Micro-Trains All New Z F7 Locomotive! Let's Discuss This

rray Jan 12, 2012

  1. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I got my copy of the Nov/Dec Ztrack yesterday, and after admiring Bill's Truckee River layout cover shot, I flip the page to see an MTL add, "All New Z F7 Locomotive!"

    The add goes on to say the newly tooled shell will match the detail of the F7B shell. Sadly, the mechanism will be the same old one though.

    What am I hoping for? Well I'm hoping it's tooled for separately applied Nathan single chime horns, winterization hatches, steam generators, window and side port glazing, and body mounted front coupler support, and that it's the dual nose light version.

    I really wish they could update the mechanism to something like the GP9/35 uses, even if they had to shim that mechanism to fit the shell, as it is such a smooth show runner.

    Paint Schemes and marketing desired? How about some special ABA sets like the NP 2 tone Lowey Green passenger scheme, the Santa Fe Super Chief, Great Northern Empire Builder, WP California Zephyr, or the Katy Texas Special? :D
     
  2. Fred Ladd

    Fred Ladd TrainBoard Member

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    Yup! Robert said it all!
    Fred
     
  3. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    with a bit of machining the existing GP chassis can be retooled to fit the F7 very nicely with loss of one fly wheel only. Yes pilot mounted coupler. Winterization hatches and ice breakers are things we can add. Yes added air horns not cast on ones. I think we should both dual and single headlight versions. Maybe a plug to fill in the second headlight so they can decorate for either version. It is a shame the mechanism is not being changed as the current power unit won't fit into the B shell with out modification.

    and we still have not seen the E8. If they changed the shell form an F7 to an FP9 or FP7 the existing GP chassis can be used for power with out changing it. illuminated number boards on the nose, would be nice too.
     
  4. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yes, I like the FP7 too, 4' longer for larger steam generator at the back. Also like having illuminated number boards.
     
  5. BurlingtonRoute

    BurlingtonRoute TrainBoard Member

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    Is this a real new F-7 or just an interpretation of the news that they re released the old one? bit of wishful thinking kind of thing?
    I wish I could get the GPs without the dynamic brake blister. No easy fix for that I know.

    Nothing wrong with any company that comes out with new and improved stuff.(as long as it isn´t Coca-Cola)
     
  6. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    According the the add in Ztrack, this is a new shell to match the quality of the F7B shell. The old F7A mold produced much less crisp definition than their newer F7B shell, and had well... rather ugly molded on bumps representing horns.

    Now I was thinking that I might be able to extend the new shell to make an FP7, using an F7B shell if they match. I had looked at doing this several years ago but close examination for the A and B shells showed they were not a good match then.
     
  7. Chris333

    Chris333 TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here is an old photo I took of a "A" and "B" unit together. B on the right:
    [​IMG]

    I guess my only hope is that the front door on the nose is a separate piece and that they make doors with and without headlights
     
  8. minzemaennchen

    minzemaennchen TrainBoard Member

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    The B-unit was always looking like it's from a different manufacturer. Son that's good. Doing the upgrade should include a DCC ready chassis and a motorized B-unit. Snow plows would be good too. BTW: it's not really much work to do for current A-unit chassis to fit under a B-shell.

    Question to Joe? Is it in upgrade of the "current" tool or a brand new one? For the work to be done to make the F7 shell up to date a new tool would cost not much more and should return better results. Plus some additional bits (horns, winterization hatch, etc.) could be added.

    And.....what about F3?
     
  9. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    I remember Hans talking about an AZL F3 in the works, so the future looks bright for F units! :D
     
  10. JoeS

    JoeS TrainBoard Member

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    I agree with what Robert said on the improvements. However, how about the lighting itself? Wouldn't it be nice to have a sold glow like on the GP's?
     
  11. Joe D'Amato

    Joe D'Amato TrainBoard Member

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    The f7 a shell will be all new tooling and will have clear window inserts and duel headlights. The horn will be seperate and sorry Chris, the door will be molded in. The chassis is the same as before but we are reworking the internals to get better gear mesh and fix the wobbling we had before. We will also be installing the powered chassis in the B unit and will be modifying it to accept the new guts. I would love to have the kind of chassis we have for our GP's but the cost to do so is very high and would require new tooling that would make a realistic ROI difficult. We need an entry level (price wise) loco for our sets and general releases and this is the best option. Other engines are in development beyond the E8, but we are two years behind easy due to the problem in China. If we were still at SDK, I think our loco fleet would have a number of new additions in it. but those were the cards delt. The other nice thing about this project is that it is manufactured and assembled here in Oregon...only the motors come from an outside vendor and we have tons of those in stock already. My fantasy situation is to bring all that tooling back from china and do the gps and sd's here, but new chinese law prohibits us from getting our property back. We own it, but can't have it. Ya dance with the devil...

    Joe
    MTl
     
  12. minzemaennchen

    minzemaennchen TrainBoard Member

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    These are great news Joe, new tooling!
     
  13. BurlingtonRoute

    BurlingtonRoute TrainBoard Member

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    Joe, this is wonderful news!! If my luck holds out, these will eventually pop up in the Q colors. Now for a tough question. Since the mechanisms are getting reworked, and I am making assumptions that there will be some new milling done, would it be possible to make the F7s, more DCC friendly? A space made where a chip can go? Not talking plug and play.Just the parts cut or molded so it could be DCC´d easier.Thanks again for listening to the F7 fans and making improvements!
     
  14. rray

    rray Staff Member

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    Yes, yes, a molded in slot for a decoder, molded slot for headlight LED, and molded cavity to represent the cab. It would be cool to place a We-Honest torso engineer inside! :D
     
  15. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Joe Sounds good for entry level and like the idea of powered B units and no wobble . Would have been nice to have door with and without head light on the nose of the A unit though. The stuff in development is it overseas or on shore this time.

    cheers Garth
     
  16. markm

    markm TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have to agree with others that FP7 would be desirable, particularly in the California Zephyr colors. I'd also like to see WP F7s in the Perlman Green paint, which as I recall was far more common on the road than the Zephyr colors. Also would be nice if the F units were more DCC-able.

    Mark
     
  17. harold grady

    harold grady TrainBoard Member

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    MTL Lovefest

    Great news Joe, I'm very ecstatic about these deveopements. Joe you are.da man
    and the rock star combined.

    One thing that I would hope for somehow is that you retool the trucks on the f-7
    and make those brake cylinders much larger as they should be.
     
  18. alert

    alert TrainBoard Member

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    Joe

    Sorry the Chinese have legally stolen your property. Dance with the Devil indeed. Improvements to the A unit and a powered B unit is welcome news.

    Terl
     
  19. Zerstoererx

    Zerstoererx TrainBoard Member

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    Joe, that is indeed welcome news! Good to hear the Fs will be made in the States, such a decision merits much encouragement. The glazing, horns, and crisper details will go a long way too - as will the efforts to smooth out the mech. Would love to see these in CGW simplified - one red, one maroon - would make for nice monthly release, hint, hint.

    How is the E8 coming along? Geep hauled passenger trains get a little stale after a while.
     

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