- Reviews Index
- Bachmann 2EPB
- Bachmann 4Cep
- Bachmann MLV
- Bachmann Class 450 Desiro
- Dapol Class 73
- D J Models Class 71
- EFE Isle of Wight Underground Stock
- Halling Croydon Tramlink Tram
- Heljan Class 07 Dock Shunter
- Heljan new Class 33/0s
- Hornby 2Bil
- Hornby 2Hal
- Hornby 4Vep
- Hornby Brighton Belle
- Hornby Class 71
- Hornby Class 395
- Hornby Refurbished Eurostar
- Kernow 2H
- Kernow 4TC
- Kernow Bulleid Diesel Locomotives
- Replica Motorised Chassis
Heljan Class 07 Dock Shunter
(above) Heljan 2901 BR green with wasp stripes "original" version
All but one layout I have built in the past 50 years has featured some form of a dock side and the layout I am currently building will have a more extensive port complex. Given I model the Southern Region over a wide time period I am therefore in need of dock shunters of various generations. Adding to existing models of USA Tanks (off topic for the SEG) and classes 03, 04, 08 and 09, early June 2018 has been good for dock shunters. First Dapol LSWR B4 locomotives (off topic for the SEG) appeared and then four days later Heljan class 07s, which will concern us here.
(above) Heljan 2911 BR blue with wasp stripes air braked version
Comparing models of both original and later air braked conversions to photographs and published drawings is a rewarding exercise as, excepting a few slight niggles, the models not only come out very well but result in an appreciation and admiration for an extremely well done bit of modelling and manufacture by Heljan. Differences between original and air braked conversions are accurate. Pipe runs, handle and grab rails windscreen wipers and the motion deserve a special mention. Representation of rubber gaskets around the flush glazed windows, which do not have a prismatic look, is the best I have seen. The cab interior is very visible and has a reasonable representation of controls, sufficient for normal viewing distances, however the cab is crying out for a driver.
(above) The long hood end of an "original" version prior to fitting of tension link couplings or buffer beam aperture plug. Note the extremely fine Ruston and AEI builders' plate
These model locomotives weigh 199 grams when fitted with tension link couplings. I currently only have a test track circle of trainset radius two curves, which being laid on top of my baseboard where in some places sixteenth inch cork underlay has been laid where tracks will eventually go can be described as gently undulating. So having comparatively sharp curves (my layout will have wider radius) and not pancake flat the test circle is arguably of dock side standard. Without taking the body off I cannot comment on the motor, pick-up and ease of fitting a DCC decoder arrangements. However, all of my three ran smoothly and quietly straight out of the box. Slow speed, after a very slightly jerky start, was good even with using a pure DC controller. One of my locos ran with a slight wobble at its highest speed in the small bonnet forward direction only, but at a more realistic dock speed it was fine. On my test circle I cannot test haulage power thoroughly but these locos comfortably hauled three Mk3 coaches (i.e. what I had readily to hand) without slipping.
(above) Comparing roofs of original and air braked versions
Within the chassis there is a socket for a six pin DCC decoder. The instructions detail how to remove the body, which warns can be fiddly due to handrails. These locomotives are fitted with six Bulleid loco type route indicator lamps on both bonnets. Only the bottom left and right work directionally on these models. However white (actually lemon yellow) lower left and red lower right illuminate in the direction of travel. Surely these type of lamps could not display red and displaying red running forward cannot be correct? I note 07007 at Eastleigh has one lamp per bonnet modified to have two lenses to show white & red, but this is not as modelled by Heljan and is not apparent on period photographs.
(above) The short hood end of an air braked version showing the additional factory applied detail, though spares of hoses are provided. Again this is prior to fitting of tension link couplings or buffer beam aperture plug
Some fine details are very delicate and considerable care is needed during handling, particularly when taking the model out of and into packaging. Particularly vulnerable are the fine wire sand pipes. One of my locos was missing two of the four of these after its first outing. Though these can be readily replaced with fine wire.