Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

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Teedoubleudee
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Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Teedoubleudee » Wed Aug 11, 2021 2:17 pm

Has anyone else got one of these and if so are they running on DCC? I have a thread running in the DCC section regarding problems I have, but thought I would post here to attract any owners directly who may have missed the other thread.

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Bigmet » Thu Aug 12, 2021 8:54 pm

I have never tackled one of these railcars, but all seven Heljan diesel model's* I have worked on have been the same for body removal, move the bodyside away from the underframe to disengage retaining lugs, insert slips of card to keep from re-engaging; work around the model until the body lifts off.

*That includes the class 128 parcel car, which I would imagine is of similar construction.

(There should be instructions in the box, Heljan are pretty good with information.) HTH

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Metadyneman
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Metadyneman » Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:10 am

Bigmet wrote:I have never tackled one of these railcars, but all seven Heljan diesel model's* I have worked on have been the same for body removal, move the bodyside away from the underframe to disengage retaining lugs, insert slips of card to keep from re-engaging; work around the model until the body lifts off.

*That includes the class 128 parcel car, which I would imagine is of similar construction.

(There should be instructions in the box, Heljan are pretty good with information.) HTH

This one is different. It is secured by four screws underneath and the body then simply lifts off. A welcome improvement in my opinion. The motor is housed in the middle bit of the underframe and it drives both bogies via external cardan shafts, thus allowing for full interior detailing. The only down side in my opinion is that it has been wired for DCC operation with an ESU Loksound 5 decoder. Heljan say any other decoder may not work all 9 functions without re mapping. Something which I know absolutely nothing about how to do!. I therefore splashed out on a Loksound 5 from Richard Croft at Roads & Rails. It's very nice but I could have done without the extra expense!
A bargain is something you really don't need at a price that's completely irresistible!!

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Teedoubleudee
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Teedoubleudee » Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:41 am

Metadyneman wrote:
Bigmet wrote:I have never tackled one of these railcars, but all seven Heljan diesel model's* I have worked on have been the same for body removal, move the bodyside away from the underframe to disengage retaining lugs, insert slips of card to keep from re-engaging; work around the model until the body lifts off.

*That includes the class 128 parcel car, which I would imagine is of similar construction.

(There should be instructions in the box, Heljan are pretty good with information.) HTH

This one is different. It is secured by four screws underneath and the body then simply lifts off. A welcome improvement in my opinion. The motor is housed in the middle bit of the underframe and it drives both bogies via external cardan shafts, thus allowing for full interior detailing. The only down side in my opinion is that it has been wired for DCC operation with an ESU Loksound 5 decoder. Heljan say any other decoder may not work all 9 functions without re mapping. Something which I know absolutely nothing about how to do!. I therefore splashed out on a Loksound 5 from Richard Croft at Roads & Rails. It's very nice but I could have done without the extra expense!


Firstly I would dispute your remark that the body "simply lifts off" after removing the four screws. It took me an absolute age to lift the body off mine and the reason I found out after is the use of sticky tape in various places. I did eventually get it off and it's staying off till I get a chance to fit out the interior with passengers and after removing all instances of sticky tape.

I did contact Heljan myself and as you say, they have based the DCC design around the Locpilot and Locsound 5 decoders. Many decoders like the RoS one I bought do not have enough functions to remap (there are 9 lighting options) so beware anyone buying one. It would have helped if the Heljan marketing blurb had made this clear. I have since opted to run mine under DC.

Having said that, it is a very nice model and appears to run very smoothly and quietly under DC or DCC operation.

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Bigmet » Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:46 am

Metadyneman wrote:This one is different. It is secured by four screws underneath and the body then simply lifts off. A welcome improvement in my opinion...

Wonder why the change of scheme? Couldn't be customer feedback do you think?
Metadyneman wrote:... The only down side in my opinion is that it has been wired for DCC operation with an ESU Loksound 5 decoder. Heljan say any other decoder may not work all 9 functions without re mapping...

A developing trend, models designed around a decoder capability to deliver all the accessory doodads. I suspect tie-in deals between manufacturers and decoder makers; the sound decoder is about the most profitable item in model railway.

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Metadyneman
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Metadyneman » Wed Aug 25, 2021 9:53 am

Teedoubludee wrote:Firstly I would dispute your remark that the body "simply lifts off" after removing the four screws. It took me an absolute age to lift the body off mine and the reason I found out after is the use of sticky tape in various places.

Not so much a dispute rather than perhaps your own personal experience with the example you have. I can only assume your example was "stickier" than mine as the body came away quite happily with mine.The sticky pads inside to which you refer are to stop light bleed and are not supposed to be sticky on the chassis side so maybe yours had been inserted incorrectly. I find after over 45 years of railway modelling experience, very little stops me getting inside the body of a loco or coach even if bits fall off in the process :D
Bigmet wrote:A developing trend, models designed around a decoder capability to deliver all the accessory doodads. I suspect tie-in deals between manufacturers and decoder makers; the sound decoder is about the most profitable item in model railway.

Most definitely yes. Sound is becoming much more sophisticated as time dribbles on. It is interesting to note that second hand early ESU Loksound version 3.5 Sound decoders are now appearing on "The bay" for much less than £100 and Hornby's TTS decoders have wooed a lot of people who would not have originally thought about sound into doing so. Whilst i like a bit of sound it does get on ones **ts after a while! :lol:
A bargain is something you really don't need at a price that's completely irresistible!!

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Bigmet » Wed Aug 25, 2021 10:42 am

Metadyneman wrote:... I find after over 45 years of railway modelling experience, very little stops me getting inside the body of a loco or coach even if bits fall off in the process ...

