C62 Class Gondola
The C62 gondola's were derived from the C65 gondolas. Thousands were built at various rolling stock plants in China between 1971 until 1977, however only a small percentage received the body style as Haidar produced. The main spotting difference between this particular C62 and all the other members of the C62 family, is the lack of angle braces on the upper portion of the side walls.
It is highly probable that very few, if any, are in existence today. Indeed the only example I have found in over 20 years of regular travel to China, was at a large coal mine near the Russian border, modified with a roof.
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. There were a great deal of C62's and variants of the C62.
These models were sold in a one piece thick cardboard box with a lid that folded up. The lid was secured with red ribbons. The interior has thick foam pieces to protect the model.
First the positives - the bogies are superb with separately 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 tendency 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 what's 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.
The cars are fairly free rolling, and a weight is included for those who wish to run them which slightly improves this. My example also has a bit of a lean, possibly this can be fixed by adjusting the bogie screws
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.