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Bandai B-Train Shorty


Welshbloke

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Dinosbacsi

Yeah, this is how my ones look:

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As you can see, there is a two-piece chassis that has fixed bogeys.  You just put the wheels and the bogey covers in, but the bogeys cannot rotate and they cannot be removed either.

 

There is a set of 3 Bandai chassis on eBay (like the one I posted previously). They are a bit expensive, but should I get them? I would still need a fourth one with a power unit, but at least it's a start. And could the Bandai trucks be replaced on those to Kato ones if needed?

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lukewang01

@Dinosbacsi

You can PM me if you want some. Got a little bit carried away with putting interiors into trains for the last couple of weeks. Got to say it's getting harder to find stuff on YAJ unless you're willing to spend some big bucks. I've been losing quite some auctions on b-trains lately.

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The earlier style one-piece passenger car chassis fit in the bodies that come with the non-functional 2-piece ones.  Some later production runs changed chassis types from their original release.

Back in the spring, I lucked into auctions for a couple of big lots of just the chassis.  The other way to get them cheap is to search through the low-priced sets of cars.  Usually the photos include a shot of the underside, and you can see which type of chassis they have.  A junk lot going cheap has perfectly good chassis, and if your lucky you can find ones with Kato bogies already included.  These are usually way cheaper than what the T-Kai sets fetch.

Power Unit prices jumped up quite a bit in the early spring too, and have not come back down.  The 7,000+¥ listings are still ambitious and keep getting re-listed.  But going rates are now pretty firmly in the 6,000¥ range.  But again, also look at sets of cars and read the descriptions carefully: if it says 'runs well' etc., then there's a Kato or Bandai power unit in there!  If you know what one of them looks like from the bottom, you can tell which it is from the photos.  I lucked into a full 7-car E653 Fresh Hitachi set for the cost of what the included Bandai power unit and Kato trucks would have cost — the 7 Shorties were free!

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Dinosbacsi

Well, I ended up buying that set of 3 Bandai chassis from eBay, after all. So I will just need to get a power unit somewhere.

 

I guess I should either get a Bandai power unit so they all match, or get a Kato power unit and replace the bogeys on the other 3 Bandai chassis with Kato bogeys - the Kato bogeys fit on the Bandai chassis, right?

 

20 hours ago, lukewang01 said:

You can PM me if you want some.

Do you have power units as well, maybe? I will try to check some other sites first, but if I don't find any on the internet, I may be interested in one.

 

18 hours ago, Cat said:

I lucked into a full 7-car E653 Fresh Hitachi set for the cost of what the included Bandai power unit and Kato trucks would have cost — the 7 Shorties were free!

That's sounds like a nice find. Sometimes I'm also thinking about trying to get into the japanese Yahoo auctions. Not related to only this, but for car parts as well and such (I have an old Nissan that sometimes is hard to find parts for).

Edited by Dinosbacsi
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roadstar_na6

The Kato power unit will couple just fine to the bandai unpowered chassis, so you don‘t need to swap anything out on those. Just get a Kato power unit and you should be fine 🙂

 

For japanese auction bidding just take a look at zenmarket.jp.

Edited by roadstar_na6
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Dinosbacsi

Oh yeah, it's not the couplings I'm worried about, just the fact that the bogeys are different on the Kato ones - so I would end up with 3 cars looking the same and 1 different. Not that big of a deal, but it would bother me a bit. Though it's likely I'll settle for a Kato unit anyway, as they seem much easier to find, lol.

 

By the way, why are the Kato ones preferred over the original Bandai ones? I remember I've read that they run better, but why? Are the Bandai ones more likely to derail themselves, or simply have worse performance?

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roadstar_na6

The Kato ones have 4WD, the Bandai ones have 8WD. The only real advantage of the Kato ones is availability I‘d say.

 

And yeah, I totally forgot about the bogie design. 11-105 looks the closest from afar but if you know they‘re different it‘ll bug you, I know that feel 😄

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lukewang01

Sorry, I don't. I only make that one piece chassis excluding bogies. I always go to Hobby Search for KATO power units and bogies because they seem to have a steady supply. 

Edited by lukewang01
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25 minutes ago, roadstar_na6 said:

The Kato ones have 4WD, the Bandai ones have 8WD. The only real advantage of the Kato ones is availability I‘d say.😄


Those are the bogie chasses.  For the 2-axle 4-wheelers, the new Kato one has a coreless motor; advantage Kato there.

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Dinosbacsi
13 hours ago, roadstar_na6 said:

The Kato ones have 4WD, the Bandai ones have 8WD. The only real advantage of the Kato ones is availability I‘d say.

 

And yeah, I totally forgot about the bogie design. 11-105 looks the closest from afar but if you know they‘re different it‘ll bug you, I know that feel 😄

Well then I will definitely try to find a Bandai power unit if I can. Also it's not just the different design of the bogeys on the Kato ones, but they also seem to have a bit shorter wheelbase, right?

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kami_illy
19 hours ago, Dinosbacsi said:

Well then I will definitely try to find a Bandai power unit if I can. Also it's not just the different design of the bogeys on the Kato ones, but they also seem to have a bit shorter wheelbase, right?


yes. They have a shorter wheel base but also much smaller bogies and even the wheels themself are smaller (though it might be that I just remember that wrongly). 

