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HELJAN UNVEILS ‘OO’ GAUGE 25/3 AND ‘ETHEL’ FOR 2019


Andy Y
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3 minutes ago, Porcy Mane said:

The white pipes on the bogies. Are they printed on?

Raised moulded detail, picked out with white printing on some models, but not all. 

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Apologies for the "cherry-picked" suggestion, but other firms do it, and why not(?), they'd want their product to be presented at it's best, they pick the best loco to pull the Royal Train. 

     Just to provide more feedback, my guinea pig 2532 in GFY, was fine in all respects, joined now by two more, a 2530 Gsy and a 2533 Bsy, both are fine, apart from one of those little middle steps had dropped off one of the bogies. I found the miscreant rattling around inside the acetate packing shell, it must have fallen off in transit, these things happen.

     Cheers, Brian.

 

  

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I wouldn't worry too much about shades of cab front yellow, the spec did change to a more orangey shade ex-works in the mid-80s, I doubt it affected Class 25s, save perhaps "Tamworth Castle", weren't they all withdrawn by 1987? Yellow is a very weak colour, it fades in no time, even the later orangey shade would fade back to the original, but take longer, which is probably why they beefed it up in 1985.

      Thanks to ADB for the comparison photo images.   BK

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2 hours ago, Kirby Uncoupler said:

 

I don't know of anyone on this thread sending a Heljan 25 back yet, they've only been out a week or less? We've all been busy making-do and mending, whilst calmly discussing the various pros and cons, and reserving our right to change our minds. Would you buy a new car with a badly fitted windscreen? (It's okay Mr. New Car Dealer, i'll refit the windscreen myself, when I get home :mellow: )

                                                    Cheers, Brian.  

            P.S. Can we buy new cars weathered yet?

 

 


As you asked, yes I take the same approach with new cars. I’ve had pulls in fabric, scratched wheel badges, etc., and not gone back to the dealer demanding a replacement or fix under warranty.  Some bloke in the owners club I’m in got his brake callipers replaced under warranty because the paint had faded after 18 months.  That’s the kind of fussiness I can’t abide!

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43 minutes ago, adb968008 said:

Ive dived in and bought one...

(SNIP)

 

 

in conclusion...


positives...

The Heljan 25 exposes the weaknesses of the Bachmann 25, it sits and favours comparably with Bachmanns new 24/1.

It improves the shape, sizing and proportions of the arrangement, which fits with the 24/0 with SLW and the 24/1.

 

negatives...

imho it lacks on the front window depth, cab door and body side grill.

 

its a step change in previous Heljan diesels with modifications to the chassis design and motor (I do like the fly wheel of the Hattons 66, and having recently used a Heljan 26 motor to fix a Hatton 66, I see the difference in the old Heljan motor to new Heljan motor here and there). 

 

is it worth it ?

 

Now I have it, I see the age of the Bachmann 25, so in that score.. yes.

 

Against the SLW25, were really comparing Fortnum and Mason to Waitrose and price reflects it.

 

What I dont know.. would like comment on is...

1. Those front windows, is it me or are they not deep enough ?

2. Cab curved ends..should there be more of a curve ? (bachmanns looks to deep).

3. the yellow, is it too pale  ?

 

Will I buy more.. yes I would.

I will be buying SLW, I like to be a bit upper class, but at this stage my outlier is the Bachmann one.. last week I’m not sure I would have said that.

That said if Bachmann do for the 25, what they did for the 24/1.. then Bachmann will beat it.


 

and finally..

Yes I know the springs on one bogie dropped off, they were in the chassis but will refit, and I need to bore a few bogie holes.

I haven't weighed it, pull tested or power draw tested, I feel confident it matches to peers.. it has the weight, and a motor ive seen in the 66 and am very happy there.

 

 

 

 

A really useful comparative review! thank you for taking the time to do that adb968008

 

Paul. 

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as to the size of the front windows, class 24s and 25/0s had smaller windows than the later 25s so the Heljan should be deeper than the 24/1 as pictured.

 

I received the first one I ordered this morning (25093) and am delighted with it.

 

Paul

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8 minutes ago, Strathyre said:

as to the size of the front windows, class 24s and 25/0s had smaller windows than the later 25s so the Heljan should be deeper than the 24/1 as pictured.

 

 

Finessing ADB's point slightly, I think he was emphasizing that the HJ windows are deeper than Bachy's, which are a bit neither here nor there. 

