Apparently, in the UK, the little Bachmann N Scale MDT switcher is affectionately referred to as "The Bachmann Brick". It's a fitting name, because the little buggers are essentially a solid chunk of cast metal, with a motor, some wheels, gears, and a light. The solid construction adds a considerable amount of weight for such a minuscule model, and that helps these little guys run rather well. Bachmann's quality control can be spotty, but out of the four of these I have owned, none have given me much trouble. Several modelers have suggested polishing off all of the blackening agent on the wheels to improve electrical contact, and ensuring that a quality lubricant applied to moving parts, but apart from that, nothing really needs done to these to get them to run acceptably, smooth, and slow.
One thing that is extremely attractive about the little bricks, are their price. Brand new models with EZ Mate knuckle couplers can be purchased for $35! Why is it then, that there are so few HOn30 conversions for these models patterned after American locomotives?
My guess is that there aren't a ton of locomotives in the 10-30 ton range that have 6 axles, and all of the conversions I have seen to date don't address that. I have seen some nice conversions, from resin kits, to bashes, to 3D prints, but the 3 N scale journals always give it away as being "another MDT conversion".
In the picture above, you see my prototype for a body kit. It's two pieces that are printed and shipped together. I didn't try to copy any prototype, I just found features of other small critters that I liked, and stuck them on. It's generic, on purpose.
The plan is to release these on the shapeways shop very soon, in a wide range of materials, from White Strong and Flexible to Frosted Extreme Detail. The WSF prints will be less detailed and very affordable at $20, in an effort to help new modelers get trains running in HOn30. The FXD prints will feature lots of greebly details, and pre "drilled" holes for grab irons. The FXD prints will probably be less than $50, which is a guesstimation.
I also plan on doing a Boxcab version to fit in better as an old Oil Electric on your 1930s era layouts. Don't be surprised if you find me releasing a Center Cab as well.
Well, better get back to the drawing board.
Go build something awesome!