Tag Archives: N 1304

May 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

The Dm3 was fitted with replacement mirrors and windscreen wipers in May. There is some confusion about the part number for these Roco items, the number given on the instruction sheet seems to be for different components (if website searches are anything to go by), and Roco’s own website is not very helpful! So, we have modified and fitted Jeco components instead. We also need to fit new handrails, but we may need to make these here. The 0,5mm rod would be very suitable for most applications, but there are some items that need stanchions between the ends, and that is where it gets tricky! We’re still investigating that one.

N 1304 lost one of its buffers during recent work, and it is a very flimsy piece of metal. A repair was made at the beginning of May, by drilling a 0,5mm hole in the stock and buffer head, inserting a rod, flanked by a tube (from the materials bought last month), and then gluing it all together! It looks messy, but if it holds, then we’ll leave it alone. Otherwise, we shall replace all four! An order has been placed for a replacement set, but the items is not in stock, and we don’t know for how long.

Catering carriages R4R 5441 and 5447 arrived in early May. These are such limited items from HNoll, that they were not to be missed at any cost. One will go into the existing 1980s InterCity train; the other will be a reserve until more carriage types arrive from HNoll, and then it will go into that set. (The next models hinted from HNoll are the series-2 A7 and B7; two of each of these would go with the ‘extra’ R4R to make an InterCity train. Then, longer term, one each B2 and B4 would be added to make a seven-carriage train. At this time, a second B2 and B4 would be added to the existing set, and one of the (Roco) B7 replaced by a HNoll AFM7! That’s the intention, anyway! If HNoll produces series-1 A7/B7, then that could see the withdrawal of many of the Roco carriages.)

Manufacturer News

HNoll has advised that delivery of the remaining catering carriages, and the Connex/TKAB couchette and sleeper carriages are expected to Sweden early June. The earlier sleeper and couchette carriages are starting to sell out. Some carriages are already out of stock; there is an increase in demand for these mainly abroad, accounting for about 50% of sales at the moment.
PCX87 (Premium Classixx 1:87 scale) has now advertised Volvo 740 sedans and estates, of the 1985 year model. This raises even more questions about the proposed Minichamps 1986 year models, which have production dates advertised for early 2022!

Koenigsegg specialises in full scale ‘sports’ cars, hand-made, and a good production run will see about 20-30 vehicles! We’ll say nothing about the price! And now, the ultimate H0-scale model car for your Swedish diorama… from the Koenigsegg website, you can buy a 1:87 scale model of their Agera RS (from 2015). Only 25 (1:1-scale) units were made, so a diorama would be closer to average with a Volvo P1900 than one of these! Nevertheless, despite being too modern for our epoch, one has arrived! Koenigsegg is based in Ängelholm (home of the Swedish Railway Museum)!

Other News

In recognition of a particular trend in Sweden, and wanting to do something with the four abandoned model car conversion projects (Saab 900i, Volvo 544, Volvo 240, and Volvo 740), they will all be rough-finished to represent the infamous ‘A-Traktor’, which is a common sight. (A-Traktor is a motor vehicle consisting of a converted car, which is designed to tow other vehicles or work equipment and must be equipped with a coupling device. The maximum speed of the A-Traktor may not exceed 30 km/h, and they carry a large red triangle on the back. They can be driven without a full driving licence and without attaining the age for a full driving licence! They are more popular with teenagers than with their intended users! Try selling that idea to the British DfT.)

