The locomotives from the cheaper end of the Märklin and Trix product range, also known as "Hobby Locomotives" does not benefit from short coupler guide mechanisms. Instead the locomotives have a cheaper solution making the gap between the buffers a bit unrealistic. Luckily, with a spare part, a screwdriver and a few minutes, you can greatly reduce the gap between the buffers and enjoy a better looking model.
What we want: A shorter gap between the buffers. This is not perfect, but is sure is an improvement.
The Spare Part
First of all, we need the spare part. This is Märklin spare part number #E345760 and you can order it from your specialist dealer or from the Märklin factory directly. They come in bags of 10 pieces.
The original coupler pocket above the spare part. A huge difference in size.
The coupler pocket is of the whisker type, meaning that the two whiskers keep the pocket head aligned. The spare part is a shorter version very similar to the original part.
Keep in mind that you will have to expand the whiskers a bit to make the coupler pocket align properly. If you do not do this, the coupler pocket will sit too loose with a lot of coupling problems to follow.
Note: Make sure you expand the whiskers equally on both sides. Otherwise the pocket will not align in the center.
Installing The Coupler Pocket
Installing the coupler pocket is easy, simply wriggle away the plough and take out the original coupler pocket. Now adjust the whiskers on the new coupler pocket so they align the coupler pocket with the center of the plough. This might take a few tries. The whiskers can take some bending so you do not need to worry about breaking them.
When you are done, put back the plough with the new coupler pocket installed and test your locomotive.
Note: When re-installing the plough, take care not to squeeze the whiskers. They pop out easily so you need to keep an eye on them until the plough is back in place.
The result does not lie, you now have noticeably shorter gap between the buffers and it looks so much better. A simply, little change that yield awesome results.
Before: The gap is unrealistically huge.
After: The gap is still huge, but about half of what it used to be. Much better looking and tolerable.
If you have some models from the Märklin or Trix hobby range and want to improve them a bit, you should give this spare part a try. The task is easy and I think you will be happy with the result.