Nice 4-4-0 American?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by shutlorbit, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. shutlorbit

    shutlorbit New Member

    Hi...this is my first post. Very new to the hobby, too.

    Can anyone recommend the best choice for a HO 4-4-0 American "Jupiter" engine/tender set?

    I see Bachmann and IHC have versions out there. I don't know the comparative quality of these or other vendors.

    My budget is <$100. However, I'd love to know about more expensive choices, too...for the fun of it.

    Thank you for your help!

  2. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    IHC is all right - i have a number of their locos and while not over detailed they run alright. Their loco used to be sold by Rivarrosi in less gairish colours for 3 times the price! The motor is in the tender and connected to the loco by a drive shaft between them but it doesn't look too bad.

    The bachmann one has been around for ages and as such probably is less advanced.

    I don't know of any other makers of old style 4-4-0s other than expensive brass ones so I'd go for the IHC one.

  3. camelot

    camelot Member

    I have had both the Bachman and the IHC , the Bachman was a real pain to run it only had pick up from the tender and was noisey and stalled easily , especially at points .I got rid of it as soon as i could.

    The IHC was is better in comparison , it has better pickup and is quieter , it is nowhere near lifelike or spectrum quality but it is probalbly the best in the 4-4-0 range.I would recomend testing the loco before buying if possible as i heard that some arn't so great.
    I also added a much weight in the tender i could to make it run better.

    One final note was my bachman 4-4-0 was old and the newer version may be better , but i would still recomend IHC.


  4. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    The IHC locos run reasonably well, and are pretty good looking engines --- except for the tiny truck wheels and the pilot that's too far off the rails. They have a number of differently detailed versions (mostly variations in stacks, pilots, and paint) and that's handy.

    The Bachmann HO 4-4-0 is, in my opinion, not worth having. It is poorly detailed (doesn't even have driver counterweights) and runs poorly too. Bachmann's good reputation for locos they have put on the market in the last few years does not apply to this old, junk product.

    Although styled for an earlier era, the Mantua "General" 4-4-0 is a good running little loco, and can be bashed to represent later eras. It is presently out of production, but Life Like says they will have it back on the market relatively soon. You can find them on E Bay, but I wouldn't pay over $40 for one used.

    Bill S
  5. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Rick. I love the older AHM/Rivarossi ones over the newer IHC ones. Bill's right, about $40 will do you. I prefer the older ones from the lates 60s because they used real turned brass fittings on them.

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  6. philip

    philip Guest

    Check E-bay for Pocher. They were the original makers. I have three and they all run great. Riva's are great too.

    mantua in the american configuration is a better runner yet.

  7. 4-4-0 Americans

    I have several of IHC versions and while I am pleased with the look, all of mine have poor pick-up of current. That said, if you are new at the hobby, I would stay away from them, because nothing is more frustrating then to have your first locomotives not run properly from the start. After painstakenly looking very close at the 4-4-0 Americans, as they go over the frog of the turnout, I can see that some how, not sure why, the tender's pick-up wheels are lifted off of the rails when it crosses over the turnout's insulated frog. Either the wheel flanges are too big and lift the wheels off the track with current or the frog is too high, but up they go and stop goes the engine, :curse: unless it is flying by at unrealistic top speed......but I am just using Atlas turnouts so that may have something to do with it too....a larger locomotive wheel arangment 2-8-0 or 0-6-0 works fine thru the same track. But I sure do like the look of the little americans...... :rolleyes:

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