any tender engines announced in the range was back in 2010, and that's because it was a set of twins which in turn made for better costs on both production and RRP.  As I've mentioned before (mainly in large scale) size plays a big factor in whether or not a model gets made, which I think is also an issue engines such as Daisy have when it comes to being produced.  That being said, I wouldn't even get my hopes up to see Hiro added to the range either.

The big issue Nia and Rebecca face at this time is the fact that (as mentioned before) they're not popular characters nor have they even been properly introduced at this time.  2020-2021 seems about right for them to be announced, but a lot could happen within the next 3-4 years.  Going back to a post Mr. Metal made last year, he stated that within a couple seasons the show will probably return to normal.  In other words (or at least in my opinion) BWBA is going to be a complete failure, Nia and Rebecca will be erased, and the show will go back to the original characters just to please the angry mob of Thomas fans that Mattel screwed over.  Put simply, I could honestly see Mattel just sweeping the whole thing under the rug and acting as if nothing ever happened.

-Rusty
10  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: G scale Emily turn radius on: March 13, 2018, 12:14:01 AM
I'll be the first to say that you should steer away from the R1 curves.  Yes Emily and her stock are designed to negotiate these curves, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to run them like that.  R1 curves are better for very short trains under a Christmas tree during the holidays, but not much else.  Regular use tends to shorten the life of your trains and the track overtime.

When I first got into Large Scale I used 4' diameter curves, but at the time I also wasn't running my trains as much as I am now.  The big problem with these curves is they are tight and add a lot of friction to the wheels of your locomotive which in turn causes wear on the motor, gearbox, and the gears.  Not to mention that overtime the wheels on the engine slowly grind down the railhead.  I wish I could say I was joking, but...



In addition to that you'll also start to notice a lot of black dust that is hard to remove from your carpet under the track.  This is a mixture of brass from the metal wheels grinding away the inside of your outside rail and plastic dust from the brass track grinding down the plastic wheels on you rolling stock.  As the rails wear, the gauge of the track will also become larger in time and eventually your rolling stock will start dropping down between the rails.

What I would recommend is to use the largest diameter curve you can fit into the space where you're running your trains.  About 3-4 years ago I went out and purchased a box of Bachmann 8' diameter curves and it was one of the best choices I've ever made with large scale.  As I said before, the best thing is to use the largest diameter curve you can, but I wouldn't recommend using anything smaller than 8'.  Anything smaller than that and you risk damaging your trains and constantly replacing track every 2-3 years.  In this case, bigger is better.

-Rusty
11  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: March 12, 2018, 11:23:00 PM
A little late on making this post.  Sorry about that... Embarrassed

On the topic of bringing back the Flat Car with Paint Drums, I'd like to contribute my two cents to this as well.  I have to agree with Chaz that it is odd Bachmann released the Flat Car with Paint Drums (of all things) considering the load only appeared in the disaster that was Calling All Engines.  Many are talking about different loads, but I am a little curious if just the flat car itself would be enough in the end?  Although it's been a while since it was discontinued, the Well Wagon and RF Container Wagon didn't come with loads either, not to mention the vast amount of trucks and open wagons as well.

So to begin with in terms of loads, Bachmann could easily get away with using existing logs from their HO range.  They already offer an ACF 40' Log Car in their Silver Series rolling stock line, and the log load on that car looks very decent.  Now when scaling down the 40' log car (as I do not have the model to take a measurement from) the scaled down size would be 5 1/2".  The logs are somewhat shorter than the car however, and if I were to guess at their length, I'd say probably 5" would be pretty close.  The flat car from the Thomas & Friends range measures just shy of 6", which would leave the logs being 1/2" shorter than the car itself.  Personally I see no problem with that.

Bachmann also offers a 52' Flat Car with pipe load in their Silver Series rolling stock.  Again using my scaled down measurements, the car would be 7 1/8" in length.  Just like the log car, the load is shorter than the car itself, but my numbers come to the pipes themselves being about 5" to 5 1/2" in length.  However, a Thomas & Friends Flatcar with Pipe Load with about 15 individual pipes seems a little unlikely in my books.  I think in the end Bachmann would probably feel better making an entirely new mold which would have the pipes as one solid load rather than individually.  Unlike logs, the pipes (being hallow and/or individual pieces) would most likely be more prone to damage and/or loss.

If I were to be the judge, I'd say a load of 3-4 logs on the flat car would be the best choice up agents a pipe load and/or paint drums.  There seems to be a demand for a log car, and some have said that's what they would have rather seen the car with in the first place.  Plus as I mentioned earlier, Bachmann could just use the same logs that they've been using for their AFC 40' log car.  Now I know someone probably wants to bring up the whole HO/OO argument as well, but that shouldn't matter in this case as logs can be any shape/size.  In the end, Bachmann taking something such as logs from their existing HO range honestly makes more sense than people whining for Bachmann to introduce Hank by using their existing PRR K4 tooling.

