Tag Archives: RB1

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!

March 2020 News

As probably expected, new models from China are delayed due to the current global health situation! Once the situation has improved, there may then be investment issues affecting the ability to produce and pay; so the situation is very volatile right now

Another international issue is that of Brexit, and the need to pay customs duty on imported goods, but also to be able to claim back the VAT. During the transition period, this has already got very messy with traders not yet required to deduct the VAT, but Royal Mail (in the UK) is already charging import duty and handling fees!

There has been some exciting news from Nürnberg, this year!
NMJ seems to have finally acknowledged modellers’ desires by producing a prototype model of SJ cafe carriage type RB1 from the 1960s series. However, if delivery (or lack thereof) of the Y1 is anything to go by, we shouldn’t get too excited!
Dekas is bringing out the SJ ‘Hbis’ covered sliding door wagon in six different versions, for epoch IV and V.
Minichamps has announced models of the Saab 900 Turbo 16S coupe and convertible from 1987, the Volvo 240 GL sedan and estate car from 1986 and Volvo 740 GL sedan (and possibly estate car) from 1986.
Busch is bringing out a Land Rover Discovery of a later-year model, labelled as a Swedish police car.

Considering the exciting news from NMJ, what else would suit the 1960s range?

  • The RBo2 (later R2, then R1 very soon after) dining carriage would be a very suitable model, preferred over the RB1, actually. (Märklin has produced a poor 1:100 scale length model for many years.)
  • The DFo28 (later DF28, then D38, then D48) postal carriage would be very interesting because even during epoch IV they had different liveries. Several of these alone would make an authentic train (so various running numbers would be required).
  • The WLABo1 (later WL1) sleeping carriage is the only 1960s design that SJ has left in traffic, so again, there would be more livery options, but not all-over black—yet!
  • (This leaves the F5/F6 short baggage carriage, but there are many Lima models still available second-hand, and the later ones were of very good quality, complete with NEM couplings.)

MJ-Hobby intends to organise a small model railway event during the Halloween weekend in Västberga, instead of the big event at Älvsjö. They will have some activities and displays in their shop and some on the other side of the road; as it was several years ago. This event has always been popular with the customers!

Modelleisenbahn München GmbH (who owns both Fleischmann and Roco) has announced that the production of Fleischmann Profi-glis track has been discontinued forthwith. This is because a few of the tools for production have broken down and repair is not possible and new production is not considered economically justifiable. Thankfully we did not use this track on the FLMJ, and we have none in store.

HNoll has announced that work is underway to develop a model of SJ´s and TGOJ´s Ma locomotive in all versions (400, 700, 800 and 900 series). It is scheduled for 2021, but with the current global situation this cannot be relied upon. The price is not known either! Contrary to earlier news, HNoll has now said that they will not pause operations. It would have negative consequences in the factory in China and would have a negative impact on Hobby traders. They will instead reduce the volumes and thus create demand with a smaller supply of models. This clearly means that customers should pre-book models at hobby shops to ensure delivery of the first stage of restaurant cars. The Blue-X Concept and InterCity Concept products have been discontinued because the product as it was presented cannot be delivered as intended. Conversations with Roco did not result in anything constructive, not even an answer. There is a possibility of developing a model of the Rc locomotive or having a conversation with another manufacturer on the matter!
HNoll has also advised that due to the circumstances prevailing in China, it has been decided to temporarily close the factories. This means delays in the delivery of the Restaurant Carriages but also future models. One cannot predict how long the delay will be!

And finally … returning to the theme of emergency messages by mobile (see the last paragraph in our news update from 03.01.20): It happened on Tuesday 24th March; many mobile owners received a short text implying that it was from the government. It said very little (nothing of any help), and contained a link; exactly what scammers and spammers do; so most people simply deleted it! (The text read: “GOV.UK CORONAVIRUS ALERT. New rules in force now: you must stay at home. More info and exemptions at gov.uk/coronavirus Stay at home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”) The government had to work with the operators to get the message sent because an emergency alert system, trialled seven years ago, was never put into practice. If it had been, the government could have bypassed the operators and sent messages directly to mobiles, as has happened in other countries and is what happened in Sweden with the contaminated water. The report on the trial said it would be possible to send alerts to the public within 15 minutes of making a decision, but in the event, some alerts took 24 hours to reach the mobiles. It was suggested by the BBC that the system was not put into practice because cost was an issue!