Who make a good General?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Gil Finn, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    I am looking for a good 4-4-0 american.

    Who makes a good one and at what price range?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    MDC/Roundhouse makes a nice one for a list price of $125.00 without sound or dcc, $225.00 with sound and dcc installed. MDC is now owned by Horizon, so their models will only be available at hobby shops or a hobby shop that sells online like Trainworld. That model is 1880's or earlier. IHC makes a nice one for use in a 1920's era railroad for about $50.00-$75.00 if memory serves.
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    There's the Bachmann American at ~$85, the Spectrum American with DCC at about $240, the IHC late American for $75, and as Russ mentioned, MDC is coming out with one too.

    Rivarrossi used to make a couple, and I thought IHC had made them available as well, but now all they have is their "modern" one. Mantua's General is going to be re-released (I'd guess it'll be in the $100 range), but you can still find them at flea markets.
  4. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Of these engines mentioned, which one would you avoid if any?
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would avoid the Bachmann, the Spectrum might be ok, but the standard Bachmann has never been very good. They use a motor in the tender driving thrugh the locomotive drivers and it isn't the best motor or drive around. I think they also didn't put enough weight in it to make it pull very well.
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I agree with Russ... I don't know if Bachmann's re-worked the 4-4-0, they have a lot of their other locos, but the problem was the motor and the pickup were all in the tender. The motor had so much torque that it'd lift the tender wheels and lose contact. Very jerky operation. Once it got going, it was OK.

    I don't have any experience with the others, although it's a safe bet the Spectrum and Roundhouse are sweet runners. Of course for the money, they ought to be ;)
  7. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    the old mantua general was a good one, I hear. Mantua has been sold to model power, and they are reissuing some of the old mantua steamers. You can try to find an old mantua 4-4-0 at a swap meet or on ebay.

  8. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    A good general today??? It darn sure aint the US Army...they made some really good ones in the past but the last couple of years......sign1

    US Army (ret)
  9. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    Sorry guys couldn't help myself.....

  10. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    It shows.

  11. Bill Stone

    Bill Stone Member

    As noted above, there are several 4-4-0s around now or recently manufactured. Check EBay. I totally agree about the less expensive Bachmann. It doesn't run well, and is poorly detailed and finished. Doesn't even have counterweights on the drivers. The MDC represents a late-1890s or early 1900s loco; its boiler's too big for an earlier engine. I've no experience with it, but someone told me it has too much weight on the pilot truck (hence not enough on the drivers.)

    The Mantua General is the very best of the lot for bashing. I've bashed several. I much prefer those manufactured in the 1970s. Open driver spokes, NMRA flanges, and no traction tire. Hopefully when the Mantua is rereleased, it will be better than the late production had become.

    By the way: The "General" was one specific loco --- Civil War era (The Mantua is modeled after the way the loco looked after a rebuild post Civil War.) The only HO model of it is the Mantua. Other 4-4-0s are called "Americans", not "Generals".

    Bill S
  12. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    I know that, I use the btrem loosley but thanks for pointing it out.

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