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Interesting point Jim.   Perhaps they did this intentionally, to drum up interest.

But, if so, it may be somewhat risky.   

No doubt, the Train Review magazines will create lists of "Must Fix" items at the end of the reviews, and no doubt, the Members of this Board will assemble as similar detailed list.

If so, then Menard's is going to have to fix all of those items, or draw negative reviews from people in the know.

On the other hand, since probably 95% of the folks who walk into Menards and want to buy a train set for Christmas probably never do any research, or read any reviews, maybe it won't matter at all?

And maybe, little kids will like the Jumping starts and Quick stops?

(I spent most of the first two years with my Lionel Super-O set building Lincoln Log walls and cabins, full of cowboys and Indians, and watching the big Steam Engine and Tender crash through them at high speed .)

Mannyrock






"

I will give my feedback as a consumer looking at this for possible purchase.

The chrome on the bottom looks cheap. Like a really cheap kids toy. I guess if that is your target audience, then it is great. As a lifelong model railroader that is looking for something a little more realistic it is not good for me. I am not a rivet counter. Without the chrome I think it would look a lot better. The shell looks pretty good. About the detail level of the Williams F7, but with better nose and window contours.

I am not a fan of the remote. it is a non-starter if I can't control it conventionally from my transformer.

A dummy would be great as most times you wouldn't see an F by itself, especially on a passenger train. I am guessing that a dummy wasn't offered with this run because it is basically a beta test run.

I don't know of any FP7's made in O so that is nice to see a new loco type on the market.

U.P. had a couple of FP7's on the roster, so if these are made in U.P. colors without the cheap looking chrome, conventional operation capability and a dummy I can see myself buying a set.

@GG1 4877 posted:

3rd Rail did FP7s around 2014.  The PRR version is shown in these images for comparison.

I wasn't thinking about brass models in my previous post because they are a niche market that are typically limited production, highly detailed and high priced models.

Thanks for posting the pictures of those two locos that are on complete opposite ends of the model spectrum. It is easy to find shortcomings when comparing a model to another model that can be considered a benchmark. I am surprised how good the Menard's looks compared to the 3rd Rail model. I know it is lacking in details, but it scales out fairly well and the contours look decent as well. With some tweaking they could have a model that appeals to a wide audience.

@Mike D posted:

I wasn't thinking about brass models in my previous post because they are a niche market that are typically limited production, highly detailed and high priced models.

Thanks for posting the pictures of those two locos that are on complete opposite ends of the model spectrum. It is easy to find shortcomings when comparing a model to another model that can be considered a benchmark. I am surprised how good the Menard's looks compared to the 3rd Rail model. I know it is lacking in details, but it scales out fairly well and the contours look decent as well. With some tweaking they could have a model that appeals to a wide audience.

The 3rd Rail model is plastic also.  I agree that the Menards version is a very good representation of an FP7 for the price and if that price holds for the production version, I wouldn't hesitate to get another one.  I only posted the two together to show that the Menards locomotive is indeed an FP7 based on the proportion and the details.     

Speaking of budget conscious pricing, I noticed in the latest Charles Ro ads that they are pricing some LionChief diesels at around $170-180, with which Menards presumably would be competing .  Since we don't know what the final Menards price will be,  when they make the consumer models, sounds like this price range will be competitive between Menards and Lionel, no?

Last edited by Landsteiner
@Landsteiner posted:

Speaking of budget conscious pricing, I noticed in the latest Charles Ro ads that they are pricing some LionChief diesels at around $170-180, with which Menards presumably would be competing .  Since we don't know what the final Menards price will be,  when they make the consumer models, sounds like this price range will be competitive between Menards and Lionel, no?

I think you may be referring to the entire set:

https://charlesro-com.3dcartst...om/store_L84719.html

AFAIK they don't have the LionChief Superchief as a separate engine.  Correct me if I am wrong.

