Challenger choices?

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jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
I'm planning to get a 4-6-6-4 Challenger soon, to model UP 3985, and I'd like some outsider advice.

I'd rather avoid the Rivarossi & Lionel, so that leaves the Bowser & Genesis. I'd love to have sound in the unit, and it to be detailed completely.

The Bowser, minus the sound will run me around $150, add $100 for a Tsunami, and it'll cost $250. The Genesis MSPR is $399, but they run around $250 on eBay.

The Bowser will require me to detail & paint, then install the DCC/Sound, but I do not know how much space I'd have, I'd assume the tender is good enough. The Genesis however is detailed, but the pictures I see, look like it has a very generic pilot.

Anyone?
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
The Bowser kit might run you more than you think. These are the current list prices:

1-100300 Challenger Kit - $123.00
1-100325 Challenger Superdetail Kit - $62.00
1-150001 Semi-Vanderbilt Tender Kit - $39.50

Then again, the cheapest Athearns on eBay (at least right now) come out to be $300 once you add shipping. All three items are backordered at Bowser right now though too (well I have one of each in stock but they're already spoken for).

All that said, I'm still partial to Bowser, but that's mainly because it's made in the USA instead of China. I do have lots of customers that swear by Bowser units though. They are a lot of work to get together and fine tuned, but Bowser units are famous for running like tanks when they're all said and done.

I'm sure you've already been to this page, but the photos give you and idea of what all is involved in building the kit: http://bowser-trains.com/holocos/challenger/challenger.htm
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
So, I was about $50 short on both, though $290 will buy a Genesis right now, $278 + $7.95 shipping and then insurance.

But either way... How much space do those Bowser tenders come with? I'd need the Long Haul tender, not the Vanderbilt.
http://www.steamlocomotive.com/tenders/up3985-tender.jpg

Anyone know where I can get a close match for the auxiliary tenders (they're old Turbine tenders if memory serves me right).
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/13178
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/23924
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/15341
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/15105
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/32401

I know Concor made the tenders, but heck if I could ever find one! Some more shots of that boxcar would be awesome too, thats the tool car.
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/32400

Thanks for the reply Nate! I was hoping you'd reply.
 

sushob

Entrepreneurial Teen
So, I was about $50 short on both, though $290 will buy a Genesis right now, $278 + $7.95 shipping and then insurance.

But either way... How much space do those Bowser tenders come with? I'd need the Long Haul tender, not the Vanderbilt.
http://www.steamlocomotive.com/tenders/up3985-tender.jpg
If you can manage to jam a decoder and speaker in an HO engine, I would like to think you'd have plenty of room in the tender for a decoder and a good size speaker. The tender is hollow, and since it's die-cast it's pretty heavy without having to add any extra weights inside.

Anyone know where I can get a close match for the auxiliary tenders (they're old Turbine tenders if memory serves me right).
Well, there's always this: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200124220298 :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Thanks[/url] for the reply Nate! I was hoping you'd reply.
No problem! Maybe I'll end up ordering the kits for you if you decide to go with the Bowser project. As I update my website over the next couple of weeks though the discount on the Bowser loco, tender, and detail kits is going to go down to 15-20% because of price increases.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Huh, close, but no deal. :( I've noticed there's two types, it looks like there's two or 3 of the notched end ones, similar to the ones the single unit turbines had:
http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/38052
(note UP 9336, boxcar!)
Or the more round style, but not quite as round as the Overland one linked:
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=191577&nseq=13

Anyways, way off topic, I'll figure the aux tenders out for the units later. For now, just the Challenger + tender. I guess it comes down to, which one is better detailed, the Bowser + detail kit, + tender, or the Genesis?
 

Ryan

Ryan
The Athern one is great . It has nice sound , and the hand held is great . I have never seen the Bowser run though . Look at TrainWorld . I herd that the Athern ones are at $250 there.:cool:
 

HaggisKennedy

Coal Shoveler
I don't know how easy it is to put a Decoder into the Bowser. I'm also not sure how recent the Bowser design is, which may mean extra work on getting it DCC-ready. OTOH, the Genesis decoder apparently sux, so you probably ought to add the price of the Tsunami to the Genesis price. But, the DCC installation should go quick.

Kennedy
 

GN.2-6-8-0

Member
Also keep in mind the bowser semi-vanderblit tender is not even close to the U.P prototype centipede tender so your only recourse would be either a used brass one or a plastic of which the rivarossi are fairly plentiful.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Bowser has the correct tender, though when you look at the Challenger info they always reference the semi-Vanderbilt, they have the centipede, #150650 Long Haul Tender Kit.
 

GN.2-6-8-0

Member
Bowser has the correct tender, though when you look at the Challenger info they always reference the semi-Vanderbilt, they have the centipede, #150650 Long Haul Tender Kit.
Bowser's long haul tender is a Pennsy prototype ,you can see it attached to the Pennsey I1 2-10-0 on the Bowser website.
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Josh, don't worry about space in the tenders for sound/decoder. I have the Lionel w/centipede and you could put your stereo system in it, LOL:D :D The only thing I don't like is the QSI whistle that came with it. I will soon replace it with the Tsunami Heavy.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Thanks Rex. How does the Lionel run? I think going to avoid the Bowser, then though I like the thought of painting & detailing it myself, I'd still have to get a tender from somewhere else. The Genesis sounds like the best deal now...
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
The Lionel is beautifully detailed and a very smooth runner and now that she got "broke in" she can pull the walls off. She's heavy at about 4.5 lbs, but that doesn't bother the operation... only enhances it. I believe the tender is 1.5lbs of that weight. ;) One thing about the Lionel is it will not tolerate bad track joints. I will run her after installing new track and if she makes it, then I know my track is perfect.:D

I have read mixed reviews about the Genesis, but if I am not mistaken, most said it ran very well. It was the Sound that wasn't very good. Certainly has a reasonable price. I was lucky with my Lionel and got the 3985 on the closeout sale for $199 at Internet Trains. I had to leap on that considering it originally retailed at $699. :)
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Huh, well I MIGHT revert back to the Bowser, there's one on eBay for under $40 right now, and there's two centipede tenders also available separately. One brass & one Rivarossi. I'll see how they go, maybe I'll buy them.

If not, I'm thinking I'll go Genesis, one will cost me less then $300 after shipping on eBay.
 




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