Category Archives: Freudenreich Feinwerktechnik Z

Repainting Marklin 8135 coaches for the SJ: Part 2

Part 2 is completed: stripping the old and prepping for the new. Marklin’s 8135 Dompfeil set is the subject of the repaint and older SJ coaches will be the end result.

I am using the FR label kit for the repaint which includes dry transfer lettering, lettering will take place in Part 4.

Following Part 1 which was disassembly this post concerns stripping paint from plastic train shells. The stripper is 91% isopropyl alcohol available from any drugstore, its cost for this project $4.00.

I first placed all parts to be stripped (4 coach shells and 1 roof panel) in a small plastic dish and submerged them in the alcohol. In about 1 hour the paint appeared to be softening on the shells. Using a toothbrush I applied little pressure to remove the paint and decals, it would take numerous attempts with time in between to remove the finish, but it eventually started coming off with the toothbrush. The roof which was yellow in the original set was much more difficult to strip, it required an overnight soak in the alcohol. The silver painted roof panels I did not strip these I will simply spray over, I stripped the warm white panel due to the thickness of the paint which was heavier than the silver paint.

Note: use of eyewear and gloves is highly recommended. The fumes from the alcohol is very strong thus a well ventilated work area is best, take frequent breaks to avoid breathing in too many fumes, the plastic parts are not affected by the alcohol, they will not melt.

For paint that was in small crevices or around roof details I made use of a toothpick, soaked in alcohol, it worked well to dislodge hard to get at paint.

Following the stripping I washed each part in mild Dawn dish washing liquid and rinsed well.

After inspecting each dry part I repeated the stripping to remove paint on some of the window frames.

photo: before

photo: after

The next step is painting which will include constructing a spray booth out of cardboard box, matching paint chip FR included in kit, and constructing armature to hold the parts for painting.

Siding: the Dompfeil coaches are the same ones made in Germany for the SJ, they featured aluminum roof panels: early ones were painted gray and the late ones were shiny silver. For these coaches I am modeling the earlier ones to be pulled by an Ra 987 Express locomotive.

photo: FR – 46.132.01 – Statens Jarnvagar SJ (Swedish State Railways) Serie Ra 987 Express locomotive. Limited Release of 32 locos total.

Repainting Marklin 8135 for the SJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!: Part 1

photo: FR 46.130.31 – RC-2 locomotive for SJ

Marklin has paid little attention to Scandinavian Railroads in z gauge. There have been releases such as the 4 MY locos (brilliant series!!!!) and a few interesting freight cars, but never has there been attention paid to Sweden, this country’s railroads are left up to the never ending achievements of Harald Freudenreich at FR.

photo: FR 46.816.01 – Kis 950 sliding roof car for steel slab transport on SJ

Marklin has covered the SJ railway in HO only while FR has devoted much of their time in recent memory to SJ and other Scandinavian railroads. FR offers some Swiss, German and Austrian items currently, but Harald’s devoted fans come to him for Scandinavian trains.

photo: FR 46.132.01 – Ra 987 Express Locomotive of the SJ

Some of the most interesting railroads in the World are located in some of the most interesting natural wonders in the World. Light, geography, and climate combine to create the beautiful Scandinavian landscape, but for trains it is challenging, cargo has to be protected from a rather brutal climate with some box cars lined with heavy insulation to protect from permafrost and autos transported in closed boxes. More on this topic at a later date.

photo: FR 47.812.00 – insulated box car for the NSB

The topic today is a project I have been interested in starting for awhile now, it is the repaint of Marklin 8135 coaches for the SJ Railway. Although FR has paid much attention to freight rolling stock, they have not released coaches for the SJ as of this date with one exception. An announcement was made earlier in the year that coach sets are coming to market later this year, but in the meantime I am making my own custom set using dry stencils provided by FR a couple of years ago. The exception was a proposed project of many years that was finally released last year, it was a Marklin coach modified for SJ. The prototype was based on German built coaches used in ferry service in Sweden.  In order to model the prototype FR repainted and stenciled the coach after cutting the shell to remove a window thus shortening the coach. I own this coach and the craftsmanship is flawless.

photo: FR 46.299.00 – type litt AB8k 1st and 2nd class coach for ferry service to Germany. The top coach is the modified Marklin for SJ by FR, and the bottom coach is the original standard coach by Marklin.

