Teasers for a Monday…

August 14, 2017

A view of part of one of the superb KPF Zeller rolling roads sold in the UK by Ten Commandment Models including the driving wheel cleaning attachment. KPF Zeller produces a rolling road to suit all of the popular scales and with differing lengths to suit individual requirements. Once the review has been published in RMM, I will put a more detailed set of pictures on here. So, okay, what’s the loco being tested for service on the rolling road?

Some strange-looking rolling stock has appeared in the studio recently – coaches from Epoch 5/6 which equates to post 2000. I guess British outline modellers interested in what would be Epoch 6 in the UK (if we used that date system) won’t know what a straight loco-hauled coach is…they are so rare these days! (tongue firmly in cheek). So here’s teaser 2 for today – I think a clue is in the destination window…


Teaser two…

August 6, 2017

It’s a…


KPF Zeller track cleaners for routine track cleaning in OO/HO and N gauge.

July 26, 2017

My experiments with the KPF Zeller OO/HO and N gauge track cleaning cars sold by Ten Commandment Models showed that they are particularly effective at cleaning the rails of any model railway.

I have been taking an interest in track cleaning technologies for years and have played around with several different types of track cleaning device – from Relcos (don’t use such high frequency track cleaners with DCC systems) to the amazing but expensive US-outline based CMX Clean Machine (not suitable for layouts with equipment and platforms close to the running lines because of the cleaning pad clips). Another elegant and simple track cleaning system has come to light in the form of the KPF Zeller track cleaning cars which are available in the UK for both OO/HO gauge and N gauge. They are imported and sold by Ten Commandment Models – the cars being German made.

Simple friction-based track cleaning which works through the action of weighted arms and pads of cleaning material. The OO/HO car (shown) has NEM coupling pockets which will accept Kadees, traditional UK outline couplings or anything you like!

The underside of the OO/HO cleaning car. The wheels can be exchanged for finer ones if desired for finescale OO and EM gauge. No cleaning fluids are needed for effective track cleaning.

The design of the cars allows the modeller to build a wagon body onto them if desired. Also, the cars are built within the loading gauge of HO and N gauge making them suitable for all types of UK-outline and European layouts which will have platforms and other structures close to the running line. They will be invaluable to those modellers with large layouts too, including US-outline modellers with miles of track such as my Montana Rail Link 4th Sub project. The cars are not powered – so they will work on any layout with any power system: traditional DC or DCC – it matters not!

The weighted and pivoted arms fitted to the OO/HO model with cleaning pads visible. Any suitable cleaning pad material can be used and is attached with double-sided sticky tape. Simply run the car around the layout, collect the dirt and then throw the dirty pads away!

The N gauge version. Both cleaning cars are specially weighted for effective cleaning and good track holding properties.

The N gauge car is shown once again. Two separate pivoted arms and pads are used to avoid catching any detail in the centre of the track, or indeed any third rail or stud contact system. The simple hook coupling will engage with standard N gauge couplings.

So that’s it! Personally, I prefer to clean the track before an operating session using a track cleaning car. Clean pads are fitted and the car run first around the main line track several times before being removed from the layout and the pads inspected for dirt collection. The spent pads are removed, which is easy to do, and new ones fitted before repeating the exercise. The cars are easily propelled into platform bays, dead end sidings and over complex point work. Once the layout has been covered, the track cleaning car can be stored in the staging area of the layout until it is next needed.

Some modellers may use the cleaning car throughout the operating session. It can be included in the formation of an engineers train and run almost continuously – there are couplings fitted to both ends of the cars which will allow it to be run as part of a train. If you decide that this is your preferred method, remember that the cleaning pad material is designed to collect dirt and should be discarded after a while or they will become ineffective.

For more information visit Ten Commandment Models here, here and here and also take a look at the rolling roads too. KPF Zeller’s web site can be viewed here. My thanks to Matt of KPF Zeller together with Dave of Ten Commandment Models for their assistance and an elegantly simple but well-engineered solution to routine track cleaning.

 


Modern Class 20…

July 22, 2017

Due for imminent release in N gauge by Graham Farish is a modern version of the Class 20 as No. 20 205. The full size locomotive has seen use on the main line in recent times, sometimes paired with No. 20 189 (rail blue) or No. 20 227 in LU livery which will also be offered in N gauge (371-036).  Graham Farish uses its head code version of the Class 20 which is finished in heritage rail blue livery with West Highland Terrier motif (also observed with an Eastfield depot plaque) to represent No. 20 205. The safety markings and other livery features which have been well researched and applied to the model all point to a locomotive in regular use on today’s main line as well as the heritage scene.

