Athearn Blue Box F7A Super Weight

Discussion in 'Product Review Forum' started by YmeBP, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    SWEET! :thumb:

    The difference in the detailing is pretty evident.. In addition to being reliable runners, the other reason why I like to buy Athearn locos is because their trucks are some of the best-looking on the market.

    You will not find nicer EMD truck sideframes on the market than the Athearns unless you spend hundreds on a single brass loco. They are so nice, even Proto 2000 copied them (the Blomberg trucks on Proto 2000 Geeps are direct clones of the Athearns, right down to the gears).

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing your complete review and photos on how that puppy runs on your layout! :cool:
  2. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I tried editing the original post and it didn't quite work out as planned :). So here is the review of me actually running my engine.

    Running it:
    Haven't gotten there yet, bot oh boy am i gonna!! [​IMG] I have to install some couplers on it (i have kadee) and get all the accessories installed. I'll post when i've run it around the track a couple times [​IMG].
    I've installed new Kadee #5 on my loco, and on a couple of cars, put it on the track and gave it a good run. q
    1) It is QUIET, i mean like whisper quiet compared to the other toy grade locos i have.
    2) It runs extremely smoothly even over a purposly unpowered section of track it just keeps on rolling.
    3) It is an incredible puller. I actually ran out of cars to put on it [​IMG] so i don't know how many it will pull but right now it is up to double +2 more (13) than the lifelike F7A toy grade loco it is replacing
    4) Did i mention quiet?
    5) Slow speed performance is great, i can pull more cars at a much lower speed than my lifelike toy grade.

    My take on this loco is that it is perfect for me. I dropped it (i know don't ask me how) from about 4 inches off my table and all was well, not even a scratch in the paint. The couplers were at the perfect hieght w/ no adjustments needed. I have only 2 complaints and both being minior. My first complaint is Athearn didn't include any instructions on how to install the optional accessories on my model. I don't even have an incling of a clue as to where to glue the pieces shown on the white lined paper. The second is there is a buzzing sound the engine makes when i am at super low speed (did it before i dropped it hahaha) seems like the motor needs just a little more juice to get going?

    All in all i LOVE this loco, did i mention how quiet it was? It looks great runs great and i'm looking forward to adding more models of this quality to my yard.
    See photo's above and check out the movie here:
    It is encoded in mp4 (psp i think) only thing i had on my system that actually allowed me to crunch the mpeg down. You can hear the difference between the f7a and the toy train in the back ground. It's faint but you can hear it. Check out the pictures above.

    Attached Files:

  3. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    I'm SO glad you're happy! :) Athearn is great, the best thing that many beginning modelers (and any modeler, really) love and stick to whenever possible, I think that unit's going to have many years ahead of smooth running! :thumb: Remeber to clean it's wheels periodically by putting on truck at a time over a heavy paper towel (the blue ones work the best) soaked with rubbing alcohol, or GOO Gone, works great, and keep your engine running GREAT! :) aussie ...To many happy years with your new Athearn! :)

    COMBAT Member

    I LOVE my athearn engines. They are performing great. I have one that is 15 = years old and has been sitting in a box, hasnt been oiled or anything and it is out performing an atlas that was treated the same. Even my new Athearns I just bought, both Genesis are AWESOME! :)
  5. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    I'm going to have to hunt down the thread where another gauger pointed me to the toytrainheaven link and give him a hearty thanks :). This loco rocks!!
  6. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Glad you like that F7A! It's very satisfying when the recommendations we give here pans out well. :thumb: (not to toot my own horn, but I was the one who suggested those F7A's to you. :D )

    Anyway, I can give you a hand as to where those little parts go..

    I circled and numbered the parts in the photo.

    1 - These are the "glass" for the portholes on the sides of the locomotive. Just press them in.

    2 - These are brake cylinders. They go onto the truck sideframes.

    3 - These are the truck suspension hangars. They also go onto the truck sideframes.

    I assume you already know where the two airhorns go.

    I enclosed a picture of the Blomberg truck for you to compare it to to see where they go.

    Hope this helps!

    Attached Files:

  7. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    Thank you!! I think i'm going to have to hunt down a piece of clear styrene or acrylic to install for the windshield. I noticed on my lifelike toy f7a they installed a window i may just remove that as i'm probably not going to use that engine until i get better running gear to put the shell on.
  8. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    My first good engine was an Athearn F7a bought in 1985. Still have it and it still is the best puller on the layout, even though I don't run it much anymore.
  9. msowsun

    msowsun Member

    It looks like your photos are automatically re-sized when yo upload them to your gallery..... I just right clicked on your photos and copied the address..... putting the [ img] thing on either side makes them appear as photos .......
  10. YmeBP

    YmeBP Member

    :) thanks for the tip, would you believe i put that site together, sql database and all, wasn't hard hard .. but ... i should have noticed i told the stupid thing to resize to the exact dimentions needed for the-gauge hahaha!! stooges8 :D

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