Category Archives: SJ – Statens Järnvägar

Repainting 8135 coaches for the SJ: Part 3

This is the 3rd and final post on the repainting and lettering of the Marklin Dompfeil train set (8135) for the SJ.

Before (Marklin 8135):

After (SJ coaches using FR decal set):

At the start of this project I had never repainted a train car before or operated an airbrush thus much was learned.

SJ coaches in z scale have been extremely limited, FR released a type litt AB8k 1st and 2nd class in a single release of 30 only, FR 46.299.00 was based on a German built coach that was used on a ferry service. In order to accurately represent this coach FR modified a Marklin coach that was shortened by one window.

photo: FR 46.299.00 (edition: 30 total) – SJ type litt AB8k 1st and 2nd class coach

For those interested in SJ modeling in z there are numerous locos and freight cars by FR, but scant few passenger coaches until FR released a decal set several years ago intended for the Marklin 8135 coaches, these German built coaches for the Dompfeil train set were likewise used on the SJ.

The process of producing a set of 4 coaches started with disassembly of the coaches followed by stripping, in this post the final stages are documented including masking, painting, and lettering.

Identifying the sections to paint include the undercarriage, sides, and roof. The roof is a clip on part, it does not require masking unlike the shells. Painting two colors of the same part requires masking, I decided to start with the undercarriage and vestibules color, I sprayed the entire shells with this color with no masking.

Before applying the brown paint I masked off the vestibules and undercarriage. The masking material is similar to common masking tape, but it is markedly thinner with a slick surface, it also comes in a variety of widths. I chose masking tape of 6mm width manufactured by Tamiya.

After paint is dried the masking tape is removed, for areas not protected by masking retouching maybe required, I chose to paint the buffers with a brush as the final stage of painting, masking these seemed an impossible task and fine brush work produced great results.

The FR decals in the set are applied by rubbing onto the cars, they differ from other decals that are applied with water. The decals provided had alignment marks to make positioning easy, my burnishing tool was an artists’ burnishing bone, but a soft tipped lead pencil should work fine.

After decals are applied a final coat of clear lacquer is sprayed on to protect the finish and decals. And reassembly follows as the last step.

Notes on airbrushing: I purchased an Iwata Neo airbrush with an Iwata braided hose for just over $100. Several airbrush air compressors were available from the store I purchased the airbrush from with prices ranging in the $220-$300 range, I chose to use a Porter Cable pancake compressor I use for air tools. A fitting is available to connect the braided airbrush hose to this type of compressor for a few bucks. The only difference between an air tool compressor and a specialty airbrush compressor is one of noise, the airbrush compressor is very quiet while hearing protection is required with the pancake compressor. PSI (pressure per square inch) is a determined by testing on a piece of paper, I set the compressor gauge to 20 PSI which worked perfectly, others I researched recommend 15-20 PSI. Air brushes require cleaning after painting, cleaners are available or water can be used for acrylic paints. When the spray is clear the nozzle is clean, other parts should be cleaned as well. A cleaner between paint colors is also required.

Notes on paint: the consistency of paint should be the same as skim milk, most paints may require thinning with water to gain this consistency. I used Testors acrylic paints that I mixed to customize the color, they are railroad based colors that did not require any thinning. The clear coat I used is made by Iwata, it was the consistency of white glue and required thinning to spray. Acrylic paints dry quickly and can be layered on layer without skinning as can be the case with enamels or the combination of the two. The very best results will be achieved with 100% acrylic paints. Careful attention should be applied in mixing paints for airbrushing, straining maybe required to avoid clogs and poor paint results. For safety use a mask and gloves.

Notes on applying decals: as with much detail work careful consideration applies to attaching decals, they are transferred from a sheet to the model with burnishing tools. Best results are achieved with a level flat object, I use a specialty artists’ burnishing bone. Pointy tools will not work! Acrylic paints should be allowed to dry overnight to provide a hard surface for decal work. And very delicate handling until final spray coat of lacquer. I used clear lacquer with a satin finish which is consistent with Marklin’s coach finishes.

For close to two years I had the decal set and a second Marklin 8135 for this project, but I was reluctant to start due to lack of expertise. Plus I was apprehensive to strip the paint of mint Marklin coaches: after stripping there was no going back. I discovered that air brushing is easier than I thought producing a superior paint finish. Now I feel the airbrush is as important to the railroader as the soldering iron. Future uses for this new tool include weathering track, cars and locos.

