MicroAce 0-6-6-0 Mallet review

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by redracer, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. redracer

    redracer Member

    MicroAce A0651 9800-9812 Mallet SL (original type)
    MicroAce A0652 9800-9801 Mallet SL (modified type)

    Well they are finally out - probably MicroAce's most anticipated steam loco, and already being planned by modellers as the basis for other articulated locos of various nationalities, as well as the mechanism for larger scale narrow gauge locos. The main differences between these locos is the extra piping and tanks on the sides of the boiler on A0652 and the tank on the rear tender deck of A0651, as well as differences between the front pilot handrails. Of course they are black all over, but the cab window frames are a brown 'wooden' finish. The loco numbers and a Kanji symbol on the cab are in gold. Unfortunately like most N scale steam locos, the motor is highly visible at the back of the cab. The two sets of three driving axles are flangeless on the middle axle and the front axle on the rear bogie has a rubber tyre on both sides. The wheels are all blackened and the headlight is reasonably bright at low speed. The 3 axled tender has an unusual mixture of one fixed axle and one bogie !!! They can run very smoothly and quietly, but out of the batch I received, only one started off by itself smoothly straight out of the box. They do seem to start and run a lot better in reverse for some reason !!!

    Judgement - very good in appearance - not as good in operation as expected until you "run them in" for a while. One comment was made that "if all N gauge steam ran this well ... we would have nothing to complain about."

    Attached Files:

  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Interesting looking loco, any idea of what prototype it was modeled after? Doesn't look like it would be too hard to adapt it to an american logging loco, with the addition of pilot and trailing wheels, and a few hardware changes. I am impressed that it was modeled as a compound!
  3. redracer

    redracer Member

    This is the 9800 class - 18 were built by Baldwin and imported in 1912. They were designed for use on the Tokaido line Hakone Pass route. They did not last long because their power did not live up to expectations and they had some inherent problems
    such as excessive wear on the wheels flanges.
  4. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    My guess would be the wear was predominantly on the #1 driver of the lead engine. I would expect this because there's no pilot wheel to guide the drivers into curves. If the locos operated on tight curves the problem would be worse. They probably also had frequent derailments.

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