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Heljan 'O' Gauge 61xx Large Prairie


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5105, new out of the shops in 1929 for its works grey portrait, and looking rather handsome.

 

The works foreman will be ticking himself off for letting it go public before the lamp irons were fitted...

 

attachicon.gif5105-front-end.jpg

A bit late I know, but locos and rolling stock were often photographed against a white sheet (canvass?) to aid the people who washed out the background on the developed photographic glass plates. The lamp irons, being grey, have not properly registered, but they were there...I can see them.

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On the latest catalog from Hattons a mate of tells me it’s says release date is 2019 is this right or a printing error.

Cheers Gareth

Hi Gareth

I emailed last week and they are saying 3rd quarter of this year, I guess the westerns May be out before them now.

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  • 2 months later...

The wheels just don't look right in the photo on Tower's website, the rims are far too thick. Body looks excellent though! 

Jeff

 

Latest photos of the mogul on Tower's website seem to have improved wheels - presume these will apply to the Prairie as well.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi All,

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for a decent retailer who will offer the Large Prairie with a dcc sound fitting service? I’m not a DIY kind of guy, I rather pay to have it done well for me. So far I’m struggling to find a retailer who will be offering the service. Looks like it’s going to be considerably cheaper in this instance to first just buy the basic dc version from a big retailer and then go through the hassle of using a third party for the dcc fitting service.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

As the RTR 0 gauge locos get bigger and heavier, I hope the mechanisms and gearing are keeping pace.  Folk working in this scale have been used to heavy metal-built locos hauling their trains and will quite naturally hang the same trains on their new plastic RTR locos. Already, I have heard of stripped gearing.

 

The Heljan 'Large Prairie' looks a model to die for, but I would say this. The LMS can keep its large tanks...

Edited by coachmann
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I have heard of stripped gearing.

 

Is it stripped gears that you have heard about or is it defective plastic gears supplied by this manufacturer's factory in China that have split due to 'cold shuts' during their injection moulding? Split gears have been reported on earlier models that have not turned a wheel.  David

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Is it stripped gears that you have heard about or is it defective plastic gears supplied by this manufacturer's factory in China that have split due to 'cold shuts' during their injection moulding? Split gears have been reported on earlier models that have not turned a wheel.  David

I don't know at this stage. All I know is the weight of the train had something to do with the loco stopping leaving it with a sort of grinding plastic sound. I dont know if the owner of this particular casualty has investigated the problem.

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I think I should add to this page some information on the 61XX Large Prairie.  I was able to buy one from Tower Models on Sunday at Telford.  It is one of their specials, un-numbered, early BR black.  As far as I know it was the only one at the show so I felt lucky.

 

On getting home I found that the sealed packet containing the bogies only had one screw.  The models comes mounted on a plank of wood with fixings where the bogies will fit. So far I have contacted Tower Models who rightly referred me to Howes.  I received a reply this afternoon that:

 

Paul,

Unfortunately we have not as yet received any spares for these locos. Suggest you try later.
Regards, Howes
 
I am not sure how long I should have to wait before trying again!  I have copied Howes' reply to Tower Models in the hope that a more definite answer will be forthcoming.  Surely now that Howes has my email address they could inform me when the "spare"* parts arrive?
 
It looks to be a well executed model, certainly heavy and certainly nicely detailed, except for the plastic coal which is full right to the top and will have to be cut away before adding any of the real stuff.  I will be adding DCC sound eventually and it would appear I may be restricted to Loksound V4.0 with a 21 pin on board connector which means I may not be able to have the Youchoos Zimo decoder.  I am not entirely sure because the link in the instructions to Heljan.dk/61XX has yet to have any information on it!
 
Paul
 
* note on spares - I am not looking for "spares" as the model came with one less screw than I thought I had bought.
 
I have a Heljan 43XX Mogul on order but I am having second thoughts about it right now.
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Better news now as I have heard from Ben Jones, Heljan UK.  The spares will be arriving soon and he will make sure I get the missing screw as soon as possible.

 

Much better news!

 

Paul

Paul, I would have just returned the loco to "Tower Models", as not being sold in a complete state, and asked for a replacement. Why should you have to do the chasing around to fix a problem that was sold to you as new??

 

Mike

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I appreciate the comments above. As I live between 3 countries, normally France and England but right now Wales, returning items can get confusing. I do believe in “buyer beware” so some of the responsibility is mine, not just the manufacturer, spares supplier and retailer. My main objection is not just quality control but the response from Howes, basically call us later rather than, we’ve got your email adress now and will contact you when we have the spares. Ben Jones gave me a much more confident response.

 

Paul

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The attitude of more than one of the big name o gauge retailers is shocking when it comes to issues like this - in similar cases I’ve had in the past they simply don’t want to take responsibility- even though you are buying retail and they are the retailer. I’ve been told to get replacement parts ‚by my own means‘, I’ve been laughed at when I’ve told the retailer that items have arrived damaged, them saying ‚best just to glue the bits back on‘. I was furious. It seems to be unique to the uk o gauge market. If I compare the service I get from German 1 gauge retailers, it’s ridiculous. The uk guys should be embarrassed- but I love English trains too much not to suffer them!

