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Dick Kerr 4 Wheel Trams for restoration





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#1 bertiedog

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 13:37

Whilst browsing Ebay, always dangerous, I noticed a bargain price Corgi tram, a Dick Kerr Four wheel Blackpool livery Tram, very nice neat die-cast model.

However I see it is a little bigger in size than the Old BEC Dick Kerr and do wonder if the scale is accurate, or indeed the BEC a bit small. Some references quote Corgi as 1:76, some 1:72

The idea is the restoration of three BEC Kerr 4 Wheelers, a Double deck, an open top, and a maintenance works tram, and the motorisation of the Corgi, with 2 axle drive and working pole. The others also require poles and detailing like seats! They were stored away as surplus whilst others, long gone), were used on a small exhibition and display ayout.

Fleetwood Dick Kerr 4wheel.jpg
Click on Pictures for full size image
The Corgi Die-cast Dick Kerr tram. with figures and a very flexible plastic pole!

DSCF0003 Dick Kerr Works Tram.jpg

Very elderly BEC Dick Kerr 4 wheel works Tram kit from the early 1970's, not bad condition, but needs a dented roof repaired, and detailing.

DSCF0004 Dick Kerr Double Deck Tram.jpg

Better condition Double deck Dick Kerr, again needs attention to roof, and new poles, plus interior as it has no seats. No Controllers, brakes, or seats. Again from the early 1970's.

DSCF0002 BEC chassis assortment.jpg

Assortment of cast BEC single axle drive chassis, may be useful, but I would prefer two axle drive, same early vintage.

DSCF0005 Dick Kerr open top Tram.jpg

Remains of an open top Dick Kerr, probably destined now for conversion to a single deck, as the stairs are missing etc., much easier to make a new roof. Very dented, but has straightened up already due to the soft whitemetal.

The plan is to use new chassis as required, with Nigel Lawton 15:1 gears, new scale sized wheels, (fitted are a bit large with OO flange), modified profile to suit very tight 4inch curves, 16.5 gauge, with increased back to back, and gauge widening on the tightest curves. I may try the Coreless motors than Nigel Lawton has, with a layshaft and belt drive from the tiny motors, this would allow the lower floor to be nearer scale height.

New wheels would be uninsulated completely, with the power feed from the overhead allowing loops, triangles etc., in the track.

It is for a small layout, using parts of an old exhibition layout, with new track and re-cycling of some of the buildings, still in good condition from 1974., no particular area, a simple suburban setting in the 1920's.(got the vehicles already!!)

Stephen.

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#2 James

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 14:03

The Corgi trams are, IIRC, closer to 1/64th scale than 1;76 or 1/72 scale. Shame really as they're rather nicely proportioned models.

#3 PLD

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 14:50

As James says, the Corgi 'Classics' Trams are near enough 1:64 scale (S Scale).

All the BEC trucks under 30mm wheelbase, both of the era yours come from (1970s/early 80s) and more recent ones are single axle drive; only the longer ones drive both axles, and same applies to the similar ABS trucks.

If you want 4 wheel drive ready to run for shorter wheelbases, you need to look to either Blackbeetle or Tenshodo bogies or as i'm sure Mark (Red Devil) will be along and recommend shortly Halling chassis as he uses on 'Grime Street':devil:

The double decker is a bit of an oddity: it has the LCC 'B Type' Upper balcony windows and truck but the 'reversed' stairs are incorrect for that type. Like the adverts though...

Paul

#4 bertiedog

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 14:56

H,mm about 1/64.....very clever! It does not affect the 4 wheeler much, but makes comparison with the BEC very odd. What were Corgi thinking of? No wonder I thought the Feltham and the Blackpool balloon stock looked so big.

Might be better to seek out other Corgi to us, to keep the appearance consistent , although thr worst car is not too bad in comparison.

I suppose the etched scale trucks available will be 4mm to the foot, and not match the Corgi.

Anybody know if the EFE Leeds tram is 4mm scale?


Stephen.

#5 James

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 14:58

No wonder I thought the Feltham and the Blackpool balloon stock looked so big.

They're 1/76 scale!

And yes, the EFE Horsefield is 4mm scale and is rather nice I think.

#6 PLD

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 15:18

H,mm about 1/64.....very clever! It does not affect the 4 wheeler much, but makes comparison with the BEC very odd. What were Corgi thinking of? No wonder I thought the Feltham and the Blackpool balloon stock looked so big.

