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Of Kokis, and containers


Sheffie

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I am a little bit bewildered by the range of cars and containers on offer.

There seem to be Koki 104/106/107 on offer, though it seems that those with containers are sold out. (But there are containers available separately.)

Then there's the Koki 5500 with 5 short containers.

So far, all of these containers (the ones that come with cars) seem to be removable, and it seems likely that all containers will fit on all cars.

There there's the Chiki5000 and 5500, which don't say whether the containers can be removed.

And then there's a Koki 10000 and 50000 (which don't look any different from the Koki 5500) and a Kokifu 10000 and 50000, which include the conductor compartment instead of one of the containers, and (in the case of the 50000) whose descriptions talk about how nice they look even without the containers on board.

 

It looks like any combination of these cars and containers would work just fine, allowing me to mix and match as I see fit.

(But I haven't made any notes about which cars come with 19D containers versus 18D versus "10 ft"...)

(So why do I have this worrying half-memory of looking at some kind of Kokifu wagon and being disappointed to learn that the containers were not removable?)

 

Can anyone with experience of these items tell me what's possible with them?

 

And how much compatibility is there with the Tomix line of cars and containers?

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I'm not exactly a koki expert, but the original tooling Kato Koki/Kokifu 10000s (which are still released every now and again, I purchased one new just last year) come do come with containers which are a single moulding representing 5 or 4 containers, and which are not really removable (you can unclip the moulding from the underside but there's not much point to that).

 

In my limited experience, apart from those, containers are interchangeable, I have a short mixed rake of Kato and Tomix kokis with a mix of Tomix and 3rd party containers.

 

I am sure some experts will be along shortly.

Edited by railsquid
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the newer stuff, as in 20 years or less age, tomix kato microace popendetta kawaii are all interchangable.  although to do have a vague memory of microace containers being loose on other brands, and vise versa.  but find them at a good price versus buying 900 yen readily available means you probably wont get MA wagons or containers.

 

In regards to wagon types and container types.  It is the same as locos and DMUs and EMUs.  They were specific to a certain era, and some have hung around longer than others.

 

And:- 

 

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Word of warning!  While most of the offerings are great and work and look well, the containers and mounts that are on the kato Chiki cars (and Takara express cars) are not compatible with the Koki car containers.   However I believe that the kato koki's are compatible with other manufacturers containers.

 

The Chiki cars do look great and feature individual containers, so if you don't mind having to keep that car stock then its well worth picking up.

Edited by Kiha66
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I should add that the koki pictured above is genuine early-ish Kato, 1970s or early 1980s going by the packaging, but has aged pretty well, and does not look crazily out of place or anything unless you look very closely at the gap between containers.
 

By way of contrast, here's a 1970s European/pseudo-British offering from Lima:

 

43039263202_56b1cabbd7_z.jpg

bananarama-1 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

 

(on the left), it would look even worse with the original Lima wheelsets, which I replaced with original Kato wheelsets cascaded down from some older Kato wagons I upgraded with modern Kato wheelsets.

 

(it's part of the Banana Train in case you were wondering)

42371142824_a64fd9bb0c_z.jpg

bananarama-3 by Rail Squid, on Flickr

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Yes, thank you. I am picking up on the air of bananas. 

 

Thanks, everyone, for your input. I’v got plenty to think about now. 

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Neither Tomix nor Kato 104s resemble the usual colour of the real wagons. Most KoKi I have seen are heavily 'weathered' and dirty with such a pale, faded, washed out appearance that under some conditions its hard to tell grey and blue apart. The dark blue of the Tomix model looks like a very new or recently overhauled wagon.

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Das Steinkopf
5 hours ago, EH500 (11) said:

Beware of blue Koki104 from Kato, their color is completely wrong.

 

The colour of the blue on 10-317 is totally wrong whilst the blue on the 10-1421's is a little bit paler compared to the Tomix KoKi's it's still acceptable, the biggest problem with both is the lack of the steps on the platform end of the wagon.

 

1 hour ago, Space Beaver said:

Neither Tomix nor Kato 104s resemble the usual colour of the real wagons. Most KoKi I have seen are heavily 'weathered' and dirty with such a pale, faded, washed out appearance that under some conditions its hard to tell grey and blue apart. The dark blue of the Tomix model looks like a very new or recently overhauled wagon.

 

 I have to agree with you there regarding the general appearance of KoKi's that they tend to look a bit grubby with grease, dust a very light rust being visable on pretty much all of them with the exception of new or refurbished wagons, I have a photo of a KoKi 104 in Kyoto that you can't tell wheather it's blue or grey it's that grubby. 

 

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2 hours ago, Space Beaver said:

Neither Tomix nor Kato 104s resemble the usual colour of the real wagons. Most KoKi I have seen are heavily 'weathered' and dirty with such a pale, faded, washed out appearance that under some conditions its hard to tell grey and blue apart. The dark blue of the Tomix model looks like a very new or recently overhauled wagon.

