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



A nightmare??? Hardly. The Shay kit was the first alternative to a hand crafted brass locomotive of the same type ever. I think my first one was something like $39.95 for the two trucker.
I assembled three of them. One stayed home and two were for friends. All three ran much better than most other locomotives available at that time. Yes, there were some pretty small pieces, but they all fit and they all worked well when I was finished.
By today's standards, they are probably pretty crude, but for their day, they were a great buy for the money.
dlm
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Interesting because the MDC RS-3 was considered the best RS-3 on the market (above Stewart, Atlas, etc.). Then with the improved driveline, they had a really nice diesel.
Charles

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On 3/9/05 5:52 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@syrcnyrdrs-01-ge0.nyroc.rr.com, "Charles

Roger that; they chucked the original drive and used one incorporating the P2K trucks and motor. MUCH better.
--
Brian Ehni



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None of the RS3's Atlas, MDC or Stewart are as close to being correct as the Hobbytown RS3. Yep, that's right the 50 year old tooling of Hobbytown is more accurate than any of the newer stuff. Compared to Alco drawings it's the most accurate in terms of size hood and cab shapes and contours, placement and size of doors and louvers and most other important dimensions. The most accurate RS model is the latest RS2 from LL., but for RS3's Hobbytown has the most correct. The Kato RS2 has errors the worst is that the short hood width should be different but isn't.
Now, all that being said most folks can't tell the difference until you put all four shells side by side. Interestingly enough the Atlas is the worst in terms of it's overall dimensions. The cab is wrong, both hoods aren't tall enough or long enough. Also, the tapered stack IS correct for a couple of roads that had them(can't remember which ones, but somewhere I have a couple pics.)
All that being said the Atlas-kato drive kicks them all. the new LL RS2 is a close second.
steve
Charles Woolever ( snipped-for-privacy@existingstations.com) wrote: : Interesting because the MDC RS-3 was considered the best RS-3 on the : market (above Stewart, Atlas, etc.). Then with the improved driveline, : they had a really nice diesel.
: Charles
: > 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
--
Steve Sillato
Life; if you're not having fun, you ain't doing it right! Remember none
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On 9 Mar 2005 19:39:57 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@gcfn.org (S C Sillato) wrote:

One thing I always hated about the Atlas/Kato was the way the ends deflected under load and sometimes to the extent that the couplers would part! This was something you always had to fix. There were dimensional problems as noted by other posters. The Stewart suffered from some problems as well, some due to measuring a particular prototype which had been modified (plated over vents for one thing). The Hobbytowns took a lot of filing to get the flash off (except for the plastic bodied ones). The centrifugal clutch option was installed on one I sold to a friend and in an RSD 4/5 that went with it, He used to give the set to newbies switching on his layout and watch the fun .

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Isn't this exactly why a company like Atlas doesn't spend lots of money in r&d to improve the accuracy? Joe Consumer would never know the difference! I hate to say it, but to get the kind of accuracy some folks here want would probably require major modifications and retooling, and for what? What does Atlas get in the long run - a few more sales to the afficionados? Companies like Atlas probably figure that these buyers can just go ahead and make their own modifications.
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probably require major modifications and retooling< Of course they could have do it right the first time. You know the old a stitch in time saves nine!
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Frank's point is that they don't *have* to get it exactly right to satisfy a large part of the modeling spectrum (ohh.. sorry, probably shouldn't use that word in a MDC/Atlas thread).
I think we know that most modelers aren't just "Joe Consumer," but there is a large part of the market that just wants a close semblance of an RS-3 that runs reliably at a reasonable price (those are countering forces, which can lead to a whole series of price/quality points), and sometimes offering a model in a greater variety of ready-to-run paint schemes can trump having the correct headlights and turbo stack.
Even if they take extra pains to improve their details, the large myriad of production options and after-market improvements (The RS-3 has three generally recognized phases, correct?) will still leave the company open to criticism to a small but very vocal segment of the hobby. Unless MDC changes the louver arrangement on the car sides they will never cover all bases, and someone will always complain -- about details that are far harder to correct than just what type of horn was used on the model.
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<snip>

is a

can
the
They'll take that over nothing, or when the "good enough" is better than anyone else's effort. But if there are two models out there, one accurate, one not, more people are going to gravitate to the more accurate model these days.

