RTR steam

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Wed Apr 17 16:42:22 EDT 2019

Re: Roger’s statement about plastic RTR companies making single-road engines  >> the selection of SOME models is a mystery to me.  I understand why Bachmann and BLI made the J … for many years, 611 was the premier excursion engine in the east.  For just 5 years, 1218 held that position (IMO).  The Y-6 completed the trilogy for N&W modelers and BLI’s version is a HUGE improvement over old AHM from the 70s.  However, when it comes to lesser engines, like a 4-8-0, well, I just don’t see it.  I think Espee had some Mastodons but doubtful they looked like “ours”.  Strasburg is the only place to see an operable M-class and I doubt there would be enough modelers to warrant the investment on such a unique engine.


I’ve been a kit manufacturer since 1994 in HO, S and O, including producing 5 diesels in S scale.  Even on my end of the spectrum, the amount of R&D and CAD time required to bring a common diesel (i.e. a 44-ton GE in 2 phases) to fruition was extensive.  Field visits to photo and measure to start.  I was very careful when I picked prototypes to replicate in S.  I had many naysayers telling me that the 44-tonner had been done in brass and as a resin kit (pirated enlarged Bachmann shell, to boot!) but I ignored them.  It was a great seller and I still send out a couple now and then.  The biggest headache was the mechanism which is magnified when it comes to designing steam, regardless of scale.


The last 8-10 years in HO have shown that engines most of us thought would never be made have become a reality.  A UP Turbine in HO?  Really?  Big Boy?  NYC Hudson?  I understand the myriad PRR engines from Broadway but some of the other choices by them and similar companies baffles me.  I’m just glad they made ‘em and really don’t care “why”.


Jim King

 <http://www.smokymountainmodelworks.com/> www.smokymountainmodelworks.com

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