Category Archives: German – Epoche I

German P8 and BR 38 Steam Locomotives

Photo: Former Prussian P8 given as war reparation to SNCF following WWI.

Marklin reached back into German railroading history and realized the legendary P8 and BR 38 in ‘Z’. Note: before unification it was the P8 and after unification it was BR 38. In the Marklin line-up there are plenty of variations of the P8 and 38 steam locomotives but the tooling remained the same until the side rods and brake equipment were upgraded with the 2013 release of 88998.

So what about the history of this 4-6-0 locomotive? Nearly 4000 examples were manufactured for 18 years starting in 1908. Retirement came in 1974 after a 50 year career with 627 having been given to other countries as war reparations following WWI. Its top speed of 110km/hr was suitable for passenger trains, but it was a reliable goods train also. In my research the top speed of 110km/hr was never fully achieved in the Prussian examples due to poor running performance of the Prussian ‘box’ style tenders instead it would seem that 100km/hr was the top speed in the early years. It is noted that larger tenders were not used by KPEV due to the burdens of turning a longer loco and tender on turntables of the time. Eventually the DB fitted war time ‘tub’ style tenders to this locomotive class after WWII.

8899 is the first BR 38 produced in mini-club, 1982 to be exact. This Era III BR 38 for the DB featured the original Prussian ‘box’ style tender and 3 pole motor, it was produced until 1995. The large smoke deflectors would eventually be replaced with smaller ‘Witte’ deflectors.

88991 (photo) is virtually identical to 8899 with two notable exceptions: 5 pole motor and post-war ‘tub’ style tender. This locomotive was produced from 1998 until 2003.

The P8 painted and lettered for KPEV (Royal Prussian Railroad Administration) as a One Time Series was 88994 (photo). Released in 2006 as part of the MHI program the 88994 represents an Era I P8 with original Prussian ‘box’ style tender. KPEV locos in the Marklin line-up are heavily detailed with distinctive paint scheme, they can go with passenger or freight cars, or both.

Jumping ahead to the new era at Marklin is the 88998 (photo) BR 38 for DB. An Era III steam locomotive featuring Marklin new design concept that includes lively side rod action and detailing including well conceived brake equipment details. The movement of the side rods on this loco are elegant! Note the correct style tender for Era III and ‘Witte’ smoke deflectors. First retooling since 1982!

Rolling back the clock to 2009 is the 88999 (photo) P8 for Gr.Bad.Sts.E. (Grand Ducal Baden State Railways). This Era I locomotive was in the Marklin mini-club line-up from 2009-2014. Original Prussian box style tender and 5 pole motor. Paint and lettering in Prussian Blue with boiler straps painted to highlight the prototypes original brass ones. Note: no smoke deflector was incorporated in the early design of the P8, other design changes would happen over time including two types of smoke deflectors and tub style WWII welded tender.

Marklin’s first release of a P8 in a train set was 8130 from 1989 – 1992, the 8128 (photo) included an Era I KPEV loco and tender paired with four freight cars.

The Marklin 81420 (photo) Grand Ducal Baden State Railways train set from 2000 – 2002 included a Gr.Bad.Sts.E P8 in striking Prussian Blue paint scheme detailed with brass boiler straps, it was boxed with a 2nd class and a 3rd class coach as well as a privately owned Swiss tank car and beer car with brakeman’s cabin. Locomotive is equipped with Marklin 5 pole motor.

The 2002 One Time Release of “Sylt Auto Travel Train” 81428 (photo) was another example of a train set with mixed rolling stock, freight and passenger coaches comprising the consist. This train set from Era III included a DB BR 38 with ‘tub’ style tender, 2- coaches lettered for “Hamburg – Altona, Husum – Niebull, Westerland plus 4 low side cars with autos, camping trailers and vans as loads. An interesting train set for vacationers traveling to camping destinations, this train removed the inconvenience of driving a camping rig to the vacation spot thereby delivering rested passengers at the start of their leisure vacations. Note: first time Witte smoke deflectors used on this ‘Z’ loco type.

