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| | |-+  Which Bachmann 1.20 engine gives you the most "smiles"...and why
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Author Topic: Which Bachmann 1.20 engine gives you the most "smiles"...and why  (Read 9586 times)
bob kaplan

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« on: April 29, 2014, 03:10:35 PM »

  For  me it has to be the Connie.  Did not buy a 1.20 engine until it was released even though the shay came first.   I love rod engines and when it was announced I held my breath.  I used LGB 1600 track and switches....would it be able to negotiate those?  When the reviews were in,  I received my first engine and opened the box.   It was an event.  No shinny gold and silver that "toyed" the LGB engines.  Flat black...beautiful. It ran slowly on my indoor layout (my only layout)..and looked ok with my mostly LGB rolling stock (long gone now) and Pola buildings.

   Sure it had or has got issues...  I run inside, so perhaps some have not yet made themselves evident....though a tender truck just came apart on one of them plastic just broke.  I have a couple Connies and they still run great.  I have no hilly terrain so lurching is no problem....and they run slowly and steadily even on the 1600 radius.  Its small size is super on my small indoor layout 14x22 in the basement.

  I have purchased one of everything...'cept the three truck shay.  Each seems to have some disadvantage.  Forney and industrial mogul don't pull much....2-8-2 is a bit too big for the layout, though it does perform admirably... but really looks Rio Grande (big fan of the EBT)!! (Have I made enemies that that remark Smiley ?) 2-6-6-2 is a bit too big to look at home and I find it difficult to control a constant speed.  (track power for basement)...could be my track work..etc. Not a big shay fan...and I only have the first issue of the Climax...not a super runner.  I do love the Heisler and it performs well...and is even a semi-rod engine....sort of.  The 4-4-0 and the 4-6-0 are neat little engines too.  But they are definitely the wrong time period for me...late 30's to perhaps early 50's for me.  The C-19 is pretty cool and performs well on my small layout...but again looks Rio Grande...yup I know EBT did have one...bit Connie looks more like and Eastern brute.  Does look good with the Anniversary Annie (1.22.5) too.

Anyways I am happy with the Bachmann engines I have purchased...hope there might be something down the line (can anyone say...EBT #11?)
Small and powerful!

You got a favorite?
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tac

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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 03:37:41 PM »

That EBT #12 would be HUGE, and a correspondingly HUGE investment for Bachmann.  I seem to recall one brave soul stumping up front for a couple of hundred such locos, electrically-powered - I wonder just how many he still has?

tac
Ottawa Valley GRS
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Chastity

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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 01:02:56 AM »

Easy since down to one - the 2-6-6-2t mallet.  Last electric outline left, if there
was an equivalent live steam then it would be a likely canidate for trading.
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CCSG


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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 03:54:17 AM »

Mine is the Connie also. I got to operate on the prototype in Virginia City, MT ang got my first taste of 1:1 railroading. When I realized it was out of production, I snapped one up quickly. I'm currently modifying mine with some changes to the tender and a smoke box extension. The thing I love about Bachmann products is they aren't to expensive to take the saw to.  I've never had an operating large scale layout but enjoy modifying my models and detailing them.
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Patrick Kramer
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2014, 09:53:02 AM »

The Connie is my favorite, but I do like them all.  I bought three Connies.  I did replace the gear on one of them using the NWSL gear, but the other two are still original.  They have proved to be great runners.  Some people have blasted Bachmann because of the gear problem, but I see it as routine expected maintenance for an item that is ten or more years old.  Wish I could buy a car that would last over ten years, and never have a problem!!!!!

In my mind the Anniversary 4-6-0 and the Big Hauler 4-6-0 have been the greatest blessing to the large scale hobby that there ever was.  The basic 4-6-0 has hooked more folks into the hobby than any other single product along with sets including the 4-6-0.  No other single product even comes close. The version 5 chassis introduced in 2000 made this loco almost bullet proof. The version six Annie with metal gears and the new front truck recently introduced has been virtually trouble free so far.  As a regular here I have yet to see a single complaint about it!!!

I guess I would have to say that the 4-6-0 might be a co-favorite if for no other reason that it has had an amazing positive impact on the hobby.   

Cheers,

Bill
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
bob kaplan

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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2014, 11:48:59 AM »

Yes.....EBT 2-8-2 are VERY big engines.....but the # 11 would be a tad smaller....not too much bigger than Connie I think...so it would look ok on the smaller curves.
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2014, 02:05:36 PM »

I've got two:



First, there's the venerable outside-frame 2-8-0 aka, "Connie." (A name I've never personally liked, but with the release of the C-19, "2-8-0" is no longer unique.) Anyway, its nickname is probably the only thing about this locomotive that I don't like. When it was released, there was some criticism that it was too generic; not a D&RGW outside frame 2-8-0 or somesuch. I always felt that generic appearance to be its strongest feature. It was a blank canvas from which I could build the locomotive I wanted to run.

Sure, there's the gear issue. Mine broke. I fixed it. Ultimately I replaced the stock drive with a Barry's drive (which took an "A" locomotive to "A+" in my opinion.) With a good sound system, this locomotive looks and sounds like the workhorse I envisioned it being when the locomotive first came out.

Since doing mine, I've taken that blank canvas and gone completely different directions with two others...

A more "Colorado" look:


and "downsized" to 1:22.5:


It's easily been the most influential locomotive in terms of my modeling. Even when I look at #3 sitting on the shelf in my family room, I can't help but think of other locomotives that would look great built around those generic bones. Those ideas ruminate in my head whenever I'm working on another locomotive of any type, always there challenging me to try something just a bit different.


Then Bachmann released the C-19...



