Waiting in the Weeds

Heljan Falcon
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I’ve been doing a little background research on the Class53 Falcon. What this really means is I’ve been sitting in the corner looking through books to find pictures of the locos in service. A good friend JBK sent a link to a good website with some pictures, and a copy of a picture in a book, one which I’d seen but hadn’t twigged one element of the weathering of the loco in corporate blue. Having Brian point this out was usefull, I’d probably have missed it and it’s quite distinctive. Over the christmas period we have to wait to find out the resolution to the buffer beam problem. It’s now afflicted both ends of my Two Tone Green version, tonight, taking the body off to look at the DCC instalation potential, the remaining beam broke free of one of it’s lugs just taking the body off.

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The DCC potential looks easy enough with an eight pin DCC socket, room on top of the chassis for a decoder, and plenty of room in the fuel tank to hide a good sized speaker. I’m likely to use a Western Class 52 sound chip if I go that way, the engines were pretty much identical, so it’s as close a sound as we’ll get without time travel, or a masterfull digital white noise recording. But who could authenticate it 33 years after the loco was withdrawn.
Whilst on the subject of the body/fuel tanks and studying pictures the grossly overscale step on the bodysides will have to go. It’ll be quite easy to make a replacement from angle brass and scrap strip. On one side the step is in the wrong place, and they have carried the problem onto the fuel tank, with mirror images for each side. so some cutting about will need to take place on one side.

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Right

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Wrong

The other area comment has been passed on is the headcode blind. Its certainly an interference fit, an easy way to remove them is to place the nose face down on the thin foam that comes in the box and press firmly from behind with a cotton bud. The glazing on mine popped out with little effort. Some paint did come away so it indicates that they may have been fitted before the paint was fully cured. The supplied headcodes can then be trimmed to size and fitted. the glazing just needs a run around the edge with some wet and dry paper to reduce the size fractionally and it’ll be a less interfering fit when replaced. The LED’s behind the headcodes do illuminate it well though.
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