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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just been told that MOST IF NOT ALL Heljan Falcons are effected by a serious chassis fault. The scale buffer beams supplied fitted have been glued on because they will not clip into chassis and therefore cannot be changed for the other buffer beam unit designed to be use with tension lock coupling. Most dealers are not sending out models as Heljan are reported to be making a new chassis to replace faulty one. It will be some weeks yet before they will be available.
 

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QUOTE (martin r @ 21 Dec 2007, 07:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just been told that MOST IF NOT ALL Heljan Falcons are effected by a serious chassis fault. The scale buffer beams supplied fitted have been glued on because they will not clip into chassis and therefore cannot be changed for the other buffer beam unit designed to be use with tension lock coupling. Most dealers are not sending out models as Heljan are reported to be making a new chassis to replace faulty one. It will be some weeks yet before they will be available.

Martin,

Where did you get this information? Have you purchased any of the models?

I have the lime green and thetwo tone green on order - I am expecting them to arrive in the new year. Can anyone in the UK who has received their Falcon confirm this posting?

Dave
Sydney
Australia
 

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QUOTE (gdaysydney @ 21 Dec 2007, 08:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Martin,

Where did you get this information? Have you purchased any of the models?

I have the lime green and thetwo tone green on order - I am expecting them to arrive in the new year. Can anyone in the UK who has received their Falcon confirm this posting?

Dave
Sydney
Australia
Dave
This topic on RMweb has now reached 13 pages and I have copied below one of the responses. There are also photos of the 2 versions of the buffer beam and the faults in the chassis casting. I think one of the problems will be that Howes of Oxford appear to be 'service agents' and retailers got their stock direct from Heljan in Denmark. It looks like most retailers have sent out their stock and now sold out. From what I have read it is only Howes that have held back their stock.
Hope this helps
Mike

QUOTE I sent Howes an email and they responded very promptly. Attached to the email was document that explains the problem. Here is a cut and paste.

Having just received our shipment of the new Heljan FALCON we have noticed a problem with the fitting of the buffer beam units.

Two types are supplied, a scale 'full' depth version and a 'short' version for use with a tension lock coupler. These units are designed to be interchangeable but because the chassis has been poorly cast, this is not always possible.

We understand that Heljan Denmark have requested replacement chassis units as the problem emanates from production in China.

Howes Models Ltd policy is to hold our FALCON models until we can ship fault free models to our customers.
Our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause but trust you understand our position.
 

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Just got mine, even though I had reserved one, the retailer had lost my order.

Got the last one in Blue (wanted eary Green/Yellow). One full length buffer beam removed, both tags broke and ends stuck in chassis Block.

Another problem are the buffers. Had to push them out of full length beam and they do not fit the shorter one. Had to push through and twist which makes a big hole. I have manged to glue these in but they no longer spring. £94 spent and I have to do this.

I now need to drill out the holes in the chassis and try and glue them in.

A better bet would have been for one of each buffer beam to be fitted, different type at each end as a lot of modelers detail only one end, as I do.

I have heard that Howes may be supplying a new chassis block, but this will mean replacing all internal parts, fine if they are going to do this but not if they are asking the customer to.

Not happy with this at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
QUOTE (gdaysydney @ 21 Dec 2007, 08:38) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Martin,

Where did you get this information? Have you purchased any of the models?

I have the lime green and thetwo tone green on order - I am expecting them to arrive in the new year. Can anyone in the UK who has received their Falcon confirm this posting?

Dave
Sydney
Australia

Dave,

Sorry been at work and just seen your question. My info came direct from Howes who were both helpful and apologetic but confirmed they WOULD NOT send out a defective model. Other posts are giving similar info but some retailers either didn't know about problem or decided to ignore the issue and just send out the models. The end result is egg on a lot of faces at Heljan for poor quality control and a pat on the back for Howes for standing firm and trying to get the issue put right before a lot of people end up with a very expensive sub standard collectors item or 3.

Martin.
 

