I thought it might be fun to write out a 'wish list' of those items announced for 2011. However, before I did that, I thought I would write out my 2010 list first since I realized that before some of the 2011 items are released some of these 2010 items are still in production (or I'm procrastinating and/or running out of money!). I like the idea of creating a list as it'll be interesting to look back on this list a year from now to see how much of this I actually got- and what I chose to purchase instead.
At some point in the future, I'll talk about my 2011 release hopes, but for now, here are the '2010' items I'm waiting on or that occupy my wish list!
Flirt RRX Eurobahn from Modellbahn Union (via Lilliput)
Bachmann brand) which typically only produces HO and HOe models, is this really great looking EMU. The version I have on pre-order is the RRX Eurobahn version (shown in the photo above, courtesy Modelbahn Union). Initial reviews of the already released Duetsche Bahn version have been very positive.
X73902 in Alsace Scheme from Arnold
Arnold (now reborn after the requisite bankruptcy maneuverings under the Hornby brand!) had a lot of interesting releases in its catalog last year, although I have to say I wasn't as impressed with the 2011 announcements).
Series E259 Narita Express from Kato
Duwag Tram from Kato
More Kato making this list is a good thing! I like just about any one of these neat little trams. In fact, that may be my problem...choosing. The fact that its Kato - which means good quality at a reasonable price - also helps!
BB 26000 from Piko
BB 66000 from Piko
As I mentioned above, Piko has been busy producing French locomotives! The color scheme on this locomotive is somewhat reminiscent to me of the Great Northern Railway's "Big Sky Blue" scheme, which is another reason I really like it. I don't necessarily find 'hood units' the most interesting, but this is a good looking model of what appears to be a staple of the SNCF diesel fleet (and it will look good next to my CC 72000 can BB 67000 I'm sure!).
I think that about wraps up the 2010 items....at least for locomotives. There's a list of freight wagons and passenger cars that I also have my eyes on, in addition to details and automobiles, but there is only so much time and, importantly, money (!!!) so we can't have it all! In fact, that is not really the point, but it can be fun sometimes to dream!
One other observation....I noted above a couple of items from Piko (their first N scale locomotives in, what? 20 years or more?) and from Lilliput, which are - by any measure - positive signs that new manufacturers are stepping into the market! Add to that some of the potential new releases from A.C.M.E., Mabar, Rocky Rail (Mehano) and Star Train and you would have to be somewhat optimistic for N scale in 2011. Its a good time for N Scale!
The CC 72000 is a cool locomotive. They were produced between 1967 and 1974 by Alsthom. They seem to be still running today, although it seems clear that they are entering the end of their service life (remarkable to me that they are still in service....If I picked a US counterpart...say an Alco Century 636...most of those were retired back in the 1980's! Okay...you could say Alco isn't a fair choice, but this wasn't really a mass-produced locomotive along the lines of the thousands of SD-40's made by EMD in those days. So I think is pretty amazing they're still running at all!). I also note that they produce about 3400 horse-power, which is certainly respectable from a diesel of this era!
Well what is most obviously wrong to me is the size of the headlights...which seems like a typical over-sized element on many N Scale locomotives (although newer production is getting better). Even more 'wrong' - especially to those of use spoiled by today's LED's- is the really archaic method it uses to light the two front lights. An incandescent bulb rests horizontally parallel to the front of the locomotive...which means that you get more light from one of the headlamps than the other. Kind of makes the engine look like it has a 'sleepy eye'.
newly released version in the "En Voyage" scheme is now in my possession!)! It seems strong too...it certainly seems to be able to pull a lot of cars which complements the solid feel this model has!
The black plastic on the layout is to protect track and stuff from overspray.
I completed my 'stormy sky' backdrop last month and today I decided to add in the mountain landscape. This was a nice break from ballasting and wiring!
I go back and forth on how well I've done on this...sometimes it looks a bit too....turquoise? And than sometimes it looks perfect. I'm not sure (sitting here looking at the photos also makes me think the color is not quite what is actually on the wall either). I may airbrush a bit more Tamiya 'cloud gray' over the landscape further in the background to get more of 'misty' look and have it so that the mountain range furthest away is almost impossible to differentiate from the sky. More to come.
On some other fun news....I've been looking to find a Nederlandse Spoorswegen Koploper for a long time. As it would turn out, I was able to find not only one, but another version in the same week! I found two great gentlemen on the Dutch Marketplaats site (forget eBay if your looking for model trains from the Netherlands...clearly all the Dutch use Marketplaats instead...which is hard for us non-Dutch speakers as the process is different than the universal eBay experience!) who were willing to package and ship to the USA! So not only did I get a traditional Koploper in the NS colors (and its the recent version with the NEM 651 interface), I was also able to get an even more rare (at least to me) version in the KLM colors!
I installed the decoders in the two Koplopers today, in addition to finally getting my Graham Farish Class 150 Central Lines DMU working (more on that later) and digitized, which you can see in the below photo to the left. Of course, the two EMU's in the center are the Koplopers.
control panel already!). Ahhh....such are the joys of layout building. I remembered reading about this type of placement after a curve following the 10th derailment (and checking the alignment of the points, etc...), even though it was mainly my Class 03 and Class 44 that were derailing, my Tee and Class 66 also had problems.
Speaking of the passenger terminal...here's a shot of the stub end itself with a few members of the fleet lined up....
The locomotive facility is basically a two track stub...haven't decided if I'll add a 'shed' yet...that can wait. For now its just nice to have a place to park locomotives 'out of the way'! The area behind these two locomotives is plain....lots of scenery still needs to be done of course!
Just a quick update today! Happy Training!
The Alsthom CC 7100 was the worlds high speed record holder for just about 50 years. Yes, this somewhat unassuming (what we would almost call a 'boxcab' in the US lexicon) set and held the world high speed record for a locomotive for 50 years. Yes, its true...I read it on the internet.tren miniatura, in which case you would know that Star Train is the model train division of the Spanish toy company Soldat. At least that's what I can determine...its really something of a mystery. As I peruse the internet trying to track down who this company is, everyone from Roco and Mehano, to Hobbytrain seem to be involved (or rumored to have been involved) in the production of this locomotive. In fact, I was surprised at how big model railroading-even N Scale- is in Spain.
This is an SNCF locomotive of course. The model is really well done, and its the somewhat surprising yet consistently good quality of these smaller producers that amazes me (by 'smaller producers', I'm thinking of Piko's N Scale offerings compared to traditional giants Minitrix, Kato/Lemke and Fleischmann). Colors, detail, printing and all the castings look correct (to me, I've never seen the prototype, but what I see looks convincing),
The paint is actually really well done....it may be hard to pick out in the photos, but between the silver trim work that extends the length of the locomotive, there is a neatly applied strip of blue (like the prototype). Again, really nice work by Star Train on this model. It also features reversing white/red LED lights, although this is one area where I think the model falls a bit short...the LED's are the older 'blue-ish' type and are fairly dim. They are on in the above and below photos, so you can get an idea of just how 'dim' they are.