Category Archives: Marklin Z

Streamlined Tank Locomotive BR 61 001: “Henschel-Wegmann”

The legacy of Marklin Z collecting is the historical heritage charted with unusual locomotives such as those we can no longer see in person. Germany’s BR 61 001 was one of two locomotives used for express train service for the Henschel-Wegmann trainset: Dresden-Berlin Route. Two versions of the BR 61 001 have been produced by Marklin for Z gauge: original prototype version (81436 trainset) and post-war version (88610).

photos: Marklin 81436 – Henschel-Wegmann BR 61 001 (DRG)

Built in 1935 the BR 61 001 (DRG) was a carefully designed locomotive for speed and efficiency, its lightweight and streamlining including coaches allowed increased speed, plus hauling just enough coal and water for one-way travel allowed further weight limits thus replenishing supplies in Berlin or Dresden was an efficiency standard implemented by its design.

photos: Marklin Z BR 61 001 (DRG) *originally released by Marklin as the “Henschel-Wegmann” trainset 81436 included 4 streamlined coaches with matching paint scheme not pictured.

Note: Marklin 81436 was the 2005 One Time Release for Insider Members.

Speed was everything in the mid 30’s with the BR 61 001 competing with the speed record set by the 1932 “Flying Hamburger” of 99mph seen here as Marklin 88870: 

 

The BR 61 001 was no slouch setting a record 109mph which would remain unbroken for the Dresden-Berlin route through the next century.

photos: Marklin 81436 – BR 61 001 (DRG) original prototype

Post War the BR 61 001 was repainted and lettered for the German Federal Railroad and allocated to Bw Hannover. Its use was limited to 6 months in the late 40’s followed by 1 year of service logging thousands of miles between November 1950 and November 1951 whereupon it suffered serious accident damage, a year later (1952) it was retired and finally scrapped in 1957.

photos: Marklin 88610 – BR 61 001 German Federal Railroad (DB) post-war version

Streamlining of early German steam locos was perfected with the class 61 incorporating the tank locomotive concept with bold body contouring which allowed fast express train service, it was state of the art in the mid 30’s whose life was cut short in the early 50’s. Another example of preserved railway history in Marklin Z.

photos: Marklin 88610

Note: fine detailing and large brass steam whistle

Will there be a BR 61 002 released in mini-club? The more powerful locomotive built in 1939 featured larger water tanks, smoke deflectors and 3 axle bogie, such a release would complete the historical record of this locomotive class.

Marklin Insider 88507: cab forward BR 05 DRG

One of the more interesting Z items released in the past few years was the 2014 Marklin Insider “Fine Art” edition 88507. The release of the BR 05 Era II cab forward steam locomotive marked the first and hopefully not the last special “Fine Art” releases, it was produced in brass with numerous add-on parts and filigree spoke wheels. Motive power is provided by new coreless motor with bell shaped armature. Available to Insider Members, the release was presented in special packaging including wooden box and certificate. Possibly due to the high price of this locomotive some were not delivered and a few are still available from dealers including Reynauld’s in IL.

Built in 1937 the BR 05 003 was the only cab forward design produced of the class 05, it resumed post war service in 1950 after restoration work was performed by Krauss-Maffei, it was retired in 1958. Cab forward steam locomotives are a technical marvel which allow better visibility but require larger crews.

The Marklin model is 5 inches in length over buffers, due to brass casting it is heavy featuring a robust motor thus mechanically sound and smooth running. If the locomotive is displayed it can be fitted with full skirting provided with the model or skirting can be removed for running on track with maximum radius of 195mm, with full skirting the locomotive can only go straight. Spacing adjustable between locomotive and tender. As with past historical releases Marklin has included a cast metal builder’s plate for Borsig.

BR 05 003 was scrapped in 1960, photographs and technical models provide the historical record of this interesting locomotive.

Siding: joining the Marklin Insider Club is less than a $100 a year, member benefits include the annual Club Car in the scale of choice, Marklin Insider Magazin, Insider Model reservation certificate, Insider Club News, annual catalog, laminated club card with member’s name, and “Year of Marklin” DVD.

