FR Week: Interregio coaches 46.220.42 + 46.221.42

Several firsts with the recent release of FR’s SJ coach sets, they are the first coaches designed and manufactured by FR, and they are the first SJ coaches modeled for Z gauge. Plus these sets include interior detailing first introduced by Z-Bahn a number of years ago, now it is a feature of new releases by Marklin and FR this being an example.

The two coaches set follow the attractive paint scheme blue with red stripe. Any paint scheme for the RC2 and 3 locos can prototypically pull these cars, it is up to preference. The coaches feature fine detailing and prototypically depicted metal window frames.

46.220.42 includes 1- each 1st class and 2nd class type 1960- talsvagn Interregio A+B

46.221.42 includes 1 2nd class and 1- 1st/2nd class type 1960- talsvagn Interregio A/B + B

Note: yellow stripe indicates 1st class and turquoise represents 2nd class.

The model has a unique solution for the car weights, it is seated on the undercarriage and features fine detailing in cast metal. Car sets are delivered without interior lighting, but lighting can be added and FR has provided pre-drilled holes in the trucks to allow for wiring.

Siding: several paint schemes have been proposed for later releases, they will represent various time-frames in SJ passenger travel.

FR Week: SJ Container Transport Set 46.818.04

A very interesting freight transport type are container cars lettered for international shipping companies. All over the United States and abroad shipping containers arrive in port then carried by truck or train to various destinations, Marklin and FR have released a number of interesting European individual cars, sets and trainsets.

FR’s recent release of a 4 car container set (FR 46.818.04) is lettered for Safmarine, HYUNDAI, HAMBURG SUD, and MAERSK SEALAND on cars lettered for Swedish MidCargo AB. Collectors can opt to run these cars on any Scandinavian railway and choose to realistically weather them as mentioned by Harald Freudenreich.

The prototype is a rebuilt class Os low side gondola modified for container service redesignated class Lgns 443. This car type is seen in Sweden heavily rusted which can be achieved by weathering. The model includes 4 cars with permanently mounted containers. A beautiful set with weathered wheel sets to use in mixed freight or unit trains!

As always FR packs there cars in custom foam lined acrylic boxes: very high production quality!

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.

FR Week: NSB Auto Transport 47.819.02

Auto transport is one type of freight all world railroads carry as a load, but in Norway autos are sheltered from vandals and the elements in enclosed boxcars. Type Hccrrs auto transport cars are very interesting in design and function owing to their unique appearance. A bellows gangway connects the cars with signage lettering for Auto Transport Service A.s Drammen.

FR’s attention to detail and precision manufacturing is evident in these cars, much time passed between announcement of the new release and availability: several years in fact. Modeling the bellows connection slowed release until a perfect solution was achieved. Design and manufacturing are slow going processes that perfectionist manufacturers like FR have in common with other firms thus if not as many releases are coming out of your favorite manufacturer it is probably due to how much they care about getting it right.

Model: metal construction with permanent metal drawbar connecting pairs of cars with marklin couplers.

The cars in this set are sold in pairs with item ending in ’02’ indicating two pairs thus this item number is 47.819.02 (47 indicating country code for NSB).

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.

 

Shapeways: New Directions in Z Modeling

3-D printing is all the rage these days, any manner of thing seems to be offered by this new technology. And now Z items are available through the company Shapeways. I hadn’t even thought about searching for such things but a few months ago I came across the Shapeways website. My Wife and I had a day off in some far off land so I had time to check out the 12 pages of Z gauge offerings by a number of designers, and I found it very enjoyable and ordered one. The item I ordered was a German class 701 catenary maintenance locomotive, it arrived packed in a sturdy box by the time we got home from our trip.

It is interesting to order from Shapeways, items are printed on demand with the disclaimer that the order maybe cancelled if Shapeways feels the item is too delicate to print so presumably not everything is available. The item I ordered was printed, and I am very happy with the finished shell. The plastic is translucent with a slight texture that will take paint well. Because of the translucent material lighting the loco will be disappointing unless a solution is made by masking (later problem to work through).

The locomotive came in two parts including the main shell and service platform. Detailing and design is quite excellent including warning beacon lights and roof top observation window. Shell has the same specs as the standard Marklin railbuses so adding a chassis and motor will be easy. A small hole is included in the roof to accommodate the single arm pantograph. Challenges for completing this project include painting and thus masking for three separate painting phases: safety yellow, gray and silver. Note: I find it easier to paint the dark color first inside and outside shell, finishing the roof as the final paint is what I do. Brushing the silver hardware for windows and black paint for buffers plus any touch-ups before following up with the final matte clear coat. Much easier to airbrush using water based paint diluted to flow through the airbrush used. Attaching the work platform permanently with 5 minute epoxy only, but the cool loco is designed for a pivoting work platform secured with a screw.

The prototype well depicted by the 3-D printed model as can be seen with two paint schemes by Marklin and Trix, and the roof observation hood as seen in the third photo of the prototype:

photo: Trix N scale class 701

photo: Marklin HO class TVT 6219 Esn

photo: prototype class 701

Notes on Shapeways products for Z: many curious items are offered including autos and loads as well as buildings, locos and rolling stock. These are projects that need to be completed and some that are offered will be more successful than others.

Z-Modellbau: NSB shunting locomotive

Well covered in other scales is the small shunting locomotive types, Marklin has yet to release a motorized/non-mortorized version of the the Kof, but with new advancements in brushless motors perhaps they will in the future.

Z-Modellbau like other small precision ‘Z’ manufacturers offers locos and rolling stock Marklin does not.

