kato,atlas,life- like?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Livesteam, Mar 6, 2005.

  1. Livesteam

    Livesteam Member

    What company do you think makes a good engine at a good price?
  2. 13Mtrainer

    13Mtrainer Member

    kato is one of the best in my mind
  3. Tad

    Tad Member

    All three of them are good. It just depends on who makes the model that you need.
  4. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    I like the Kato's first and then the Atlas' engines. Probably won't buy any other brand myself. But yeah, usually comes down to who makes what you're looking for in particular.
  5. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    I have to say I am impressed with the Bachmann 2-8-0
    Our club has one and it runs like a dream, pulls long loads too.

    At the last show it ran ALL day, 9-5 without any problem.
  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    That would be a tough call as far price wise as Atlas and Kato usually sell for the same amount or very close.LL can be had as low as $34.00.So,IMHO it would depend on what locomotives you want.
  7. Livesteam

    Livesteam Member

    I have not gotten a kato engine yet but do they have more detail? they look nice.
  8. Brewer

    Brewer Member

    Aren't most of the Atlas "guts" built by Kato anyway? Some of them used to be a few years ago anyway...
  9. Livesteam

    Livesteam Member

    I have one atlas, and it slips
  10. sschaer

    sschaer Member

    atlas has better details than kato. but for running there's nothing better than a kato.

    best drive ever produced : kato c44 (same as sd70 and ac4400).

    of course this is only my opinion.
  11. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

    A few years ago I would say Kato with Atlas 2nd.

    Atlas has come on strong the last few years with some nice running engines and now they are a close 2nd if not tied with Kato.

    I wouldn't waste my money on Lifelike, Bachman and especially Model Power, just total junk.
  12. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

    Got to admit the ditchlights are a nice feature. Atlas should give it a try since they put working class lights on the H-15-44's and H-16-44's a nice feature to an otherwise mundane locomotive.
  13. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    I have one or more of each, all diesels:

    Life-Like: impressive for the price. I have a few, and they all run well. A little noisy, some of them, but not horrible.

    Atlas: smooth...better detail than the LL's.

    Kato: Like buttah. :D Truly sweet, but I wouldn't give it a big advantage over the Atlas.

    Haven't tried a Bachmann (trying to avoid it).
  14. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Life Like P2K Heritage 2-8-8-2....if only I could get sound in that one!!! :cool:
  15. BNSFtheLeader

    BNSFtheLeader Member

    I have to many Engines to list but it's like they say it really depends on what you are looking for, Cheap, Expensive, Detail, Extreme Detail, Pulling power, capability (Gang-ablity), continues non stop running capability, price range, Ect. It really depends on what Engine model you want, for instance, (in my own personal experience)

    Life-Like Will out pull any kato and the detail is pretty good although a little out of scale from actuality but while running it is so perfect.

    Kato is top dog in detail and prototypical scale size & It runs well in slow momentum speed where the Lifelike Lacks due to the fact that Life-Like does not have Dual brass flywheels.

    Kato will out perform in just about any category except Pull-ablity
    Con-Cor Will beat in pulling strength.

    There are not to many models to compare to so it really depends on what Era you model like Modern



    They Have not came out with a To modern Engines so it's hard to compare them to this category.
    Let me know what Era, Motive Model's, Year's and whatever and I will give you my personal experience.
  16. Livesteam

    Livesteam Member

    My life like engine can pull twice as much as my bachmann and my atlas?
  17. cpNscale

    cpNscale Member

    I would have to agree with most everyone here.That it would be the Kato's then the Atlas'.I have 2 older Kato Sd40's that work perfect for me and a Atlas GP9 and a Gp35 that i wont' complain about either.Also a Model Power F7 that is noisy but runs smooth and pulls pretty much anything.

    I have 2 older LL GP35's off a friend and i say they make a great paper weight,but thats only my opinion.

    Thats my 2 cents worth.
  18. johnh

    johnh New Member

    Interesting. While the Kato engines I have are fair in detail and run great (with the exception of a couple of clunkers), the Atlas engines have excellent detail and run just as well as the Katos (couple of clunkers here too). Life Like is definitely coming into it's own, and I would not hesitate to buy LL (and I have many). The GP20 was sweet, the Alco FAs were great and outpull almost all others (some first run FA1s had an issue with gear mesh), and the C424s were a nice bonus (though most were not the correct phase for the roads offered). The SWs, C-Liners, GP18s (latest run), and Erie-builts were all great runners also. I do not own a LL GP60, but all of the reviews are very favorable.
    DCC is another story. LL gets an F in this one, since none are DCC ready. Not an issue if you only run DC. Most Atlas (excepting the GP7/9, RS series, & GP30/35) are DCC ready. Kato has recently remade the F units and SD 40s DCC ready. I believe that makes their entire line of current offerings DCC ready. Now if they just re-release the C30s and U30Cs.
    Bottem line is that you can't go wrong buying recent releases from any one of the three. IM is another company that has been on track with some nice releases lately, though quality has been a concern with early releases of the SD40T-2s. The early FTs had a few issues as well. Now we eagerly await the F-units, which promise to elevate IMs status if they deliver as promised.
    Bachmann diesel offerings are pathetic. Though they have updated the mechs, they remain growlers and not compatible speed-wise with the other brands. The SD45s looked promising, but with the blower duct missing on the firemans side, it is hard to take it seriously. Bmann said this would be fixed in future releases. Now that the second release has been announced, we shall see.
    MP has been promising a model quality FP7 forever now, but doesn't seem to be able to deliver. They remain a trainset company in my mind.
  19. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    The key woerd in that sentence is "OLDER".

    People are always quick to put down both Life-Like and Bachmann.

    When asked about it, they always complain about "older", or "I used to have a ___".

    But, like that old Ford Motors slogan... "Have you driven a Ford lately?"

    The new Bachmann Spectrum line and the new Life-Like Proto 2000 series are vast improvements over LL and Bach of old.

    As I said, our club has a new N Bachmann 2-8-0 and it pulled about 20 cars all day at our last show.

    The HO guys like both Atlas and the LL Prot0 2k series.
  20. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

    There lies the problem, I will not risk dumping money on either. They need to do more to improve their past reputation.

Share This Page