That's experience leading to the key knowledge: this is an assembled kit, if someone could put it together then I can take it apart; and should it be necessary, repair it.

Metadyneman wrote:... It is interesting to note that second hand early ESU Loksound version 3.5 Sound decoders are now appearing on "The bay" for much less than £100 and Hornby's TTS decoders have wooed a lot of people who would not have originally thought about sound into doing so. Whilst I like a bit of sound it does get on ones **ts after a while!

Ooh, I have one of those! Been scrounging around for a while for a Bachmann class 20 in all over green and recently got a cheap non-runner. Odd, thinks I on first looking at it, no radiator fan, turned out it had been given a factory sound fitted mechanism at some point in its existence. I had to rip through the sticker telling me not to fiddle with the decoder to find the failed connection, there goes any collector value. :lol:

If I could find a way of fixing the sound so that the only thing that plays is the user activated horn, I might keep it. Everything else is just too irritating for words...

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centenary
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby centenary » Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:09 pm

I saw 2 YT vids about this model. One is by Hornby Magazine, the other Sam's Trains (ducks for cover!).

The magazine guys didnt take the body off but gave it a good review. Sam did take the body off but found what the screws 'screw into' are like 4 brass collets in plastic that are just a slide fit. In other words, the screws dont actually hold the body on. Maybe Heljan didnt glue the screw collets into the first batch as intended?

By the way, I dont normally like railcars but this one looks good to me.
Last edited by centenary on Fri Aug 27, 2021 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Teedoubleudee
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Teedoubleudee » Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:46 am

centenary wrote:I saw 2 YT vids about this model. One is by Hornby Magaxine, the other Sam's Trains (ducks for cover!).

The magazine guys didnt take the body off but gave it a good review. Sam did take the body off but found what the screws 'screw into' are like 4 brass collets in plastic that are just a slide fit. In other words, the screws dont actually hold the body on. Maybe Heljan didnt glue the screw collets into the first batch as intended?

By the way, I dont normall like railcars but this one looks good to me.

I still have the body off mine awaiting populating so took this pic of one of the collet holders. No sign of glue but the surrounding plastic looks like it might have been "rearranged" by some careful melting to hold it in place.
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Bigmet
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Bigmet » Fri Aug 27, 2021 10:10 am

centenary wrote:I saw 2 YT vids about this model. One is by Hornby Magazine, the other Sam's Trains (ducks for cover!).

The magazine guys didn't take the body off but gave it a good review. Sam did take the body off ...

It's the magazine reviewer that should duck for cover. Potential buyers need this information and more, especially if they are newcomers to the hobby, or to the manufacturer; Heljan are still very much a minority purchase, and magazine staff should know that.

I have written this before, and doubtless will again: typically there is much better information on line about what's good and what's not, than in magazine reviews which tend to focus overmuch on appearance. And once the model is in the hands of folk that operate it, much more information appears if there are weaknesses, faults or other shortcomings.

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centenary
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby centenary » Fri Aug 27, 2021 6:13 pm

Bigmet wrote:
centenary wrote:I saw 2 YT vids about this model. One is by Hornby Magazine, the other Sam's Trains (ducks for cover!).

The magazine guys didn't take the body off but gave it a good review. Sam did take the body off ...

It's the magazine reviewer that should duck for cover. Potential buyers need this information and more, especially if they are newcomers to the hobby, or to the manufacturer; Heljan are still very much a minority purchase, and magazine staff should know that.

I have written this before, and doubtless will again: typically there is much better information on line about what's good and what's not, than in magazine reviews which tend to focus overmuch on appearance. And once the model is in the hands of folk that operate it, much more information appears if there are weaknesses, faults or other shortcomings.


To be fair, Mike and Richard only do a 5 to 10 minute high level presentation of a model in their YT vids, concentrating on appearance, pricing, availability and brief running session. Im guessing the in depth review is kept for the magazine at a later date.

Sam doesnt do short high level presentations and instead tends to do a tear down of the model, focusing more on DC operation than DCC. Two very different productions imho.

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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Mike Parkes » Fri Aug 27, 2021 9:17 pm

Golden rule with any new loco is to test run it; Sam unfortunately as a first action seems always to to disassemble it, hopefully put it back together right and then all too often it appears find it does not run well. A test run should show up any faults and if neccessary contact the seller for an exchange. Sam does no one any favours complaining a model is faulty; its a simple fact that faulty models exist and always have.

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan 00 GWR AEC Railcar

Postby Bigmet » Fri Aug 27, 2021 10:06 pm

Mike Parkes wrote:Golden rule with any new loco is to test run it; Sam unfortunately as a first action seems always to to disassemble it, hopefully put it back together right and then all too often it appears find it does not run well. A test run should show up any faults and if neccessary contact the seller for an exchange. Sam does no one any favours complaining a model is faulty; its a simple fact that faulty models exist and always have.

This is 'our' orthodoxy: I am right with you, careful pre-run inspection, followed by an extensive test running routine, etc..
Whatever 'Sam' does, it's just one more random and unmoderated example of online activity, a fair proportion of which features inadvisable practise, and the viewer is left to evaluate the appropriateness, quality and trustworthiness of what is presented.

centenary wrote:...To be fair, Mike and Richard only do a 5 to 10 minute high level presentation of a model in their YT vids, concentrating on appearance, pricing, availability and brief running session. I'm guessing the in depth review is kept for the magazine at a later date...

Perhaps, just perhaps, they could make better use of a video presentation than 'advertorial'? I wonder if any of the mags have done a 'how-to' on 'your new RTR loco purchase, how to check it over, test run it and evaluate how it does in order to get the best from it over the long term'?


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