Union Pacific GTEL 8500 "Big Blow" N Scale

spiffy trains Jan 26, 2017

  1. spiffy trains

    spiffy trains TrainBoard Member

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    Just got the new big blow n scale from scale trains. I got the dc #14. I have been running it and found a couple of items i was wondering if any one else had. 1) the coupler on the fuel tank is a little high. so i could only pull 40 cars with out auto uncoupling. 2) gear sounds whine and a little grinding. (hopping brake in sounds)

    Iam loving the locos. the detail is very nice for n scale plastic or brass. Thanks for any thought and or input . P1250108.JPG
     
  2. RedRiverRR4433

    RedRiverRR4433 TrainBoard Member

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    Looking great Spiffy. I spoke to Michelle at Scale Trains yesterday and she told me my UP "Big Blow" G-Tel #14 with DCC and ESU Lok-Sound will be arriving hopefully on Saturday.

    BTW, you could probably re-position the height of that coupler to prevent auto-uncoupling. You also probably have to break-in the "Big Blow" for several hours to get optimum performance.

    Staying cool and having fun with it........:cool::cool:

    Shades
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  3. spiffy trains

    spiffy trains TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks, I did put a spacer in to lower the coupler working better. I have only owned Kato locos so I just dont hear that much noise. Does any one know who made the drive train?
     
  4. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    The UPS tracker says mine should get here by Tuesday. I'll get to do a quick test, but then have to let them be wrapped for my birthday present.
     
  5. spiffy trains

    spiffy trains TrainBoard Member

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    Rick, sounds like very happy B day.
     
  6. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    And, my wife didn't even know she was getting them for me, so we both can be surprised!
     
    BurghThing, luigi-55 and mtntrainman like this.
  7. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    HAHAHAHAhahaha Rick...good one (y)(y):ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
  8. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Hmmm... its a pricey gift too... I'm sure your wife will be doubley 'surprised' when you tell her what a bargain it was.
    Perhaps a visit to jewelry store for a quid-pro-quo gift exchange might be a good idea. Works for me... most if tbe time .

    BTW... HAPPY BIRTHDAY... and hopefully many more to come

    Sent from my SM-G530T using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
  9. Jim Wiggin

    Jim Wiggin Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Scale Trains designed the drive train, ground up but it looks similar to most drive trains common with N scale mechanisms such as Kato, Atlas etc. With time, the loud gearing will quiet down as the material breaks into each other. Verify the stock locomotive to a Micro Trains coupler height gauge to see if it is the loco or your cars. It is the first thing I do with a new locomotive so I know I will have consistent height on all my equipment. Have fun, that sure is a beautiful locomotive.
     
  10. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    She got the fancy Pfaff quilting/sewing machine.
     
  11. spiffy trains

    spiffy trains TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks jim of the info on the drive train. I dont have a mtl coupler height gauge but it is high to all of my other mtl cars. I think a off set mtl coupler will make it work. scale train did make sweet loco I am very happy.
     
  12. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    If this is typical, it's not a particularly auspicious debut for Scale Trains.
    For the $350+ price, the loco should run perfectly right out of the box, with no adjustments required.
     
  13. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    IT IS a beautiful looking model... but... perhaps the cost is a bit prohibitive at this time of the year when some of us may be receiving the charge bills from the holiday purchases. The other possibility is the 'wait and see' if these models actually perform as desired and justify the expense. Certainly any bad reports on performance or fidelity to prototype... etc... may cause the sales to be a bit slow. So far the information I've read does not seem to completely make this product perfect... nor... does it seem to have such terrible flaws to drive potential buyers away. For me... the timing of the release is not good... and while I'd like to have at least one of these models... it is not a priority purchase for the cost involved.
     
    mtntrainman likes this.
  14. jdcolombo

    jdcolombo TrainBoard Member

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    Regarding the price:

    Remember that you're getting two operating locomotives (the A and B) and the tender as a package. With the sound version, both the A&B have sound decoders in them. Two Intermountain SD40-2's with sound would run you $380 street and that doesn't account for the tender. Given the level of detail, and the fact that the A&B units have to be tuned correctly to work as a consist, the $500 price for the sound version doesn't seem out of line to me. $350 for the non-sound version does seem a LITTLE high (two well-performing diesels can be had for $150), but again, the level of detail is pretty amazing. I think the sound version is a better buy, but neither version's price seems to me to be out-of-line with what you get.