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42 minutes ago, aureol40012 said:


As you asked, yes I take the same approach with new cars. I’ve had pulls in fabric, scratched wheel badges, etc., and not gone back to the dealer demanding a replacement or fix under warranty.  Some bloke in the owners club I’m in got his brake callipers replaced under warranty because the paint had faded after 18 months.  That’s the kind of fussiness I can’t abide!

One mans fussiness , is another man’s attention to detail. It takes all sorts I guess.

 

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So if 25102 is TOPs but green I’d imagine , it was 5 years plus in green ? 
I think they have got the yellow about right for that mix of TOPs/ green.

 

not my photo, credit J wooley on Flickr.

 

4664D90D-50CB-4AA9-AED0-20C12FF60690.png

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I can't get hung up about shades of yellow. Just look at photos that include multiple locos and note the different shades on the fronts of them.

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15 hours ago, aureol40012 said:

That’s the kind of fussiness I can’t abide!

 

If you chose to fix things yourself that's fine - I'd probably do similar. 

 

I really don't think anyone should be made to feel there's anything wrong with returning something they aren't happy with though. It's one of the trade-offs manufacturers have decided to accept as part of overseas production and the level of quality control. Hence Ben and others frequently say return it for a replacement or refund if you aren't happy. 

Edited by Hal Nail
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4 hours ago, Kirby Uncoupler said:

 

I don't know of anyone on this thread sending a Heljan 25 back yet, they've only been out a week or less? We've all been busy making-do and mending, whilst calmly discussing the various pros and cons, and reserving our right to change our minds. Would you buy a new car with a badly fitted windscreen? (It's okay Mr. New Car Dealer, i'll refit the windscreen myself, when I get home :mellow: )

                                                    Cheers, Brian.  

            P.S. Can we buy new cars weathered yet?

 

 

There was someone a few pages ago who on the strength of a photo of the model was threatening to return his on-order model to his retailer as it was not a perfect miniature representation of the real thing in every way.

 

Makes you wonder if he actually owns any model trains at all as every single model will have some compromises made in order to be manufactured at all as well as making a profit for the manufacturer. 

 

It was an incredible statement which the poster repeated several times until told to pipe down by the Guvnor.

Edited by Bedlington North
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rob D2 said:

So if 25102 is TOPs but green I’d imagine , it was 5 years plus in green ? 
I think they have got the yellow about right for that mix of TOPs/ green.

 

not my photo, credit J wooley on Flickr.

 

4664D90D-50CB-4AA9-AED0-20C12FF60690.png

Yes agreed, the yellow looks good, but I think you nailed my query on the window depth / rims too..

 

The depth is there, its that the window rims are clean on the model, its not creating shadows... in that picture the rims get depth from dirt... a few dark edges will pick out the rims...

I think thats what I was missing.


03F15592-2BA3-409B-8F91-741A87BE8504.jpeg.455d08a3ab8567dfa0f035b2d9390243.jpeg
 

ive just brushed an ordinary pencil on the rims to pick it out a little..and think the depth picks up a little.

 

967E930A-06BA-42C2-8A02-42A37B435AD2.jpeg.628c8b929a09417ace03fdc96f8f08b3.jpeg
 

Blue stars are in the wrong place to the above, but thats easy to change.

Edited by adb968008
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One thing I am glad to see on the Heljan model is that seam above the bufferbeam. Inevitably it ends up a bit overscale but every 25 I've ever seen had grime and rust along that line so to omit it as Bachmann did missed out a key element of the character

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Having looked at Olivia's Trains website, I notice that it has this comment on the Heljan 25/3 about the cab lights.  The website says the following (direct quote):

 

image.png.69c3a5a441517bb8a971e2a51ef83ffa.png

Given the 'attention to detail' demanded by some, pedants will note Olivia's Trains' use of English language... I shall make no comment.

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20 minutes ago, Mel_H said:

Having looked at Olivia's Trains website, I notice that it has this comment on the Heljan 25/3 about the cab lights.  The website says the following (direct quote):

 

image.png.69c3a5a441517bb8a971e2a51ef83ffa.png

Given the 'attention to detail' demanded by some, pedants will note Olivia's Trains' use of English language... I shall make no comment.

I think the point he has made about the way the lights work (unprototypically) is more informative and useful than your mocking his use of grammar .  

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2 hours ago, adb968008 said:

Ive dived in and bought one...

curiosity and all..

