Saturday, January 31, 2009

Updated Layout Photos

Getting ready to do a big swap of stock on the layout, all DR (Deutsche Reichsbahn of the DDR) for a while so took a bunch of new pictures. That, and the old pics were 3+ years old. Here some samples.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Book Recommendations

After reading a review in Trainini, a German-language online publication for z-scale modelers I decided to order both publications. Both of these publications are excellent reference works for modelers for the ever popular Era III (1950s - 1960s), and in the case of Modellbahnzugbildung beyond. Also provided are very useful tips on various modeling and detailing techniques.

Epoche III describes the 50s and 60s both from a societal and railroading perspective helping the modeler get all the little details right – housing, industries, automobiles, and much more. In Modellbahnzugbildung train composition is the focus covering everything from locals to today's high speed trains and freights of all kinds. Details about the models (manufacturer...) are also provided.

Don't read German? The images in both books tell the story quite well, showing a combination of prototypes and models, the latter having been taken on some of the most well known model layouts with both DB and DR covered in both books. Interestingly enough some classic Märklin models are also shown on these puko/stud-free layouts.

For those that haven't ordered from, it's just like and you can use the same login info. Delivery is usually quite fast and reliable and the value added tax is automatically deducted from orders making the price more reasonable, especially giben the € vs. $ exchange rate.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Slider Modifications on Fleischmann BR94

Fortführung von / Continuation of Fleischmann BR94 aus 185101 set

(Ab Werk) Schleifer Befestigung bei der Fleischmann BR94. Der braune Plastik stöpsel wird in die plastic Bodenplatte geklipst. Dieser geringert die Bodenfreiheit um etwas 2+ Millimeter was zum hängenbleiben auf Entkupplungsgleisen und holpern über Weichen führt.

OEM attachment of the slider on the Fleischmann BR94. The brown plastic plug clips into the plate at the bottom of the engine. This reduces the ground clearance by a bit over 2 millimeters causing the engine to get hung up on decoupling tracks and bumping when going over some turnouts.

Der Stöpsel (1) wurde raus gezogen um den Schleifer zu entfernen, die Laschen (2) wurden gerade gebogen und dann abgetrennt, und die Platte (3) wurde entfernt. An die Platte (4) ist der Draht für die Stromaufnahme gelötet, ist aber sonst lose.

The plug (1) was pulled out to remove the slider, the bent over tabs (2) were trimmed off, and the plate (3) was removed. The power pickup wire is soldered to the plate (4), but this is not otherwise secured to the engine.

Der Schleifer wurde dann direkt an die Platte (4) gelötet. Die Platte (3) wurde nicht wieder verwendet. Die Platte (4) wurde dann mit Sekundenkleber auf die Bodenplatte geklebt.

The slider was then soldered directly to the plate (4). This assembly was then glued to the baseplate of the engine with CA adhesive. Plate (3) was not reused.

Der Schleifer liegt jetzt direkt auf der Bodenplatte der Lok.

The slider now sits directly on the baseplate of the engine.

Durch diesen Umbau bleibt die Lok nicht mehr auf den Entkupplungsgleisen hängen und durchfährt auch alle Weichen viel besser. Nur die 3-wegweiche verursacht noch glegentlich Schwierigkeiten, das aber nur beim links Abbiegen in Rückwärtsfahrt. Hier kann die Lok dann immernoch vom Gleis springen, aber wie im Video gezeigt geht es auch sanft durch.

The engine no longer hangs up on the uncoupler tracks and it makes it through the turnouts much more smoothly. The 3-way switch still causes occasional problems when forking to the left running backwards. Here it still jumps occasionally to derail, but as the video shows it can also go through smoothly.

Higher quality video here at YouTube.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gliederzug (articulated train) of the DR

I recently acquired this Sachsenmodelle gliederzug set of the Deutsche Reichsbahn (DR) that was built starting in 1952 by the VEB Waggonbau Görlitz based on pre-war designs of the LBE. More info can also be found in the Wiki. The basic unit was a 4-car bi-level, designated DB13. The axle configuration was 2 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 2, total length 73 400 mm, whereby 2 cars shared a 3-axle bogie.

A two-car configuration, DB7, was also used particularly on branch lines.

While not "normal" 3-car units were occasional run if one of the cars was out of service.

In the 70s some were reconfigured to run in push-pull operation with the addition of control cabs. The model represents early era 3 before the 2nd and 3rd classes were combined (klassenreform). The car sets could also be found coupled into other consists with "normal" coaches as well.

While the BR 114 diesel in the pictures above post-dates the markings on the coaches, it needs to be understood that this is a "museum" consist owned by the VEB Waggonbau Görlitz and occasionally gets used in regular service. ;-)

To make the model work I replaced the original couplers with a 6574 Fleischmann close-coupling mechanism that is height adjustable and a 40396 Roco Universal coupler head. Installing these required cutting away some bits on the bottom of the end cars as well as an opening between the buffers so the mechanism could pivot. The bellows between the cars are made of paper and are in great shape. Wheels were swapped to 10.4 mm diameter Sachsenmodelle replacement AC wheelsets that brought the unit down to the proper height and really improved running and reliability through turnouts on my Märklin AC layout. The wheels were made by Bernd Thomschke (benno002-2) who sells all types of brass wheels and buffers via his eBay store at<> or direct at <>. From the US, the eBay store is easier. Very responsive vendor.

6574 Fleischmann

40396 Roco

In testing I tried just about every combination I had including some s-curves and tight turnout combinations in the main yard at increasing speeds and went through absolutely smoothly. Night and day difference in running - now completely reliable. It's a nice set, one I look forward to detailing, gently weathering, and most of all running.

Thanks to all the helpful people on the Drehscheibe Online, Railways of Germany, and WorldRailFans, and the Stummi fora.

In the video below a BR78 steam engine is pulling the consist.
For better quality video view it on YouTube.