Model Encyclopedia - Haidar 1:87 SS1 Class Co-Co

Prototype Information

The SS1's were China's first mass produced electric locomotive and the first in the Shaoshan series (named after Chairman Mao's birthplace). They enjoyed a long production run of 20 years starting in the late 1960's, and over 800 were built during this time. The late built SS1's (on which the model is based) had a dark green/pale green livery with white lining, a long louvre vent section & porthole windows down the sides of the body and squared roof mounted air-conditioner boxes.

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Production Summary

Model Review

General

The SS1's were Haidar's first release. No (visible) production numbers were given to them. They were announced well ahead of their release and customers were given an option to pre-purchase at a very good price. Unfortunately, this was pretty much open to the local market, so many western collectors missed out on these. This run comprised of ten different road numbers and only fifty pieces of each number were made. Apart from the road number, These limited edition runs are identified by the box label which displays all 10 road numbers, with a number (from 1-50) stamped next to the applicable version. The second run was released shortly after and was not a limited edition, although still quite scarce. Three new road numbers over three bureaus were produced. The final version was a decorated locomotive, which apart from the brass plaques and number/bureau plates, had some very nice etched metal walkways on the roof. This was again a limited edition version.

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Details

These are really beautiful models, albeit - delicate; a trait starting to become tradition for Haidar. The paint work is beautifully applied, and the physical details - particularly the bogies and clutter on the roof is very nicely made. Unfortunately, these happen to be the areas that one should be very careful when handling. The pantograph system is particularly fragile and If they are overly used or moved in the wrong direction, they will spring out at such a force that you will most likely lose the small brass tube that runs parallel to the pick up. The ladders on the bogie side frames are also EXTREMELY prone to falling off. I recommend all owners to gently test each one to see if they come free, and if so glue them in place. The only other criticism I have relate to the wheels where the holes are simply painted on!

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Performance

They have very bright LED's for headlights and marker lights (directional), so strong they actually shine through the headlight housings. A simple and effective remedy is to remove the body and apply some heat shrink cable over them. The color itself, while not common, is not un-prototypical on some engines, which give of a very bright green/blue light.

On the PC board is an 8 pin plug for a standard HO scale sized decoder.

Electronics

Power is ferried from the rails (or pantograph and rail if you wish) via a circuit board to the motor and the lighting system. At the time of writing, I have not converted my example to run on DCC, nor have I opened it up. I am presuming like other Chinese models the board will accept an 8-pin decoder. The selector switch to convert electrical pickup between the pantograph or wheels is under the brake resistors (centre most large box on the roof). The lighting system is good. Lights are directional with a whiteish blue main headlight and yellow marker lights in forward direction and red in reverse.

Couplers

The stock couplers are dummy knuckle couplers, that no words (profanity is an exception) can begin to show my dismay. For operations, these will need converting to a working coupler. I use Kadee's for mine, and long shanks (#56/156) should be used to provide adequate clearance. These aren't a simple drop in conversion, and some filing of the shank may be needed to give the coupler a more smooth action. (Good luck!)

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