The Atlas Trainmaster in N scale: what an amazing model

  • Atlas has released it's N scale model of the Fairbanks-Morse Trainmaster.  What a marvelous model locomotive!


    It's been a long time coming for this engine.  Few modelers today even know who Fairbanks-Morse was, or that it's flagship product, the TrainMaster, was the heavyweight champion of the horsepower wars for a brief time.


    Those who know Atlas know their engines are quiet, smooth and reliable, and this one is no exception.  With all six axles driven, it is also a great pulling engine, just as it's prototype was.  


    However, what strikes me most about this engine is what an incredibly faithful replica it is to one specific locomotive: the Southern Pacific 4800.


    Fairbanks-MOrse produced four demonstrators of this engine, and Southern Pacific bought two of them as second hand.  One of those demonstrators would be repainted as SP 4800.  It was the very first hood unit SP would paint in the Black Widow paint scheme. Southern Pacific #4800: The first hood unit to wear Black Widow


    Atlas' version of the SP 4800 is exact to this engine.  Not only in paint, but the 4800 was the only Trainmaster with side horns, straight grab rails, and nose headlights.  No other engine matched these details, and Atlas reproduced it exactly.


    Atlas' one and only mistake: they forgot to paint the trucks silver.  Most of us can overlook that.


    Finally,  the model has one further surprise...those headlights.  They are so bright, they're blinding!  How Atlas managed this feature is startling, but it's great.  Just don't look directly into them!


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