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After a request to the Moderators, this topic has been graciously reopened.  With the Vision Line GG1 out, it would be wonderful to see videos, photos and comparisons of what is still in my mind, the finest locomotive ever built!
This original post dates from 2008 so the most current information cab be found at the end of the thread.  Thank you!

Good Afternoon (AZ Time).

I took some time to get some photos together to compare the various manufacturers of scale GG1s.

We start with all the motors in a row. From left to right we have a Lionel JLC, a Weaver, a Williams, and a Proto 2 MTH. These were chosen since they are all single stripe and Brunswick Green.


Now Looking at the individual locomotives in the same order you will note the following details of each:


The Lionel JLC is a formidable model and is the only one commonly available one with the FARR intake filters high up on each end of the hoods. (Eliot - Sorry I didn't back to you sooner on this). Many consider it a aesthetic violation. It was done by the PRR in a program from the late 50's through the 60's on several GG1s to prevent fine particles of snow from being sucked off the track in through the filters and shorting out the motors. It happened twice in PRR history and it crippled passenger train operations.


The Weaver model is brass construction with cast wheels and a plate frame. It was the first mass produced scale GG1 yet it is still a very fine model. The brass allows for a level of detail that suited the GG1. The only problem is the gold stripe with the gold on the keystone. The Lionel version is correct. This, while very attractive is not representative of the prototype. Having said that, the prototypes were not washed often per PRR standard practice so the color would suit it better if it were weathered.


The Williams scale model is one of the best values for a new GG1 and can negotiate an 0-42 curve in a pinch. This model shares the same style of paint and keystone as the Weaver version. It is a plastic body and does lack a few of the details found in the Weaver, but it is close. The frame and wheels appear to be from the same manufacturer or molds and they are interchangeable. The particular issue with this model is that this is a road number never produced. The highest numbered GG1 was 4938 during its Pennsy years. A good smooth runner and easy to find, so these are always nice additions to the roster.



The MTH Proto-2 model with the operable pantographs is an excellent model. Again its underframe parts are interchangeable with Weaver / Williams. The MTH model however has stepped it up on detail. The pantograph is accurate for this road number with the single contactor on the top versus the double contactor of most. It has a see through linen filter screen which is also a nice feature. While this is not the PRR version, this number is one of many that got to keep its stripes and was simply stenciled over with PC and later CR letters.

Now a comparision of the fronts of a few of these models:


Granted the GG1 to the left is not one of the sample group, but it is representative of the level of detail found on both the Weaver and Williams models. The Tuscan GG1 is the original MTH Proto-1 release. You can clearly see the level of difference in the detailing of the front. The MTH lacks clarity in the depth of the detail and the pilot is not nearly as detailed. The Lionel version is crisp. To be fair, these two are 9 years apart on production.



The 4925 JLC version has a wealth of great detail on the front and the MTH freight version below it is also sporting added detail.


This photo shows how the JLC version is a bit closer to scale than all the others. It is actually about 5/8"-3/4" longer. The two GG1s were lined up with the back aligned. The wide angle photograph distorts the view somewhat, but it is certainly noticeable when placed side by side. When pulling trains or lined up, I honestly don't find it to be that obvious.


And finally, see the level of detail at the bottom of the JLC version, which is unique among these models. From the open spokes, the detail on the builders plate, this is truly a well detailed model. If anything, my only complaint on detail is that the plates were starting to show their seams on the prototype by the time this motor received its filter modifications. How neat would that have been to work into the molding!

Overall, I find things that are attractive in all these models. The JLC is the finest example in terms of detail, but the non functional and rigid pantographs are truly a hassle. I am probably going to modify them down the road and use manual ones or see if I can get the MTH ones to work. The Weaver, while being the oldest, are very crisp and nice models. When priced right, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more. MTH continues to refine the GG1 and has offered the most variations and road numbers, but I would like to see the sound set upgraded a bit or simply a version without sound at a cheaper price. Finally the Williams are the old standby. When all else fails, these will run, run, and run. Perfect for train shows where you need to run for long stretches of time.

I apologize for the length of this and I hope there is something useful for you in here!

Last edited by GG1 4877
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I had the JLC 4925 and had more than a little trouble with it. For one
thing it didn't like 072 curves and was reluctant to run properly on them.
I traded the piece off to a dealer who has had no apparent problems with
it in this regard, and I'm glad for him. There's no doubt that this
is the best overall looking "G" out there. Too bad mine was such a pain
in the backside.
quote:
Originally posted by jaygee:
I had the JLC 4925 and had more than a little trouble with it. For one
thing it didn't like 072 curves and was reluctant to run properly on them.
I traded the piece off to a dealer who has had no apparent problems with
it in this regard, and I'm glad for him. There's no doubt that this
is the best overall looking "G" out there. Too bad mine was such a pain
in the backside.


Mine had a the front pantograph fail after only four hours of running time. I've had no problem with it on 072 so far, but it certainly did not run the 063 of my old layout very well at all.

