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I built a DJH kit

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  • Member since
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I built a DJH kit
Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Sunday, July 08, 2018 8:52 PM

I'm guessing most of you in America haven't heard of DJH, but they're a large manufacturer of mostly European steam engine kits.  I decided to give one a try and bought the K8 0-4-4T with wheels and their motor kit (most of their kits don't include the wheels and motor as is, but they do offer them), and I wasn't disappointed! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaDbVM7ZnaY

Fro what I've seen, most of what they make is stuff you can't really find as ready to run models, so I think that's why their kit business has held on for so long.  Their older kits (like this one) are mostly white metal with a brass chassis, but their more recent kits are mostly brass with just a few white metal castings.  They're some very nice quality products!

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Posted by peahrens on Sunday, July 08, 2018 9:03 PM

Interesting.  I wish there were more US loco kit options.

http://www.djhmodelloco.co.uk/

 

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, July 08, 2018 9:43 PM

I recall the DJH ads in MR and RMC.  As I recall, they offered a USRA Light Mikado and a NYC Hudson, both in kit form.  I wanted both, but couldn't afford either.

Aside from them both being good-looking models, I was impressed by the squared ends on the driver axles, with matching openings in the driver centres - no more out-of-quarter drivers.

Wayne

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Sunday, July 08, 2018 9:50 PM

Darth Santa Fe
(most of their kits don't include the wheels and motor as is, but they do offer them

That´s for the OO scale kits, the HO scale kits usually include motor, gearbox and wheels - all you need to build a complete model.

The range of HO scale kits also included a number of kits for German prototype steam engines DJH took over from Merker + Fischer of Germany, but that line was sadly dropped about 15 years ago.

I was able to obtain a kit for very little money at the time DJH dropped their German line. Assembly was as decribed in the video - a smooth job. The loco now runs on a friend´s layout. He converted it to DCC and it runs like a charm. I think I have to dig up some pictures eventually.

Cheers,

Ulrich

"In my age, I don´t tan anymore - I simply rust!"

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Posted by Southgate on Sunday, July 08, 2018 10:07 PM

Nice job. I'm not into the European prototype stuff, but it's neat to see any little scale machine running smoothly like that. Those big drivers on the lead of the locomotive are sure different. They'd have never gotten away with that on the roughly slapped in early US railroads! Dan

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Sunday, July 08, 2018 10:16 PM

Southgate

Nice job. I'm not into the European prototype stuff, but it's neat to see any little scale machine running smoothly like that. Those big drivers on the lead of the locomotive are sure different. They'd have never gotten away with that on the roughly slapped in early US railroads! Da

That seems to be a specific British design quirk, which looks rather odd to us "Continentals" as well.

Cheers,

Ulrich

"In my age, I don´t tan anymore - I simply rust!"

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Posted by andrechapelon on Sunday, July 08, 2018 10:58 PM

peahrens

Interesting.  I wish there were more US loco kit options.

http://www.djhmodelloco.co.uk/

 

 

 

Actually, DJH does make one loco that could be used in the US, the S160 2-8-0. Some of these went to the Alaska RR.

http://www.djhmodelloco.co.uk/prodpage.asp?productid=3073

The sample in the DJH photo was done by Patrick Durand.

http://alaskarails.org/creations/PD-562/index.html

The Reader Railroad in Arkansas also used an S160 in tourist service and apparently that engine has been restored to service on the Great Smoky Mountain RR in  North Carolina.

https://restoring1702.com/history/

Edit: Forgot to add that the quoted price on the DJH site is the equivalent to about $560. Roco has a RTR one, as well.

https://www.reynaulds.com/pages/Roco%20Class%20S160.aspx

 

Andre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's really kind of hard to support your local hobby shop when the nearest hobby shop that's worth the name is a 150 mile roundtrip.
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Posted by oldline1 on Sunday, July 08, 2018 11:17 PM

Another US offering is the Pershing 2-8-0 listed under France engines. These were the WWI equivalent to the WWII S-160 already mentioned. The Texas State RR operates one today. 

I've built the S-160 kit and it's no harder than a Bowser kit but is much better quality wise.

They also offered a USRA Pacific if I remember right.

I have a Roco S-160 and it's a truly remarkable engine! The engineering is amazing. Mine has sound and runs like a Swiss watch. It has a tender drive and beautiful detail.

oldline1

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Posted by dknelson on Monday, July 09, 2018 10:51 AM

doctorwayne
I was impressed by the squared ends on the driver axles, with matching openings in the driver centres - no more out-of-quarter drivers. Wayne

Didn't Varney feature "self quartering" drivers back in the 1950s?

Dave Nelson

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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Monday, July 09, 2018 7:30 PM

doctorwayne, the first time I heard of DJH was when I read a review of the USRA 2-8-2 kit in an 80's MRR.  I'm guessing the US models they offered were overshadowed by cheaper RTR alternatives at the time.  I think it would be great if they tried some US models again, but maybe with something a little more unique.

Tinplate Toddler, I did see that the HO kits include the wheels and motor up front, but most of their models are British prototypes where you have to buy the parts separate.  So, most of their kits don't include them.Smile

Southgate, I'm not usually interested in European models either, but I have always liked the British steam.  That's where the railroad started, after all!

andrechapelon, I did consider the Alaska 2-8-0, and may try it later.  DJH does discount the price to USA buyers to make up for the high shipping cost and taxes.  Even with the discount though, the 2-8-0 is currently $458.34 before you add the shipping and tax.  Not to say it isn't worth it though, because I'm sure it's a great model!

dknelson, a few have tried square axles to eliminate quartering issues. I think Romford and Markits have done it best though (they make DJH's wheels). Bachmann used square axles in the Plus 4-8-4 drive, but the center had a tendency to split.

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Posted by garya on Monday, July 09, 2018 11:15 PM

Nice job, Darth.  Very impressive work.  I'd love to build one, but $500...

Gary
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Posted by Darth Santa Fe on Friday, July 13, 2018 10:18 PM

The kit I built here was under $250 after shipping and everything else, and they have some others that are a similar price.  It's more expensive on average than what Bowser charged when they were making kits, but they are also higher quality overall.  I still miss those Bowser kits though!

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Posted by Tinplate Toddler on Saturday, July 14, 2018 6:00 AM

Here are the promised pictures of my DJH loco kit built:

The engine still needs to be lettered and the lights painted black. My friend has installed a decoder and the loco is a great performer with that. Minimum speed is less than a scale mph and the top speed about 30 mph, which is close to what the loco was allowed to do.

Cheers,

Ulrich

"In my age, I don´t tan anymore - I simply rust!"

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