is part of their Classic
range. This model in M-K-T
livery, item 10 002 913
, is part of the eighth iteration since March 2001.
The Atlas Classic
range offers model railroaders locomotives in both Silver
Atlas Classic locomotives are created from retooled molds that produced some of the original Atlas products and, while less detailed than the Master Line, still hew closely to the prototypes they were created to represent. - Atlas
history tells us:
Introduced in 1949, the Electro-Motive 1500hp GP-7 combined the machinery of the F7 with a hood-type carbody that offered high visibility and easy engine access. The GP-7 was used in pulling every conceivable type of train and was sometimes substituted for part of a set of cab units.
Further Road Switching Locomotive Model GP7 (as titled on an EMD Engineman's manual) data can be found via Click here for additional images for this review
The earliest Atlas GP-7
I have found reference to was released in 1990. It had a Kato drive. Eventually Atlas
designed their own drive. Since 1990 the molded-on grabs have been tooled away and replaced with individual wire grabs. But that is probably too much information for most of us who clicked in here for today's model.
has a cast metal chassis and plastic body. Most of the detail parts are plastic, including the Blomberg truck side frames. Knuckle couplers are mounted to the body, not to the trucks, providing superior and authentic drawbar performance. Two bodies are available, with and without dynamic brakes; 800 and 1,600 gallon fuel tanks customize the model for specific railroads. The cab is separate, as is the sill/pilot/walkway piece. I do not know if Atlas'
first Geeps had metal and wire handrails but they did have the grab irons molded on; the Classic
line has wire grabs individually mounted and Acetal or Delrin handrails. Inside the hood is a five-pole skewed armature can motor and drive mechanism with dual flywheels, plus an 8-plug apparatus for adding DCC and sound. That motor is powered via all-wheel pickup through the B-B trucks.
Molding is excellent with crisp surface details, both recessed and raised, as appropriate. Although the air intake screens are not open, they are deep enough to appear authentic.
describes this model's features:
NEW Die-cast tooling for frame/sill
Optional 800 gallon or 1,600 gallon fuel tank
Fine scale handrails and stanchions
Painted hand rails
Five-pole skewed armature motor with dual flywheels for optimum performance at all speeds
Factory-equipped with AccuMate® knuckle couplers
Separately-applied wire grab irons
MU hoses and coupler cut bars
Two painted crew members
NMRA 8 pin plug for DCC
DCC Operation Features:
Supports all DCC-programming modes
Flexible mapping of function keys F0 to F28.
A total of six DCC function outputs are available
Follows all NMRA DCC standards and recommended practices.
Analog (DC) Operation Features:
The LokSound Select Dual-Mode decoder allows your Atlas Gold Series locomotive to be used on DC as well as on DCC layouts.
Please note that the Atlas Quantum Engineer will NOT operate an Atlas Gold Series locomotive equipped with a LokSound Select decoder on an analog (DC) layout. However, the sound and lighting functions of the LokSound Select decoder in the Atlas Gold Series DASH 8 locomotive can be controlled by an easy-to-use basic DCC system
Also note that on a DC-powered layout, a DCC and sound equipped locomotive (such as the Atlas Gold Series DASH 8) CANNOT be consisted with another locomotive that does not also have both DCC and sound. (This statement does NOT apply to DCC-equipped locomotives operating on a DCC layout.)
Sound Functionality Features:
Over 20 sound effects are available, including engine start-up and shutdown, prime mover sounds through all eight notches, bell, air horn, air compressor, dynamic brakes and more.
There are 16 user-selectable horns, 2 user-selectable bells, and 2 user-selectable synchronized brake squeals.
Manual and Automatic Notching modes with the ability to change modes ”on the fly” are provided for true realism.
This review subject has the physical characteristics of a Phase II GP-7: box behind the cab on the left side; three louver sets on the left hood behind the cab; 86-inch engine room doors; sloped pilot plates; solid skirts over fuel tanks; hood straps up from the walkways; handrail pipe stanchions.
This model is a good representation of MKT 93, but it is not 100% accurate. If you want to make it so, please see a portrait of MKT 93, see Portrait of MKT 93
at the end of this review, under Sources.
Most modelers spend their time looking down on their trains so we will start on the roof. The ventilation fans are 36-inch cap-style. They are not open into the body but they are molded with deep recesses that look good, and visible faux fan blades. In contrast, the exhaust stacks are so shallow that you can see the solid bottom. Atlas
did not forget the batten strips that climb up and over the hood but no lift rings are installed. Instead they are suggested with low pegs. A Leslie 3-chime RS3R3 air horn is mounted atop the cab.
Dropping down the hood you will find plenty of access doors and intake grilles. Like the ventilation fans the grilles are not open into the body but they are molded with deep recesses that look open. Each door has low hinges and well defined engine-door latches. Molding of the louvers are sharp, too.
Flexible hand rails are installed along the side and end sills and they are the pipe stanchion type. Atlas
even molded bolts on the stanchions and rail.
put a crew in the cab. The view through the clear windows is blocked.
The pilots feature MU hoses and they are the horizontal bar type that replaced the box type. However, MU stands are molded on the end rails and they are too short and do not touch the deck.
Underneath is a fuel tank and air tanks with piping. All of the aforementioned model rides atop very detailed Blomberg trucks. Look at the photos and admire the multi-level detail. I think the brake cylinders are individually attached but did not try to pry one off for confirmation.
This is a very good looking model even without paint. Speaking of paint...
Paint and Markings
I remain very impressed with Atlas'
finish. Even their data stenciling is crisp and legible - even the Electro-Motive Division emblems on the sills of the locomotive. Their representation of the 1971 Missouri–Kansas–Texas Railroad color scheme of green and yellow appears spot-on in color. If you would like to view photos of the real MKT 93, please see Click here for additional images for this review
The smoothly applied paint is thin and yet opaque. It does not obscure surface detail.
Eight road names and two undecorated models were created for this issue:
Undecorated (no D/B)
Algoma Central (Gray/Maroon)
Central California Traction (Red/White)
Great Northern (Orange/Black/Yellow)
Bangor & Aroostook (Black/Orange/Gray)
Belt Railway of Chicago (Black/Yellow/Gray)
Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo (Maroon/Crème)
Each road name comes with two or three road numbers.
My model scaled out to 55.8 feet from pilot to pilot, and weighs 10.7 ounces. That should allow a freight train approximately 25 cars (weighted per NMRA RP20.1) long on level tangent track. The minimum speed I managed is 12 mph and the loco runs smooth and quiet.
ConclusionAtlas' Classic GP7
is an impressive model. It features an excellent finish over sharply molded detailed plastic or metal components. Two body styles are available for accuracy per railroad.
If I have one complaint it is that the pilot rail-mounted MU stands are too short and do not reach the walkway.
Whether you buy the Silver or Gold version of this model, you should be very happy with it. Recommended.
Portrait of MKT 93: