The Roster

Sunday, June 22, 2014

American Flyer's new cylindrical hoppers...a rant

I spent the weekend at the Carillon Railfest in Dayton, Ohio this weekend. Overall, the Railfest was a fun time, but for one really annoying thing. What, you may ask was that?

I'd acquired several of American Flyer's 'new' cylindrical hopper cars. The ones with "Canada" and "Alberta" emblazoned on the sides. Beautiful cars. Nice details, well painted with good high rail couplers...

...and scale wheelsets.

I attempted to run these cars on the clubs modular layout today. Now the track work on a modular layout can be challenging, but the code .148 track is supposedly capable off handling scale wheels. But no. I could not get those cars to make one circuit of the layout without derailing. It's very frustrating to spend nearly $70 on a car and not be able to operate it.

 Why in the world would you ship scale wheels with Flyer style couplers? I mean, hi-railers occasionally run high-rail wheels with kadee 802's that look more scale, but who exactly is the market segment that runs scale wheels and flyer couplers?

Lionel acknowledges they've gone down the wrong path. At the recent York show (Spring 2014) they indicated that future cylindrical hoppers would ship with high-rail wheels and that high-rail wheels would be available foir $25.00 a set. So those $70 cars are going to be more like $95 by the time I get functional wheels on them. I am not a happy camper regarding Lionel/American Flyer right now.

It's a shame, as the cars look great. But a car you can't run is not much of a car from a customer standpoint.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Progress on the Spruce Hill environments

I managed to get a little time in on landscaping and got the ground cover on some more of the Spruce Hill area. Here's a few pictures to show the progress.

Add a coat of gloss to the river to 'water' it up  as well as flocked some more ground.

This should off the river with the large rock. The banks need to have trees and shrubs added.

Looking to the left, you can see how the ranch houses back right up to the tracks.

Another shot. The fencing is temporary. Trying to get a feel if I like it there.