X 4005 profile view

X 4005 railcar Mistral.

The “Picasso” Mistral : a masterstroke?

When they released this railcar, Mistral Train Models’ people, for their beginnings in model railway, wanted to strike a great blow, with a pretty model, and a sophisticated electronics designed by themselves from A to Z (pride!). But, as popular wisdom says, is not the best — often — the enemy of good?

A proprietary electronics is very nice, but much less adaptable than a decoder made by a specialist of the thing. As a result, there are questionable automatisms, for example, the automatic switching of red lights in parking, to the white lights in manoeuvre, which has never existed in reality! It would not have been a concern if we, the users, had been able to modify this behaviour. But nope! Everything is fixed on this card.

Among the boring shortcomings are:

Fortunately, the artisans are there! And SMD has quickly released an elongation drawbar adaptable to the front of the Picasso. All the more stupid of not being able to turn the red lights off!

Note the dovetail coupling head whose tail has been re-cut to reduce the gap with a trailer’s buffers.

SMD drawbar

Here is what I propose to do:

As for walking in multi-unit, I see no alternative but to use a new decoder, questioning the whole current electronics, as well as the sound. That’s too much for me!

In fact, I manage to get by, taking advantage of the fact that this railcar has no rubber tyres: I set its acceleration, and then immediately after that of the other railcar, an ABJ, using the wheel slip of the first. Who said “juggling”? Did not that happen in reality? Yes, of course, there were two drivers…

Drawbar for Picasso Mistral
ref. SMD 072
€6.00 — price 2013
at smd-productions.fr