Nyheter, Maj 2021

Dm3 utrustades med utbytesspeglar och vindrutetorkare i maj. Det finns viss förvirring om artikelnumret för dessa Roco-artiklar, numret som anges på instruktionsbladet verkar vara för olika komponenter (om det är något att söka på webbplatser), och Rocos egen webbplats är inte särskilt hjälpsam! Så vi har istället modifierat och monterat Jeco-komponenter. Vi måste också montera nya ledstänger, men vi kan behöva göra dessa här. 0,5 mm stången skulle vara mycket lämplig för de flesta applikationer, men det finns några föremål som behöver stötar mellan ändarna, och det är där det blir knepigt! Vi undersöker fortfarande den.
N 1304 förlorade en av sina buffertar under det senaste arbetet, och det är en mycket tunn metallbit. En reparation gjordes i början av maj genom att borra ett 0,5 mm hål i komponenterna, sätta in en stav, flankerad av ett rör (från de material som köpts förra månaden) och sedan limma ihop allt! Det ser rörigt ut, men om det håller, lämnar vi det i fred. Annars ersätter vi alla fyra! En beställning har gjorts för en ersättningssats, men varorna finns inte i lager och vi vet inte hur länge.
Serveringsvagnar R4R 5441 och 5447 anlände i början av maj. Dessa är så begränsade föremål från HNoll att de inte skulle missa alls. En av dem kommer att gå in i det nuvarande 1980-talet InterCity-tåg; den andra kommer att vara en reserv tills fler vagntyper anländer från HNoll, och sedan kommer den att gå in i den uppsättningen. (Nästa modeller antydda från HNoll är serie-2 A7 och B7; två av vardera skulle gå med den “extra” R4R för att göra ett InterCity-tåg. Sedan, på längre sikt, en varje B2 och B4 skulle läggas till för att göra en sju-vagnars tåg. Vid denna tidpunkt skulle en andra B2 och B4 läggas till den befintliga uppsättningen, och en av (Roco) B7 ersattes av en HNoll AFM7! Om HNoll producerar serie-1 A7/B7, kan det se återkallande av många av Roco-personvagnarna.)

April 2021 News

Rolling Stock Update

N 1304 is ready for full testing and running in.  With some assistance from a friend who has experience of valve gear, many alterations were made, including tightening up loose connections so that they don’t rock so much.  Many parts needed further trimming, including the studs on the wheels that hold the coupling rods.  Much to our delight, the ‘lost’ brass nut was found and refitted to the Expansion Die Block, and that is now a much more encouraging fit!  Once we had got the loco (chassis) running on the test track, we were ready to fit the body, and then it wouldn’t work at all!  After lengthy investigation, we found that part of the body was ‘only just’ touching the copper contact strip on the ‘insulated side’ causing a short circuit.  The easiest fix for this was insulating tape, but to ensure its longevity, its application was supported with a little Loctite Superglue!  Job Done!

We were so encouraged by this progress, that we soldered on the connections so that the lighting would work also, and then fitted the cab roof.  The motor makes quite an awful racket as it trundles along, but we are hopeful that this will settle down during running in.  The work did not end here, however.  In the process of all the remedial work, the flimsy plastic brake rods got damaged, so they were removed and needed refitting (see below).  We also decided not to fit the front coupling until a replacement for the broken part had been obtained.  There is also a desire to remove the cab-side deflectors and replace them with transparent ones (to be more authentic), but that is not urgent.  And maybe, we will obtain and fit the gas cylinder for the lighting; until then we will have to argue that the loco has electric lighting!

We made another attempt with the brake shoes.  The 0.5mm plastic had been too flimsy, and didn’t last long.  Sadly, one of the brake shoes got lost during this time.  Replacement 0,5mm brass rod was procured, along with 0,5mm (inside) tube.  With this, we were able to reinforce the rods between the frames, and thus the rods protruded exactly perpendicular to the frames in front of the wheels.  The tubes were superglued to the frames, and the rods superglued within.  Then the shoes were superglued, making sure that they were correctly aligned and not touching the wheels or even close.  Then, as an extra detail, and because we still had lots of plastic 0,5mm rod left over, we made some sanding pipes, going down to the wheels, using the brake rods to support them in place (which we couldn’t do, of course, if they were working brakes)!

Manufacturer News

PCX87 (Premium Classixx 1:87 scale) has released their Saab 900 (1986 model) in four colours, as a three-door hatchback.  This is an interesting release in that it follows their Volvo 240, and both models have been proposed by Minichamps, albeit different (but close) year models.  Will the Volvo 480 and 850 follow soon?

