Author Archives: Adrian

Nyheter, mars 2021

N 1304 är så nära, men ändå så långt ifrån att vara redo! För testning köpte vi en GaugeMaster Combi (en mycket grundläggande styrenhet med plug-in-transformator) från en brittisk leverantör, men vi var inte redo att använda den omedelbart.
Bromsarna avlägsnades i mars och städades. Metallstavarna ersattes av plaststavar och risken för kortslutning över det sättet eliminerades. 0,5 mm plaststav är en mycket svår produkt att arbeta med och att byta ut de fyra stavarna tog över tre timmar. Det är också väldigt mjukt så att de lätt böjs ur form!
Vi monterade nya ledstänger för de främre trappstegen. De har målats mörkgrå så att de syns mer mot den svarta bakgrunden. Detta har fungerat så bra att de flesta andra räcken har målats om på detta sätt.
För att passa den främre kopplingen hade vi inga lämpliga bitar av metallskrot, så vi gjorde ett plaktiskt stöd för att passa in i ramarna, för att bära kopplingen. Kopplingsfickan är dock skadad och kommer att bytas ut vid ett senare tillfälle.
Sedan var vi redo att använda den nya styrenheten. Vi behövde testa motorn och ventilkugghjulets frikörning. Motorn är bra, men det finns många, många problem med ventilväxeln, och ständiga justeringar tar mycket lång tid. Vid ett tillfälle kunde vi köra loco med ventilväxeln saknas från ena sidan, helt! En uppsättning glidskenor skadades utan reparation, och vi var tvungna att köpa en ny etsad bit. Detta kom på ett ark etsade komponenter, med många, många andra delar.
De nya etsade arken anlände ganska snabbt, och en av glidstångsenheterna tillverkades så att den skulle passa. Sedan skruvade man bort den svängbara stiftet för en av vevstakarnas stora ändar när hjulen gick runt och det måste limmas in igen. Detta i sin tur hade skadat andra delar av ventilväxeln och en hel dag spenderades på att avhjälpa arbete. För att vara säker gjorde vi den här ändringen till andra sidan också.
Vi har tappat räkningen av antalet gånger som vi har haft att klämma fast och limma tillbaka beslaget för expansionsblocket eller framsidan av radiestavarna på cylindrarna (naturligtvis inte nödvändigt på äkta ånglokaler), eller till och med glidstängerna till cylindrarna, och dessa korrigeringar pågår när mars närmade sig slutet.


Dm3 1221 + 1240 + 1222 är en av de senare versionerna av denna klassiska lokstyp (Marshall-lampor, reviderad position för förarsidans dörr, utökade takventilationsöppningar osv.), och Roco-modellen i vanlig brun har varit önskvärd under en längre tid. När vi behövde beställa reservdelen till N-lok såg vi en avslappnad titt på begagnade modeller som också fanns tillgängliga, och där var det Dm3 lok som vi ville ha! För oss är detta den perfekta Epoch-IV-versionen av den här loken, andra har antingen äldre belysning och dörrlayouter eller har mer moderna LKAB/MTAB-logotyper på (eller ännu mer moderna (blå) färger)!
Prototypen för denna lok slutade tyvärr plötsligt den 19 mars 1993, när iskasta punkter kastade den från banan och nerför sidan av ett berg nära Katterat. Föraren och passageraren (hans lilla dotter) fick bara mindre skador eftersom snön kom genom de trasiga fönstren och dämpade dem från allvarlig skada! Lok måste skrotas på plats; på bergets sida! (Vi undrar om Roco var medveten om detta öde när de producerade modellen?)


Icke-järnvägsmodeller är också i nyheterna denna månad, med ankomsten av några nya bilar och en lastbil. Två PCX87 Volvo 240-modeller har anlänt (se våra engelska nyheter från denna månad) och en Scania-lastbil i svensk postleverans. (Våra enda nuvarande svenska postbilar är Iveco; inte särskilt svenska!) Ironiskt nog kom den här modellen i ett paket täckt av inte mindre än 31 frimärken …! Vi tog också emot en Wiking Chervolet Malibu, som är den närmaste imitationen vi kan hitta (i H0-skala) av Chevrolet Impala; bilen som används av Jönssonligan i de klassiska svenska filmerna! Vi kommer att ändra utseendet på modellen så att den matchar filmbilen!

March 2021 News

March got off to a slow start. We were preoccupied with house viewings, a new (second-hand) car (from a dodgy dealer, with some technical issues), and a ‘name-day’ celebration.

Rolling Stock Updates

N 1304 is so near, yet so far from completion! For testing, we purchased a GaugeMaster Combi (a very basic controller with plug-in transformer) from a UK supplier, but we weren’t ready to use it immediately.
The brake rigging was removed in March and cleaned up. Then the metal rods were replaced by plastic rods and the risk of short-circuits across that means was eliminated. 0,5mm plastic rod is a very difficult product to work with and replacing the four rods took over three hours. It is also very soft, so they are easily bent out of shape!
We took a fresh look at the handrails that support the front steps. The design really does suggest a trip-hazard, so by changing the height, and modifying the fixing point, we have been able to fit these without upsetting more of the loco. They have been painted dark grey, so that they are slightly visible against the black background. This has worked so well that most of the other handrails have been repainted in this way.
Fitting the front coupling was also a struggle. We needed a spare offcut of metal that was wider than 5mm and longer than 14mm, into which we could tap a thread for a fixing screw, and turn up each end so that it would fit inside the frames. We had nothing of this sort, so we used a more narrow piece which was quite weak having been tapped. Then, we ‘butchered’ a ‘cap’ for the UK 3-pin plug, and made a suitable brace to fit into the frames, to carry the coupling. The coupling pocket has been damaged, however, and this will be replaced at a later date.
Returning to the Controller; this arrived mid-March and we were able to properly test the loco’s performance, not just the motor, but also (and especially) the valve gear. As expected, the first run was virtually stationary, so several modifications were made. In the process, the driver side motion virtually fell off! The cause was the still faulty top glide on the crosshead, and this had damaged the slide bars. We also found a faux-pas on our part in that on the fireman side, the eccentric rod had been fitted closer to the wheel than the return crank, so the wheels could not go round! The fireman side valve gear was adjusted and corrected and with none of the other side attached, the loco ran under power quite satisfactorily.
The driver side was to prove a little more problematic, however. During the short run under power, the coupling rod fell off, which was not a problem, just amusing. It meant that we could start from scratch, and having learned a few lessons, we were able to do this with more professionalism. Unfortunately, the now-damaged slide bars were really beyond repair (we had several attempts), but after a couple of hours, we had to resign to the fact that they needed to be replaced. Thankfully, MJ-Hobby had a twin-pack of etched parts in stock (giving us a total of four pairs of slide bars and loads of other spare parts). This was of course, very frustrating, but it led to something much better; see our next item!
The new etched sheets arrived quite quickly, and one of the slide-bar assemblies was extracted, shaped, and filed so that it would be an easier fit. Once fitted, a little glue will stop it rattling, but this seems unlikely, anyway! Everything was fitted in one day, but not to the pivot for the connecting rod big end or the return crank. This was because we needed to allow time for the glue to dry where we had used a washer instead of the now-lost nut on the expansion die block. As work continued, more irritations became apparent. The pivotal pin for one of the connecting rods’ big ends unscrewed as the wheels went round and that had to be glued back in. This, in turn had damaged other parts of the valve gear, and a whole day was spent on remedial work. To be safe, we made this modification to the other side, also.
We have lost count of the number of times that we have had to clamp and re-glue the fitting for the expansion die block, or the front of the radius rods to the cylinders (not required on genuine steam locos, of course), or even the slide bars to the cylinders, and these corrections are ongoing as March drew to a close.