Anybody know if the EFE Leeds tram is 4mm scale?

Stephen.

What corgi were thinking of is different scales to suit different markets...

1:64 is a common die-cast collectors scale which is the market Corgi were aiming for with the Classic Trams at the time...

The Blackpool Balloon and Brush and the Feltham are 1:76 to fit in with the rest of the 'Original Omnibus series' which is much more recent and was developed to match what EFE were doing and with 00 scale railway modellers in mind...
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#7 Red Devil

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 15:46

Halling drives are great and would go round four inch radius curves ok, you could probably sell all the Bec drives on ebay and get reasonable prices and then get Halling ones for not much more, the only problem with them is that the Vario unit that you'd need for sub 35mm wheelbases sits up quite high into the lower saloon, level with the windows nearly.

The 35mm drives (suitable for the Horsfield) is much lower, so you can fit partial seats if required.

One thing that I've been working on and it's still very much playing about with and trying ideas is a re gauged Kato n gauge tram mechanism (28mm wheelbase) The n gauge Kato tram mech is a belting little runner and very cheap and pretty low profile. Quick pic to give an idea

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  • Crich 13 june etc 013.jpg

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#8 bertiedog

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 16:42

Well I still have a BEC Feltham (static display), and it's smaller than the die-cast, but not by much. The Corgi Dick Kerr could be slimmed a bit in width, but I think will be left, as the others look al right alongside. The Corgi roof being clerestory type makes it look different anyway.

I also have an HO Lisbon coming, at least It is marked as HO, but I wonder if it is 1/64th now.

Are all the Lledo trams not undersize?, this is getting complex to check without samples in front of me to measure.

The EFE Leeds appears to be the only scale 4mm tram then, or what are the others?

On trucks I can easily make the chassis, now that Nigel Lawton does the small gears gears required and the tiny motors, although double ended Mini Mashima will also work on longer wheel bases.

But I am thinking on an offset drive, two gears, layshaft, and either spurgears or a belt drive to connect the motor. With the coreless 8mm and 10mm diameter they would just about squeeze under the floor, or very slightly raised floor. The works car is no problem, of course.

The BEC drives are very dirty and have not been run for ages, one has a Minitrix motor, another a Buhler, and have all insulated wheels, as they were 2 rail, but are now to be overhead pickup for this layout, so require no insulation at all. There is a box of parts as well for the BEC type, which are very simple to make in brass anyway.

With the Coreless motors drawing little current and possibly fitting flywheels to them, running should be more reliable from the overhead wire. No DCC, just sections to the track, or overhead.

I still have the jigs for the overhead poles in brass tubes, three types, but no wire standards and grips, the other layout had Kemtron lost wax ones fitted, but these were sold off as they are so rare.

I used .3mm nickel wire on the old layout with 4 inch power line spans to minimise the riding up of the wire between poles, with the usual radial lines on corners, a bit closer than scale for the same reason.

Does any one do etched overhead wire standards and grips, tensioners etc?
., I can do an etched brass sheet myself, but if available it would be cheaper to buy in than make it.

When I ran out of Kemtron parts (they stopped production in the 80's) I made sets using stencil masked etching to make the master sheets, with spray paint as the resist, worked well, but I no longer have the master sheets stored anywhere I can find, and it needs punches made in the shapes to punch out the stencils. These take a bit of making to get accurate stencils.

Overhead wire frogs are no problem as I have two jigs to make them still surviving, simple shape snipped out of brass, and fold the edges, and tidy by filling and polish.

For rail I am thinking of using the new code 40 rail section from C&L all dual laid. The narrow section looks better, and cost is lower than the US made etched tram rails. The old layout used Peco conductor rail, the smallest code rail section made then, bar US fine codes for TT and 2mm UK track.

Stephen.

#9 bertiedog

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 16:49

On the Lisbon Tram I had given thought to compensating for the smaller scale by making it run on 9mm track, on a dual track loop, as dual track is easy to add with un-insulted track. If this is done a Kato mechanism could indeed be used.
Anybody any experience with the Lisbon Tram Model?
Stephen.

