JMTN blog

(Japanese Model Train Newsletter)

Kato C62 SL review

Kato have just released their newly tooled C62 SL, and pre-production photos of the model looked very special …

Click here for a nice picture from Kato’s web site. 

With a higher price tag than the previous version, and also higher than MicroAce’s ‘standard’ SL price, this model had high expectations within the modelling fraternity.

Inside the loco shell is the headlight circuit, then the (small) motor, then a small flywheel (that I really can’t see makes any difference) and then a shaft to the gearbox on top of the 3rd driver. This means that the cab is fully open, and has details and even crew seats. This is even despite the fact that the new model is smaller than the previous release, at the correct scale of 1:1/150 (as MicroAce has ALWAYS done). All wheels are blackened, and have low profile flanges (the tender’s wheel’s flanges are more like the normal size), and the 3rd driver has rubber tyres. The tender wheels all pick up power, and transmit it to the loco through the tender connection shaft, which is joined to the body of the loco (not the loco’s rear bogie) and just clips into the front of the tender.

Included are a set of various number boards (C62-16/17/35/36), as well as two headboards (‘Tsubame’ & ‘Hato’) and a Rapido coupler for the tender, which is fitted with a dummy buckeye type coupler. Details on the loco shell are impressive, with separate handrails and throttle/reversing lever, as well as various other mechanisms. There are a number of copper coloured pipes along each side of the boiler. Also just in case you can’t see it in the instructions, by turning the smokestack you can turn the headlight on or off 😆

I was expecting exceptional performance from this model, and unfortunately it was not to be. It doesn’t start at very low speeds and I have seen a lot smoother and quieter steam locos from MicroAce. Also it has a slight wobble at lower speeds, so that was very disappointing. So the score seems to be … appearance – Kato, but performance – MicroAce 😦

January 14, 2008 - Posted by | Kato, model review


  1. I have not tried it for it’s pulling power yet, but have no doubt it will pull the full train it is being sold with. However if you have not experienced the performance of a good MicroAce steam loco, then you have not seen anything yet !!!

    I am sure it would sound similar to a Kato USA diesel as their would probably use the same motor. I had no objection to the sound (except that MicroAce’s are usually quieter), however the running qualities certainly leave something to be desired. And you are a very exceptional person if you can tell differences in sounds with your eyes 😆

    Comment by redracer | January 25, 2008 | Reply

  2. I got mine today and I just love it. I never had any MicroAce before but the ‘little’ engine can certainly pull the full 15 consists. The noise sounds just like a Kato USA diesel and therefore acceptable in my eyes.

    Comment by Lio | January 24, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi Doug,

    I don’t have a Kato C62 – old or new – but my experience with Kato steamers has been that, generally speaking, they don’t run as well as good Micro Ace. I have 9600, D51, and C57 from both manufacturers, and the Micro Ace are all better. It’s a pity because the recent Kato steamers (like the 9600) look so much better with their open cabs.


    Comment by Phil | January 14, 2008 | Reply

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