Other News

Two extra items this time.  First, the Steninge layout has a new home.  We parted company with it many years ago, and some work was necessary to keep it in useable condition.  We think it went around a few friends, but now it is with another, a friend of the FLMJ, and hopefully it will get a new lease of life.

Not quite a case of Caveat Emptor, but getting close: be very careful if you should choose to use Google Translate for translating between English and Swedish (or any translation).  Once, an excellent tool for assisting with translation, it seems to have become quite a liability.  Recently, a test was made of 25 Swedish phrases (converting to English), and 25 English phrases (converting to Swedish).  We had a 62% failure rate (wrongly translated).

Nyheter, april 2021

N 1304 är redo för fullständig testning och körning. Med lite hjälp från en vän som har erfarenhet av walschaert-redskap gjordes många förändringar, inklusive åtdragning av lösa anslutningar så att de inte vaggar så mycket. Många delar behövde beskäras ytterligare, inklusive tapparna på hjulen som håller kopplingsstängerna. Till vår glädje hittades den ”förlorade” mässingsmuttern och vi monterade den på Expansion Die Block, och det är nu en mycket mer uppmuntrande passform! När vi hade fått loco (chassit) igång på testbanan var vi redo att montera karossen och då fungerade det inte alls! Efter långvarig undersökning fann vi att en del av kroppen “bara” rörde kopparkontaktremsan på den “isolerade sidan” och orsakade en kortslutning. Den enklaste lösningen för detta var isoleringstejp, men för att säkerställa dess livslängd stöddes dess applikation med lite Loctite Superglue! Jobbet färdig!

Vi blev så uppmuntrade av detta framsteg, att vi lödde på anslutningarna så att belysningen också skulle fungera och sedan monterade hytttaket. Motorn ger ganska hemskt ljud när den trasslar längs, men vi är hoppfulla att detta kommer att slå sig ner under inkörningen. Arbetet slutade dock inte här. Under allt avhjälpande arbete skadades de tunna plastbromsarna, så de togs bort och behövde monteras igen (se nedan). Vi beslutade också att inte montera den främre kopplingen förrän en ersättning för den trasiga delen hade erhållits. Det finns också en önskan att ta bort hyttens sidoavledare och ersätta dem med transparenta (för att vara mer autentiska), men det är inte brådskande. Och kanske kommer vi att skaffa och montera gasflaskan för belysning; tills dess måste vi argumentera för att loco har elektrisk belysning!

Vi gjorde ett nytt försök med bromsbackarna. 0,5 mm plast hade varit för spetsigt och varade inte länge. Tyvärr försvann en av bromsskorna under denna tid. Ersättning av 0,5 mm mässingsstång anskaffades tillsammans med 0,5 mm (inre) rör. Med detta kunde vi förstärka stängerna mellan ramarna, och därmed stod stavarna exakt vinkelrätt mot ramarna framför hjulen. Rören klistrades fast på ramarna och stavarna klistrades inuti. Sedan var skorna superlimade och såg till att de var rätt inriktade och inte rörde på hjulen eller ens stängde. Sedan, som en extra detalj, och eftersom vi fortfarande hade massor av plast 0,5 mm stång kvar, gjorde vi några sliprör och gick ner till hjulen med hjälp av bromsstängerna för att stödja dem på plats (vilket vi inte kunde göra , naturligtvis, om de arbetade bromsar)!

Andra nyheter:

PCX87 har släppt sin Saab 900 (1986-modellen) i fyra färger, som en tre-dörrars halvkombi. Detta är en intressant utgåva eftersom den följer deras Volvo 240, och båda modellerna har föreslagits av Minichamps, om än olika (men nära) årsmodeller. Kommer Volvo 480 och 850 att följa snart?

Vår tidigare Steninge-layout har ett nytt hem. Vi skilde oss från det för många år sedan, och en del arbete var nödvändigt för att hålla det i användbart skick. Vi tror att det gick runt några vänner, men nu är det med en annan, en vän till FLMJ, och förhoppningsvis kommer det att få ett nytt liv.

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, 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!

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.

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.

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.