#10 bertiedog

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 17:27

Truck.jpg
Type of truck with 8mm dia coreless motor and belt drive from Nigel Lawton, and his worm gear sets 15:1 ratio, will give about 20:1 overall, Brass sideframes, ends and top, with bearings for the layshaft soldered to the ends, with lugs to fit the tram floor.
Stephen.

#11 Red Devil

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 17:37

I'm sure I read somewhere that the Bec Feltham is undersized, the Corgi and Tower ones are definately 4mil.

Mark Hughes and PC trams (ex David Voice) do overhead fittings

All the Corgi Blackpool cars re 4mil too.

I can't say for certain but I'm 99% certain the Lisbon one is definately Ho
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#12 bertiedog

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 18:13

Thanks, I suspect moulding issues affected the sizes for the cast whitemetal BEC ones, the Feltham and Blackpool would be far to big anyway, I did get an E1 around 5.inch curves, but it looks very odd, and needed undersized wheels.and sub scale trucks. 4 inch with short transitions easing the approaches, seems the best minimum to aim for with 4 wheel trucks,

On the old layout there was one 3 inch radius curve, but it was restrictive and looked odd, but was surrounded by buildings!!
.
All the old trams, long sold off were fitted with P4 type flanges, with a bigger flange thickness and bigger root radius, to ease the drag and friction on curves.

The ones left were bought as a job lot already part assembled and were the left overs after the others were completed.

Many moons ago there was a make of terraced house kits, made in plastic with paper overlays, with interiors etc., are such made any more?, or are there new makers, as I need a replacement or two. I have one of the original kits, but no paperwork to identify it.

Stephen.

#13 PLD

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 19:05

Right, to clarify and summarise:

Scales of readily available die-cast trams.

1:48 (1/4in:ft / US O Scale)
Corgi PCC
Corgi 'Birney' car
ETS generic Germanic 4 wheel type

1:64 (3/16in:ft / S Scale)
Corgi Classic Trams (generic 4 wheel type available as Open Top/Open Vestibule/Enclosed double deck & Open Vestibule Single deck styles)

Approx 1:72
Lledo Horse Car

1:76 (4mm:ft / 00 Scale)
Corgi Brush Railcoach & Balloon Double Decker (Blackpool)
Corgi Feltham (London/Leeds/Sunderland)
EFE Horsfield (Leeds)
EFE Melbourne W6 (Also restaurant conversion)
Peak Horse Hong Kong Type (also available in Birkenhead livery)

1:87 (3.5mm:ft / H0 Scale)
Amerelis Lisbon 4 Wheel Car (N.B. protoytpe is 3'6" gauge and narrow body, not easy to motorise for 16.5mm gauge track)
Vienna 4 wheel car (manufacturer unknown ? Eastern Europe? - often sold as a toy/souvenir in assorted garish colours but actually not a bad representation)
Matchbox "Models of Yesteryear" tram (London design but released in various liveries)

1:100 (3mm:ft / TT Scale)
Lledo tram (generic 4 wheel type available as Open Top/Open Vestibule/Enclosed double deck styles)

1:160 ( approx 2mm:ft / N Scale)
Matchbox Tram (approximation of a LT E1)


I'm sure there may be a few others I have forgotten. I deliberately haven't included kits, R-T-R motorised models, any not generally available in the UK and a few hard to find rarities.

Paul

Edited by PLD, 21 June 2011 - 19:31 .
MoY Tram added - thanks James


#14 James

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 19:09

Paul, to add to the 1/87 scale list, the Models of Yesterday tram is, IIRC, to this scale.

#15 PLD

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 19:27

Paul, to add to the 1/87 scale list, the Models of Yesterday tram is, IIRC, to this scale.



B****R Said I'd probably forgotten some.... Thanks James. I'll add to the list... :good_mini:
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#16 bertiedog

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 20:08

Thanks, it confirmed what I had guessed from the Ebay listings and catalogue references I could find, (and they all differ).

According to a scale drawing I have in a Tram reference book. the Corgi Blackpool it is not quite S scale at 1/64, it is about 1/68/to 1/69, and the height of the roof is low against the drawing and it's width is under scale proportion.

If it was true S scale the truck sides would be much farther apart, but are set quite tight to the wheels which are able to sit on 16.5mm, mainly because they are loose on each axle!

So it looks as though Corgi sort of adjusted the dimensions!! The roof clerestory is over sized in height compared to similar Dick Kerr types, this affects the whole visual appearance.

