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Heljan Class 15
Paul Johnson.
Heljan class 15 item 1500 D8200 in BR plain green.
Gets the looks of the prototype overall very convincingly, the top of the cab moulding sat slightly proud of the rear roof, but this was easily adjusted, mainly the paint stopping the cab locators going fully home. A small clean up sorted this out. Very neatly finished, although this particular livery is extremely plain all over green, with duck egg blue on the rear cab facings so there is not a lot to evaluate. Numbers and totems neatly applied.
Well detailed and constructed, nothing has fallen off in operation. The unusual flat bar handrails are very well rendered. The cooling fan is a moulding rather than a separate grille with fan underneath; personally I feel it is so well done as not to matter. A comprehensive set of additional detail parts  is included. How much of the bufferbeam detail can be added depends on your layout curves and the coupler used.
Performed very smoothly and quietly straight out of the box. Pick up on all eight wheels, so very reliable; this has the newer style nickel silver wheels that Heljan have now adopted, no trouble with them becoming dirty with running. Will pull a heavier load than the real thing was usually put on, starts and stops very smoothly, runs at both a dead slow crawl and up to a realistic maximum speed. (These were not fast locos, be it noted).
Properly lubricated on receipt, (no excess spilling out) no maintenance of any sort required to date. DCC decoder is an easy install, full instructions on body removal with the very comprehensive instruction sheets. Performance with either of a Lenz Standard and Bachmann 36-553 excellent, biggest advantage with DCC is that it enabled the lights to be turned down to a realistic level.
Very unrealistic model with all this smooth and trouble free operation, as those who remember the desperately unreliable prototypes can confirm. Something of a surprise to have a RTR model of a ‘failure’ pilot scheme diesel only ever built in small numbers in the first place, and very early casualties of BR’s withdrawals, and such a good model to boot.
Overall ranking
Straight 10. (I bought a second example as D8215 ex-works in shiny green, equally good).
Review Hornby Bachmann 
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