General Comments and Questions
PLEASE NOTE: All photos are first samples. NONE of these should be considered final.
The above photos show the first painted sample I received this Tues 7/7/09. This was a rush for the NMRA show and the other painted versions did not make it in time. Even for a quick sample, you can start to see the detail possible on these units. This one was fully equipped with grab irons for two reason, one to show what can be done, and the other to see what it really involves to add them (more on that later). For now, check out what CAN be done. Correctly colored handrails, walkways, all those warning labels on the roof - Pretty Cool stuff - No?
Q: Will you do all the absolute 100% correct versions of these locos. Which ones will you do?
Sorry to say, no can do. There are numerous versions on the GEVO Locomotives. There are 10 US roads that own GEVO's with only slightly more paint schemes, while body variations number somewhere above 20. UP has at least 4 versions itself. While it would be neat to do absolute correct versions for every road, and certainly possible , it is simply not cost effective or practical. So what are we modeling? After looking across the board on all variations (which are still evolving on the prototype even today), We decided to model 3 specific locos - 2 AC versions and 1 DC version. We are doing 2 unique cabs. A 3 Window version commonly used on the UP and a 4 window version commonly used on the BNSF. The AC and DC locos use different sills and handrails - so we did those. There are AC bodies with High (UP) and Low (BNSF) rear headlights. The DC body uses the low rear headlight (BNSF). We also opted to add either Hi-Ad or Steerable trucks in the mix. With all these components, we can mix and match parts to get a number of specific prototypes and fairly close on the rest. With these parts, we will be offering 6 different locomotives.
Q: Will you offer undecorated units?
You betcha. Undecs will be offered as each unique version comes online. There are two undecs listed on the first release.
Q: Will Parts be available?
That is our intention. Logistics for this are being worked on and it will vary on when those specific parts are being run. We know there is a desire to obtain some parts and we are open having them available. However, please be patient as finished models come first and it will be some time before parts can happen. We will let you know when.
Q: Can we add DCC to these locomotives?
Not only can you, it is easier than ever before! Check out the below photo. Take off the shell, remove the 6 pin shorting plug, insert your favorite 6 pin decoder (Digitrax DZ125IN or Train Control Systems EUN651), pop the top back on and BAM!, you're done. Wasn't that easy. No more taking apart mechs and changing out entire PC Boards. Life is Good!
Q: What road names will you be doing?
YES! We are developing art for all US road names and will even include the lone CEMX unit if there is
enough interest. Several roads have some variations and a few special or unique units. We have an
interest in exploring each of them. The Kicker....There is no master plan on when a specific road or
scheme will come into play. We will make an effort to mix in large and small roads on a regular basis.
Stay tuned for your favorite.
Q: What's up with those wire grabs? Will they be installed?
From the beginning of this project we wanted to push the current N "standard". An easy to install DCC chip was part of that process. The other was the fact that I enjoyed detailing locomotives, but absolutely did not like carving off cast-on grabs on painted units (or undecs for that matter). The solution was to cast off the cast-on grabs. What we did was leave a small dimple as a starter hole where most grab irons should be. This accomplished a few positive outcomes. Now, the modelers that wanted to add individual grabs does not have to scuff the factory paint removing (usually oversized) cast on grabs. Now, if desired, they can just drill holes and add the wire parts. We'll even throw them in the box for ya. Another positive is that printing becomes that much better. Sometimes when trying to add graphics over cast-on grabs, there is a small break in the printing. No cast-on grabs means no more distressed printing over them.
So what does this all mean? Really? - Not much. These will be great looking units right from the box. Put them on the point of your favorite trains and enjoy - no further work needed. For those that want to add a little something, that option just becomes a little easier. And it is just that, an option available that wasn't before.
So why are we not installing them? A few reasons there too. These things are tiny, fragile and do not take rough handling very well. They also take a long time to install - even at the factory level. This factor would drive the cost up to a level I was not comfortable with. They are WAY cool when installed, but not that cool. I still strive to offer a great unit at a great price, and think these GEVO's will do just that. So as a standard unit, they will remain a modeler applied option.
So we have established stock units will not have the metal grabs installed, However, if you just GOTTA have it, please let your interest be known. There is the possibility of opening up the FVM BACKSHOP and supplying a very limited qty of units "factory custom" with grabs installed. Fair warning, these will only be available direct and will cost more. Nuff Said.
Last note for the detailers. Most grabs will be included. However, you will be missing the two on the top center of the nose. Due to molds, cavities, slides and other technical mumbo jumbo, dimples could not be put here and grabs were not formed for them. Sorry 'bout that.
Q: When can I get one?
The first units are expected to be available by the end of the year. The first group is available for reservation TODAY. Please let your dealer know your interest by Aug 7.
Other questions or comments, please let us know. A very sincere Thanks for your continued interest
and support of Fox Valley Models.