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Class A3 4-6-2 in O Gauge from Hatton's

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I am not too surprised at the strange design.


Having a 4mm Heljan O2 , which suffers from very unprototypical and flimsy valvegear and a motor totally enclosed in a metal casting which doesnt fit properly and a body that does'nt want to go back on, and poor quality unpainted mouldings in general .


Heljan's Narrow gauge Loco Exe etc, also  has build/design problems judging from that thread as as well, it certainly doesnt encourage me to want buy any more of their steam related range.

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On 14/11/2019 at 17:23, BRIBRI said:

Hi! I collected my A3 Scotsman as preserved last Friday and saw it run on Hattons test track. 
For the price it looks very, very good.

Gripes so far:-

No front steps.

The tender rear window does not line up with the corridor. 
The valve gear could be better. 

DCC is not totally catered for

The firebox is modelled closed. Not very helpful if you want an LED fire effect. 
The chimneys are not drilled through which apart from being unrealistic doesn’t help the sound get out. 
The decoder provision is in the tender with 6 wires going to the loco. If you want the LED fire box and a synchro cam you will need to take another 4/5 wires forward. 

I will investigate putting the decoder chip in the boiler but have not had it apart yet. The reason for this being that I decided to get my ESU 5L from South West Digital and they asked me to hold on while they perfected the chip CV’s specially for the Hattons A3. 
I am still waiting to hear from them but hopefully not too long. 
The A3 is a bargain and a credit to Hattons’s. Far better value than another brass RTR I purchased recently at over 3 times the price. Which by the way I have spent hours on fitting DCC and getting to run decently. 

Rgds BrianW


Just finished fitting the Loco with 2 X Speakers, should have it at Warley NEC this weekend hopefully, the Sound Project is finished so just making final adjustments re the running.


See https://www.dckits-devideos.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=88_72&product_id=1381


Pop in for a look!    Charlie (Legomanbiffo Team)

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18 hours ago, two tone green said:

Here are some photos of the inside of the A3. Odd set up to say the least. 
Simple things that would have helped and why did they do what they did. 

Fir me being heavily into DCC and sound I look at a model from that perspective as well as the overall appearance. 

Starting with the tender, why no holes in the base to let the sound out. I drilled some and it sounds ok but if course all the noise comes from the front end. 

That then takes me to the working part of the loco. Why oh why design the motor gearbox interface like they did. Terrible. It would have made sense to have a more conventional fit with the motor fixed to the rest of the drive mechanism with the body and any weights removable. 

Taking the top off is relatively easy, putting it back is a right faff due to you trying to hold the motor and ballast weight in place against the drive in the chassis with everything upside down and you cannot hold the motor and weight as it’s inside the boiler as well as keeping the front speaker wires out of the way and of course it’s all out of sight under everything 

And why oh why feed the speaker wires through two holes in the ballast weight restricting the ability to jiggle things around without snapping the wires. 

It was nice oh Heljan to include the wires for the front speaker but they are curled up inside the firebox requiring the user to remove the boiler motor and ballast weight. If they had been fed forward to the speaker area under the chimney and made the smoke box door removable it would be so much easier for us want to add a second speaker or just gave one speaker at the front where the noise comes from. Loads of room in the area under the chimney just no holes in the chimney for the sound to escape. 

Talking of speaker wires, odd really that the easiest place to fit a speaker in this model is in the tender but there are no wires to connect one to so you have to locate the solder pads on the decoder interface board and solder two on. But the front speaker wires that are difficult to get at in the front have been nicely installed and wired through the loco tender interface which is a right pin connector similar to that found on an eight pin decoder. 

If the brain behind the insides of the A3 had used even a small amount if his thinking power and looked at what it was in front of him then he would have realised it was a dogs dinner. They really should start talking to people who get involved with the DCC sound stuff for advise as much as they seem to talk to experts about the amount of rivets on the drivers tea mug. 

Then there is the water scoop on the tender. Hits peco points quite nicely. Oh dear 




One question: did you exchange/customize the loco/tender connector bar, as it looks more plastic than metal?



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  • RMweb Gold

Hi guys,

We have now got a delivery update for the Class A4s, as well as further variations of the popular A3. 


Class A4

All models, including the unnumbered variants will now arrive during February 2020. 

You can pre-order yours HERE


Class A3

The unnumbered variants of our Class A3 as well as further stocks of H7-A3-007 "Flying Scotsman" will arrive during January 2020. 

Pre-order yours HERE




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On 15/11/2019 at 22:40, Franzburg said:

As I`ve already written mine (Papyrus) will be with me next week as it`s now with YouChoos for having fit Zimo sound decoder etc.  I prefer Zimo to ESU as I experienced, comparing each other, motor control seems to be a lot better.





If you`d like to have e.g. Zimo decoder instead (what is a bit more complicated in fact), I can recommend YouChoos! John is very helpful and nice and their sounds are really  good!

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On 17/11/2019 at 19:15, two tone green said:

I removed the spring and set the wheels to a better back to back. 


Thanks for that done and now tracks nicely through the crossing and double slips.





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Hattons have again impressed me  with their handling of my returned locomotive, posted it back from WA Australia Monday, funds back in my account Thursday

model arrived with one smoke deflector broken off and one side cab window, easy repair, but once the model was out of the box, which is not that easy, I noted marks on the smoke box and the top of the boiler showed a seam line which on other models does not show. 5 mins on the rolling road the front pin on the rods fell out and jammed the valve gear solid. The chimney moulding was also damaged / faulty mould where it attached to the smoke box.



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The marks on the smoke box appear on a few models and pictures I’ve seen of versions fitted with deflectors, but on the non smoke deflector versions there are no marks , so is this an assembly issue, or tooling error ??

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1 hour ago, Quatford said:

The marks on the smoke box appear on a few models and pictures I’ve seen of versions fitted with deflectors, but on the non smoke deflector versions there are no marks , so is this an assembly issue, or tooling error ??

Sounds like a tooling error where the slide or interchangeable Smokebox part doesn't fit well against the top part of the Smokebox

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