Is the current Williams by Bachmann FA tooling the same Kusan based tooling that K-Line added detail to during its tenure but with more portholes added?  I realize Williams may have new tooling for the Postwar Classics FA.

See photos. In Order: K-Line early, Williams by Bachmann, K-Line late with detail

kline220094alco_fa_a-a_set_conventional_3-rail_whorn_k-line_434-622610

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Last edited by Mike W.
Original Post

Page 15 of the illustrated K-Line Collectors Guide covers the production notes of the Kusan FA-2 molds.  I would copy the text but since it is copyright material, I'll refrain.

K-Line initial production (1987) included several mold improvements. 

In 1995, additional improvements were made.   When I can get to a normal keyboard, i'll expand upon the details.

I have an example of the KMT, K-line, Lionel and Williams products which I have compared.  The Williams version appears to be new/different tooling and came out  while K-Line was still an operating business.

On a personal note, as a K-Line collector, the ALCO FA is one of my favorites and I recently completed adding Williams ALCO sound boards to what I have.

 

Thanks. I didn't think about the Williams tooling existing while K-Line was still a going concern.  Just shows how good the Kusan tooling was as its all so close.  Did Williams tool up all the Standard Gauge Classics and then sell that tooling to MTH?

From what I can see the Williams Alco engines look almost exactly like they were made from the Kusan or KMT tooling. No matter what brand it may be, the Weaver, K-Line, Right of Way, KMT, Atlas, Williams, Lionel and MTH tooling is all in China and Korea. Menards rolling stock,  looks very similar to KMT

Last edited by Dennis LaGrua

The williams has a Die-Cast frame like the postwar 2023.  The K-line shell fit over the frame Completely hiding the the pressed steel platform.  Apples and oranges, also the Napa Valley Alcos  you show were semi scale and were much larger than the earlier FAs by comparison. K-line produced the Napa Valley train with the short Alcos also

Kusan Alcos were 2 rail so when I want to run my Kusan sets  I just put the Kusan shell on a K-Line Alco 2 motor frame. Fits perfectly.

Here is a Kusan  Chihuahua al Pacifico set with K-Line running gear on my 3 rail layout.

P3280024P3280022P3280023

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From what I can see the Williams Alco engines look almost exactly like they were made from the Kusan or KMT tooling. No matter what brand it may be, the Weaver, K-Line, Right of Way, KMT, Atlas, Williams, Lionel and MTH tooling is all in China and Korea. Menards rolling stock,  looks very similar to KMT

The K-Line FA-2 bodies (none of this discussion has anything to do with the running gear) and the Williams FA-2 bodies are not from the same tooling. I own both, and the tooling is different. "Looking similar" is not the "same", and any two decent models (full- or sub-scale) of the same prototype are bound to look "similar" on the outside.

(Just to mention the running gear: it and the assembly methods of the Williams/WbB units are completely different.) 

Here is a photo of a Williams body on a post war chassis I put together a few years ago. I bought shell during Williams parts sale.

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So is anyone currently using the Kusan FA (K-Line) tooling?   The Menards rolling stock appears to be copied from the Kusan derived tooling but I recall a post on here from Bachmann that they definitely had no part in the Menards items.  And the RMT offerings appear to be made off the Menards tooling.   This is interesting to me...it has nothing to do with who is better or worse...I like all these brands and have a sampling of product from each.    I would like to see the K-Line Marx Steamer reappear as well.

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