Bullfrog Snot: Your questions answered from someone who took the chance
Thank you for this Guest Blog post from Mike Allred.
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. You've seen the ads. You've seen it on You Tube. You've read the testimonials. Admit it: if the goop can do everything it says it can do, you would buy it...but the whole idea of smoothing this goop on your expensive engines still make you nervous.
Well, I have bought a jar of Bullfrog Snot, and I can tell you it does, indeed, improve performance...sometimes!
I run a medium size, N scale layout where the mainline has a ruling grade of two percent. I run diesels and steam engines from several different manufacturers, and have applied BFS to all of them. Below is the bottom line, written with the intent of answering those specific questions you are asking before you plunk down the thirty bucks plus shipping (TrainLife has it for less HERE
1. It's best use is to replace existing traction tires.
If you have an engine that has those wheels with the grooves in them, so as to hold rubber traction tires, then this is your best candidate for BFS. If original traction tires are no longer available, then BFS is probably your only answer. It does a great job in this role.
2. It really improves the pulling power of four-axle diesels.
Apply it to two of the wheels of the rear truck, and you will definitely note a tremendous improvement in pulling power. The best wheels to apply BFS to is the forward axle of the rear truck.
3. Don't bother using it on six-axle diesels
Just don't. When BFS is applied to the tread of a wheel, that wheel sits higher that the other wheels of the truck. This is no problem for two-axle trucks. It's a real problem for three-axle trucks, and makes the engines derail frequently. You could apply BFS to all six wheels, but then you lose all your electrical pickup. The trade-off isn't worth it.
4. It works well on steam engines, if your tender picks up the current.
As you would suspect, BFS insulates the wheels from the rails, nullifying electrical pickup. For steam engines that pick up current through the drivers, this presents a problem. If the engine picks up current through the tender, the problem is (technically) solved. But I can confirm that BFS will make a steam engine pull significantly more than it did without it! This is good news for N scale engines.
5. Don't be stingy with it.
When the instructions say to apply "a drop" with a toothpick, they mean a LARGE drop! It took more than I thought it would to form that traction tire around the entire wheel, but once I got over my tendencies to be stingy, I learned how to grab the correct amount to make it work well. The instructions warn not to use too much, but in practice, it's easier to use too little than to use too much. BFS seems to shrink itself down to a thin, even layer, so there's little reason to be nervous.
6. Don't use a toothpick, use a paintbrush.
You will get better control of the product.
7. It picks up oil and dirt.
After several hours of running, you may notice performance slacking off. That's because BFS picks up the track dirt and makes wheels slippery. Simply wipe it off and performance will be back to what it was.
8. It isn't permanent, so don't fear mistakes.
It peels off using an x-acto knife blade. If BFS doesn't meet your expectations, you can take it off. It leaves no residue, so your engine will be back to original condition.
The makers of BFS claim that, eventually, the traction tire will wear out. You will have to remove the old BFS and apply a fresh coat. At the time of this writing, I have not yet reached that point.
9. Worth the price? Yes.
BFS isn't like paint; it doesn't get used up as fast as one might imagine. A single jar of product will last most of us quite a long time. And it really does improve locomotive traction. Personally, I'm satisfied with Bullfrog Snot, and see no reason why other modelers should fear giving it a try.
Bullfrog Snot is Available on TrainLife.com Click HERE
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