Engineering masterpieces of the smallest size Z-Modellbau has lead the field in releasing not just Kof locomotives but also railbuses and steam locos.

Years ago Railex and Schmidt were the first to release non motorized Kof’s, but Z-Modellbau is the first and only to offer motorized versions.

Impossibly small size without limitations on operating characteristics these are precision locomotives with brass gearing and 10V motors.

The manufacturer cautions taking these apart, but they also explain they are maintenance free so no oiling just cleaning the wheels and track is sufficient to keep things working well.

Aesthetically these have a 5 star “WOW” factor, they are beautiful to behold with separately applied nickel handrails and brake hoses plus crisp lettering and flawless paint. This loco has window glazing too!

Description of the model: painted and lettered for NSB (Norwegian State Railway) class Skd211 (Kof II). Enclosed cab with non working headlamps. Maintenance free brushless 10V motor. Marklin compatible couplers of unique design. Z-Modellbau article #3113.

Perfect Partners: Archistories, FR, Z-Modellbau

Three manufacturers from Germany are probably the best small manufacturers in Z gauge today, each complementing one another with prototypical accuracy, precision engineering and design plus high quality material build. Each has their niche filling in where Marklin has not including early Prussian building kits, Scandanavian locos and rolling stock plus small locomotive classes untouched by any other manufacturer of Z.

The smallest operating locomotive in Z is represented in the offerings of Z-Modellbau, here is a Kof II painted and lettered for the NSB Railway coupled to FR Freudenreich’s container car for the SJ.

Far smaller in length than a single container car this locomotive features a brushless motor and brass gearing with metal shell.

In another photo a Prussian car-shop is juxtaposed alongside the tiny Kof II locomotive classified Skd211 for the NSB.

Siding: Kof style locomotives are essential for shunting and regional service with simplified operating procedures, a no nonsense locomotive with many useful duties. I plan to operate this one along a pier for shunting harbor freight.

quality-toys-trains on Ebay is the only USA dealer for FR and Z-Modellbau, Andreas is a trusted seller of rare Z!!!

Archistories: Farmstead “Dorpeder”

The other day I announced on this blog the new releases of Archistories, and there are many! Now the world of Z has some excellent buildings for urban and rural by this manufacturer and others, but modern suburban buildings are not covered as yet in laser cut. The Prussian style of architecture is a primary concern for Archistories with many very interesting building types represented with some equipped with motors that turn water wheels and windmills. All Archistories buildings making lighting a joy with predrilled holes in the base and partition walls, but the material nature of laser cut is opaque and won’t glow as does plastic when it is lit.

This farmhouse represents framework construction of the Westphalia region of Germany. Brick is used to fill in between the timbers sometimes the bricks are white washed with the prototype or simply stuccoed, they come in many variations and framework designs in Germany are rather unique seemingly organic constructions with personalities of their own. The wild variety of timber placement in this type of construction sometimes appears planned following some measure of symmetry and other times asymmetrical owing to unique and non duplicated forms. Framework construction with exposed timbers is seen alone and other times combined with sheathing along the roof trusses, brick and stone also make appearances not exclusive to foundation walls. The durable construction technique is also facilitated with strong foundations and steep pitched roofs of slate, terracotta or thatch.

The build of this kit is fun and enjoyable, the finished result is the best thus far in Z for a farmhouse. Some aging maybe desired depending on the era being modeled. The prototype for this example I would guess is mid 19th century to early 20th century when steam ruled and before German reclassification.

ZScaleMonster.com and ZScaleHobo.com are the dealers for Archistories in the United States, both are excellent and reliable sources for this and many more Z scale products.

Eisenbahn Journal: Literature for European Train Enthusiasts

Two plugs here for a fine publication and the dealer who sells it. For collectors interested in studying the technical details of European trains modeled by Marklin the Eisenbahn Journal with its large format and beautiful photographs will inspire such research. Unfortunately the Journal is only available in German text but the numerous photographs alongside google searches will enable some good armchair journeys into the history of Swiss, German and Austrian trains. Plus layout and scale modeling articles not unlike railroading magazines in the United States.

A special edition of the Journal is called “Extra” and features a yellow tab on the cover. Extra’s are special editions each with a particular theme either a railroading era or specific locomotives. This edition also includes a DVD playable on computer but not compatible with USA DVD’s. The cost in the United States is $30 per issue which may seem like a lot until you have one to examine in person.

Only one dealer in the United States seems to sell these fine magazines and they are Reynauld’s of Elburn, IL. Reynauld’s has a big presence on the internet featuring the best website for model trains, it does not feature inventory levels which is a bit of a drawback but contacting them before ordering is the best way if there is an item that you fear is no longer available.

The “Ludmilla” issue is a particular favorite of mine along with the V200 Extra issue which includes a couple of photos of the mighty V300.

Located in the very small town of Elburn, IL Reynauld’s is located in a defunct bank on Main Street near a mainline servicing Chicago. My Wife and I visit the shop a couple of times a year, it is fun to look at fine very limited production HO models displayed in cases as well as the Eisenbahn Journal room with hundreds of back issues for sale. Plus there are the numerous Z accessories, new and old Marklin items. You never know what you might find so give yourself plenty of time. Operated by brothers Rey and Roman who are real European train guys Reynaulds is a great resource for collectors. Here you will not only find great prices but the shop also features a buyers club, every purchase adds money to your Reynauld’s Rewards account, but you have to sign up for it.

Siding: the link for the Eisenbahn Journal can be found on the left margin of Reynauld’s website: https://www.reynaulds.com/eisenbahn.aspx

Siding: Reynauld’s is the exclusive USA dealer for MBZ building kits.