Dm3 1221+1240+1222 is one of the later versions (Marshall lights, revised position of driver side door, extended roof ventilation openings, etc) and the Roco model in plain brown has been desired for some time. At the time that we needed to order the spare part for the N-loco, we had a casual look at the second-hand models also available, and there it was, the Dm3 loco that we wanted! For us, this is the perfect Epoch-IV version of this loco, others have either older lighting and door layouts, or have more modern LKAB/MTAB logos on (or even more modern (blue) liveries)!
The prototype for this loco, sadly came to an abrupt end on March 19th, 1993, when iced-over points threw it off the track and down the side of a mountain near Katterat. The driver and has passenger (his young daughter) suffered only minor injuries because the snow came through the broken windows and cushioned them from any serious harm! The loco had to be scrapped on site; on the side of the mountain! (We wonder if Roco was aware of this fate when they produced the model?)

SCENIC MODELS are also in the news this month, with the arrival of some new cars and a lorry. Two PCX87 Volvo 240 models have arrived (see Manufacturer News, below), and a Scania lorry in Swedish postal livery. (Our only current Swedish postal lorries are Iveco; not very Swedish!) Ironically, this model arrived in a package covered in no fewer than 31 postage stamps…! We also took delivery of a Wiking Chervolet Malibu, which is the nearest imitation we can find (in H0-scale) of the Chevrolet Impala; the car used by the Jönsson Gang in the classic Swedish films, “Jönssonligan…”! We will alter the appearance of the model to match the film car!

Manufacturer News

NMJ has released the second wave of Y1 railbuses, SJ blue with the air-intake boxes on the sides. We’re a little disappointed that the orange version has not been produced with these intakes; that is the condition that applied in 1990 when Sweden was first identified as the country to model.

BoS has released a Volvo 265 ambulance (stretched chassis), but the livery is not especially Swedish.

Minichamps has added to their range of proposed Volvo cars, the 480 coupé in four colours (1987 year model) and the 850 sedan in four colours (1994 year model). If the latter is produced, it will be probably the most modern Swedish car in H0-scale!

PCX87 has released limited models of the Volvo 240 sedan and estate (1989 year model) ahead of the 1986 ones proposed by Minichamps. One of each has arrived, and close inspection reveals some disappointing details discrepancies. One of the most classic features of the 145/245 estate is the top of the rear passenger door which drops away from the roof-line; this is not recreated on the PCX87 model! Our photos compare this with a Brekina 145 model (which has other faults)! Other discrepancies are less obvious. (Compare the differences, below!)

And finally, if you want to decorate the scenic area of your Swedish diorama with moose, then Preiser produces a set; but they’re males only (with the antlers, of course). For females, the Canadian supplier miniprints.ca has some convincing models (and more males, of course).

Nyheter, februari 2021

Arbetet med N 1304 fortsatte fram till februari och modellen är nästan klar! De enda lödda komponenterna är de elektriska kontakterna inklusive glidkontakterna för hjulen. Det skulle ha varit ganska enkelt om vi inte hade lagt till arbetsbelysning, och dessa gav oss naturligtvis ett problem. De är monterade på kroppen; resten av elnätet är monterat på chassit. Lösningen var att limma ett kontaktkort på baksidan av hytten för ledningarna från lamporna (naturligtvis via motstånd) och att ha en förlängningskabel för varje pol av motorn lödd på den. Det betyder att om / när vi behöver ta isär loket måste vi avlödda det, men vi är vana vid detta med vår Heljan loco!

Vi arbetade sedan på ledstänger och annan finslipning med två Bockningsmallar köpta från SMJ.

Under februari arbetade vi också med livresten; satinsvart topplack för kroppen, mörkgrått för chassit (så att det syns), röda buffertbalkar, träfärgade fönsterramar på hyttens sidor, men mässingsfönsterramar fram och bak. Att röra på sig med mer satinsvart fick modellen att se väldigt smart ut, vilket är en stor boost till moral.

Det var då dags att glasera fönstren med ett tjockt lim som torkar klart.

Bromsrör, trappsteg och andra beslag fästes, men nummer- och tillverkarplattorna var de sista, efter att ytterligare lackering hade rörts upp.

Vi använde Roco täta kopplingar i fickorna avsedda för deras Rc-loco; så det finns ingen yttre rörelse, men de är NEM-362 fickor, och de vänder. För att passa dem avlägsnades stiften och ersattes av hål och M2-skruvar användes med M2-kranen för att göra en öppning i en tvärstång gjord av en reservdel metall på framsidan och med det bakre fästhålet på eftersom det bara råkade vara på rätt plats!

