Rayman4449

MTH Triplex - Erie (Russian Iron)(aka 'Blue') (One Gauge) - photos

28 posts in this topic

I picked up a couple of these MTH Russian Iron (aka 'Blue') boilered Triplexes (One Gauge) with a recent purchase and wanted to share some photos on what the production model actually looked like.  I haven't seen many good quality pics that I felt accurately depicted the actual tone of blue/grey the production model had.  Most people (including myself originally) preferred the black boiler version but having seen the blue in person I have to say it does look good.

 

For more info see the following pages:

 

Additional Photos and Product information page:  http://www.rayman4449.com/MTH_Triplex.htm

Repairs/Modifications page: http://www.rayman4449.com/MTH_Triplex_mods.htm

 

These pages are accessible directly off my homepage at:  www.rayman4449.com

 

(Click the photo to enlarge)

 

post-16-0-16718700-1393887718_thumb.jpg

 
post-16-0-06061600-1393887737_thumb.jpg
 

post-16-0-88428500-1393888109_thumb.jpg

 

post-16-0-57809600-1393887724_thumb.jpg

 

post-16-0-93229800-1393887727_thumb.jpg

 

post-16-0-23376800-1393887731_thumb.jpg

 

post-16-0-33983900-1393887735_thumb.jpg

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Sure Ray. Now you're just teasing me. They do look good. I'm trying to amass a good diesel fleet!!!

(they sure would look great pulling a long string of those Russian blue Erie hoppers!)

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Hehehe. Well we still want pics as you get more :) I took new pics of both K4s for you and will get them processed and posted tomorrow. These should look a lot better than the originals i posted.

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It is because of the Triplex that I started acquiring MTH engines, it was the first one I purchased. It even looked good pulling 1/29 Aristo 100 ton hopper cars. Now I have VO1000, PA's, Hudson, Northern, Big Boy, and two GG1's. I modified the 4-8-4 GS-2 to run on battery or track power thru DCS so I can run it on my friends layouts. The biggest problem with the early Triplex was UPS, they seamed to damage everyone in shipment in spite of excellent packaging. I believe MTH now uses FedEx. What a great entertaining Loco...............Jim

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I do agree with you Jim.  When I saw the announcement they were producing this engine I was in disbelief and ecstatic.  In the annals of big steam development the Triplex was such a bold and unique design that really stood out.  I didn't think we would see it in Largescale ever but was at the top of my list of favorites.  As far as the model itself, I feel like this was MTH's best release to date, in that I had no real issues that I felt needed to be addressed and only did enhancements I felt would be good to do.  All drives on every engine I've seen operated perfectly smooth with no binding even at slow speeds, had die cast metal frames for the engine an tender along with all three drive units powered.  Three smoke units, one for the tender(smoke unit they had made just for this engine), smoking whistle(smoke unit made just for this engine) and one for the main stack at the front.  What you get for the money on this engine is remarkable.   It's the right balance between detail quality and affordability.  

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MTH is now out of stock on the Blue Triplex as well.  This was the last of the Triplexes they had.

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Beautiful detail,  even the smoke box is a slightly 'discolored' due to the heat,  beautiful.    Now that you have me interested in one,  they are all out.   Will they produce more?

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Last time I checked some are still available on ebay, the time to get one is now before the final dealer stock sells out.  Can't say when they will do another run of these.

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I just don't know about Ebay.  I've never bought anything there, matter of fact I very very rarely go there unless directed to see something special.    I'd rather get it directly from an authorized dealer.   But thank you for the direction.    

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Nick, I have had good luck on Ebay but the Triplex has a history of being damaged in shipment even from MTH direct. If you decide to buy on Ebay make sure the seller uses best shipping practices and get it insured.................Jim

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Jim, thank you for your advice,  is this person an authorized dealer???  

            Can I run it on straight DC and get at least the chuff sounds??    I should have asked the chuff ?? before.    I am overly tempted, it will be my first MTH and first 1:32, and the first sparkie in a very long time.     

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I believe he is an authorized dealer. I purchased my MTH 4-8-4 from this dealer. It should run on DC and should have chuff sound plus puffing smoke without TIU. To be sure go to MTH site and download PDF file of operating manual. Good price !............Jim

 

http://www.mthtrains.com/sites/default/files/download/instruction/70st14088i.pdf

 

Basic Operation
RailKing One-Gauge locomotives can be operated with AC or DC power output
transformers. When using DC output power supplies, the user can only control the
lcomotive speed and direction. The locomotive will still make engine sounds but
no bell or whistle control is possible when using a DC output power supply unless
the user wishes to hook up the power supply to MTH’s separately sold Digital
Command System

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You can run any PS2 steam engine and get the chuff sound along with synchronized smoke on straight DC.  The smoke output and sound is controlled by two small potentiometers (blue with white center turn plate) when running under just DC/AC power.  

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If you are looking for something simple to control the engine this is available (as an intermediate step between a full DCS TIU and Remote and just basic track power).

 

http://www.gscaletrainforum.com/index.php?/topic/115-adding-engines-to-dcs-layout-from-unpowered-siding-dcs-remote-commander-tip/

 

It is more basic level of control but I have them for $46.50

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Excellent photography and what a nice engine and tender. The drive wheels on the tender are well detailed. 

