Heljan class 128 kits

Discuss Heljan Model Railway products and related model railway topics here.
GWR_fan
Posts: 4786
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Heljan class 128 kits

Postby GWR_fan » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:35 am

I have read for some time that those receiving these locomotives usually find pieces floating around in the packaging, mostly the fragile sandboxes. today my BR green class 128 DPU arrived with more than just the sandboxes adrift. Almost half the underbody detail had broken off. It was not simply lack of glue as the mount spigots on the pieces had sheared off.

While not a great problem any repair attempt does bring with it the risk of damage to the body from handling while applying glue. No matter how clean ones hands are somehow glue finds its way where it is not wanted. Fortunately I was saved this grief.

As regards the sandboxes, from my research no Midland region DPU were fitted with them and yet Heljan continue to glue them on at the factory for them to come adrift in handling/shipping. Obviously I will not be refitting the sandboxes to this Midland loco but it does leave an ugly glue mark on the bogie sideframes where the items were originally fitted.

As regards pieces breaking off intransit, one needs to look carefully at the Heljan packaging. The packaging is superbly executed, cradling the loco very snugly. Now how could the loco be broken intransit when it is so carefully packaged. I believe EU 'drop tests' stipulate that the item must pass unscathed when dropped from a certain height. This is why our locomotives are so securely packaged these days, not to keep them safe but to pass the all important EU creditation.

OK, my loco arrives with numerous pieces broken off. How did this happen? Rough handling intransit? EU creditation should ensure that this does not happen. I believe either the item is damaged when originally placed in the packaging or at some inspection point such as the dealer's premises. The damage should be self evident when repackaging the item, so how does it go unpassed?

Also today I received a class 128 from another dealer from the city famous for its knives and cutlery. Not one loose piece in the box. Same packaging as the loco from the other major box shifter. Why would one loco be perfect and yet the other a kit to be assembled in the home. Makes you wonder!!!!!!!!!!

GWR_fan
Posts: 4786
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: Heljan class 128 kits

Postby GWR_fan » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:37 am

I forgot to add this image and the Edit function is not available.
Attachments
aahatta.JPG
Heljan class 128 Kit
aahatta.JPG (66.25 KiB) Viewed 719 times

GWR_fan
Posts: 4786
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: Heljan class 128 kits

Postby GWR_fan » Wed Oct 07, 2015 2:13 am

Further to note, when received one of the exhausts on the cab end was positioned to the outboard side of the buffer. Thus one of the exhaust mount spigots had been broken off. When repositioning the exhaust to its original position considerable force was needed to clear the buffer to get the pipe inboard of the buffer. Thus one must conclude that either the pipe was incorrectly installed in the factory (would have been immediately obvious), or at a later stage the drive was removed from the body and upon reassembly the pipe had somehow found its way to the outboard side of the buffer (also would have been immediately obvious).

How was an obvious defect like this as well as the numerous broken off parts, allowed to be shipped from either the factory of the dealer's store? Reinforces my belief that Australia is a dumping ground for defective goods. I do not care if the items were on clearance sale or not, these are supposedly new items and as such should comply with the manufacturer's specs.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 10568
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Heljan class 128 kits

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:59 am

I haven't handled a Heljan item but perhaps my experience with the products of others is a pointer to the problem. Both Hornby and Bachmann put quite a lot of items in the plastic bag of bits for the customer to fit. Many of these are fiddly to do, which explains why they aren't done in the factory. Often the spigots won't go easily into the intended holes without some attention to either. If Heljan are factory fitting these items my experience suggests that they will detach themselves with the slightest shock to the sealed package. Glued on items are equally likely to come adrift if they have not taken firm hold when applied. If you have built many Airfix kits how many times have you glued an item in place with fingers crossed that it will stay put only for it to fail some time afterwards? If the packed item is sent as a single airmail packet it's going to suffer three or four times the amount of rough handling that the one sent by courier to a UK address receives, and heaven knows how much more than the boxed and crated items receive between factory and dealer. Ideally models should be designed to reduce the reliance on surface to surface gluing of small items.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

GWR_fan
Posts: 4786
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: Heljan class 128 kits

Postby GWR_fan » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:08 pm

John,
Heljan locomotives are well known for parts to come adrift in the packaging, but when several of the same item come from other sellers with no complaint, i.e., all parts intact, then what is going on? Several months ago two class 128 DPU were purchased from the same dealer as the kit loco received today and they also suffered loss of parts in the packaging. Also there were three class 23 locomotives in the same shipment and they also suffered some detail parts adrift. This shipment came by DHL International couriers and not Royal Mail. The packaging was unmarked so did not appear to suffer rough intransit handling.

I am awaiting a further class 128 from the Sheffield shop and I will report the state of that DPU on arrival. Both the Sheffield and Liverpool concerns use Royal Mail for my shipments and when one can ship without damage and yet one cannot, then to me the damage may not be related to actual intransit damage but possibly damage prior shipment to the customer. Dumping comes to mind.

User avatar
Bufferstop
Posts: 10568
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:06 pm
Location: Bottom end of N. Warks line

Re: Heljan class 128 kits

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:42 pm

The complaint I have with Hattons packaging is they use boxes which are too big! This might be a problem as their scrumpled brown paper filling will flatten with extended handling, it's OK with royal Mail or couriers for the hundred odd miles it travels to me, but won't last too long on an international journey. I received a transformer from Gaugemaster this week, and despite it being a heavy lump it was tightly packed within the box and didn't look to have moved much.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

GWR_fan
Posts: 4786
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:57 pm
Location: Antipodes

Re: Heljan class 128 kits

Postby GWR_fan » Thu Oct 08, 2015 1:31 am

John,
my international packages from the store have the individual items firstly bubble wrapped and then padded bags inserted in the package to fill the remainder of the box. Granted, the items are not restricted from some movement but when one sees the original Heljan packaging for the class 128 it is purposely designed to securely hold the locomotive. By far the best manufacturer packaging seen to date.


Return to “Heljan”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests