Samstag, 12. November 2016

PIKO V 180 from Leuna Works


during the last years Piko offers a good variety of ex DR Diesels. Must admit that I am quite a fan of those newer Piko Diesels. They have a good and sturdy mechanical set up. Plus: They are DCC ready and most of them (all???) sound ready. Details are good. Running is top of the line. Pricing is low. I do like Piko....

This one here is my first V180 engine from Piko. I bought this one in the VEB Leuna works lettering scheme. DCC installation is extrem easy. I use an ESU 4 DCC 8pin plug.
A lovely engine. Runs perfect both in DC and DCC. Recommended for all DR Era 4 fans.


Samstag, 5. November 2016

PIKO coach reworked

these days I am working on a PIKO coach. The original model has DRG (early 1930ties) markings and I wanted an early DR/DDR/GDR vehicle.I also wanted a vehicle with less plastic and more realistic parts. 
You could say "I am fine with a 40 or 50 Euro vehicle out of the box". Well.... Not me. Would say this lovely 2004 or 2005 made Piko coach will win with some upgrade. 

I bought some Weinert parts (spring mounted buffers, RP 25 wheels, brake tubes) plus some Decals from the 1/87 TL range. PIKO is quite notorious for having far too high wheel-sets (and having far too high vehicles...). Changing PIKO wheels to RP 25 wheels is highly recommended.

Seven Up (the un-cola) was extrem fancy in FDJ clubs in the late 1950ties.

I removed most of the original decals and slightly dusted the vehicle with grey artist powders. Adding Weinert part is a kind of recreational fun. 
The vehicle is not finished. Some moere parts on the roof and on the endings need to bee done.

Sonntag, 30. Oktober 2016

Tillig Motor Coach Vt 135 Pt.2


here is a slight update on the VT 135 Motor Car. I installed OBK couplers on both sides.
Moreover I bought a Piko Coach that should accompany the VT 135.

I intended to run this coach as an early DR vehicle from a period of 1947 to 1952. Just in the timeframe of the Tillig VT. I will need new decals (maybe from the TL Decals range) some Weinert parts for the roof and the framework, new couplers, new wheels (RP 25)....
Much work to come.

Dienstag, 25. Oktober 2016

Tillig motor coach VT 135

Yesterday evening I picked up the girls in a Berlin shopping mall. Did have a bid spare time and visited a toy store ("Spielemax"). Was quite suprised when I found this little Tillig gemstone. 

This VT 135 Triebwagen was operated in the Dresden Region. As it is labeled for DR USSR Zone I would guess it could be used for a timeframe from 1947 to 1953. The model is obviously a special edition with Spielemax; also the price was quite reasonable.

Like other Tillig VT´s this one is running really good, smooth and has low noise. A six pin DCC plug fits in (the lavatory) and I used one oldish Uhlenbrock device that was littering around.

The only complaint I have is the interior. It looks OK from the VT 135 sketches I have but it is far too small for my Preisers. Maybe I will do an upgrade here.

Samstag, 22. Oktober 2016

Tutorial OBK Kupplung

Gentlemen, some days back I joined a debate on this forum about the OBK coupler. I have some experience with this device and offered to do a/this little tutorial.

Daddy what is OBK?????

  • The OBK is a coupler (Kupplung =K)
  • The OBK is an aftermarket product for German (and some continental European) H0 rail cars and locos. You will need some tools, some money and some passion to mount this device on rail cars and locos.
  • The OBK is a stop gap between a replica of the original coupler = O and the NEMish clamp/shackle (Bügel = B) coupler (=K)
  • The OBK coupler has a metal clamp/shackle that could be operated by self made magnetic devices. These tools (in general little sticks with a magnet on the top) are helpful in switching/shunting ops. Using the magnetic tool you could lift the clamp/shackle and couple/uncouple rail cars and engines.
  • The OBK could be considered as a fine scale upgrade to rail cars end engines as it looks much closer to the real thing. It looks cool (my opinion).
  • The OBK is used by ordinary modelers with a switching/shunting attitude (like me) and in the world of FREMO.
  • OBK was developed by the German enthusiast Michael Weinert.
  • I am buying OBK parts at the H0fine Store ( and I have no connection to the store.

For the little tutorial I decided to work on a lovely BRAWA made T3 (Württemberg Era One) and on a Rungenwagen from Roco (Königlich Sächsische Staatseinsenbahnen Era One) witch is also quite nice. 

The upgrade with the couplers is easy and straight forward. I use a white metal coupler for the engine and a pre assembled and already blackened coupler for the rail car. The idea with these couplers is to use the coupler socket on the model. These sockets are mostly a dummy and not used because most of us run models by the NEM socket.
I open up/widen up the socket with a small drill (0.7/0.8mm size). You can file down the plug of the coupler until I fits easily. Don´t use to much pressure when pressing in the coupler. Beware: It will bend and break.You can also open up the socket on the model by using a small (extra small) file.
I am doing mostly both: Open up the socket a bit wider and file down the coupler plug.

When the coupler fits in the socket you are nearly done. H0fine shop offers a dummy coupler (see pictures) that I use for comparison and testing height and distance. If dummy and model fits together (see image) you can go over to lubrication. For lubrication use whatever you feel comfortable with. Usually I work with a superglue gel to connect metal and plastic parts. 

I guess the pictures are self explainable. I also guess most of you guys have best experiences with white metal parts. Finally I guess most of you guys don´t dare to drill and file on 200 Euros (plus) models... :-)
If you have any questions on OBK couplers – feel free to ask.
Cheers and good night

Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2016

Sightseeing Lusatia/Lausitz

The German region of Lusatia/Lausitz was once an important industrial region. It was the center for coal mining (brown coal) in the former GDR/DDR. The coal was found near to ground so open pit mining was possible and used in an intense way. Intense surface mining changed the landscape in a dramatic way.
These days saw the decline of coal mining and recultivation is on the agenda. Former pits were flooded by water from the nearby rivers Spree/Neisse/Elster and we have a growing seascape just 100 Km south of Berlin.The former industrial region is now on a way to an area of recreation and holidays. 
Last weekend my family and I took a short trip from Berlin to Lusatia. We stayed i an excellent four star Hotel in the town of Großräschen. I had the chance to take some pictures of railroad relics. Here are the pictures:

These pictures were taken at "Besucherbergwerk F60". The green mining engine of type "EL-2" was somehow an icon open pit mining in the GDR.

A rusty open car - same location and a good example for intense weathering.

The second coal car plus the builders shield.

Another example of the the EL-2 in the town of Senftenberg