Faller Ghost Temple 140427 - Construction Log

This model is based on the Limited Edition Mammoth Cave model that Faller produced in the mid-90s.
Faller have clearly attempted to improve upon that model.
Nevertheless, I still encountered a number of problems that I've attempted to address in a Tips section at the bottom of this page.










The track design has been improved when compared with that of the Mammoth Cave model.
Each section of track is made up of three pieces - a channel piece along which the drive chain will pass, and two top pieces that will make sure than the chain remains within the channel.
The photo below shows a closeup cross-section of the track and one of the cars.
The car will be driven along the track by the fork-shaped piece that extends down from the car and which will latch on to the chain.










Drive assembly pieces.




With the drive assembly & chain completed, I now performed a test run with all the cars on the track. Unfortunately, more than half the cars had problems completing the circuit. At various places along the track the cars would get stuck and cause the motor to stall. Eventually I realised that this was mainly due to dried glue around the pins attached to the base of the cars. Although only fractions of an inch thick, the presence of the glue caused the gap between the base of the car and the top of the fork to be narrower than the thickness of the rails. In the instructions, Faller recommend using Instant Modelling Cement (i.e. Superglue) when gluing the pins to the cars - this made it very difficult to remove, but eventually I got all the cars successfully moving around the track.


Lights added.


I decided to add a Smoke Generator (Faller #180690).





The rest of the hand-painted figures were then added.






The smoke from the Smoke Generator is just about visible in this photo.




http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8NMd6V4jrU



Tips

As a result of my experiences whilst building this model, I've decided to offer these Tips in order to highlight those areas that I think are critical to a successful build. Basically, if I was to build this model again, this is what I would do differently:

1. There's a dilemma with this model, whether to build the cars or the track sections first, because each is dependent on the other. The manual shows the cars being built first.
On reflection, I think it may be better to start with the track sections, because as long as you pay attention to the instructions in the manual, there's not much you can do to them once built, whereas with the cars there's an opportunity to make some fine adjustments. So firstly I would build the track sections, then the cars and then join the track sections together.

2. Before gluing together the 3 pieces that make up each section of track, take a look at the underside of the 2 rail pieces and remove/smooth out any sprues that may exist. See (A) in photo below.



3. I recommend that you don't use 'instant modelling cement' (i.e. superglue) when gluing the pin/fork to the underside of the cars. Using standard plastic cement will allow you to make fine adjustments whilst the glue is still drying. Use a very small amount of glue & remove any excess glue that seeps out of the hole immediately. Don't push this pin in too hard, the distance between the bottom of the car and where the fork starts is critical (note how close the fork is to the underside of the rail in the photo above (B)).
As soon as possible after gluing, gently push the car along each section of track. Take care not to get any glue on the track. If the car does not move smoothly along the track then it is most likely that the base of the fork is rubbing on the underside of the rail, in which case you will need to carefully reposition the pin and try again.
Make sure you run every car along every section of track before attempting to join the track sections together.

4. I also recommend that you don't use 'instant modelling cement' when joining two sections of track together. Again, using standard plastic cement will allow you to make fine adjustments to the joint whilst the glue is still drying.
After joining two pieces of track together, test the joint by running every car along that piece of track. Do this with every car, every time a new section of track is added.

5. So that the track remains accessible, I would delay adding parts 3/1, 15/13 & 15/14 (on page 14), 13/1 & 13/2 (page 20) and 2/2 (page 21) until after the chain & drive mechanism have been added and tested.

6. I encountered a problem with the chain. Due to the number of times that the chain/motor stalled when the cars kept sticking, the chain had stretched slightly. As a result of this, on occasions, the balls on the chain would become lodged in the area shown in the photo below. I had to add an additional pieces to guide the chain correctly.




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