• Walthers PROTO Amfleets

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, stilson4283, Otto Vondrak

  by JamesRR
Placed a "backorder" for a four-car consist of the new Walthers Proto Amfleets. Walthers is really coming through with these, releasing the other paint schemes (I went for Phase III).

It has me wondering if they will go ahead and offer a "cab car" based on the Metroliners (I'd love to pair it with the Amfleets for a Keystoner consist). I'd imagine it would be a great pairing, because the car finish and paint schemes will match really well.

Anyway, I'm excited to have a decent set of Amfleets after buying 4 different (and wrongly executed) types over the last 25 years.
  by timberley
Be sure to post your thoughts on them when you get them! Despite being a Canadian modeller, I still decided to order a 3-car set when they announced the Phase IVb schemes and I saw how good the decorated samples looked! Can't wait to get a hold of them.

A poster on another forum noted that like many Walthers cars, the ends on the new Amfleets are separate pieces that can be removed, and suggested that could bode well for a future cab-car version, if they could just add a new end on to what is mostly just a standard coach.
  by Otto Vondrak
JamesRR wrote:It has me wondering if they will go ahead and offer a "cab car" based on the Metroliners...
Ditto, I was hoping that future production of Metroliners would include the cab car conversions in use across the country.

  by Amtrak207
My take:

I have taken delivery of 4 Amfleet I coaches in Phase IVb (with a bunch more on the way)

The cars are packaged nicely like the previous runs of Superliners were. Right off the bat, the cars are...shiny. NOT chrome as some members have suggested, but def. not toned down either. (I will get into the plating shortly) The trucks look great as well as the underbody. The underbody is not as detailed as a Rapido model, but they are leaps and bounds from what we had all these years, I like it.

The window gaskets..... WOW, along with correctly tinted windows.....and as many have expected, an ACCURATE carbody finally!

Rolling quality.... eh, not as bad as the previous models were, but not that much better either. However, with proper lubing (as the instructions indicate you MUST do) along with a proper break-in, the cars have been shown to roll MUCH better afterwards.

Plating: Okay, as I said, yea it's shiny, but not chrome. WITH proper light dust and underbody weathering, as well as a proper semi-gloss sealant such as Future, this should bring the sheen down to a much more prototypical finish. (Then again, I have seen some actual Amfleet refurbishments that were gleaming on the Northeast Corridor.)

Paint: The Phase IVb striping, Amtrak logos, are spot on and perfectly done.

Coupling.... wow, talk about realistic. These cars couple CLOSE (i.e. you need a large radius) unless you want to add extended couplers. Realistically, they look GREAT coupled and the diaphrams are closer to the body, not like the flimsy ones from the previous runs and that far apart spacing.

Accurate carbody
Window gaskets (wow)
Close coupling
Underbody and trucks
Amtrak paint and livery
Installed grab irons are thin and all straight...perfectly done.

Plating (eh not really a "con", but it does have to be toned down somewhat) these is an easy remedy.
Rolling quality (lube it!)
Diaphram doors in which the passengers pass through each car, the doors IRONICALLY were better detailed on the previous Amfleet runs (note to Walthers: yes we notice these things, do not skimp out for future runs and models.), the curved grab iron for the door is not there (they weren't there on previous runs either but at least there were dimples for it.)
Decal Numbers: Okay, I wanna fault Walthers here but I don't...... The car #'s are listed for the 21xxx series (coaches at least), in which most cars now have been renumbered into the 8xxxx series. (This could be a plus if you model a decade ago), so I am not going to beat this one up too badly, some extra work with decal numbers will get you any number you want.

Overall...... 85 out of 100. There could have been some minor improvements, but all in all...GREAT JOB Walthers, I look forward to the other models coming.
Sidenote: Get the cars, they're worth it, and as for the plating and such, a little good ol'fashioned modeling will bring these cars into a TRULY impressive model.
  by Amtrak207
I can post some tomorrow. Kyle from this board has put some up on his MLRR website.

http://marylindsayrr.blogspot.com/?view=magazine" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Believe me, I WANTED to be biased, cause I truly love the cars, maybe it was waiting 20+ years for an Amfleet with an accurate cross section. Pics of the cars do NOT do them justice. The ride at the proper height (Lower than the previous Amfleet models) and I STILL can't get over the close coupling and window gaskets. The grabirons are very thin, perfectly straight and the paint schemes (I also have a Ph III Amfleet II Coach), are dead on.

