Review of LGB 21985 Saxon 1 K tank engine

idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Registered
13 Jul 2015
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#1
I recently purchased this model new from ebay. This is the fourth model of the Saxon 1K issued by LGB.

20980 model of replica No. 54 in Saxon green livery
DCC ready (10 pin), directional, cab and firebox lighting, smoke generator
Saxon Class I K Steam Locomotive | Märklin

20985 model of 99 7501 in DRG black
DCC ready (10 pin), directional, cab and firebox lighting, smoke generator
Steam Locomotive, Road Number 99 7501 | Märklin

21980 limited edition (399 pieces) green livery No. 1 named Alexander Thiemer
DCC fitted (mfx), directional and cab lighting, sound, synchronised smoke generator
SOEG Class Ik Steam Locomotive | Märklin

21985 model of 99 7502 in weathered DRG black
DCC fitted (mfx), directional, cab and firebox lighting, sound, smoke generator
(Some retailers list this model as having pulsed smoke generator but this is not the case.)

112065_cde9ca9a549538910600abc16e079bbc.jpg


Strangely there is no official LGB record of this loco. The only reference I can find is in the 2015/2 LGB depesche magazine which has a short description of it on page 44
https://www.champex-linden.de/download_fremddokumente_2015/2015_02_lgb_depesche.pdf
Even the instructions or exploded parts diagram are not available online. This may be because this loco is sometimes listed as a (Nuremburg) Toy Fair 2015 edition. It is also mentioned in some places as a “limited edition” but I doubt that as there is no numbered certificate in the model I received.

The full mfx decoder settings, not specific to this loco, can be found online here:
https://www.maerklin.de/fileadmin/m...ruestdecoder_mLD-mSD_CV-Liste_FX__28MM_29.pdf

Contents
The loco comes in the usual expanded polystyrene lined LGB red box with the following accessories:
  • Smoke fluid (Seuthe brand, 50 ml) with syringe applicator (labelled “one use only”)
  • Driver figure and self adhesive pad (why only driver and not stoker)
  • Coupling hook (one already fitted)
  • Two detailed pieces (part of the Heberlein brake pulleys that fit to the chimney)
  • Number stickers to renumber loco as 99 7501 should you buy a second one
  • Four “brass” lamp rings (odd for a weathered loco, black would be more appropriate)
  • Instruction booklet
112067_897d00bdc4f8b52a54cbbe86003bb04b.jpg


Model
Compared with pictures and drawings of the prototype it seems fairly accurate and has captured the compact appearance quite nicely.

112071_835d45e4da072f08d4be50e2ef5b84ee.jpg


112065_cde9ca9a549538910600abc16e079bbc.jpg


The model is slightly too large for 1:22.5 scale comparing the 280 mm length over buffers to the prototype at 5.630 m, it is more like 1:20. The wheelbase 1.800 m (97 mm) and height 3.000 m (155 mm) are similarly proportioned, more like 1:19.

I’m not a great fan of weathered models but this is done quite lightly so it doesn’t look too out of place with “freshly painted” locos and rolling stock.

Compared to the 20980 “No. 54” green model, apart from the livery they are very similar, the main differences being in the cab (sides, roof, windows and guttering), safety valve apparatus and chimney smoke arrester.

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Driving
The mfx decoder is responsive and drives well at low and high speeds. As usual the maximum speed is far too high; at full throttle the scale speed is over 70 kph. The maximum speed of the prototype was about 30 kph so the maximum speed CV 5 needs halving (mfx decoders don’t have a mid speed CV 6). It manages R1 curves with no problems, no audible wheel grinding or slowing down.

The model does occasionally stall on points at the lowest speed (speed step 1) due to the short wheelbase. This only seems to happen when travelling forwards through trailing points set straight not thrown. On my other Saxon 1K (20980) I fitted a stay-alive capacitor to solve this problem; I may have to do the same with this model.

By default there is no shunting speed function key but you can assign one and choose the ratio by which the speed is reduced (CV 137) to half or quarter speed. You can assign functions to the same key so you could have e.g. F8 set to shunting speed, turn on both forward and reverse lights, and sound the shunting whistle (sound 2).

Sounds
The mfx sound decoder has some nice touches. When starting there is a release of steam and full throated chuffs, after speed step 2 or 3 less laboured chuffs. If you slow down the chuffs get quieter almost silent for a second or two. I don’t believe the chuffs are synchronised with the wheels but are a very good approximation. The brakes come into effect as you slow to a stop. Brake squeal has to be turned on with F2 but you could perhaps assign that so it was always on when the loco was moving using CV 343 (forwards) and CV 443 (backwards).

