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Review: New SPng coach/ caboose models from P-B-L

Review: New SPng coach/ caboose models from P-B-L

Postby John Coker » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:15 pm

I finally received the long-overdue models from PBL, in Sn3, the uncrowned queen of scales. They were: 1. SPng 400 2. SPng #401 3. RGS #252 4.D&RGW B-7.
For the sake of the specificity of this site, I describe the SPng combine/cabooses.
400 is a carefully executed model. The baggage doors were simply o.k., not great, but correct for the car. #401 was as it looked prior to 1953, when it still had passenger trucks. It is very nice. Both cars have interiors- with stoves and Buntin seats. These cars may have had long benches instead of seats, as per Spng 1010. The lettering on #400 is simple-just "SP" and the number. #401 has the spelled-out "Southern Pacific" The lettering is historically perfect. Both cars are "sunburn red"-all over. Other detail looks historically correct, i.e. researched. One mistake is that the trucks (they are plastic, with electric contacts) are both D&RGW style.These cars had 8-spring Carter-style trucks. My models even had repack dates from Alamosa on them! However, knowing something about importing models, I go with my "close enough" mantra. Both cabooses have marker lamps. They are lit, as well as the interior, with constant lighting, which is done by means of a battery, that takes about a minute or two to charge. It is simply TOO COOL to pack these models away with the markers still glowing!!! These cars are both DC and DCC compatible. I ran #401 behind my PBL Sn3 SPng #18, perfectly weathered by Jimmy Booth. My first love was SPng (I am a native Californian) and as I ran them down a test strip I remembered all over again why I first loved narrow gauge! I felt something of the excitement I hadn't felt in decades! All considered, these are great models, perhaps the best car models ever imported, worth the long wait. Go to to view http://www.p-b-l.com these models. I believe they are sold out, but inquire if interested, as some times they come up with extras.. This, without a description of the incredble D&RGW B-7...{sigh}!
Last edited by John Coker on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Review: New SPng coach/ caboose models from P-B-L

Postby Andrew Brandon » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:34 pm

John,

Thanks for the review! I had seen the photos of 400 with the D&RGW style trucks and wondered if they were going to be shipped that way or not. I have heard good things about P-B-L over the years and I've been impressed with what they're doing. The SP boxcar kits look marvelous and I'd almost want to get one to mess with, if I didn't have a full plate. Constant lighting sounds like fun, I had a caboose long ago with a CL circuit in it. I am also pleased to hear that the lettering on 401 is accurate, I had noticed that the boxcar kits P-B-L does had accurate lettering. Most SPNG decals out there are rubbish, often they aren't anything more than a generic railroad roman style. I have been working on a set of SPNG decals myself over the past few years, hopefully in a few months I'll have them ready for sale and they will be available in scales from HO to 1:20.3.

If you're interested in swapping out the trucks with more prototypical trucks, Wiseman sells Sn3 Carter Passenger trucks which were formerly V&T Shops detail parts. I haven't had experience with any of Wiseman's trucks like these but I've heard mixed reviews on the quality of his castings.

Image
http://www.wisemanmodelservices.com/store/product.php?id=296

P.S. go ahead and review the B7, I won't protest ;)
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Re: Review: New SPng coach/ caboose models from P-B-L

Postby John Coker » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:36 pm

I am glad Kieth Wiseman has bought up small parts-makers and reissuee so many rare casting. He is doing a great service to the hobby. Wiseman's trucks are of fair quality, as the V&T passenger trucks were only fair. My experience is that V&T trucks have to employ all-plastic wheels (to stop shorting, as the brakeshoes are of soft metal). They also need constant tweakibng to roll right. I have some of Wiseman's Spng trucks and plan to use them on a model of Spng #12.The trucks under the PBL models have to stay there; They are plastic for good reason (to control shorting, that would burn out the lights) and they have a very sophisticated pickup system installed on them. I might remove the Alamosa repack dates, though! One thing you can count on is PBL's model quality is consistently good, if not excellent. The car kits are all great, accurate, have readable instructions, and build to be good-looking and good-running models.
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Posts: 247
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:36 pm
Location: Bayfield,CO


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