Friday, October 18, 2013

The tale of two ANs, Barcoola review of Auscision's AN Class locomotive

Hi All

When Michael, Jon and Doug went to the Sydney Exhibition, they came back with a few goodies, Jon came back with two ANs from Auscision, many thanks Jon for being a pack mule, and spotting me the doe.

Firstly the AN model from Auscision is in the year they said they would deliver, so a tick in the box for that one!

I did a quick comparison between my seventeen year old scratch built AN6, and the couple of months old Auscision model AN4, no great surprises here.

Form fit and function, Auscision has captured the look of the prototype, quite well.

Detail on the observers side is well represented, including the Clyde builders plate (nice touch).
However the "Silicone Alkyd" lettering should not  be on this side.
 The colours fairly well represent the as delivered colour, however again the roof fades quite quickly.
 The crew are there, worthy of note, AN shirts are not that colour.  Having said that, its not the end of the world.  Makes you wonder where they got the idea that AN shirts are this colour, Trainorama made the same error with the GMs!
 Nose profile is close.
 The A ends compare quite well, I hope those double set of ditch lights work appropriately, considering the bars don't actually cover the lights.
The inner to should be the main ditch lights, the outer lights are strobe lights.   When the air horn is tonked, the strobes should flash in unison and the ditchlights should alternate.

The bolt heads around the window seals are again a nice touch, as are coupler lift bars, and air hoses (not glad handed)
 Here is AN9 in 2005.  Should give you some weathering ideas.

 Roof detail is nice. A/C grille, antenna array
 Radiator fans, and dynamic brake detail again spot on!

 Compare the models below with the prototype photo above, a little over use of yellow on the steps and handrails below the anti-climber.

 A small marking error on the B end frame on this side, should have the Silicone Alkyd, lettering in white here.  See prototype photo above.

 Bogie detail, again spot on.

 The Auscision model is missing lettering here.

 Radiator and Dynamic grille detail, spot on.

 The B end frame sill lettering is in the wrong position on the frame, however the air cleaner is well represented.
Unfortunately again the detail is really nice, but just not robust enough, out of the box AN4's rear side steps were already broken!

 Here is where the lettering should be.
 The B end looks really good, hand rails are the correct colour, except for the step and handrail below the anti-climber.
Here is how you switch the lights off and on.
 The body does not seem to sit well on the body and at the A end is is quite noticeable, if you run your fingers along the body side, you can feel the body bowing out.  I assume this is a lug problem, I will let you know what I find out.

Unfortunately I could not operate the model at this time until I get some 21 pin decoders.

The verdict:
Auscision have produced a fine example, of the AN class, no doubt about it.
Once again, being an AN modeller pays off!
However, its a shelf model, scale size detail is nice, but renders the model vulnerable to easy damage.
Other areas such as the cowcatcher matching the frame, and my version has some stains of what I assume is super glue between this and the frame.
Some simple errors, in lettering, but no actual detail faults.

The 21 pin plug:
I am sure the 21 pin will have more functionality, but why not give the modellers the option of an 8 pin.
The Instructions even recommend a sound chip, Trainorama seem to have mastered this approach with the GM class, and we can plug it or not.

Maybe Auscision could look at Intermountain, they have a dual mode chip that just works, sooooo easy, and is fitted to every non sound model. I would hope its the next step, and I for one are prepared to pay for.
if not, just give me the 8 pin option.

Would I buy another model? yup no problem, looks spot on.  Nice addition to Barcoola and Alice Springs, eventually.
Its a beautiful model that I can't operate, right now.
Both of these models will sit in the draws until I get a shipment of 21 pin decoders, as will Jon's and Glen's, and probably everyone else's.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. I would like to modify my model so that the ditch lights and strobes operate prototypically, so thanks for your description of how they work. Would you, by chance, be able to point me to an online video of these lights in operation so that I can approximate the timing of the flashes on my model?