Bachmann Royal Scots - taking the rough with the smooth
First a couple of views of the prototype from the 1960s, 46132 at Carlisle Citadel (04/08/62) and 46154 at Lime Street maybe in 1962.
No surprise then that when I returned to the hobby that my first purchase was a Mainline Royal Scot. This came from the Morpeth Model Shop in August 1980 and cost £19.00. This was followed in November 1983 by Scots Guardsman from Kings X Models. This came with thinner profile wheels and a semi gloss paint coat for a cost of £27.64. However it still had a Mainline chassis, probably more than one if I remember rightly. I have included below a scanned image of Scots Guardsman taken when new.
Fast forward now to 2008, Scots Guardsman lives on and is now fitted with a replacement Bachmann chassis. The original Mainline Royal Scot has been replaced by the Bachmann train set of the same name.
I am generally very supportive of Bachmann products but Royal Scot was not a happy engine and when first taken out of the box it limped around the track. However on closer inspection it soon became apparent that on one side of the engine the coupling rods were hitting the bottom of the plastic motion bracket. This was not too difficult to remedy and I now have a lovely smooth running model.
The boxed set was purchased new from one the major UK retailers, and this was followed by a couple of 'mint' un-boxed Royal Scot locomotives from off the 'net'. All three engines had the same problem and all were duly modified to produce smooth running models.
Those of you that have been following this blog will know that for the last few months I have been rather occupied by poppy seeds. Well Christmas was spent playing trains. More specifically time was spent examining purchases from the previous six months. One of my most recent acquisitions was a 'new' Bachmann 'The Ranger'. Should I be surprised - but this had a distinct limp where the connecting rods were hitting the plastic motion bracket. This was the same motion bracket as on the Royal Scots, the one on the right when viewing the locomotive upside down.
I suspect that the hole in the metal casting for attaching the plastic motion bracket has been misplaced during production and that my engines will not be the only such afflicted. The remedy is straight forward. Turn the engine upside down. To make the job easier, unscrew the bottom plate and lift out the front pair of driving wheels. This should then allow access for a craft knife to shave away some of the offending plastic motion bracket:
Whilst the plastic body was 'off' the engine I took the opportunity to add some lead weights:
I hope some of you out there might have found this of interest. Now back to playing trains: