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Faller Big Dipper CoasterReviewRatingChart_FAL_BigDipper.jpg 

King of the Midway, The Big Dipper from Faller® Gmbh of Germany is a beautiful, highly detailed, motorized HO Scale (1/87) roller coaster model kit. While not as detailed or challenging to build as the Faller® Wilde Maus, The Big Dipper is great fun to assemble and should require about twenty to thirty hours to complete. In many respects the designers of this model are to be complemented. The use of die cutting for the perimeter fence meshing is elegant and precise. The track design is equally well done. On the other hand, the many adhesive flags and sign elements have to be cut out by hand. Go figure. The manual is well written and easy to follow with only one notable omission which is discussed below. We also have some suggestions which will simplify the assembly process and, in some cases, should provide you with the best results.

  1. Carefully check all the part racks for broken parts prior to assembly. There are many very small and delicate parts in this kit and you may discover some breakage. Any breaks you may find are much easier to repair prior to removing the parts from the racks.
  2. We highly recommend using quick drying Faller® Super Expert Plastic Cement. Of course, even if you ALWAYS replace the cap of the glue and clean the applicator stem after each use you will still find that the very thin metal applicator will occasionally clog. When this occurs, and it will occur, using a match or butane lighter briefly apply flame to the tip of the glue nozzle. This will typically unclog the nozzle. Faller Glue is available through our site.
  3. Faller® Acid and Resin Free Oil (Part# 170489) for the spring drive system is available on our site.
  4. It is possible to add illumination to this model, which we highly recommend. Though Faller® does provide location instructions for seven mini bulbs, in the case of the four bulbs which can illuminate the kiosk and the loading area canopies, they do not provide any wire routing instructions or egress for these wires. As indicated in the detail below, we found that drilling a 1/8” hole in front of the closest vertical support beam provided the most discrete solution for wire egress. (Lighting kits for this model are included by us at no charge!)
    big_dipper2.jpg
  5. There are many flags which must be cut out, have their adhesive backing removed, and installed. As always with adhesive backed paper, removing the backing can be a real pain. We found that roughly cutting out several flags in strips and pealing the adhesive backing off flag by flag before doing precise scissor work, folding the flags in half, and installing them on their poles resulted in the least amount of frustration.
  6. The large adhesive backed front and rear sign elements have many odd shapes and angles which provide a different challenge. The best way to deal with these in order to insure close mirror imaging is, again, to roughly cut them out first. Then place them exactly back to back, use a couple of staples outside their margins to hold them in place, cut them out together, peal off the backing, and install.
  7. There are also many small flags, some of which can be seen in the detail above, which will be placed on the perimeter fence meshing. The best way to cut these out is the same as in (2) above. Once cut out, however, we found that the flag adhesive does not permanently adhere to the meshing and the flags will, sooner rather than later, fall off. To correct this, stick each flag to the fence meshing, flip the fence segment over, and apply several drops of glue to the back of the flag. Be sure and attach the flags to the fence segments and allow them to dry BEFORE installing the fence.
  8. The water based decals which decorate the train have a similar problem with staying in place. Even when allowed to dry completely they will come off when touched or just fall off on their own. To correct this, for safer handling, apply the decals first on just one side of the five train cars. Allow to dry and, being careful not to touch them with your hands, apply a single covering coat of clear acrylic nail polish while going over the decal only once with the nail polish brush. The polish WILL dissolve the decal itself if you are not careful. Let dry completely and repeat for the other car sides, car fronts and backs in separate steps. When all decals are dry you CAN, again carefully, touch up as necessary. This process will not only insure that the decals stay in place but also results in a nice gloss and protects them from wear and tear.
  9. Step W on page 16 is not correct. DO NOT install the spring retainer sections until after you have installed the flexible track line. The spacing of the rail support segments of the flexible track line are different for a straight and a curved section of track where they will be further apart on the outside radius and closer together on the inside. If you install the spring retainer sections on a straight section of track prior to installing the track, as indicated in the instructions, as you install the track in an ascending curve, the support spacing will change causing the spring retainer sections to become unglued and fall out of place. The spacing between the inside and outside spring retainer sections is critical to the proper operation of the lift. Be very careful and diligent with this step. You won’t regret it.
  10. Faller® provides a piece of white string which is to be used for connecting the five cars together. Throw it away. Trying to thread this overly short and heavy string repeatedly through very small holes is sheer torture. Instead, use a small sewing needle and white thread, make several connecting loops, knot, and glue the knot as suggested. This is much simpler, just as effective and will not result in either profanity or insanity.
  11. If you intend to incorporate the beautiful Faller or Preiser Roller Coaster Figures with this model, especially train car passengers with raised arms, be sure and check to make sure that their arms clear the various obstacles around the track circuit prior to gluing the figures into the cars.
  12. Requires Part# 163053 16VAC Power Supply . (Not included)

  You should consider these tools and materials to aid you in your project:

  1. A small file, such as our Part# C0305E Blue Cushion Emery Board, for filing off any excess plastic remaining after you have removed parts from the rack.
  2. A set of Mini Side Cutters, such as our Part# 230-373 , a sharp pair of scissors and/or a small Modelers Knife, such as our Part# 540-5001 , for removing flashing and parts from the part racks. Scissors are also needed for cutting out the many included stickers.
  3. Scotch Tape for holding some parts in place.
  4. Tweezers, such as our Part# 230-500 , for handling small parts.
  5. You may want to have a small soldering iron, small diameter shrink tubing, and small gauge twin lead wire on hand for assembling the light bulb wiring harness. This is not necessarily required.
  6. A small bottle of clear acrylic nail polish.
  7. A small sewing needle and a spool of white thread. 
 

Conclusion
This is a beautiful, well designed and presented model kit. Difficulty of assembly is only moderate and the finished project is something any modeler will have fun building, love watching run and be proud to display. Highly recommended.

Though an age suitability rating is not suggested by the manufacturer, due to some fairly small parts and overall complexity we have rated this product for ages 12 and above.

We are interested in hearing about building experiences with this model and would like to share your impressions with other visitors to our site.

*Categories are rated on a scale of from one to ten where applicable and reflect only the opinions and experiences of our staff. We provide these ratings only as a guideline to aid you in your product choices.

 

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