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Improving the Hornby APT





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#1 plasticbasher

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 20:08

I’ve been inspired by a random purchase of some APT lights on eBay and coming across this very motivating thread http://www.rmweb.co....ssorted-others/ to rejoin RMWeb.  I’ve long forgotten my old account details, hence the new user name.

 

A few years ago I got two tired APT’s to add to one I’ve had since childhood, one courtesy a user from here actually.  I also pulled together enough bits to fix the broken or missing parts across the 3 sets, a sheet of etched window inserts from Southgate Works (again a very helpful member on here at the time) and an APT lighting kit from eBay; (the guy advertises regularly and makes them himself…without having tested them yet, they look pretty good).  I see Dagworth is still around and he provided loads of inspiration for the APT when I was originally planning this all those years ago.

 

I plan to:

  • Create four intermediate coaches.
  • Deal with the excessive gap between body and bogies (finer wheels are a necessity because of that).
  • Generally improve as much as time/skills allow.
  • At the very least a full repaint of the chassis on all vehicles – paint matching and the etched window inserts probably means a full repaint, which is worrying as I can’t paint.
  • Swap motors and trailing bogies around (giving one double-motored power car and one dummy).
  • Some of the simpler remotoring ideas in the thread mentioned above might be copied too…

So, nothing finescale or dead accurate, but hopefully better (and longer) than the original..!!  This is what I have done so far:

  1. Completely, but very carefully, dissemble 4 driving cars and 4 generator coaches. I want to rewheel and fit bearings with this tool from Alan Gibson, hence the bogies came off: http://www.alangibso...m/RTR Drill.pdf. Removing the bogies without breaking the L-shaped pin attaching them to the body is pretty difficult – more brain, less brutality for the win!
  2. Mark and then chop up the chassis exactly as directed by Dagworth and Alastair in the thread mentioned above.  Be very careful about following the panel lines; I did and the cut isn’t genuinely square but I am not hugely accomplished at sawing straight lines anyway!  At least the gaps on mine are near a panel line and so probably easier to disguise.
  3. Take the two chassis halves to be joined together, clean up if necessary and trial fit using the roofbody of the generator car as a “jig”.  You need to snip off the end retaining lug from the roof section at what was the 4-wheel  bogie end.
  4. I decided to glue the chassis together with the roof attached to ensure a straight and true assembly, but did NOT want the roof and chassis permanently stuck together. So I took some pieces of grease-proof paper and folded them over the mating surfaces on the roof/body in the area where the chassis halves will be joined.  I’ll only know if this worked when I take everything apart tomorrow!
  5. I took the chassis half that was originally part of the generator car and clipped it back onto the roof properly. I them gently squeezed some Humbrol poly cement (the bottle with a fine tube as an applicator is useful here) onto the other chassis half - not too close to the top as I’m not totally convinced by the greaseproof paper - and pushed it carefully into place.
  6. A little jiggling to ensure everything is in line and an elastic band was used to secure it whilst everything sets overnight. There were a few gaps so poly cement was used to fill them (there are still gaps near the top, but I’m not risking the chassis being glued to the roof/body). I will heavily reinforce this joint on the inside with plasticard later – I know it isn’t very strong at the moment, but I want everything  glued up square before I add strength.
  7. To reduce the gap between the bogie and the coach body, I then cut some 50mm lengths of square section 2mm x 2mm plastic-strip, chamfered one end with a file to match the angle of the body. Using a fibreglass pen I took the paint off the bogie well where the strips were to be attached and cemented the strips into place ensuring they sit flush with the body.
  8. When I had checked everything was aligned, this was reinforced with some liquid poly solvent to ensure a really strong joint.  I don’t want them coming off when filing them to match the profile of the coach sides.
  9. The plastic strips are slightly too long as I plan to cement the coach ends (but not the separate corridor connectors) to the roof/body section and blend them in, so when the coach is repainted it looks more like the real thing.  A length of the 2mm x 2mm plastic strip will be cemented between the two strips there already, across the end of the chassis (under the Hornby coach ends, but not secured to them) to match this later when the filing and trimming is done.

Photo’s hopefully make sense of the text…this is the first; I'll probably post a photo of all 4 later out of vanity!

Attached Thumbnails

  • Hornby APT 004.JPG
  • Hornby APT 005.JPG
  • Hornby APT 006.JPG
  • Hornby APT 001.JPG
  • Hornby APT 002.JPG
  • Hornby APT 003.JPG

Edited by plasticbasher, 26 January 2013 - 20:09 .

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#2 SNCF stephen

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 21:02

Good luck with this one, I will be watching with interest as the APT is one of those trains that is fascinating in both real and model form! 