 

0DA1686C-E448-45EE-8288-7CF2ADF8C38D.jpeg.19e0935d0ac004b1c54deb60c642c148.jpeg

 

So what does it look like: in the box, lots of extras..


ABCCC592-1F10-4CDE-8451-8EDD028A973F.jpeg.b4df8c543dd4ea89c77ab7cdf9941943.jpeg

detailing pre-fitted both ends as Heljan standard, extra pipes, steps, snowploughs, grill cover and bodyside step covers.

 

lets tackle it “head on”..

24913C8C-60FB-4B03-8D5D-7AD63292F43E.jpeg.2b46fb549c6c3bed8631912277f9ea13.jpeg

it looks fine to me at a glance, but how does it dance with its peers...

D8CE6F8E-4937-4CF9-8750-8A61CF897777.jpeg.47b084c49b86473e3ab5c418e33b6b57.jpeg

Left to right: Bachmann, Heljan, Bachmann 24/1, SLW 24, Bachmann 24.

 

The yellow end does strike me as being too pale. (Though the B25 is imho too orange).

The detail level is comparable to its peers.

Standouts are the front windows...

3A375DD4-8544-4F41-A3E0-5E23EAB1F966.jpeg.93163634a040ab42044031780c9b7a4d.jpeg

The cab shape is different to Bachmanns, the headcode box larger, curvature different, it feels narrower, the windows look larger, but are actually sitting lower.

 

Gut feel..The Heljan 25 feels more like a 25.. its more square.. the lower cab rivet line, the overall proportion feels more correct to the eye. I am not sure about those windows though, it just feels like the window frames need a little more depth.

otherwise its ok.

 

 

364715DA-3DDE-4176-9336-32718A51E771.jpeg.00351a761e0d4fb3fb3cd54f072b8f20.jpeg

the angle of the windows is markedly different between old and new..

Also the cab windows sit lower on the Heljan 25.

 

 

verdict.. I think both arent right.. I think the cab angle should be greater than Heljan, less than Bachmann.

Bachmann wins on the doors, the Heljan door needs a bit of filler.

Heljan definitely an improvement on the windows.


at this point, meet me... I went undercover for this...shrunk myself down..

4F3EFF1D-4F6F-4257-87AE-B0BEE8513B01.jpeg.cf218e83f6eb5cd525718f06016706ad.jpeg

modelu scan in 2018 of me... I’m not normally red in real life.

 

I tried to access the Heljan cab...

3D928641-D28C-480D-8B6C-0C1DD22DCE42.jpeg.9d62be6af01e5dbad530277d25352fdb.jpeg

I have cabbed several class 25’s in my lifetime, indeed cab rided them too.

 

now its been a few years and ive gained a few pounds... but there just isnt any way i’m squeezing through that door or those handrails...
FA2EA663-AE07-4BC1-AA7A-0354D13C0F32.jpeg.11809a55538ba017c409596b949b0883.jpeg

 

Onto the body side..

Grill to not to grill, that is the question..

EB96C8F2-B489-4EB6-BAB8-751379C09B45.jpeg.89ebdb725b5dd720cb8f6108b382f201.jpeg
dimensions the lengths are the same, proportions are not, the curved roof grills on the Bachmann 25 look wrong, the windows and positioning on Heljans look better aligned...

in short Bachmanns 25 proportions of placement and window sizing stand out wider of the mark...

Heljan wins here.

 

Where it loses in my opinion is the large body side grill.. Ive always been able to see the body strengthener through the 25 grill in real life, just like with the 45. On Heljans it is there, I positioned this picture favourably as I can to show it..but its hard..its too subtle to see. This is a let down on an otherwise quite good model.

 

 

the frame detail on the Heljan 25 is unquestionably better...

3AC69342-2A40-457E-A065-14EDCB9096BC.jpeg.42ed670fd3808ad709abab05812ba5f5.jpeg


364F54E4-70DB-4EE9-BE3A-F1CB4D144B9C.jpeg.9395baf12ec024a1c9d95369112eba6c.jpeg


under the hood...

 

originally I thought they may seek to take advantage of a pretty heavy chunky chassis as used on the 26/27/33... but they have not. The chaccis length might be close but the wheel base is not.

4BDF9BDC-D494-45A9-A402-B8D97D99E4D9.jpeg.ce77694add50ff3c03230b38a7a709ad.jpeg


Unusually to many other Heljan diesels, the body is now attached by screws..