Why refinish the 8135 coaches and not another set of coaches? Good question! Set 8135 was released in 1991 and included coaches built in Germany that were also used on the SJ. The historical perspective was provided by FR who also provided the stencil kit for relettering the coaches and a paint chip for the correct shade of reddish brown used by SJ. Painting and other details will be discussed in Part 2 and 3 respectively.

photo: deluxe box train set “Dompfeil” of the DB

The first installment of this project is disassembly of the coaches. It is okay to be a little nervous disassembling Marklin coaches, but all things Marklin are built to take apart, each part is snapped or clipped together without glue. Repainting projects in Marklin Z are not necessarily recommended by this railroader, they potentially will diminish the collectible value, but in my case I own two 8135 sets which I like very much, turning the second set into SJ coaches is a bit necessary since I collect SJ locos built for express service.

On with the project! First step is identifying the set for repaint, in this case the historical background was already researched by FR. The set for repaint is Marklin 8135 released with a BR 03 express loco in a deep blue paint scheme. The set was released in 1991 with three 2nd class coaches and one DRG dining car. This was a deluxe boxed set presented in a high gloss illustrated carton. The running performance of this loco is superb, and it looks great to boot!

photo: 8135 locomotive and tender – BR 03

photo: 3 coaches disassembled with their respective parts including shell, trucks, weight, roof, and window glazing.

Step 2 includes the removal of the roof which is easily accomplished by very carefully pulling it off, the roof is clipped on and starting from one end seems to be the way to do this successfully.

Step 3 involves the removal of each car’s pair of trucks, carefully swivel each truck to the side for leverage and using a small screwdriver gently pry the truck off by moving back and forth around the pivot point, it will snap off. Note: torquing as seen in the photo is necessary for removal of trucks, but please use care.

Step 4 using a small pair of tweezers and starting at one end gently loosen the window glazing held in place with prongs in the base of the coach. Take note of the indents that line up with the roof clips for reassembly later.

Step 5 is removal of the weights. Using a small screwdriver remove the plastic heat points holding the weights down, weights will lift off easily from the posts in the bottom of shell.

This is one of those projects that allows a railroader to tinker with their hobby.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

Siding: this set contains parts that are snapped or clipped in place, but older coaches used glue to cement the window glazing, in the case of older coaches window glazing will more than likely pop out with gently wriggling. Reassembly of early windows is accomplished with 5 minute epoxy only, other glues use solvents that might melt plastic. NEVER use a soldering iron in and around enclosed plastic parts, micro soldering irons should only be used on heat points to attach shell to frame and coupler housings with caution!

BANVERKET Snowplow Locomotive

FR Freudenreich released two SJ snowplow locomotives last year that quickly sold out, they were only available to customers who pre-ordered the locomotives. A build kit including the motor is currently available for expert modelers skilled with soldering and painting small intricate parts. NOHAB the company familiar to many railroaders built the 20 Tc’s ordered by SJ in 1970 they are represented by FR as item 46.135.11 (top) and 46.135.21 (bottom) lettered for BANVERKET:

BANVERKET the government entity responsible for SJ’s railroad and infrastructure existed between the years 1988-2010, its lettering and paint scheme is the inspiration for this SJ locomotive (FR 46.135.21).

Featuring all metal construction this locomotive type includes 4 snow plows, it falls under the designation ‘MOW’ (Maintenance of Way) due to its snow clearing specialization, but it was originally used as a 4 season specialty loco, following winter months it was used for regional freight service under the class designation: Tc DLL.

Later in its history the original TC DLL was repainted and lettered for BANVERKET (1988-2010) as DLL 3124C for their MOW service for SJ.

