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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
But I am not sure where to start. I have been hankering to do this since a trip to Canada a couple of years back, but where as most UK modellers plump for the excellent products from Hornby and Bachmann, whose products would you look at if you was going modern image North American?

I would really appriciate your views on this however I have not made my mind up yet on HO or N and I would be looking for quality over price, any feedback would be most welcome.

Thanks, Sid.
 

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Athearn Genesis, Atlas, Life-Like Proto 2000 and Kato come to mind.
 

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Precision Craft and BLI are pretty good as is Athern and Atlas. If quality is what you're after PCM are rated quite high and I reckon they are pretty good too. BLI are good too but their sound decoders aren't quite as good as the PCM ones.
 

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QUOTE (Sidney Sidings @ 1 Jun 2007, 23:36) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I would really appriciate your views on this however I have not made my mind up yet on HO or N and I would be looking for quality over price, any feedback would be most welcome.
Hello Sid,

I understand that Kato N scale models of US and Canadian outline are thought highly of, they seem to have very good power and running characteristics. I would recommend N scale over H0, because unless you have an American sized 'train room' then it will be harder to capture that idea of scale and, 'gosh this is a big place' feel you get from a multiple-header train disappearing endlessly off into the distance, without N.

I would highly recommend this website/construction blog, the modeller is highly accomplished (his previous Austrian N layout was top drawer stuff: http://kopfbergbahn.calogero.org/index.php), it's of the Southern Pacific Coast Line:

http://sp-coastline.blogspot.com/

Well worth reading some of his earlier posts. I hope this is useful in helping you to decide...

Goedel
 

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Atlas locos are very well detailed and EXCELLENT runners. Kato is probably more highly regarded but there's less range to choose from. The latest offerings from Walthers, who took over Lifelike rate well too. Earlier ones had some gear problems, but Walthers will replace the parts.
Atlas gets my vote for all-round durability, detail, smooth running and value for money.

Mike
 

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I would go Atlas, Silver Series HO. Very fine detailing, silent running and a huge range to choose from.

Here is my brute Atlas SD-24.Very happy with its performance.



Baykal
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for your replies, Atlas does seem to come up more than most.. is it not strange that no-one has mentioned Bachmann? Also am I alone in not knowing that Kato did US outline? I rate their products very highly.

It would be standard gauge layout, however the suggestion of N may appeal more.

Sid.
 

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QUOTE (Sidney Sidings @ 2 Jun 2007, 15:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thank you for your replies, Atlas does seem to come up more than most.. is it not strange that no-one has mentioned Bachmann? Also am I alone in not knowing that Kato did US outline? I rate their products very highly.

It would be standard gauge layout, however the suggestion of N may appeal more.

Sid.

I'm not a fan of the bachmann diesels, Atlas and Athearn are much better, the Bachmann steam is pretty good though. MG sharp, Macs models and modeljunction have a good range, Terry at LSWR has good prices, can seem a bit brusk but he enjoys being grumpy and is very reliable.
Buy continental modeller for adverts,
http://www.mgsharp.com/index.htm
http://www.macsmodels.co.uk/
http://www.modeljunction.info/estore/
For guidance on what goes with what
http://www.spv.co.uk/railroading.shtml -lots of dvd's and excellent service.
Model Railroader magazine too.
 

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QUOTE Terry at LSWR has good prices, can seem a bit brusk but he enjoys being grumpy and is very reliable.

you'd be brusque if you had to deal with typically picky modellers....

the N scale/ HO scale thing is exactly the same argument as for British prototypes, or those from the continong.

as with ALL other prototypes, the scale is about 'horses for courses'...US prototypes aren't all massive main line systems......short lines (used to) abound, and can be quite modellable on a bit of conti shelving....in ANY scale.

I suggets a look/lurk on a specialised forum such as

http://www.zealot.com/index.php?page=the-gauge.com

from there, go to any number of specific prototype forums.....whether main line/big road stuff, shortline, logging, traction, steam diesel whatever.

The MAIN advantage of modelling US prototype operations is the WAY stock was acquired by the railroads.

