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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If anyone is interested in pics and a small review, please say so.


Right now, it´s time to play...
 

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I'd read it.

David
 

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QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 4 Sep 2007, 09:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yes please - I could do with another 218 !

Great - I just got a phone call that I can pick up my digital camera from the electronics shop this afternoon - it wouldn´t work, but they could repair it.

Two short sentences ahead: imho, the model betters the other HO offerings hands down. The sound is great and reminds me of times when I was trainwatching at Kiel main station. However, it does not shift the motor rpm up during accelleration.
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 3 Sep 2007, 22:25) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>If anyone is interested in pics and a small review, please say so.


Bring it on - I'm salivating already........................

QUOTE (dbclass50 @ 4 Sep 2007, 08:03) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Yes please - I could do with another 218 !

and I could do with another project

Regards
 

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QUOTE (BRITHO @ 4 Sep 2007, 14:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Bring it on - I'm salivating already........................

OK, here goes:

first off, my intention was not to build up suspense, but rather my camera had problems with its aperture yesterday (you´ll see the difference in the pictures, and I had to pay a visit to the local dealer to have it repaired. Which he has kindly done, so I can show at least a few pictures:



The 218 was the last diesel engine purchased by the DB. It is the last design in a long line of similar-looking engines, called the "V160 family". These include (new designations) the class 216 (1900 hp, 16,000 mm length, steam heating), the 217 (same, with a small extra diesel for the electrical heating), the 215 (up to 2500 hp, steam heating), the 219 2150 hp diesel plus 900 hp gas turbine as booster) the 218 (first series 2500 hp, later 2800 hp), and finally the 210 (2500 hp diesel plus a 1200 hp gas turbine as booster). All the latter had electric heating for the passenger trains. The 210s were later converted the 218s, as the gas turbines were prone to self-ignition. 398 engines were built, plus one 215 that as converted to electrical heating after it suffered an accident, plus the converted 210s (8 engines).



There are several 218 models available, and they have certain shortcomings as well as highlights. Piko offers a cheap "Hobby" version, which features only few seperate details such as grabirons and the like, they are mostly cast on. The Fleischmann engine is very much more detailed, but suffers from the same "main" problem as does the Piko: the shape of the front windows is off; they are too "squary" and too large. Other than that, the Fleischmann version was the best 218 available, with all details that are different on the several production series depicted correctly, it was only topped by Brawa´s class 216 offering as far as details are concerned. Then agai, a class 216 is not a class 218...



At this year´s Nuremberg toy fair, Märklin announced a 218 model in AC, and a Trix variant in DC. This model was a second series 218, in Ep. IV red livery. Flashback: little Tom´s mom was/is a smoker, and in the early 1970s, our family lived in downtown Kiel. Mommy and little Tommy used to go to Kiel main station, so she got her drugs, and I could look in awe at all the huuuuge diesel engines that arrived and departed. One day, when I was like three or four years old, one of the engineers invited me to join him when he´d drive the engine to the fuel tank and back - one of my earliest real recollections. I was even "allowed" to "accellerate" the engine by turning the big wheel! The engine in question was -> a red 218! Ever since, I was looking for a decent model of this engine.

Long story short - finally I found what I was looking for.

The model is a replica of the 218 231-9, and the exhaust extensions (removable) on the roof give the engine away as being the early 1980s version. 218 231-9 is stationed in Regensburg, giving the engine a Bavarian
flavor. All data is printed on the metal bodyshell in a crisp and correctly scaled manner. The colors are imho spot-on. The DB-logos are correct for this engine; there are engines around that have "inverted" logos, but 218 231-9 is not one of them. It did feature the wrong logo in the 1970s, as can be seen on this picture (taken from www.v160.de), but this was changed in the 1980s.



The engine gives a "true" 218 feeling. The dimensions are true-to-scale, the engine has it´s driver´s cabins equipped with a basic interior



the ventilation grids on the side are very crisply moulded



and the fine silver lines are printed on with no excess paint or their shape being off-center.

The model in question is the order number 22218, which is the version equipped with SX/DCC decoder and sound. It also has the new, improved "softdrive sinus" motor as introduced by Märklin, which - even before break-in - is an exremely smooth and quiet runner. Kudos to Trix for this motor and drivetrain. I ran it under DCC, and it was a smooth, slow running; when accellerating, the engine seemed to be held back by some rubber bands and was rather unwilling, just like the real thing (which is, after all, a diesel-hydraulic design).

The sound is great. Only downside is that the shifts in the (real) motors rpm that can clearly be heard when an engine accellerates or brakes have not been copied, but imho, this is no big deal.

Here´s what the real thing sounded like :

Click here to listen, link to www.v160.de

Please disregard the "nailing diesel" in this soundclip, as it features the early, 2500 hp engine, whereas 218 231-9 was one of the first engines to have the 2800 hp motor.

