Heljan BR/SR Mk1 'BG' coach.

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Keith M, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Received my order for this coach this morning from 'Rails', well packed as usual, but on removing from the inner plastic sleeve and 'clamshell' clear packaging I noticed a bogie brake shoe loose, further checking revealed another bent over at 45 degrees. These were obviously done at the packing (in China) stage, no reflection on 'Rails', and certainly not worth the hassle of returning it, a couple of minutes with Superglue and it's sorted. Oddly though, there is no paperwork included in the form of instructions/numbering decals etc. Ok, so what instructions do you need?.....well as I have a 'spare' working red tail lamp from my earlier purchase of Darstaedt coaches from Ellis Clark, I'd rather like to fit it on this Heljan coach, which means I need to fit pickups, also fit a PCB power supply internally, so it would be nice to be able to remove the roof to do this, and as there's no obvious screws or clips, if anyone knows how to get the roof off, please do tell. Anyway, here's the usual blue Heljan box as it comes.

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  2. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Once the packaging is off the coach is nicely made and reasonably detailed, quite weighty too in the usual Heljan fashion.

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  3. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Underside is reasonably well detailed too, and nice working screw link couplings as standard.

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    A further oddment is the inclusion of a small plastic bag with what turned out to be a set of 4 bogie tie bars, no idea why as they are already fitted on the bogies. Anyway, I have plenty of numbering decals left from my Darstaedt coaches and after a bit of research I have a selection of numbers I can use to complete the coach.
    In conclusion, it's a decent model though more care in the Chinese packaging department would be helpful, especially if you'd paid Heljan's full RRP of £325! Quite how they come up with that figure I really don't know, hardly realistic, and I certainly wouldn't have gone for this coach had it not been for the 'Rails' price of £139.50, (57% discount) and obviously they will still be making a decent profit at that figure. At that price it compares well with the Darstaedt offerings and about the same quality.
    Keith.
     
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  4. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Just to finish this coach off (apart from number decals) I thought I'd just show how I made and fitted the 'gubbins' to get the red tail light fitted and working. First job was to remove the roof so as to get inside the coach, so the wire 'conduit' at each end was eased out of it's retaining hole on the roof and end and put aside. Using a broad screwdriver, inserted between roof underside and the top of the end panel, easing it up gently allowed it to spring free of the tabs securing it to the coach sides. With this out of the way, we can start. I decided that it was best to make the pickup assembly under one bogie at the end where the tail lamp was to be fitted, so I cut and fitted a strip of 'Veroboard' to fit between the bogie sides, drilled a clearance hole for the bogie fixing screw and filed off the copperclad to avoid the washer shorting out the pickups. Once done, it was superglued to the bogie, remaining copperclad tinned and a pair of pickups fashioned from some Phosphor Bronze strip to bear on the backs of the bogie wheels. Drilling a hole through the bogie towards the coach underside gave a route to feed through the pickup wires into the coach interior, but to allow for bogie movement I made this into a slot.

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  5. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a number of PCB power supplies made up for jobs such as these, which give a DC voltage suitable for interior lighting, tail lamps etc. I had already drilled a 3mm hole through the coach floor to feed the pickup wiring to the pickups so having drilled the coach end with 2 1mm holes spaced to allow for the tail lamp to be fitted to the coach end, I glued it into position, 'Blu-tacked' the PCB into position on the coach floor, and soldered and heat shrunk sleeved the 2 connections to the LED. A quick check on a test track and all was well.

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  6. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    So here is the final stage, lit tail lamp (looks much brighter on a photo than it actually is). Just the roof and 'conduits' to fit back on and we're done.

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    Keith.
     

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