John

@Landsteiner posted:

Speaking of budget conscious pricing, I noticed in the latest Charles Ro ads that they are pricing some LionChief diesels at around $170-180, with which Menards would be competing =.  Since we don't know what the final Menards price will be when they make the consumer model, sounds like this price range will be competitive between Menards and Lionel, no?

I have zero experience with a standard lionchief engine, but I’ve read stories of burning up engines and lack of pulling power. The menards engine has two motors, which from what I’ve heard seem to have plenty of pulling power.

I wasn't specifically referring to the ATSF locomotive, just the LionChief diesel line in general as a direct competitor to the future possible Menards diesels.

LionChief is the standard entry level locomotive in Lionel's sets and they make some separate sale locos in the same price range as Menards.  Neither operate in conventional mode.  Both use essentially command control and come with a remote.  Neither is intended for the rivet counter .  LionChief locos do not have some of the problems seen with decorating, packaging or strange abrupt starts that the prototype Menards loco, so it remains to be seen if Menards fixes these problems.  As for burning up engines and lack of pulling power, these may be unrealistic expectations on the part of buyers and unwise attempts to pull very long trains, but I wouldn't know for sure.

Just thinking out loud about what competition Menards might have for the budget conscious buyer or beginners.

@Landsteiner posted:

I wasn't specifically referring to the ATSF locomotive, just the LionChief diesel line in general as a direct competitor to the future possible Menards diesels.

LionChief is the standard entry level locomotive in Lionel's sets and they make some separate sale locos in the same price range as Menards.  Neither operate in conventional mode.  Both use essentially command control and come with a remote.  Neither is intended for the rivet counter .  LionChief locos do not have some of the problems seen with decorating, packaging or strange abrupt starts that the prototype Menards loco, so it remains to be seen if Menards fixes these problems.  As for burning up engines and lack of pulling power, these may be unrealistic expectations on the part of buyers and unwise attempts to pull very long trains, but I wouldn't know for sure.

Just thinking out loud about what competition Menards might have for the budget conscious buyer or beginners.

You are right.  My grandson (five) has a UP LionChief set which he got for Christmas.  It's pretty neat and works really well except for an under powered wall wart (which was replaced with a laptop power supply that works really really well).

But I think the design (ATSF) is a winner because in the reasonable price range a lot of people want that model in that color.   Unless you want to spend a lot of money that color Superchief  only seem to be readily available in sets. So Menards chose the right model I think.

John

Last edited by Craftech
@Landsteiner posted:
As for burning up engines and lack of pulling power, these may be unrealistic expectations on the part of buyers and unwise attempts to pull very long trains, but I wouldn't know for sure.

Some of the conventional and LionChief models use the very small and anemic flat-sided set motor, those are very prone to burn up with even reasonable loads.  Any of the LC or LC+ models that use the Mabuchi 3xx series motors are far less likely to suffer the same fate.

FWIW, the new LC+ 2.0 0-6-0T Docksider also has the dreaded flat-sided small set motor, so I have some reservations about pulling more than a few cars with that one as well.

Some of the conventional and LionChief models use the very small and anemic flat-sided set motor, those are very prone to burn up with even reasonable loads.  Any of the LC or LC+ models that use the Mabuchi 3xx series motors are far less likely to suffer the same fate.

FWIW, the new LC+ 2.0 0-6-0T Docksider also has the dreaded flat-sided small set motor, so I have some reservations about pulling more than a few cars with that one as well.

Agreed. The big motor I saw in these entry level Menards engine are a nice welcome over any of what I see in the LC engines that come in for repair.

For a short while there was a cheap electric water gun that I would buy at Wal-Mart just to salvage the motor to repair these engines.

Some of the newer LC stuff has a better motors but a great deal of the entry level items still use cheap "can" motors.

One of our kids layout is powered by a 14 volt DC power pack and for informational reasons we decided to run a brand new LC Christmas Express 0-8-0 engine with a five car consist and with an hour meter hooked up to see how long it will last. The last time I checked it was around 60 hours and still going. I'll let you know when the motor goes.

