Heljan Class 33

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Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:40 am

SRman wrote:... I don't use the Heljan tension lock couplings. Although they are nice and fine, they are cranked downwards, which can cause problems with coupling to other stock...

This appears to be a somewhat random affliction on Heljan's product, and I have never seen one of their loco models with a coupler pocket mounted higher than the NEM spec. , which would be 'the why' of a downward cranked coupling. I have seen Heljan models from notionally the same production run some supplied with flat and others with cranked couplings. Something of a mystery.

(I am another who long ago standardised on Bachmann's pattern of miniature tension lock, since these were what was fitted to Bachmann's wagons which were swiftly mounting up to dominate my layout wagon fleet from 2000 on. Testing of the Hornby and Bachmann pattern tension locks quickly established that both were reliable used alone, but mixing them resulted in unreliability. I haven't since had sufficient numbers of any other brand of miniature tension lock to test compatibility since...)

Mike Parkes
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby Mike Parkes » Sat Jan 08, 2022 10:26 pm

The droop of a NEM coupling can often be resolved by slipping thin card/plastic/metal between the coupling and the inner base of the NEM socket.

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SRman
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby SRman » Sat Jan 08, 2022 11:58 pm

Bigmet wrote:This appears to be a somewhat random affliction on Heljan's product, and I have never seen one of their loco models with a coupler pocket mounted higher than the NEM spec. , which would be 'the why' of a downward cranked coupling. I have seen Heljan models from notionally the same production run some supplied with flat and others with cranked couplings. Something of a mystery.

(I am another who long ago standardised on Bachmann's pattern of miniature tension lock, since these were what was fitted to Bachmann's wagons which were swiftly mounting up to dominate my layout wagon fleet from 2000 on. Testing of the Hornby and Bachmann pattern tension locks quickly established that both were reliable used alone, but mixing them resulted in unreliability. I haven't since had sufficient numbers of any other brand of miniature tension lock to test compatibility since...)


Interesting: a friend here in Oz and I both came to the same conclusions. An easy way to identify Hornby tension locks from Bachmann ones (at least, the NEM pocket varieties) is to tip them upside down. The Hornby hook will flip right down vertically, the Bachmann hook will stop when the dropper hits the front of the coupling.

I now have lots of Hornby couplings going spare, and am slowly working through all my stock swapping them over to the Bachmann couplings if they aren't already fitted. That's apart from the fixed rakes where I use either Kadees or Roco close couplings within the rake, with only the outer ends fitted with the tension locks.

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby Bigmet » Sun Jan 09, 2022 1:26 pm

SRman wrote:...I now have lots of Hornby couplings going spare, and am slowly working through all my stock swapping them over to the Bachmann couplings ...

The trick there is to find a friend that uses the Hornby couplings only, and trade for his discarded Bachmann couplings; everyone's happy!

boxbrownie
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby boxbrownie » Sat Jan 15, 2022 2:33 pm

Bigmet wrote:
The CoCo mechanisms based on the same centre motor drive template are equally satisfactory on straight track, but often have problems on curves, due to greater overall length and greater bogie length than the BoBo layout; this can typically be rectified if prepared to 'fettle' the mechanism: the one definite exception the Bachmann Deltic which has wheels that foul the bodywork on set track R3 (and quite possibly R4, not tested), it's a long machine and the wheeltops are inside the bodywork if a scale wheel diameter is used as Bachmann have done (Accurascale are going to fix this on their competing release by using the compromise of undersize wheel diameter).


That’s very odd, I have several Co-Co and even a Co-Bo (yes I like ugly) and they run just as well and smooth as my Bo-Bo diesels and I have a few R2 curves also (and points), what fettling do you have to do?

Specifically both my Bachmann Deltics run smooth and easy on the R2 on my layout, it is very strange the wheels foul on your R3 curves.
Best regards David

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Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jan 15, 2022 9:23 pm

boxbrownie wrote:
Bigmet wrote:... the Bachmann Deltic which has wheels that foul the bodywork on set track R3 (and quite possibly R4, not tested), it's a long machine and the wheeltops are inside the bodywork if a scale wheel diameter is used as Bachmann have done ...
Specifically both my Bachmann Deltics run smooth and easy on the R2 on my layout, it is very strange the wheels foul on your R3 curves.

Bachmann Deltic first. You can help here, I am pretty sure when Bachmann introduced this model the body was mounted high enough above the bogies that the wheels didn't foul on the bodywork, but I cannot prove that now as mine have been altered to correct the spacing of the body above the bogies to scale. (I can do this because the smallest curve they have to run round on my layout is 30" radius.)

