Friday, June 4, 2010

IHC #318 James E. Strates Shows train set...

...gave me a opportunity to own a retro TYCO SD24 "Torpedo Boat", so called because of the noticeable air tanks on the roof...


A common practice in lower end model trains is the passing down of tooling from one company to another, most often through bankruptcy. "The best way to make a small fortune in model trains is to start with a large one." is a time tested adage in the business.

This set is made for the shelf queen collector market. The locomotive is all wheel drive, but only 8 wheel pickup and is impossibly light, depending entirely on the traction tires to pull the load. The cars are classic Rivarossi heavyweights that desperately need added weight, better couplers and good replacement wheelsets. Small details are left to the owner to apply. I give it very good marks for its paint scheme and extreme high praises for its resiliency---because it tracks so poorly, it took a header off of my layout, falling 4 and a half feet to the floor...interestingly, the only time the couplers held between all four cars...go figure. The locomotive popped apart like a school girl at a Jonas Brothers concert, but was easily reassembled. The train shows no signs of the fall, not even a scuff.

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