Wow! Ok, you heard it here first. These 5 unit Spine Car sets are awesome. (Ok maybe you heard it elsewhere first, but it’s the first time you heard it from me!)
Here is a quick video I made of them running on my hobby room test track;
As you can see, these are great running even when empty, on a very tight loop of Kato Unitrak and with one of the trucks de-railed by yours truly. Even with the front truck on the ground, they went through both Kato switches perfectly. That’s pretty bullet proof.
I’m a veteran of the older con-cor spine cars that were quite the pieces of Shi… pooh. They didn’t track for crap and they wobbled from side to side so badly that even weighted trailers would go launching in every corner. The amount of work needed to make them work was not worth the time invested.
As a modern period modeler though, I was quite thrilled when BLMA announced these Trinity Spine Cars. My friend George at Wig-Wag managed to save me a set even though I hadn’t pre-ordered them. (Brain dead me! Thank the heavens for George and Debra!) I got to pick a set up last night and wow, was I impressed. I even managed to grab another set today as an Anniversary present (27 years… people have served less time for murder…LOL, I’m kidding sheeeesh).
The down side. Very minor. On the first set, there was a VERY tight truck, wouldn’t swivel at all. A few moments with a round file and that process was fixed. Also, a teeny-tiny detail piece fell off an was laying in the packaging. No biggy, it was one of the channel pieces around the 5th wheel mount. A tiny dab of super glue, magnifying glasses and all was well with the world again. On the second set, a brake wheel had come off. Again, super glue, specs and no worries in about 2 minutes.
The Up sides.
- They track brilliantly, even unloaded. They are cast metal and have some heft to them so they keep the track.
- The gorgeous new 70 ton trucks from BLMA with profile metal wheelsets. A joy to behold, need a lot of rust though…
- MT body mount couplers. YAY
- Beautiful detail, all around!
I have heard some folks say that the 5th wheels are a pain to assemble and build. I did not find them all that hard to do once you look at the pictures on the BLMA site. Still, they are small and highly detailed, so take your time.
Overall, BLMA gets a solid A+ for this release. Beautifully done. A little later I may post a snap or two of putting the 5th wheels together and on the car in case people need a hand.