 

SJ Ra 987 Electric Locomotive

Out of the pages of the commemorative 100 year anniversary book of the SJ is a gleaming new Ra 987 with its operators.

The Ra 987 express electric locomotive was introduced in the mid 1950’s and manufactured by ASEA with the final production of the locomotive ceasing in 1961. All 10 locomotives reportedly are still in existence as preserved museum locomotives, but before retirement these locomotives pulled express trains for nearly 30 years on two routes: Stockholm-Goteborg and Stockholm-Oslo. Ra trains consisted of characteristic SJ brown paint scheme express coaches similar to the German coaches in the 8135 “Dompfeil” set, a repaint of that set will give you a good express train set for your SJ railroad.

Similarities in appearance between the American F7 and the Ra of the SJ is not coincidental the F7 was the designers inspiration for the Ra. Two paint schemes for the Ra existed the early one is featured here, but the later one featured a broad white strip with the word “RAPID” on its nose. The later version included a variation of the headlamps. Two snowplow designs included a broad cage across the beam of the locomotive and a second one featured on the FR 46.132.01 incorporates to plows each side with a filigree cage centered between the plows.

A powerful can motor operates the locomotive along with LED powered headlamps as is standard equipment in all FR locomotives. The FR exclusive equipment includes an ingenious design for the locomotive coupler comprising an ‘L’ shaped wire thus allowing for the installation of intricately designed snowplows, this coupler system works flawlessly with Marklin Z standard couplers.

Note: the 1st version of the Ra produced by FR is long of production, but the 2nd version is planned as a production model at FR. To order the 2nd version a preorder commitment must be made with FR, it won’t be available after it is released, FR does not seem to make extras for some of their releases others seem to become regular production models.

Produced by FR in a very limited edition of 32 worldwide is the Ra 987 electric locomotive for SJ.

Siding: The MY locomotive of the DSB and its various amalgams on other railroads although diesel powered is similar in appearance to the Ra with a similar type American F7 “Bulldog Nose” plus two cab ends.

FR’s Prototypical SBB Pantograph: Installation and Description

The new pantograph for Marklin’s Ae 6/6 electric locomotives is prototypically accurate and replaces the original pantograph with a few modifications. FR of Germany has produced this very interesting and important upgrade part that is better made than the Marklin original plus it looks great! The new FR SBB pantograph is available as part number 41.190.00, each is delivered in a hard plastic case.

A side by side comparison of the Marklin original and the new FR pantograph reveals a larger pantograph with a heavier spring. The solid construction of the FR eliminates the sometimes drift seen in the Marklin pantograph. The Marklin pantograph is a bit generic as well coming in just a few variations in color otherwise the same is used on German and Swiss locos. The FR upgrade will add zip to your locomotives for Swiss railroading with striking silver finish true to the prototype.

FR pantograph on left and Marklin on the right:

Installation gets easier after the first one due to familiarity with the small parts and coordinating the assembly after modifications are made. As discussed in earlier posts assembly includes modifying the shell by removing the original plastic parts on either side of pantograph, I simply pulled them off with my fingers taking care not to damage the wires on the shell’s roof. The heat points for the original parts will provide the holes for the new FR pantograph, but first the 4 silver caps/washers need to placed around these holes, the legs of the new FR pantograph are thus placed through the washers and holes. This step can be a little tricky so take your time and work over a workbench to catch the parts if they go astray. Final step is applying pressure to the pantograph and securing with included screw. At this point the pantograph is attached, but you might notice looseness of the legs and washers of the new part, in this case I applied a very small drop of 5 minute epoxy to each hole on the interior side of shell. *NEVER USE PLASTIC CEMENT ON MARKLIN LOCOS DUE TO MELTING FROM THE SOLVENTS IN THESE CEMENTS, 5 MINUTE EPOXY IS THE ONLY RECOMMENDED GLUE FOR MARKLIN Z.  A pin will ensure a small drop versus too much glue seeping out of shell. Careful with this step, but I recommend it to marry the new parts to the shell in permanent correct orientation!