Additional sounds include steam whistle (long and short), bell, a station announcement (not clear which station), coal shovelling, air pump, generator, injector and steam blowout. No conductor’s whistle which is a pity. There are no track magnet sensors in this model.

Lights
The lights are LED and not too bright. You can’t make them brighter with the decoder settings as they are all set to maximum voltage. It is nice to have separately controllable cab light. The firebox flicker is good, too, and the firebox door can be opened to get the full effect. You could assign the coal shovelling sound (sound 9) with the firebox flicker (AUX 3) to the same function key, by default they are separate (F12 and F5).

Smoke
As @r.wolfe pointed out on this forum a few weeks back, the provided 5v smoke generator in this model is fairly pathetic. The decoder output it is connected to (AUX 1) is set to full voltage (CV 119 = 255). By pathetic I mean if you put more than a few drops of oil in it won’t smoke at all, and then only for a minute or so, and it “spits” a lot. I’m not too bothered by smoke effects but if I was I would have to replace it.

Summary
I would give this model 9 out of 10, model aesthetics and accuracy are good apart from the slightly too large scale, the motor, sound and lights are very good apart form the occasional stall over points, but the smoke generator is disappointing, necessitating more spending if you wanted smoke.
 
Last edited:
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,350
1,825
North Essex
#2
A good review, Dave! I have the earlier version black one (7501) of this loco, plus the original No.54 green version, both now equipped with Massoth LS sound decoders with 10-pin wiring harnesses. I assume they (M/LGB) made them a little oversize to match other stock, as the real loco is VERY tiny - and 760mm gauge. Of course the Stainz is also about 1:19 or thereabouts, so LGB have happily been doing this for all of their 50 years and few people seem to worry very much about it. ;)

I also have the Accucraft/MBV Schug live steam version of No.54, which is actually stated as being to 1:20 I think; it is round about the same size as the LGB versions, but the biggest difference is that its motion and valve gear, being all metal, is much closer to scale than the over-thick plastic LGB rods - and therefore the motion on the live steamer does not stick out way beyond the sides of the footplate as it does on LGB's versions. This can make the motion of the LGB version slightly vulnerable, and care should be taken when picking the loco up.

Such minor things aside, these are very pretty little engines..... :)

Jon.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Registered
13 Jul 2015
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#3
Thanks Jon. I agree about the scale and rubber ruler, it doesn't bother me but I wanted to include it in a review.

Do your models stall on points?

I did think about getting the 99 7501 model (LGB 20985) but once I added the cost of LS decoder and 10 pin harness (they don't come with the LS any more) and speaker it was a lot cheaper to buy the already sound decoder fitted LGB 21985, even though I would have preferred a non-weathered loco. Plus I really like the Maerklin mfx decoders.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,350
1,825
North Essex
#4
It's been a while since either of them had a run out, Dave, and then it was only while visiting other lines (they haven't been out of their boxes yet since I finally got my own line running this summer!) - but I don't recall any significant point-stalling troubles with either of them.....

Both of the LS decoders in mine were supplied by our own Muns, who fitted the 10-pin harnesses for me.

I agree about the MFX decoders, they're very nice now that I'm getting used to them!

The Accu/Schug live steam version is a little beauty, and a really docile runner that looks great with some LGB Sachsen stock behind it.

Jon.
 
M

meiningen8

Registered
25 Oct 2009
235
13
#5
As far as I am aware the model was announced at the 2015 Nurnberg toy fair as a limited edition and the first 1k to be fitted with an MFX decoder. The model did not get imported to this country until an LGB fan spotted the model on the modellbahnshop-lippe website and asked Arcadia models to order him one. Hobbyco duly ordered some from Germany and hey presto.

meiningen8
 
M

meiningen8

Registered
25 Oct 2009
235
13
#6
Also of note in the pictures you have shown are the valve chest covers only one is correctly fitted. they are easy to pry off and refit


meiningen8
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Registered
13 Jul 2015
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#7
Also of note in the pictures you have shown are the valve chest covers only one is correctly fitted. they are easy to pry off and refit


meiningen8
Thanks for that I'll check it out.
 
palmerston

palmerston

trains
24 Oct 2009
501
10
Netherlands, near Aachen ;-)
#8
Smoke and lights are powered by the 5V voltage regulator so changing CV's has no effect. The voltage regulator is on the circuit board which carries the MFX/DCC decoder. Hence these loco's are suitable for analog operation.

