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  • Topic: Aristocraft 0-4-0 review.

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    • May 21, 2014 11:17 PM EDT
      • Annapolis, Maryland
         
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      I recently added another engine to my collection and I finally purchased a steam type locomotive. (Not live steam, mind you). This little locomotive is probably the most popular for those getting into garden railroading and for Christmas tree railroads as well. Mine is done in black with a dark gray nose. In UP livery. She is a neat little engine and I am starting to realize why so many in here really love steam locomotives.

      The locomotive was manufactured by Aristocraft in China. As I indicated in my opening title, she is an 0-4-0
      configuration. The motor inside seems very adequate and is pretty smooth. As are the driver arms. The cab is vacant, but there appears to be a replication of a fire for the boiler. Other then that, there is nothing inside the cab. The rails are all brass. A nice touch. The body is plastic with many added features typical of this type locomotive.

      The 0-4-0 has a headlight and a brass bell. She uses prototypical Aristocraft couplers. When I got this locomotive, it was from a box that was broken up to sell everything separately. So, I got the locomotive without really knowing its features. I believe it does have smoke, but I have not determined that as of yet. One piece was broken off the front end, but I manufactured from scratch a metal substitute and painted it to match the locomotive. I believe it was a grab iron. 

      I purchased a UP bobber caboose manufactured by Aristocraft and it looks real nice with the locomotive. I plan on getting two more cars and that is it, for this particular locomotive.

      When I was about 5 years old. My parents bought me an HO 0-4-0 Baltimore and Ohio locomotive. I played with that little guy and even kept it with me when I went to bed. I loved that little locomotive. So, when I saw this G scale 0-4-0, I jumped right on it.

      Anyway, to conclude my review, the driver arms are metal as are the wheels. I don't have the original box, so I cannot quote the exact features, but I believe I got most of them. In conclusion, this is a first rate locomotive and even if you are not remotely interested in steam era locomotives, this little gal is worth the effort.


      PS I know many in here have extensive experience with these type locomotives. If I made a mistake or omitted anything, please feel free to correct me or add on to the review. I am sure there is more to this little locomotive. Including the history of it. Thanks

      This post was edited by Stacy Krausmann at May 21, 2014 11:20 PM EDT
    • May 23, 2014 9:25 PM EDT
      • Annapolis, Maryland
         
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      I would like to make some corrections to my above review. First, the bell is not actually brass. The rails are painted. Also, this particular locomotive does not have the updated electronics. So, I took it back and traded it for one that did.

      I ended up with a brand new 0-4-0 Pennsylvania with a tender. Now this is a real nice locomotive. The electronics are housed in the accompanying tender that goes with the locomotive. Inside, under the coal load hatch, are four switches that one must re positioned to operate the locomotive properly. Smoke, battery/track, power, lights. On this locomotive, there is a simulated fire burning in the cab which looks kind of cool.

      Along with the locomotive and tender came a caboose that is brown and black with all the livery of the PRR adorning it. A real nice looking caboose I might add. I decided to trade back for the better locomotive because I really like this loco allot. Real first rate engine with many details I already made mention of above.

      I plan on detailing this locomotive with weathering and a engineer as well as a brakeman. Just enough to give it a good well used look. As for rolling stock, I am not sure what I will add, but it is likely a small old time gondola with various junk parts inside.

      I can really see why people like this particular locomotive. Although not a main liner, she still looks cool going around the track.

      Thanks

      This post was edited by Stacy Krausmann at May 23, 2014 9:26 PM EDT
    • May 25, 2014 6:21 PM EDT
      • Ottawa, Ontario
         
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      I have 1 of the original Aristo 0-4-0's & last year I added new Revolution Steam with sound to my locomotive.

       

      The wheels are a little bent; I recently added weight to the front end with fishing weights but it runs & operates well @ Father Fred's OVGRS in Ottawa. I had it out yesterday & it pulled any load as I along with my son are the yardmaster's @ Firgrove & Dipple yard!

       

      Good little locomotive!

       


      I tried for a few minutes loading pictures but sorry; but here are the links:

       

       

      file://localhost/Users/wmseamac/Desktop/photo%202.JPG
      file://localhost/Users/wmseamac/Desktop/photo%203.JPG

       

       

       

    • May 25, 2014 10:26 PM EDT
      • Annapolis, Maryland
         
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      William Seabrooke said:

      I have 1 of the original Aristo 0-4-0's & last year I added new Revolution Steam with sound to my locomotive.

       

      The wheels are a little bent; I recently added weight to the front end with fishing weights but it runs & operates well @ Father Fred's OVGRS in Ottawa. I had it out yesterday & it pulled any load as I along with my son are the yardmaster's @ Firgrove & Dipple yard!