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MTH did a nice job on the Russia Iron boiler!

its not nearly as bad as some other examples, (in terms of the blue coloration)..

they toned down the blue *a lot* for the LS version..which is very good!

Their Large Scale Erie triplex is *much* better than their O-scale version:

 

MTH O-scale triplex:

30-1368-1.jpg

 

but still..on the the 1/32 scale model, they couldn't quite let go of the blue coloration all together! ;)

they left some blue in there..but it looks much better than other models..its a good start..

FYI, Russia Iron should have *no* blue tint to it at all..none:

 

http://gold.mylargescale.com/Scottychaos/maine-2foot-color/page2.html

 

Scot

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As an FYI, the photo posted above is from one of the MTH catalogs which is either a digitally applied color by manually editing the photo (which is what I think it is) or a rapid-prototype which is not usually representative of the actual final color of what ships.  The original prototype of the One Gauge model had a much brighter blue than what was ultimately made.  None of the photos I've ever seen of the O gauge models ever had a light baby blue like that catalog photo above. (If they did it would have been a 'Railking' model which is the low-end model, not the top-end scale 'Premier' product)  Some end user photos of MTH O gauge engines seem to show differing levels of 'blue-ness' to them which I'm sure some are fairly accurate but I know from taking the photos above that getting an accurate reproduction in digital images can be a bit difficult. 

 

Actual production MTH O gauge model:  (hard to say how accurate the color has been reproduced by the camera in this photo)

2008 production

post-16-0-33092300-1405087913_thumb.jpg

 

MTH One Gauge stock photo of actual model:

post-16-0-76236100-1405088062.jpg

 

Example of color difference in same model due to photography:

20-3118-1 (2005 production) (overexposed photo which lightens the color)

post-16-0-58728700-1405088531.png

Same 20-3118-1 model (2005 production) (underexposed photo which deepens the color)

post-16-0-09151800-1405088551_thumb.jpg

 

The MTH HO model has a nice greyish tone to the boiler as the One gauge.  It does appear that as time has gone on they have gone with a more greyish tone to the color which even absent of any other information I think looks better.  My guess is all future production will continue with this greyer tone.

 

Thanks for sharing your write-up Scotty, great information for folks to read.  From my own reading of multiple protracted discussions on the topic I know that there always seems to end up being a range of opinions and as I had recalled from seeing custom made models there was always a variety of 'interpretations'.  Bottom line I agree, I was actually surprised at how the color actually looked in person and ended up liking it.  Most everyone I've talked to prefers the all black model (which is why the blue stayed in stock so long) but once they see the blue (as it actually is, not with edited photos) they usually end up feeling it looks pretty good. :)

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Thanks Ray,

good to know about the "photoshopped" images versus actual production models..

 

The "blue myth" really started to be seriously debunked when the National Park Service built

their replica "Jupiter" and "199" locomotives at the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Utah,

in 1979, and they really worked to get the colors right..including accurate Russia Iron boiler color:

 

http://www.railpictures.net/images/d1/4/1/3/8413.1388471094.jpg

 

It still didn't immediately catch on with manufacturers though..(change can be a slow process!)

 

Then Fletch's 2002 Mason Bogie masterclass got it going for Large scale modeling..

which is what led to my Russia Iron webpage..

good to see the manufacturers are starting to pay attention! :)

 

(the blue color on the MTH 0-8-8-0 represents the "old style" thinking about Russia Iron color..its *way* off..

it should be neutral grey..no blue at all.)

 

Bachmann has been paying attention too! :)

here is their depiction of Russia Iron on a model produced in the 1990's:

 

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3020/2983077046_97c88dd6a7.jpg

 

 

And here is a similar paint scheme that they came out with only two or three years ago:

 

http://1stclass.mylargescale.com/dennispaulson/IMAGE004.jpg

 

the blue is gone! :)

 

Scot

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Thanks again for sharing Scot :)

 

On a side note, just stumbled on this photo which I think is the first and only picture I've ever seen captured of a Triplex in operation:  (Very rare indeed!)

 

post-16-0-97628500-1405094220_thumb.jpg

 

Another rare photo, note the engine number on the side of the tender:

 

post-16-0-58524800-1405094496_thumb.jpg

 

Another I've never seen before, will keep posting as I find them:

 

post-16-0-24317900-1405094887.png

 

post-16-0-81389800-1405095020_thumb.jpg

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Another FYI, here is another example of the difference between the manually edited catalog photos and the actual production car:

 

One Gauge Erie blue (uncataloged special car):

http://www.mthtrains.com/content/70-75022

 

post-16-0-17350600-1405095310.jpg

 

Photo of the actual car:

 

post-16-0-54776700-1405095450_thumb.jpg

 

They have an Erie with red ends and it's the same situation, it's a more toned down color that looks much better.

 

 

So look carefully at the catalogs, you can usually see that the colors on the cars are sometimes just edited on and they are often carrying forward stock photos from prior catalogs (sometimes of O gauge items).

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