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Product Lab - February 2006

Published: January 16, 2006
Hangar 9's P-51: trainer to trick pony
Reviewed by Jeff Herne

Product: In the world of radio- control aircraft, mentioning the P-51 Mustang and a trainer in the same sentence was unheard of - until now. Hangar 9 touted its P-51 as a trainer, and I was very skeptical. Having flown everything from gliders to ducted fans, I knew from experience that a P-51 is not a trainer. Boy, was I wrong.

VITAL STATS
Product: P-51 Mustang Progressive Trainer System
Maker: Hangar 9
Stock number: HAN2825
MSRP: $399.99
Availability: Horizon Hobby

BOTTOM LINE
  • Easy to assemble
  • Pre-installed radio and servos
  • Gentle flight characteristics


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    Little locomotive sparks big fun
    Reviewed by Hal Miller

    Product: If there's a diesel locomotive everyone knows, it's General Motors' Electro-Motive Division-produced GP9. These ubiquitous units have been owned by almost every railroad in North America and have performed every duty from line haul to switching.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: GP Diesel Locomotive
    Maker: Ready Made Toys
    Scale: O gauge
    Road names: Alaska Railroad, RMT-4331; other roadnames available
    MSRP: $111 with bell and whistle; no sound $60
    Availability: S&P Whistle Stop Inc.

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Excellent runner, sounds good
  • Terrific selection of railroads
  • Sturdy construction, nice detail


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    Switcher with sound useful on lots of layouts
    Reviewed by Hal Miller

    Product: Walthers' release of its Proto 2000 HO SW8/900 switcher adds more choices for your customers who want sound while shuffling cars around on their layouts. Thanks to space-saving layout, this is a little locomotive that's sure to draw a lot of interest.

    Electro-Motive Division's 800-hp SW8 has been used by many railroads over the years. The SW900 had additional 100 hp; many of both models are still in use today in industrial-switching capacities.

    The models can be operated with digital command control or with conventional DC. Conventional, no-sound DC units are also available.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Proto 2000 SW8/900
    Maker: Walthers
    Scale: HO
    Road names: with sound and DCC - Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific No. 811, 920-31466, other road names available
    MSRP: DCC/sound, $245; DC $145

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Nice add-on prototype features
  • Good sound
  • Used by many railroads


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    Norscot Caterpillar train set heavy on fun
    Reviewed by Hal Miller

    Product: Die-cast vehicle manufacturer Norscot has taken to the rails with a collectible Caterpillar-licensed HO scale train set. Like the construction models Norscot produces, the train and all its cars are made of metal, giving them a distinctive heft and durability, even in little hands.

    The complete set includes an F7 locomotive, boxcar, tankcar, stake flatcar with 12 simulated logs, a flatcar with a scale Cat 966G Forest Machine and a caboose, all in Cat yellow-and-black. Also included is a 36- by 45-inch oval of Bachmann EZ Track and a transformer. Only 5,500 sets will be produced.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Caterpillar Train Set
    Maker: Norscot Scale Models
    Scale: HO
    Stock number: 55451
    MSRP: $199.99

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Durable metal construction
  • Appeals to collectors, operators
  • Accessories enhance play value


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    Proto 2000 0-8-0 sounds as good as it looks
    Reviewed by Jeff Wilson

    Product: Proto 2000 (now by Walthers) now offers its USRA 0-8-0 switcher with factory-installed QSI Quantum sound. The real USRA 0-8-0 was one of many standard steam locomotive designs developed during United States Railroad Administration control during World War I. More than 1,100 locomotives were built to the design.

    The Proto 2000 Heritage-series model from Walthers runs smoothly at slow speeds: exactly what's needed for a switcher. Along with sound and decoder-equipped models, the switcher is also still available without sound or decoder.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: USRA 0-8-0 steam locomotive
    Maker: Walthers
    Scale: HO
    Road names: Chesapeake & Ohio (Nos. 31573, 31574, 31575), Erie (Nos. 31576, 31577, 31578), Louisville & Nashville (Nos. 31570, 31571, 31572), New York Central (Nos. 31582, 31583, 31584), New York, New Haven & Hartford (Nos. 31579, 31580, 31581) and Southern (31585, 31586, 31586).
    MSRP: With sound, $350; without sound $250

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Smooth-running model
  • Useful to a variety of modelers
  • High-quality sound


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    Trix turns on the juice with sound-equipped GG1
    Reviewed by Jeff Wilson

    Product: The latest American prototype model from Trix (Märklin) nicely captures the streamlined appearance of what was arguably the most famous - and popular - electric locomotive of all time, the Pennsylvania Railroad's GG1. A product of GE and Baldwin, the first GG1 was delivered in 1934, and by 1943 some 139 of the Raymond Loewy-designed locomotives were in service. These high-speed passenger locomotives could easily hit 100 mph, and they remained in regular service into the 1980s.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: GG1 electric locomotive
    Maker: Trix (Märklin)
    Scale: HO
    Road names: Pennsylvania No. 4935, five-stripe scheme (No. T22810), PRR No. 4829, feather stripes scheme (No. 22811)
    MSRP: $549

    BOTTOM LINE
  • One of the "classic" locomotives
  • Easy, smooth DCC
  • Heavy, powerful model


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    Revell-Monogram's new Mustang a fun, solid kit
    Reviewed by Bob Downie

    Product: It's taken about two years to get Revell's new Mustang GT onto the shelves after it was announced, and it was well worth the wait. Within hours of receiving the kit I was well into its construction.