       

      Good little locomotive!

       


      I tried for a few minutes loading pictures but sorry; but here are the links:

       

       

      file://localhost/Users/wmseamac/Desktop/photo%202.JPG
      file://localhost/Users/wmseamac/Desktop/photo%203.JPG

       


      Thanks William.

      You're right. This is a good little locomotive alright. So good in fact, I found me another one for $75 dollars brand new in a box. Now I have two PRR A5 0-4-0's with two separate road numbers. Now I need a another slope back tender and another caboose with some cars and I'll have a real nice little railroad going in my basement.

      I love this little locomotive allot. You have live steam? I sure wish I knew enough about that to convert it over, but I think I'll wait awhile before delving into live steam. The pictures look real cool.

      Thanks 

       

       

      This post was edited by Stacy Krausmann at May 25, 2014 10:26 PM EDT
    • May 25, 2014 10:45 PM EDT
      • Smoggy L.A., Left Coast
         
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      If your axles havent slipped then you must have the oldest version. Those were pretty durable. I never should have sold my older one. I have currently one of the more recent versions and not only are the wheels falling off the axles, but the motor was sizzled. Need to get around to repairing it. Luckily I have the parts.
      This post was edited by Vic Smith at May 25, 2014 10:46 PM EDT
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    • May 25, 2014 11:08 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      William Seabrooke said:


      I tried for a few minutes loading pictures but sorry; but here are the links:

      file://localhost/Users/wmseamac/Desktop/photo%202.JPG
      file://localhost/Users/wmseamac/Desktop/photo%203.JPG
      Your links are bad. They are to your computer I think. You must publish them to an ON LINE host such as the freight sheds here or something like Photobucket, etc. for them to work.
      This post was edited by Joe Zullo at May 25, 2014 11:10 PM EDT
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    • May 26, 2014 10:02 PM EDT
      • Annapolis, Maryland
         
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      Today, I purchased a caboose to go with another A5 PRR 0-4-0 I bought the other day. I also have a tender with sound on hold and a small PRR gondola. Both came out of a set that is being broken up and sold separately.

      For reasons I cannot explain, I really like these little 0-4-0's allot. Maybe it is because they look so realistic. Anyway, it looks as though I am on my way to building a small PRR railroad.

      ****Please Note: If you purchase the newest versions of this Aristo Craft A5 0-4-0 with the slope back tender, the locomotive MUST be run with that tender or it will not run at all. The electronics for the locomotive are housed in the tender. Anyway, if someone sells you an 0-4-0 that is without the tender, be advised, it will not move what's so ever unless it is lashed up with the tender if it comes from Aristo's latest version sets. 

      The new PRR/Christmas sets by Aristo Craft, come with the locomotive, tender and caboose. That's all.
      No track or transformer. Just the three items. Now the older versions with electronics in the locomotive have no issues moving without the tender.

      The funny thing is, the 0-4-0 was designed to be a tender-less locomotive working yards and switching cars around.

      This post was edited by Stacy Krausmann at May 26, 2014 10:04 PM EDT
    • May 27, 2014 12:27 AM EDT

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      Stacy, look around for some switches on the loco itself, might be one to bypass the tender.

       

      This came out so long ago I forgot if the 2 switches on the loco itself will allow it to run by itself.

       

      Greg

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    • May 27, 2014 9:52 AM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Mine came in a starter set and has never had a tender attached, ran just fine as an 0-4-0T. There is a 2 connector plug on short wires in the cab for tender power pick-ups. Didn't see any switches.

       

      John

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    • May 27, 2014 11:19 AM EDT

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      John Stacy has the new version with the different motor block and the Aristo socket in the tender.

       

      I'd wager yours is the older one, with the crummy wheel plating.

       

      by the way, an 0-4-0T means there is a bunker at the end of the loco and some way to hold water like a saddle tank. (having a hard finding a good picture of the back end).

       

       

      Which would be a cool model.

       

      Greg

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    • May 27, 2014 4:03 PM EDT
      • Annapolis, Maryland
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Stacy, look around for some switches on the loco itself, might be one to bypass the tender.

       

      This came out so long ago I forgot if the 2 switches on the loco itself will allow it to run by itself.

       

      Greg

      I checked again Greg, like you suggested and all I have on the new version with the tender is two switches on the left side of the locomotive just under the cab. Those switches only operate the smoke and power, but the power switch does nothing without the tender attached.

