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Tomix E3 Shinkansen power car is the first cab car


chadbag

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I have the new(er) Tomix E3 with the new Tsubasa paint job (dark blue on top, etc) -- Tomix 98967.  The power car happens to be the lead cab car -- the very first car.  Like a loco hauled train functionally. This is different than the other Tomix Shinkansen I have, the N700-8000 Kyushu and a Shinkansen 100, as well as the KATO Shinkansen I have, the W7 and 800, where the power car is one of the middle (usually close to the front) passenger cars and the front and back cab cars are just empty dummies.

 

Is this true of all of the Tomix E3 Shinkansen?  How about other Tomix Shinkansen ?

 

It is interesting and will be interesting, and potentially a bit more complicated to convert to DCC when I get around to it, though its means 1 less decoder is necessary as you don't need a separate function decoder for the front cab car for the lights.

 

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1 hour ago, chadbag said:

I have the new(er) Tomix E3 with the new Tsubasa paint job (dark blue on top, etc) -- Tomix 98967.  The power car happens to be the lead cab car -- the very first car.  Like a loco hauled train functionally. This is different than the other Tomix Shinkansen I have, the N700-8000 Kyushu and a Shinkansen 100, as well as the KATO Shinkansen I have, the W7 and 800, where the power car is one of the middle (usually close to the front) passenger cars and the front and back cab cars are just empty dummies.

 

Is this true of all of the Tomix E3 Shinkansen?  How about other Tomix Shinkansen ?

 

 

The 400 series is the same (at least the older model I have), I assume it's something to do with being couplable with other Shinkansens.

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My 0 series Tomix shinkansen has two middle motor cars, at around 1/3rd and 2/3rd of the consist. Imho each design is different. Head power cars are pretty common for european high speed stock, both Minitrix and Kato ones. Less so for japanese prototype ones.

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Ok thanks.   I am interested, a little bit, in another Tomix E3 line and it is good to know it is the same, so whatever I figure out for DCC will be applicable.  thanks!

 

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Martijn Meerts

At least it looks like it has a standard frame. If I remember right, the Tomix 400 shinkansen has a really strange frame construction.

 

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I think the reason most Japanese manufactures put the motor car in the middle is so that they can reuse as much molding and castings as possible between trains, as I assume the metal frame of the motor cars is the most expensive to tool and manufacture.  This method seems to result in mostly only the visible parts needing unique molds, and probably one of the reasons why the models tend to be relatively inexpensive.  I assume this is why most diesel and electric locomotives are around 5000-6000 yen, while steam locomotives are around 10000 due to the need for more unique parts, along with other reasons.

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Except there are no metal frames in most modern emu cars, just a brass pickup strips. For older double half metal frame cars it often meant a choice between full head/tail lights or having a motor, but this isn't true anymore.

 

Imho one reason could be that a typical emu needs two mostly identical cab cars and only one motor car. If another is needed, then it's usually added near the other one. JNR followed this pattern pretty nicely with cab trailers and middle motor pairs, that could be added on demand. Many Tomix JNR sets offer this with extension sets offering moc motor pairs and real ones so the buyer could decide which ones is needed. This means less car frame moulds are needed as both cabs could be trailers and only one type of motor and one middle trailer mould is needed.

 

There is one more issue, but only matters with rapido couplers. The amount of coupler slack during bidirectional operations. Having the motor in the middle halves this slack regardless of running direction.

 

Generally imho it's part history for japanese trains, part prototype accuracy and part simplification of tooling.

 

For these shinkansen sets, i think the motor car tries to be as close to the coupled set's motor car as possible.

 

ps: The original 1:1 series 0 shinkanen had a Mcp-M-Mp-M-...-Mp-Mc arrangement, so there were 4 electronically different motor car types. Modern shinkansen usually halve this and add lots of trailers.

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Just now, kvp said:

Except there are no metal frames in most modern emu cars, just a brass pickup strips. For older double half metal frame cars it often meant a choice between full head/tail lights or having a motor, but this isn't true anymore.

 

I'm not sure what models you are referring too, but every kato and tomix motor car an EMU or DMU set has had a metal frame in my experience, even the one chad posted at the start has one.  The unpowered units are all plastic,with kato models usually having a weight under the floor as well.  The only having to make one power car mold is a good point, and I think agrees with my earlier post about reducing the amount of unique parts needed for a model. 

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1 hour ago, Kiha66 said:

I'm not sure what models you are referring too, but every kato and tomix motor car an EMU or DMU set has had a metal frame in my experience, even the one chad posted at the start has one.  The unpowered units are all plastic,with kato models usually having a weight under the floor as well.  The only having to make one power car mold is a good point, and I think agrees with my earlier post about reducing the amount of unique parts needed for a model. 

I have a lot of motor cars (mostly Tomix and Tomytec) and many of them (especially newer solo ones) are plastic with two brass pickup strips between the plastic car frame and the internal insert and blocky metal weight(s) placed somewhere around the motor. The trailer cars also tend to have smaller weights in them. Tomytec cars take this to the extreme, where the motor weights are just added on top of the drive shafts and visible through the windows, while trailer weights go under the floor boards (that's actually ok). Of course, heavy pullers that have to move much more than their own weight tend to have metal frames and ancient ones go so far as to have the whole motor car full with metal to the roof, but those are usually the classic split frame design.

 

And yes, we do seem to agree about the part count issue. I would add that using as few custom molded metal parts as possible also seem to be a design goal, so this might be the reason while some motor cars use plastic frames with metal inserts only that look like shared parts.

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