So, first question what date (roughly) did you buy your Deltics?
Reason for asking, I have seen two bought about 2016, that foul on the R3 of a friend's layout, and I think Bachmann have reduced the spacing between body and bogie top, at some time after they first introduced the model.

boxbrownie wrote:
Bigmet wrote:...I have several Co-Co and even a Co-Bo (yes I like ugly) and they run just as well and smooth as my Bo-Bo diesels and I have a few R2 curves also (and points), what fettling (of Co-Co's) do you have to do?...

This relates to track holding on curves, my experience is only with the Bachmann 37, 47, 66, and the Hornby class 30/31.

On some of the Bachmann Co-Co examples the centre wheelset was positioned slightly lower than the bogie end wheelsets. By removing the centre wheelset, and slightly opening the aperture the brass bearings are seated in, all three wheelset axle centres can be got positioned in the same plane, as they should be, and then they stay on the rails.

Hornby's class 30/31 mechanism has a very different problem in the bogies: the axle ends run in holes in brass strips which provide the pick up contact. These can deform slowly over time and the ends splay apart, until an axle end falls out of its hole. The loco derails on or after the first curve encountered after an axle end falls out. Straightening the brass strips and putting some small washers inside the gear train to keep the gears better centred inside the frame has worked well for me ever since I found this problem. (All these mechs were bought cheap s/h with mazak rot to power old Airfix GMR Brush 2 bodies, (none of the mechs yet so rotted as to fall apart...)

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Metadyneman
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby Metadyneman » Sun Jan 16, 2022 11:50 am

bigmet wrote:Bachmann Deltic first.

The original Bachmann Deltics (8-pin DCC and no lights) were only powered on the outer two axles of each bogie and the inner third axle was simply a trailing wheel pressure sprung onto the track via a sprung cast metal bearing. The leading wheels are a much thinner profile width than the midde wheels. I strongly believe that these two factors contribute to these original versions of the Bachmann Deltic being prone to derailments more than the later (21 pin with lights) versions which are driven on all axles. I have had examples of both on my line and the all wheel drive version hardly ever derails whereas I was near launching some of the older versions over next doors fence on occasions! The older versions have since been sold on to frustrate their new owners accordingly!
Incidentally, the Bachmann prototype deltic uses much smaller diameter wheels and is an excellent runner as a result even if it is factually incorrect.
A bargain is something you really don't need at a price that's completely irresistible!!

Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby Bigmet » Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:48 pm

Metadyneman wrote:
bigmet wrote:Bachmann Deltic first.

The original Bachmann Deltics (8-pin DCC and no lights) were only powered on the outer two axles of each bogie ...

I had quite forgotten that. Took one look at that drive arrangement - bound to be unstable - and walked away, finally purchasing when Bachmann did the job right and drove all three axles; though only driving the bogie end axles (Heljan 's scheme on Co-Co mechanisms) would of course have been perfectly acceptable.

boxbrownie
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby boxbrownie » Sun Jan 16, 2022 3:08 pm

Both my Deltics (one is a later Bachmann I guess as it is the one as described above with a 21 pin, the other is the NRM Prototype) and neither has any issues whatsoever running around my layout with its R3 and R2 (and a few R4) curves, and today was an especially tough test as my three year old Grandson took the controls and wound the dial on the Ecos around to maximum, by the time I had got there from the workbench the Deltic driver must have been having a heart attack! :D
I don’t know exactly the difference between the two but the Prototype has very little airspace twixt body and bogie/wheels whereas the Bachmann normal deltic has the usual unfortunate issue of a gap wide enough to install a decoder, well maybe not quite that much.
Best regards David

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Bigmet
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby Bigmet » Sun Jan 16, 2022 4:38 pm

boxbrownie wrote:...I don’t know exactly the difference between the two but the Prototype has very little airspace twixt body and bogie/wheels whereas the Bachmann normal deltic has the usual unfortunate issue of a gap wide enough to install a decoder, well maybe not quite that much.

The prototype model, while very good overall in the matters of the tricky body shell shape and the body colour and decorative features, is a little disappointing due to the well underscale wheel diameter as mentioned above by 'Metadyneman'. Wheelbase and axle spacing dimensions on the mechanism - slightly different from the production series - are correct. I should have much preferred it had Bachmann been able to persuade the NRM of the virtues of their normal approach of putting the body higher above the bogies to clear scale diameter wheels; given the ease with which this 'ride height' issue can be corrected. Whatever, I have now spent past a dozen years thinking about correction to scale diameter wheels which I will someday get around to...