      Believe me, I tried everything. The newest versions of the 0-4-0 come with two switches on the locomotive and four switches in the tender just under the coal load. There is an empty hole where a switch may have been at one time under the tender. I suspect this operated the sound system.

      The tender I have on hold has a sound system built in. Looks just like the one I got in the new set. Except, the sound system is strictly in the tender and is operated by a switch within the tender itself.

      Confusing stuff here alert!!! LOL

      Anyway, Aristo Craft must have decided not to incorporate sound in their latest versions because it does not have it. Yet, there are speaker holes on the bottom of that tender.

      Both my locomotives run fine, but only one can run by itself without a tender.

      BTW Both locomotives lashed up for a double header look great and run very smoothly.

    • May 27, 2014 4:10 PM EDT
      • Annapolis, Maryland
         
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      I believe the Forney Locomotive has everything built right into it. So it could operate on its own without a tender. Someone can correct me if I am wrong here. At the train store, they have several older Aristo
      Craft sets that have a Forney locomotive with the tender. Which is odd because it does not look right in my opinion.

      I am not a lover of the Forney locomotive. The A5 0-4-0 just appeals to me more.

      I really cannot understand why AC went and created a set with( a locomotive designed in real life to operate independently of a tender) a tender in the set. I mean, I am not complaining, but it seems to me that all these locomotives ought to operate as they do in real life.

      This post was edited by Stacy Krausmann at May 27, 2014 4:12 PM EDT
    • May 27, 2014 6:15 PM EDT

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      You get sound from Aristo by purchasing the latest Revolution decoder ha ha.

       

      There were some locos that could be bought with sound, but not recently.

       

      You could make a plug that would jumper the connections, but I seem to remember that there was something funny with the power pickup system also.

       

      There's some reviews on this somewhere, either here, or MLS or the Aristo forum.

       

      Big differences on the 0-4-0 was better drivetrain, I think siderods changed to metal, and the socket, and now tender is required.

       

       

      Greg

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    • May 27, 2014 7:49 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Stacy, you are sort of correct. The PRR for one had a class of 0-4-0 switchers that had a slope-back tender. A locomotive without a tender needs to have a fuel bunker and water tanks on the locomotive. They could either be side tanks like the Bachmann Porter, or a saddle tank like the LGB Porter. But a tenderless locomotive needs to carry its fuel and water on the locomotive somehow.

       

      Personally I do not like slope-back tenders, even though they are prototypical. They made them that way, to help improve the visibility for the engineer when operating in reverse.

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    • May 27, 2014 7:59 PM EDT
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      You get sound from Aristo by purchasing the latest Revolution decoder ha ha.

       

      There were some locos that could be bought with sound, but not recently.

       

      You could make a plug that would jumper the connections, but I seem to remember that there was something funny with the power pickup system also.

       

      There's some reviews on this somewhere, either here, or MLS or the Aristo forum.

       

      Big differences on the 0-4-0 was better drivetrain, I think siderods changed to metal, and the socket, and now tender is required.

       

       

      Greg


      The tender I have on hold is with sound, but it is from an older set. Not that great, but sound is sound and I like the idea of having another tender.

      The version I have, the one I bought solo in a black Aristo Craft box.......that locomotive is older and runs without a tender. Actually a pretty cool looking locomotive with the PRR logo up on the side of the cab.

      I'll probably find others out there. As to what they will have as far as smoke, power, sound etc....I cannot say. LOL

    • May 27, 2014 8:03 PM EDT
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      David Maynard said:

      Stacy, you are sort of correct. The PRR for one had a class of 0-4-0 switchers that had a slope-back tender. A locomotive without a tender needs to have a fuel bunker and water tanks on the locomotive. They could either be side tanks like the Bachmann Porter, or a saddle tank like the LGB Porter. But a tenderless locomotive needs to carry its fuel and water on the locomotive somehow.

       

      Personally I do not like slope-back tenders, even though they are prototypical. They made them that way, to help improve the visibility for the engineer when operating in reverse.


      Yea, I was reading up on what you just said and the PRR operated these locomotives for the most part without tenders, but when they did use them, they used the slope back for the reasons you mentioned.

      I kind of like the slope back. However, I think it can only look good with a 0-4-0 or perhaps the Dockside, but it is still a pretty decent looking tender.

      I wish I could find a video of someone that has built a railroad using these as yard switchers so I can get a feel for what I am trying to do.

      BTW. One could buy the Xmas version and paint it and modify it with updated electronics I guess. My modeling skills are okay, but not as good as I would like them to be for such an effort. Painting is easy enough, but electronics.........HELP! LOL!

      This post was edited by Stacy Krausmann at May 27, 2014 8:04 PM EDT
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