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Haidar C62 Gondola

Prototype Information

The C62 gondola's were derived from the C65 gondolas. Approximately 11,500 of these cars were made at various rolling stock plants in China from 1971 until 1977.

Model Production Summary

Release Date Production Number Production Run Scale Road #s
August 2008 n/a 1st HO (1:87) 1481168
" " " " " " " " 4111888
October 2008 " " " " " " 1480001
" " " " " " " " 1480002
" " " " " " " " 1482222
" " " " " " " " 1482888
" " " " " " " " 4112233
" " " " " " " " 4123456
" " " " " " " " 4100001
" " " " " " " " 4100002

Model Review

General
The C62's were announced before Bachmann's C64's way back in 2004, but in usual Haidar fashion, arrived a bit over 4 years later. Ten versions were produced, although apart from the road numbers, no other variations were made, e.g. beureau/owner markings. While these are a common car, I'm not sure why Haidar bothered doing these since Bachmann put out there similar looking C64's, a much more cost effective car for most modellers, and when there are plenty of other freight car types yet to be modelled?

Details
First the positives - the bogies are superb with seperately applied springs, masses of undercarriage details and, yes, opening hatches (in regards to how they look) are very good, particularly when open. The brake wheel and associated platform looks gorgeous, as do the tarpaulin hooks (to be installed) and hook supports.

These cars have a very slight body warp along the car side walls. This appears to be worse on some models over others, so it may be a good idea to purchase one of these in person to make sure yours is OK. I would suspect being brass however, it wouldn't be too difficult to 'very' gently bend these back into place. While the bogies look great, unfortunately the wheels do not, very shiny stainless steel. While I prefer stainless steel over brass wheels for its rolling and longevity qualities, they just don't look good - a paint job or outright wheel swap should fix this.

While I was really looking forward to the opening/closing doors on these cars, I wasn't particularly impressed for a few reasons. Firstly, once these are opened, it is virtually impossible to seal the doors back into their original closed position. I think I've discovered that this may be related to the paint on the cars which made the hinges stiff and slightly bend out of shape upon opening. I've also noticed that the paint itself flakes off around the hinges after opening/closing a few times. The hinges for the side hatches are two very fine strips of brass that are attached to the main car body by bending them over a very fine loop. Being such a soft metal, these have a tendancy to 'straighten out' allowing the hatch to simply fall off the car.

The inside of the cars look terrible - with many solder joints clearly visible under the paint - and whats the deal with those coupler screw holes protruding through the floor of the car? There is a large metal slab weight included (I'm not sure what for as they're heavy enough), and it sits in the bottom of the car, which blocks about a quarter of the visibility through the side hatches. If a load is in the car, then this is not really important - but I can't imagine too many people would buy these cars to be actually USED on a model railway.

The paint work is very glossy which makes it look cleaner than new. Lettering is very sharp, although I think the data panels under the CNR logos are much to close to the end of the car - being printed over the end rib.

Performance
The cars are fairly free rolling, and a weight is included for those who wish to run them which slightly improves this.

Coupler Conversion
Haidar have used metal couplers on these, with scale heads which look great. However, I don't think Haidar really get the point of couplers in general as this is their third product to be released with non-functional ones. Perhaps this isn't such a problem with these cars, as most will be put in a siding somewhere with all the doors wide open and probably never used. They should accept Kadee #5/58/158 medium shank couplers with little fuss.

Other Notes
A bit of a mixed bag. Despite being very pretty cars, and good value for brass models, collectors of brass models demand more for such items, and this has contributed to their poor sales, being still very readily available after nearly 2 years (a rare thing for HO scale Chinese models). Being Haidar's first dabble in the brass market, they've done a fairly respectable job in this regard. I suspect these will be bought by people in very limited numbers for aesthetic purposes only.

Review Summary


The Good News

The Bad News
Very highly detailed brass freight car Inside of car is very rough
Doors/hatches can be opened! But a nightmare to fully close
10 road numbers to choose from Non-functional couplers
Beautifully packaged Many of these cars were subject to body warp along the sides
Reasonably priced for a brass model... But the whole package doesn't quite come together for frequent use

Model Photos


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