“Snagging” (Kontrollerar för mindre fau) startade den sista veckan i februari, och vi hittade en “kortslutning” över hjulen. Detta, fann vi, orsakades av metallbromsskor som är monterade på metallstänger. Som en tillfällig åtgärd användes isoleringstejp för att skapa ett extra skoskikt, men på längre sikt måste vissa delar bytas ut mot plast. Vi hittade också dålig upphämtning där chassit är beroende av, så det var helt klart en bra idé att tillhandahålla extra kopparkontakter där det var möjligt.

February 2021 News

N 1304 continued to be built during February, and after a couple of days fitting the electrical contacts for the wheels, we turned our attention to the handrails and everything else that used the fine brass rod.  We had received from SMJ two handrail bending jigs (“Bockningsmall” on their website, if you want to get some), and these proved to be extremely useful.  Nevertheless, we decided to work on this part of the project only a few bits per day so that we could allow the glues time to dry, and to not get too frustrated with this very fiddly phase!  Some of the stanchions needed drilling out because they hadn’t been made properly, but other than that, it all went in very well.

During February, we also worked on the livery; satin black top-coat for the body, dark grey for the chassis (so that it can be seen), red buffer beams, wood coloured window frames on the cab sides, but brass window frames at the front and back.  Touching up with more satin black made the model look very smart, a great boost to the morale.

With the painting done, it was time to glaze the windows.  We used a so-called ‘canopy glue’ which dries clear.  Being of a fairly thick consistency, we were able to draw this across the (window) openings to seal them (thus a white window), and waited for it to dry.  During the drying process, the loco was turned upside down for a while to prevent the tops becoming too thin.

The electrical installation was quite a challenge.  It would have been quite straight forward if we had not added working lights, and these of course, gave us a problem.  They are mounted on the body; the rest of the electrics are mounted on the chassis.  The solution was to glue a contact board onto the back of the cab for the wiring from the lamps (via resistors, of course), and to have an extension wire for each pole of the motor soldered to it.  This means that if/when we need to take the loco apart, we will have to de-solder it, but we’re used to this with our Heljan loco!  Of course, the loco was not designed to have working lights; and running the wires, and connecting it all up was a very challenging job; not helped by not having the ideal tools — they are in storage in England, still!

Putting the loco together was challenging; some wiring needed pushing to one side, part of the floor-plate needed filing away to make room for the extra pickups, and one component was fitted differently to the suggested way and subsequently added strength to where the chassis is screwed to the body at the front.  At this stage, brake pipes, steps and other fittings were attached, but the number and makers plates were the last, after some further paintwork had been touched up.

We used Roco close couplings in the pockets intended for their Rc-loco.  So there is no outward movement, but they are NEM-362 pockets, and they turn.  To fit them, the pins were removed and replaced by holes, and M2 screws were used with the M2 tap making an opening in a cross-brace made from off-cut at the front, and using the rear securing hole at the back because it just happened to be in the right place!

With the attachment of the number plates, the locomotive was technically finished in terms of construction, but some elementary testing would be required before the loco could be submitted for running in and dedication to traffic.  Thus, its completion date is likely to be in March!

“Snagging” started in the last week of February, and found a ‘dead short’ across the wheels.  This was traced to the metal brake shoes which are mounted on metal rods.  As a temporary measure, insulating tape was used to make an extra layer of shoe, but longer term, the rods may have to be replaced with plastic, awkward given that they’re 0,5mmØ and the strength would be questionable.  We also found poor pick-up where the chassis is relied upon, so providing the extra copper contacts where possible was clearly a good idea.

SJ Kbps 21 74 370 4 388-7 arrived in February, and this completes the set of three wagons of this revised version of the Kbps.  Curiously, and not uncommon for NMJ, the wagon and the packaging do not match, but the wagon number was shewn, not the catalogue number, so although a similar number to one of the others, this is not the same.  The ‘370 4’ part of the number suggests that it was rebuilt from a type Os!  Unfortunately, the check-digit is also wrong (also common among NMJ wagons); it should be –8.

Manufacturer News

Dekas has advertised some “Ugkkpp” grain wagons (type Kö, pre-UIC) which will be an important addition to any Swedish layout.

Jeco has advertised some new models recently; all out of our epoch, but interesting all the same.  The X2000 appears in two five-car sets; one in the special livery for the Linx train that worked between Stockholm and Oslo [X2-A310], and the other as the solitary unit that went to China (but is now back in Sweden) [X2-A330].  Also, the Y6 is available in IBAB livery as MT 1086, with some suitable authentic modifications [Y6-A150].  The catalogue numbers shewn here are for the standard DC analogue versions.

Roco is advertising the HectorRail 241 Electric loco (Ep-VI) again [73947], and two wagons; Ep-V Car carrier wagon [76892], and Ep-VI Sliding wall wagon, grey with GC markings [77490].  All are suggested as new items, but only the Ep.VI wagon has not been seen before (we already have the other wagon at the FLMJ, from 2019).

Vagnverkstaden (http://www.vagnverkstaden.eu/) is winding down their stocks and will cease trading as well.  In March last year, Göran Nilsson said, “I have started sketching a model of SJ RB4. The design will be like my cast carriages, and the price is calculated at SEK 1295.” Then, in November, the closure was announced. The closure is for personal reasons, but the RB4 will be the last cast carriage for normal gauge. On the narrow gauge comes the announced VGJ wagons Gssl, Hml, F and C1.  We do not know if somebody else will take on the range.

Nyheter, januari 2021

N 1304 har varit föremål för inspirerande framsteg under januari, men inte utan problem.  Det mesta av vitmetallkroppen har satts ihop, men vissa delar är inte monterade om vi behöver tillgång till några andra delar!  Rökboxdörren är ett typiskt exempel på grund av vårt extra behov av att köra kablar genom pannan för belysning.  Hytttaket är ett annat exempel, så att vi kan få tillgång till motorn under montering – och bakljusen!

Problem här berodde delvis på oklara instruktionsblad, och det var inte alltid möjligt att bestämma exakt hur vissa delar ska gå ihop.  Vi har också bestämt att en del saknas, men den är inte avgörande och kan eftermonteras senare – inte att alla lok av denna typ hade just den komponenten – cylindern för belysningsgasen som monterades ovanpå en av tankarna.

