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Hi guys. I'm principally a tramway modeller (Aberdeen in 00 and Central Europe between the wars in H0) but I am also (the shame of it) a wargamer and recently I built an armoured train for a Russian Civil War scenario we are taking to local shows this Autumn. This got me interested in Russian Railways of that period and now I'm retired (whoopee!) I've decided not only to get my tramways operational again but to build an end to end DCC Russian Railway in H0.

The problem, of course, is finding stock. The Bachmann Decapod is fine once I put buffers on it but apart from that there is only the Schetmash 0b 0-8-0 loco produced in Russia in the 1980s and 90s with the most appalling tender drive which flatly refuses to go over finescale points and is very noisy to boot. I managed to get one via Ebay in Germany but as it is it is virtuially unuseable. I'm hoping to get another from Red Star Models in USA which has had its tender replaced by a Fleischmann one. I'm told a replacement tender drive is now available from Modelldepo in Russia itself but I can't get any Russian retailer to reply to my emails at all. There would also seem to be a suitable Brawa 0-6-0 tender engine coming out this year but I learned about this from the Russian magazine Locotrans and my Russian is non existent so I am, as yet, unclear whether this 'turn of the century' loco actually ran in Russia then or whether it was one of the "trophy" locomotives the Russians took back with them after WW2. Apart from these three no one makes State locomotives of the WW1/RCW era. However local industrialists in Russia had a wide range of (mainly German) 0-4-0s and 0-6-0s available for their factories, quarries and mines and these would most likely have been comandeered by one side or another. But I know nothing about these. There seems to be a wide range of 0-6-0s available from this Epoch (even if they are in a later Epoch's livery) made by a range of companies like Rivarossi, Trix, Piko and Fleischmann but I can't find any reviews on the Net to tell me which is the best buy. Can any one here recommend any of them?

Coaches and freight are easier. There is a bogie coach of the period available in Russia for the amazing sum of £68.00! but one can pick up kits to build the very common 4 wheel coaches for about £15 - if I could only get the shop selling them to reply to my emails. For freight there is the 4-wheel closed wagon with central sliding door that one can see in almost every photograph of Russian trains up to about WW2 at least. These are available from a guy in St. Petersburg and sometimes on US Ebay. Russia also bought thousands of 40' bogie wagons from the US in 1914, hoppers, flats and boxcars and all that is needed is to put buffers onto the Bachmanns to make then Russian looking. A lot of these ended up as source material for armoured trains which is what I originally used them for.

Any help and information gratefully received. Its off to read up about DCC now. I got a Wireless Bachmann Dynamis system as one of my retirement gifts and its about time I took it out of the box.

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