Arnold-Rapido (Germany) 2-6-2

Introduced: 1967

In their zeal to introduce more "American" models to the burgeoning N scale market, Arnold made this Pennsylvania steamer out of their German DB 2-6-2 (pictured below). Sadly, Arnold didn't expend much effort on the project, as they simply removed the elephant ears (on most of them), painted everything black and stenciled Pennsylvania on the tender. Shoot, they didn't even bother to fill-in/cover-up the slots where the ears mount. So, no, not one of Arnold's finer moments.

If you can get past the silly looks, the performance isn't half bad (taking into account how long ago they were made). They're a bit loud and toyish sounding by modern standards, but not horrible. And although pickup is a bit iffy (the tender provides no conductivity at all), they do manage to go around the rails pretty reliably so long as you highball through turnouts. Mine has a bit of a shimmying wobble to it, which could just be old age. The mechanism itself is surprisingly simple, making it quite easy to dismantle and maintain. Although given the "collector shelf baby" nature of these guys, I think I'll just let mine keep its wobble and leave well enough alone.

Not surpisingly, these are quite rare (especially in the Pennsylvania paint scheme). Given Arnold's commitment to higher quality models (starting in the late 1960s), I doubt these things lived to see the 1970s.

As noted above, there are a few rare examples where Arnold didn't even bother to remove the smoke deflectors -

To remove the locomotive shell, simply unscrew the screw in the center dome. The shell should lift right off at that point.

Grade: D

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