De etsade metalldelarna var naturligtvis mycket svårare att sätta ihop, men vi hade turen att ha betydande delar av “rörelsen” färdigbyggd.  Motorn är en reviderad (från originalinstruktionerna) och var ganska lätt att montera, men den behövde gå in samtidigt som hjulen, axlarna och växlarna; och det betyder att vi inte kan vrida hjulen utan att sätta kraft på motorn.

Problemen här var ungefär desamma som tidigare; oklara instruktioner.  Det saknades också en del, som inte kunde ignoreras, detta var klockveven för brandmannens sida för backstången och lyftarmen.  Vi gjorde en med en del av skrotetsad metall!  På grund av modellens karaktär bestämde vi oss också för att de små muttrarna och andra beslag också kan märkas som “ett problem”, och vi lyckades (hittills) att bara förlora en komponent!

Vi hade också två andra problem.  Den ena var en klump löd på ett av tvärhuvudena, så att det inte kunde glida längs glidstängerna.  Vårt 12w lödkolv kunde inte lossa det, så vi var tvungna att använda en modellborr med kvarnfäste!  Det andra problemet var de stora distansbrickorna mellan ramarna, som är skruvade på plats, men två av de fyra trådarna tappades inte; men tack och lov tog vi med de nödvändiga verktygen från England!

Vi bestämde oss för att skjuta upp målningen tills vi hade monterat ledstängerna; men vi bestämde oss också för att skjuta upp ledstängerna tills vi hade några bättre verktyg för dem.  Dessa verktyg anlände i slutet av månaden, så vi fortsätter till februari.  Icke desto mindre applicerades den matt svarta underlacken på karossen och på chassit (det senare med borttagna hjul), annars skulle det vara för svårt att göra senare.

Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786 har en ny buffert (för att ersätta en som hade avbrutits innan den köptes), och den är redo att tas i bruk. Kadee-kopplingarna har tagits ur NEM-fickorna, men vi har inga leveranser av Roco-kopplingar här i Sverige, så de kommer att monteras vid ett senare tillfälle. Även för senare är tillverkningen av en låda för den; för närvarande är det kvar i lådan som det skickades in, med bubbelplast för skydd.

Uh 20 74 070 0 651-0, en BP tankvagn anlände i slutet av månaden. Detta är en Dekas-modell tillverkad i Danmark och ganska begränsad i tillgänglighet. Det kommer att bli intressant att jämföra detta med vår Piko-modell av Uh-vagnen i BP livery (tack och lov med ett annat löpnummer)! Siffran som visas här är numret på den nya modellen, även om lådan tyder 21… -4.

January 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

T45 328, whilst not seeing any progress, is newsworthy in that a suitable chassis c/w motor has been identified for it; produced by SV&LV (Skultorps Vagn & LokVerkstad).  This is likely to cost in the region of £175.  However, we have been in dialogue with a modeller in Sweden who hinted at having a chassis by ‘AH Mässingchassis’ available.  [Photos from SV&LV website.]

N 1304 is coming along slowly.  The tanks and cab were attached to the chassis with contact adhesive (one of the recommended methods), but not an extension piece to the rear buffer-beam, because it was not clear how it should be fitted.  This can be ironed out later.  The exhaust steam pipe was fitted (having identified what it actually is—the drawing is unclear) and the front running plate was attached to the boiler.  The smokebox door was loose-fitted (a ‘tight’ loose fit) in case we need access to it for the installation of the working lights, later.  Phase One (five phases in all) was completed 8th January.

Phase Two began the following day!  The phases are generally set out in accordance with the five assembly drawings, but with suitable adjustments where necessary.  We started by fitting the chimney, steam dome, sand dome and some other boiler-top fittings; then moved onto things such as buffer-beam (including the rear one, which could now be correctly fitted), the buffers, steam pump, brake pump, jack, and a few other fittings (including etched brass) before preparing the superstructure for painting.

Phase Three followed soon after.  Painting has been postponed until the handrails have been fitted, and the handrails were postponed until we had obtained better tooling for them.  So, this phase is actually the fourth brought forward: the chassis!  The two main frames are easily different as one has the motor mount, but with a ‘revised’ motor supplied, we needed to remove the mount.  The spacers for the frames also provided a headache which was solved when we discovered that they both had faulty threads at one end, and we were grateful that we had brought our 2mm tap from the UK.  Thus, the frames went together quite easily once the faults were corrected, and tried up to the body—a tight but perfect fit—even with the motor attached.  We completed Phase Three in one day with the fitting of the wheels, axles, bushes, motor and gears; and one cast piece (part of the brake plumbing), but with the exception of the balance weights for the wheels and the ‘decorative’ trims for the axle ends, because they ought to wait until the rest of the loco has been put together!  Where the model has been modified since drawings were created, we realised that there were tabs for electrical contacts on one side only.  So, using off-cuts from the etched brass sheet, we made some tabs to mount on the other side in corresponding places, glued at first, but strengthened with solder soon after.  We then found the ‘difference’ between wheels part numbers 64 and 67—64 are conducting, 67 are insulating!  Thankfully the only remedial work was to turn around the gear on the third axle!  We were now ready to think about Phase Four.

The first paint went on in the middle of the month.  We needed to remove the wheels so that we could paint the frames, and this seemed the logical time to do it.  Whilst this was being done, the matt black first coat was applied to the loco body also.  (The top coat will be satin black.)  Then, ‘oily steel’ was applied to the coupling rods, connecting rods, and a few smaller details.