After reading numerous threads on the old Atlas forum, AntonioPF45 has made great suggestions, how a plated model should be viewed in natural light, especially on a cloudy day before a judgement is made if it is too shiny, too dull, etc. After doing this, yes the cars are still shiny, but, a coat or two of Alclad "ALC 600 Aqua Gloss Clear" will fix this and bring the sheen down to a MUCH more realistic tone. I have come to turn a negative into a positive, and now embrace the "too shiny" plated Walthers cars, as now I can tone it down to what I (or you, or any other modeler) feels is right and realistic.

A note about that, even a string of real Amfleets, will have different sheens to them. I have seen some with a high polish, coupled next to a grimy one with a dull sheen. So a lot of it is all subjective. One thing that kills the realism of the models is the shiny car ends, we have all see the dirty dusty Amfleet ends, but this is not a fault of Walthers. Once you properly weather the car ends, prepare to be amazed.

Acela please ask anything you want, we are all in this together ! :)

As I said, get the cars.....you will NOT be disappointed.
  by Amtrak207
Word to the wise: Do NOT attempt to remove the floor by grasping ANY of the underbody detailed equipment, you WILL break things off (thank god for CA!)

On a good note, the ends pop right out, so this makes it MUCH easier to give those shiny car ends the dusty grimy weathering they deserve! Also easier to install that curved grab iron on the door that wasn't modeled.

Once again, remove the wheels before attempting to remove the floor to reach the interior and GO SLOW, you will thank me.

  by JamesRR
I received my batch of cars, too, but have not run them yet.

They do look great. And I've owned them all (The cheap Bachmann cars from the 80s, the Bachman SIlver Series cars, Walthers early kit Amfleets, later Walthers ready to run cars) and these are the most accurate. From window detailing to paint color accuracy to decal accuracy. Wheels look great (not those metal tab trucks common on Walthers cars). Getting inside bearing trucks to roll well is always a challenge, but at least these can be lubricated.

I did contact Walthers, and they don't have plans to do a cab car based on the Metroliner (at this time). But maybe if enough people ask them, they'll consider it.
  by Amtrak207
If Walthers actually used the words "we have no plans", that's is usually Walthers' cryptic message translating into they are planning on it! Lets hope, keep writing.

One thing is for sure, detailing this car can take a whole day or two. But it's fun and just so glad we have accurate Amfleets after all three years!

(On a sidenote, for those of you that have Facebook, head over to the Athearn page. A few posts down they had a poll asking what models would people want to see produced. They DID float the idea of a Genesis line P40/P42 as well as a F40PH. Let your voices be heard!)

  by tmurray
I'm hoping Rapido can produce an American version of their F40 to go along with these puppies.

Here's my review of the phase III Amfleet I's I picked up:
They're nice, but not completely without issue.
Over all, these are the best yet and near perfect. The window gaskets look amazing and the detail is good. Yep, they roll only marginally and need mechanical work. To me, that's much easier than correcting issues with tooling.
I too noticed the end doors on the previous generation of cars are more detailed.

Previous release: http://www.pbase.com/tom_murray/image/154827623" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Current: http://www.pbase.com/tom_murray/image/154827622" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I agree that the lack of anything to position the curved grab on the door is a little annoying. A fairly easy thing to correct, fortunately. Additionally, the lack of recessing the door and the look of the angled opening are more difficult to correct and I'm not sure why that was missed.

The other, more obvious missing piece is the lack of an overhang at the end of the car. This was done on every other incarnation of Amcan, but this one is completely lacking it. While easy to add, matching it to the so-so plating job is the most difficult part. Top down can be seen here, new car on the left, an old-school Bachmann one on the right that I *was* working on:
http://www.pbase.com/tom_murray/image/154827624" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Prototype image:
http://www.pbase.com/tom_murray/image/154827619" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

No clue, with the apparent attention that was paid to these models and their tooling, why this was missed.

Lastly, the most topical, complete misinformation on the lettering placement for the phase III painted cars.
In Walthers enclosed information, it states the following:
http://www.pbase.com/tom_murray/image/154827620" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Placing the car numbers in the stripe here:
http://www.pbase.com/tom_murray/image/154827621" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That is incorrect for an Amfleet I car, but correct for an Amfleet II car.
The word "Coach" should be in the stripe as it is at the opposite (bathroom) end of the car.

This can be seen in Geno Dailey's image here:
http://www.trainweb.org/amtrakpix/paint ... 21267A.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As for the numbers, yes, the 20000 and 21000 series were as dleivered, 44000-series were those that were train-lined for push pull, and those numbers aren't included but were in previous runs.

All in all, not bad. But at $75-80 each, I'd have hoped at lest one of these things would have been corrected. I'm going to finish decaling one of the cars this weekend, and should have images once it's done -and has some "service wear" added to it.

  by Amtrak207
Some detailing pics

Amfleet end door detailing

Underbody detailing.

Work in progress :)