Friday, December 13, 2019

More B36-7 Goodness

Conrail modelers have had an amazing run of luck with manufacturers lately.  In the last few years, we have racked up beautiful, superdetailed models of H58 boxcars (Tangent), PS 4785 (ScaleTrains) and now PS 4750 (Tangent) covered hoppers, insulated 50' boxcars (Moloco), high-cube auto parts and appliance cars (Exactrail), coil cars (Exactrail, Tangent), all of which are incredible but are in some ways outdone by the locomotives - ScaleTrains C39-8's and SD40-2's, Athearn Genesis GP38-2's and GP40-2's, Atlas GP40-2's, GP40's and GP38's, and now the incredible Rapido B36-7. 

This is an embarrassment of riches compared to the 1990's and 2000's when we were kitbashing and hand-painting models!

As seen in the review from last month, the models themselves are amazing.  After all four were programmed, I speed matched them to a test engine (Kato 6345 seen 4th out above) and then added all four to a consist for some break-in runs.  

I did have some challenges programming these, with the new ESU Loksound 'V5' decoders.  My usual approach of JMRI (Java Model Railroad Interface) wasn't as useful as it had been.  In the end I had to make the investment in the proprietary 'LokProgrammer' which isn't cheap and is yet another thing to manage, but in the end, it did work, and is intuitive after a few hours of fiddling.  

Admittedly the sight and sound of these consisted makes up for most of that frustration.  

I can write the LokProgrammer experience in a future post, too, which may help keep that for posterity and maybe help someone else who was befuddled by the need for it.

Weathering is up next.  These are going to add a tremendous amount of variety to operations on the Onondaga Cutoff.  The layout has benefited from all this top-quality rolling stock.  The roster is nearing a state of completion, with the only major exception being modern-tooled and DCC-equipped six axle Dash-7's.  If a manufacturer announces C36-7's, C30-7A's and C30-7's, I'm going to need a loan to finish off the fleet!


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