Please refer to the errata information below and apply the changes to your kit assembly. This information has been submitted by the Aster factory and / or recommended by AH USA after completion of the production pilot kit.
Posted September 9th 2015
The first partial shipment of FEF kits has arrived from Japan and will be readied for domestic dispatch asap.
Posted 7/20/2015. Delivery of production now re-scheduled to end of August due to subcontractors delay completing the boiler casings.
Posted 7/7/2015. Chassis air test completed, waiting for production boiler casings.
Posted 4/28/2015. Pictures below show FEF production components at the Yokohama / Japan Factory.
The FEF kit contains 1032 manufactured components and 890 hardware parts (such as screws , nuts, o-rings, washers, etc.)
Short History of the FEF series
The first 20 engines of this class numbered 800 - 819 were delivered to the Union Pacific from ALCO in 1938. These were to replace the then dominating 4 - 8- 2 UP steam power with increased efficiency and higher operating speeds. A further 15 units numbered 820 - 834 followed a year later, equipped with larger cylinders, larger drivers and "centipede" tenders instead of the original 6 axle tenders. These locomotives were referred to simply as FEF's which stands for "four-eight-four which is their wheel arrangement. The first batch of 20 engines became the FEF 1 series, the second order FEF 2's and the final batch of ten locomotives delivered in 1944 were FEF 3's, numbered 835 - 844. The FEF's were coal and oil fired depending on their division assignement. The War effort converted many oil fired engines to coal, then back to oil after War's end. These locomotives were able to operate at 100 Mls./Hr. sustained speeds on designated sections of track. The newly designed tapered coupled rods with forked rod ends and separate sleeved bearings better absorbed the thrust and pull forces of the fast reciprocating mass of steel. The operational speed for this design was limited to 110 Mls./Hr. The FEF's were primarily entrusted with express trains carrying passengers, mail and perishable goods. In the mid 1950's Diesels started to appear more frequently on the head ends of such trains and the FEF's eventually retired from service, most of them going directly to the scrap yard. However, a publicity concious Union Pacific saved engine 844 and kept here serviceable until today for frequent performances with steam fans and other public relations activities. Other UP FEF's escaping the cutting torch are # 814 in Council Bluffs and # 833 and # 838 in undisclosed locations.
UP FEF3 is the first locomotive model designed with Asters new "Solidworks" 3D computer design system
Click the youtube link below to view a short video of the black UP 844 pilot model under steam.
The entire UP FEF production has sold out. Thank you very much for your support with this project.
Posted October 14th 2015
Factory built (RTR) shipment has arrived and will be dispatched immideatly. Thank you for your patience.
Posted 8/25/2015. RTR versions in the 50% completed assembly stage.
Click youtube link to view test runs of the gray FEF 837 and black FEF 844
youtube footage showing E. Bowle's Greyhound Aster UP FEF 837 pulling his replicated version of the "Portland Rose" passenger train at P. Comleys exquisite outdoor railway near Seattle WA Click UP Portland Rose link to the right.
Triple R Services ( an independent Gauge 1 live steam service organisation) is contracting assemblies for most Aster kits . If you don't want to assemble your locomotive kit, click the attached link to obtain contact information and to follow an excellent pictorial builders log of the Aster UP FEF kit .
The question was raised if the smoke lifter panels can be removed and what the locomotive would look like without them. As you can see in the picture, all the prototypical detail hidden behind the smoke lifter panels is in place and the the engine looks attractive in both configurations. All FEF's were delivered from ALCO to the UP without smoke lifters. When the twin smokestack equipped FEF3's arrived, smoke lifters became standard issue. Subsequently, many early FEF's also received this unique feature.
This page updated 11/14/2016
Posted 6/01/2015: The pre-production model now beeing assembled and finished components are sorted and packaged.
Posted Sept.1st 2015. First production kit received via express mail for inspection.
The picture below shows the unique tender design with completely separate body panels in its unconventional stage of assembly.
Greyhound FEF 3 # 837 in 1945 with smoke lifters in place and yellow striping applied. The wind spoilers visible on the cab roof were originally applied to coal fired FEF's but eventually removed after smoke lifter installation and conversion to oil firing.
Posted 6/16/2015. More parts and sub-assemblies ending completion.