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Received my model today. Un numbered early BR crest as requested. First impressions good heavy model. Quibbles-the moulded tank lifting eyes on top of the tanks, screw which holds bogies on quite small but hopefully ok, wheels look pretty good but delicate-think they would be on last turning size if this was a prototype. Within half an hour of opening the box had it to bits ( what are we like eh!) Came apart easy. Coal came out ok (the bit that protects the top rear lamp comes out which makes removing the coal load easier) and space underneath for a stay alive capacitor.

I am, however, quite perplexed by the fitting of a sound chip. I am not usually phased by these things but not come across quite this arrangement before and the instructions don’t say much. I assume the chip needs to be hard wired and soldered to the plate which had the blanking plate attached to? ( If anyone has any guidance would appreciate it) Unfortunately the chip I have is a 21 pin but I do have an ESU mounting plate for a 21 pin with tails so guess I should be able to do something just not sure that’s the most elegant method.post-17156-0-00315900-1536421779_thumb.jpeg

Edited by thestourbridgelion
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Good to know the coal comes out easily!  I had visions of cutting it out to replace with real coal.

 

I agree with you about the DCC fitting instructions being sketchy.  However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel in that there will be a page to help in the future:

 

Heljan.dk/61xx

 

It was empty last time I looked (just now).

 

I had been hoping to fit a 21 pin decoder but your photo suggests that the mounting plate is for a larger scale decoder.  I would be interested to know the amperage rating on the motor used, it could be more than 1.5 amps which could rule out the decoder in your photo.  Again, this information should be forthcoming now that the model has been released.

 

Paul

 

Edit to add - As you have bought one of the Tower Models specials (like me) they do offer a DCC fitting service and I am sure they would tell you what decoder they plan to use.

Edited by Focalplane
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Thanks Focalplane. I wouldn’t say the coal comes out easily but if you remove the lamp iron guard (pulls out vertically) and make sure the snug fitting pipe, on the right looking at back of bunker, is clear using a scalpel then it was possible to ease it out starting at the back in the middle.

As I already have a 21pin decoder I do want to use that. Luckily I have an ESU decoder mounting plate with tails which I now think can be fitted reasonably ok.

I will keep an eye on the website in case some revelation appears!

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I appreciate the comments above. As I live between 3 countries, normally France and England but right now Wales, returning items can get confusing. I do believe in “buyer beware” so some of the responsibility is mine, not just the manufacturer, spares supplier and retailer. My main objection is not just quality control but the response from Howes, basically call us later rather than, we’ve got your email adress now and will contact you when we have the spares. Ben Jones gave me a much more confident response.

 

Paul

Paul,

 

I understand what you mean, however, it's the sellers responsibility to supply the goods in a working order. Recently I had an issue with the Dapol 5700 loco that I ordered from "Rails of Sheffield". There was a missing part and another was broken on arrival. I made a call to them and they sent me a pre paid return label and then supplied another loco without any questions being asked. Now that is what I call service. A turn around of about 5 days and when the replacement loco arrived, all was OK.. Don't put up with fob offs from retailers. The law states that the goods should be fit for purpose.

 

Mike

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I appreciate the comments above. As I live between 3 countries, normally France and England but right now Wales, returning items can get confusing. I do believe in “buyer beware” so some of the responsibility is mine, not just the manufacturer, spares supplier and retailer. My main objection is not just quality control but the response from Howes, basically call us later rather than, we’ve got your email adress now and will contact you when we have the spares. Ben Jones gave me a much more confident response.

 

Paul

 

Hi Paul,

I know Ben, he's a good chap - so would be confident in any advice he's given you.

 

 

Edit to add - As you have bought one of the Tower Models specials (like me) they do offer a DCC fitting service and I am sure they would tell you what decoder they plan to use.

 

 

I believe Tower always use an ESU Loksound XL if that helps - at least thats what people I know who've enquired have been told.  

 

Im looking at acquiring one shortly, and hoping to put a Zimo chip in it with one of Paul Chetter's sound projects (im hoping he does the large Prairie!) ... I know this is a BR example, so has the smokebox number plate, but has anyone any suggestions for removing the buffer beam numbers on the GWR examples?  Will be going to Severn Mill for the cab side cast numbers, and I gather Fox or HMRS methfix are the best options for replacement buffer beam numbers?

 

@theStourbridgeLion I'll be interested to see how you get on with the sound fitment, if you could do some pictures. Im presuming stayalive in the bunker, and speaker in the boiler barrel?

 

Certainly look nice models.

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Thanks, I thought it looked like the platform for a Loksound XL.  This suggests the motor has a higher amperage than the regular Loksound 4.0.  I won't be buying a decoder until I know for sure.  I think that using Loksound does mean less choice in sound files from the likes of Youchoos, etc.

 

At least I now have plenty of time to do the research  (Every cloud has a silver lining!)

 

Paul

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Thanks, I thought it looked like the platform for a Loksound XL.  This suggests the motor has a higher amperage than the regular Loksound 4.0.  I won't be buying a decoder until I know for sure.  I think that using Loksound does mean less choice in sound files from the likes of Youchoos, etc.

 

At least I now have plenty of time to do the research  (Every cloud has a silver lining!)

 

Paul

 

 

Is there any particular reason your looking at a Loksound?  I standardised on Zimo a while back - ok, it may just be me, but I think there is far more control over the decoders, ability to reprogram them extensively if I wanted, and the sound always seem to have more definition and be crisper, although admittedly a lot of the latter could be down to the standard of microphones used in the recording.

 

Rich

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