Need New Loco: 2-8-2 BLI Mikado?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by trainwhiz20, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Hey everyone. I figure it's Christmas time and time for me to indulge my spendings on a new locomotive for the Black River. My biggest problem is the 18" curves on my tiny 4x7 layout. It just stinks being a fan of really long, elegant, ATSF passenger trains, doesn't it?

    Anyway, I was going to get the Atlas Master GP40 in the FEC 100 Yrs scheme just because I love the way it looks. (Obviously nothing to do with my railroad, I know.) But that was before I stumbled on the BLI Mike--as I have a thing for steam.

    I have the Spectrum 2-8-0 Consolidation, and I figured that was the only steam locomotive that could handle my little layout, but apparently the 2-8-2 Light Mikado from Broadway Limited Here can handle 18" curves and is a decent sized steam locomotive. (Granted, I can't get #3751...):thumb:

    Does anyone have experience with this locomotive? The sound seems excellent, as I operate DCC, but the tight curves? Is $189.99 a good deal?
  2. CRed

    CRed Member

    I have the BLI AT&SF 2-10-2 and it runs and sounds nice.I'm actually trying to sell it now,but BLI recommends a 22" radius for best results for it so a 2-8-2 would be better for you.I think you'd really like the Mikado from BLI,I really like the 2-10-2 I just want to go straight diesel for now.

  3. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    You might want to look at the Trix 2-8-2's as well. There's several that have sold recently on Ebay for smokin good prices (less than $200) - it originally retailed for $459! The locomotive is extremely well detailed and is very heavy it's type (the boiler is die cast metal), so it has good pulling power.

    Some observations: it doesn't come with a working front coupler (I have since retrofitted mine) - though I have learned recently that it may be possible to snap an NEM type coupler in the pocket. It's DCC motor control is very good and will run smoothly at very low speeds. Re: sounds, individually they are pretty good, and the exhaust sync (chuff) is reasonably close (about 3 per driver revolution). The sound's limitations are that the whistle is not "playable" at higher speeds the exhaust sounds "synthetic" and only 3 sounds can be played at one time. So if you are moving (exhaust), ringing the bell and running the injector then try to blow the whistle, the injector shuts off, then resumes once the whistle sequence is complete. The newest ESU allows 4 sounds at one time and the Tsunami allows 14, so this shortcoming is not uncommon. But I digress.

    I don't know how any of the above compares to the BLI 2-8-2, but I personally couldn't be happier with the Trix.
  4. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Well I've been researching all afternoon, and I appreciate your guys' help. The Trix sounds like a viable alternative, but I don't believe they make an ATSF version, and I'm a teenager who has not the slightest idea on the scratchbuilding/weathering/detailing on a locomotive.

    After the reviews I've read, the BLI seems to suit my purposes. It's been in production long enough to have the kinks worked out, but my question is now if it can handle the 18" radius curves like it says it can. Can anyone attest to that?

    Thanks guys. Shame CRed, I've wanted that same locomotive you're selling my entire life--but no where to run it.
  5. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    A teenager that likes steam... there's is hope for us all!

    Good luck on your quest
  6. Dick Elmore

    Dick Elmore Member

    :wave: Trainwhiz, BLI doesn't make an ATSF version of the 2-8-2 either. The ATSF 2-8-2 that they advertise is a generic USRA 2-8-2 and Santa Fe never owned any. They can be kitbashed into something similer to a SF version, but it will take a lot of work. I thought about doing that, but I figured about the time I finished, BLI would come out with an ATSF version.

    Texas Chief
  7. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Hahaha good point guys.

    Honestly, it doesn't seem like there's any accurate model of an ATSF Mike, but the BLI may be generic, but it will suit my purposes. I'm not a rivet counter, nor are the people that view my layout, and if it has ATSF markings, no one will know the difference. (Heck, it could have B&M decals and no one would know the difference!)

    And BLI seems to focus on Eastern prototypes, and the fact they're so busy with upcoming products I doubt they'll redo the 2-8-2. And it's an older version, so it was in my price range---and one of the only other plausible steam locomotives to handle my layout.... and I crave steam!

    I recall that the Santa Fe Mike's looked like PRR's L1's I think. A little wider boiler. Oh well, I can work a story that the nearby CGW or UP had one up for sale, and the boys at Black River did a quick paint job fix to get her in service to help the hand-me-down 2-8-0 (Which still looks factory new... haha)--and she never made it on the roster.

    And, I already ordered it! :rolleyes: Hopefully it will be here by the end of the week and I can take it down to the club so it can stretch its "wheels."

    I promise to keep you guys updated, and thanks for your help. Don't kill me Dick! :p
  8. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member could use a Santa Fe 2-10-2!

    Also...look out for old MDC/Roundhouse Santa Fe engines. I believe they used to offer a 4-4-2 and a 2-6-2. The 2-6-2 is the quintessential AT&SF engine. There are 16 of them still in existence. The closest to you is in Louisianna.
  9. CRed

    CRed Member

    Will a 2-10-2 run on 18" radius track?I have the BLI AT&SF 2-10-2 that I'm trying to sell and they say for best results use 22" radius track.

