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Reduce That Gap!

Kato Model Railways Kevin Player


KEVIN PLAYER looks at close-coupling the N Scale Kato Glacier Express Coaches.

This Close Coupling Set is for the Glacier Express starter set, Basic Power set, 4 Coach Add-On set and the latest announced Alpine Glacier Express 7 car set with UNESCO graphics on the locomotive.

The Close coupling set is a must purchase for reducing the gap between coaches to a more realistic size. This set comes complete with couplings for both coaches and the locomotive, together with reduced length corridor connections. Fully detailed instructions are also supplied. It’s a very quick job, as an example it only took me ten minutes to replace the couplings on all 6 coaches.

Kato Glacier Express

The Glacier Express coaches with the original factory-fitted couplings.

Care is required when fitting the couplings to the locomotive as the coupling spring is produced from very thin material. I recommend gentle handling with tweezers and take your time during fitting, as it can bend very easily. I must admit it took me another ten minutes or so to fit two couplings to the locomotive , that spring can be a right so and so when it wants to!

The Coupling design is unique and provides a push fit. Units will couple easily on the track providing couplings are central to each other and the pressure springs are not distorting the angle of the coupling in any way. This is well worth checking after fitting.

Kato Glacier Express

The orignal corridor connector (left) and the shorter connector provided in the set (right).

To reduce the gap even further only fit one of the reduced length corridor connections to each coach. When coupling up match one short length to one long length corridor connection. The close couplings won’t cause any problems on a tight radius, this includes the 150mm Curves as supplied within the starter set or the Compact Oval Track Pack CV1.

Kato Glacier Express

The Glacier Express coaches with the close couplings, and one of the shorter corridor connectors.

Should you require the facility to uncouple the locomotive and run around to the opposite end, due to the coupling design you will need to keep the existing couplings fitted to the loco and one end of the coaches which are to be coupled up.

To further enhance the model remove the body and paint the floor and tops of the tables using Acrylic paint. This removes the highly obvious one piece moulding colour. The next step is to populate the coach with figures, for example Preiser bulk packs of 60 figures PR79250 and/or PR79251. As normal when populating N Gauge coaches, the legs will have to be cut off unless extending into the gangway. Don’t use Cyano glue or superglue to stick the figures to the seats because when they dry they can cause a fogging effect on clear plastic. I would suggest either Tacky Glue from the Deluxe product range DLAD-27 Tacky Glue or DLAD-25 Scatter Grip.

With just a small amount of work, fitting close couplings can add an extra dimension of realism to your layout.

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