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List of Zinc Pest / Zinc Rot affected japanese model trains


Yavianice

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This thread is dedicated to building a list of Zinc Pest models. I was worried to see JR500's original post of his 300 Shinkansen series disintegrating, and while searching the Japanese internet, I found a disturbing enough number of cases that I decided to make a list. 

 

Zink pest, for those who do not know, is a corrosion of zink especially when it has been made with lead impurities. High humidity accelerates this corrosion a lot, leading to cracking, swelling, and disintegration of model trains. See here for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zinc_pest

 

The list can be found here (google sheets) Abandon all hope and despair all ye who enter.

 

If you have an affected model and it is not in the list, please post about it, and I will add it in the list. Preferably with pictures if possible.

 

You might be thinking, what can be done about this issue? The only real solution is by replacing the damaged part. Micro Ace provides repairs for those that have a receipt (and sometimes those who don't), and sometimes they sell replacement motor cars. Some on Yahoo Auctions have already had new parts that are unaffected. And that you own a train that is on this list, it does not necessarily mean yours is doomed to crumble into dust. But I would keep a closer eye on it.

 

Current Count: 29 Models

Last Update: 23 April 2019

 

Edited by Yavianice
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2 hours ago, Yavianice said:

This thread is dedicated to building a list of Zinc Pest models. I was worried to see JR500's original post of his 300 Shinkansen series disintegrating, and while searching the Japanese internet, I found a disturbing enough number of cases that I decided to make a list.

 

 

Could you post the sources where you found the information?

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Martijn Meerts

My Tomix 300 series (92808) is showing the same issue, although not quite as bad (yet). The motor car of the base set (92808) is affected, the motor car in the add-on set (92810) is not affected for now. However, I did buy the add-ons some years after buying the base set.

 

The 300 series is the only one I've checked so far, so no idea if I have issues with other trains as well.

 

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11 hours ago, railsquid said:

Could you post the sources where you found the information?

 

Done. Links provided with horrifying pictures.

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Just had a quick look; you might have the wrong Micro Ace C53 - according to the blog, it's the year 2001 product A7001, not the year 2007 product A7007.

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7 hours ago, VJM said:

Just had a quick look; you might have the wrong Micro Ace C53 - according to the blog, it's the year 2001 product A7001, not the year 2007 product A7007.

Corrected, thanks. That model wasn’t on hobbysearch which confused me.

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Another possible MicroAce 2010 victim: A-0585 183-1000 ("Azusa New Colour"), nothing visible externally and it still runs fine, but when taking the body off, the chassis appears to be bending upwards slightly.

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6 hours ago, Yavianice said:

Most of the 28 trains in my list I made about Zink Pest are from 2010.

That would be shortly after Kader bought control of Sanda Kan, the largest Chinese model train manufacturer and delivered termination letters to nearly 50 model train lines causing chaos in the model train industry. Kader is the parent of Bachmann.

 

Jason Shron has pointed out in his videos that all factories are government owned in China and they favour high-tech manufacturing over other products like model trains.

 

Edited by bill937ca
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2 hours ago, bill937ca said:

That would be shortly after Kader bought control of Sanda Kan, the largest Chinese model train manufacturer and delivered termination letters to nearly 50 model train lines causing chaos in the model train industry. Kader is the parent of Bachmann.

 

Wikipedia mark the take over from November 2008. From what I read, the terminations were potientallz given around late June. Most affected sets are from May. So from before the termination.

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It lasted for years. Even though Atlas was listed as unaffected there new releases did  progress for a long time and a time there track was almost non-existent. It was not a short term issue.

 

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7 hours ago, bill937ca said:

Jason Shron has pointed out in his videos that all factories are government owned in China and they favour high-tech manufacturing over other products like model trains.

 

I don't believe that this is the case, in china they must be Chinese owned but not necessarily owned by the government.  Much of the rise in Chinese manufacturing power was due to this shift from state owned to privately owned businesses, although the state does maintain control and in some cases ownership of larger strategic sectors.  For example the larger steel mills are often state owned, while the smaller ones can be privately controlled.  As of 2004 state ownership in whole or part (gov owns some stock) accounted for 42% of industry in china.  In most cases what the government does control is the land, which is leased to the business for a set amount of time to be renewed or revoked after that date.  