The Era II “Ruhr-Schnellverkehr” (Ruhr Express Service) train set 81437 (photo) was released in 2005, it was produced until 2008, but it is unlikely many were produced through this period owing to the rarity of this set. The BR 38 locomotive was joined in the set with three coaches of Prussian design: 2- 3rd class coaches with and without brakeman’s cab, and 1- 2nd/3rd class coach with brakeman’s cab (notice the colorful paint scheme on center compartments denoting 2nd class). Please take note of the Prussian design compartments each accessed by exterior doors, in express coaches of this design passengers had little time to find their compartment and climb in, less than a minute is all you were given! The Marklin coaches in this set are stunning, they are full of detail including full length running boards and decorated brass hardware. The locomotive (photo 2) also featured destination boards: Ruhr – Schnellverkehr.

Siding: to describe the brilliant running performance of this loco type in ‘Z’ as anything less than superlative would be a mistake. If you are new to collecting Marklin Z steam this loco type in any example is highly recommended: perfection on the rails!

 

Archistories: Interlocking Towers Kallental and Dorpede

Sitting along side this 1915 “Achilles”  Marklin 1 Gauge live steam engine are two new releases by Archistories: Kallental and Dorpede “Interlocking Towers.”

Both buildings follow the same architectural design but vary in material construction, one is brick and the other is open timber. A throwback to a time in railroad history when signals and switch turnouts were controlled mechanically by an operator. Today these structures have largely disappeared with the advent of electric controls: push buttons replacing throw levers.

Which one you choose is a matter of personal preference, but each reflects distinct styles of German industrial architecture. Cut-outs are incorporated into the buildings for accessory lighting along with partition walls to control light flow. Additional features that are new to Archistories kits that I have assembled are scored boards for continuously folded frameworks walls, open timber and even ornamental brickwork. Working with long parts that fold is assisted by very light scoring along those lines that have already been etched by the laser. Archistories kits are nothing like all the other ones on the market by other manufacturers, Archistories can be described as kits combining the highest quality materials, precision and design. Here you will find beautiful roof sheathing that is attached to solid underlayment, parts that actually fit together perfectly, and highly detailed window frames. Crisp detailing throughout inspire one to sit and marvel at the finished projects.

If you are new to building laser cut with numerous small parts and parts with filigree I would suggest a couple of practice runs applying glue to thin strands of scrap material before jumping in and gluing the open timber framework on the Kallental Signal Tower. The simple rule to follow is to place drops of glue instead of streams of glue in modest amounts and in discreet places. Not much glue is needed after all, parts in these kits are warp free allowing much less glue than other manufacturer’s buildings. Warp free high grade materials characterize Architories kits.

For those on the fence about laser cut I have a simple experiment: 1. Buy one of these kits and assemble it 2. take the finished building along with an assembled plastic building to a real life industrial complex preferably from the turn of the century and abundant in the United States 3. hold both kits alongside real life industrial brick architecture 4. ask yourself which looks closer to real life? I am confident the answer will be Archistories buildings every time.

Building a scene which incorporates these buildings are perfectly illustrated by Archistories company photographs. These dioramas incorporate cast rock formations, static grass of varying lengths and color, shrubs and trees placed as one would see along a railroad siding, track ballasting representing the region modeled and of course the painted or photographically illustrated background. Viewing the scene at eye level brings it all together and the backdrop brings it all together.

Photo used by permission (copyright: Archistories)

Siding: weathering can be added to Archistories buildings, I recommend the dry brush technique. Care should be taken to ensure good results, please keep in mind the high absorbent nature of these materials, it is better to start with a very dry brush and build up layers, too much paint and the building will be ruined. Or don’t weather at all!

Locomotive Builder Department: Werdau 1916

More than 30 locomotive laborers, bosses and owners stand and sit proudly before a stoked new engine with various tools and parts displayed in 1916 at a locomotive works in Werdau, Germany.

A wide range of ages are also on display as this firm employed men presumably from the prior century with vast knowledge and experience, in the new century this firm also employed two women.

