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Welshbloke

Bandai B-Train Shorty

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cteno4

ha i was just about to ask if folks had tried any close coupling systems with their shorties! i wonder if any of the micro coupler trucks would work. i think some of those have the coupler actually mounted on a pin so the swivels side to side a lot. this might work then with the shorties on the super mini curves.

 

the layout is just in noodling stage right now. a folded figure 8 might be nice as you can do some interesting angles there. also up and over would be really possible with the shorties as they should be able to take a good grade, have to experiment with this when i get mine. just another project in the hopper! thing i like about it as well as doing a mini tram layout is that it would not be a huge project and easy to cart to shows or just our local club get together to play with. gives you more of a consolidated over all scene too. ttrak is great for this kind of thing, but much harder to get an over all scene put together and things end up being very linear even if you do some small jogs and 45 corners, still ends up a very straight scene...

 

cheers

 

jeff

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David

Yes, this model doesn't look so short at all. It looks really more like an articulated snake. But that's because it doesn't have Kato's bogies installed. Saddly these bogies doubles the space between the cars. I'd like to find a way to reduces the space...

 

Anyway, I'm very excited to see what layout you are going to make Jeff.

 

I haven't ordered my b-shorty yet (haven't made up my mind), but I have planned out a possible way to reduce the space between cars (and avoid having old style rapido couplers).

 

According to Kato's site, both the powered units and the trucks are supposed to be compatible with Kato's close couplers (11-703/11-704, black/gray).

 

The following pictures should explain everything:

 

How they look on a normal train

http://www.kato-unitrack.co.uk/kato-11-704-type-a-replacement-knuckle-couplers-2543-0.html

(for some reason the second row of pictures are of the 11-702 knuckle couplers)

 

How they fit together and what you get in the package

http://cgi.ebay.com/Kato-Coupler-Type-A-Gray-N-scale-Kato-11-704_W0QQitemZ360088466147QQcmdZViewItemQQptZModel_RR_Trains?hash=item53d6f1f2e3

 

Since they're still truck mounted without any fancy mechanism it will probably reduce the turning radius (the smallest radius I use is 11" anyway, so it wasn't going to matter)

 

A question since they're are not a lot of high-resolution photos available - how would you compare the quality (particularly the fit and finish) of the shorty's with a normal ready to run model? Are the joints between the plastic pieces tight or do they stand out?

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cteno4

i think it will depend on how those couplers swing in the rapido box on the trucks. maybe ill grab a pack on the next order to try some experimenting! i think the carrige mount tns wont have the flex needed for the tighter stuff. the great thing about the shorties is being able to use tight radiuses and not have them look too funnily kinked on the curves. also allows for drastic scene compression which could be really fun.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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disturbman
A question since they're are not a lot of high-resolution photos available - how would you compare the quality (particularly the fit and finish) of the shorty's with a normal ready to run model? Are the joints between the plastic pieces tight or do they stand out?

 

Depends, sometimes they stand out. But to compared it with a normal ready to run model... they have nothing in common. The B Trains are really toylike and they are so cheap in comaprison that you can't expect them to have the same quality. But the overall look is great and if you do mind some disjointed joints then I'm pretty sure you can work them out (by sanding and gluing).

 

I you really are curious you can still try a kit, with SAL shipping the tag price is quite low.

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disturbman

So, I test fitted some 11-702/11-707 knuckle couplers (I found a box of them lying around) and they do help. The previous 8mm gap as been reduced to 6.5 with their help. The difference is not great but clearly visible. We are not far away from the 5mm original gap.

 

I think the 11-703/11-704 scharfenbergs should work. But the tricky part could be the motorize bogies. They are not so easy to take apart and the fit is quite small, smaller than on the normal bogies.

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David

Speaking of shorties, has anyone ever seen these photos from Kato's showroom?

 

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/image/102794172

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/image/102794174

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/image/102794175

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/image/102794176

 

They're labeled as "Pocket Line" though the only "Pocket" trains I've heard of from Kato are the pocket motorized chasis (very similar to the shorty chasis just with different wheels and spacing), and a single pocket train from a very long time ago, a tiny steam locomotive with 2 tiny passenger cars (the motor was hidden in one of the cars and the loco was a dummy).

 

I'm thinking that they must be kit bashed (the caboose looks a lot like the Micro-trains wood panel caboose model, except that its been shortened by 1 window)

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David

Found the motherload of B-Shorty pictures. Includes the B-Shorty freight container trains, B-Shorty trams, this guy seems to have everything.

 

Scroll down to the bottom to see a big list of links. There are about 30 or 40 pages, each one packed with photos. If I translate the listing right, he's got dozens of some of the sets (and several hundred overall), and the pictures seem to confirm that.

 

http://homepage2.nifty.com/mokeiya/b-shorty%20index.htm#link

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cteno4

I think these were a while back as the few kato "pocket line" stuff that you see on ebay here in the states is older. i have the pocket line small 19th century steam loco and 3 small 2 axle carriages i picked up on ebay. looks to be maybe 20 years old from the packaging. all i ever see left of kato's pocket line are the power mechanisms.

 

might have been too steep a price for the little toy trains to make a good go of it, then bandai came along and figured out if you make em cheap and have to assemble you get the build it toy fix (big in japan) as well and then just upgrade with the kato mechanisms they had made for their own line. really interesting if that was the situation, with kato ending up doing what they are great with mechanisms and bandai being great at cheap toys...