The Accurascale Deltic also is regrettably to have underscale wheelsets. I wait to see if the EM and P4 versions will be scale diameter. (My real objection to use of underscale diameter wheelsets is that manufacturers then typically fiddle with bogie dimensions to centre axleboxes on the inaccurate mechanism's axle position; the 'knock on effects' of which make correction problematic. (A way out on the Accurascale model may be to use the class 37 bogies if these enjoy scale diameter wheelsets, we have to wait and see until these releases go on sale.)

boxbrownie
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby boxbrownie » Sun Jan 16, 2022 5:41 pm

I understand your concerns but in reality underscale wheels on something like a Deltic (or any diesel with heavy bogie sides) is not exactly a glaring error while running, yes the axle boxes should still be correct and if that means they don’t exactly line up with the underside wheel set centres that also is not going to be noticed unless measured, I believe this is the route Accurascale has gone and looking at the advance shots of the model it works well.

I find the under size wheels much less of a problem than that of the Bachmann seeing such a huge gap between body and bogie, sure that can be “fettled” to be reduced but then it’s only really possible if you use much larger radius curves, which I surmise wouldn’t suit the majority of modellers.
Best regards David

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inoffapost
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby inoffapost » Tue Feb 01, 2022 4:05 pm

After subsequent 'running in' of my 33063 'Mainline' version I opted to purchase another, 33029 DRS liveried version. As I write I am just completing the 30 minute directional running in. Knowing the tricks with removing the bodyshell saved a lot of time on this occasion and I took the opportunity while it was off to remove the pipework to avoid fouling the NEM coupling when fitted.
I decided to keep one end with the pipework and attempted to fit the front fairing assembly but without modifying it, or removing the NEM socket I found it was impossible to locate it without compromising the bogie rotation.
I like the model, and the way it runs, but I think Heljan could make their own life easier by NOT fitting all this stuff at the manufacturing stage and just supply the parts for those who want the 'light running' fully fettled look and would no doubt actually relish fitting them. I don't like purchasing an expensive model, taking it out of the box and immediately have to start hacking it around. Kind of takes a bit of the 'joy' of getting the thing away IMO.

boxbrownie
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby boxbrownie » Wed Feb 02, 2022 10:32 am

I feel the opposite TBH, especially as now I have very great difficulty fitting small parts, it is easier for me and I suspect everyone else to remove these small details than fit them. We pay a premium for these “toys” so why should we get half a model kit?
Best regards David

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Metadyneman
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby Metadyneman » Wed Feb 02, 2022 11:16 am

This is very much a "damned if they do, damned if they don't situation" and goes to prove that no matter how much manufacturers bend over backwards to please us all, it will never happen. For several years in the early days Heljan used to include a huge wealth of separate detailing parts with each locomotive sold (some of which weren't even for the type of loco in the box i.e. generic pipes & couplings for the 47 & class 52). Despite this practise providing us all with a nice stock of spare detailing bits in our "bits & pieces" tins, (mine is brimming!) it was perhaps inevitable that over time, costs would prohibit continuing this practise and that the details would come pre fitted instead.
Some people complained at the time asking why they should potentially ruin a Heljan loco by having to glue their own bits to it when it could be done adequately by the factory in which it was made. Sometimes bits that had been added by the manufacturer, fell off in transit (Diesel Parcels unit springs to mind) and many models were returned to the retailers because of it.
My own personal preference is to have the details off the model and on a sprue for me to add if I want, but there are many out there who prefer to have them already fitted. I do however question the wisdom of having them pre fitted if the intention is to sell a working model which wont work properly without removal of some or all of the pre fitted detailing bits, but as I said above, I think these days it is all down to costs. Having someone in the factory adding a few bits for an extra penny an hour, is obviously cheaper than producing a whole raft of detail spares in the box with the loco these days. Ergo.. cheaper to employ someone adding fewer parts than produce more parts to put in the box than is absolutely necessary.
A bargain is something you really don't need at a price that's completely irresistible!!

boxbrownie
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Re: Heljan Class 33

Postby boxbrownie » Wed Feb 02, 2022 11:27 am

Well this prompted me to again open the detail pack to one of my Bachmann Warships I fitted sound to yesterday, this model has more than a dozen or so lifting eyes provided for fitting to the roof of this model, this parts are about 1.5mm long and absolutely impossible for me to fit, what I am left with is a nice model which works great, sounds great but has 20 small holes prominently on the roof. I’d even prefer if they were moulded on!
Best regards David

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