Last edited by H1000

Finally someone making affordable trains. That's how to get the model train market going again. Don't forget, you can upgrade your Menards engines to TMCC  with:

http://www.electricrr.com



My suggestion is: ERRCC - ERR Cruise Commander + F3 - Railsounds Commander.

Perhaps some smarties can figure out how to trigger the unique crew talk or sound module all together with a serial output of the Cruise Commander.

Last edited by sdmann
@H1000 posted:


One of our kids layout is powered by a 14 volt DC power pack and for informational reasons we decided to run a brand new LC Christmas Express 0-8-0 engine with a five car consist and with an hour meter hooked up to see how long it will last. The last time I checked it was around 60 hours and still going. I'll let you know when the motor goes.

Don't forget to lube it every so often.

Last edited by rplst8

The final version of this O gauge/O scale FP7 diesel has to have a conventional transformer power mode board & switch, in case the remote is lost or will not operate.

Andrew

agreed 100%.  I and many others would not seriously consider an engine--even at this low price--that does not have conventional command.
I would prefer that the chrome underbody be the same color as the shell or silver, not reflective chrome, but that is a minor point.

@Micro posted:

agreed 100%.  I and many others would not seriously consider an engine--even at this low price--that does not have conventional command.
I would prefer that the chrome underbody be the same color as the shell or silver, not reflective chrome, but that is a minor point.

Steve Eastman misted his with Tamiya Silver Leaf.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...4#156701992013931114

Looks good to me.

John

@Allegheny posted:

Well, the crew talk still comes on if you push the sound switch under the locomotive to off.

In sound mode crew talk is only heard upon start up and then you can use the button to turn it off.

Also the volume control needs to be able to turn down the idling sound while it is running.

Mine doesn't behave that way.  If I turn on track power the engine sound starts at full volume.  As soon as I turn on the remote the engine sound adjusts itself to wherever I had previously set the volume  wheel on the side of the remote which is (for me) low.   I can then adjust it with that same volume control wheel.  Crew talk doesn't come on by itself ever unless I press the button.

John

Last edited by Craftech
@Allegheny posted:

Also the volume control needs to be able to turn down the idling sound while it is running.

OK I get that this is a $129 engine, and don't expect the $700+ MTH/Lionel sound quality, but couldn't they do a better job of engine noise, like make the sound continuous rather than that "hiccuping"  engine sound clip repeating over and over?   Surely with sound software being readily available, it shouldn't be that hard or involved to match ends of sound clips so they segue smoothly into each other.  Of course there may be limited memory space so all they could do is a brief clip and the microchip just repeats it with a preceptable delay (I probably just answered my question ).

WOW WOW!!!! I have taken a break from the trains to build a new 1925 Ford Model TT truck.......but Youtube put a review of a Menard's Loco in my feed. WHAT! A Menard's LOCO!?!?!?!

From the review it looks great, runs OK and is a fantastic value. If I had gotten the info in time I'd bought one....I hope they return with a few improvements......I'll get one. I have not bought a loco in maybe 5 years now due to the cost of todays locos.....but Menards has me interested.

@sdmann posted:

Finally someone making affordable trains. That's how to get the model train market going again. Don't forget, you can upgrade your Menards engines to TMCC  with:

http://www.electricrr.com

I intend to do this , right after I'm done upgrading my Williams, K-line, and RMT loco's. Everything on my little 4x8 must run either DCS or TMCC or Legacy command control. It's just what I like!

@Darrell posted:

I intend to do this , right after I'm done upgrading my Williams, K-line, and RMT loco's. Everything on my little 4x8 must run either DCS or TMCC or Legacy command control. It's just what I like!

Have you been peaking at my TTD list???????

Agreed- All of the control issues will disappear with a ERR upgrade.

Bob

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
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