So that's my thoughts on a few new loads for the return of the Flat Car with or without Paint Drums.  At the end of the day however, I feel it would be more of an advantage on Bachmann's part just to recolor the paint drums to be oil drums.  If people want other loads such as logs and/or pipes, they can always track down said loads or easily make their own at a cheaper cost even.  Like I said earlier on in my post however, I do have to wonder if people would possibly be happy just to have the flat car back in the range even if a load is absent?

-Rusty
12  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Bachmann Thomas & Friends in 2019 on: March 03, 2018, 02:21:22 PM
Everyone is gonna hate me for this because everyone says large scale is dying.
but I at least want Edward, since he is not that far of a remodel from James
and the red passenger cars that would go with James (since they are JUST a repaint of Annie/Clarabel)
really, any engine past that (since its not ever possible for Henry and Gordon), isn't really worth having anyway, there is bill and ben which would be easy to make, and other small engines like that, like Oliver, Duck, Mavis, lady(even though you never see her in the show anymore), ect
but i still have hope, if not then its time to make a custom Thomas large scale engines

As much as I too would like to see Edward in large scale, chances of him happening seem about as likely as kicking a bear without it attacking you.  Considering Bachmann couldn't even make Diesel (a relatively small model) happen, how do characters like Edward or even smaller ones such as Oliver and/or Mavis have a chance?  I can honestly say that if we do get anymore engines in large scale, I would most likely expect to see James, Emily, and Toby with DCC sound just as we have with Thomas and Percy.  I would very much welcome this addition as it would save large scale modelers from the high cost of converting the stock standard models to DCC themselves.

The red coaches would be another great addition, but they're not just a simple repaint of Annie/Clarabel and/or Emily's Coaches.  While all 3 are based on the LB&SCR Stroudley four-wheel coaches (at least in the case of Bachmann's models), the red coaches in large scale would require a new tooling of the roof along with retooling the back of the coach to have the break compartment.  When taking that into consideration, it seems very iffy to me whether or not Bachmann would actually go though with it at this point, considering the fact recolors seem to be the most prominent choice of additions to the range lately.  Again like I said before, large scale has hit rock bottom in my opinion...

-Rusty
13  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: OFFICIAL 2018 ANNOUNCEMENTS on: March 01, 2018, 04:57:48 PM
Interestingly enough, what I think is on display with the large scale products is the large scale spiteful brake van.  It even has a product card next to it like any other newly released product that would be on display, but there is just one small problem...

You can't see his face in the video.



I'm the same myself in hopes that we see something on Rusty soon.  Considering he was announced a little over a year ago now, we should be getting at least an update on his progress if not a prototype image.  Hopefully this isn't another case like Rheneas where we get notified that he's shipping by another retailer before Bachmann themselves.  Then again, even that would be good news.

-Rusty
14  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Narrow Gauge Modeling Thread on: February 27, 2018, 02:09:31 PM
I have a 4x8 space in which I'd like to have either a completely narrow gauge layout or a dual-gauge with predominantely narrow gauge... anyone know where I could find layout ideas? Google isn't giving me very many good results. Thanks!

Personally if I were you, I'd start by drawing what I'd like for a layout on paper or the computer, then start making comparisons to whatever you want to reference be it photos, layouts, drawings, etc.  That's how I've done it in the past on layouts I've built, and probably going to do the same here once I get my HOn30 layout underway.  The key is to have a build plan made up before you start building, otherwise you're going to come to a snag point and need to take time and think before moving further.  As is plans tend to change once you start a project, so having a build plan to work off of makes things a little easier or at least easier than planning as you go along.

-Rusty
15  Discussion Boards / Thomas & Friends / Re: Rusty illustration on: February 27, 2018, 02:00:18 PM
I get the feeling this thread would have made more sense if it were posted on April Fools Day. Cheesy  Still, just like everyone else I'm really looking forward to Rusty when he becomes available.  Still need to get my hands on Skarloey and Rheneas though.

Our favorite narrow gauge diesel! I will definitely get Rusty once he is released.

Additionally, hopefully, we will be able to see a clearer image of the Large Scale Spiteful Brake Van very soon. It is in the 2018 catalog after all.

Same.  Stopped in at my hobby shop yesterday, but they didn't have any of the 2018 catalogs in stock yet.  Not sure if it would have helped get a clearer image of things, but I wouldn't have minded picking one up.  Interestingly though, my hobby shop still has Bachmann 2017 catalogs (which they still want full price for) and catalogs dating back to 2011.

-Rusty
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