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Author Topic: Union Mils quality.  (Read 7703 times)

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Offline railsquid

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2017, 01:31:04 pm »
After reading all of the tales of woe about steam outline models from Farish and Dapol it's great to know of a brand that seems so well respected. But what about us diesel outline modelers ? I understand that Union Mills has its own little niche market, and jolly good luck to him/them. Surely somebody just starting to make models for sale could adopt Union Mills strategy and give another choice ?

If you can propose a diesel with a motorised tender then I am sure they can help.  :D

Simples... leave out the tender body, declare it a bogie and put it inside the diesel shell. There's just the slight problem of scaling it down enough to fit - it has to turn inside the body too... Lima solved that problem by making the body ridiculously out of scale/proportion...
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Online Snowwolflair

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2017, 01:59:43 pm »
After reading all of the tales of woe about steam outline models from Farish and Dapol it's great to know of a brand that seems so well respected. But what about us diesel outline modelers ? I understand that Union Mills has its own little niche market, and jolly good luck to him/them. Surely somebody just starting to make models for sale could adopt Union Mills strategy and give another choice ?

If you can propose a diesel with a motorised tender then I am sure they can help.  :D

Simples... leave out the tender body, declare it a bogie and put it inside the diesel shell. There's just the slight problem of scaling it down enough to fit - it has to turn inside the body too... Lima solved that problem by making the body ridiculously out of scale/proportion...

Not a problem then, diesel-heads always tell you theirs are bigger than everyone else  :D


Offline scottmitchell74

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2017, 05:47:01 pm »
I'm very pleased with my Union Mills loco...but I've noticed it doesn't run well on my crappy track. (Full disclosure, my layout is my 1st effort and the Atlas track I laid down leaves much to be desired).

However! My Life-Like locos handle my track without a blink, and my Kato and Atlas do as well. The two Graham Farish I have also don't skip a beat...but the Union Mills is very, very finicky.

Any thoughts?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2017, 06:30:56 pm by scottmitchell74 »
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Offline N-Gauge-US

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2017, 06:27:30 pm »
I'm very pleased with my Union Mills loco...but I've noticed it doesn't run well on my crappy track. (Full disclosure, my layout is my 1st effort and the Atlas track I laid done leaves much to be desired).

However! My Life-Like locos handle my track without a blink, and my Kato and Atlas do as well. The two Graham Farish I have also don't skip a beat...but the Union Mills is very, very finicky.

Any thoughts?

I used Atlas on my first layout (first with ballast anyway) and I ended up having a little ballast above the sleepers, especially by the rails. As UM locos have deep flanges, this meant that in some places a single wheel would lift a bit and not actually make rail contact. This was never a big deal for me and I always kept power, but if a few wheels lifted (i.e. Ballast was too high for an inch or two instead of just a mm or two), then power would almost certainly be lost. As locos go, my UMs pickup power better than MY Dapol, GF, Märklin, or Bachmann US trains, so if your other locos are picking up power fine, you might investigate whether the wheels are making rail contact (or if your pickups have become detached). Try marking the spots and see if it always has trouble in the same places. If it does, check the ballast, clean the rails, make sure the rails are receiving power, and any soldered or fishplate connections are secure. If you're still having trouble, ring or email Colin, as he stands by his work and may have some advice. Hope this helps!
Check out Avondale - My heritage railway themed layout :)

http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=29371.0

Offline Bob Tidbury

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2017, 07:21:15 pm »
The only problem I ever had with U M M was a couple of track pins sticking up too high and catching on he gears so check your track pins are tapped home .
Bob Tidbury

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Re: Union Mils are quality.
« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2017, 07:33:39 pm »
I suspect the flange depth is the problem with Atlas track.

Offline Byegad

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2017, 09:20:18 am »
Having bought several second hand UM locos I can attest to the usual reason for poor running is a bad connection on the wire from tender to loco. Undoing the bolt that clamps it a couple of turns, pushing the bare wire end a bit further into the hole and re-clamping the bolt seems to solve it.

I like to see trains running, so a beautifully crafted, badly running locomotiv really annoys me. Also the haulage capacity of UM locos leaves absolutely no room for complaint. 

