Also, if the cars would be appropriate for a UP business train or possibly parts of the BNSF business train then I'd be interested as well. The BNSF train is more of a hodgepodge of equipment but it seems these cars are sort of following a path of Kato which means they might have use for the UP train.
IMHO, any "modern" (post-2000-ish) decoder I've ever ran on a (non-pulse) DC layout has run just as good as it does without a decoder. (to the point that twice I had to pull a shell and prove to the layout owner that it had a decoder in it) This includes the standard Atlas N Lenz decoders (now they use NCE I think) and the ones Bachmann used in their N GE 44Ton switchers. (not sure who made those)
Now, those were NOT on pulse throttles, which seemed to have fallen out of favor in my area of the planet for whatever reason. Just your standard MRC DC throttles. Dual mode decoders DO NOT LIKE pulse DC. My old club layout had a pulse system and I could not run my decoder equipped locos there.
I suppose if you exclude "Zinc Pest" then yeah installing a decoder is a piece of cake. :-) But that's sort of like saying Juarez is a fine place to vacation except for all the murderous drug cartels. And even at that, there's the need to build up the contact pads with solder...it's not super easy for sure. And if you've ever had one of them Zinc-plode in your hands it does make for a more stressful install going forward the next time...sort of a cross between cranking a Jack-in-the-box and playing the game "Operation". You never know when that door is gonna fly open, or that big nose lights up and it's game over.
Would AZL consider replacing their light board with a DC/DCC dual mode decoder? Sure would save us a lot of time and trouble.
Not likely. It would increase the base price of all of our locomotives by more than $40.
You must be buying decoders from that Z dealer that charges $25 shipping for everything.
Hey, I'll be happy if you just make locomotive frames that don't crumble when you try to *install* a decoder. Let's get past the 1970's first before we start talking decoder-equipped.
Seriously though, I'm on the fence about the issue. $40 of course is a ludicrous number if that's street price...if it adds $40 to MSRP then you're looking at $30 street and I'm probably closer to being ok with it if the decoders were decent. When I was in N, I would always buy decoder-equipped Atlas locos....the delta at street price was only about $20 and it was worth it to me to be able to run it out of the box even though I knew there was a good chance I would replace it with a better decoder later on.
I have developed the habit of using pliers to hold the track in place when removing joiners. If you decide to work with the Atlas Z-scale track, it is almost imperative that you do this. The molded spikeheads are small and don't have the strength we typically associate with sectional track or larger scales.
Freight Cars: -Maxi-Stack I (5 cars with 2 x 40´ Containers each
WOW, now that is more like it! The Maxi-I's are a really nice announcement for Intermodal era guys.
One request...it seems as if you are going to sell them WITH containers. First, I would ask that you maybe sell them without as well. But if you aren't willing to do that, at least make sure the containers are appropriate for a specific road name. So for example some shipping companies are more commonly seen on UP/CSX/NS/etc versus BNSF and vice-versa. Kato has done a fairly good job of this with their N Maxi-I's so following their lead would be good. If you need assistance with this, let me know. To point:
To Which I would add... BNSF "Circle Logo" w Hyundai 40' Containers MAERSK Faded/Patched w/ Maersk Sealand 40' Containers
If it were me, I would probably replace the MOL and CAI containers in the Kato list with something like China Shipping, MSC, or CMA-CGM which seem more common to me. But of course I admit my sample size and location might be different from others.
Also keep in mind that while there are some differences between the original Maxi-I releases and the later, that probably won't matter a whole lot to most z-scalers so you have the older TTX and Maersk schemes that could use older era 40' containers.
Customer Workshop Freight Car In September we will invite our customers to select AZL Freight Car No. 35. Think this will be a great way to get involved in the development of a project from scratch to completion. The workshop project will be posted to our main web page, not the forum.
1. Most votes will be selected 2. 6 most popular road names / paint schemes will be part of 1st run 3. 6 exclusive road numbers decided by customers for each road name 4. Follow the development on the AZL web page 5. Fixed pre order price only from AZL Direct 6. Exclusive Packaging
This is a cool idea. Can't wait to see what *we* come up with.
Cuz, I used the MTL baggage car instead, since I already own the Amtrak set.
I picked up a Marklin at our local train show last year thinking it would be an easy "change out the trucks" operation like it is in N. Then I learned....no, not even close. This after I'd already started removing the stripes (and inadvertently the paint) to update the scheme to a more modern look. So I've been trying to sell it for pennies on the dollar but no takers...so now I'll see what I can do with it.
So admittedly yes the MTL baggage car is a better choice. And AZL has hinted at making one as well. I figure they'll do the ultra modern post 2014 version though.
The train I am modeling did not have a baggage car during the time period modeled. It previously had something close to the MTL version, and now runs with the 2014+ one which is cool but just a little too new for me.
First release of the BNSF were SD75I's and had 2 paint jobs
1st- red warbonnet road # 8276, 8285, and 8294. these are super hard to find. If you do plan on paying $500+
2nd- Pumpkin H2 road # 8289, and 8292
side note: if you have #8276 PM me it's the only one I'm missing
I guess I got really lucky. Bought #8294 off eBay about a year ago for around $170 shipped.
The Pumpkin SD75I's will be on my list eventually, to use as stand-ins for SD70MAC Iso-cabs, but that would be after these ES44 releases...they are definitely a priority if I end up staying in Z-scale.
To Dave's original post, I'm happy with the detail on all of them. I would use the pilots for strategic "always lead" locos, or for close up photography, but otherwise for running I just want to enjoy them as a model train and if they're not perfect I'll survive.
And while you have the silver paint out, do a FURX silver/green leaser. :-D
But really some Maxi-I's or Twinstack cars would be epic. Both span almost 30 years of prototype use. Also could use Maxi-III, Maxi-IV, Thrall 5-unit articulateds, etc. (and I won't even mention spine cars) Intermodal is somewhat of an untapped market in Z.
Speaking of...I do like the fact that you're doing the five unit sets now for the Husky Stack cars, (as "stand-in Maxi-III's") but please do one in traditional TTX versus the newer logo you've already done.
I was...until AZL inexplicably decided that the most ubiquitous locomotive scheme in existence today (besides UP of course) wasn't really something anyone would really want. So since it will be 4 years before they consider doing it again, I figure I had to hedge my bets and buy ONE of the Swoosh (which in all honesty will likely be my last Z scale locomotive purchase, but never say never right) just to have one GE to run on the TRE/DGNO layout. Pretty well impossible to model BNSF without GE's, and difficult to model without the Heritage-II scheme. I'll fudge and use the H-II SD75 as a stand-in until I move to HO in a few years.