Chevy, Ford, or Mopar?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by cyb0rg, Jan 4, 2005.

  1. cyb0rg

    cyb0rg New Member

    Newbie question of the day:
    "Which N scale manufacturer makes the best loco?"

    I realize that people have their favorites for whatever reason, and that's fine. Model railroading hobby shops are scarce to non-existent around here, so I have to rely on the internet for my shopping needs. I would LOVE to try before I buy, but it's just not going to be possible.

    I'm interested in detail. Things like accuracy, handrails and a realistic looking model are important to me. My layout is small, and I figure it will use 4 locos max, including yard switchers. I'm also interested in steam locos only, as I'm modeling the 1920-1930 era. Since I won't have an empire or fleet, price isn't a huge factor. I don't mind spending $150+ on a few quality products I'll be happier with in the long run.

    Thoughts or suggestions?
  2. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    There is a thead here with the information you want and you can vote for your favorite as well.
  3. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    For 1920-30 steam in N scale there is the Bachman Spectrum 2-8-0 and 4-6-0.As far as quality switchers I don't know of any off hand.
  4. hswn

    hswn Member

    I have two of the Spectrum 2-8-0's I like. A friend has a Roundhouse 2-8-0 {turn of century} it is nice. Roundhouse and Atlas both have 2-6-0's I haven't seen but have heard good. Atlas now has the Shay it is just new I hope to get one. Bachmann has a 0-6-0 I've heard some good on' I'm a little leary of Bachmann {old storey}. Some of the old Minitrix 0-6-0's run good be better with tender pick ups on the electrical. Some one mentioned that Bachmann Spectrum has a 4-6-0 don't look to hard for these as to the best of my knowledge they have adviced that they plan to make these but haven't, they do have them in HO. You might also want to consider the Spectrum doodle bug, to handle your dwendling passenger service.

    my spelling is bad 24hrs a day
  5. cyb0rg

    cyb0rg New Member

    I found some nice Kato 2-8-2 Mikados. I was reading another thread here and saw someone had posted a pic of theirs. It looks nice, the price seems reasonable (was $102 I think) and they offer it with Erie markings, which is a plus, considering that's what I'm trying to model.

    For switchers, I'm probably going to try to find a couple Erie 0-6-0s.
  6. grglmn

    grglmn New Member

    If you don't get to try before you buy I would get the Kato 2-8-2 before I would go for the Spectrum 2-8-0, I got one of the spectrums mail order, didn't run worth a darn, traded it for another, was just as bad. Others have had better luck, but most will still say try before you buy with the Spectrums. My LHS had the Kato 2-8-2s on sale for $100 (which is about the price you can get them mail order at discount places) I test ran two before picking mine out, they both ran great.

    I have heard good things about the MDC engines, which would be good for your era, I don't care much for their looks, but they aren't too bad.

    Lots of new steam coming out or recently released as well, the new con-cor 2-10-2 has gotten good initial reviews.

    There is not a good small steam switcher made yet, but surely somebodies got to see the hole in the market and come out with something soon.
  7. absnut

    absnut Member

    I have three of the Spectrum 2-8-0's and had great luck with them straight out of the box. Same luck with the Spectrum 4-8-2's. The Kato 2-8-2 is a great loco but without the traction tires added, they are not strong pullers. The spectrum 4-8-2 don't haul as well as the 2-8-0. I don't have the MDC 2-8-0 but I do have two MDC 2-6-0's and they are sweet little engines..... quiet, good pullers.

    As with any loco, if possible, try before you buy. I will say this about Bachmann..... their warranty is great.

  8. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    I have both MDCs, the Kato Mikado, Atlas 2-6-0, Spectrum 2-8-0 and Spectrum 4-8-2. All are sweet looking and sweet running. The Mikados are the quietest, Spectrums the slowest and noisiest, Atlas is the fastest loco I have, and MDCs pull like oxen. Any or all would likely suit you, except the Atlas, which is a 1870s era loco. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Model Power Mogul and American, if they run as well as they look, MP will have a bonified Hall of Famer on their hands.

