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Discussion Starter #1
Mind-blowing detail
Sticker shock included.


Had a chance to preview a sample on LHS test tracks.

The first impression is goosebumps (detail is insane).
The next impression was volume.
It needs to be reduced by about 60%, which is fairly easy. Sound quality though, is excellent.

Kadee 158's.
Spare traction tires.
Its a beast... the demo was pulling 84 cars, and never heated up.

For you smoke lovers, it's pretty good, (I'm not a fan) but my big surprise was very realistic 'whistle steam'!

MTH says it'll acommodate 18" curves, but I have my doubts... my AHM will barely make a 20" without climbing rails. But I think the MTH rear drivers are articulated(?).
MSRP $600.

mth-ho-up-big-boy-4014-excursion-80-3287-1-3qtr-view_1_1_1_1_1_1~2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2
HO Big Boy models are over a foot and a half long.
Picking one up is an exercise in octopedia.
Therefore, I didn't get a look underneath to verify the articulated drivers. They're also sprung, and I'm not a fan of sprung drivers. I have two brass steamers, (Tenshodo & PFM Hudsons) with sprung drivers, and they're very high maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This Tenshodo Hudson was purchased in 1983, for passenger duty on my first layout. It has sprung drivers (which I wasn't aware of when I bought it). Two years ago, a DCC decoder was installed (no sound).
It runs nicely for 20 to 30 minutes, and then has to be lifted off the track to reset a driver axle.
Siderod/mainrod action alone is enough to cram an axle upward, or cock it crooked.
Its better than it used to be... over the years I've burnished mating surfaces, and opened tolerances.
Working things with my fingers won't cause the problem, which keeps me from spotting the exact culprit.
Exasperating... it's a beautiful locomotive.

s-l400 (23).jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well it didn't take long...
Somebody bought the demo. Paid cash.
$600 was apparently no obstacle.
The sales tax alone was more than I ever carry around.
 

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I’m odd when it comes to the tenshodo steam. I think sprung drivers are a nice touch. My blue goose and my example of 3463 from tenshodo are sprung and I never have any issues. My minimum radius is somewhere around 28” though and my smallest turnout is a #6 other than on a wye turnout in an industry that those locos won’t ever see due to clearance issues with the coal chutes and being passenger locos. I’m not a u.p. Fan so I don’t have any big boys. Nice models but I like big Santa Fe myself
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll put up with it, and live with it.
Even knowing about the issue, two modelers have made outrageous offers to me for this locomotive (it's that nice).
It's the most elaborately detailed steamer I own.
Fine scale detail; perfect paint; no solder-runs; smooth runner; strong puller; quiet motor; almost 100% accurate; and has never derailed or climbed tracks.
It just lifts a driver, and goes into the dreaded 'slippies' every half hour or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
[Old SLR photos]...
I run this PFM Frisco Decapod on 'Steamer Nights', for light passenger service.
This one also has sprung drivers, but has never been a problem.

s-l400 (28)~2.jpg

s-l400 (26)~2.jpg
 

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i have the 2011 version & a dummy MTH big boy & im going to but BLI motor & tcs wow sound in it with smoke units
 

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I have bullfrog snot on my blue goose so it can get my 12 car train moving and keep it moving. For some reason it doesn’t pull as well as 3463 which doesn’t require bullfrog snot. Models are almost the same weight both with sprung drivers and same drive line. Only difference is the motor which I wouldn’t imagine is a big deal as far as tractive effort. Both motors are cans with flywheels. Hard telling but I know that it’s intriguing why one pulls better than the other and roughly the same weight
 

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Discussion Starter #12
This Tenshodo Mike has sprung drivers, but they're too rigid to function.
It's the strongest pulling steamer (oz-for-oz) that I own.
[for some reason, it wasn't numbered].

TnsSPMike_003.jpg

TnsSPMike_001.jpg
 

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Timely thread.

I have been reviewing BLI and MTH locomotives for purchase in the T1 Duplex/Y6 Mallet range. I already have Rivarossi Big Boys and Y6 articulated Mallets but am looking to move up.

BLI/MTH - BLI/MTH - Competitors in pricing and quality, but is one superior to the other?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I've seen the BLI Y6. It's very nice, and runs well. I guess both front and rear driver sets are articulated on the model. It may negotiate tighter curves on the layout.
But I've only seen the MTH Duplex in YouTube vids, without narrative. I believe both have metal boilers.
The BLI is highly detailed, with firebox & cab detail, plus engineer & fireman... not sure about the MTH Duplex.
I'm not a smoker-fan, but the video's definitely show the MTH to render a better smoke.
One thing I do know... the BLI Mallet is a literal stump puller... even up a 3% grade.
 

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I am in the middle of a nightmare with my son's big steamers...

had a couple BLI challengers go bad within hours of operation, though I suspect now that this is a command center problem (post in DCC forum)

I thought I had a third electronics failure on a brand new MTH original 4014, but whilst troubleshooting just now it appears the drivetrain is binding, not allowing the loco to move.

Annoying.
 

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I am in the middle of a nightmare with my son's big steamers...

had a couple BLI challengers go bad within hours of operation, though I suspect now that this is a command center problem (post in DCC forum)

I thought I had a third electronics failure on a brand new MTH original 4014, but whilst troubleshooting just now it appears the drivetrain is binding, not allowing the loco to move.

Annoying.
my bli 4014 let me see i have replaced the motherboard/decoder.smoke unit & lightboard
MTH 4014 was bad drawbar
 
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