Phase Four primarily concerned the ‘motion’; the valve gear and all the linkages.  Thankfully, some of it was already assembled, but we still needed to work with brass nuts about 1mm a/f and various other equally tiny parts!  We were not satisfied with the design of the feeble attachment for the motion bracket to the chassis, but in the cramped space, all we could do was pack a little extra glue!  As we came to put it together, we found that it might have been a bit easier if these parts had been assembled after we fitted the motion on both sides, but it has gone in OK.  One small job that took almost a day to do was to fit the brake shoes.  These are very tiny pieces that go onto 0.5mm rods between the wheels, and even with tweezers (or ‘especially’ with tweezers), which were so essential, this was not an easy job.  We feared that we had lost one brake shoe, but it was found on the floor (sadly, there are no spare parts with the kit).  We returned to the motion, and struggled to fit it.  One of the fixing brackets on the motion bracket broke away, and one of the crossheads had a blob of solder preventing it from engaging with the slide bars!  We also needed to put a blob of glue on the nuts holding the connecting rods to the crossheads, and the expansion links to the radius rods and motion bracket.  Curiously, there is nothing to stop the return crank from coming off its stud, so we used a blob of glue as a temporary measure, but a scrap of offcut will be used when the job has been finished.  The lights were fitted at this stage; working ones intended for the Jeco/Liliput E-loco, but we needed to order resistors because the E-loco has them mounted onto the PCB, which the N-loco does not have!

We have discovered a little fax-paus… our loco number1304 would not have had the separate domes (one for steam, one for sand); this applied only to the ‘earlier’ samples.  Later locos had a very large combined dome.  We have decided to overlook this detail and not change the fittings nor the number.  As a caveat, our resource does not confirm from which number the change was made, and our one photo of 1304 is at such an angle that it is difficult to tell!  Furthermore, we have a photo of one with the two domes fitted the ‘other’ way around.

Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786 has a new buffer (to replace one that had been broken off before purchased), and this is ready to enter service.  The Kadee couplings have been taken out of the NEM pockets, but we have no supplies of Roco couplings here in Sweden, so they will be fitted at a later date.  Also for later, is the manufacture of a box for it; currently it remains in the box that it was shipped in, with bubble-wrap for protection.

Uh 20 74 070 0 651-0, a BP tank wagon arrived at the end of the month.  This is a Dekas model made in Denmark, and quite limited in availability.  It will be interesting to compare this with our Piko model of the Uh wagon in BP livery (thankfully with a different running number)!  The number shewn here is the number carried on the new model, though the box suggests 21…-4.

Two interesting model cars have arrived, a Volvo 444PV as a deluxe version with extra trims and detailed interior; and a much older Volvo PV56 with ‘wartime’ Gengas trailer.  Both are by SMJ.

Manufacturer News

HNoll is inspecting samples of the Brown R4 and Black S12 carriages.  If these are OK, they will be sent from China shortly afterwards and for delivery to the stores in the next few weeks.  It is a very small part of the order that is ready. It may take a while before these carriages can be produced again as there is a lot of queuing in the factory.  Work on B4, BF4 and BF7 has begun, which they hope to be able to deliver in the autumn, but there is no update about the A7/A8/B7/B8/S1 models.  However, another setback has occurred with the air freight costs (which the supplier has blamed on Corona) which have gone up from 29kr per unit to 62kr, so now they are being sent by sea at a cost of 13kr, but delivery will be a bit later.

Våra nyheter på Svenska – Slutet av 2020

Z69 659 anlände i december. Klassificeringen Z69 tillämpades på en sortiment av växlingstraktorer, så vi har använt denna klassificering för att gälla för Roco-modellen. Precis som med cateringvagnen R5 används denna lok för att fylla en lucka, en alternativ växellok till Z65 / Z70. Roco producerade modellen redan på 1980-talet och den fanns endast tillgänglig i ett tågsats som Z66 000.

F 1207 är nu redo för fullständig testning. Den nya motorn anlände den 1 december efter att ha hållits upp i Storbritanniens postsystem. Den nya motorn monterades den 7 december. Vi började med att lödda på två långa kablar och ansluta dem direkt till en styrenhet, vilket visade att motorn fungerade OK. Nästa jobb var att försiktigt hamra på svänghjulet och lämna exakt 4 mm spindel utsatt mellan det och motorhöljet. Sedan föll allt på rätt plats, snyggt uppradat och säkert. Ledningarna anslöts sedan direkt till styrenheten igen, och med bara en liten kraft kröp loket framåt och sedan tillbaka. Nästa jobb var att sätta ihop allt igen, och sedan ”Heljans syndrom” startade; en elektrisk kontakt längre fram bröt och vi var tvungna att separera loco och anbud igen (ett jobb som också riskerar elbrott)! Men detta var allt gjort och i slutet av dagen var loket i körklart skick, smidigare än det någonsin hade kört tidigare. Följande dag monterade vi tillbaka ångröret som bröt sig under dagen och den nya visslingen. Den nya visselpipan är inte en äkta artikel eftersom Heljan inte levererar dem; så vi har monterat närmaste alternativ; en 4 mm skala Markits LNER ‘Pacific’ visselpipa. En irritation för att lösa senare är belysningen; den tänds korrekt framför körriktningen, men den tänds också vid halv ljusstyrka på baksidan av körriktningen; förmodligen en back-EMF-fråga.

En Jeco/DJH-sats för N loco har anlänt och efter att ha arbetat mycket på F 1207 är vi ganska säkra på att kunna bygga den. Satsen är en blandning av etsad metall och gjuten metall, och det verkar som att den bara behöver färg för att kunna komplettera den. Vi köper dock också ersättningsnummer; 1304 har inte bevarats och är därför mindre benägna att kopiera besökare till den nya järnvägen! (De andra tillgängliga siffrorna är 576 (Ängelholm), 641 (Gävle) och 1173 (Stockholms Ånglokssällskap).) Vi tog med sex färger från Storbritannien; tyvärr läckte en av dem på vägen!

Under december började vi med att montera en fästmutter på chassit! Vi upptäckte att satsen (efter design) saknar en Bellcrank, så vi har gjort en från en offcut! Vi målade sedan delarna som blir för svåra att måla när pannan, tankarna och chassit är monterade och arbetet fortsätter i januari.

Trots att 1990-talets leveranser verkligen är för moderna för större delen av vårt lager, introducerades den första av den blå / svarta färgen ungefär vid den tidpunkt då vår epok slutar. B5FKRT 5017 gick med i flottan i december och ger oss större flexibilitet med tågformationer.