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#3 plasticbasher

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 00:13

I was using a mitre box and X-Acto..!!  Think I should replace my mitre box though as it's been used to do all-sorts over the years, not just slice up some plastic; the grooves are a bit worn now.

 

The cutting got better with practice and I have 4 coaches chopped and the glue hardening. You're right about the other bits; I have loads of stuff left that's got potential, I'll investigate my options!

 

Anyway - here's the vanity shot:

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Hornby APT 007.jpg

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#4 7APT7

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:24

Hi mate

 

Great step by step photos, and a great guildline to see you giving it ago...

 

Your wording pefect to the pictures, and you make it sound to easy... lol

 

Jamie


Edited by 7APT7, 27 January 2013 - 02:40 .

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#5 class"66"

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:32

Interesting modeling!! wil see how this comes along :no:


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#6 TRAILRAGE

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 20:02

Hve a pretty tatty 6car set in me loft so I have feeling this is gonna be well worth watching. keep up the good work


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#7 plasticbasher

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:15

This evening's activity (probably the last for a week or more) was as follows:

 

1. Part the chassis from the bod/roof. Really, really carefully. The grease-proof paper seems to have done it's job, but I was careful with the glue anyway. However one of my chassis was not very well glued, so I'm glad I was cautious about splitting them.

 

2. Glue ends to bodies.  These are the smaller of the two two types of coach end obviously:

- I had to open up the holes at the former 4-wheel bogie end of the roof/body with a drill (2 or 2.5mm...not sure, just pulled one out that looked slightly oversize). See pic.

- Then I took the paint off the mating surface on both ends of the coach roof/body with some sandpaper - a couple of gentle passes was sufficient.

- I then ran a very fine bead of cement along the mating surface on the coach roof/body ends and stuck the ends in place.

- The former 4 wheel bogie ends needed some tweaking to precisely line up with the roof; which is why the holes I opened up were oversize and why I fixed first with a little cement.  The other end lines up perfectly.

- Now I flooded the inside of the both coach ends with some liquid poly and put a generous drop in the top of each pin, checked all was aligned and set them aside to harden.

- They will need some careful filing and rubbing back but should look good when done.

 

3. Reinforce the chassis.  This is clearly going to be Part 1 of a 2 step process for me.  I'm not doing this the quick and dirty way...well, until I lose patience anyway!

- Using the glassfibre pen, rub the paint off the inside of the chassis as shown in the photo so you can have a strong, clean gluing surface.

- On some of my coaches the metal weights whad been stuck down with that black "bluetack" that refuses to wash off and would probably weaken the bond if glued over.  It came off with the glassfibre pen though!

- Cut some 30mm lengths of thick plastic strip.  I used some 2mm x 5mm stuff as I had it.

- Put the plastic strips in place with a little cement (see the rather over-exposed photo) and really flood with liquid poly to ensure they are secure and the bond is strong.

- I ran some liquid poly up the inside of the chassis sides too, but I'll properly brace the joint there in the same way next time.

- Place aside to set, but not in a way things that might encourage warping.

 

I was tempted to re-unite the chassis with the body but the fifth photo shows a good reason not to. Some of my chassis are perhaps a third to half a milimetre longer than the roof/body now the ends are firmly secured. Not a problem, this is easily rectified with a little careful filing of the offendinng chassis end. Also, as I found out when taking the photo the ends were a little tacky even after an hour and I almost glued the other end of the chassis to the body/roof!

 

Re. Alistair's final comment about the one off coach with two 4-wheel bogies.  I reckon I have enough bits to make two of them if I have three off-cuts for each chassis!  Or a few DVT's...  I think it's the main APT site that has pictures of plans and mock-ups for the actual production APT's, which were to have a similar format to the Class 91's and DVT's - a power car with cab at at least one end of the vehicle; whatever necessary coaches and a luggage DVT.  Hence the power car would not divide the train in two as on the prototypes ("APT-P").

Attached Thumbnails

  • Hornby APT 008.JPG
  • Hornby APT 009.JPG
  • Hornby APT 010.JPG
  • Hornby APT 011.JPG
  • Hornby APT 012.JPG
  • Hornby APT 013.JPG
  • Hornby APT 014.JPG

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#8 plasticbasher

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 00:43

Incidentally, concerning the chassis being fractionally longer than the coach boody/roof when the end are glued in place due to my slightly imprecise measuring and cutting.

 

If I did this again, the very first thing I'd do is glue the coach ends on to the body/roof and leave them to set before chopping up the chassis and gluing it together.  In that way, using the body/roof as a "jig" would set the length of the chassis precisely as well as keeping it straight.

 

Live and learn..!


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#9 Horsetan

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:06

I love this type of cut-and-shut project.

 

Will you being trying to reproduce the tapered cabsides?