What can I say? The inside-frame 2-8-0 has long been a favorite wheel arrangement of mine. I've loved it ever since Delton first released their model of it in the 80s--long before I knew the EBT (and other eastern narrow gauge lines) had very similar locomotives. I acquired my first one in the mid 90s, and have built others since then for my dad's railroad. (Sadly, only one is still operable, built on the newest Aristo chassis.)

There are two reasons why this particular locomotive has risen to the top of my list of favorites. First, there's the model itself. Bear in mind, I had just finished scratchbuilding a new model of EBT #7 right when this locomotive was released, so I was still grumbling about the timing of this.



Ultimately, though, I think scratchbuilding this model first, then getting Bachmann's version is what's made Bachmann's version the favorite. Had Bachmann released their C-19 prior to me building mine, I would have turned the Bachmann loco into EBT #7. It would have saved me a ton of work, and no doubt I would have been very happy with the results (as happy as I am with how #7 ultimately turned out.)

However, getting Bachmann's C-19 afterwards, I had a case of the "been-there-done-thats" with the EBT prototype. That was quite liberating in many ways. I was free to take Bachmann's C-19 and turn it into the C-19 as I wanted it to look; my choice of cab, my choice of lights, air pumps, and whatever other details I wanted to add or subtract. I had the freedom to build my personal "ideal" 2-8-0. So I did.



Second, this locomotive makes me smile because Bachmann simply got it right with this one. No fanfare, no hyperbole. They picked a popular prototype, and produced a highly-detailed, smooth-running model that's an absolute joy to put on the rails. Converting it to battery power took no effort at all. I smile because the stars aligned with this one. If we were so blessed in this hobby to have all future products get as much right as this loco did, we'd be happy campers.

Later,

K
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Bruce Chandler


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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 03:35:39 PM »

I'm cheating a bit - I converted the "Annie" to 1:20.   But, it is my favorite.

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Bruce
tac

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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 03:52:37 PM »

I'm cheating a bit - I converted the "Annie" to 1:20.   But, it is my favorite.

Bruce - is that  Banta cab or did you scratch-build it?  Either way, it looks good to me and is something I might do in either case.

Best

tac
Ottawa Valley GRS
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Bruce Chandler


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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2014, 01:01:35 PM »

tac,
Nope, that's a scratch built cab, from styrene.   Same with the tender: scratch from styrene.   The boiler is a 3" OD tube, and the domes are from Accucraft; they're brass and add some additional weight.   It has the BBT drive, so there's really not all that much left from the Annie.
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Bruce
CCSG


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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2014, 12:57:44 AM »

Bruce,

Nice looking  kitbash! Great thing about Bachmann products is there not too expensive to cut up. I still think Bachmann should release there own 1:20 version of the Annie.
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Patrick Kramer
tac

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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2014, 09:31:47 AM »

Bruce,

Nice looking  kitbash! Great thing about Bachmann products is there not too expensive to cut up. I still think Bachmann should release there own 1:20 version of the Annie.

If you'd paid over $1150.00 for the three-truck Shay, or over $1200.00 for the Forney, you be's singin' a different chune!

Anyhow, as I have one of each of the rod engines, including an Annie, three Shays, a Climax and a Heisler, I think it's fair to say that I love 'em all.  Out and out favourite, tho', has to be any Shay.  'That loco's got more goins on than a fire in a Chinese laundry', a pal of mine once noted.  He's right, too.

tac
Ottawa Valley GRS - www.ovgrs.org
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bob kaplan

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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2014, 01:42:45 PM »

Besides its chunky size, i really enjoy the busy valve gear of the Connie.  There is a lot of movement there; a real pleasure to watch.  That's is why, for me, it rates above the new C-19...and why I keep hoping that EBT #11 might make it to the Bachmann stable.  I truly enjoy the flailing of the Walschaerts gear.
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2014, 02:05:14 PM »

I don't think any locomotive is "too expensive" to cut up. Whether it be a Bachmann 0-4-0 or a Bachmann 2-8-0, it's all just plastic and metal bits that may or may not be close to a model of the locomotive you want to build. The end product is what's important.

Let's say you buy an 0-4-0 for $100, and a C-19 for $1,000. Neither resemble the 0-4-0 or 2-8-0 that ran on your favorite railroad. If you consider $1,000 to be "too expensive to cut up," but not too expensive to purchase in the first place, why is it that it would be okay to spend 4 weeks tinkering with the 0-4-0 to get it to match the prototype, but not spend the same 4 weeks on the 2-8-0 to get it to match as well? Are they not both bits of plastic and metal that are equally easily adapted?

Sure, buying a $2,500 live steam locomotive and using just the boiler and chassis might be a bit extreme, but--still--if the ends justify the means, go for it. If you can't build it yourself cheaper, and you want a model of that locomotive, what other avenue is there?

If you've already spent the money for a model that's not quite what you want, make it what you want. The money's gone. You're left with a physical product in its place. If you keep looking at it thinking "gee if only," you've wasted your money. Get a saw, get some paint, and make your money proud of the end result.

Later,

K
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Skarloey Railway

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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2014, 07:07:37 AM »

That's a fine argument, Kevin, and one in principle I support. In practise, while working with material that costs $1000 might require no more skill than working with material that costs $100, the anxiety factor goes up considerably and can even increase the chances of fouling up. I've had this where you get over-cautious and too tentative and too much damn thinking gets in the way of what would otherwise be automatic.

You have considerable experience in cutting and modding and have acquired the skills and confidence to tackle major projects and probably know when you start hacking up a $1000 loco that there's a good chance of making a good job, but I imagine that you gained those skills gradually and on considerably cheaper lumps of metal and plastic. Many just haven't yet got the experience and confidence to cut up a $1000 dollars without worrying that they'll end up with an expensive scenic addition to the scrapline.
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