One detail that the discerning modeller may wish to add is a square framed headlight to both ends of the locomotive.The model will make a pleasing change to a diet of Class 66s usually found on most up-to-date layouts. There is a trend towards releasing models in ‘heritage’ condition and this brings a much welcomed dimension to British outline modelling in both N and OO gauge.

Graham Farish Class 20 in pristine heritage BR rail blue livery.
Catalogue number: 371-037.
NEM coupling pockets and 6-pin DCC interface socket.
Working running lights.
Accessory pack included with detailing parts.
Associated model is 371-036 No. 20 227 in LU livery.

 

 


Desirable ‘Desiro’.

July 18, 2017

Bachmann’s colourful OO gauge South West Trains (SWT) Class 450 arrives…

The Class 450 due for imminent release is being offered in two finishes – pristine and weathered as shown in this picture.

Inner end detail of one of the driving cars.

The roof has a bleached or sun-faded appearance commonly found on the full size trains whilst the body sides remain in less affected condition due to the use of vinyls.

Underframe details are specific to the Class 450, even though the model is based on the previously released Class 350.

Weathering and distressing has been applied to empty pantograph well. Class 450s work exclusively on the third rail network and as such no pantograph is fitted.

The Class 450 is a four-car set with the powered car located in the middle of the set.

Overall, the Class 450 finished in outer suburban SWT blue livery is a stunning looking model and is common with modern EMUs, translates in a very attractive model. They are worthy successors to the 4-Vep, 4-cep and 4-Cig they replaced alongside the ‘Desiro’ Class 444.

In summary:

  • 21-pin DCC socket.
  • 4-wheel drive in powered car.
  • 5-pole can motor.
  • Electrical bar couplings throughout the set requiring only one decoder to operate all of the lights.
  • Close coupling cams.
  • Fully working running lights.
  • Faded roof colours to represent a unit in regular service.
  • Revisions to PTOSLW car to distinguish the model from the similar 25kV AC Class 350.
  • Interior lighting.
  • Accessory pack with air dam, cabling and cosmetic Dellner couplings.

 


Picture for a busy Saturday.

July 1, 2017

An NSB Class 69 EMU is available in HO gauge from NMJ – but not that exact version…unfortunately. To model one of the 3-car sets working the Bergen Localtog will require a cut and shut on two models (relatively expensive) or scratch building of a centre car together with some conversion work around the front windscreens and the marker lights.


A change of pace – the DJ Models WD Austerity 0-6-0ST (J94).

April 16, 2017

Another small shunting locomotive for my Loch Dhu project? Perhaps! The DJ Models 0-6-0ST WD Austerity (aka J94) is a lovely model and with many refinements too. It proves my theory that most workaday locomotives often make the most attractive models.

So here’s a selection of pictures of two of the locomotives released in recent times: BR No. 68023 with extended coal bunker and one of the first batch to be released which included a number of private-owner industrial locomotives in various attractive liveries together with LNER No. 8023 which is one of the second batch of models to be issued as a general release model.

I have always liked industrial shunting engines and the WD Austerity proved to be a rugged design perfect for industrial railway uses, often becoming neglected and dirty in daily use at collieries and other heavy industrial locations. The weathering enthusiasts will have fun with this one. I doubt the BR and LNER versions fared much better in their workaday shunting and short trip working existences.

The model (both industrial and J94 versions) has a fully detailed cab interior, separately fitted wire hand rails and follows modern development practices with the use of many separately moulded and applied fittings.

Locomotive-specific details are included in the tooling to allow both the conventional and extended bunker versions to be offered with the J94 version of the model.

The model is as rugged and the real locomotives, with excellent haulage capacity to match. Internally, there is a smooth running core-less motor capable of very fine control and electronics which include a 6-pin DCC interface socket. You do not have to remove the body to get to the decoder socket – simply push the smoke box moulding aside with a thumb – gently so not to break the smoke box door darts. Tucked away inside is the DCC interface socket. How easy is that? A fine model indeed and versatile too: perfect for an industrial layout theme, working a BR or LNER themed layout or even a heritage railway based layout.

My thanks goes to David Jones of DJ Models for his help with supplying models to feature in Railway Magazine Modeller, both of which are included here as a shortie review!