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#10 7APT7

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:19

Hi All

 

Qquestion for plasticbasher

In the last Photo above, so are you planning on putting a 2 Double Axle (like the Centre Power Car) on the rear of the Coach so you have the same as what is on the front of the same CAR...in that Photo... as appose to the Single Wheel bogie that it as normally at the rear of this Car...?

 

Also

 

To Everyone...

 

The Buffet Car, can anyone shed more light on the Windows formations which ones are filled in and are they the same on both sides... of the Buffet Coach...? Would you have this as a double bogie axle at each end of the same coach, (Like the Hornby Bottom half of the Centre Powered Coach) I would appreciate your comments on the APT Buffet Coach and how was it part of the First Class near the front of the APT...?

 

Hope that sounds clear...

 

Jamie

 

 

 

Jamie


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#11 Dagworth

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 01:51

The Buffet Car, can anyone shed more light on the Windows formations which ones are filled in and are they the same on both sides... of the Buffet Coach...? Would you have this as a double bogie axle at each end of the same coach, (Like the Hornby Bottom half of the Centre Powered Coach) I would appreciate your comments on the APT Buffet Coach and how was it part of the First Class near the front of the APT...?
 
Hope that sounds clear...
 
Jamie


See http://www.apt-p.com...figurations.htm for full details of which vehicles go where in the formation, which also shows very clearly which windows of the buffet were filled in. (Vehicle SC2 in the diagrams)


Andi

Edited by Dagworth, 01 February 2013 - 01:52 .

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#12 7APT7

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 02:18

Hi Andi

 

cheers for that help mate, just a quickie on the (Vehicle SC2 in the diagrams)... 3 windows are grey and 3 windows are normal, are the greyed out windows some kind of corridor/passage way, and is it the formation the same on the other side...

 

Cheers dude,...

 

Jamie


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#13 Dagworth

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 13:59

Hi Andi
 
cheers for that help mate, just a quickie on the (Vehicle SC2 in the diagrams)... 3 windows are grey and 3 windows are normal, are the greyed out windows some kind of corridor/passage way, and is it the formation the same on the other side...
 
Cheers dude,...
 
Jamie


I'm guessing that the greyed out windows are non-transparent as they are on the back of the kitchen area. I'd not twigged that they are greyed out and will need to go back to my formation and correct that. The three normal windows are the seating area of the vehicle. The other side has eight normal windows and is the corridor/counter side of the buffet area.

Andi
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#14 Dagworth

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 14:12

http://www.flickr.co...nen/6273825260/ has a plan of the interior of the buffet, and http://www.cs.vintag...fo.asp?Ref=1989 has a photo of the buffet side.

Andi
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#15 plasticbasher

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:49

Hi All,

 

Thanks very much for the responses below; and the very useful photos :-) .  More to update later tonight I hope!

 

@Horsetan - I'm not sure if I have the courage to tackle the taper to the cab-sides. I'm sort of hoping Shane (Wolf27) shows how it's done as I see from http://www.rmweb.co....d-others/page-3 (scroll to post #52) that he's looking at this very issue. If the work looks within my 'comfort zone', I might give it a go. That's the kind of thing I'm very good at messing up though so I'll probably have to practice on a spare cab first (I have four sitting sadly in the box!)

 

@7APT7 - that's just me working out ways of using the left-overs up. If you look here http://www.apt-p.com...ModelSJones.htm you can see models of the power car with cab and the DVT, which would have been used on the production sets (remember our models are of the prototypes and the thinking for the production sets was reported to be a power car at one end and a DVT at the other; I'll try and find a link to where those plans are detailed later). I reckon I can do both the power car and the DVT as well as a model of the one off twin bogie coach with what I have left..!

 

Cheers,

 

PB


Edited by plasticbasher, 03 February 2013 - 09:49 .

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#16 7APT7

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 13:10

Thank You to plasticbasher

 

That is some great food for thought on that website, you have through a spanner in the works now, I want to have them all in time...

 

How easy was the Buffer Beam, was that just a case of Razor Sawing the Nose of and use some Plaster Card for the back and use a NEM socket for hook up to another Loco, or is that just cosmetic, it looks an excellent job...

 

Thanks for the information that all have provided and to Alastair for sharing the Buffet Car Photos, excellent Photos for reference material, Thank You...

 

Jamie


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#17 7APT7

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 13:24

Hi All

 

With regards to the Paints (Humbrol or other versions) what are the closest Tin Number to repaint an APT, whether it is the Light Grey, the Dark Grey, the Red,Yellow and Black for the Fronts if I was to do that type... Interestingly it as a White Line above the Red, I've always thought it was the same collour as the bottom...

 

This would be a great help when having to paint the filled in Window(s) area on the Buffer Car...?

 

Many Thanks again guys for all your help and information and advice in How-To's...