Good luck and have fun!

Siding: FR’s Ra 987 electric locomotive is a compatible loco for this coach set, it is based on the prototype from the mid 1950’s:  FR 46.132.01 was produced in a limited series of 32 total, it is still available from quality-toys-trains on Ebay.

 

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.

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.

Freudenreich Feinwerktechnik (FR) : SJ Tc307

tc307_1

Harald Thom-Freudenreich just released a z gauge 2 axle loco with new tooling and design of a unique Scandinavian diesel-hydraulic snowplow: Tc307 for SJ Railways.

tc307_5

Built by NOHAB from 1969-1971 there were a total of 20 Serie Tc locomotives lettered for SJ bearing this paint scheme. In 1988 SJ’s Tc locomotives were transferred to Banverket and thus repainted and lettered for Banverket: yellow car body with white roof. A specialty locomotive for clearing the ever present snowfall in Sweden during winter it doubles as a general purpose loco in months without snow whose duties include maintenance of way and regional freight service.

tc307_6 tc307_4tc307_3

The model features superb detail and coreless motor, but due to its unique design lights were not possible.

tc307_2tc307_8

Sharing the rails with the Tc307 is the FR SJ Rc2 1103 which is comparatively larger than the Tc307.

tc307_9

Released this month FR’s 46.135.11 will be available in the future as kit form only for advanced modelers who have attained a high level of soldering and air brushing skills.

tc307_7

FR website: www.fr-model.homepage.t-online.de/

FR: SJ – Rolling Stock

FR rolling stock like the locos is precision made and precisely designed based on the prototypes. Build characteristics: separately applied details, metal chassis, body of injection molded plastic or metal, pad printing and sometimes decals.  And sometimes weathering is applied in special editions. These are little charmers that are even better in person.

SJ – Statens Jarnvagar freight cars:

_DSF9242

FR #46.807.01 – SJ type Lgs container wagon lettered for TOLLPOST GLOBE.

_DSF9235 _DSF9234 _DSF9233

FR #46.810.01 – SJ type Elos hopper lettered for Jarnmalmer. Full metal construction.

_DSF9232 _DSF9231

FR #46.811.01 – SJ type Gbs box car. Full metal construction.

_DSF9225

FR #46.811.31 – SJ/Roda Korset, type Gbs box car with weathering. Edition size: 25. Used by Roda Korset (Swedish Red Cross) for transporting used clothing. Full metal construction.

_DSF9237 _DSF9238

FR #46.811.61 – Green Cargo, type Dalm box car. Full metal construction.

_DSF9226 _DSF9227 _DSF9228_DSF9229

FR #46.816.01 – SJ, type Huvvagn Kis950 sliding roof car for transporting steel products. Limited edition: 40. Full metal construction.

 

 

 

FR Locomotives: SJ

Colorful locomotives designed for heavy duty operation in a difficult and unforgiving climate describes train operation in the Sweden. Sweden along with its Scandinavian neighbors have much to contend with as the winter months embrace these countries so of course snow plows are standard equipment and most propulsion is electric generated by hydro-electric plants. I would claim Sweden to be one of the best at climate change sensitivity, not only is the electric generated by turbines in the form of hydroelectric, but their Rc locos don’t last and last and last thereby reducing the impact on the environment from scraping and making more.

The Scandinavian train is found in Marklin’s HO scale, and only covered by them in Z for the MY locos for the DSB. All four versions by Marklin of the NOHAB locos are GREAT! FR has come along and provided an extensive line-up of rolling stock and locos for Scandinavian train enthusiasts including the next three examples:

_DSF9248 _DSF9251 _DSF9250 _DSF9249

FR #46.130.31 – SJ (Statens Jarnvagar – Swedish State Railways), class Rc-2 1103

_DSF9255 _DSF9254 _DSF9253 _DSF9252

FR #46.130.10 – SJ (Statens Jarnvagar – Swedish State Railways), class Rc-2 1037

_DSF9259 _DSF9258 _DSF9257 _DSF9256

FR #46.131.03 – BANVERKET, class ELL0003R