Review published: 22 December 2015
A few years ago, ‘MDS Müller’ introduced a new type of hook and loop couplers, called the ‘S-KuPLiX’ coupler. A rather stupid name if you ask me, but at least the product itself looks promising! The S-KuPLiX is a replacement coupler for the standard hook and loop style couplers found on many G scale models.
The loop of the S-KuPLiX coupler is about half of the size of a regular loop (LGB, PIKO G, Train Line and others), so why should you be excited? Two reasons:
- It looks better (my personal opinion)
- In tight curves, the coupler will hit obstacles on the chassis (e.g. steps) later because the loop is smaller. So in theory you can achieve a shorter coupling using the S-KuPLiX coupler.
The couplers are available in black or grey, and come in a bag of 2 or 10 pieces. The couplers can be purchased directly from MDS Müller, or from several hobby shops.
I ordered two packs of 10 black couplers, just to try them out. They cost me € 12,90 per pack.
Screws to attach the hook are included.
Inside the loop, there’s a plastic piece. Do NOT throw this away (yes, I’ve seen people throwing it away). You need it to mount the coupler hook.
Break the little piece out, and remove the two smaller plastic thingies. You will not need those, throw them away.
To assemble the coupler, you now have three pieces in front of you. All you need now is the original hook and spring from the hook and loop coupler you are replacing.
Here’s how to assemble the coupler:
The included manual, for those interested:
Replacing the original hook and loop coupler:
I purchased these couplers to replace the ugly hook and loop couplers on several of my LGB and PIKO rolling stock items. In most cases, I won’t try to obtain a shorter coupling distance, as it often requires significant modifications. I still have some R1 curves in my layout, so I can’t couple cars too closely anyway.
For this review, I will replace the standard hook and loop couplers from the PIKO G scale ‘Umbau’ coaches.
The picture below clearly shows the difference in size between the two.
When you have removed the original PIKO (or LGB, Train Line…) coupler, you’ll see a small round thing. To mount the S-KuPLiX coupler, it has to be removed. Cut off the little piece and smoothen the surface with a small, flat file.
Attach the S-KuPLiX coupler with the original screw (in my case a small, black PIKO screw).
Short coupling the Umbau coach:
This section is entirely optional, and will be different for each different car. I just wanted to share my experience with reducing the space between the PIKO Umbau coaches a little bit using the S-KuPLiX coupler.
First of all, cut the S-KuPLiX. Make sure you don’t cut too close to the screw hole.
Some more surgery is required on the coupler arm. The idea is mount the coupler a bit further back, so we won’t be using the original screw hole anymore either.
Drill a new hole for the screw, and use a bigger screw to mount the coupler properly. Done!
With these adjustments, the space between two ‘Umbau’ coaches is reduced from 65 mm to 55 mm (measured between the roofs), which still is quite a large distance. However, my coaches still need to go around R1 curves so I’ll leave it like this for now.
The S-KuPLiX is well designed, and is a great alternative for the original hook and loop couplers. Replacing the original coupler is pretty easy to do. If you want a real close coupling effect, some advanced surgery probably is not avoidable.
Links & Downloads:
- Website – MDS-Müller (external link)