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QUOTE (martin r @ 22 Dec 2007, 02:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Dave,

Sorry been at work and just seen your question. My info came direct from Howes who were both helpful and apologetic but confirmed they WOULD NOT send out a defective model. Other posts are giving similar info but some retailers either didn't know about problem or decided to ignore the issue and just send out the models. The end result is egg on a lot of faces at Heljan for poor quality control and a pat on the back for Howes for standing firm and trying to get the issue put right before a lot of people end up with a very expensive sub standard collectors item or 3.

Martin.

Thank you Mike and Martin for your responses to my posting.
Since my last post I sent an email to the two companies who I have place orders with . Both responded promptly.. One responded that they had heard of the problem and were waiting on a official response from Heljan, the other said they had not heard of the problem but would follow up.

Dave
 

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QUOTE (martin r @ 20 Dec 2007, 20:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Just been told that MOST IF NOT ALL Heljan Falcons are effected by a serious chassis fault. The scale buffer beams supplied fitted have been glued on because they will not clip into chassis and therefore cannot be changed for the other buffer beam unit designed to be use with tension lock coupling. Most dealers are not sending out models as Heljan are reported to be making a new chassis to replace faulty one. It will be some weeks yet before they will be available.

I have bought the original liveried Falcon from Geoffrey Allison, but I have had to take it back because of some alarming noise at high revs. Steve there thinks that it can be rectified, as if something was catching (not sure what, though)

I expect to have it back in a week or so.

The loco is running with a TCS M2 decoder, controlled by a ZTC 511. I noticed on Geoffrey Allison's short test track, which uses a Gaugemaster Prodigy controller, that the loco noise was somewhat lower. Anybody else noticed this when working Heljan locos on different DCC Controlled tracks and with different Decoders?

Cheers,

Hugh

PS The loco doesn't present any problems with its coupling providing an ETH/Brake cable/pipe is removed from the scale buffer beam, so I haven't taken up the chance of removing the deep buffer beam. I will observe though, that the buffer beam that is fitted doesn't exactly present the best of views, bit like the bumper bar falling off a Ford Anglia of old!

The traction of this loco is fantastic, I have had a report of it pulling 50 (!) coaches. The wheel profile seems particularly good, when looking at it in relation to the railhead.

The only contentious point from all this is that I ordered the Two-Tone version at the same time, and Heljan haven't sent the loco to the dealer. Rather a shame, I think......
 

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I've got my two Falcon's and I can say in all honisty that the deep buffer bean dose indeed seem to be glued into place. The Rail Bule version was the first to arrive and a few days later the two tone BR Green version arrvied. However the green loco one of the bvuffer beams had broken off in transit so I haven't done anything with it apart from leaving it in the box! It a nice model though even if it has a few faults like Heljan dropping the ball a bit insofar as the buffer beams go.
 

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***** THIS IS URGENT FOR ANYONE OWNING A HELJAN FALCON ******

I have today learnt that Heljan are in the process of supplying complete chassis replacements, with buffer beams fitted, for the Falcons.

BUT, and it's a BIG BUT, upon contacting The Signalbox from where I purchased my Blue one, they have responded thus.....

QUOTE Hi

I think the deadline has passed for the chassis. I will try though! I'll email Heljan and ask if they say we can have one we need your chassis back here to return the faulty one to them.

Leave it with us and we will see!!!

Kind regards
Kerry

From: Ashley Hancock
Sent: 13 February 2008 13:14
To: [email protected]
Subject: Heljan Falcon chassis replacement

Hello, I purchased a Blue Heljan Falcon from you just before Christmas. It has the well known chassis/buffer beam fault.

I now understand that Heljan are offering a complete chassis and buffer beam replacement.
Can I request this please, if you can tell me how to proceed I will be most grateful.

Many Thanks
Ashley

Whatever the outcome of this, I would suggest that anyone owning a Falcon gets in touch with their retailer as soon as possible to request the chassis and bufferbeam replacement.

Good Luck
Ashley
 

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Just sent off an email to Hattons for any information they might have, I seriously hope that signalbox are mistaken as lets face it the model has only been around for about 2 months or so. I would assume heljan will have made enough to replace a very large percentage of the original run if not all of them.

I wonder if this has had any bearing on them deciding to make a second batch of locos after stating this wouldn't be happening.
 