 

E2F2DB0E-2C20-4681-816B-D2245F25B081.jpeg.80d1d78e31e596ae101be63c8d7fcf61.jpeg

the bufferbeam also is screw attached... 4 screws hold the body, behind the bogies at the fuel tank ends.

Two screws hold on the buffer beam.

 

C9BBF5A0-83D4-4869-96E5-E3B9EF2C2200.jpeg.4e5faed693936a693e8b640a40eccd03.jpeg

 

inside theres an all new thin circuit board, the board and fixing is more flimsy than the past, feels more like the Bachmann 121. The motor , flywheel looks very reminiscent of the Hattons 66, but the bogie towers, clips all look Heljan historical.

it is not as heavy as the 26/7/33.

 

finally the cab back head is worthy of a picture, considering recent images of the SLW25, I could not pass it by and not share..

E6716F8C-9955-4F03-9B94-EFE7353EF93E.jpeg.ae1e21722d1b2f65bbe27a76ec1988d9.jpeg

for those want to control the red light.. a bit of black tape over the red lens aperture will do it.

note use of LEDs, vs the old bulbs used on the 26/27..

 

 

in conclusion...


positives...

The Heljan 25 exposes the weaknesses of the Bachmann 25, it sits and favours comparably with Bachmanns new 24/1.

It improves the shape, sizing and proportions of the arrangement, which fits with the 24/0 with SLW and the 24/1.

 

negatives...

imho it lacks on the front window depth, cab door and body side grill.

 

its a step change in previous Heljan diesels with modifications to the chassis design and motor (I do like the fly wheel of the Hattons 66, and having recently used a Heljan 26 motor to fix a Hatton 66, I see the difference in the old Heljan motor to new Heljan motor here and there). 

 

is it worth it ?

 

Now I have it, I see the age of the Bachmann 25, so in that score.. yes.

 

Against the SLW25, were really comparing Fortnum and Mason to Waitrose and price reflects it.

 

What I dont know.. would like comment on is...

1. Those front windows, is it me or are they too big / rims not deep enough ?

(This time compare 24/1 to 25)..

E4940FA1-AE84-4775-A5B2-CA4A4227D9EC.jpeg.a0bfa11900c999a46c03b20c685eadd3.jpeg

 

2. Cab curved ends..should there be more of a curve ? (bachmanns 25 looks to deep, Heljan not enough, but how about comparing the 24/1 to the 25 ?

A24B10D6-AD72-43BF-B576-36C9447B07D2.jpeg.fd539005ba338aa4c85c5d280865eb09.jpeg

(This is the Bachmann  24/1 vs Heljan 25) 

 

3. the yellow, is it too pale  ?

 

Will I buy more.. yes I would, but caution..

I will be buying SLW, I like to be a bit upper class, but at this stage my outlier is the older Bachmann one.. last week I’m not sure I would have said that.

That said if Bachmann do for the 25, what they did for the 24/1.. then Bachmann will beat it, and hence my caution.


 

and finally..

Yes I know the springs on one bogie dropped off, they were in the chassis but will refit, and I need to bore a few bogie holes.

I haven't weighed it, pull tested or power draw tested, I feel confident it matches to peers.. it has the weight, and I am very happy there.

 

 

 

Very nicely drawn comparisons, though I think you know window size against the headcode '24/1' is a tad moot with the real things having a different windscreen depth; but it does compare the different windscreen edges nicely. Compared with the current 20 year old Bachmann 25/2 the Heljan model is a no brainer, and I'd say the glazing unit edges the Bachmann 24/1 out as well, especially on the cab sides.

 

You're right about the Heljan window surrounds, some picking out will help but they still look a bit under nourished and I'd notion that they are also even thinner at the top which doesn't help the feeling that there is something not quite right. Picking out with some indian ink around the frames and into the join with the glazing unit will help tone that down somewhat. It might be worth trying to line out in yellow on the top edge of the glazing to make the frame there appear bit thicker and feign the windows down a tad lower on the face of the model too.

 

The head on shot and Rob D2s photo also well illustrates that the front of the headcode box is too far back, being behind the rain strip on the model when the real things weren't. I wonder if that could be addressed using an etch for the headcode box front to shim it forward. The face of the model is very nearly there fundamentally, its certainly much less of a project than the current Bachmann and Hornby class 25 offerings. Hopefully another etch based fix could be achieved for the grille as well. Being able to see well inside them is a characteristic unfortunately lost with this model, but previous efforts being just moulded are even more restrictive.