    Revell did a fine job of nailing the look of the new Mustang. The proportions all look dead-on. Comparing pictures of the interior and engine compartment to factory photos, they did a very good job of allowing the model capture the essence of the 1:1 car. The chassis detail is complete. So how was it to build? I found it a pleasure to construct over the three days it took me to complete it. The '67 and '68 Mustang and Shelby fastbacks are my favorite vintage Mustangs so naturally I've been happy to see the design resurrected by Ford, and equally as happy to be able to build models of it. After finishing the kit, I'm well satisfied by this one and ready to build a few more variations on the Mustang theme. This is going to be one of those models that will be built and on display at many a model show in the upcoming years.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: 2006 Mustang GT
    Maker: Revell-Monogram
    Scale: 1:25
    Stock number: 2839
    MSRP: $15.25

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Perfect proportions
  • Solid assembly
  • Very hot subject


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    Burn rubber with Ertl's 1966 Dodge Charger
    Reviewed by Mike Soliday

    Product: In 1966 Dodge joined the fastback craze started by the Ford Mustang and the Plymouth Barracuda. Derived from the midsized Coronet, the Charger featured a huge fastback roofline, hidden headlights, and a full length taillight. The interior came with lots of goodies including four bucket seats, and under the hood the new 426 Hemi could be a buyer's engine choice. Add it up and the new Charger blew the competition away.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: 1966 Dodge Charger
    Maker: Ertl
    Scale: 1:18
    Stock number: 33933
    MSRP: $63.99
    Availability: RC2 Corp.

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Accurate proportions
  • Excellent overall detail
  • Non-typical paint choice


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    Get bitten by Revell-Monogram's 'Serpent'
    Reviewed by Jim faber

    Product: Revell-Monogram has released a new set of 1:32 muscle car models called Night Crawlers. Each of these models represents something spooky: the GTO is "The Serpent"; the '78 Corvette Sport Coupe is "The Nightflyer"; the '70 Mustang Mach 1 is "The Lizard"; the '69 Camaro Z/28 is "The Stinger"; the Ford Street Rod is "The Rodent"; and the '55 Chevy Street Machine is "The Widow."

    All six are value-priced snap kits is otherworldly colors. The GTO is done in ethereal green plastic.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: '68 Pontiac GTO "The Serpent"
    Maker: Revell-Monogram
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock number: 1160
    MSRP: $5.50

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Very easy construction
  • Cool stickers
  • Good for younger modelers


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    SCX's Peugeot has a host of cool features
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: The Peugeot 307 was driven by Estonian Markko Märtin and co-driven by Michael Park in the 2005 World Rally Championship at Monte Carlo. The duo finished fourth in the race. Sadly, Park was killed in a crash in September 2005 at the Margam Park rally. Subsequently, Märtin withdrew from the 2005 WRC season. However, Peugeot's 307 is still the company's rally car of choice for the WRC.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: Peugeot 307 WRC "Montecarlo"
    Maker: SCX
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock number: 13080
    MSRP: $43.99

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Looks great
  • Solid performer
  • Cool features


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    Scalextric's NASCAR racers reach out to American enthusiasts
    Reviewed by Andy Lilienthal

    Product: NASCAR is one of the most popular forms of motorsports in the U.S. However, because most slot-car companies are European based, they don't make a lot of cars geared specifically to the U.S. market. But Scalextric recently introduced two NASCAR Ford Taurus slot cars: the #17 DeWalt Matt Kenseth car and the #97 Sharpie Kurt Busch car. The company also has a body-in-white Taurus with no markings. Followed by these cars are three Chevrolet Monte Carlo slot cars: the #24 Jeff Gordon car and the #48 Jimmy Johnson car. An all-white Monte Carlo is also available.

    Scalextric had a few stock cars in its lineup a few years ago, which replicated the Ford Tauruses running in the UK's Anglo-American Stock Car Racing (ASCAR). These are not the same cars. These new NASCAR replicas have side-winding motors and round guide plates among other improvements.

    VITAL STATS
    Product: No. 97 Sharpie Ford Taurus
    Maker: Scalextric
    Scale: 1:32
    Stock number: C2595
    MSRP: $42.99

    BOTTOM LINE
  • Popular subject matter
  • Solid performer
  • Might attract new people


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