Athearn to release re-tooled MDC RS-3 this year

Folks: Just to let you all know, Athearn will be producing a re-tooled RS-3 using the MDC model before the end of 2005. Here is a list of modifications
and upgrades that they are working on for the old unit that was "leaked" to me with permission to post them on the 'net:
Modify that stack so that both versions can be produced Improve bell - multiple options Add window glazing New brakewheel Pilot options (open or with a small pilot) Fuel tank options Improved air tank castings Steam generator options Headlight options New plastic handrails Brass air horns Etched fan grille
No word yet on a drive upgrade, seperate grabs or DCC ability, but I hope to get more info as time goes on. If Athearn gets this right, they will have the best plastic RS-3 model on the market.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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Pac Man wrote:

RS-3
modifications
"leaked" to

<snip>
model
What's wrong with the Atlas model? I was just thinking about reserving one in BN colours.
Cheers,
Colin
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In my opinion, there isn't a whole lot wrong with their latest RS3! It uses Golden White LEDs, has a DCC socket - about the only thing I can think of is that the handrails look a little too thick... now, if they'd only do an RS2, with the "fishtank" lenses, I'd be in heaven!
If Life-Like could bring the quality of their Proto 1000s up to Atlas Classic standards, the upcoming RSC2, RS3 and RSD4/5 would really be great!
I personally don't see why Horizon feels it's necessary to get into an already crowded market, especially when all they plan is a retooling!?
--
Frank Eva
http://www.trainweb.org/dccmodels/
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Actually, it's only the RSC2 that's a Proto 1000 - the other 2 are Atlas models. Sorry for the confusion!
--
Frank Eva
http://www.trainweb.org/dccmodels/
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Sorry for not reading this post before I posted my reply! :-) BTW, the RS-3, with 1370 units, was the 7th most produced diesel, according to http://www.urbaneagle.com/data/RRdieselchrono.html
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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uses
is
RS2,
There are several flaws in the Atlas RS-3 model as mentioned in my other post. It is also quite limited to only late-model RS-3's or rebuilds that had the twin sealed beam head light and water cooled turbo stack.

great!
Life-Like is doing all that? Must have missed that announcement.

A re-tooling of an already accurate shell will only make a better model than anyone else's. And I don't know if you noticed, but accuracy counts these days. Athearn is doing pretty well with their Genesis F-units, and there are so many of those on the market. The Atlas shell is looking decidedly long in the tooth these days...
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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Paul: I don't have one of the current MDC RS-3s, so forgive me if I misunderstand something here... doesn't it sound like the improvements are mainly on the add-on details (bell, windows, fuel tank, handrails) and the basic RS-3 carbody casting won't be changed?
Then again.. if it's right-on already, no need to change that.
I certainly welcome the improvements...
- Mark
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Mark, Here's an updated list of improvements to the MDC RS-3:
Modify that stack so that both versions can be produced Improve bell - multiple options Add window glazing New brakewheel Pilot options (open or with a small pilot) Fuel tank options Improved air tank castings Steam generator options Headlight options New plastic handrails Brass air horns Etched fan grille Separate grabs made of formed wire Hood will be modified so that the cab doesn't appear solid DCC ready with a plug The single beam head light will be like the Genesis F-unit headlights: a minibulb w/reflector behind a lens. The twin sealed beam will again be minibulbs, but like the GP35, SD60, etc., instead. Weight will be added if they can fit it in around the various parts and electronics. They are apparently going to offer two kinds of steam gen. stacks. The shutters on the side will be re-cut to improve their looks (but not see-through). A cooling fan on the top will be visable through the screen.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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While the Atlas still has a great drive, it's off on the shell. The exhaust stack is tapered, the cab is a foot off of where it should be on the body, the curved grabs on the corners aren't curved, and the body door louvers are all too small. Also, IMHO, the radiator fan housing is too tall. Not to mention that the Atlas model is only good for those RS-3's that had twin sealed beam headlights and a water-cooled turbo, and the choices for accuracy are not nearly as good as will be the Athearn RS-3.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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When I stopped buying MDC because I thought it was inferior merchandise, my opinion of them was pretty low. Their diesels were klunky and didn't run well, their shay kit was a NIGHTMARE! In short I thought MDC stuff was crap. They are going to have to REALLY go the distance to change that opinion. Unless it is of the Genisis category when finished, it won't be given a second notice by me. I am not shooting the messanger here, just expressing my feelings on the subject.
John