Edit: didn’t see the photo above. It pretty much tells the whole story! 

Edited by kami_illy
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Welshbloke

One caveat about the Kato 4w mechanism, you have to cut the frame down a bit to fit the under cab skirts on some locos. The rest lines up perfectly, just add some ballast weights for improved grip and pickup. The Bandai mech included those, the Kato one doesn't. Just carve a little bit at a time and keep checking the skirt against the chassis, I dismantled the loco body so I could fit the internal structure to the chassis and see where the skirts needed to end up.

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roadstar_na6

I had to heavily process my ED75‘s inner structure and the Kato chassis to make them work together. Keep in mind tho that the Shorty locos were never designed for running with 4 axle chassis 😄

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Regarding Bandai/Kato chassis stuff the Kumamoto 5000 I got seems to have chassis with the holes for the Kato trucks and I believe it even lists them in the instructions. I have the fixed bogies on right now but will swap the body for one over to the chassis with the holes when I get the trucks.

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lukewang01

Slapped together a OHaNeFu 25-210 for DX Hokutosei.

 

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Took the front from KaNi 24-510 along with some black strips left over from interior stickers for Seven Stars in Kyushu. Doesn't look perfect up close, but should work from a far. 

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Dinosbacsi

Good news, the Bandai chassis I ordered for my 205 series finally arrived!

 

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I just love how much better it looks already just by having metal wheels. Gives it a bit more detail and color. And it was fun to assemble, I just love how easy it is to put these shorty trains together.

 

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So here is all my japanese train model stuff so far. Small, but it's slowly growing, lol. Know I should just get a power unit for the pantograph car and a controller and it could finally run. Sadly I still can't find Bandai power units anywhere, so I guess I'll have to settle for a Kato one for now.

 

Until then, the poor 4th car is sitting alone by itself, as it's the only one still sitting on the original display chassis.

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lukewang01
5 hours ago, Dinosbacsi said:

So here is all my japanese train model stuff so far. Small, but it's slowly growing, lol.

Started with B-trains as well. Then it just grew out of control.😂

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Dinosbacsi
22 hours ago, lukewang01 said:

Started with B-trains as well. Then it just grew out of control.😂

I can imagine, lol. Realisticaly proportioned proper sets are tempting, that's for sure. They look good and are not that much more expensive than Shorty ones. I mean I think I could get a 4-car 205 series set for the price I got my 4-car 205 shorty. But I love how silly the Shortys look, and it's nice that they fit on a much smaller place.

 

Anyway I managed to find Bandai power units on Jahoo Auctions through FromJapan! They were still a bit expensive with their 8000 yen / unit price, but well, I guess I can afford it once. Hopefully it arrives soon.

 

Now I just need to get a controller. The Kato Power Pack controller seems like an obvious choice, right?

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If you're patient at auction, you can get the power units for better prices.  The 7,000–8,000 ones tend to roll over quite a lot without selling.

This time last year, I scored a bunch for 4,000-5,000.  Prices jumped over the summer, I had been hoping they would come back down, but no.  I'm back at ZenMarket this past month and have grabbed another handful at 5,000-6,000 (a couple with sets of T-kai chasses included; so those were a very good deal).  The PU5 are quite scarce right now; I'm still hoping an affordable one pops up before I hit the storage limit on the curent purchases.

Edited by Cat
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lukewang01

I started with a KATO M1, and then I got a Tomix SA track set which looks fun with B-trains on it. I didn't get another Tomix controller and just end up hotwiring it from KATO controller.

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I like your mindset! I always thought B-trains were expensive because you could get a proper set for not much more. I need to change the way I see this. It's like the glass is half full or half empty.

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lukewang01
6 minutes ago, Cat said:

PU5

What the difference between 3 & 5? Clip position?

Edited by lukewang01
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10 minutes ago, lukewang01 said:

What the difference between 3 & 5? Clip position?

 

Size of the frame.  The PU3 is designed to fit into the passenger trains, the PU5 fits the freight engines.  The PU4 is a PU3 without couplers for single trams.

I'm done bidding on PU3s now, we have quite a sufficientry for our household.  One more PU5, and our freight roster will be well powered too.

As for the joy of Shorties, we've designed our whole modular layout around branchlines only operating Shorties (with straight through mainline that can connect to other T-trak modules at shows).  Just running Shorties opens up a whole different world of layout design and operations with a lot of potential in much smaller spaces!

Edited by Cat
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Dinosbacsi
31 minutes ago, Cat said:

If you're patient at auction, you can get the power units for better prices.  The 7,000–8,000 ones tend to roll over quite a lot without selling.

This time last year, I scored a bunch for 4,000-5,000.  Prices jumped over the summer, I had been hoping they would come back down, but no.  I'm back at ZenMarket this past month and have grabbed another handful at 5,000-6,000 (a couple with sets of T-kai chasses included; so those were a very good deal).

Ah, looks like I made a bad deal, lol. I got excited because last time I checked the auctions, I didn't see any power units. And the only one I could find on eBay was even more expensive than this and it was used.

 

Well I was impatient anyway, I was already set on buying a Kato unit when I saw this listed so it was sort of an impulse buy. Well whatever, can't wait to have it run. Though it'll probably be another 2 weeks at minimum before it arrives from Japan.

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