 

 

 

Railex versus Z-Modellbau: Kof II showdown

Until Z-Modellbau took the challenge to manufacturer a Z Kof II with a Motor (!!!!) our choice was limited to mechanical rolling non-motorized Kof’s by Schmidt and Railex.

The Railex example here is cast brass (red paint scheme lettered for DB with open cab and black running boards) with fine detailing inside the cab, it was a very good example of a Kof II that Railex produced along with variations of this type.

Headlamps are non-working in both locomotives but Z-Modellbau rendered them white in perfect circles versus Railex which are hand-painted silver.

What to do with a non-working model train: use it of course! Before brushless motors manufacturers of Z gauge had certain limitations placed on their ambitions. Z gauge is already small in size so therefore modeling the smallest prototypes yield problem after problem including where to put a motor and gears. The solution with their larger steam locos and tenders was locating the drive mechanism within a passenger or freight car hence they were called “ghost cars” because they became hidden locomotives, but they allowed the locomotive to pull cars so to speak figuratively not literally. I collect Railex, they are beautiful and fun to behold. As for ghost cars I have never owned one, I understand they can be temperamental and many I see for sale are offered “not working”. Ghost cars can be built by industrious engineers with a clever creative side which describes most of us Z-scalers, if you choose the to take the challenge the rewards are big and stalled trains from 19th century Germany may come to life on your railway line.

Photo: no couplers on Railex, Z-Modellbau uses Marklin compatible couplers of their own design that unobtrusive in this small loco

Now the time is ripe for ambitious manufacturers to create smaller locos in Z that function, today brushless motors from Switzerland are available in a variety of small sizes so releasing new locos with this motor should be easy? Wrong. From idea to final market ready model is a design and manufacturing “Matterhorn” so to speak. Having the idea is the first step followed by researching the prototype’s blueprints, putting into scale, designing the parts and assembly. Every step is time consuming and difficult with a fair share of creative thinking, ingenuous problem solving and sheer expertise in tooling and production. The latter always flabbergasts me, how can anyone be gifted with such abilities that tiny tiny tiny details appear in such small locos at the same time concealing their build.

With the Railex Kof which is cast with add-on parts in cast brass the model is beautiful with a securing plate screwed to the undercarriage that simply holds the wheel-sets on: simple and beautifully designed. This example does not have couplers thus making it a stand alone model train.

Photo: Railex Koff hauling livestock boxcar both lettered for DB

The Z-Modellbau Kof II for NSB has an enclosed cab with glazed windows and their own unique design for a Marklin compatible coupler. A 10 volt coreless motor runs the show including gearing that allow smooth acceleration and deceleration but without working headlamps. Headlamps are beautifully modeled as if lit. Locomotive is weighted and balanced due to its metal nature throughout so pulling power is very good.

Photo: Railex Kof II is true to prototypical scale giving the boxcars the impression of great size

Small locomotives serve very important functions including shunting and branchline while others not covered here serve MOW (Maintenance of Way) service, they (speeders) are still smaller than the kofs  with one purpose: track inspection.

Siding: seen here are the two livestock boxcars comprising the Marklin 2 car freight set: 86602. For the first time this car type features interior detailing in the form of gates, it also includes laser cut build kit for loading ramp and movable fence sections.

Z-Modellbau builds the legendary ML 2/2 in Z!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Maffei built the ML 2/2 steam locomotive in 1906-1908, Z-Modellbau built it first as a Z scale model. The observation has been made many times equating the appearance of early German steam locos with toy trains, but the ML 2/2 was a hardy locomotive that proved it’s worth.

 

Built for the Bavarian State Railways the ML 2/2 was equal measure to the PtL 2/2 built by Krauss. Service duties included all such description on branchlines, and it could be operated by a single driver due to its semi-automatic gravity fed firebox. 24 locos were produced until it was retired in 1924.

Z-Modellbau has done it again with one of the finest Z scale locos ever available, the fine detailing of this loco has no rivals. And it is very small and true to scale with the prototype’s external cylinders modeled with smooth moving side rods of an ingenious design. This little gem is all metal construction featuring brushless motor and window glazing in the cab.

The ML 2/2’s place in history has been preserved in Z by Z-Modellbau, every inch of this is a masterpiece even though it’s total length is less than inch.