Each person depicted was probably confident that their job would last a lifetime and history recorded this as fact; steam had a solid 60 plus years left. Skilled labor that could not be outsourced, downsized or outmoded; our contemporary culture cannot grasp the life these men and two women experienced, as members of society they shared in the transport of people and goods by growing (my Wife prefers “building”) these powerful locomotives that lived beyond many in this photograph. A specialist is required to identify the tools and parts, but some stand out including calipers and wrenches (supersized).

In a future post I will be consulting with such a specialist to help identify these parts as well as the most unusual steam loco design. And perhaps I will also be able to uncover another photo of the locomotive in its entirety so stay tuned.

For now we will enjoy the people watching and take note of the clogs.

If anyone has anything to share on this photo please feel free to comment, I will give you credit and add to the description.

Photographic Gray Paint Scheme and Mini-Club

Marklin 88091

We are probably all familiar with builders’ photographs of steam engines depicted in black and white photographs and some of us may have had the rare opportunity to buy one. Usually large and well produced photographs depicting a recently built locomotive captioned with all the technical specs and dates of production accompanying such photographs. The commissioned photographers were charged with producing a record in crisp detail for the builders’ record as well as publicize locomotives built in their shops. Although the age of steam has passed these photographs help us understand and research the locomotives that were built a 100 years ago, and the incredible achievements and innovations that were made. The photographic record is just part of the research tools available to manufacturers of model trains, but Marklin has treated this part of railroading history as an integral part of Mini-Club’s offerings including locomotive prototypes modeled in “Photo Gray” as they would have been seen for the first time.

Marklin 88981

Photo gray or works gray is a particularly interesting paint scheme, it seems to coincide with the middle gray zone between highlight and shadow referred in photographic literature as 18% reflectance of the visible world. This being a speculation of mine, my research does not point to an exact paint formula that measures its reflectance, but I would place the reflectance of locomotive photo gray roughly as middle gray if one starts with black on one side and white on the other. Why is this important? It was important from the standpoint of recording as much detail as possible through reduced tones within the range of “low contrast” without dark and light tones. Lighting is also a factor with this discussion, and the photographer’s choice between overcast skies or sunny days would have been overcast skies thereby keeping the tonality of these photographs on the flat contrast range. Isolating the locomotive in the composition was also a consideration with few seen near train sheds and yards, manipulating the photographic negative could have achieved this effect as well. For a follow-up post I will be recreating builders’ photographs of two mini-club class 52 locomotives, one with photo gray paint scheme and the other painted black. Photo ready locomtives were not dressed in photo gray paint scheme for long, after the photographs were made they were painted in most cases in engine black which was chosen to minimize the appearance and dirt and grime thereby making the photo gray paint scheme a primer coat for the eventual top coat.

Marklin Z steam locomotives in photo gray: 88040 (“Franco Crosti”) – BR 42.90 DB Insider 2003, 88091 – BR P 10 KPEV Insider 2003, 88832 – BR 52 DRG Insider 1997, 88836 – BR 52 DRG, 88841 – BR 50 DRG, 88981 – class G 8.1 KPEV MHI Insider 1998.

Created for photographs, the photo gray paint scheme adorned the first examples of prototypes with some offered in mini-club.

KPEV BR G 8.1: Marklin 88981

88981_1

Marklin 88981 steam locomotive is based on the prototype BR G 8.1 lettered for the Royal Prussian State Railroad (KPEV) with operating number 5239. This was the Marklin Z “Insider Model for 1998.” Based on the prototype, this steam engine carries the photo gray paint scheme as the 7500th locomotive built by Hanomag. Model included the 3 pole motor at the time of release and working headlamps.

88981_4 88981_5 88981_3 88981_2

Railex: 19th century German MOW

Railex not only produced some superb 19th century German steam locomotive, they also produced rolling stock to go with them. The Railex “Work” train comprises 5 cars for the maintenance of way train set. More cars can be added by 5 are the number of car types. The Railex locomotive that pulls the work train is K.Bay.STS.B Vils C II. The “Vils” in green/black/gray color scheme is most appropriate. Some of the cool features of these cars is the full metal construction, filigree spoke wheels, crisp lettering, and interesting car types. Hard and dangerous work was in place for a day on the work train, and workplace accidents abound from steam, gas, and saws to name just a few. The impregnation wagon was probably prone to explosion along with scalding temperatures. Railroading has never been the safe affair especially in the 19th century.

