LS Models A9 VSE.
I own two units of this Voiture Standard Européenne (European standard coaches), the first in C1 livery which was used as a guinea pig, and more recently, the other one in Corail livery. These coaches are very successful, easy to disassemble… and to reassemble! Current pickup strips are provided. All you have to do is make the rest of the lighting circuit…
Before I start, I arbitrarily number the ends of the coach in the following way: coach view side compartments, end No. 1 is on left. It is used to number all the parts: bogies, chassis, roof, body, fittings, toilets, during disassembly, to avoid any hesitation or ambiguity to the reassembly.
The roof can be easily removed starting at one end, where the gutter provides a convenient grip. Simply slide a fingernail and move it to the other end.
Surprise! There is another roof, a bit like the Nord Rapide of the same brand, except that it is moulded with the body. Advantage: perfect rigidity. Disadvantage: obligation to separate the body from the chassis to place figurines or for any other purpose. In this double roof are visible rectangular holes clearly designed to receive LEDs, as well as small centring pins. In fact, a prefabricated ruler, whose reference (89899) is indicated on the notice sheet, at the sweet price of thirty euros. A closer examination shows that the spacing of the holes does not match that of the compartments.
The separation between body and chassis is also easy: there are no clips at the ends, but only on the sides, and not too strong. Coach upside down, just slide a card on either side between the body and chassis, starting at one end, gently lifting the corresponding end of the chassis, and continuing by sliding the cards towards the other end. Be careful, however, not to allow these cards to penetrate too deeply, as they can penetrate between wall and window panes, and also unstick the small blue shelves that decorate the compartments.
We can then admire the interior decoration: transparent corridor walls equipped with curtains, such as windows, luggage racks unfortunately often glued crooked, white headrests on red seats, toilets with decorated doors as well as extinguisher (in pad printing only!). One complaint: the blue floor, unpainted, is shiny and does not give a carpeted appearance. Another criticism is that the grab bars of the corridor, mounted into small clips of the panes, are glued with large patches of rubbery glue, where tiny glue drops would have been sufficient. But this cannot be seen from the outside.
It is now necessary to take the fittings off the frame, releasing the small tenons which are all along. They are weak enough to be freed with a nail, so without risk of damaging anything.
Finally, regarding the bogies, they are easy to disengage and do not have too fragile parts. In addition, the parts representing the disc brakes are almost not glued and can be disassembled quite easily: it will be necessary to install the current pickups.
In fact, not so arbitrarily: the axle boxes are numbered. Still it is necessary to have a good sight, and not to interchange the bogies…
It is expensive, of course, but you can light at a distance, each compartment is independent, the light blinks on starting, you can simulate a broken bulb, etc. That’s great, isn’t it? We’re not going to stop playing (Day… Night… Day…). Maybe they should stop taking amateurs for kids, eh! Though…