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 guys,

    The locomotive arrived today. I was extremely excited, open the locomotive up (and notice a few springs laying about the packaging) and place her on the track. A second later, I have it on the workbench to lube it up per instructions, and go to notice the piston rod and part of the running gear on one side of the locomotive is defective, and part of it missing entirely, along with a broken bolt.

    I sent an email to both the dealer (online) and BLI. Hopefully, we can resolve the matter. It really ticks me off paying $200 for a locomotive and having this happen. The parentals are about to shoot me, although they don't quite understand. The locomotive is really a beauty, and I'm happy with my choice, it just really sucks this had to happen. Now I get to waste more time and energy and money to solve this. Greattttt.....:rolleyes:
  2. CRed

    CRed Member

    That's a shame Trainwhiz,hopefully BLI stands by their products!I have a C&NW E7A that my son got a hold of and I don't know how he did it,but he broke off the horns the stack and some of the minor details on top clipped off.I contacted BLI and they sent me the horns for free,although they couldn't send the whole shell because it wa an accident.The guys name was Bob Armitage,seemed like a nice guy and he helped me out as much as he could.Good luck on the problem.

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't have any BLI locomotives, but a number of members of the modular club I belong to do. The experience is that BLI does stand behind their product. There have been some problems with the locomotives on occasion, and some members are very handy at repairing steam models and have just taken them apart and repaired them themselves. One guy bought a S.P. cab forward and decided to use the smoke fliuid in the stack (something the club does not encourage because it oils down the track). The next thing he noticed is the heat from the factory smoke unit had melted the plastic boiler. He contacted BLI, and a month or so later he had sent the defective unit back to BLI and received a new engine. Needless to say, he isn't going to run the smoke unit in the new one. Manufacturers try to package models so that they aren't damaged in shipment, but occasionally things happen. I don't think you'll have a problem with BLI except that you will have to wait a bit before running it.
  4. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    I talked with Mr. Armitage, and I decided to return the product to the train distributor I bought it from in Illinois. I shipped it a few days ago, so I should be hearing from the store any day now.

    When the money is back in my pocket, I'll probably head down to the LHS and order it through him so if any problems arise I don't lose any money in shipping.

    That is unless anyone knows a more viable alternative to procure a small, somewhat more prototypical Santa Fe steamer. After cnw's posts, I've been looking at that Trix Mike more closely, but quite frankly the conversion scares me...:oops:

    I checked Roundhouse and they are producing a ATSF Mogul due in May, but alas it's 20 years before my time frame. Is BLI for sure coming out with a ATSF 2-8-2? Curse these 18" curves! :curse:

    Hahaha. Thanks for your help guys.
  5. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Don't curse the 18" radius curves. Look at them as an opportunity to exploit! At least you are model railroading, with a layout to boot. Now you have an opportunity to get a whole new set of rolling stock :thumb:. The opportunity to have twice the trains!

    Switch to an earlier era and small steam power. Bachmann has both a 4-6-0 and a 4-4-0 in their Spectrum line. The venerable Spectrum 2-8-0 will also work very micely. The P2K and Spectrum 0-6-0s can handle your yard or industrial switching chores very nicely. The Roundhouse 4-4-0 and 2-6-0 even come with sound installed. All the power a '20s or '30s era layout could want. Plus, there are Heislers, Shays, Climaxes, and IHC locos that will right in, too. And plenty of rolling stock, too. Use the Roundhouse 50ft Overland or 34ft Overton passenger cars to keep overhangs reasonable. And of course, in that era, every train needs a caboose!

    Or go big and modern in N scale, keeping the 18" radius curves. You can run just about anything you want on 18" radius curves. Take up the HO track and put N directly in its place. Narrow the distance between parallel tracks, and see how great it looks!

    Or if you are changing track gauge, HOn3 uses 18" radius for just about everything. There are now RTR die cast locomotives available with DCC and sound from Blackstone; MMI is rumored to be doing one as well. MicroTrains makes RTR cars, and there are plenty of car kits. Micro Engineering and Shinohara make flex track and turnouts.

    In HOn30, 18" radius curves are considered huge. In addition to running HOn30, you can of course run N on the same track whenever you feel like it.

    For something totally different, most affordable 3 rail O equipment is quite happy on 18" radius (O36 curves). Lionel Fastrack and Atlas track uses O36 from the get-go.

