4 Sep 2011

Upgrading the Bachmann Suburbans


I like the Bachmann suburban coaches they fit in well with the time and place of where I am proposing to model (Banbury 1962) but as models they are rather dated in a number of areas. For example they do not have NEM couplings.

Here is a slightly out of focus picture of one -

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I have one pair of these coaches and they will always run together. So I would like to do the following -

Add some passengers
Add lighting (both interior and rear oil lamp)
Change the couplings to Kadee

To add the lighting then there are choices to be made - do I want to have DCC control of the lights?, how am I going to make the pickups work? do I want each coach to be independently controlled and fed with power or shall I have them as a pair?

In fact in this case it is an easy decision - as these coaches will always run as a pair - I think the thing to do is put a single DCC decoder in the brake compartment and then join the coaches electrically by some means - this means putting the pickups on the same coach as the decoder only.

I will cover the choices of components in more detail in the next post - in the meantime here is how to take the coaches apart...

The first task is to remove the bogies - simples - undo the obvious centre screw in each. Removing the body is a little harder - it is held by six clips on the body that need to be prised away from the cut outs in the side of the base plastic.

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Once the body is off then you find that the same six clips that held the body to the base also hold the interior mouding in place - the interior moulding needs to be prised over the clips

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Once inside my first job was to glue in some lucky passengers using regular airfix type glue - in this case Revell Contacta.

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OK those are the easy bits done, next I have to work on the harder stuff of electronics and connections before doing the very tricky looking hack to get Kadee couplers to work with the stock.


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