31-612 Class V1/V3

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Sails
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31-612 Class V1/V3

Postby Sails » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:09 pm

On one of my weekly lunchtime trips to he London Transport Museum I saw one of these models in the display cabinet. I never saw one of these or ceryainly pay any attention to it if I saw it online but seeing it on display I really lliked the look of the loco. Does anybody have one or can shar a review of one? Thinking of getting one.

M

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D605Eagle
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Re: 31-612 Class V1/V3

Postby D605Eagle » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:46 pm

I have several. They were very fine models in their day, (1990s), but have been somewhat surpassed but the newer super detail stuff if that's your bag! The plus side is that you are less likely to damage fine parts when you pick them up. The bad part about them is their chassis. Being a split chassis you never know from the beginning if you're getting an excellent runner or a dog. Then you have the problems of them self destructing due to Bachmann using s**t plastic that splits with age when exposed to the lubricant Bachmann used, however as this particular model is one of the later releases, I have found that split chassis models from that era they don't suffer from this. Another big headache is they are almost impossible to chip if you run DCC. I believe that this model you are looking at was the last release of the split chassis version. If you can find a 31-613 or 4, they are a new DCC ready with a far superior chassis setup, but are crazy expensive.

GWR_fan
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Re: 31-612 Class V1/V3

Postby GWR_fan » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:43 am

I purchased a Doncaster green "British Railways" V3, 31-607, recently in never run/mint condition (spent its life in a cabinet collection). On arrival the rattling sound in the box did not sound positive. Several hours later after rebuilding all three driving wheel plastic muffs plus the trailing wheelset, I had a relatively smoothly running locomotive.

I would be surprised if any V1/V3 have survived unscathed. If the plastic muffs have not deteriorated too badly then repair is possible, however, future failure is always a possibility. You are better off putting your money on a Bachmann 3MT tank locomotive.

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D605Eagle
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Re: 31-612 Class V1/V3

Postby D605Eagle » Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:21 pm

If my theory is right, 610, 1 and 2 should be okay, although I don't have any V1/3s from that era, I have several other split chassis locos and so far non have died. The V1/3 was particularly prone to self destruction though. Anybody got one of the DCC ready ones with a modern chassis?

Bigmet
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Re: 31-612 Class V1/V3

Postby Bigmet » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:13 am

I have a 31-614 (V3, no 67646) which has the new mechanism (complete with 'Next 18' DCC socket) and it runs beautifully.

The bodywork is exactly as on the previous split chassis versions, so not as crisp as current product, mould part lines and feeds often need some cleaning up, and some detail a little clumsy compared to best current standard, no cab interior detail at all. That said it has always been an accurate model, and a little work is worth doing to 'polish it' a little. If you already have a 'worked on' body from a split chassis verion, this will fit straight on the new mechanism for an instant running upgrade.

It makes an interesting trio with the other two LNER standard suburban tanks available RTR. Superior in appearance to the ex-Airfix designed N2 from Hornby, well beaten by Hornby's L1 2-6-4T which is one of their top drawer productions. (Next to come: we see how Oxford Rail's N7 fits into this assortment...)

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js1975
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Re: 31-612 Class V1/V3

Postby js1975 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:20 am

Sails wrote:On one of my weekly lunchtime trips to he London Transport Museum


Thats dedication

Bigmet
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Re: 31-612 Class V1/V3

Postby Bigmet » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:23 am

D605Eagle wrote:... Another big headache is they are almost impossible to chip if you run DCC...

Meant to comment on this. I would rate these as the easiest split chassis steamer from Bachmann to fit with a decoder, because of the body construction which offers a plastic lined void to place the decoder in, at the bottom of the cab. Here's the neat bit, the whole bunker section above the footplate, including the back wall of the cab, is a separate moulding held on with one screw, positioned just behind the boss that takes the body securing screw. Undo it, give it a wiggle and it unclips and slides out. The really neat bit: the bunker section relocates so positively, it doesn't need the screw to hold it in place which means that wiring the decoder to the pick ups and motor by passing the wires through the open paths either side of the cab is easily managed.

The only difficult bit is the necessary splitting of the chassis to isolate the motor terminals from the chassis castings. Then with the decoder on the cab floor and the wires going through the cab, they can be soldered on to the motor terminals and the convenient pads to connect the carrying wheel pick ups. Reassemble chassis, put body on, screw secure, tidy wiring and decoder below cab window line, slide in bunker end - click! - and you are done.

I got decent life out of my two split chassis V3s, and they ran well until the plating on the tyres was all worn through to the mazak wheel castings, which effectively makes them 'used up' because the pick up becomes terrible. I might have gone scrounging around for spares to repair them, but by that time Hornby had announced their L1 which is actually the correct heavy suburban tank for my modelling area; and very good they are too.


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