    Kato, Atlas, Bachmann SPECTRUM, all are good steamers. Just make sure you test run them first if possible. As noted, if you can't test run them, the best quality control is Kato's, and Bachmann's warranty is unbeatable.
  9. grumbeast

    grumbeast Member

    I have a few N scale steam loco's, the Kato 2-8-2 is very sweet but I've had problems with mine intermittently cutting out, plus it can't pull the skin off a rice pudding (no traction tires).

    The MDC 2-8-0 is a little Gem, It looks a little odd, I guess due to the era and also the tender looks a little big. However, it runs silently and very smoothly, the motor and pickup is in the tender and there is a cardan shaft to the cab to power the driving wheels. I've had mine creep up a 3% grade with 4 rivarossi heavyweights without a slip. Anyway.. Not many people seemed to buy these so I wanted to get a plug in for them, thier 2-6-0 seems to have a similair mechanism so I think this will be a winner too.

  10. hemiadda2d

    hemiadda2d Member

    Mopar! Hands-down.
    Oh, my bad..
    I hate to start a flame war, but I think (out of my fleet) Kato makes a very stout engine. I have Atlas, IM, LL, and Kato engines, and the ones I run for visitors are the Kato SD40-2's. They are reliable, need no tuning after a break-in period, pull well, and track well. The tunnel motors I have and love are a bit fussy, on DCC (or I haven't gotten them tweaked enough). The Atlas engines seem very reliable, but the issue of installing decoders in many of their products requires engine disassembly. In my experience, it's just another way to mess something up, leave out a part, reassemble wrong, etc.
    LL (Geep 20, SW9, C424, Geep 60) is sweet, but DCC is an issue, as their frames are not DCC friendly...
    This is just my opinon; your milage may vary, with approved credit, no payment for 6 months.....
  11. Bikerdad

    Bikerdad Member

    YO! Hemi! :wave: from the original post...


    btw, MoPar stands for "need mo parts to fix it again" :p
  12. hemiadda2d

    hemiadda2d Member

    MOtor PARts Division of Chrysler would work as well. :p :D

    Good to see ya, B-D! :wave:
  13. Lighthorseman

    Lighthorseman Active Member

    Psycho For Chryco?


    Thus...DODGE or be rammed!
  14. Jay Gould

    Jay Gould New Member

    Ever since the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 came out, I have decided to go completely steam, because the Spectrum ran so incredibly well. Besides a few Spectrums, I have several Kato Mikes (great), older version ConCor Hudsons (great) and recent Model Power Pacifics (not bad). I especially recommend the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0, and if you get a bad one, you can send it to Bachmann and they'll make good on their warantee. Also, people on the forums lately have been absolutely raving about the MDC 2-8-0 and 2-6-0---they're more turn of the century, but they were still being used into the 20s and 30s.

    One thing N scale needs and doesn't yet have is a great-running steam switcher! This is a huge need if you want a roster that is complete. There is a Rivarossi 0-8-0 which isn't terrible, but it does belong to the "earlier" generation of N scale steam, and will not "creep" over a turnout like you'd want a switch engine to do. WE NEED AN N-SCALE SWITCHER. If you have time, write to Bachmann, and Kato, and Model Power, and Atlas, and Life Like. Between them, you'd think they could come up with a good model of this most essential of locomotives.
  15. brokemoto

    brokemoto New Member

    I still like my 1957 DeSoto rqagtop with the little hemi-head.

    Still, I add my voice to the others about:

    The B-mann 2-8-0

    The Kato mikado

    The MDC mogul.

    MDC also has a consolidated, but its small drivers mark it as a nineteenth century prototype. THe MDC mogul is a late nineteneth century prototype as well, but a few detail changes will allow it to represent a locomotive that has been rebuilt over the years and is still in service. I did that to some of them. The drivers on the mogul are sixty-three inches, on the consolidated, forty-eight to fifty.

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