Anyway I am not complaining at £6.....what do BEC on Ebay go for un-assembled?

Stephen.

#17 bertiedog

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 21:20

A thought, I don't really need copper PC board for the track base, brass strip will do fine with working overhead, as no insulation is required. Really eases making the points, no shorting problems at all.
Stephen.

#18 bertiedog

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Posted 22 June 2011 - 12:50

Re-checking the dimensions of the 4 wheeler it is definitely not as large as S scale, and Corgi list as 1:72 in some advertising, so not as far from 4mm as thought at first.

It appears a very generic design anyway, no preserved type like it. The width is about correct for a standard gauge UK tram. It is the roof that's a bit odd. I will add advertising bill boards to the edges, this will improve appearance, also full interior lighting, and headlamp.

Quite what the Corgi designers were up to is beyond believe as the wheels do not sit on track, the guards are lower than the wheels, and it sits on the end protector guards!!

Any way now stripped, and ready to be motorised, it looks like the Corgi parts can be used for the chassis, with new bearings, and a single axle drive can be done straight away., with a small 5 pole motor. Some parts are plastic, not die-cast, but usable, like the guards.

The driver figures are OK, they are 4mm size for just short of six foot tall. The cast base is removable. They need a better paint job though.

Additional hand rails and stanchion rails on each end are needed, also bars on the end windows each side of the doors.

A new pole and insulted roof bearing are next, in brass and nickel. with a wheeled top, which are more reliable at staying on the over head wire than a skate.

Also in production today is a simple test track straight, with live poles, but plain track, no paving. I have not got the code 40 rail as yet so code 75.

The inkjet printer and thin photo paper can be used to print adverts and Company notices.

Stephen.

#19 Ravenser

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 18:29

A long shot , but could the incomplete BEC double decker be built to represent the very early built electric cars where the the top deck did not extend beyond the lower saloon - Bristol used the type exclusively to the end:

http://www.swehs.co....ams/tram02.html

#20 bertiedog

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 19:18

A long shot , but could the incomplete BEC double decker be built to represent the very early built electric cars where the the top deck did not extend beyond the lower saloon - Bristol used the type exclusively to the end:

http://www.swehs.co....ams/tram02.html

They are a bit different in details, 4 windows on the Bristol, 3 on the BEC etc, but the idea is good, as the mountings for the top sides are soldered on quite firmly, so only need brass sheet sides made. I may get some etched rails for the top deck as well. But it still needs the stairs made, a nuisance job!

The old bodies were all soldered which helps with reconstruction.

The Corgi is stripped down now, and checks as very near 4mm if the wheelbase is disregarded, but it is not as long as S scale.(1/50)

There is also a 4mm EFE Horsfield on the way from Ebay, fortunately cheap!.This should be really easy to motorise.

Experimenting with sawn strips of nickel silver sheet to make the rail guard on the groove section, still cannot find a supplier of n/s strip on an coil, which is the cheapest way. Cut strips commercially are very expensive, several times the cost of the rail.

The C&L Code 40 flatbottom seems the best appearance with dual rail, but can be improved more with the strip, making a groove rail section, and also allows the back to back to be adjusted better.

Stephen.

Stephen

#21 Ravenser

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 20:45

A hasty check of my limited tram books (mostly off prints of bits of the "Great British Tramway networks" series , throws up the following systems as having operated early uncanopied short top cars:
Sheffield, Hull , Southend, Plymouth (but like Bristol these were 4 window, and windows were arched) Norwich and Dover (5 windows, all arched, though Norwich later rebodied most with similar bodies but 4 conventional windows) , possibly Liverpool - and (paydirt!) Mansfield which had 12 cars with 3 conventional windows downstairs , but short open top decks . The Guernsey Railway's cars seem to have been similar. Poole seems to have had cars with 3 arched windows, and Southampton short open top cars with 3 windows and possibly 4 windows but no upper ventilators

So the BEC kit could be built as an authentic short uncanopied open top car - and there may well have been other systems with such cars , outside the coverage of my patchy reference (I've got nothing on the North West , Birmingham/West Midlands, Scotland , North East, Wales.)
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#22 PLD

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:53

A long shot , but could the incomplete BEC double decker be built to represent the very early built electric cars where the the top deck did not extend beyond the lower saloon - Bristol used the type exclusively to the end:


That part car does indeed have the upper deck floor from a BEC 'short canopy' open top, but most unusually combined with a three-square-window saloon. I can't immediately think of any prototype for that combination and don't think BEC ever sold that combination. I'm coming to the conclusion that both the BEC origin cars Stephen has are a mix of parts from at least three different kits and neither are quite how the designers intended...

