Thursday, 11 April 2013

THINK ELECTRIC

Heljan, Hornby and Bachmann AC electrics under the knife


As part of an upcoming feature for Model Rail issue 183, I've been sprucing up a variety of overhead electric locomotives from the 1980s period. Mostly rendered in my favoured shade of blue, there is also one in the 'Executive' version of the Inter City scheme, namely Heljan's model of 86214 Sans Pareil. Released a few years ago, Heljan's 86 has received mixed reviews, but I rather like it, especially after a bit of remedial tweaking, especially including replacing the pantograph.

Above can be seen the new pantograph in situ, with scratchbuilt mounting arms. Given that the Sommerfeldt 'panto' is for HO gauge European-outline models, the arms are too short for the OO '86'. With the help of small split pins and plastic strip, the problem is solved. Apart from this modification, new nameplates and a few other odds and ends combine to create a more refined end product. I've also back-dated my model slightly, placing it around 1990, before the use of DVTs in pull-push mode, so the rooftop fire extinguishers have been removed.

I always hated being pushed at 110mph between Liverpool and London by an '86' or '87' in the late 1990s. I'm sure my fears were unfounded, but being propelled at such speeds purely by the buffers of a loco (no fixed buckeye coupling or buffing plate like you get on Class 91s etc) never filled me with confidence. Mind you, it was better than a Pendolino...



4 comments:

  1. I'd love to see your Class 90 though. I've been wanting to see if you post your Class 90 work in some magazine so that I may pick up one to do mine. Nice work...Truly a source of inspiration.

    If anyone can let me know which issue of what magazine the Class 90 article is published in, that would be great. Cheers!

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  2. Hi,
    Don't worry - you haven't missed it! The Class 90 project has been put back for various reasons (I'm just too busy at the moment!) but will hopefully appear in Model Rail magazine later this year.
    Cheers,
    George.

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  3. George, do you have a link for the arms you need to put the 86 pantograph om? I can't find any. If not, what plastic strips do you suggest?

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  4. Hi, I used 1mm square plastic strip but PH Designs produce an etched metal set of mounting arms that are far superior. They're only made to order, so you need to contact the maker directly (they're not in the main online 'catalogue'. They cost £5 a set, plus p&p.
    See: www.phd-design-etchings.co.uk for more info and contact details.
    Cheers,
    George.

    ReplyDelete