    And I forgot to mention - all but the biggest On30 runs on HO 18" radius track. There's the ultimate - locos big enough to fit DCC and sound, small enough to run on 18" radius HO gauge curves. Bachmann makes a 2-6-0, an outside frame 2-8-0, a Shay, Climax, rail car, and Porter in On30, all in thier Spectrum line. They have a Forney coming out. And there are other manufacturers as well. Remember, you can run your HO trains on the same track as your On30 when the mood strikes.

    So don't curse the 18" radius curves; curse what they can do to your pocketbook!:thumb:

    yours in rubber gauging
  6. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Wow pg never thought of it like that. However, too much money, time, and space has been invested in this layout, and changing it now is most definately not an option--even the era has been meticulously procured on the layout and its locomotives.

    Honestly, modelling a branch line in HO, I don't mind the 18" curves. They're at least reasonable enough to run the equipment I enjoy, albeit no graceful streamliners of the ATSF. I live with it though, and wouldn't take it back for anything.

    Good ideas though.
  7. CRed

    CRed Member

    Well I hope it all works out for you,I'm sure you'll find something!

    I sold my BLI 2-10-2 to get this....


    I'm not really a Santa Fe guy per'se,but I got a good deal on them and I really like the livery on these.Plus I needed a passenger train,although I am thinking a Great Northern or CB&Q might have been a better choice overall.

  8. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    We each have our dreams of what our model railroads should be, and I would never ask somebody else to change theirs. The suggestions were just to think about if the curves were cramping you too much how you might accomplish your vision in another scale and gauge.

    Myself, I would switch to On3 or On30 and O, or even S and Sn3 in a heartbeat for the railroad side of things. HOn3, until very recently has been the pits for affordable, yet decent running locomotives. But the structures and scenic elements become too big to accomplish what I want in the larger scales with the space I have. I have come very close to doing a 3 rail O/On30 combination a couple of times until I size up the space a small freight station takes.

    If you can tolerate your streamline passenger cars being 3" short (and not necessarily ATSF prototype), the shorties put out by various HO manufacturers will work reasonably well on your curves. F and FA units should be no problem, although the Es and PAs might.

    yours in having fun
  9. Fluesheet

    Fluesheet Member

    There is no reason to do an oil conversion right away. The coal bunker is easily removed (at least on the Trix), so if the oil bunker doesn't work out, you can easily replace it with the coal - no harm, no foul.

    The headlight, bell and number plate are also very low impact changes on a steamer. Depending on how you go about removing the originals and prepare the locomotive for the replacements, you will easily be able to reverse it reversed. Judging by your communication, I've pegged you as someone who is careful and will use good judgment in any modifications you do, so should have no problems with reversing course (should you find a need to do so).
  10. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Man, I'll tell you, I honestly can't make up my mind. Flusheet--it doesn't sound that hard, but I don't think I'd be able to touch a $200 loco and put on a new headlight, etc, etc even with sheer prudence.... :rolleyes: I mean, what cnw did was flabbergasting. Unlike him, my layout is based outside Chicago, where coal was still plentiful for the ATSF so an oil conversion wouldn't be necessary for my purpose.

    Maybe I'll give BLI another shot, the question will be how soon I can get my hands on one. The distributor hasn't called me, but the package should have arrived so I should be hearing from him this week.

    Happy New Year. :wave:
  11. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Nice to see you on the gauge again trainwhiz! :) So, since we're all "Photo Whores"(Quote, CCT70) here on the Gauge, whip out that camera and update your old photo thread! :thumb:

    You'll probably cringe at how long ago that was on your layout and how much it has changed, but I'd really be nice to see! :cool:
  12. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Here's a brass AT&SF 2-6-2 on ebay.

    It isn't that hard to convert a locomotive to DCC. I've converted a rivarossi berk.

    The Santa Fe probably had more 2-6-2s than 4-8-4s, 2-10-2s, & 2-10-4s combined. They're perfected for your railroad! Don't give up hope! Also, a 2-6-2 looks fine pulling 10 cars while it looks odd to have a 2-10-2 pulling 10.

    To clarify on the Bachman 2-8-0s...
    Bachmann Plus's 2-8-0 was based on the Reading 2-8-0s....the same class that was cut up and the boilers were turned into the T-1 class 4-8-4s.
    Bachmann Spectrum's 2-8-0 is based off of an Illinois Central prototype....although the tell tale charecteristics have been altered in order for it to make a nice, generic model (appropriate for many roads). Illinois Central, Southern Pacific, and the Union Pacific were all owned by E.H. Harriman, and hence shared common designs.
    I've owned both of the Bachmann 2-8-0s.