I do like the mfx/dcc decoders in general.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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#9
Smoke and lights are powered by the 5V voltage regulator so changing CV's has no effect. The voltage regulator is on the circuit board which carries the MFX/DCC decoder. Hence these loco's are suitable for analog operation...
Not quite true. They may be regulated but you can vary the lights by changing CV from off to full brightness.
 
stevedenver

stevedenver

Registered
24 Oct 2009
5,290
197
#10
Great review.
Being very fond of prussian trains, green livery, and etched builder plates, and the subdued red, i bought the #1 alex theimer.
Light weight for its size, by previous lgb standards, such as original frank s loco. I succumbed to the sirens song of sync smoke, at this price point, but , with mts3 , (being digitally boggled) and i have yet to access this feature. Theimer, oddly has no lighted firebox. Why? This is supposedly a premium model. Sound......meh.

This in turn lead me to find a used mkII.. i really like this loco. So odd, almost story book like in its absurdity, imho.

Honestly, when i first saw the release, i didnt care for the smoke box front, overall feel and look. Boxy, toy like for some reason, perhaps subconsciously aware of proportions?

How things change.
They’re so ugly, i love them.
Ditto the mkIVs

Fwiw, mind those Heberlein pulleys, they come off as they are not glued, and are nearly impossible to get. I have no idea why, but marklin seems to either not have or offer parts. Even the usa rep, who made valient efforts for me, had difficulty. I got used parts from the factory!

That black toyfair version is great.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

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#11
Thanks Steve. I have a IV K and a VI K as well. I agree about the Heberlein bits and pieces, I wonder if running a dummy wire through the pulleys would stop them being lost? Or perhaps glue them in with some non-bonding glue like PVA or copydex.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,350
1,825
North Essex
#12
Steve, if you think the Ik, IIk and IVk are odd-looking, I think the IIIk takes the prize.....

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Outside-framed, inside-cylinders, outside cranks and valve gear (the round things where the cylinders should be are the valve chests).
The rear half of the cab, with one fixed set of pony wheels, is articulated to the front section.....

Jon.
 
Rhinochugger

Rhinochugger

Retired Oik
27 Oct 2009
23,134
3,156
North West Norfolk
#13
The rear half of the cab, with one fixed set of pony wheels, is articulated to the front section.....

Jon.
Ah, I'd always wondered about the weird wheelbase :nod::nod::nod::nod::nod:
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,350
1,825
North Essex
#14
Ah, I'd always wondered about the weird wheelbase :nod::nod::nod::nod::nod:
Yes, all the more odd-looking because the trailing wheelset under the cab rear are the same diameter as the drivers.....
With a set of blind rims on the second driving axle, it is supposedly capable of R2, though it is much more comfortable on R3!

Jon.
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Registered
13 Jul 2015
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#15
That's the Accucraft model I assume. Lovely. I would like one but they are quite rare and it won't handle R1. I have thought about a scratch build using an 0-6-0 as a starting point but it is way down the list of my roundtuits.
 
Zerogee

Zerogee

Clencher's Bogleman
25 Oct 2009
16,350
1,825
North Essex
#16
That's the Accucraft model I assume. Lovely. I would like one but they are quite rare and it won't handle R1. I have thought about a scratch build using an 0-6-0 as a starting point but it is way down the list of my roundtuits.
Yes, the MBV Schug/Accurcraft live steam version. Modellbau Frey does do an electric conversion of the live steam model, but that ends up costing more than the steamer!
Got this one second-hand at this year's 16mm show at Peterborough, then got Matt at Barley Pit to re-set the gauge from 32mm to 45mm, fit the blind drivers that I sourced direct from Herr Schug and fit RC for me.

Jon.
 
M

meiningen8

Registered
25 Oct 2009
235
13
#17
Thanks Steve. I have a IV K and a VI K as well. I agree about the Heberlein bits and pieces, I wonder if running a dummy wire through the pulleys would stop them being lost? Or perhaps glue them in with some non-bonding glue like PVA or copydex.

Spare Heberlein pulleys are available from modell-land.de.

meiningen8
 
stevedenver

stevedenver

Registered
24 Oct 2009
5,290
197
#18
that III K is unique and cool


as for modell land, ill try. many thanks to you!
seems that i found one LGB factory parts source in DE and they would not take an order from the USA, go the impression it had something to do with sales rep area restrictions.

but, in searching parts, unlike the LGB of old, marklin has limited parts offerings, not all part in a diagram are available, for instance, the footplate for a mkII,