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Yes, I also emailed Hattons as I bought my Lime Green Falcon from them, so far no reply so if you do hear anything back can you please post it here, and I will do the same.

My third Falon, the BR Blue one came from a local model shop, and I telephoned him yesterday to ask about the chassis exchange. He is going to contact Heljan, because my phone call was the first he had heard about it, and he sold 18 Falcons in total. so overall this problem and its solution have not been very well publicised it seems.

Ashley
 

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::grumbals:: from this side of the world getting the chassis replced is going to hurt postage wise at least. Grrr. Oh well lets hope the next run of Falcons don't have this problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
UPDATE ON CHASSIS PROBLEM

Have received this week my set of Falcons from Howes with the new chassis fitted, they run like sewing machines - fantastic. The fitted buffer beams come off with no problems and the reduced depth ones can be fitted with resorting to use of tools, glue etc. - added bonus they are now complete with fitted buffers so no messing about trying to change them over.

Many thanks to Howes for sorting the problem out BEFORE they shipped the models out. OK so they were 2 months late but I have 3 loco's that are in top notch condition.

How are those of you who have been trying to get the problem sorted doing - are other dealers getting the new chassis?

Martin R
 

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What the heck does one do if you were not the original purchaser and don't have a receipt and they are brand new?

Any thoughts as my wife got the Lime Green for me and I really do not want to hurt her feelings plus the fact i don't have a scooby where or how she got it.

Charley Farley Farnsworth Tabernacle-Hamilton Trelawney
 

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received this from Hattons.......

Thank you for your email. Heljan have now supplied us with replacement
chassis's, so if you could please return the model to us we will replace the
chassis for you. Please send it with a covering letter detailing your name,
address, invoice number, the problem and the solution you would like.

Not bad really. I don't mind standing the return postage and I suppose if they count them out and count them back in again it prevents the faulty ones being sold on ebay later. I agree about the lack of official affirmation of the problem via the model press this time round and would expect better next time, after all they managed to sort out the class 47 roof issue quickly and even managed to get some good press for doing so.
 

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QUOTE (Hugh Williams @ 5 Jan 2008, 18:20) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I have bought the original liveried Falcon from Geoffrey Allison, but I have had to take it back because of some alarming noise at high revs. Steve there thinks that it can be rectified, as if something was catching (not sure what, though)

I expect to have it back in a week or so.

The loco is running with a TCS M2 decoder, controlled by a ZTC 511. I noticed on Geoffrey Allison's short test track, which uses a Gaugemaster Prodigy controller, that the loco noise was somewhat lower. Anybody else noticed this when working Heljan locos on different DCC Controlled tracks and with different Decoders?

Cheers,

Hugh

PS The loco doesn't present any problems with its coupling providing an ETH/Brake cable/pipe is removed from the scale buffer beam, so I haven't taken up the chance of removing the deep buffer beam. I will observe though, that the buffer beam that is fitted doesn't exactly present the best of views, bit like the bumper bar falling off a Ford Anglia of old!

The traction of this loco is fantastic, I have had a report of it pulling 50 (!) coaches. The wheel profile seems particularly good, when looking at it in relation to the railhead.

The only contentious point from all this is that I ordered the Two-Tone version at the same time, and Heljan haven't sent the loco to the dealer. Rather a shame, I think......

Problem sorted out by Steve Allison; now where is my two-tone version?

Cheers,

Hugh
 

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I ordered mine from howes who decided to not to send them out untill the chassis had been replaced so only got mine yesterday the only trouble is on mine the buffer beam was broken in two so I am hoping I can send the broken buffer beam back to Howes for replacement not the whole model
 

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QUOTE (bangerblueed @ 17 Feb 2008, 09:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I ordered mine from howes who decided to not to send them out untill the chassis had been replaced so only got mine yesterday the only trouble is on mine the buffer beam was broken in two so I am hoping I can send the broken buffer beam back to Howes for replacement not the whole model

I'm in the same situation - bought mine from Rails of Sheffield but only need replacement buffer beams . Being the other side of the world I do not feel comfortable returning the whole engine.

Dave
 
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