Heljan class 15

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GWR_fan
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Heljan class 15

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:37 am

I have done a search on this site but it seems that the class 15 has gone unnoticed. Reviews on another site are generally full of praise with the exception of some who have received models with defective motors (overheating and possibly burning out, much like the prototype apparently).

A local seller had two mint condition models, one with no yellow warning panels and the other with small warning panel. At the going price they were hard to resist. I read what I could and saw a couple of videos before committing myself. I know to avoid the class 14 and class 17 but have really been not able to recall any info previously on the class 15 model.

Does the lack of info on this site infer positive or negative opinions on this model? The model was released back around 2010.

Terrier

Re: Heljan class 15

Postby Terrier » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:40 pm


Bigmet
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby Bigmet » Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:09 pm

I have a pair, bought pretty rapidly when they were first available, which have been running beautifully ever since. Will pull far more than the prototype could manage. Really good model in my opinion, it's only flaw mentioned in the thread for which Terrier provides a link; the cab stands a tad high, because the paint doesn't allow the locators fully home. A little modification, I went as far as cementing the cab into the body for the best result so I could fill the join between the cab roof and short bonnet, but that's a choice thing, not an absolute necessity. The similar layout class 16 (built to fulfill the same customer spec) is equally good as a model. Interestingly different with its spoked wheels, maximum louvres, and all.

In real life their reliability was so dire - both class 15 and 16 - that they were not let out alone! That's the reason I own two of what was a rarity. With two there was a chance that one would last out through the working and get the job done and back home - that's how dire they were. Yet to acquire a 16, on the 'someday list'.

GWR_fan
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:41 pm

Chris and Bigmet,
many thanks. I was concerned initially of a few reported motor problems as the small can motor does draw a fair current and yet one response on another site has the current draw at 0.1 amps. Decoder choice is definitely a consideration with this loco and yet some report good performance from basic Hornby and Bachmann decoders. A quality decoder is recommended to handle the current draw.

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Phat Controller
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby Phat Controller » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:33 pm

Have recently purchased a Heljan Class 15 weathered.

I have put a dp2x-UK decoder in from TCS, its a plug in type (no wires) and plugs directly into the decoder socket, brilliant for tight spaces and for those of us that are a bit wary of soldering.

Works very well, lights and all. Just be VERY careful getting the body off to access the motor etc.

I says in the instructions to "gently remove body" I was cursing them as I was trying to be gentle but the stubborn body wouldn't budge. With a LOT of gentle persuasion I did eventually get it off.
research = asking a bloke who knows a bloke who said something vaguely similar to what I wanted to hear! - Tony (aka the Phat Controller)

GWR_fan
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:57 pm

Many thanks. Heljan state to remove the cab, whereas all that is required is to prise off the fuel tank and remove the two mount screws underneath, followed by careful separation of the body and chassis.

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SRman
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby SRman » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:38 am

Coming in a bit late here, but like the others here, I have had no major problems to report. I tried a cheap Bachmann decoder first but it didn't like that much. It now has an even cheaper Train$ave decoder which actually works very well in it.

Like Bigmet, I modified the cab to sit down about 1mm lower, so that the cab roof and rear bonnet top are flush. I simply filed the material off the bottom of the cab, but filed carefully around the locating spigots (not difficult to do).

After careful study of many photos (mostly in black and white), I decided the cab roof should be grey, so added that as well (mine has small yellow panels so is a slightly later livery - not sure about the grey roof for earlier variants). It is seen here with the newer Heljan class 16. It always struck me as odd that the two types could not work in multiple (class 15 were red circle electro-magnetic control code while the 16s were the far more common blue star code)

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SRman
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby SRman » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:42 am

Oops! Sorry - no edit button. I got the coupling codes the wrong way round. Class 15 were blue star and class 16 were red circle (in common with several other North British classes).

GWR_fan
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby GWR_fan » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:49 am

SRman,
many thanks. It is a quirky design, just ugly enough to make it more likable. The class 16 is also a much liked model (one for the New Year, maybe???).

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby Bigmet » Tue Dec 30, 2014 10:24 am

SRman wrote:...It is seen here with the newer Heljan class 16. It always struck me as odd that the two types could not work in multiple...

Partly a function of the tragedy that was North British Locomotives move into non-steam traction.

This was a loco manufacturer that should have made it into the current environment, still a family owned firm, and with a large global business supplying very successful steam designs. But they refused to hire the qualified engineers they needed for diesel and electrical technology, assuming their steam engineering knowledge would carry them through. It didn't, in short. Failing to realise that standardised multiple working prototcols were a good idea just one small example.

GWR_fan
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:34 am

My two class 15 arrived this morning in mint condition. One was missing its couplers (had never been fitted as the clear packaging requires alteration to refit the loco to the packaging). Stock (non-stepped) Hornby NEM couplers fitted and matched the Bachmann rolling stock coupler height.

Both locomotives ran superbly even down to a bare crawl, fulfilling all my expectations.


Tim

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SRman
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby SRman » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:15 am

The coupling trick is one I have used with most of my Heljan locos: using Hornby or Bachmann straight ones to replace the Heljan stepped ones counteracts the coupling droop many of the Heljan locos suffer from.

Some others have used plasticard shims in the pockets to straighten up the couplings, with equal success.

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D605Eagle
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby D605Eagle » Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:34 am

THe grill on the long nose pannier is wrong and the cab sits about 1mm too high. That really is all thats wrong with it. Lovely model and if anybodies interested we still have a few models of D8233 left to sell (we being the clas 15 preservation society :wink: )

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GeraldH
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby GeraldH » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:29 am

The Class 15's are great little locos. The NEM sockets for the couplings are a significant irritation though. They are at the wrong height and the couplings, when inserted into the pockets, stick out further than is ideal. I've rebuilt the coupling arrangement on mine to resolve these issues, but it required a great deal of head scratching and fiddly work :) .
Gerald H - BNR Correspondent :)

My layout: http://www.newrailwaymodellers.co.uk/Fo ... hp?t=28854

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan class 15

Postby Bigmet » Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:44 pm

I was very happy on my most recent Heljan purchase, an original condition 'Baby Deltic' EE type 2, later class 23, that a regular rigid pocket is moulded into the front of the bogie frame. Much better. Let's hope Heljan have seen the light...


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