Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Review of David Hoffman HOn3 Climax Kit

Expand Messages
  • mmattjcoleman
    I have never seen a review of the David Hoffman (The Bald One Locomotive Works) HOn3 Climax kit and since I had one, I decided to build it up over the summer
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 1, 2008
      I have never seen a review of the David Hoffman (The Bald One
      Locomotive Works) HOn3 Climax kit and since I had one, I decided to
      build it up over the summer and did a quick review of it for the group.
      It is located in the files section (because it has text and photos) at
      the link below.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HOn3/files/Hoffman%20Climax%20Kit%
      20Review/

      If you just go into the files section you can find it under Hoffman
      Climax Kit Review.

      It is a fun kit to build, runs well, is all brass but requires no
      soldering. It isn't for everyone but some of you might enjoy it.


      I will pull the files in a few weeks to save space so feel free to
      download it if it is of interest.

      Matt Coleman
    • Ed Weldon
      Matt-- Your pics of the little climax are great and a very useful reference for the builder of David Hoffman s kit or even someone who decides to scratch build
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 2, 2008
        Matt--
        Your pics of the little climax are great and a very useful reference for the builder of David Hoffman's kit or even someone who decides to scratch build a similar model.
        I downloaded them for future reference but was unable to open the .doc file. Just my computer or is anyone else having trouble with this?
        Ed Weldon


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Rich Strebendt
        ... Ed, I just downloaded the .doc file and it opened just fine in my OpenOffice swriter program. Try downloading it again. You may have a copy that was
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 2, 2008
          --- In HOn3@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Weldon" <23.weldon@...> wrote:
          >
          > Matt--
          > Your pics of the little climax are great and a very useful reference
          > for the builder of David Hoffman's kit or even someone who decides to
          > scratch build a similar model.
          > I downloaded them for future reference but was unable to open the
          > .doc file. Just my computer or is anyone else having trouble with
          > this?
          > Ed Weldon

          Ed, I just downloaded the .doc file and it opened just fine in my
          OpenOffice swriter program. Try downloading it again. You may have a
          copy that was munged in transmission.

          Rich Strebendt
        • dave4844@aol.com
          Ed They open fine in word in the UK [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 2, 2008
            Ed They open fine in word in the UK






            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • mmattjcoleman
            Ed, Here is the text copied out of the file. I had no trouble opening it but some people have had problems so I wanted to have a copy in the files that anyone
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 3, 2008
              Ed,

              Here is the text copied out of the file. I had no trouble opening it
              but some people have had problems so I wanted to have a copy in the
              files that anyone could access. This copy doesn't have the color or
              bold type but it should be readable.

              Matt

              <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

              Hoffman Class A Four-Wheel HOn3/HOn30 Climax Kit Review

              The Four-Wheel Class A Climax kit from David Hoffman (The Bald One
              Locomotive Works) has been available for several years now but I
              wasn't aware of it until the 2007 NG Convention in Portland, Maine. I
              had seen the drawings in the Hoffman catalog but assumed that it was
              either out of production or wasn't as complete as what the catalog
              cutline's said.

              I was wrong on both counts â€" it is very much in stock and available
              and it is a complete loco chassis and basic body. David Hoffman, whose
              past work includes writing the definitive book on the Dunkirk geared
              loco, is a knowledgeable researcher on Climax locomotives and the
              instructions show it. He also did several pilot models of geared
              locomotives for NWSL a few years ago and this kit shows his depth of
              knowledge.

              BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front)

              This is a simple kit that gives you a superb chassis and a basic body
              kit in brass. It has a can motor and all the shell parts needed to
              have a running locomotive with requiring soldering. It will require
              that the modeler finish the detailing with metal, wood, or styrene to
              suit their own tastes.

              The locomotive has been available for several years in HOn3 and Dave
              just recently announced that it will now be available in HOn30 also.

              It is an intermediate kit only in that it requires the builder to
              finish the detailing â€" from a construction point of view if you can
              handle a tube of glue and a screwdriver, you can put this together in
              a couple of evenings. It does require some chassis tuning â€" each kit
              comes with spacer washers, etc, but this is extremely well covered in
              the instructions.

              Getting Started

              Open the box, read the directions!

