Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

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Barry Dawson
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Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby Barry Dawson » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:12 am

I have a Heljan class 26 and 33 and am impressed with the motor, speed control, load capacity, functions and detail. I looked at the Class 47 but was just too out of spec. (I know the 33 is slightly off spec in the roof angle but is tolerable)

I noticed some reasonably priced 35's through Hattons. My old Hornby Hymeks are getting a bit clunky and worn. Can anyone provide some information on the Heljan class 35 model and if it is within spec of the original?
Thanks

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby SRman » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:20 am

The Heljan 35 received some accolades when it came out and is still a good model, even against newer, higher specification diesel models from Bachmann, Hornby and Dapol. There is little wrong with the Heljan body but other contemporary models have such refinements as etched brass fan grills with fans behind them. For all that, I don't mind the effect on the Heljan model; it looks fine to me. While the old Hornby/Triang model is not bad (particularly considering that it originated in the 1966 catalogue!) but the Heljan one is definitely a step up again from that.

Dimensionally the Heljan Hymek is pretty close to spot-on. Apart from the earliest green releases, the liveries are good - the only reason for that qualification is that those early green ones didn't have the buffer beams or their cowlings painted.

Later releases also have the better, plated wheels sets, as opposed to the brass ones that tarnished easily on the earlier releases.

Running qualities on my own and all others that I have encountered are up to the usual Heljan standard (like your 26 and 33 models), smooth, controllable, near silent and powerful.

Mine is not entirely silent ... I fitted it with Howes' sounds and twin speakers!!! :lol: :lol:

All of this is entirely my own opinion but (IMHO) I don't think you will regret getting a Heljan Hymek, especially if it is at a bargain price.

While not the best quality (I was more interested in conveying the sounds), this video I took some years ago on my old layout may give some impression of the model in service.

Image

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Lysander
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby Lysander » Thu Mar 21, 2013 9:00 am

Agree above - mine is a strong, silent puller [!]. Buffer beams were easy enough to paint [but why should you have to ?]. Only real gripe involves the nasty brass wheelsets. They need a fair bit of cleaning [but can of course be replaced]. Overall, an excellent model.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby SRman » Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:45 am

Yes, I have replaced most of those early brass wheel sets with the later pattern sets, from Howes.

Note also that in the video one of the horns is missing on mine; I replaced both horns at that end with turned brass ones sometime after taking the video. The original went missing somewhere in transit between home and an exhibition one year!

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby Bigmet » Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:38 pm

Definitely look for a recent issue with the nickel silver wheel sets, these are much better than the earlier brass wheels. One of the best Heljan have done; what matters most in a model is that it really looks like the prototype that it is supposed to be representing and this one has that in spades. Generally models that look right from any view, turn out to be accurately scaled too when measured up.

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champion
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby champion » Fri Mar 29, 2013 9:53 am

You wont go wrong getting one,i have 8 in my fleet but yes make sure you get the later models with the better wheelsets.
As with the western i have re bulbed them with better lights as a bit nave on dc.

richard.
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Metadyneman
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby Metadyneman » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:25 pm

Just picked up a BR Blue one with small yellow panel & white window surround (D7036) for £60 on eBay. Had it running round the garden all afternoon yesterday and is a superb runner. I would go so far to say that it is probably the best diesel model that Heljan have ever made in terms of accuracy & detail. My only gripe are those dreadful droopy couplings with the air tanks attached. A bit of Milliput round the coupling housing hinge has sorted that out with my other hymek and this new one will be getting the same treatment. I haven't replaced the headcode bulbs as i am on DCC and the constant glow is quite realistic from the headcodes.

I seem to be one of the few people who don't have a great deal of trouble with the older wheels.
A voice from the distance said unto me "Smile, things could be worse" so I smiled and lo, things did get worse!

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby SRman » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:30 pm

As long as those old wheels are clean they won't give any trouble.

As for the droopy coupligs, Heljan ones have a crank in them to make them sit lower; I simply replaced them with straight couplings from Bachmann or Hornby.

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby SRman » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:31 pm

Sorry, no 'edit' button: that's "couplings" (I lost the 'n'!!). :lol:

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Metadyneman
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby Metadyneman » Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:34 pm

Never thought of that one. I'll give that a go before getting my Milliput out!
A voice from the distance said unto me "Smile, things could be worse" so I smiled and lo, things did get worse!

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby Bigmet » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:11 am

Metadyneman wrote:...I seem to be one of the few people who don't have a great deal of trouble with the older wheels.

All metal wheels on the layout generally, systematic railhead cleaning, and you regularly run your trains a fair distance? That's how I operate, and brass wheels stay well polished up with that treament and give no trouble at all.

But only operate occasionally, and run the loco a dozen yards at a time at most when you do, and especially if there are plastic wheels or traction tyres about; then the brass will naturally develop an oxide film faster than operation wears it off, and that and picks up rail crud, and the pick up goes off. In my experience relatively few UK railway modellers really operate. Locos should come with an instruction on the box: run this loco at least every other day for ten minutes for best reliability and maximum personal enjoyment...

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Phipps
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby Phipps » Tue Apr 09, 2013 1:34 pm

Don't have one myself,but surely has to be better than Hornby's rehashed old Triang thing.I converted a green one to look like "Bear" from Enterprising Engines,along with a blue 37 to be D199.Looking at them now,awful things,but the children liked them...........

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby SRman » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:46 am

The old Triang one was a 1966 release and, while definitely not as good as the Heljan one, it has actually stood the test of time reasonably well. I have one with the original non-ringfield motor bogie style which I have double-motored, through-wired, converted to DCC and detailed up a bit with separate handrails and horns (later Hornby ones already have some of these) and brass etched fan and grille fitted.

With eight-wheel drive and electrical pickup it runs nearly as smoothly as, but a lot more noisily than, the Heljan offering.

"Why put all that work in?", you ask. Well, I already had the Hymek from years ago and a spare motor bogie. I picked up another non-working one at a swap meet for a few dollars and combined the two chassis to fit the two motor bogies. The most expensive bit was the etched brass radiator fan and grille. I was going to paint it blue with white windows and small yellow panels but then got brave and chose a fictional "might-have-been" livery of maroon with white window surrounds, pale grey roof and lower body stripe and red buffer beams.

NickB
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby NickB » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:01 pm

@SR Man, great video that, but I need to know something...How did that Ford Anglia come to be in that tree?????!!!! :lol: :wink:

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 35 Hymek. Any good?

Postby SRman » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:41 am

Ahhh, you spotted that! The Anglia is an old Triang Minix one I painted up to look like the Harry Potter movie one (The Chamber of Secrets, if memory serves me correctly). I even printed up the correct number plates. I didn't have any whomping willows on the layout so the oak tree had to suffice!

:lol: :lol: 8)


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