Running performance is superb at slow idle through full throttle.

Marklin’s 82391 (2005) high capacity coal hopper lettered for K.Bay.Sts.B is a perfect choice for this loco as well as Marklin small loco repair shed 89805.

Photo: here the ML 2/2 details are seen with coal bin in cabin roof and Marklin compatible coupler.

The scaling of Z-Modellbau locos creates a dramatic appeal on the layout due to their small size. Juxtaposed next to larger more powerful stream loco the ML 2/2 will stand out next to those towering express locos. Train sheds and buildings will also offer interesting juxtapositions and already there are buildings by Archistories and Marklin that fill in this time-frame for authentic prototypical railway scenes.

Photo: on a siding or near a loco shed the idling ML 2/2 will have great appeal on rural railway lines hauling passenger and/or freight.

Marklin’s New Brushless Motor: Good News Follow-up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The other day I submitted a post for your review which posed questions about the new brushless motors making their appearance in Marklin Z locos. And one example of a new release steam loco that had an operating issue that I included in that review.

The steam loco is the Bavarian 88923 with the very detailed running gear and side rods, out of the box it inexplicably stopped in the forward direction but ran well in reverse. Today I decided to problem solve the running performance and discovered some interesting things about the new motor.

Note: roller stands are great on those occasions a loco needs testing, they keep it in place so inspecting what is wrong is easy. Many companies make roller stands, this one is by Marklin (89932).

The new motor for the 88923 is a solid case brushless type that attaches to the end of the loco chassis in much the same way as the former 3 and 5 pole mini-club brush motors: a permanent gear mounted to the motor engages with the transmission gear whose other end is the worm gear which engages with the gears that move the wheels. The motor is secured to the chassis with a single screw like before, but the new motor has two alignment pins that engage in the end of the chassis which place the motor and chassis in precise alignment. Out of the box this loco ran rough in forward and stopped, but it ran well in reverse. I took the loco apart and removed the motor and transmission gear, I carefully reinstalled the transmission gear after applying a drop of oil on the worm gear and opposing gear, I was careful to align the two pins on motor with chassis applying a little pressure. It took 4-5 tries after moving the gears a little bit to properly seat the chassis and motor, but the tolerances seem to me to be more stringent with this new motor. The old motor assembly of the brush motors seem to have a little wriggle of the shaft and transmission gear alignment which suited that design well, but I believe the new motor assembly is a tighter system at this connecting point between motor/transmission gear/chassis. The glitch I experienced I believe was a very slight misalignment during assembly. I am happy to report that the loco runs like a dream, it is quiet and runs at very low speeds.

Photos: under the hood of the 88923 shows wire leads from motor soldered to chassis pick-ups which are taped down to facilitate removal and installation of shell. Note: solid motor case with no access points for oiling, this is a maintenance free system. Normal sparse oiling of wheel-sets still applies. Hiding wires will be part of this new world of mini-club, but this example has deep channels on each side to hold the wires flush and out of sight.

The new loco for Kay.Bay.Sts.B is not only a great runner, it is a wonder to watch the lively action of the side rods. The shell detailing and paint scheme complete this work of art, it is spectacular!!!!

Note: instructions that were packed with my loco show it with the old 5 pole E251 202. The installation of the new motor in this loco may not have been originally planned, but you will know which motor you have in this loco by looking at it: solid case is that of the new brushless motor original 3 and 5 pole motors had a center bushing that required a very lite drip of oil periodically.

Link: original instructions for the 88923 showing 5 pole brush motor thus incorrect oiling instructions are outlined

https://static.maerklin.de/damcontent/8e/b3/8eb3f2fa2c6e805cc71c54ea3801462c1489755052.pdf

Photo: view of two Bavarian class S 3/6’s with new brushless motor (bottom: 88923) and former brush motor type (top: 8108)

Siding: motor upgrades have been available for all the mini-club locos since the 5 pole was introduced on the BR 143 in 1998 with some requiring soldering, I don’t think future upgrades with the brushless motor will be available to convert this locomotive class in former releases due to the machining of the frame with the 2 motor alignment holes.

