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Thread: Front Range Products

  1. #1

    Default Front Range Products

    I was looking at a loco on Ebay. Have never seen this brand. Can anyone give me some info on them? Pros-Cons. Reliability? The engine I was looking at is a GP-7 with no real description of it.
    Cheers,
    Chad
    _________
    SP in the 80's

  2. #2

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    I have a version of the Front Range GP7/9. They're very nice, and were the only good model on the market until the P2K and Atlas releases.

    Here's my review:
    http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/r...oduct/61/cat/4
    Josh

    Models: http://rr.blockchoice.com | My Videos: http://youtube.com/user/jbaakko
    Model Railroad Tips: http://www.modelrailroadtips.com | Custom paint services, & Hobby shop: http://www.blockchoice.com

  3. #3

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    Chad, Front Range only made shells, not the complete locomotive. Anything you see that's already assembled is probably running on an Athearn BB GP-7 frame and power. As Josh said, they were the only correct width hood GP-7/9 until the P2K models came out. Without knowing more about the listing and how well the hood was detailed and the mechanicals, I'd say you're much better off with an Atlas or P2K model instead.
    Regards, Jim
    _______________
    HO Scale Modeler

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UP2CSX View Post
    Chad, Front Range only made shells, not the complete locomotive. Anything you see that's already assembled is probably running on an Athearn BB GP-7 frame and power. As Josh said, they were the only correct width hood GP-7/9 until the P2K models came out. Without knowing more about the listing and how well the hood was detailed and the mechanicals, I'd say you're much better off with an Atlas or P2K model instead.
    Front Range sold their GP7/9 three different ways: shell only, shell and frame kit, and as a complete locomotive. The complete locos had very nice Mashima motors and their own trucks, which would have been ok if they didn't fall apart. The frame was designed to take Athearn components and it does. Apparently Fred's original intention was to utilize the Athearn motor and trucks but his deal with Athearn fell through. The best bet to get one of these going back then was to buy the shell/frame kit - or a dummy unit which was about the same price, and add Athearn's trucks and the motor of your choice. I did a couple using the Athearn motor which was a drop-in; I found two very nice running Athearn geeps to start with and just moved the whole mechanism over.

    You could adapt Athearn's GP7 frame, but it's a whole lot of grinding - at the time for a few bucks more you could get the FRP frame which fit their shell perfectly and took all the Athearn parts.

    Trains Unlimited sold the shells and frames for a while in the mid-1990s. I have never been able to determine if this was an actual production run or if they were just selling old stock obtained from FRP.

    The models are pretty much obsolete now but if you get a good deal on them (like 10 bucks) you can have some fun and detail them up as much as you like. When you find them at swaps the boxes will be falling apart - at least the crappy sleeve boxes will be. Not a bad idea to check to make sure all the parts are there. Not sure how TU sold them. I got rid of most of mine keeping only a couple samples for the shell museum.

    In the late 1990s Fred under yet another business name (E&C Shops) announced an all-new GP9. It was never completed, and the status of what was completed remains in limbo. We still await salvation with a true "Highliners" quality GP9 or GP7, but there are fundamental differences that will prevent the shell from being a single "Mr. Potatohead". Proto's GP7 and GP9s are pretty much the best out there, in spite of their problems - and of course the Atlas GP7 is still available.

    Andy

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