    I brought it up earlier in this thread thinking he might be interested because it's the quintessential SF engine,it's named after them for petes sake,but as stated above they recommend the 22" radius curves for best results.

  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If it doesn't have some blind drivers, I think it would have difficulty getting around 18 inch radius. Generally a smal mikado or consolidation is about the max size steam that will run on 18 inch radius reliably.
  11. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Guys, trust me, if the 2-10-2 could handle my curves, CRed would be my new best friend. But I know for a fact, and have a friend, that said t just looks stupid on such tight curves and won't be reliable on them. True, a nice big ATSF loco would be nice for those club runs, but I need something that works at home on 18" since I only get to the club a few times a year.

    I'm eagerly awaiting the purchase.

    Nkp, I've been lookin for some praries, but I can't find any DCC.... :oops:
  12. CRed

    CRed Member

    Yeah I didn't think it would look so good on 18" radius curves either so I agree the Mikado,even if it isn't prototypical,is the best choice for you.

    The main reason I'm selling mine is because I want the CB&Q "California Zephyr" set from precision Craft and I can't get it until I sell some things,the wife won't let me get it otherwise.

    If I see anything you might be interested in I'll let you know.

  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For small Santa Fe steam the Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 is a Santa Fe prototype. I would also keep checking back at I just checked it and they don't have anything on their web site yet, but they bought Roundhouse and are coming out with the 2-6-0 & 4-4-0 Roundhouse steamers with dcc & sound. Also Horizon is pretty responsive to their customers, you might send them an email asking them to put the Roudhouse 2-6-2 back into production. If they get enough requestes, they will build it.
  14. Twiget

    Twiget Member

    I have the BLI heavy Mike 2-8-2 running on my layout. It handles the 18" curves ok but you have to run the tender draw bar in the 1st hole. This gets the tender as far away as you can from the locomotive. I also had to do a little sanding on the front wings of the coal hopper to get it to clear the locomotive cab in the turns. Hope this helps.
  15. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Hmm... thanks guys.

    Russ - I'll keep an eye on it, and probably send them an email. I have the Spectrum 2-8-0 w/ Soundtraxx for that very prototypical reason. I wanted to expand the steam roster to something different rather than two of the same... can't have enough steam! :thumb:

    Thanks Twiget. I'll be sure to look for that when I test the loco. Do you have any pics?
  16. Twiget

    Twiget Member

    OK I am new at this picture posting stuff. Here is my BLI 2-8-2 Heavy Mike just enterning a 18" curve.

    Attached Files:

  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Since this thread started with a desire for a Santa Fe mike, I looked at the pic of the BLI USRA heavy mike, and compared it with the mikes pictured in my copy of Iron Horses Of The Santa Fe Trail by Worley. Most of the Santa Fe heavy mikes have two large domes and one small one. The front large dome looks like the one on the front of the BLI model, but is located slightly farther forward on the boiler. The second one looks like the first one and is located a bit behind and kind of straddeling the area where the diameter started to reduce from the center of the boiler. #3283 was the last Baldwin built mike in that class and it has a boiler shape and dome set up very similar to the BLI model. I only have a pic of the other side of the locmotive however, so I don't know how it compares to the BLI. Since it is so hard to find Santa Fe prototype steam in plastic, I think I would be tempted to put #3283 on the BLI heavy mike and live with it. The other problem with it is the typical Santa Fe number boards mounted kind of off the top side of the boiler right behind the large dome. They are a distinctive Santa Fe spotting feature and are not available as a separate casting as far as I know.
  18. CRed

    CRed Member

    It may not be easy collecting SantaFe steam,but atleast it's easier then collecting DM&IR.My dream engine is a 2-8-8-4 "Yellowstone" DM&IR #227(it's in the museum here),but if I want it it will have to be brass and cost well over $1000.
  19. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Santa Fe steam isn't hard.. I mean, ATSF is one of the most recognized roadnames on the market, it's hard finding accurate small Santa Fe steam. Everyone's got realistic Northern's and Santa Fe's, it's harder for someone like me finding steam on a smaller scale matching the road of the Chiefs. I mean, even the Spectrum 2-8-0 isn't prototypical to the Santa Fe (in fact, someone told me it was only proto to the Reading), and we know the BLI Lt. Mike isn't. And there are people out there who have a problem with that, and I understand.

    If it's steam, and I like it, and it HAS Santa Fe markings even though it's far from accurate but it's the only thing available, why not?:thumb:
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    There were two different Bachmann consolidations, the first one was a Reading prototype. That engine was offered last about 10 years ago and won't be reoffered because the molds were destroyed in a fire, I think. The Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 is a Baldwin prototype that was actually a model Santa Fe had. I just don't have mine handy to compare it to the Worley book to give you the correct number, but if you find a Bachmann Spectrum Baldwin 2-8-0 already factory decorated for the Santa Fe, it will be the correct number.

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