rokal f units

rokal f units

Postby jmass » Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:56 pm

ive been seeing a lot of these rokal f units for sale on german ebay. anyone tell me how these things run, im guessing they must be thirty years old or so but they look pretty good in the pictures.
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Re: rokal f units

Postby Marquette » Sun Nov 14, 2010 11:25 am

I'm not sure, but I think these are also 1:100 or so? - The SP in 1:120 - my attempt at a blog
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Re: rokal f units

Postby Arseny » Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:27 pm

The owner of, Igor Sergeev, told me that Rokal models run bad on turnouts, because they have very wide flanges of wheels. They go through turnouts very hard and can not go through crosses.

Read this article about Rokal (if you know Russian):!61!73!65!2f!72!61!72!69!74!65!74!73!2f!72!61!72!69!74!65!74!5f!66!69!72!6d!30!32!2f!61!72!74!30!31!2f

What about scale: different Rokal models have different scale. For example, German BR89 is even 1:94 (!) while BR85 or E40/E10 are 1:110. But BR03 is 1:120 exactly. But of course all of them use 12mm rail gauge.
I hope the F-unit is 1:120, but I am not 100% sure.

I do not know how they run. The different models can be in different condition, aren't they? ;)
There are very few Rokal models from West Germany in Russia, but there are a lot of Zeuke/BTTB models here (from former East Germany), they are 25-35 years old too. Most of them run well.
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Re: rokal f units

Postby scaro » Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:16 pm

i was told they were overscale (for 1:120) a few years ago by someone who used one to do one of australia's 'stretched' F7 variants which were about 3" narrower than real F units and a bit lower.

however he was modelling in TT3 or 3mm scale, so being a bit bigger than 1:120 would have suited his needs.

i believe he said they were more like 1:100.

if someone who owns a rokal unit (i don't) can measure the overall width, hight from top of roof to the anticlimber and length, it should be possible to assess how much overscale it is.


Re: rokal f units

Postby richardedmonds » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:11 pm

37mm from bottom of pilot to top of roof-----29.7mm wide----------140.2mm long -------hope that helps
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Re: rokal f units

Postby CSD » Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:27 pm

Here is a decent English resource about Rokal:

The main difference in size is that Rokal built their product line as 3 mm = 1' while in the US it was done 1/10th" = 1'. There is some talk about the various models being out of scale, but one has to remember that this was common among small scales in their infancy due to the production techniques available. For the time, however; Rokal models were regarded as having superior quality and because of this has earned a special niche within TT collecting. This site ( ... humb0.html) has Rokal models running along side some BTTB, Tillig and others so that you may compare.

Edit: Oops. Posted the wrong link. All better now.
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Re: rokal f units

Postby scaro » Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:50 pm

putting it in its context, there were not the expectations of scale fidelity we have now. i doubt anyone much in east germany had seen a real F7 in the flesh. did some of the rokals have metal shells? that would have given them decent traction.

the tale of the tape.

29.7mm wide is marginally under 10' in 3mm scale. so probably correct for 3mm. the real thing was 9'10" over the body, 10'8" including handrails. this is about 11'6" in 1:120 so 1'8" too wide.

37mm high equates to about 14' 6 1/2". that is 6" too high in 1:120 so pretty close (unless you were counting the horns, in which case it's slightly under. it's probably a bit 'squashed' in appearance. it's about 5mm under what it ought to be for 3mm though.

it's also about 12mm too long for 1:120 but 10mm under length for 3mm. so halfway i guess. wonder if it was supposed to be an F7 or FP7?

all up this is not too bad, all things considered. F units have always been a problem for manufacturers. i remember being in N in the 80s and being dissatisfied with those on offer. bachmann's was too tall -most of the extra height was level with the cab windows so it looked like a babyface baldwin, there was a significantly overscale one made by fleischmann, and arnold’s were coarsely detailed, too fat but with good running qualities.

the best one was offered by minitrix and it was not too far off the rokal in overall dimensions, ie, about 4’ too long, a bit too fat but otherwise pretty decent. funny enough, model power used to market it with a drawn picture very like the rokal artwork. i wonder if one of minitrix’s mold makers was from rokal?


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