Bachmann On30 Engine Size Issues

Discussion in 'Narrow Gauges' started by KaiserWilhelm, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. KaiserWilhelm

    KaiserWilhelm TrainBoard Member

    So I went to the SAMRA hobby show in northern San Antonio this weekend. When I attended last year, I was modeling HO and didn't pay much attention to the On30 modules, but this time most of the hour or so I spent there (the show is miniscule compared to my favorite one at the Eastern States Exposition) was inside the small room where On30 was housed.

    I have to say, I was stunned by the dissimilarities between the sizes of the different Bachmann engines. I realize that each model was based off of a different prototype owned by different railroads (and which ran on different gauged track?), but it seemed like you could almost group the 2-6-0, 4-6-0, 2-8-0, 2-4-4 and the shay into one group, and the 4-4-0 and 2-6-6-2 into another. The 4-4-0 was puny - and by that I mean that it could almost have passed for a large HO engine- and the same thing goes for the 2-6-6-2, which might have been two inches longer than the 2-8-0, and appeared to be at least an inch shorter in height. The cab heights were the biggest issue for me - while I could accept that the boiler and frame length on the 4-4-0 and 2-6-6-2 might be small by comparison, the cab sizes almost looked like they were a different scale from On30 - and it's not like the 2-8-0's cab isn't already cramped for 0-scale figures.

    It isn't that I don't appreciate the 4-4-0 and the 2-6-6-2 (and perhaps if the price ever goes down on the 4-4-0 [$200 for that little thing? That's more than twice as much as a 2-8-0] I might get one), but this size thing certainly made me do a double take. I'm concerned its exagerated to such a degree that the engines in the two groups actually look wrong next to each other.

    Has anyone else noticed this?
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I have not seen it in person, as yet, but an ad with photo for that engine caught my eye. My opinion is it looks a lot like an HO lokey, with an O scale cab. The boiler just doesn't look correct. :(

    Boxcab E50
  3. DSP&P fan

    DSP&P fan TrainBoard Member

    The IF 4-4-0 is close to (spot on for) the engines used by the 2' gauge Mt. Gretna in Pennsylvania. They pulled amusement park style passenger cars. Definitely an odd prototype, but some 3' gauge 4-4-0s were close in size.

    Bachmann definitely has a few different unofficial product lines:

    Mainline US (2-6-0, 4-6-0, forneys, and 2-8-0), Latin American (OF 4-4-0, 2-8-0, 2-6-6-2), and industrial (shay, climax, porters, davenport), and 2' gauge (IF 4-4-0, Forneys, pulpwood racks).

  4. Jack28

    Jack28 TrainBoard Member

    Yesterday after reading the first post I kinda filed that away, and later looked at how all my different bachmann locos appear next to each other.

    The ones I have, seem to all look like the same scale to me.
    2 Truck shay
    2-4-4 Forneys (2)
    Kitbash Sidewinder, was HO 3 truck shay.
    Of the 4 listed, they all appear to me to look appropriately size related. I have seen some big mainline stuff in the store that was so large I had to ask if it was regular O scale, but no, it is narrow gauge.
  5. swissboy

    swissboy TrainBoard Member

    Getting back to this old thread: I had a chance to view a 2-6-6-2 on a pretty large On3 / On30 layout here in Switzerland. The On30 model was running on a separate track, but such that a comparison with the On3 models was easily possible. I very much loved the Bachmann 2-6-6-2 right away, so much so that I have already ordered one. However, the engine definitely looks smaller than the regular On3 engines. At least when compared to the K models that were running alongside. So I tend to agree with Michael that there must be different unofficial product lines in a way. Not necessarily with different scales, but following different size prototypes. The 2-6-6-2 would seem to fit very nicely onto a Central American logging line. On30 would then be more like On2, and thus HO track width fitting better than when used for On3 originals. I'll let mine run on my regular HO layout. I can live with the wrong size and spacing of the ties for once, I think. Still need to get some appropriate cars in the future. On the layout I mentioned, the engine ran with a string of empty Bachmann pulpwood cars. These already looked a bit oversized to me. 18' flat cars would probably make a better proportioned train. But with that nice engine, I think it is not all that critical, it'll make a fine sight anyway.

    One thing I'm curious about is whether my sound equipped model will be producing sound on my analog layout. While I normally don't care much about sound - in fact it often just makes me nervous - this Tsunami equipped model really made me wish I could run it with sound.
  6. swissboy

    swissboy TrainBoard Member

    Well, I finally started with this engine, there were too many other things to be dealt with first. And sure enough, I do get sound in the analog mode. Very nice!! The only thing to tackle now, the engine is a bit wide over the rails, so it gets caught on some of my HO turnouts. The switching mechanism protrudes a bit too much on the Roco/Atlas turnouts. I already had to grinds down a few housings to get by with the low running HO stack cars. So just a few more to do, I guess.
  7. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I have never heard one of these in operation. Knowing first hand how a real Mallet sounds, I am curious.
  8. bremner

    bremner Staff Staff Member

  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Yes. I knew that Black Hills loco when I was a boy, back then it was on Rayonier in Washington state. As I said, I do know how a real Mallet sounds, as we saw them every summer. I've even been in the cab of an operating Mallet, many times. (Even worked on one in a museum setting!) But I am wondering how this model does sound, by some comparison.
  10. swissboy

    swissboy TrainBoard Member

    BoxcabE50, I uploaded a short video on Youtube that might serve you:

    The different speeds come from variable diameter/lenghth power wires to the tracks. The power pack setting remained constant as I was taking the video.
  11. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Thanks, Robert! It certainly sounds very busy, as the loco rolls along.
  12. swissboy

    swissboy TrainBoard Member

    Yes it does. I have no idea whether this is in the ballpark of what a prototype would have sounded like?
  13. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Administrator Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    From what I remember of the old Rayonier loggers, yes, it is close. The driver sets can be quite similar, or if one slips, much out of sync with the other.
  14. swissboy

    swissboy TrainBoard Member

    I finally took a picture to illustrate the On30 size differences within the Bachmann products. Here is my 2-6-6-2 with the caboose/combine that looks rather oversize to me. I resort to having the caboose a bit further from the engine. But the remaining cars that I have clearly look more the same scale, so the caboose is definitely the odd one in my lash-up.

    Attached Files:

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