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1:87 Scale



KF60 Class Hopper Car

CMR Line

Prototype Information

The KF60 hoppers are synonymous with mining railways in China. Their design dates back to the 100+ year old USA built Magor self dumper cars of which China was a recipient. Chinese production was based off these and was classified as the K1 class, followed soon after by the K4, later renamed to the KF60, which had an all welded construction. Mass production of the KF60 has been on and off since 1964 and the design is still very popular to this day. They can be found all over China, often hauling loads well over their 60 tonne rating! These are privately owned wagons and are seldom seen on the national network.  


General Information

CMR Line introduced the KF60 in what was supposed to be the first in a series of Chinese industrial railway models, but would ultimately be the only one they would actually produce before the apparent cessation of the company. They are a plastic model with hidden metal weights and metal wheels. Much to my disappointment, only a single version was produced - an undecorated version in the common black color, however they provided a sheet of dry-rub decals so the owner could add a range of owners, road numbers and class markings instead.



The KF60's are wrapped in a soft plastic sheet and sit inside a foldable plastic shell which slides inside a thin windowed cardboard box. The box has received CMR Line's brown and maroon colored facelift, but otherwise the packaging remains the same relatively inadequate design and the ones I buy always seem to be handled by postal workers pretending to be professional rugby players.  



These cars overall do look superb and will fit any mining scene very nicely, especially with a load and some weathering. A load is not provided. The interior is very plain with absolutely no detail, but asides from this the car looks very busy and is packed with details. Most of the separately applied detail parts are plastic, asides from the large cylinders which are solid die-cast pieces to cleverly add more weight and some handrails on the car ends which are steel.     


There doesn't appear to be any paint work to speak of, with the parts seemingly produced in the color of the plastic. The only lettering is provided in the aforementioned decal sheet. There are plenty of options available to customise your car, but this is a somewhat time consuming project. I would have much preferred to have these already done as the factory applied lettering is always much higher quality. It is certainly worthwhile having a few practice goes before embarking on your chosen decals. Once you have cut your decals into the required size and positioned in the desired location, use a toothpick to firmly rub the decal in place. I recommend making a few passes before lifting the paper. The quality of the decal is nice enough with very sharp characters, however they do leave behind some glossy film from the transfer process. A decal fixing solution should fix them and remove this, something I haven't got around to doing just yet!   


These models feature plastic brake pipe air hoses, braking equipment, footsteps, platforms, auxiliary reservoirs, pneumatic piping,  pistons, bogies and side wall guides. The bogies are also plastic and sport adequate detail for a realistic look. There is no main reservoir pipes attached to the cars (used to feed air to the unloading mechanism), but these should be fairly easy to add if it bothers you. Some of the details could have been replicated a bit better, particularly the pistons in the large cylinders where air gaps are filled in with plastic. Overall though, CMR have done an admirable job with these cars and the purchase price is very reasonable. 



The KF60's roll very nicely and are able to go through all the track work on my layout with no problems (code 83 rail). Wheels are metal and are chemically darkened. The bogies are attached to the frame with a screw.



The KF60's come with metal knuckle couplers, copies of the Kadee #5's. I prefer scale head couplers for extra realism and I have swapped these with Kadee #58's (scale head, medium shank) with magnetic pins removed. By using #58's I am able to make use of the coupler boxes with built in springs. If you prefer Kadee whisker spring couplers, you will need to swap out the coupler box also. Note all photos in this review show the model equipped with the retrofitted Kadee couplers. I would suggest those who use Kadee #5's to save yourself a few dollars and leave the stock couplers in place as they look and perform the same.   

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