 

anyone know any of the history of eary btran and the pocket line?

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

Speaking of shorties, has anyone ever seen these photos from Kato's showroom?

 

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/image/102794172

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/image/102794174

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/image/102794175

http://www.pbase.com/atsf_arizona/image/102794176

 

They're labeled as "Pocket Line" though the only "Pocket" trains I've heard of from Kato are the pocket motorized chasis (very similar to the shorty chasis just with different wheels and spacing), and a single pocket train from a very long time ago, a tiny steam locomotive with 2 tiny passenger cars (the motor was hidden in one of the cars and the loco was a dummy).

 

I'm thinking that they must be kit bashed (the caboose looks a lot like the Micro-trains wood panel caboose model, except that its been shortened by 1 window)

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cteno4

 

LOL fun with photoshop!

 

great thing is if you scroll down to the bottom of the page there are a few japanese mow shots and a link to a set of great galleries of japanese mow equipment!

 

http://www5f.biglobe.ne.jp/~pallace/hosen.html

 

i have always wanted to do a small mow yard and this is the best set of shots i have seen yet on japanese mow equipment, lots of great ideas for kitbashing some cool mow equipment! Thanks for the tangential link!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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cteno4

Well i think im more confused after trying to read the translation there! still no clear picture. it looks like they said that bandai made it directly for the kato chassis, there was some mention of cooperation between bandai and kato, but i think that was from the garbled translation. at one point bandai did make a mechanism i think and they also very briefly made some brick street tram track.

 

the kato 11-104-7 are called out as a btrain power chassis.

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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bill937ca

Well i think im more confused after trying to read the translation there! still no clear picture. it looks like they said that bandai made it directly for the kato chassis, there was some mention of cooperation between bandai and kato, but i think that was from the garbled translation. at one point bandai did make a mechanism i think and they also very briefly made some brick street tram track.

 

the kato 11-104-7 are called out as a btrain power chassis.

 

 

The B-train was put on the market in 2002.

 

Wikipedia says the track was made by Atlas in the USA.  B-train track still available at HS, but I believe it is now made by Kato and there is a B-train Shinkansen set that comes with track. HS shows a November 2008 release date for the Bandai track which means a second generation. Its SR-124mm or R150-45.

 

The line of track never included switches.  It looks like nothing was produced beyond an oval and it seems to have been surpassed with Tomix Mini Fine Track.

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10072747

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10072746

 

Track appears to be  Kato on the driving sets which are battery powered and use an in-house power chassis.

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/image/10050790a/20/1

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10072645

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bill937ca

 

Thanks Disturbman!

 

There is a link at the bottom of the page to a 2006 Nikkei Business Publications, Inc interview with the designer. Sales volume exceeds 1 million per year. Originally B-train was aimed at the upper-grade of the elementary school.  The price had to be kept low or children would ignore the models. Marketing channels are often different in Japan and I believe I saw mention of B-train being distributed in confectionery shops (as a premium) before the hobby shops picked it up.

 

Apparently Bandai approached Kato.

 

Wikipedia also lists many B-Train models not in general circulation that are private runs for various railways like JR West.

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cteno4

I keep looking at this rc set on ebay and keep thinking its too crazy. the N700 set is interesting with the infra red controlled and battery powered mechanism. it looks like plastic rail so only battery powered ones would work on the track, but the remote controlled n700 would work on standard track. i have only seen the N700 done like this as a set and no additional sets or just a rc and chassis to retrofit other b train shorties yet. wonder if this was a test the water thing with rc and it didnt go over so well to move it into the btrain market fully. apparently the n700 is not n gauge compatible though!

 

btw i did look at doing rc with those little toy plate train sets (thinking they would be good for kids to play with at a train show and i got a pile of them really cheap on ebay a couple of years back). i bought a couple of those mini racer rc cars cheap after xmas a year back and pulled it apart to see if i could use its rechargeable power plant and rc to replace the battery of the simple on/off trains. it can work, but decided it was a project for later sometime. if you do want to have some remotely controlled thingie those little mini rc cars are pretty good. they deliver 3v via a nicad battery and have a small rc electromagnetic armature for the steering that you can cannibalize pretty easily.

 

there are also the little rc Q trains that tomy makes. they are super shorties. fun to run around the floor, but not a lot of fun running on rails and dont do so well with the curves...

 

http://www.1999.co.jp/search_e.asp?Typ1_c=103&scope=1&urikire=1&andor=0&scope2=0&sortID=0&ItKey=Q%20TRAIN

 

cheers

 

jeff

 

cheers

 

jeff

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disturbman

I just discovered the mother of all B Trains for us, poor gaijins. Yahoo Auctions has a dedicated page for B Trains. The available choice is unbelievable.

 

here

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Guest ___

I think I'm catching the B-train Shortie Fever.

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DJdeTrainman

Hi guys. I'm new to this forum, and only just recently got into Japanese-specific trains... B Train Shorties in particular. They just look so cool! I have a Kiha 58 set, and am looking to get some others in the near future. Quick question though: what parts would you need to motorize one of the Odakyu Romance 3000 sets? Thanks a lot in advance. This is a great forum with LOADS of info and nice people!!!

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