The choice to favor high-tech manufacturing is more an economic choice by supply and demand, the profit on electronics is much higher for a similar amount of work than making quality model trains.  Some of the rapido models probably have more parts than an iphone at this point.

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17 hours ago, bill937ca said:

It lasted for years. Even though Atlas was listed as unaffected there new releases did  progress for a long time and a time there track was almost non-existent. It was not a short term issue.

 

 Then, I am not sure I understand the relation you are trying to draw between the zinc issue and Kader buying Sanda Kan. I would have understood if this was issue that started after Micro Ace had to find a new factory, but these appeared before they received the termination letter.

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This can also be an outsourcing issue. My design partner had a similar issue in some custom metal fittings a factory had outsourced (they did primarily wood which was most of the product) to a subcontractor that started to go cheap with very sub par metal on the second run. A 10 cent part basically ruined a $100 manufacturing cost item. A whole container got shipped back to China. Luckily it was the retail company who ordered the item had contracted the factory so they had to deal with the whole mess and it was a big chunk of money. Luckily I learned my lesson watching these project to not get into one myself. There were opportunities to do some specialized computer desks and such that I almost did but glad I did not...

 

jeff

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On 4/21/2019 at 2:09 PM, railsquid said:

Another possible MicroAce 2010 victim: A-0585 183-1000 ("Azusa New Colour"), nothing visible externally and it still runs fine, but when taking the body off, the chassis appears to be bending upwards slightly.

 

I added it to the list. Do you have a picture of it, perhaps?

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4 hours ago, Yavianice said:

 

I added it to the list. Do you have a picture of it, perhaps?

 

Actually, cancel that, checking it again and comparing it with a similar power unit, the seating unit does have a slight upward arch over the motor for some reason, but the chassis itself is straight. I'll keep an eye on it though...

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Davo Dentetsu

If by chance anyone does have an effective model, would they chance "pickling" the chassis to save it?  Could be a possible extension to the life of a chassis.

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Martijn Meerts

Yeah, that one looks just ever so slightly beyond the point of no return 🙂

 

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I really doubt that an acid wash or soak will fix the issue. The issue is lead or other metal impurities in the zinc/aluminum alloy used. Once the lead starts to oxidize (due to water allowing electrochemical oxidation/reduction happening between the metals) the lead oxide expands and pushes out and the metal crystals left are fragile (think Swiss cheese) and crumble due to the expansion of the lead oxide trying to squeeze out. Acid wash would reduce surface lead oxide back to lead but not effect lead inside the metal frame unless already oxidized and then the rot is already happened and damage is done. Changing the lead oxide back to lead Inside the metal crystals (past the surface) won’t help, it would just wash the rotted bits of lead out leaving the weakened metal crystals. Plus you are introducing a lot of water with washing that will keep creating more future lead oxidation unless completely dried out.

 

Once the lead is in there it’s going to eventually be a problem with moisture at some point. Best you can do is keep things as dry as possible. Dessicants in your boxes may help for the models that may be affected, especially if you live in humid climates without heavy dehumidification. Folks have had stuff stored similarly have one rot and one not, may be the luck of the draw one got few impurities or one got wet at one point. Also some have thought if piece gets rot it will travel to other pieces, like an infection, this isn’t true, it just means that moisture got into all the pieces, so it’s keeping things dry that’s the only real solution once it’s made with impurities...

 

cheers,

 

jeff

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Davo Dentetsu

For sure, but there is a lot of confusion and conjecture in such subjects.

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It’s the basic science I go by. Pickling of metals is usually for surface oxidation, makes no sense to go at rot within as if the rot is there the damage has been done and just reducing back to lead won’t change the situation as expansion damage (fracturing and warping the metal crystals) has already been done and the oxide can form again with more water — and now with the expansion damage it’s even easier for the water to get in. If the lead is there and not oxidized the pickling is not going to leach out the lead.

 

i went looking just now and what you find out there on pickling for zinc rot seems to be lore not any fact or evidence... supposition and conjecture just doesn’t jibe with the science.

 

jeff

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