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Dear folks:
Now, that's not quite fair. Their rod engines are really good AND reasonably priced; at least the kits are. You just have to take a little care in assembling them. I just wish more hobby shops around here would stock fun stuff like them instead of the usual selection of 6 Bachmann cheapies, a Bachmann consolidation, a Bachmann tank switcher, and two Athearn GE diesels.
Cordially yours, Gerard Pawlowski
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I agree with some work the rod locos are good models. I built an SP 4-6-0 from one of their kits and I had people ask me if it was a brass loco. The boxcabs I saw run sounded like meat grinders and the RS' did nothing for me.
John

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Well, mine ran alright compared to an Athearn, but not compared to an Atlas. Also, IIRC, didn't MDC only make three diesels? The Boxcab, the RS-3 and the Critter? And the Critter is a really nice model and runs very well for a diesel with only 4 wheels.

True, but irrelevant to the RS-3.

If the RS-3 had come out in the 1960's, it would have been hailed. But because it arrived in the 1980's, it suffered in comparison to the Atlas drive, which is what sold everyone on Atlas.

Well, I have an update for the RS-3 info. The drive will be the same as used in their other RTR models, there will be seperate grabs formed out of wire, and the shell will be modified so that the cab will be see-through. It will also be "DCC Ready". There will be no interior and no Genesis drive.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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why doesn't someone offer a modifcation to either the Atlas or forthcoming Athearn model so you can model the re-engined by EMD versions of these engines that Katy, Frisco and CNW had.

klunky
very
But
won't
as
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If it's the same manufacturer (MDC), then that has relevance. Remember the saying: "the acorn doesn't fall far from teh tree."
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the
Just like it matters that Bachmann and Life-Like still make junky toy train set-type locos and cars yet still make great running, well detailed first rate models. Just because it has the same company name on the box does not mean that they are the same quality.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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On 3/11/05 1:18 AM, in article BDbYd.928$ snipped-for-privacy@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net, "Pac Man"

I don't believe that Botchmann makes great running, well detailed first rate models, aside from a FEW steamers.
--
Brian Ehni



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Well... that's Paul's point, isn't it?
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| >> their shay kit was a NIGHTMARE! | > | > True, but irrelevant to the RS-3. | | If it's the same manufacturer (MDC), then that has relevance. Remember the | saying: "the acorn doesn't fall far from teh tree."
Since MDC, Athearn and many others shop out die cutting the acorn can fall a long way from the tree. The RS3 was cut by the same fellow (Munson? [SP?]) who did the Athearn Blomberg sideframes as well as the MDC FM boxcars And a bunch of other stuff for both MDC and Athearn at that time period. (Twenty five years ago?) The MDC RS3 suffered from kludge drives and from being the third out of the stable.
The Athearn rework will keep this shell compeditative with the Atlas twenty five year old shell.
CTucker NY
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Mark Mathu wrote:

I just don't agree that the MDC Shay was, or is, a "nightmare". Yes, it IS a "tinkerer's delight". To make a GOOD running model from it requires some skill and a lot of "TLC". I've seen it done, several times.
And, until the admittedly much better Bachmann Shay came along, it was the ONLY non-brass Shay. So, if you wanted a Shay, and couldn't afford brass prices, it was the ONLY game in town, and well worth the effort.
And, even now, it's a distinctly DIFFERENT Shay than the Bachmann, so there's still a place for it.
NWSL offers a regear set for the MDC Shay that solves many of it's drive problems. The electrical pick-up is the other big problem. THAT is badly engineered, and needs to be reworked. There's whole booklet published on how to improve these models. Yes, it's a lot of work to do well, but you'll get a decent Shay. And, even with ALL the add ons, it'll only cost you about 1/3 to 1/2 of what a brass Shay costs.
But, I agree that it's NO beginner's kit.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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