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Old 03-01-2016, 10:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Others thoughts on Marklin Maxi/gauge 1

I had the fortune or misfortune to pick up an couple old Marklin gauge one items at a train show this past weekend. I got the Henschel DHG500 diesel(strip down version with no hand rails or lights) and the brown high side gondola for $40. Love the robust, if a tad noisy, spur gear drive. I had a small Marklin HO collection for awhile, so I know the quality of the brand. I am stuck with tight radius curves, and I am finding myself drawn to both the Maxi European and standard Spur 1 line. I am torn between getting the BR80 steamer, which shares the same drive as my diesel, or getting a Maxi set up with the little Rossle blue 0-6-0T engine. Even the lower height rail is drawing my eye. I am thinking some of my LGB stuff, track and all will be up for sale soon. Anybody else running the older Marklin gauge 1 or Maxi stuff? The beautiful stuff that Marklin did later on in gauge one will never be in my reach.I am only considering the older items from the late 60's and into the 70's, or the Maxi line. Mike
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Mike, is there a question in there somehow? ;-D

I have a fair size collection of Maerklin gauge 1 wagons and locomotives, spanning all three production styles. My views;

The 70's & 80's style, including the starter set BR80 and Henschel DHG500, and all the waggons, are very sturdy, also suitable for childrens play. All the waggons actually share the same two axle frame, and have very good plastic wheels. No easily broken off detailing - yet I think they are quite nice models. They are very affordable 1:32 models - get some on German e-bay, if you like! Only serious drawback, is that the claw-couplings are cast to the frame. Exchanging them includes sawing & modification.

During the 80's this style was coplimented with increasingly detailed models, and much larger steam locomotives, obviously aimed at adults.

In the 90's came "the new gauge 1" - some extremely detailed models, correctly depicting their real life prototypes, with sprung buffers, and all could be fitted with prototypical screw-couplings. These are the wagons I run with my live-steamers. But they are quite expensive & fragile.

Two different sets of Swiss waggons have been made. The first set was especially insanely detailed and beatiful. The sets cost an arm and a leg, but would match your new Aster engine very well. You also won't find them in the USA.

In the mid 90's came the MAXI line. Intended to compete with LGB - but adding the selling point they were all metal. The models revived the crude but charming tin-plate style. They are intended to survive harsh childrens play. Probably also intentional, the MAXI line attracted a nishe of slightly nostalgical adults, remembering their tinplate HO models in the 50's & 60's.
Some of the locomotives evolved into rather finely detailed cast metal models, that come very close to the "PROFI" line detailing.

The MAXI line made no significant dent to the LGB market ;-) A big drawback to the all metal MAXI waggons, is that they are very heavy. Running more than ca 4 waggons behind a small loco, isn't feasable.

The MAXI line was finally scrapped when Maerklin bought LGB. At the same time, a few smaller firms stole the largest part of the market for very detailed models. One of them was Huebner, who actually was the driving man behind Maerklins "Profi" line as a subcontractor. As he retired, Maerklin bought his firm, and hired his only (!) employee. However, Maerklin has all but lost the market to the competitors. Way to late, Maerklin has adopted the same museum level detailing and product quality, like all metal locomotives (hand built in Korea). Maerklin tries to compete with slightly lower pricing, market reach and brand aura. They still are insanely expensive.

The more simple standard gauge models are now produced in the realm of LGB, to some fantasy variable scale. But they do it well, and there is a market. Play is the main thing, regardless of some precise scaling to many! This compliments the narrow-gauge line, but are intermixable in size.

As for your Henschel DHG500 , you may have to replace the coal pieces feeding the rotor in the motor at some point in time. Also, lubricate from time to time. It will run forever with a bit of cleaning and oil! The noisiness on my BR80, actually mainly is the resonating superstructure. Putting some rubber cushioning betwen it and the chassis, took away most of it. (Perhaps I replaced with longer fastening screws also - I don't remember ;-) )

Sadly, I cannot recomend the Maerklin gauge 1 track system, because lots of large scale equipment cannot be run on it. The "spike-head" / rail fastening, is cast to high. It's a blunder, because PECO has an even smaller railhight, but will accept ALL large scale brands of waggons and locomotives. (We use it on one of Stockholm Livesteamers layouts.) I found this out in a sad way, when I invited my friends to run on my track - and half of them couldn't run their models. I would never have bought the Maerklin track, had I known. :-( Go for som USA brand code 215 or 250 instead!
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Last edited by Pauli; 06-21-2017 at 09:26 AM. Reason: comment on track
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replay Pauli, where I can I get one of the screw type coupler "hooks" to mount to the end of one of my Maxi cars so I can couple them to the Aster? The rest of the train can just use the claw couplers. Unless I am better off to adapt a claw coupler on one end of the Aster. I do not have the little Henschel any more, ran poorly outside and took way to much power to run on my battery set up. I would like to get one of the little class 80 steam loks eventually. They are one of the few "affordable" gauge 1 Marklin engines. I do see the early version of the 4-6-0 show up at a reasonable price from time to time. The engines with the can type motors take my battery power set up better than the earlier spur gear AC motors. And pretty much any Swiss stuff is big $$. There is some more Swiss Maxi stuff I do not have that I will hunt down once I am working full time again. Mike
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Old 12-03-2017, 07:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Watch out for the Märklin P8 4-6-0 there have been at least four editions made thus far of very different caracteristics because it was one of their earliest gauge one entry. The first has an AC universal motor which needs a bridge before it, which absorbs a huge amount of current and a pressed steel crosshead. It is very cheap yet sturdy for plastic superstructure.
The second has a cast crosshead but still stamped steel (or brass) rods I don't know about the motor but they might have made it DC.
The third is more pricey but has an entirely cast rods and crosshead a DC motor and often digital set up, but is quite finer with notably guard rails before the bogie wheels (and on the tender) a good quiet mechanism and still plastic superstructure. These fetch a higher price though. But are great for kitbashing (I am currently making a NORD verdion)
The latest imported from Korea is cast zamac with lost wax castings for details, but you might as well get the Aster kit, at the price they are selling it.
This classification concearns the technical aspects of the loco there were many paint schemes ands other variants which have been issued.
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