SNCB B8D M2 Märklin car equipped for lighting.
This is a set of four SNCB M2 cars in original green livery: an A4B5 mixed car, two B11 cars, and a B8D mixed car. Made by Märklin, ref. 43530, released in 2001. I was lucky to find a new one at Modellbahn-Seyfried.de, at around €40 a car.
The box is huge (640 × 175 mm) and is not easy to ship, or to store! It reminds me of a certain EAD (LSM) first generation!
The set is delivered with four folded bellows for uncoupled ends. These bellows are easily interchangeable, unlike some of other brands.
These cars are heavy, probably too much. We’ll see whether it is possible to reduce their weight. The bogies don’t have a 3-point suspension. The wheels are burnished, but anyway, the wheel sets will be changed for isolated models complying with the NEM 310 standard.
Disassembling is very easy: just remove the bellows, simply snapped, and spread a little the body at the door level. We find a rather coarse interior fittings, coloured in green, painted in red in first class and in cream in the luggage room. Beware: the glazings, not glued, tend to escape. You should check whether they are correctly fitted into the small pins on top of the windows. It will be a good idea to hold them in place with a little Kristal Klear glue or double-sided adhesive.
The roof is a separate part, but cannot be disassembled because it is fixed by hot-melted pins.
The steps and marking plates tend to fall down when lifting the body, but are easy to put back in place even after re-assembling.
The interior fittings are very easy to get out, because they are not fixed. Below, we find the ballast, 45 g, not fixed either. By removing it, we get a weight of 111 to 117 g, which is perfectly NEM compliant.
The bogies are easily removed by pushing them from the inside, by their pivot. Be careful to remind the location of the bogie equipped with a generator, to the end where there is a specific notch into the body bottom. The wheel sets, the axle of which is 24.4 mm long, are easily removed, too.
At last, I remove the Märklin couplings, since I use Profi Fleischmann couplings, and, moreover, they will be electrified.