              Simple enough, but I didn't do it. I opened the box and tried to
              figure it out on my own. The instructions are detailed, with drawings
              and a complete description of what you need to do. If you follow them,
              you will end up with a sweet running locomotive. If you don't follow
              them you will eventually end up with a sweet running locomotive but
              only because you have to go back and read the instructions like I did,

              The Instructions give a complete history of the kit and some excellent
              background of the smaller 4-wheel Class A Climax Locomotives. I
              highly recommend that you buy or at least borrow and read the book
              "The Climax Locomotive" by Thompson, Dunn, and Hauff. Just looking at
              the photos and wood cut drawings of the early Class A Climax Locos
              puts this kit in perspective. While there is only one readly available
              photo of a four-wheel Climax loco (p.14 of the Thompson, Dunn, and
              Hauff book) . The kit instructions though give some excellent drawings
              of how Class A Climax Locomotives were typically finished and these
              match the photos in the Climax Book so even without access to other
              sources, if you just follow the instructions, you will end up with a
              superb model. (The website www.gearedsteam.com is also a good place to
              find detail shots of Class A Climax Locos.)


              The Chassis

              The heart and core of this locomotive is a well-engineered chassis.
              Unlike most four-wheel locomotives, this on does not depend on wipers
              for electrical pickup. Dave has modified commercial Athearn (and
              former Roundhouse) mechanism parts to create a split chassis loco that
              has partial equalization and provides for a smooth running small
              locomotive.

              The result is a chassis that when assembled and adjusted runs smoothly
              and slowly. And slow is the Key for a Climax. After all, we are trying
              to replicate the slow, powerful movement of a geared locomotive.
              Dave's choice of a large Mashima can motor helps in that regard. The
              locomotive has an estimated top speed of about 25-30 SMPH, not too bad
              for a simple gear train using commercial parts.

              Given that the majority of the HO and HOn30 Climax kits have used a
              diesel Chassis (the old Roundhouse kit included) and had top speeds of
              between 70 and 110 Scale Miles per Hour (SMPH)! This is pretty good in
              comparison. A real modeler could put in a micro-motor with gear head
              and slow it down but that is clearly an advanced option and not for
              the beginner.

              Suffice it to say, adding DCC would be a better option and simply
              limit the volts to about 60% of max voltage and you would be right in
              the ball park for speed for a Climax loco.

              In addition, the locomotive chassis comes pre-drilled and tapped for
              Micro-Trains HOn3/N Scale couplers taking one of the biggest headaches
              out of completing most locomotive kits.

              The body and details

              Dave Hoffman is a believer in mass and gravity for small locomotives.
              Small heavy locomotives run far better than small light locomotives
              (as the early followers of N Scale found out.) This locomotive has
              several large castings (the water tank for one) along with some
              smaller castings (the water hatch, some beautiful journal box castings
              (right out of the Climax plan book!) and the windows (to be used as
              noted in the instructions for detailing.) These give it enough weight
              to run smoothly and have good electrical pickup.

              On the subject of castings though -- be careful not to file away the
              little nibs on the back of the journal box castings â€" you need those
              for locating them on the chassis parts. I did that on one and quickly
              learned my lesson.

              I have included several photos to show the construction as I did it. I
              made a mistake in locating the motor â€" I gave it too much `lift' at
              the tail end and had to make some minor brass removal from the casting
              that includes the primary roof shape and stack. If you do it like the
              instructions say, you won't have that problem.

              I used Uhu glue for the motor (my favorite) but any of the two-part
              epoxies or one-part resin glues (like Uhu) will do a fine job holding
              the motor in place. Don't use ACC (superglue) it just won't hold
              against the motor torque.




              Summary

              For the price ($96 PP with the cast end beams) this kit is a bargain.
              It is an excellent entry kit for the Narrow Gauge modeler seeking a
              geared locomotive replica and provides a great starting point for the
              free-lancer in HOn3 or HOn30. It is probably not for the rank beginner
              but if you have done a kit or two of any kind, this should be within
              your reach. Remember, no soldering required! For the modeler ready to
              try something to add to their collection of resin kit conversions,
              this might be the ticket to Tomahawk that you have been looking for!

              The kits are available from

              David M. Hoffman
              8682 U.S. Hwy 61 North
              Woodville, MS 39669-3502







              --- In HOn3@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Weldon" <23.weldon@...> wrote:
              >
              > Matt--
              > Your pics of the little climax are great and a very useful
              reference for the builder of David Hoffman's kit or even someone who
              decides to scratch build a similar model.
              > I downloaded them for future reference but was unable to open
              the .doc file. Just my computer or is anyone else having trouble with
              this?
              > Ed Weldon
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.