 

The innards look like they're open to a lot of negotiation as well for DCC installs, I wonder how hard it would be to move that PCB over to one end to make room for an Earthmover, and whether an EM2 would clear the gear tower...methinks a nice interim project while I wait for the SLW Rats to arrive. 25252 was a Bescot beastie for much of its life, so temptation is very much there.

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Proper!

Needs a dirty weekend at some point!

 

Think the cab front handrails may get replaced with wire.

 

The cab windows would benefit from black around the inner edges which is what I do with FYE locos (the ones without bonnets)

 

DSC01517 (2).JPG

Edited by 97406
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1 hour ago, Hal Nail said:

 

If you chose to fix things yourself that's fine - I'd probably do similar. 

 

I really don't think anyone should be made to feel there's anything wrong with returning something they aren't happy with though. It's one of the trade off's manufacturers have decided to accept as part of overseas production and the level of quality control. Hence Ben and others frequently say return it for a replacement or refund if you aren't happy. 

It’s good enough for me, but then I rarely run stuff straight out of the box for very long as I do like to tinker. Improving the handrails and the fit of the front glazing slightly, plus installing some grime should do the job.

Edited by 97406
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Mel_H said:

Having looked at Olivia's Trains website, I notice that it has this comment on the Heljan 25/3 about the cab lights.  The website says the following (direct quote):

 

image.png.69c3a5a441517bb8a971e2a51ef83ffa.png

Given the 'attention to detail' demanded by some, pedants will note Olivia's Trains' use of English language... I shall make no comment.


DAD1F20F-0492-4EA7-83D8-0DA8AC305BA7.jpeg.48b97f6708c9e12a9240964fd51c5ff4.jpeg

 

299E1653-BB81-4FAE-A91B-26E346B28C61.jpeg.2cfc952f9954cc976cc2e0420260ffca.jpeg

there are no under the body switches to control lights.

 

The circuit board is pretty basic.. 3 sockets each lights, pickups and unknown spare)

I dont do DCC myself, but I dont see a specific place for a speaker mounting or wiring it to the board.


47F02C8C-54F1-4826-AAC6-A28300B719A5.jpeg.966de2148312f69dda47c163e3c1b58e.jpeg

 

look at the unusual way of screw mounts... don't think I've seen it like that before.

4FB12BA6-A7DE-4757-BD9F-F77EF25064F7.jpeg.05f2086d067cfa6ef68c0b99d707f37d.jpeg
 

motor looks like this.. same motor shaft length as the Hattons 66 motor, but a few mm thinner... gearbox- drive shafts are short, about 3cm end to end.

7F7242AD-A47B-4366-A92E-82BD5169A9C1.jpeg.992c5bdca522fe0d6dd2d67df5dfe423.jpeg

 

Edited by adb968008
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47 minutes ago, adb968008 said:


DAD1F20F-0492-4EA7-83D8-0DA8AC305BA7.jpeg.48b97f6708c9e12a9240964fd51c5ff4.jpeg

 

299E1653-BB81-4FAE-A91B-26E346B28C61.jpeg.2cfc952f9954cc976cc2e0420260ffca.jpeg

there are no under the body switches to control lights.

 

The circuit board is pretty basic.. 3 sockets each lights, pickups and unknown spare)

I dont do DCC myself, but I dont see a specific place for a speaker mounting or wiring it to the board.


47F02C8C-54F1-4826-AAC6-A28300B719A5.jpeg.966de2148312f69dda47c163e3c1b58e.jpeg

 

look at the unusual way of screw mounts... don't think I've seen it like that before.

4FB12BA6-A7DE-4757-BD9F-F77EF25064F7.jpeg.05f2086d067cfa6ef68c0b99d707f37d.jpeg
 

motor looks like this.. same motor shaft length as the Hattons 66 motor, but a few mm thinner... gearbox- drive shafts are short, about 3cm end to end.

7F7242AD-A47B-4366-A92E-82BD5169A9C1.jpeg.992c5bdca522fe0d6dd2d67df5dfe423.jpeg

 

 

Is that what you get for a £152 DCC ready model from Heljan ? and people are niggling at a SLW at £185 for a DCC model, so for £33 more, it gets you photo etched grilles that will let the sound ooze out of the body, as well as looking so much better on the tracks.

 

I know where my money is being spent.

 

Craig.

Edited by muddys-blues
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