OK so it is time to look at the Heljan L&B Manning Wardle 2-6-2t, these are quite a big loco for such a small gauge and significantly longer than even the Baldwin. I intend to use mine to work the main line passenger trains up the mighty gradient between Barnstaple and Lynton the big hill stating at Porlock anjd climbing up to a tunnel at Hawkshead, a run up through the trees so on the way will be some logging activity and I plan to have that there.
Anyway back to the MWardle tanks, the wheelbase is suitably short but it does have 2 pony trucks one front and one rear. In use the loco is super sensitive and this applied to both of mine, I initially looked at lifting the body but this has no effect, the loco beeches itself if there is the slightest irregularity in the track, and I mean it is super sensitive, my layout is nicely flat but even the slightest variation and the loco stops and spins its driving wheels. Now this is a heavy loco for what it is so it seems odd that the thing will not go but is beached so I reasoned that the fault has to be with the pony trucks.
I started by removing the couplings pulling them from the sockets, this had no effect but then I looked closer.
This is the best photo I have of one of this pair upside down
I you look closely you see the socket end sits on the buffer beam (this way up) so when the right way this remains the same, in other words there is no clearance, the socket is a little thinner so if the coupling passes under the buffer beam clearing it in the process then there is a little more movement about 1 mm.
There seem to be some issues and I wonder if the pony truck has straightened it self out and is not as cranked as it should be hence is longer, I tried pushing it and any progress made it returned to the original position, I then filed a little from the socket end and eventually had the socket able to clear the buffer beam. One of the pair had a bigger problem with the rear truck and the other one was worse on the front, eventually I got both to behave more or less but a little more surgery is required, we are talking of small clearances here, tiny but it makes all the diffierence.
Whilst in hospital in the recovery unit I built a model railwayand had the loco Exe and quickly found out that this needed 12 inch radius curves as well, it says so in a note ain the box so you have been warned, Peco do not make a 12 inch radius curve and due to the sudden lack of model shops that are open I cannot get track even N gauge in Devon unless I go miles, The next iossue is that it /They seem to dislike the intermediate peco electrofrog points, fine with the long radius one and the Y point and of course they will treat the 9 inch radius insulfrog with complete disdain, these locos are the aristocrats of the model railway dressed up and well decorated they look splendid the gold domes shining in the lamplight and I have to say in the pre 1906 livery they do look the part but if you are going to use one or more of these locos you have to be ready for them.
I also have a problem getting them to sit on nthe btrack, the pony trucks are right up underneath so here I think I'll have to get a slide to get them to sit correctly as a pony truck not sitting correctly leads to derailments.
I note that they are getting a poor reputation which is a shame, does Heljan not test their locos? I'll make them an offer send new ones to me for testing, I have 2 O2's and a 47xx plus a Garrett (at Hattons currently) anyway surely if they bcan make such a splendid looking effort with all the right ingredients (I could go on about the O2/4, but then mess it up with some silly detail fauts, that said even coirrecting the problems above it still remains super sensitive whereas the Bachmann Baldwin is absolutely splendid as a performer
Front end a little more difficult to see
Cannot fault the looks, be a shame if most of them end up as static exibits, Exe sits at the Porlock Weir line at Porlock Station under construction