Fv1 (fd-F5-L) 25786, vår första vanliga SJ-bruna Fv1 kom äntligen i december. Det här är en Heljan-modell och vi har alla tre av deras ‘speciella’ livery-versioner redan (TGOJ grön, “Pressbyrån” brun och SJ service grå), så det här är ett särskilt välkommet tillskott! Den behöver en buffert reparerad / bytas ut och en låda, men den är annars i gott skick.

Frilansbagaget (FM4 55420) sattes slutligen ihop i december. Det beslutades att lägga till en plog i slutet under hytten, så en extra Roco-plog monterades på boggin. Vi hade förbisett behovet av buffertar, och även om vi hade mycket tillgängligt hade vi bara två lager tillgängliga, så vi var tvungna att improvisera i hyttänden – och det ser bra ut. Vi hittade också några Rc-loco-speglar att lägga till som en sista minuten-idé, så dessa kommer att målas senare tillsammans med alla andra hakningar som kan behövas.

(NOJ) Gs 761 hade en koppling justerad eftersom den pekade bort från horisontell!

Efter det nedslående slutförandet av Tekla (se novemberens nyheter) har en låda gjorts och den har tagits bort. Kanske en dag i framtiden kommer vi att bygga en bättre proportionerad från grunden.

December 2020 News

Z69 659: The classification Z69 applied to an eclectic collection of shunting tractors, so we have used this classification to apply to the Roco model said to be a Z66 (which it certainly isn’t).  As with the R5 catering carriage, this loco is being used to fill a gap, an alternative shunting loco to the Z65/Z70.  It was purchased, second-hand, during December.  Roco produced the model back in the 1980s and it was only available in a train set as Z66 000.

F 1207: The new motor arrived on December 1st, having been held up in the UK’s mail system (the shop had wasted no time sending it out).  Then, a chance meeting with a friend and a trip out to a model shop procured some better wire for the loco… and a new whistle (the home made spring-loaded one didn’t work out)!  The new motor was fitted on the 7th.  We started by soldering on two long cables, and connecting them directly to a controller, which proved the motor worked OK.  Then, using a modellers’ power tool, we cut away the spindle protruding at the ‘contact’ end because it isn’t needed and is in the way.  Next job was to gently hammer on the flywheel, leaving exactly 4mm spindle exposed between it and the motor casing.  Then it all dropped into its correct place, nicely lined up and secure.  The wires were then connected directly to the controller again, and with only slight power, the loco crept forward and then back.  Smooth performance such that we had never seen before with this model!  Satisfied this far, the next job was to put it all back together, and then “Heljan Syndrome” kicked in; an electrical contact further forward broke and despite our best efforts we did now have to separate loco and tender again (a job which also risks electrical breakage)!  But, this all done and by the end of the day, the loco was in running order (pending proper running in), more smoothly than it had ever run before.  On the following day, we refitted the steam pipe that broke away during the day, and the new whistle.  Job Done!  (The new whistle, by the way, is not a genuine article because Heljan doesn’t supply them; so we’ve fitted the nearest alternative; a 4mm scale Markits LNER ‘Pacific’ whistle.)  An irritation for solving later is the lighting; it comes on correctly at the front of the direction of travel, but it also comes on at half brightness at the rear of the direction of travel; probably a back-EMF issue.

N 1304: A Jeco/DJH kit for the N loco has arrived, and having worked extensively on the F 1207, we’re reasonably confident of being able to build it.  The kit is a mixture of etched metal and cast metal, and it seems that it only needs paint to be able to complete it.  We are, however, also purchasing replacement numbers; 1304 has not been preserved and is therefore less likely to duplicate any visitors to the new railway!  (The other available numbers are 576 (Ängelholm), 641 (Gävle), and 1173 (Stockholms Ånglokssällskap).)  We brought six paints from the UK; unfortunately one of them leaked on the way!

For ore train shunting, eight eight-coupled (D / 0-8-0T) tank locomotives were procured for the Ore Line in 1900.  However, it was quickly found that the locomotive type was also suitable for heavy shunting on southern and central Swedish railway yards and until 1920 the number was increased to a total of 64 locomotives.  However, it was appropriate to also supply shunting locomotives with superheaters and in 1922-32 superheating was introduced in 44 of the locomotives which received new identity Na.  Other locomotives were scrapped or sold in the years 1925-37 to GDJ, TGOJ, JLJ, HHJ, SSJ and NBsJ, including N 578, 641, 645 and 1167 which returned with the nationalization of Gävle – Dala Järnväg in 1948, which were then also superheated.  From 1942, the locomotive type was again called N at SJ, when all locomotives (including the nationalised ones) were now superheated locomotives and equal.  The N locomotives became popular and indispensable shunting locomotives at railway yards and in ports around the country until the end of the steam locomotive operation. They were set aside as standby locomotives, but were not scrapped until 1973.  Most were scrapped, but a handful remain as museum locomotives.

We made a start late December by fitting a securing nut to the chassis!  Then work stopped whilst we investigated the kit because a problem had been identified.  One of the bell cranks (comprising lifting arm and reversing arm) was missing.  Even though the drawings indicated that there should be two, the etched sheet had only one.  So, we improvised; the supplied one went on the side of the reversing rod, and a lift arm was made for the other side from brass off-cut!  These were fitted in place, and then the housing for them fitted also; but work stopped here due to the need to paint some parts before proceeding, and we had no brush-cleaner/thinner to hand!  After the Christmas break (with shops closed), the thinner arrived and we were able to continue.  The parts painted at this early stage are ones that would be difficult to get at once the model has been built; boiler sides and adjacent tanks sides, and chassis area under the boiler.

B5FKRT 5017: Although the 1990s liveries are really too modern for the bulk of our stock, the first of the blue/black livery was being introduced at about the time that our epoch ends.  This second class coach joined the fleet in December, and allows us greater flexibility with train formations.

Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786: Our first plain SJ-brown Fv1 arrived in December, at last.  This is a Heljan model and we have all three of their ‘special’ livery versions already (TGOJ green, Pressbyrån brown, and SJ service grey), so this is an especially welcome addition!  It needs one buffer repaired/replaced, and a box, but it is otherwise in good condition.