    John C.
     
  15. WFOJeff

    WFOJeff TrainBoard Member

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    I can't wait to get the funds, Property Taxes and Income filing Taxes are Brutal beginning of year for us.

    I can't get away with the "Wife gets an offset gift" since the above are in the way for both of us...and I snuck in the Intermountain SD40-2 sound 3 weeks ago :sneaky:

    Seems I many not be able to afford till June or so...Can't wait they are Beautiful!!
     
  16. Eugen Haenseler

    Eugen Haenseler TrainBoard Member

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    Mine should be on his way to Europe.

    I am looking forward to test it on my Layout.
     
  17. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I didn't feel the pricing was necessarily out of line for sound equiped units... in fact they are priced similar to the Athearn Challengers and Big Boys expected in a few months. But... the prices are somewhat hard to justify for several individuals with fixed incomes and skyrocketing 'unfixed' expenses. Right now the 'priority buy' for me are those Athearn Challengers... i have a greater affinity to them than the GTEL.

    Sent from my SM-G530T using Tapatalk
     
  18. jdcolombo

    jdcolombo TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, can't argue with the preference of the BigBoy or Challenger. I also have a weak spot for big steam!

    John C.
     
  19. Traindork

    Traindork TrainBoard Member

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    I think pricing is appropriate for what you're getting. My other hobby is astronomy, and quite honestly a top of the line telescope with all the bells and whistles can run upwards of $20,000. Or, you can go the cheap route, and go out in your backyard at night and look up. Model railroading is the same way, go stand trackside and watch for free, or pay thousands of dollars for your dream roster.
     
  20. RedRiverRR4433

    RedRiverRR4433 TrainBoard Member

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    I received my UP GTEL 8500 "Big Blow'" #14 DCC ESU Lok-Sound Turbines this morning. The detail on these locomotives is outstanding. I placed each unit on the mainline of the layout and had difficult coupling the second unit to the tender. On very close inspection, the spring in the front McHenry type coupler of the tender was missing. I then very closely examined the rest of the couplers on the three units. I also noticed the spring on the front coupler of the second locomotive unit was just hanging in limbo and the second locomotive wouldn't couple to the main unit.

    On close examination of this coupler under magnification, these couplers appear to be extremely fragile. What I decided to do was an easy fix for me. Since these units will never be uncoupled. I decided to place a a small dab of CA cement to lock the front tender coupler knuckle in the closed position. Also did the same thing with the front coupler of the second locomotive. When the CA cement set up, I ran the three units together on the layout in forward and reverse for about 30 minutes with no further problems using DCC address # 3. Later on I will find the time to reprogram all the CV's as per directions. You must program each unit on the programming track separately. They cannot be programmed on the mainline.

    I also plan to use some CA cement on the rear coupler of the tender because these couplers look so fragile and my main concern is the GTEL's ability to pull consist of over 40+ cars without uncoupling. I usually run trains of over 55 cars with IM F-7's with no trouble.

    I've been using MT Z scale couplers on many of my locomotives and cars since 2003 or 2004 and I'm going to look into the possibility of using MT Z scale #905's on the GTEL units. I completely trust the MT Z scale #905's with long consists of cars as I've been using them on my locomotives and rolling stock for over 13 years.

    It seems to me that these factory installed McHenry type couplers on the GTEL units are a very weak link of these units and they don't look particularly trustworthy trying to pull long strings of cars over 40+ units especially on any grades. Something so simple to design and yet so complicated. I have a 1 1/2% 40 foot grade on my layout.

    Staying cool and having fun with it.........:cool::cool:

    Shades
     
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