|GP60 (late)||GP60 (early)|
Introduced: 2013 (GP60M and GP60B) and 2016 (GP60)
Fox Valley's GP60's are gorgeous looking models with amazingly fine paint and detailing. Better still, they run every bit as good as they look. As noted above, FVM followed up their original 2013 GP60M/GP60B release with various GP60 releases in 2016. The main differences between the GP60's and the GP60M's are in the cab and nose area. The differences between the various GP60's (early, late, etc) boil down to variations in some of the shell detailing (dynamic brake housing, blower duct, handrails, nose light, nose brake, ditch lights, fuel tank, snow plow, antenna, horn, air conditioner and beacon).
Internally, these models follow the same basic design characteristics pioneered by Atlas and Kato -
All of them share the same chassis/mechanism. The chassis is all metal and split-frame. The skew-wound five-pole motor is equipped with dual flywheels. All wheels provide pickup via low-friction axle-cups. All four axles are geared and all of the gearing is plastic. The wheels are blackened and low-profile (no problems on Code-55 rails). There are no traction tires. A PC board mounted to the top of the chassis controls the bright white directional lighting for the headlights, number boards and ditch lights (it also routes current to the motor contacts). Said PC board has a six-pin / European-style DCC plug for those interested in installing a decoder (about as simple of an install as it gets). The couplers are shell-mounted Micro-Trains.
A goodie bag of prepainted detail parts (handgrabs, sunshades, mirrors, lift rings, etc) is included with each model (along with instructions for finding and drilling out the various dimples in the shell where they go). No, not exactly a project for the faint of heart (or weak of skills), but if you can get'r'done, you'll wind up with one snazzy looking model indeed. Unfortunately, I'm pretty inept when it comes to installing these sorts of microscopic details, so given my druthers I guess I'd just as soon have said detailing molded right into the shell (but hey, that's just me).
Performance on these models is outstanding in every way. Pickup is perfect and throttle response is smooth. They can creep along almost slower than the eye can detect, whereas the top-end speed is very realistic. No problems on narrow radius (9.75") curves. Pulling power is strong. Generally speaking, they run very quietly. However, I have read various reports that at least some of these are quite noisy out of the box. The problem here is lack of lubrication (and easily solved by applying lube to the worms and the bearing blocks). My only gripe is that the ditch lights are very dim and virtually undetectable in a well lit room. This is apparently due to the design of the light tubing (too many bad angles or somesuch), so there is no simple fix. But apart from that one complaint, these are great looking models that perform admirably.
- All new tooling
- Smooth, powerful drive
- Directional headlights / ditch lights
- Optional metal grab irons
- Blackened metal wheels
- Numerous separate parts
- Accurate and sharp painting and lettering
- Simple DCC installation with Digitrax DZ125IN or TCS EUN651
Trivia - Life-Like's GP60 shell is reportedly a good fit for this FVM chassis (although not vice versa).
The shell is held in place by four bumps in the chassis. I was able to pull the shells off of mine by simply grabbing hold of the shell with one hand and the fuel tank with the other and then wiggling the shell up and off. It's kind of a tight fit though, so it may be simpler to just insert some toothpicks (or whatever) between the shell and the chassis in order to free up the dimples first.