FM4 55420: The freelance baggage carriage was finally put together in December.  It was decided to add a plough to the end under the cab, so a Roco yellow plough (which was certainly surplus) was repainted red and fitted to the bogie.  We had overlooked the need for the buffers, and although we had plenty available, we only had two stocks available, so we had to improvise at the cab end—and it looks OK.  We also found some Rc-loco mirrors to add as a last minute idea, so these will be painted later, along with any other snagging that might be needed.

(NOJ) Gs 761: There was an issue with the coupling height with this retrofitted wagon, and we found that the actual height was correct, but the ‘stalk’ was not 90° from the horizontal, so the coupling was pointing down.  This has all now been corrected (with a bit of packing), and is fit for service.

Tekla: Following the disappointing completion of this model (see last month’s news), a box has been made and it has been put away.  Maybe one day in the future, we’ll build a better-proportioned one from scratch.

Manufacturer News

HNoll: Unfortunately, there was not time to produce the proposed carriages (A7 etc, B7 etc, R4R etc,) before Christmas.  There were simply too many carriages and other customers in line.  There is a belief that they can deliver before the Chinese New Year, which means delivery in February, but don’t hold your breath.

Jeco: The X2000 is to be reissued as a four-car set, both SJ liveries and in AC and DC varieties.  A second set would be welcome here (but our funds may preclude it)!

August 2020 News

As already known, the D-loco needed some post-delivery (to traffic) adjustments and so on, and during August, the transfers/decals were lacquered; and then the loco was finally put away in its box, ready for traffic (or new pantographs)!

T21 64 broke-down during the old FLMJ’s last year, and it was found that the motor had simply stopped working. It also needed some cosmetic repairs.

  1. We contacted Heljan to ask about getting a new motor, and one would cost DKK 500 including P+P (about £60), but the payment method that they wanted would have added £25-30 in bank charges! We then found a supplier of ‘replacement’ motors to fit Heljan’s 00-scale models, but they were unhelpful regarding our enquiry about dimensions—the T21 is not a 00-model; but Howes in Oxford did respond favourably, so they got the order—and we paid £15.50 for the perfectly fitting replacement!
  2. Connected to a 9v battery, the motor runs beautifully. So, it was mounted into the lower portion of the chassis and tested again, running beautifully and turning the wheels. Then we joined the two halves of the chassis, and there was no movement at all! But when we took it apart again, the motor was fine. So, more investigation is necessary (for next month).
  3. Whenever handling the model, bits have fallen off, and it seems that Heljan just didn’t think this one through. The chassis (in two halves with a running plate sandwiched between) is obviously metal, but the steps are soft plastic, and the handrails for the steps are metal. So, the steps are easily nudged, causing the handrails to drop out. The tanks under the running plate are plastic, and these fall off at every opportunity. There are very small indents on the metal chassis and running plate for these plastic artefacts, not enough to properly grip them. So, additionally, brake shoes and hoses, and hooter, all came off. We found, when we took the chassis apart, that the steps were now vulnerable in that they supported the weight of the running plate.
  4. We found that Heljan’s instructions for taking the loco apart were wrong. It says in Danish, “Løsgør forsigtigt kabinen, sådan man kan forsigtigt kan løfte kabinen op ved et let tryk på siderne”; or in Swedish, “Montera försiktigt av hyttan genom att trycka försiktigt på sidorna”. In either language, we are told that one needs to gently press on the sides of the cab. In reality, the sides need prising out, not pressing in! Whilst battling with the wrong instructions, parts of the loco were getting damaged, including the fibre optics to the lighting!
  5. We started by simply repairing what was damaged, but after three days’ work, it became apparent that the loco needed a more thorough rebuild, including metal reinforcement behind the steps, proper fixing tabs for the other artefacts, and even a better way of fixing the buffers (which had also come off)! Everything that hadn’t fallen off needed pulling off.

Tc 306 entered service a few years ago, having been built on-site as a Modellproduktion body on a Roco chassis; and then there were issues with the gears not meshing properly! However, all sorted, we simply overlooked the fact that we had also bought a bag full of accessories from Entec to paint and fit to the model, so it was now time to do it. This also proved challenging! The instruction sheet is not at all clear (bad printing) and a lot of guess-work was necessary!

  1. Being a sheet of etched material, the flat steps needed gluing on to the rungs of what is best described as a ladder. The ladder includes the handrails, so it needed to be bent to shape! Whilst the main part of this required a 90° turn, some handrails needed different angles and in all cases, holes needed to be drilled in the chassis for them. The etched sheet was not clearly labelled, and we were to find out that the ‘A’ end steps are the ones that actually go in the middle!
  2. We used the last of the plastic strip that we had available to make two large steps at the ‘B’ end for the handrails to attach to (it really does seem that they should have been part of the original mould)! Suitably painted, these blend in nicely, but the top step on the ladders at the ‘B’ end is possibly too high—there were no clues about how to fit them.
  3. But the difficult part was the windscreen wipers, which were too big and etched incorrectly. The armature that pokes into the body needed bending through 90°, but the wiper-blades also needed bending through 90°, but not from the same perspective! Armed with suitable pliers and initiative, we managed to get them fitted, suitably trimmed, of course. Comparatively, the mirrors and guards for them were very easy to make and fit!
  4. Finally, its box was modified to make room for the fitted attachments, and the whole loco looks much nicer, now.

UF6 1576 is a model of a short baggage car of the type built by Hilding Carlsson. It would have been type UF2, and gone into trains with similar styled railbuses. But a few were modified to work with the newly delivered YCo6 variety, so this is the case with our model. It was purchased from a fayre in Stockholm, and we think it is a Lokstallet model. It needed three jobs to be done.

  1. The first of these was the fitting of stabilisers to reduce sideways play. The mounting blocks for the wheel-sets seem to have H0e if mounted one way, and H0 if mounted the other; this model has then set for H0e, but has H0 wheel-sets in! For stabilisers, we used plastic strip between the blocks and the wheel-backs.
  2. The second job was to fit couplings, to make it compatible with the YCo6 railbuses. This meant using standard H0 couplings, but lower down, and therefore with the ‘tongue’ cut off. We had brought Y7 1136 from storage as well, to use as a test match vehicle!
  3. The third job was the decals, which really needed to be purchased from Sweden, so instead, ‘temporary’ number plates have been made (so that the model can be legitimately used) until we are able to get the correct decals.

