Saturday 23 June 2012

Tenshodo Trouble (1/35)

Those of you who have had expirience with Tenshodo motor bogies will probably have an idea what the title refers to. Known for their low construction the Tenshodos are unfortunately not the best running of motorbogies. My first locos in 1:35 scale were built on Tenshodos that were not too bad. They were of all metal construction and actually ran rather well. I couldn't quite understand why so many modellers were getting so frustrated from operating Tenshodos.

When I turned to DCC the old Tenshodos turned out to be near to impossible to fit with decoders. I had to order new plastic Tenshodos to power my two old locos, no. 14 and no. 5. I used ESU LokPilot-decoders and had great expectations. The ESU-Tenshodo combination has since caused much frustration. The running quality is far worse than the old metal Tenshodos without decoder. As I have had very good results with ESU-decoders in combination with other power units and motors, I suspect the plastic Tenshodos are the cause of my frustrations. Never say never, but I think I have aquired my last Tenshodo.

The 'Tenshodo Terror' has deprived me of motivation to finish the Muir Hill tractor loco as it uses a Tenshodo as power unit. No sense in building a model that will not run properly. The Muir-Hill is now safely tucked away in a box among other unbuilt projects. Railway modelling can't always be fun...
As far as I got before frustration set in. I'll probably get back to the loco in the coming years trying to find a new drive unit. You can see images of the building process on my Flickr-site.
Have any of you ever succeeded in getting decent running from a Tenshodo on DCC and what decoder did you use?


  1. Hi Claus,
    I´m writing as a frequent and enthusiastic reader; follower and admirerer of your Nystrup Gravel blog and colleague of the FS32NG Modelrail Yahoo Group:
    As months and nearly years gone by My longtime expected Henschel DG26 by ASOA arrived. Though I do not really like to buy the original SB-Modellbau motorization (€ 170 ), I´d like to ask how you did the motorization of your Henschel.
    Thank you for answering.
    Many regards looking forward of further Nystrup stuff
    Thomas Woerrlein

  2. Hello Thomas
    Thanks a lot for the encouragement and nice words. I'm glad you enjoy the blog.
    The ASOA Henschel isn't mine but from my friend Arne Nielsen. It is powered by one of the original ASOA-units (I think they were manufactured by Jürgen Wedekind).
    I would investigate if the Henschel has room for a BullAnt from Australia. They can be ordered to almost any specification you may wish. Check out their website on I've used them for My two Billards and the soon to be finished 1908 one cylinder loco.
    Do you have a layout with narrow gauge in 1:32 scale? I'd love to an image or two if you have some to share. Feel free to mail me on
    Viele Grüsse