“Cargo” locomotive pictured with the original Marklin pantograph and roof equipment and Ae 6/6 locomotive features the new FR pantograph:

This highly recommended upgrade for Swiss Ae 6/6 locomotives will cost about $60 for 2 pantographs or 1 loco delivered to USA collectors, it is only available directly from FR. Photos show completed locomotives with the new FR pantograph.

Ordering from FR is fast and easy with an excellent website, careful packing and fast shipping. FR’s website uses green signals to indicate in stock items otherwise date projections for out of stock items, locos are seldom available at any given time, but they can be reserved for next production run usually 6 months out, worth the wait!

Note: FR lists the new pantograph can be used to upgrade the Re 4/4 locos, Marklin has released three thus far, but as of this posting I am not sure how the upgrade is made. I will be posting an update after speaking with Harald Freudenreich on this matter.

 

2nd Report on the new SBB pantograph: FR 41.490.00

I just received the new FR pantograph for Swiss locomotive types: Ae 6/6 and Re 4/4II, and I immediately installed it on the Marklin 8849 Serie Ae 6/6 electric locomotive; it is even better than I could have expected!

Installation of this part on one of the appropriate Marklin Z locos is a restoration project so to speak, for the first time the correct pantograph can be installed on Swiss locos which originally but incorrectly included the same style pantograph used on German locos. Until now Marklin has offered three styles of pantograph design with variations for a total of 6 different pantographs; they are all installed with a single center screw and furnished with electrical roof equipment of various cast plastic parts.

The FR pantograph is installed with a single center screw of the same diameter as the Marklin one, but simple modifications must be performed including the removal of plastic parts on each side of the original pantograph. If you want to preserve the plastic removal parts simple cut the melt points on the inside of shell: DO NOT USE A SOLDERING IRON TO REMELT THESE POINTS, USE OF AN SOLDERING IRON IN THIS MANNER WILL MORE THAN LIKELY RESULT IN PERMANENTLY DAMAGING THE SHELL BY MELTING IT. I simply pulled these parts off because I had no intention of saving them, each broke into many small pieces.

The pantograph is delivered in a nice plastic box with the screw installed in the pantograph, and a part sheet is included that contains the 4 post caps that are used in the installation. To upgrade one loco you need to buy a pair (2) of these pantographs (FR part #41.490.00). Cost to replace one pair of loco pantographs with the new FR ones is $56 including shipping for USA buyers. No directions are needed or included, but I will provide a few notes:

-First: remove shell from loco and unscrew the pantograph from inside shell

-Second: remove plastic parts from each side of original pantograph mounting on shell

-Third: working over a workbench preferably foam use tweezers to break apart 4 small post caps (part is located below foam insert in plastic box

Fourth: very small post caps are installed over the holes on shell that plastic parts (now removed) were originally engaged with, pantograph legs are inserted through the openings in the post caps, these small parts are precision made but due to their size they are somewhat difficult to work with, I installed the post caps over each of the four holes in alignment with the legs some wriggling of parts occurred before all four legs met up with the post cap holes, place pressure on pantograph top, tip upside down line-up screw in hole and tighten *you will find your own way during installation, use care to not lose parts and perhaps work over a parts collection tray working with one pantograph at a time

Several important advances have been made in Z-scaling including the advent of the 5 pole motor, side rod detailing, can motors and now a new pantograph for two Swiss class locos!

The following Marklin locos can be upgraded to the prototype with this new part: 8829 (Ae 6/6 released 1994-1996), 8849 (Ae 6/6 released 1987-1993), 8850 (Ae 6/6 released 1984-1987), 88501 (Ae 6/6 released 2003-2008), 88591 (Re 4/4II released 2012), 81410 (Ae 610 released 2010), and 81413 (Ae 6/6 released 1998-1999).

 

FR New Release: Prototypical SBB Pantographs!