Of course they are not weathered out of the box, I know that, but Katos blue is completely wrong. Atleast for the older set with the containers. 

 

Judging from Steinkopfs comment they fixed that with the newer set.

 

As you said kokis are often dirty beyond recognition and often look like a Koki50000 on first glance.

 

In this picture you can see a clean blue 104 and three 106 in different shades of dirt.

Kokis.thumb.jpg.fb73e47ce51758b6a6344375b64b0a88.jpg

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The freight stock around northern Kyushu use Koki 106s, 107s and 104s. I’ve never seen a pristine looking 104. You get the odd clean looking 106 and 107 or sometimes one with clean trucks, but the 104s always appear covered with dust and grime. Same for the Koki 200s. Both my HO and N versions always look way too red.

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13 minutes ago, Kamome said:

The freight stock around northern Kyushu use Koki 106s, 107s and 104s. I’ve never seen a pristine looking 104. You get the odd clean looking 106 and 107 or sometimes one with clean trucks, but the 104s always appear covered with dust and grime. Same for the Koki 200s. Both my HO and N versions always look way too red.

 

Two clean 104s I saw in Goryokaku:

 

koki1.thumb.jpg.34dd4517f33209395a83da8922838b22.jpg

koki2.thumb.jpg.e1947b808dca3e6baa7db9a1b24c1867.jpg

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Das Steinkopf

Sheffie if you do a search through the forum I have posted quite a number of notes regarding contemporary JRF stock and containers, I have put them up as a source of reference for anyone interested in the topic, most of them are located in Platform 6 Prototypes Japan Rail: Pictures & Videos. With JNR stock I haven't done much research there as I am not modelling that era, that said the KoKi 5500, KoKi 50000's and their KoKiFu variants were used on general container traffic, the KoKi 10000's were used on express freight services. One main point with the KoKi 50000's is when they first entered service with JNR they were fitted with the TR203 bogies (black in colour), later on in JRF service they were fitted with the TR223F bogies in 1994 which were then replaced with TR223G bogies in 2001, both types of bogies are light grey in colour.

 

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Word of warning: KoKis and containers tend to start to multiply quickly when you start collecting them. Also there seems to be some correspondence between this and a lowering blance in your bank account. Somehow the two are related, not quite sure how yet. 

 

The Kato light blue -104 is annoying for the reasons mentioned however it can be a great weathering and detailing project. I have seen some older -104s in videos that are faded and rusted almost to that color but usually they start getting brownish like KoKi 50000s. 

 

As for containers, older Platz containers can be a pain to get to fit (and can snap off tabs) and Hogarakadou containers sometimes are loose on both Tomix and Kato KoKis. If you have a container that seems abnormally loose you can usually fix it by dipping in it almost boiling water, pinching it in a bit, and then dipping it in cool water. You don't need to bend much to get it to fit more securely. 

 

On a real world note some containers have restrictions on what car can carry them. Most of these were marked with a red 'Prohibited on KoKi 50000' in Japanese on the left side but this is purely a real world thing. Of course I believe all KoKi 50000 have been scrapped by now (or were supposed to be) so that's a bit redundant. Nice thing with Japanese container traffic is you can run a dozen car train and it's close to prototype as opposed to needing 80 double stack cars to model what intermodal looks like in the United States. 

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Wow, good info.

 

Sadly, I won't be able to get more than 4 Kokis onto my layout, I don't think. Right now I'm planning on maybe getting two Kato 107's and adding on two packs of five containers, then I'm tempted to get one of the Tomix 107's with the two Seino containers, because I like the look of them (and it's not much more expensive than each of the first ones). Finally, I guess something with tanks on? But I haven't seen a tank that I really like, yet, and I'm not sure I can buy a single empty wagon.

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10470345 (Kato 5 x 19D / new paint scheme)

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10470353 (Kato 5 x UR19A Japan Oil / pink stripe)

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10574352 (Tomix 107 + 2 x Seino)

 

And then there's the question of the locomotive. I think the EF210 is the canonical choice here, and I do like the looks of it, but after buying an EF510 it doesn't appeal so much because it's quite a similar shape. And right now my heart is pulled towards that JRK DE10, although that would have to travel a long way from Kyushu to get to Niigata where my layout is set. (And I'd have a "spare" with nowhere to park).

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5 hours ago, nah00 said:

Word of warning: KoKis and containers tend to start to multiply quickly when you start collecting them. Also there seems to be some correspondence between this and a lowering blance in your bank account. Somehow the two are related, not quite sure how yet. 

So true! :toothy12::toothy12::toothy12:

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Das Steinkopf
19 hours ago, nah00 said:

 Of course I believe all KoKi 50000 have been scrapped by now (or were supposed to be) so that's a bit redundant.