I would agree that these are touchy to say the least and when I get the wire up someday, I will have problems running this one. Price is the main reason I only have the one.

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience with it.
Jonathan,
You did a masterful job with your photos and descriptions.
Truly one of the best photo comparisons I have seen on the Forum.
Very detailed and enlightening.
You have taught me quite a bit about the GG1 models and differences.
I also have to admit that I have the same green single stripe you used in your comparisons and I never realized that it had the FARR filters. I really missed that one. Wow.
Thanks again.
eliot
quote:
The scale versions are about 19" long with the JLC about 19-3/4". The prototype was just shy of 80' at 79'-6" (whoever came up with that is beyond me).

quote:
Nice review. I'm a little disturbed that MTH, Weaver and Williams all lied about the fact that their versions were scale.

How were these lengths measured on the models?

We need to be careful when comparing 3-rail models to prototype length measurements. The 79'6" length of the prototype is over the coupler faces. Since our couplers are so huge, we should not use this measurement. The prototype was 76' 8 and 3/16" long over the car body (excluding the couplers) and this is the measurement that we should compare to the model. In 1/48, a "scale" GG1 should be 19 and 3/16" long over the car body.

Jonathan, if you thought 79'6" was wierd, how about 76 feet 8 and 3/16 inches?

Bob Bartizek
quote:
Originally posted by Bob:
The 79'6" length of the prototype is over the coupler faces. Since our couplers are so huge, we should not use this measurement. The prototype was 76' 8 and 3/16" long over the car body (excluding the couplers) and this is the measurement that we should compare to the model. In 1/48, a "scale" GG1 should be 19 and 3/16" long over the car body.

Jonathan, if you thought 79'6" was wierd, how about 76 feet 8 and 3/16 inches?

Bob Bartizek


Bob,

You made me do a double check of my measurement and I came up with this:

JLC: 19-1/8" carbody length. Only off 3 inches from prototype. Pretty good for 3RS 0
Others: 18-21/32 carbody length. Off about 2'1-1/2" from prototype.

You've got me wondering how much off my other locos are now! Smile I've decided a while back I could live with the 1/2" +/-.
quote:
Originally posted by SPMan:
The only problem I've had with mine is that the horn quit working and nothing I do will get it to work again. Have you had any experience replacing horns in these? I need a step by step explanation on how to install one. Thanks, Ray


Ray,

You can order replacement the replacement horn and bell for something like $30.00 from Williams. It is the standard Tru-blast II sound, but I think it is simply a plug in module.
What is surprising is looking at the photos, all look the same at first glance then you start noticing the smaller details. In other words, each manufacturer took the time to measure, scale, and detail the their model as close as possible to the prototype, rather than play "loosey goosey" with dimensions or detail placements or to get internal mechanisms/boards to fit.

Hats off to Jonathan for detailed report and the manufacturers for their models. I don't recall any other model similarly made by all the train manufacturers so that each one could be lined up for comparison against the other.

Sam
Sandpatch Tom, thanks for the photos of the RF&P and ACL diesels under wire over the Pennsy during the storm. I don't have any Pennsylvania cars to go with my Williams scale GG1 but I can justify pulling my ACL and Seaboard cars with my GG1 like they did from Washington D.C. to N.Y. in the good ole days'

Johnathan, thanks for the advice on the plug in horn board for my Williams GG1. I'll check that out. Ray
quote:
JLC: 19-1/8" carbody length. Only off 3 inches from prototype. Pretty good for 3RS 0
Others: 18-21/32 carbody length. Off about 2'1-1/2" from prototype.



So maybe MTH, Weaver and Williams can post how they make an engine 15/32" short and call it scale. That's quite a bit short of scale. How can we trust these people in the future? Now that these facts are out when will the sell off begin?
quote:
Originally posted by SAIL LOCO:
quote:
JLC: 19-1/8" carbody length. Only off 3 inches from prototype. Pretty good for 3RS 0
Others: 18-21/32 carbody length. Off about 2'1-1/2" from prototype.



So maybe MTH, Weaver and Williams can post how they make an engine 15/32" short and call it scale. That's quite a bit short of scale. How can we trust these people in the future? Now that these facts are out when will the sell off begin?


Mike,

One can only hope soon! Big Grin I would love to add another 100 or so to my collection someday.
Do we know who was the guy at the Pennsy who designed the "modified" PRR P5a carbody? Originally the P5a's were boxcabs. Then a fatal crew accident occurred in 1934 and the basis of the now famously unique high-nosed-sloping-from-the-windows-shape sprang from the desire for crew protection.
In August 1934 the first GG1 (with a carbody based on the "modified" P5a) that became #4800 "Old Rivets" was delivered for testing.
Any idea who did it? The answer is NOT Raymond Loewy. He did his work based on #4800 (which took it's cue from the P5a) after it was built. Loewy's magic occurred by stipulating a welded body, removing the nose steps, using sans-serif lettering and those fabulous 5-stripes of gold.
Bu that unique GG1 shape; who done it?

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