Here´s the model:

Click here to watch and listen!

To me, the impression of a 218 revving up is as real as it can get.

Plus, finally the white headlights and red taillights can be switched on and off seperately, regardless of what the engine is doing. You can switch off the red taillight when the engine is pulling a train, swith off the white headlight (and leave on the red taillight) when the train is pushing a train, and you can turn on white lights on both side should the engine be on duty at a switchyard. Great!

So, to sum it up:

upsides:
- correct front windows
- seperate handrails and grab irons
- great drivetrain
- great sound
- full metal body
- superb paint job

downsides:
- Bavarian version

- the minute signal holders on the front steps have been omitted (not for long, thanks to Brawa spare parts)

- no snowplough included

The engine cost me € 208,05 preorder price, the regular price at my hobby shop is € 219,--. This seems on the inexpensive side for me, due to the engine´s qualities, but may seem steep if you are used to UK outline prices. Hoewever, to me it´s worth every single Euro.
 

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Excellent review - I can see that this should be a best seller, and with the weight should be able to pull well in excess of prototypical loads. I think it's fair to say the 218 is my second favourite DB loco (1st is the 232). I have a feeling i'll be seeing one in the flesh soon enough.

Regards
 

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Tom, thanks for a 1st class review, couldn't be better.

Here is my Mehano Br216 from the V160 family, nothing compared with the Trix or likes, purely a hobby model but was my first loco that I bought. Actually when you come to think of it the Slovakians has done a good job with it compared with some noisy running FLM locos it is total silent running at a very comical price.



cheers

Baykal
 

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Thanks for posting that.


I was interested to read that it has the new Sinus motor. Can you really tell it's that much better than a standard 5 pole?

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
QUOTE (dwb @ 4 Sep 2007, 20:05) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for posting that.


I was interested to read that it has the new Sinus motor. Can you really tell it's that much better than a standard 5 pole?

David

Just my two (Euro-) Cent, but the new Sinus imho betters the Trix/Märklin "standard" five-poler, is a slight, hardly noticable bit better than a Roco five-poler, as the new Sinus runs a nudge quieter, and is as good as any Faulhaber offering.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 4 Sep 2007, 23:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Thanks for the review Tom.
You've certainly got me thinking about this one.

I will get a chance to see the soft sinus drive in action when I get the BR05 003 round Christmas time. Look forward to it.

Nice review
You having a personal experience of this loco, when you were young, makes the connection all the more special.. enjoy....


It's nice to see that Trix are waking up to independant directional lighting... not simply directional or nothing..


Seems good value for a quality model..

Thanks for sharing this with us..

Cheers

Steve B
 

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QUOTE when I get the BR05 003 round Christmas time. Look forward to it.
That's the "club" model isn't it? If it wasn't a club edition, I would be very tempted to get one out of curiousity.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 6 Sep 2007, 00:48) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>That's the "club" model isn't it? If it wasn't a club edition, I would be very tempted to get one out of curiousity.

David
Yes it is. The club is only 50 euros or so to join and you do get an interesting dvd, a wagon and a bunch of magazines as well. Some of the club models are pretty good. Usually there is a profusion of them for sale on Ebay shortly afterwards so if you want one look on Ebay around the end of December/January. There is also one German store who got me one of the Club models before I had joined the club so some discreet enquiries may be worth the effort. You wouldn't be able to get this years model now as they have to be ordered before April.
 

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QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 6 Sep 2007, 00:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>...You wouldn't be able to get this years model now as they have to be ordered before April.

My local hobby shop sells one or two of them without the buyer having to be a club member. PM me if you want more info. I am in no way connected to the store (other than that I buy most of my stuff there), and I wouldn´t want them to get into trouble, so I won´t post name or phone number here.

In case anybody is interested in what the 218 looks like from the inside (I had no reason to open mine), here´s a link to a thread on a German forum with photos: Click me!
 

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QUOTE (ME 26-06 @ 4 Sep 2007, 09:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Great - I just got a phone call that I can pick up my digital camera from the electronics shop this afternoon - it wouldn´t work, but they could repair it.

Two short sentences ahead: imho, the model betters the other HO offerings hands down. The sound is great and reminds me of times when I was trainwatching at Kiel main station. However, it does not shift the motor rpm up during accelleration.

Had time to have a decent play with mine over the weekend & compare it back to back with the FLM one - to me (at least) it looks much better than the FLM one (having said, that the FLM model is now 30 odd years old). The Trix mech is just superb.

Not too impressed with the sound though - in my opinion the FLM (Loksound) is better. I cannot find compressor sounds, the brake squel is not as good & I'm not too certain about the horn - sounds too American, although personally I prefer it.
 
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