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Guys have seen this loco favourably mentioned on the forum. Interested to know if the model is basically dimensionally correct. Am I wrong in that some MTH and Lionel diesels (even in the supposedly scale ranges) tend to take a few liberties with the basic dimensions. Are there any specific MTH/Lionel "scale models" in terms of modern diesels that are just so wrong it is not worth bothering to try to two-rail them or seek two-rail examples in the case of MTH ? Many thanks for any advice.

Jon

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Am I wrong in that some MTH and Lionel diesels (even in the supposedly scale ranges) tend to take a few liberties with the basic dimensions.

No, you are not wrong but there is not a set rule to how much MTH or Lionel models are off (dimension wise) or exactly how it differentiates from the prototype. You have to do the research for yourself because every model will have different inaccuracies. Also each one of us is different so it is up to you to decide which of the inaccuracies bother you. For me an incorrect paint scheme bothers me more than the model being off by a few scale inches. Most 2 rail guys don't care for the MTH or Lionel stuff due to the drive system. I have accepted their drive system because I don't see it ever changing (but it would be great if there was change like say a better gear ratio).

You did mention "scale ranges". The non scale lines of MTH and Lionel are usually WAY off and I would never even consider converting any of that to 2 rail. However there are exceptions. Some locomotives in the MTH Rail King line are scale sized as well as I have found a couple (not that many) locomotives in the non scale Lionel lines that were very close to scale size. The Lionel Camelback of about 20 years ago comes to mind. It has very little detail but the overall dimensions is close to scale size.

Are there any specific MTH/Lionel "scale models" in terms of modern diesels that are just so wrong it is not worth bothering to try to two-rail them or seek two-rail examples in the case of MTH ?

I am a steam guy so I can't answer that. I think most of the MTH and Lionel modern diesels look good but I don't follow or know those engines well so if something was incorrect I wouldn't know it. I do prefer the MTH engines due to the fixed pilots and full length handrails. All opinion.

I realize it is not your era but the Lionel GP30 is regarding as a very well done shell and you can buy a frame for it to convert it to 2 rail with a better drive system.

Last edited by Hudson J1e

I have converted many MTH engines. To me, they are all worth it. I like modern MTH diesels the most.

Our grandson (and most visitors), prefers steam.

You shouldn't ask others for opinions on what you should like or dislike. It's ok to learn. Sometimes their opinions will ruin an otherwise fun option. MTH engines are a good value for all that you get. Oops, I gave my opinion now.

The Premier Line ES44s are pretty much dimensionally accurate with one to me noticeable exception. The “step down” contour on the body at the end of dynamic brake area is too large. That step down contour is not as prominent on the ES44s as on the older AC4400 and C44-9W models:

2C87D840-B5FA-42DF-8536-4EDF0217559F

Otherwise it’s a pretty accurate model of early production ES44s, including the BNSF Anniversary repaints. While MTH does vary some road details, including cab windows as appropriate the car body always the early production configuration of vents and the like and isn’t accurate for all roadnames MTH offers. The NS heritage units are an example. Lionel’s current plastic mode is a better representation of later ES44 production (though Lionel makes errors too).

Errors are common in mass produced models. Atlas O did a great job with its Dash 8-40BWs and GP60 series models, but there are still minor errors the careful modeler will find.

RM

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