 

Jamie


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#18 Dagworth

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 17:10

@7APT7 - that's just me working out ways of using the left-overs up. If you look here http://www.apt-p.com...ModelSJones.htm you can see models of the power car with cab and the DVT, which would have been used on the production sets (remember our models are of the prototypes and the thinking for the production sets was reported to be a power car at one end and a DVT at the other; I'll try and find a link to where those plans are detailed later). I reckon I can do both the power car and the DVT as well as a model of the one off twin bogie coach with what I have left..!

 

Cheers,

 

PB

The images linked to are those belonging to Steve Jones, (doodaa on here http://www.rmweb.co....ser/429-doodaa/), a friend of mine from outside model railways and a big inspiration to me into chopping up APT cars

 

The plans for different formations are linked to in my post 12 of this topic.

 

Andi


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#19 Dagworth

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 20:37

There's some more interesting info here from someone that has had a play with the APT. I remember reading this quite a few years ago and finding it interesting:

http://rastall.com/railway/mr-apt.html
http://rastall.com/r...r-apt-conv.html
http://rastall.com/r...-apt-light.html

The lighting and intercar power connectors are particularly interesting.

There also used to be some detail on Electricnose, but Steve Jones appears to have taken the website down.

Interesting links, thank you. I too am very interested in the way the connectors have been used on the articulated bogies.

 

Electric Nose has been gone for a long time, but also please don't confuse Steve Jones (Doodaa) from here with the Steve Jones of Electric Nose, they are very different people!* 

 

*Not saying that you have but others may.

 

Andi


Edited by Dagworth, 03 February 2013 - 20:41 .

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#20 7APT7

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 21:20

There's some more interesting info here from someone that has had a play with the APT. I remember reading this quite a few years ago and finding it interesting:

http://rastall.com/railway/mr-apt.html
http://rastall.com/r...r-apt-conv.html
http://rastall.com/r...-apt-light.html

The lighting and intercar power connectors are particularly interesting.

There also used to be some detail on Electricnose, but Steve Jones appears to have taken the website down.

 

Thank You Alastair for the Links and Andi for says about they are not thesame person, as I would have... What are the Chances of that, same Name about a very small time period in time... lol

 

Cheers Guys

Jamie


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#21 7APT7

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 01:40

Hi all

 

Would you have any ideas about collours and what humbrol numbers I need for the dark grey part and the light grey part... of the APT

 

Jamie


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#22 Wolf27

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 21:49

Hi All,

 

Thanks very much for the responses below; and the very useful photos :-) .  More to update later tonight I hope!

 

@Horsetan - I'm not sure if I have the courage to tackle the taper to the cab-sides. I'm sort of hoping Shane (Wolf27) shows how it's done as I see from http://www.rmweb.co....d-others/page-3 (scroll to post #52) that he's looking at this very issue. If the work looks within my 'comfort zone', I might give it a go. That's the kind of thing I'm very good at messing up though so I'll probably have to practice on a spare cab first (I have four sitting sadly in the box!)

 

 

Cheers,

 

PB

Hi

 

I havn't yet tackled the tapered nose yet but will do shortly. I'm currently working on some cad drawings for the underframe as once I had sat and studied pics of the real thing I had to do something about the shortcomings of the Hornby model. I'm looking forward to seeing how the etched window inserts work as I still havn't fitted mine, despite making them in 2008!

 

cheers

 

Shane


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#23 Wolf27

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 21:51

Hi all

 

Would you have any ideas about collours and what humbrol numbers I need for the dark grey part and the light grey part... of the APT

 

Jamie

Colours needed are intercity executive dark grey and executive light grey, Not sure if you will find them in Humbrol but Precision and Howes do them.

 

cheers

 

Shane


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#24 NickL2008

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 00:11

I dont think exact colours exist in Humbrol range? certainly close but there may be a difference in the shade

 

NL


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#25 plasticbasher

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 00:16

Sorry for the total lack of updates from me. Tiresome work has got in the way in a fairly annoying fashion sadly.

 

@7APT7 - the colours Shane quotes are the correct ones. Please note these won't match the (incorrect) Hornby original colours as has been noted elsewhere in this and the other current APT thread on here.

 

@Wolf27 - well Shane I did promise photo's when I bought the etches; I'm only a few years late!  I'm thinking I'll get away with the underframes just by 'beefing up' the area above the bogies.  I may feel compelled to rub down the (raised) lines indicating the access panels and rescribe them, as they are now too high. They are (correctly) as high as the top of the bogie recesses, but I am now changing that depth by adding the 2mm x 2mm plastic strips.  I should really correct the top edges of these access panels to match. That's an awful lot of rather fiddly work though...and like inexpertly applied etched grills on a model diesel, easy to make make look worse than the original mouldings. So I'll probably over look that................


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