Group Effort: introducing E 69 electric Z-Modellbau

Faller and Marklin will help me introduce the superb Z-Modellbau E 69 02 “Pauline”  electric locomotive for DB (article #2101).

The prototype was built in variations starting in 1905 culminating in 1930. A beautiful model of the prototype never offered in Z except by Z-Modellbau.

I will be posting some interesting research on electric locos coming in the future but for now many photos and not many words.

 

Handrails and add-on parts bring great detail to this loco that is not surpassed by any manufacturer.

Metal construction with brass gearing and brushless motor are standard features of Z-Modellbau.

Z-Modellbau locomotives are delivered in a small blue box lined with foam and small instruction sheet noting this locomotive is maintenance free and should not be taken apart.

FR: SJ BP tank car uniquely paired Marklin MSI

Ever wonder how many Marklin MSI’s have been produced? I have and one extraordinary collector has them all, his audacity in acquiring them is an achievement in itself winning him the Guinness Book of World Records for the feat in 2006, his name is Gilles Monk of Belgium.

One relatively obscure Marklin Special Imprint is a tank car lettered for BP and used on the SJ: type 8612 mini-club tank car lettered for BP Svenska released in 1989 with Koll’s #89717 and Miba/Monk #423 released in an edition of 200.

Here the 1989 MSI tank car (top) is paired with a superb repainting and lettering for BP/SJ by FR with item number 46.396.01 and produced in a total edition of 35 with black paint scheme.

This is a reworked Marklin mini-club tank car that is infrequently offered by FR to round out various types of Scandinavian rolling stock. Reworked and repainted includes newly designed and richly detailed metal add-on parts (more intricate than the original) and complete removal of original paint and lettering. This type of production is labor intensive from research to final car thus making these releases attractive historically, and small batch release makes them ever more collectible.

New Propulsion: Marklin’s foray into brushless motors

This isn’t the first, and it won’t be last post commenting on the new motors for Marklin Z. With progress comes nervousness and apprehension about the future, and the new Marklin motors for Z are one such progression.

Oiling the wheel sets and keeping the wheels clean is all that is required for maintaining these new motors and locos. The new generation of Marklin Z includes numerous new item releases, re-tooling of older designs, greater detail of running gears, pantograph screws moved to the inside of electric locos, and new propulsion. In some cases the new propulsion replaces 3 and 5 pole motors used in older well known locos, and other newly tooled locos are designed with the new motor types. Brushless motors have been used by numerous manufacturers of Z with excellent results including FR, Z-Modellbau and Archistories.

My open question: Should Marklin start using this new technology? On the one hand the 5 pole was a very positive replacement for the 3 pole: quieter with smoother running performance, but the brushless motors are supposed to be even more quiet and smoother with lower idling speeds. There is more maintenance with the 3 and 5 pole including replacing brushes and unlocking transmission and running gears when oil hardens from prolonged storage. Everything seems to support this new advancement, but for some maybe not. The traditional motor is strong and durable winning the Guinness World Record for continuous running: 1219 hours in 1978. If it isn’t broke why fix it? Which takes me to the impetus for this post and my personal experience with the new steam loco 88974 featuring the new motor. Inexplicably this loco stops dead in its tracks on a clean oval test track after running well for a few minutes, it will resume running in the opposite direction before returning to running forward until it stops again. Problem solving with the traditional motor is easy with the new one it is more elusive. Possibly more precision is required to align the new motor and gearing owing to the precision hand assembly at FR and Z-Modellbau and their mastery with this new type of motor? Collectors of Marklin Z are in the early stages of acquiring Marklin locos with the new motor and maybe this is simply the “learning curve” phase.

Side by side comparison of the same class loco (new and old) shows the adaptation of the new motor in an older mini-club loco type. Locomotive Serie 231 Pacific lettered for SNCF from Orient Express set 8108 (1988-1997 released with 3 pole motor which can upgrade to 5 pole) photo: top shelf and Class S 3/6 lettered for K.Bay.Sts.B (One Time Series 2015 New Releases with current brushless 5 pole motor) photo: bottom shelf.

Note: larger physical presence of new motor extending outside the cab than the older brush motor.

