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About Razor_Antilles

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    Chicagoland, Illinois
  1. Even though it's highly unlikely, I really hope they make the decision to restore this locomotive to operational status. It'd be awesome to have an east coast mallet-style monster to help spread the joy of steam trains.
  2. I'm going to wager around 270,000-330,000 pennies If we go by the current prestige pricing, with the Hudson at 220,000 pennies and the Big Boy at 380,000 pennies, I'm expecting the FEF-3 to fall right around that price point at CharlesRo dot com.
  3. Even if I can't run it on 10-foot, the FEF-3 is going to look spectacular. Can't wait to see it! So, next bit of speculation: who thinks the FEF-3 will be available before the end of this year? Full disclosure: I haven't gone searching for any updated release information.
  4. That's what I'm hoping happens, but I'm not holding my breath. There's also a remote (very remote) possibility that the FEF-3 tender is shorter than the Big Boy tender by enough to make it happen. Maybe. Possibly.
  5. Thank you very much for making and posting this! Huge help! Now we can essentially take it to the bank that if the 4-8-4 tender is the same dimensions as a 4-8-8-4 tender (as they appear to be, but I have not studied either in extraordinary depth), the FEF-3 will be rated for 16-foot diameter track, unless USAT surprises us all and comes out with 12-foot or 13-foot.
  6. I wish I had room for 20' curves... as well as three grand for an FEF-3 when it comes out. Or four grand for a Big Boy. Alas...
  7. For an outdoor layout, you're definitely going to want a hardy track that can stand up to the elements. Brass code 332 is a good all around track, but the major drawback to brass is that it WILL tarnish over time, and it does need to be cleaned periodically, especially if you have rolling stock with blackened metal wheels; eventually enough of that will wear off the sides and bottoms of your wheels to leave a residue that can interrupt a clean flow of power to your locomotives if you're using track power. Brass is magical indoors, but for outdoor... yes, you can definitely use it, but stainless steel or another recommended metal from a veteran outdoor operator would be better.
  8. I was just looking at a youtube video of UP 844, and if they maintain accuracy, only the front two axles out of seven are on a pivoting truck. In my mind, if that design is going to be compatible with anything less than 16-20ft diameter track, the rear two axles will likewise need to be on a pivoting truck. However, looking at the above picture, it appears--appears, mind you--that they have the tender's axle setup as close to the actual locomotive's setup as possible, which means five rigidly-mounted axles. But... those five axles might only add up to the same wheelbase length as the Hudson, or close to it, which would allow for compatibility on less than 16-foot, at least theoretically. On the other hand, the space between the pivoting truck and the rigid axles is less than the space between the leading truck's 2 axles on the Hudson and its six main drive wheels. Anyone with a USAT Big Boy feel like making a video where they roll the tender on 8- and 10-foot diameter track? Ben? Rayman?
  9. I believe I recognize it from the mail-in survey they had back in 2015, also. So... just for fun, a little bit of speculation. Those of you lucky fellows who've been able to run the USAT Big Boy; do you think an FEF-3 tender, which doesn't seem to be all that different from a 4-8-8-4 tender, will manage a diameter of less than 16 feet? A friend and I are dearly hoping that it will be able to manage 10, but we're not holding our breath. The Hudson can manage 8 foot without trouble, but it's much, MUCH happier on 10 foot, at least in my experience. Thoughts?
  10. This will be spectacular to see! Has there been an official announcement somewhere about a release date, specs, track curve requirements, etc? USATrains.com has nothing that I've seen. Based on the tender, I'm expecting it to be 16ft minimum diameter track requirement.
  11. For my part, I wish the Allegheny was in 1:29, not 1:32. There's been a lot of debate over which locomotive was bigger and better, the Big Boy, or the Allegheny. It'd be a lot of fun to 'settle' the debate on G Scale railways with both models being metal and the same scale. (We all know the answer to the debate, though: they're both awesome)
  12. Can't go wrong with buying whatever USA Trains track you need straight from charlesro.com or ebay, as well as buying aristocraft track on ebay as well. I've had excellent results getting new and used track. With Ray's explanation of track needs, it doesn't seem like you'll have any issues at all running whatever 1:32 or 1:29 G scale you want; the only hitches will be whether you run battery, DCC, or track power.
  13. Yeah, that 3-axle element has been something I've been trying to work out a solution to in my head over the last few months. One idea I had was just to let it be a free-rolling electrical pickup axle, maybe, or run an extended drive rod from the middle axle to the trailing axle so all three would be driving.
  14. The USAT GP38 is a WONDERFUL little locomotive; I love my little Norfolk Southern Geep. As far as battery power/radio control, yes, it is possible to do it; one solution is to have a battery in a box car behind the locomotive with the receiver inside the engine or fuel tank itself. Be careful, though: some parts of the doors on the GP38 like to break when you take the body off according to a friend of mine who did some work on one. As far as what parts to use or how to wire it all up, that's something totally beyond me at the moment, since I use track power only. If you keep an eye on the ebay user pikeup45 he occasionally lists GP38s retrofitted for battery/remote control/airwire. No guarantee the next one he lists will be the road name you're looking for, though. Good luck!
  15. I did briefly consider that, but this engine leads and occasionally runs solo; I mix things up quite a bit, so having all my locos able to run is crucial. Would that weight-bearing problem be solved by not modifying the side frames or axle positions and just working with the motor block itself to accommodate the USAT motor? Though, much will depend on whether or not the length of the USAT GP38 motor is equivalent to the Aristocraft Dash 9/SD45. From some rough eyeballing they -appear- to be, but I haven't investigated very heavily into those details, yet.