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    Heljan UK representative, former editor of Model Rail magazine and BRM, involved in the model railway market professionally since 1996 and as a modeller for as long as I can remember.
    Interested in railways of all kinds, especially BR Sectorisation era, Woodhead electrics, Irish/German/Swiss railways and Class 50s. I model BR 'OO' late-1980s/early-1990s and late-1990s German/Swiss 'HO', amongst other things!

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  1. Sorry to read you’ve had problems with your 20. Sadly such things do happen occasionally and we are told to expect a failure rate of about 1% in motors. However that would usually manifest itself pretty quickly in the QC stage or immediately after purchase. Seems strange that it should begin behaving like this after 18 months though (unfortunately outside the warranty period) but possibly something inside has failed and there’s no way to pick that up at the QC stage if it is running as expected. As far as I’m aware, GM doesn’t have any spare motors yet, so my suggestion would be to try O
  2. Another new batch of gears is on order with the factory. I don’t have an ETA, but I hope they will be here sooner rather than later. Hope this helps Ben
  3. Hi Ray, My post doesn’t say the problem was resolved 12-15 years ago. What I said was the the issue was limited to models produced at that time and has not been an issue on anything produced since. Without seeing the models in question I can’t pass an opinion but it’s not unusual for modellers (me included) to have locos stored away for years before they are used. The problem can take some time to surface if models are only sporadically used. The original issue was caused by gears being fitted onto axles that were very slightly too large, introducing stress into the plastic part and
  4. Dear Ray, Thanks for bringing this to our attention (and thanks to Phil Parker for making me aware of the thread). Firstly, let me assure you that we do not take our customers for granted. We value your loyal support and constructive feedback, both positive and negative, especially where it allows us to improve our products/service. There are several points raised here, so allow me to deal with each in turn. 1) Gears: this issue was limited to certain early O gauge locos produced 12-15 years ago and was acknowledged and resolved many years ago. No recent models have suffered fr
  5. Dear All, Thanks for the all the recent replies to the roof line issue. Rails has reversed its previous decision and asked us to add the orange band. Fortunately we were still in a position to do this as the improved body decoration samples had not yet been produced. Revised artwork has already been approved and we expect the modified/improved samples shortly. Hope this Helps Ben
  6. Hi John, We've had long discussions about this and as the evidence is not conclusive, we have agreed with Rails that we will not apply the orange band around the roof line. We think that if it was applied, it was only for a short period as we have many more photos of it in green where no band is visible, both with the early emblem and the late crest. To be on the safe side, and to ensure each model is accurate for the widest possible period, we will keep the roof decoration as it is. Hope this helps Kindest Regards Ben
  7. Dear All, Thanks for the kind comments about the 18000 deco sample. Just to reassure everyone, we also feel that the waistband orange is too bright and we have asked the factory to modify it for the production locos. With regard to the main body green, it is matched to Railmatch 303 BR diesel loco green. We certainly wouldn't match it to the colour it is painted now. From memory, it was painted green during its stay at Barrow Hill - primarily to try and protect the disintegrating bodywork - and the paint was sourced from a local DIY store! Kindest Regards Be
  8. Remember that some of the parts mentioned above (MW jumpers, headcode inserts, for example) will be separate within the cab ends, which expands the number of ends possible. And we haven’t even touched the Scottish 47/7s yet. Also, some of these are ad hoc mods where we couldn’t justify the cost of tooling to include them, especially where they are specific to one loco. And if you’re counting preservation, the Cuban locos and individual exported locos you are really scraping the barrel! I think it shows how far we’ve come with regard to making provision for a huge range of detail variat
  9. We're very keen to do more O gauge wagons. I have a list of candidates that I would like us to add to the Heljan O gauge range that I'm certain would be popular. However, reasons beyond our control (rising production costs, low value of the £ compared to other currencies) are working against new wagon projects at the moment. When that changes, we will be delighted to produce more wagons.
  10. It's true that most (but certainly not all) of the necessary tooling was done at the same time as the first batch, hence why I was keen to ensure it was not wasted. But, no item numbers, loco IDs or liveries were announced by us at that time. It has always been our intention to offer the O2/1s and O2/2s but it was important for the first batch to sell through before we added more. It's not in anyone's interest for the retailers to be swamped with lots of broadly similar locos. Hope this helps. Ben
  11. This is only one of the two bodies we have tooled for the 86/4. The other has the later details you mention - different TDM pocket position and MW cables removed and plated over.
  12. Hi. As far as I’m aware these versions with the GN cabs and tenders were never previously announced, let alone cancelled. It’s before my time with the company but I understand that a retailer ‘announced’ them without any confirmation from Heljan. Whatever the situation was, it does not affect the models we are working on now.
  13. Why uneasy, if you don't mind me asking? There wasn't much new to say about the Gresley O2 and we had lots of other ground to cover. New versions are currently awaiting their turn in the queue for tooling. They haven't progressed as quickly as I'd hoped, but there's no need to worry!
  14. The raised square on the upper part of the cabside isn't a worksplate. In fact, we don't know what it is meant to be. It's not on the CAD, and we didn't ask for it, so it will be removed before any further samples are produced. We've identified a number of issues with this first body sample (the chassis is borrowed from a first batch model and the pantograph is from an AL6 sample) and they are being dealt with. Hope this helps Ben
  15. Hi Clive. I think you are confusing me with someone else. I’ve never worked for Hornby Magazine and had nothing to do with the DBT. The 15 and 23 date from well before I joined Heljan but I’m sorry if you felt your comments weren’t taken on board. Ben
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