#23 bertiedog

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 10:45

These trams are the remainder of a box of BEC mixed trams bought in about 1973 or so, some incomplete, some ex-samples. and lots of bits. The best complete examples were restored or finished, and used at the time, but long since sold off.

All were soldered together, and I think they came from the Clapham shop BEC once had. A couple were ex-display un-motorised in grey undercoat.

A short while later the Ambico Sheffield came out and was added, and a BEC Feltham and E1 was built by me to run on the old layout. These had home produced bogies aimed at trying to get them around the tight curves

I added the works Dick Kerr tram, sold it, but bought back the poorly painted remains a bit later, but it remained un-used in the box again.

It could well be that the trams were built by BEC themselves from assorted parts in the workshops, which explains the curious mixture of parts.

There were also some plastic trams added to my layout later on, I think made by k's for another distributor, maybe Keilcraft, and these were still made till recently I think.

The Corgi Chinese made Tram is surprisingly very badly assembled, it needed a lot of filing, sanding etc to get the parts to re-fit accurately, and the Chinese had used huge pressure on the rivets, warping both the chassis and the roof in the assembly. The chassis was so bowed the wheels did not touch the track, but the guards did!!

The rivets have been totally removed, and new tapped holes added for assembly, with 10Ba and 8Ba screws as needed.

The Die cast chassis can be used, with brass side frames added, with screws and araldite, and space for the gears and motor milled out from the existing mazak cast parts. New bearings can then be soldered on to the brass frame sides.

Using the Nigel Lawton 15:1 gears and a small coreless motor, means removing part of the tram floor, but passengers will cover the protruding motor from view. If the layshaft was used it is just possible to get a 8mm diameter motor under the floor, but this will be done to a second tram to compare the performance.

One axle drive works with the heavy BEC, and the Corgi is almost the weight, but in Mazak needs a bit of lead added under the seats to bring it to the BEC weight level.

The headlight can be fed via a tiny light guide from the roof, with a row of LEDs for internal lighting. A small PC board can be fitted, with a constant lighting unit for the lamps.

The trolley pole is made to the usual appearance , but with compression springing under the pole joint, requires only one working spring, (tyre valve), and false outer springs from Guitar steel wire 14 thou or smaller. Fitted into a small tufnol bush, with a sliding washer underneath to allow full rotation whilst still picking up. I will make small wooden jig to hold the assorted wires for soldering as a unit in one go, and clip and file afterwards on removal,

The tip roller has a V grove in Nickel silver, about .2 mm deep and wide, and runs on .3mm nickel silver wire.

Rather than make etched overhead parts or buying them in, I will make the from wire bent and pressed on a former to make the hangers etc as standard a size as possible. The layout will not be large enough to warrant mass production.

The wheels I will turn myself to run on 16.5, but with P4 height flanges, and a thicker flange width, this works well, the small flange eases friction on the curves. The tyres are left at usual width to prevent drop on the points, which I usually do with two switch blades, to improve running. The short blades are split , with a phosphor bronze strip, soldered to the rail side, acting as the flexible joint, it works better than trying to flex the whole short blade, and eases the fitting of the stone sets around the points.

Stephen.

#24 bertiedog

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 10:51

And I have to sit down and make the seats! none fitting to any of the remaining BEC's. Fortunately a large pack of etched off cuts to work from, I may make a simple vice fitting stamp to cut them out, with a soldered wire frame, and wire hinge for the flip backs.

#25 bertiedog

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 11:43

A candidate for Vehicles on the layout, a Lledo Super Sentinel tractor, which appears about 4mm scale within reason, old and needs stripping, detailing and a re-paint, and one new tyre from a O ring will do, as the nearside front as rotted.
DSCF0007 Super Sentinel.jpg
Are there any other steam old pre-war lorries in die-cast? I have traced some Oxford cars in 4mm, Ford, Morris etc., but need van and a flatbed lorry. There is a dust cart and milk float.
Stephen.







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