Marklin Z electric locomotive pantographs are of two types: older scissor style and single arm. Variations include silver, black and blackened. Plus a third prototypical pantograph made just for the GG1’s. Marklin’s Swiss and German electric locomotives have been installed with these two styles of pantographs even though they vary with the respective prototypes. Marklin’s pantographs are an excellent standard style universally supplied on all electric locos with more recent single arm examples in black or blackened finish.

An exciting new release by FR is an upgrade for Marklin Z Swiss class Re 4/4II and Ae 6/6 locomotives with a newly designed pantograph accurate to the prototype. Here is a part described by FR that is an exact copy of the original pantographs for these locos that is easy to install. I want to share this information as it has just been announced, how long they will be available is unknown. I have already ordered 10, when they arrive I will add another post describing the installation with photos, but it looks like a unique opportunity to upgrade these Swiss locomotive types.

Re 4/4II

 

Ae6/6

Check out other FR Swiss freight cars each equipped with standard mini-club couplers, this company has been the first to release a number of interesting freight cars including K3 boxcars. Marklin’s foray into freight cars for Swiss modeling in Z is very good but limited to few examples, FR offers freight cars that have not been offered by Marklin in Z.

OBB Class 1043.010 “Valousek”: FR 43.131.01

OBB’s class 1043 entered service in Austria in 1971, it looks a lot like the SJ series of Rc locos because it is. Following very successful test runs 10 units were eventually ordered. Based on the Rc’s thyristor technology this locomotive type has proven itself for many years as a reliable design, it is even included as a locomotive type in the United States.

The proposal to build this loco by FR was made by Z-Friends International thus it was released on a limited basis for their members and those who placed pre-orders, its second release will be made this Fall.

Variations of the SJ Rc series locomotive have included changes to roof equipment, color scheme and general appearance, and it is represented by FR for SJ and OBB railways only at this time. Exceptional detailing: even the mirrors are silvered and reflective.

As part of the classification it is called a “Valousek” locomotive as it is named after the designer of the logo and color scheme Wolfgang Valousek.

FR 46.809.12 SJ Hydraulic Side Dump Cars

 

As freight cars go “maintenance of way” wagens are everywhere along the railroad right of way, they are on sidings awaiting deployment to tunnels, tracks, signals, catenary, crossings or accident clearing. Maintenance is the name of the game for every railroad due to the daily impact heavy trains bear down on track and equipment plus weather is a harsh foe of the same. In Sweden weather is a factor on railroad right of way electrical equipment and track beds thus cars with the intended purpose of aiding in daily maintenance is required. FR’s side dump cars with a load of gravel or ballast is one such example, it is based on the prototype Eo hydraulic side dump car and used on the Swedish State Railways (SJ).

Although this car type can be used for various types of loads it can be included in MOW service if it were carrying ballast as a load. Full metal construction this set includes two cars with brakeman’s platform in prototypical red/brown paint scheme.

FR 41.332.02: SBB low side gondolas for MOW service

Rolling stock representing MOW service cars can be found for Swiss Federal Railways manufactured by FR. The FR 2 car set with item number 41.332.02 includes 2-type Xs71 low side gondolas used in this example for hauling away old wood sleepers.

Featuring authentic weathering and aging the sleepers in these loads look like perfect examples to be removed and replaced with new ones. Maintenance of way operations are as important in Switzerland as with any other railroad in the world, but their exemplary track maintenance practices excel far and above other countries including the United States.

As with all FR rolling stock the chassis is constructed of metal, and body is constructed of injection molded plastic (*some FR freight cars are constructed entirely of metal, the rule for FR seems to be utilizing the correct materials for the design build). FR insignia is incorporated on the underside of chassis.

This set combined with FR’s and Marklin’s Sersa sets round out a track maintenance trainset used in Switzerland.

Marklin 88692

Marklin 82517

FR 41.331.12

Siding: Sersa is a privately owned company for the repair and maintenance of railway right of way in Switzerland.