Unlike with yUK railways, where locomotives, for example, were mostly designed 'in house'...(Gresley, Churchward, Bulleid, etc)..even if built by 'commercial' constructors......the US railroads actually 'went shopping' to major manufacturers..or got a sales pitch from them....thus, EMD ( a General Motors company) would design a diesel of a particular output, with particular tasking in mind.....then they'd go out to the individual railroads, demosnstrate and flog their products.

details differ, of course......as do liveries.....BUT..at the end of the day, for example, an EMD SD42 working the Southern Pacific would be much the same to look at as one working say, Burlington Northern....details apart.

Very very few locos were unique efforts, particular to a road.....and they also got sold on, so the SP loco might well end up working for another road.
In that respect, teh US has had a prototype train market much as the UK has now...but 60 years ago or more.

Another aspect...for economic commercial reasons, US operators dieselised way back before WW2 in a big way.

Thus...many diesel models available today (Athearn SW7, anyone?) (Pardon me if I'm behind the times...not familiar for some years)...can actually be time-scaled back to around WW2.....so if period modelling is one's barra, then one need not be at a disadvantage over smooth running locos......in fact, many models that look 'modern' may well in fact be museum pieces as prototypes!
Handy that?

Steam locos likewise......most built by roughly two major makers, Baldwin and American Loco..or Alco.....they used a catalogue system...flogging as needs be?

PLUS....due to government/commercial interference, there were a series of ''standard'' steam loco designs put out..(USRA?) and these were sold to individual roads as standard products....from )^) switchers(shunters) to massive mikes, consols, pacifics, etc.....again, standardisation makes it easy for the modeller.

as far as stock is concerned...I avoided passenger stuff...(Budd ruled?)....I used to think eras could be clearly defined by the presence of safety equipment...and type of materials used in construction.

wood, replaced by steel..ie up to end of WW2
removal of full height end ladders, and lower siting of brake wheels...around 1970??

end of caboose..19??

so, a 1980's setting would see mostly 50 foot freight cars, without roofwalks or end ladders, and lower brake wheels.
1960's woud see mostly 40 foot freight cars, but with ladders and brake wheels up top...

the BIGBIGBIG advantage with modelling US prototypes..especially in HO..is the NMRA wheel standards...and KADEE or equivalent couplers.....which look pretty much like the real thing..unlike UK's hook and bar stuff...imaging having an automatic 3 link coupler system for UK stock??
(N gauge also has the above, to be fair)
 

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QUOTE the BIGBIGBIG advantage with modelling US prototypes..especially in HO..is the NMRA wheel standards...

Interestingly I see this as the big disadvantage with US modelling, while visually they are more accurate, they are more prone to derailments than UK or Continental stock due to the shallow wheel flanges. This isn't too bad with diesels and freight cars but with articlulated steam and passenger coaches it's a big issue. It can be minimised by having track curves over a metre radius but anything less is a no goer.
 

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Yes, those shallow flanges really test your trackwork!! and the modern 80ft boxcars apparently don't look the best on tight curves { I don't have any 80 footers} Modelling 1960s to 1980 ish e.g. would see you with 40 and 50 ft cars with a very interesting range of diesel colours to select from. Without being fanatical about the era, I've chosen to model New England in the 80s, when Guilford Rail took over Boston & Maine, Maine Central and Delaware & Hudson, giving me four different liveries to combine for starters! Budget permitting....
And yes, the couplers are great.

Mike
p.s. As far as detail is concerned, the Bachmann diesels are quite a way behind the other brands mentioned
 

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QUOTE (Sidney Sidings @ 2 Jun 2007, 15:23) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Atlas does seem to come up more than most.. is it not strange that no-one has mentioned Bachmann? Also am I alone in not knowing that Kato did US outline? I rate their products very highly.

Atlas make some of the best models, as do Kato. Atlas have a very regular release schedule (new stuff each month) whereas Kato is much more sporadic. Bachman will rarely get mentioned as they just aren't up to the standard of Kato or Atlas (or Athearn etc.) - having compared a US Bachman loco against an Atlas one, there's no comparison.
 
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