_DSF9344 _DSF9345

from top:

  1. K.Bay.STS.B Arbeitswagen Der K.Bay.STS.B. Type “X”: low side car with steam engine load.
  2. K.Bay.STS.B Niederbordwagen mit Kreissage: low side car with heavy duty table saw load.
  3. K.Bay.STS.B Leuchtgaswagen: tank car for lighting gas.
  4. K.Bay.STS.B Fahr Schwellenimpragnieranstalt mit Dampfmaschine: sleeper impregnation wagon with steam compressor.
  5. K.Bay.STS.B Schienenwagen Type Ssm-Wagen Nr. 4 rungenwagen: stake wagon with brakeman’s cab.
  6. K.Bay.STS.B Schienenwagen Type Ssm-Wagen Nr. 4 rungenwagen: stake wagon with brakeman’s cab.

 

Railex + Z Club ’92: Maintenance of Way

Railex and Z Club ’92 have collaborated on a number of z items two of which can be categorized and MOW (Maintenance of Way) cars. Cars 9335 + 9340 are early MOW cars employing cast metal parts.

_DSF9335

from top:

  1. Railex/Z Club ’92 #88609 – Royal Wurttemberg State Railways (K.W.St.E.) type low rise car with Epoch 1 crane. Released 1993. One Time Series for members of Z Club International.
  2. Railex/Z Club ’92 #88623 – Royal Wurttemberg State Railways (K.W.St.E.) type low rise car with track maintenance equipment and tools. Released 1988. One Time Series for members of Z Club International.

Railex: Maintenance of Way

Maintenance of way rail vehicles comprise all equipment that performs some type of track maintenance. In the 19th century a weighted tender fitted with a plow and lanterns was used for snow removal. Advancements in snow removal have been made in a variety of ways for the past 150 years, Railex’s Epoche 1 snow plow looks a bit primitive by today’s dedicated snow plow locos and snow blower locos.

_DSF9326 _DSF9327 _DSF9330 _DSF9332 _DSF9334

Railex – K.Bay.STS.B. type weighted tender with fitted plow. Epoch 1.

 

Siding: For modern snowplow locos take a look at FR’s SJ Tc/DLL snowplow loco.

 

Railex: Locomotives

Railex locomotives are not known as good runners primarily because they don’t have motors! Pure mechanical master pieces made of brass with working side rods. A company with very little web presence also makes some of the finest “Z” items, but it is challenging to find them anywhere for sale except of course online. Not having a motor is no problem, that solution was cleverly found with “ghost’ locomotives which are coaches or box cars modified with motor and transmission. These locos chug right along with a little help from a big brother. Thus far 19th century German steam has only been modeled by Railex who also make early era rolling stock and coaches. Every Railex item is identified with their logo, but build quality is also a signature identifier. Take a close look and you will also see the engineer peering from around the cab.

_DSF9315 _DSF9320 _DSF9323 _DSF9324

from top:

  1. Railex – K.Bay.STS.B B VI Kreittmayr steam locomotive with peat burner and tender.    Epoch I. Working life 1869-? Beige color scheme. Loco used for Ludwig II royal trains. Operating number 425.
  2. Railex – K.Bay.STS.B Tristan B VI. Epoch I – 1865 version. Working life 1865-1912 (scrapped). Beige color scheme. Operating number 316.
  3. Railex – K.Bay.STS.B Vils C II Bavarian freight loco with tender type C n2 3T class CII, named Vils. Epoch I. Maximum speed: 45km/h. Working life: 1867-1900. Green/black/gray color scheme. Operating number 362.

*Siding: Railex items come packed in a black box with gold foil label. 19th century German steam locomotives have often been compared to toy trains in appearance. Or vice versa!