We have a Yp railbus on the workbench at the moment; but more about that, and one that we passed to a Friend, next time!

The three SMJ carriages have received lacquer over their transfers, but also some SJ brown paint has appeared on the etched end panels where appropriate. The final job here was to make an ‘interior’ for each of their boxes so that they could be safely put away. They’re all the same and a bit strange, but they make the most of the materials that we had available!

Two NMJ RB1 carriages have arrived into store, and these will go into InterCity trains (already designated). Sadly, HNoll continues to have production issues with the R4R (which seems to be tooling and then a production queue at the Chinese factory), but they at least have the kindness to keep modellers up to date with the situation.

Back in March, we advised about the proposed production of Swedish model cars from Minichamps, Saab and Volvo models. We are now aware that PCX87 is proposing a 1989 version of the Volvo 240GL estate. It would be interesting to compare this with the Minichamps 1986 model. (We would prefer, of course, late 1970s versions!)

In Website news, we have taken down the “Forthcoming Events” page because in the current climate, events are few and far between, and when things do get up and running again, we are going to be in a different place in different circumstances. Recognising the big changes taking place (and changing technology), we are working on the creation of a new website also, which we hope will look better and be more relevant, yet just as informative as now.

July 2020 News

The D-loco 174 was dedicated to traffic on 24th July. To wait until all snagging had been completed would delay this indefinitely, and we learned from the construction of the UGJ carriages that there should come a point where the models are fit for service—subject to minor adjustments! At the beginning of July, the D-loco had the cab-end handrails fitted. These were completely new and made on-site; Jeco had been unable to complete the order and we wanted a matching set all round. Each handrail goes around the corner of the cab, and then up at the front, alongside the end door. Scratch-building these was an interesting challenge and at the first attempt only one out of four fitted properly. But after some effort (and one replacement), they all went in. Then, the outstanding Jeco ones arrived, so we have fitted them in, instead (because they look much better)! Next job was to take the door handrails off to paint them black. During re-fitting, one of them went ‘ping’, so we needed to make a new one (and then paint it again)! We have also put a little glue on the loose pantograph—only a little, of course, because we do intend to replace it whenever possible. Mid-July, the ‘174’ was applied to the buffer beams, and the metal plates were painted and fitted—the ’wrong’ number stayed black and we used transfers to apply the correct ’174’!

Slightly ahead of the D-lok, the three SMJ carriages were dedicated to traffic on 20th July. Again, to wait until all snagging had been done would probably result in them never entering service. July’s work on the SMJ carriages started with a blip! Before we could apply the decals to the C3g or CF3, we found that the sole bars needed painting black. On the C3d (the SJ model), these are part of the chassis and already the right colour. On these two (ex-OKB) models, they’re part of the bodies, and were therefore, the wrong colour. Whilst we were making this correction, we also painted the rooves (and on the C3d because it was too light)! The decals were applied during the month and now the carriages really do look the part! New handrails have also been made for these carriages (all three) because the first attempt was not really satisfactory. With poor drawings and few photos, we could see that the SJ carriage has a different style to the ex-OKB ones, and this has been reflected! Using our new method of locating the handrail in the lower hole and just gluing the top seemed to work well; we used a super-glue with brush or nozzle; the former making the job remarkably easy! Last month, we commented on the C3d being reverted to its originally proposed number, 1984 because we had found the number on the decal sheet. The same has now happened with the C3g, so it is 2994 as originally proposed! But, here’s another change; the CF3 is 3015 (instead of 3017). This is so that we could pinch the ‘17’ (and the ‘4’ from 3014) on the sheet to make up the buffer-beam numbers for the D-loco (see above)! But, job done.

Now that these models have been ‘signed off’, some more have arrived from storage, the Tc-loco (to be fitted with all of its extra detailing such as handrails and so on), T21 diesel (to have its chassis repainted and then all the fallen-off bits glued back on; then an investigation as to how to get it to work again seeing that Heljan doesn’t seem to want to supply a replacement motor for it), and a small Hilding Carlsson goods vehicle type UF6 (which, as a modification from UF2, will be made compatible with our YCo6 generation railbuses). We’ll provide more details about all of these, next time!

Brekina has said on their website, that their new Saab 92 was originally produced exclusively for Märklin, to go onto a wagon, in pairs. Now, it is becoming available in its own right, but better detailed. (This is no offence to Märklin; they needed a basic model in order to make the wagon affordable!) Now, Märklin is advertising a wagon with two Brekina Volvo 66 cars on, but as the Sedan, not the Kombi. Maybe, this means that we can look forward to these without the wagon in the next year or so? The wagon type would not appeal to many modellers (it certainly isn’t of Nordic origin), and Märklin models are of course only suitable for three-rail systems.

Still with cars, we had heard that a new (to us) firm called Minichamps would be producing models of the Saab 900 (1987 version), Volvo 240 and Volvo 740 (both as 1986 versions). Their website hasn’t given much information, but a recently received catalogue from them shews six cars, each in four colours. They are the Saab 900 coupé (3-door), Saab 900 cabriolet, Volvo 240 sedan, Volvo 240 estate, Volvo 740 sedan and Volvo 740 estate. Recent examination of another model by Minichamps suggests that these cars are worth looking out for when they arrive, and we (the FLMJ) could slightly loosen our load of IMU, NEO and Wiking models to make room!

Back to the Saab 92, we have found that BoS has also produced a model of this car in 1:87 scale (H0)!

And finally, just as this month’s news was rounding to a close, pictures emerged of NMJ’s new 1960s catering carriage in four versions, one as B1c-L (original condition, but with ‘post-stamp’ logo), one as RB1-L (same but post-1970), and two as RB1 (with the dining ‘logo’ on the corners). Priced at 895:- SEK (roundly £80), these should be as good as their previous 1960s carriages, and indeed the FLMJ is interested in the RB1-L and one of the RB1. These should be a perfect compliment to the existing 1960s carriages that NMJ produce, and it is quite likely that more liveries will emerge in due course (well, it makes sense, some remain in service today as type R12). But, as with the Y1 railbus, we await delivery!