 

 I believe that the last of the KoKi 50000's were removed from service in December 2018, that said you could probably find a number of them languishing around yards and sidings awaiting their date with the gas axe just like the WaMu 380000's, I know of two locations that you could find at least a dozen WaMu 380000's and several WaMu 80000's, this is despite the fact that the WaMu 380000's were retired in 2012 and the WaMu 80000's a lot earlier than that. 

 

17 hours ago, Sheffie said:

Wow, good info.

 

Sadly, I won't be able to get more than 4 Kokis onto my layout, I don't think. Right now I'm planning on maybe getting two Kato 107's and adding on two packs of five containers, then I'm tempted to get one of the Tomix 107's with the two Seino containers, because I like the look of them (and it's not much more expensive than each of the first ones). Finally, I guess something with tanks on? But I haven't seen a tank that I really like, yet, and I'm not sure I can buy a single empty wagon.

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10470345 (Kato 5 x 19D / new paint scheme)

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10470353 (Kato 5 x UR19A Japan Oil / pink stripe)

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/10574352 (Tomix 107 + 2 x Seino)

 

And then there's the question of the locomotive. I think the EF210 is the canonical choice here, and I do like the looks of it, but after buying an EF510 it doesn't appeal so much because it's quite a similar shape. And right now my heart is pulled towards that JRK DE10, although that would have to travel a long way from Kyushu to get to Niigata where my layout is set. (And I'd have a "spare" with nowhere to park).

 

Locomotive wise I would suggest the Tomix 2223 DE10-1000 in JRF Renewal Livery as it's perfect for short freight trains, it is a cold climate locomotive that is employed around the Niigata area, the windscreens are fitted with the rotary windscreen wipers and they also have a bogie mounted snowplow which is essential for working around that region. Unfortunately no one does the DE10-3500 sub variant which is still in the old JNR style livery, they were originally DE15's of the 1500, 2500 and 2550 sub variants that were used on snow clearing services fitted with a Russel Head unit at each end, JR East got rid of at least 10 of these units to JRF where they became the DE10-3500. 

 

Edited by Das Steinkopf
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Thanks for the recommendation, Das Steinkopf. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. 

 

When I looked at the tomix model photos, though, it just didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t like the color scheme and it doesn’t appear to have the same level of detail (rivets and vents in particular) as the new kato model. 

 

Now I’m shopping for containers and am still a little uncertain about the various types available. Are the wagons effectively 60 feet long? Are all containers going to be 12, 20, or 30ft?

Edited by Sheffie
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I am not an expert, but most containers are 12, 20, or 30 feet.   Depending on which KoKi family, some containers are older and some newer gen.    Tomix makes a ton of different containers so get the ones you like the looks of.   You can look up the container models online to get the prototype history of them.   KATO makes a few 19 series which are also great value and give a little variety. 

 

Containers become an addiction.  Be careful.  

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3 hours ago, chadbag said:

Containers become an addiction.  Be careful.  

 

Yeah. I just caught myself thinking that, since there are some nice 20ft containers that come in twos, I can get three different types onto a pair of wagons. It’s possible that there is something addictive about this. 

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Das Steinkopf
4 hours ago, chadbag said:

Containers become an addiction.  Be careful.  

 

Tell me about it, I currently have 289 and I have another 28 on preorder and I can quite easily say I will ordering more in the future.

Edited by Das Steinkopf
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Just now, Das Steinkopf said:

 

Tell me about it, I currently have 289 and I have another 28 on preorder and I ca quite easily say I will ordering more in the future.

 

Yeah, I don't know how many I have.  A plastic bin full of (packaged) containers.  Last year I bought at least one pack (sometimes a few) of every N-scale container from Tomix and KATO that Amazon.co.jp had in stock at the time (and I had bought a bunch earlier last year already).  I saw what product numbers were in use for containers and just went down and tried looking up each number in the series.  Some 100.  And saw which ones were containers and were available.  I also bought a bunch of Platz and the other more expansive brands last year from HS.  I am currently resisting some new ones I have seen for various marriage-saving and family-related reasons.

 

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Das Steinkopf

Sheffie 

With containers it all depends on what period you are modelling, I am modelling from 2012 to current day. With JRF 12' container stock I start from 19D's as the 18D, 19A, 19B and 19C's had been removed from service, V19B and V19C's are still in service as they are ventilated containers and differ from general purpose containers, these days there is a shift with the 19D's slowly decreasing in numbers with some being converted to W19D containers for carrying waste. The C series containers are from JNR days and are no longer in use with JRF, the 20' varieties are still in use by private owners and have the "U" prefix in front of them, ie UC7 that Sieno have still kicking around, the private owner containers tend to last longer than the JRF ones be it for a number of reasons such as the cost of replacing them or the amount of wear and tear that they have endured from their owners.

Edited by Das Steinkopf
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