Tomix N gauge EF210 (EF210 113)
One of the joys of acquiring second-hand stock is that occasionally something arrives without the original packaging and it's not immediately obvious which model this is. Of course, obviously it's an EF210-100 by Tomix, but which model exactly? As it came with two KoKi (container) bogie wagons, it's reasonably to assume it was part of set 92491, which contains a slightly less up-to-date model than the current stand-alone 9142, which comes provided with the now-standard grab handles and uncoupling bar at either end. This 2004 article indicates it might be based on the former model 2146, which was apparently produced from 2001 (though that model had the cross-arm pantograph; see this page for some more details). However the chassis bears the number 9143 (which is the 2013 EF210-300 series model) and the main roof part has 2140 (which corresponds to the 1999 EF210-0 series). The chassis itself certainly looks very modern with a LED lighting board - intriguingly it has slots with "ON/OFF" labelling (albeit no corresponding microswitch), the tail lights are equipped with a light-conducting prism and there is certainly space for a tail light LED. This makes it very likely the model was produced in 2013 or later using the EF210-300 chassis.
Whatever the provenance, it's a nice little model, runs quietly and smoothly, the cab has quite a good interior representation and the lights are a nice clear white. The only slight downsides are the lack of grab handles and uncoupling bar which are standard on current models (though it should be possible to retrofit these). Wheelsets are not darkened (as was usual with Tomix locomotives until relatively recently) but they don't stand out too much. Pantographs are plastic and the heads need to be carefully adjusted so they lie flat when the pantographs are raised; I haven't looked into replacements yet.
Overall a nice little "layout loco".
As a "starter set" model, the only detailing options provided are alternative number plates, which were missing from this one as it was acquired second-hand without the original packaging. Sadly the side plates were missing and the Tomix replacement part e-9142 appears to be sold out everywhere. Luckily I was able to source spares from an acquiantance, which apparently came from the 2004 set with catalogue number 92263 (which has a different selection of numbers). Despite the difference in age the numbers fit perfectly.
The side plates are the usual press-fit type (they fit in tightly, no glue required). The front cab numbers are somewhat unusual - the number is part of the black strip under the cab windows, which is a separate part. It's easy enough to remove with a toothpick or similar by pressing from one side underneath the side cab window.
As is usual with Tomix locomotives, the body is easy to remove from the chassis. Body and chassis carry arrows which clearly indicate which way the body should be replaced on the chassis.
Unused slot for a microswitch and prism for the tail lights. Chassis derives from the EF210-300 series, which is used as a banker on the Senohachi Pass and where tail lights would certainly be in regular use.
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