TIPS & TECHNIQUES
Aristo Center Cab Diesel
The Aristo Center Cab Diesel is a generic locomotive modeled after
many small industrial locomotives. The size and proportion are correct
with the loco scaling out at 1/29. Many small industrial locomotives
were made with a center cab for visibility and a small engine (150 to
300 HP) under each hood.
It is obvious that Aristo has taken two short hoods from their RS-3
and put them together on a new frame to produce this diesel. This
locomotive has exhaust ports on each hood unlike the Li'l Critter which
has none. There are no smoke units installed in this diesel. This is a
very smooth running and quiet model. The slow speed performance of this
loco is excellent. Top speed matches that of the C-16 which is not as
fast as the larger Aristo diesels, but since industrial switchers could
not exceed 40 mph due to their non swinging truck design, this speed is
The truck design is similar to many welded up trucks found on these
small locomotives. This is a very short locomotive, and like it's
real-life counterparts, will handle tight radius turns very well.
There are two switches under the loco cab which control the motor
and lights, which can be reached while the loco is still on the tracks.
Painting and graphics are excellent, and more complete than on the older
RS-3's. You no longer have to paint the metal eyelets and grabs on the
ends of the diesel.
This locomotive comes with standard Aristo knuckle couplers which
are body mounted. A set of hook and loop couplers comes in the box.
Kadee couplers will fit this loco. You can use the RS-3 kit or mount
#831's. If you use the #831's, the coupler mounting hole on the draft
gear box must be drilled out to 0.25", and a piece of 0.25" tubing
slipped over the mounting post and glued to hold the coupler at the
correct height. The coupler centering spring will have to be trimmed
shorter so that it will fit in a #70 hole drilled in the back of the
coupler. Using Kadees will pull the coupler closer to the loco than
the original Aristo couplers, and will give it a more prototypical look.
To change lighting, add sound, or to add smoke units, the locomotive
will have to be taken apart. While this loco is not difficult to take
apart, there are a lot of screws that need to be removed. The easiest
way to open the unit up is to remove all four truck sideframes (2 screws
each) and both power bricks (2 screws each). Then remove 15 more screws
to release the battery boxes, hoods and the cab.
In all this is a great little locomotive for either yard service or