Siding: Google brushless motors for detailed description versus brush motors and share your insights with me, I would enjoy adding to my understanding and education with this new technology. Cheers to Marklin for the continuing evolution of Z gauge.

 

Looking at Old Photographs for Modeling Ideas Part 5: Farmsteads

Tilled earth, tractors, cows, horses, wagons, people, crops and fruit trees are just a few of the many items a modeler can include with the rural landscape. But missing no more are really good barns and farmhouses in laser cut kits by Faller and Archistories. The recent release of two versions of a farmhouse and barn come from Archistories and include framework construction as does the earlier release by Faller. But Marklin too released a barn (slaughterhouse) with suggested stucco construction. So thus far there are many farm buildings with Archistories receiving the big award for Best in Show!

Archistories “Kallental” (ARC-405171) and “Dorpeder” (ARC-406171)

Faller Bauernhaus (282785)

Marklin 89791 (slaughterhouse including accessories not pictured)

Photo 1: Hartum (village near Hille, Germany)

Photo 2: Hille. Uphoff (note steam tractor)

Photo 3: Horstmeyer. Hille

Photo 4: Hille. Meyers (seed company? note: large barrels, crates and merchants)

Photo 5: Hille. Burmester (note: white wash chipping off stucco suggesting age)

Photo 6: Hille. Wilhelmy (note: farmhouse with stucco and barn with brick in fill framework construction)

Photo 7: Hille. Horstmeyer (note: muddied path with puddle)

Photo 8: Hille. Bormeyer (note: barn with whitewashed brick in fill and fruit trees planted alongside barn)

Siding: MBZ building kits are available from Reynauld’s in IL, they feature numerous rural buildings and farmsteads but purchasing can be delayed for many months due to small production never the less they maybe of interest to certain themed layouts.

Good luck and have fun!

 

Marklin Maintenance Facilities: 1 + 2 + 3

Marklin has thus far released three maintenance facility laser cut kits with related accessories starting with 89805 (2015): “Small Railroad Maintenance Facility, 89806 (2016): “Small Maintenance Facility” and 89807 (2017): “Maintenance Facility Setup”. All kits are available.

89805 includes a small loco shed with an attached workshop, small water tower, standpipe, coal loading bin with crane and buckets, plus two cast metal speeders for rail inspections (*includes track compatible rollers).

89806 includes a two stall loco shed, Prussian water tower, cast metal power shovel, sanding tower, 2-inspection pits and blasting rack.

89807 includes Sulzdorf freight shed, track scale structure, tool rack with tools, oil standpipe, smokestack, and handcar.

Build all three: Accessories in each kit complete the tools and equipment for maintaining steam locomotives thus building all three affords a realistic representation of steam maintenance facilities. The only redundancy in the three kits are the first two loco sheds but each can be used in various parts of a layout including the first loco shed alongside a small rural station for rail bus storage. Two water towers are included in these kits: one paired with a standpipe and the other representing Prussian design.

Notes on construction: Several challenges exist completing the various kits including filigree cutouts that layer over building sidings, small parts to assembly and the intricate nature of working small. Careful preparation will go along way including precise cutting of parts, alignment and gluing. Magnifying goggles, tweezers and small drops of wood glue are all that is needed. I recommend Noch glue for laser cut available from ZScaleHobo.com, this is an easy to apply strong glue and superb to apply right from the tube due to the small applicator.

Special challenges with these kits: Window glazing requires manual cutting and measuring unlike some kits which diecut the glazing. Loco doors on the second kit’s shed do not have glazing frames so the glazing is glued directly onto door panels, perhaps consider some customizing to add a subtle frame around the windows(?). Some filigree parts are lightweight paper so great care needs to be taken to avoid rippling of the paper thus achieved with very little glue applied. *A glue stick is ideally suited to avoid applying moisture to paper constructions but in the case of laser cut buildings in Z it is unsuitable for a variety of reasons.

Marklin 89807

Rating: All three kits are perfectly tuned to Z scaling and rich in details. The freight shed in 89807 is superb as are the water towers which isn’t to say any of the other constructions in these kits are anything less. I would highly recommend all three kits, they were super easy to build with noted special challenges the finished buildings look great.