Colin seems to be averse to outside cylinders, so keeping things simple on the valve gear side. I do wish he'd make an Atlantic though. The L&Y Aspinall 'High Flier' springs to mind.

Offline msr

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Offline Bob Tidbury

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2017, 12:28:33 pm »
Union Mills Models dont have a website or a catalogue but Colin does advertise in the Railway modeler and the N G S magazine ,because he is a one man band who designs , makes , paints and sends them out I expect he doesnt  have time to do a website .
If you phone him on
01624 852896  Im sure he will send you a list of current models and prices.
Bob Tidbury

Offline scottmitchell74

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2017, 02:37:00 am »
Update:

I've recently purchased Kato Unitrack and have been doing some table-top running just for running-in or for fun. Conclusions:

ALL of my stock runs better on the Unitrack, it seems that only certain ones - namely Life Like - really seem to handle my Atlas track.

Amongst many great running locos, the Union Mills on Unitrack is noticeably the best runner. Because of its power and how it picks up, it can handle any load at the slowest imaginable speeds without wheel-slippage. Amazing.

The Life-Likes are still crazy-good performers as well, and the Kato, Dapol and Graham Farish all do well. Walthers are great, smooth runners, but seem to have the lowest pulling power (along with a Class 22 Dapol). 
Spend as little as possible on what you need so you can spend as much as possible on what you want.

Offline NeMo

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #40 on: May 03, 2017, 07:00:54 am »
ALL of my stock runs better on the Unitrack, it seems that only certain ones - namely Life Like - really seem to handle my Atlas track.

You're almost certainly spot on here. I think two factors explain this.

Firstly, compared with traditional track pieces, Unitrack has clicks together much more aggressively, with an actual mechanism to hold the pieces tightly beyond the mere friction of the rails against the rail joiners. So electrical current is passed between track pieces much more reliably.

Secondly, without loose ballast or flock in the picture, there's less to gum up the gears inside the locomotives. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's taken apart a loco for servicing and seen little bits of the scenery on the inside!

A third factor may be important too: Unitrack can be put away in a box after use, keeping it away from dust between uses. Layouts tend to be left in the open, and even loose SeTrack pieces are more likely to be left lying around than put away into a tight-fitting container.

The bottom line is that Unitrack is surely the BEST track for running model trains, if your premise is PURELY making a toy train move reliably from A to B. On the other hand, it isn't as realistic a medium for authentic-looking railways.

Cheers, NeMo

Offline johnson

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2017, 07:03:50 pm »
I agree NeMo - Unitrack is very good re running capabilities, especially the turnouts, "points to us", but it can be disguised to be more acceptable with a bit of Woodland Scenic's ballast etc. - I have always used Unitrack, and I find 99% of Loco's and rolling stock of all manufacturers work well on it.

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2017, 07:06:38 pm »
I agree NeMo - Unitrack is very good re running capabilities, especially the turnouts, "points to us", but it can be disguised to be more acceptable with a bit of Woodland Scenic's ballast etc. - I have always used Unitrack, and I find 99% of Loco's and rolling stock of all manufacturers work well on it.

You can also get Unitrack ballast that matches the speckle pattern of Unitrack and you can blend away the hard edges.

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Union Mils quality.
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2017, 09:12:16 pm »
The post about UM loco problems with the tender pickup wire certainly ring true for me. I recently acquired a UM B12 cheaply on eBay advertised as "disconnected wire" but otherwise looking in good condition.  My first ever experience of a UM loco, but it was pretty obvious the wire was intend to locate in the hole in the loco chassis and be secured by the screw. 2 minutes later and after a minuscule drop of Powerlube on the loco axles, off she went. A real bargain!

Drifting a little  off-topic from UM quality, but as we're talking about Unitrack I'll agree that it is an excellent system,  robust for setting up and taking down temporary layouts.

It's not without its faults though; when I set up my test oval I quite often notice a little vertical rail misalignment with the Unijoiners especially when cleaning the track, more so than traditional rail and fishplates.  I wouldn't say my stock runs any better on Unitrack, and with the slight problems some locos have with Unitrack point frogs I'd have to say I wouldn't move away from Peco for my permanent layouts.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

 

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