Re: Japanese steamers..
- I think Micro Trains has already shown us the next generation of diesel mechanisms with the GP7 GP35 and now the SD40-2 and maybe soon the E8. The essentials are the 10vdc 8mm can motor and a split frame with light board and isolated motor from chassis for easy conversion to DCC. I am not sure the Z Market is ready for a flood of other diesel bodies just yet so I think the extra choices will come from other shells from outside suppliers that will fit on AZL and MTL chassis and will require a bit of work to get them on the rail.
The Old F7A can be converted to DCC rather easily by some of us but it is not easy for many. They run well with add on pick up kit and are very nice on DCC with that upgrade. Quite a few of us have shown that the dummy B unit can be powered with a bit of work using the F7A chassis and some of us have shown that the old shells for the F7A and F7B can be mounted on modified GP chassis so they are also DCCable in that form. Glass in the widows is fairly easy to do as well with the Micro Scale product. You can now purchase the bare chassis for the GP from at least one source so much is possible.
As for actually seeing another F7 model in the near future that is hard to say as Micro Trains usually keeps such details close to their chestbut my bet would be no. I would not be surprised to see an FPxA as that could be fitted on the current GP chassis and who knows we might see an FT, F3 or F9 in the future. With the advent of the SD40-2 there are quite a few options for other models open now. Even using the GP Chassis with a new set of trucks the PA and PB could be modeled. A couple of us modified the Hallmark Christmas Ornament PA from the Liberty Trains series with power from a GP chassis to get an operational PA Locomotive. With the metal shell it has lots of pulling power.
So for the artistic and adventurous the sky is the limit for the RTR only crowd not quite as easily satisfied.
--- In email@example.com, "flyerbait" <flyerbait@...> wrote:
> The other question was... Now that Micro trains isn't producing their F3's anymore, are they looking at redesigning this loco in the future (perhaps with room for a decoder, a better motor, more detail, windows, etc)? What about other first and second generation loco's? I have been reading up on the product improvements that have been going on with H.O and N scale product lines, and I'm finding myself a bit jealous of the improvements (I also suspect everytime Z scale products improve.. those improvements seem to be radiating up scale to other products).