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They "might" do the later phases, BTW. It depends on how well the Phase 1b's sell (the current MDC model). And of the 1300 or so RS-3's, only 46 were Phase II (7 roads), 250+ were Phase III. The other 1000 or so were Phase 1's.
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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--
Frank Rosenbaum

The Gratiot Valley Railroad Club bi-annual train show and sale
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news:3QfYd.1606

In that respect, I think it's a big mistake if they don't put a Genesis drive in their newly retooled RS3!!!
--
Frank Eva
http://www.trainweb.org/dccmodels/
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I
does
Companies
It's very simple. If Atlas wants to sell more RS-3's, they are going to have to update it. They already have once to keep ahead of the competition. If Athearn makes a beautiful RS-3, then there won't be that much interest in the old Atlas model, especially if Athearn can make all the variants and Atlas cannot. BTW, they aren't selling to "Joe Consumer", they are selling to model railroaders who are expected to know the difference...
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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If that's the way it works, then its a win-win for us!

All model railroaders are NOT afficionados (like the users of this newsgroup). I believe there are MANY folks who buy what they buy because they like how it looks - not because it's ultra-accurate. I also believe that it's this type of consumer who gets the lion's share of attention from the manufacturers.
Frank
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newsgroup). I believe there are MANY folks who buy what they buy because they like how it looks - not because it's ultra-accurate. I also believe that it's this type of consumer who gets the lion's share of attention from the manufacturers<
Mostly true but if you notice most all of today's models are very accurate. Those that are not sell some but not in the price range that Athearn and others would like to see sales. Good example is Trix. Expensive cars with some very fatal errors. They aren't selling. Kadee's, which are very, very accurate and in the same price range, they can't keep on the shelves. Bottom line is if the cars are in the 5 to 10 dollar range they get purchased by the group who doesn't care. If they are in the $30+ range they better be accurate or they won't move!
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Jeez, John... what do you want Athearn to do... offer the RS-3 in every louver configuration that Alco tried at the factory, or else completely pull the model from hobby shelves?
How do you define "very accurate" with an RS-3?
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I have no idea, it's out of my era. The comparison I used was Trix and Kadee, which are at about the same price point.
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1. Athearn has not set a price point.
2. Kadee doesn't make HO locomotives.
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DCC Models wrote:

I'd rather have a model that "looks right" than one that measures out correctly but looks wrong.because of some expediency of manufacture.. What I really hate is when the choice is between a dog that runs well and a beauty that doesn't!
Regards, Greg.P.
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from
I mostly with you up to that last point you made. If it's the "good enough-ers" who get the "lion's share of attention", they why are these manufacturers making all these variations? Look at the Genesis F-units, or the P2K FA's or E-units. These all have factory add on detail to make them more accurate. If anything, I think the manufacturers are courting the "detail" modelers now more than ever...
Paul A. Cutler III ************* Weather Or No Go New Haven *************
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Thanks Paul!
For a useful and informative post.
Athearn and MDC Roundhouse has been the backbone of my model railroad addiction and great joy since the 60's.
So it is much the more bitter that I cannot buy these products anymore from my very excellant local hobby stores, nor from Walthers. Well at least there's eBay (:
I'm sure that Horizon is very proud of this fine model and many others that they posess. Wish I could go and look at them and select a few for my pike. But at least Horizon will be able to admire them themselves. And probably many more to come.
Please let us know about more of Horizon's new Athearn and MDC Roundhouse products. Your descriptions are well done, the models sound very appealing. We can at least enjoy them vicariously, and remember when we were able to to buy them for our collections.
Best Regards,
Robert Arlington VA
wrote:

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