    I hope you have some success in your search...I did quite a bit of "negotiations" with my "landlord" in high school over the "right of way" of my model railroad. Fortunately though, my father was always lobbying for the railroads not only to encourage my brother & I, but also because he built phase I of the railroad.
  13. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Hahaha, Miles you know I'll create an updated layout thread just for you when I have the time. I was planning on doing it with the new loco... so hence the hesitation.

    Nkp--thanks for the advice. I never considered a Prarie because I didn't believe there were any plastic RTR models that I could convert... I'm only 17 and would prefer not to alter a locomotive because I'm not at that stage in the hobby. But yes, I completely agree, a 2-6-2 would be perfect for my purposes!

    It's so hard finding ATSF small steam that's ready to run (other than the 2-8-0) because she was a road known for the glorious big steamers (i.e. 3751) shadowed by the streamliners.
  14. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    OH! I know how to solve the 2-6-2 issue. Roundhouse made a ACTUAL PROTOTYPE Santa Fe 2-6-2! :eek: I know it's hard to believe, but you can see it on SALE here:

    If you come across the RTR version, I suggest you get it right away, as it has an 8-pin decoder plug in the tender for easy conversion! :thumb:

    EDIT: Don't worry, I have owned one of the "new" RTR Roundhouse engines...they come with a smooth-running Japanese "Sagami" Can motor, it's really quiet too. They also pull well, have bright LED lights, and operate best at slow speeds! :cool:
  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The Santa Fe had two mikes that were pretty close to the USRA light mike design. They were #1798 & #1799. The primary spotting difference that I noticed in them is that the air compressor on the left side of the engine is mounted just below the walkway on the USRA mike with a level walkway across the top of it. On the two Santa Fe mikes, the air compressor splits the walkway, and the walkway ends on one side of the compressor, steps up over the top of the copmpressor, and then steps back down on the other side of the compressor. I have an Athearn Genesis that I'm going to label for # 1798. I'll live with the slightly incorrect air compressor location and whatever other minor differences there are.
  16. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    Trainwhiz, I'd nab that kit if I was you (the one Miles has pointed out), or find/wait for a RTR version. It isn't a perfect model, but it certainly is a nice representative of AT&SF's most common motive power. My brother built 2 MDC 0-6-0s around 6th grade, and I built an MDC shay around the same age, so don't let your age make you feel like you can't do it. I've seen the pictures of your work, and you're a fine modeller.
  17. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Miles, thanks for the link. I'll try to track down a RTR or debate the kit version in the near future. But I think right now I'm going to stick with the BLI after what Russ said.

    1798 and 1799 were rebuilt by the ATSF shops, but also the Santa Fe purchased a few Mikados from the PRR. So, indeed, they would be light Mikes as well. I don't mind the compressor location--that's the least of my worries. :D

    Thanks for your help guys. I'll seriously consider that MDC kit once I get this mess all sorted out.
  18. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    It's amazing how things turn out. Friday night I had been searching desperately for the BLI Mike because Walthers was sold out and, after a phone call with BLI, learned that no more would be distributed until another run of the 2-8-2's was done a few years down the road. (They only had some ACL's and Clinchfield's left... )

    So, searching desperately online, I found one guy who had them. And ironically, that guy was going to be at the local train show Saturday right by the live steam track. Things couldn't get better. I picked it up today, test ran it, and boy she's a beaut! :thumb:

    I brought it home, put some Labelle on it, and wow... great runner. I need to get the upgrade chip though and change the speed steps... she's like a horse out the starting gate. Curse my Atlas system for not being able to program such locomotives.

    I put it side by side with my Spectrum 2-8-0.... and ya know what? The Spectrum is really on par IMHO with this locmotive.... the detailing and all. I never realized that.

    I'll get some pics up with my new layout thread tomorrow. Thanks for all the help.
  19. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Great to hear that you're really happy with your new steamer! :)
  20. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Thanks Miles. I got some pics of her now... sorry for the crappy quality but it's midnight here and I haven't gotten around to bargaining for layout display lights yet. :rolleyes:

    The 2-8-2 goes head to head with the 2-8-0. This goes to show that the quality of the locomotives is on par.

    The questions is, will I gain the courage to weather and detail one after I practice on a billion old DC steamers I have?

    Attached Files:

Share This Page