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Class 22 - Part 2




In this post I actually start to build the kit...


Folding the Body


The one job that was worrying me most of all (and probably delaying me starting work) was bending up the single etching that makes the loco sides and roof. Logically this semed like the place to start construction, so at least I would get what seemed to be the worst job over and done with very early in the build.


I'd built up some confidence (and tools) with the two wagon kits that I built as 'practice'. In particular I'd found that my solder sucker was a nice convenient diameter for rolling 2mm scale roofs. I'd also figured out a way to create some "poor man's bending bars" without shelling out any extra money. I did this by using two ground steel parallels clamped together using a couple of toolmaker's clamps plus the thick part of an engineer's square to bend the metal over. Parallels and clamps are the kind of stuff that tends to accumulate in my workshop on the grounds that it will come in useful one day. The parallels are something that I made myself on a workshop experience session when I was a student. The clamps were bought at a show many moons ago from Shestos or Squires. The photo below shows these tools (without the loco because I took this photo yesterday just for this posting).




It took some thought to figure out the best sequence to do the rolling and folding. In the end I did it in the following order:-

  1. Roll the roof around the solder sucker and then gently increase the radius using my fingers until it matched the etched bulkheads.
  2. Clamp a body side in the bending bars at cantrail level and then make the cantrail bend by using the thick part of an engineer's square to fold the roof over, lining up by sight against the bulkhead. Do the same for the other side.
  3. Clamp the lower part of the body side in the bending bars and make the slight fold needed at the waistline.

I then checked the final result by putting in on a glass sheet and manually trued up any twist that had crept in. The folded body looked like this




Getting Ready for the Cabs


The cabs are rather a long story, but I think they are crucial to the 'look' of the front end of the loco which is by far the most important thing in getting an end result that looks right. As a result, I spent a lot of time and effort trying to figure out the shape of the real thing and get this part of the model as 'right' as I could.


This was the first point at which I started to depart from the kit. First of all, I wasn't 100% sure how the kit was intended to be assembled - should the ends fit between the sides or vice-versa? Having measured the bulkheads, nose ends and the backing etches for the nose I concluded that they were all of the same width so the ends were intended to be fitted between the sides.


The published drawings all agree that the sides of the loco taper inwards from the cab doors to the nose ends - presumably to give better clearances on tight curves. This was also pretty clear from some of the photos, but it seems that the kit assumes that the sides stay parallel all the way to the nose, making the nose too wide.


On the next point I am less certain, but my reading of the photos is that the sides of the nose ends are vertical and not sloped as per the kit. This then begs the question of whether the part of the main sides below the waistline are vertical or sloped inwards. My judgement (based on comparing the alignment of the handrails with those of the sides of the nose) is that there is a slight inwards slope to the lower sides, but less than the slope found on the bulkheads in the kit. If I'm right then there must have been a slight twist in the cab sides to give a smooth transition from the main sides to the nose end.


Back to the kit… I don't yet have the chassis that I'm intending to fit but wanted to have some rigidity in the body so decided to fit a couple of bulkheads anyway. These were soldered in level with the ends of the main roof - this is not prototypical but gives maximum rigidity to the cab area during the next operations. I added some 5 thou nickel silver shims between the bottom of each bulkhead and the loco sides to reduce the inwards taper of the main part of the body below the waistline.


In the next installment I will cover the construction of the cabs.



Recommended Comments

That looks a very nicely etched body! Having built one in 7mm scale, I don't know how you N-gauge guys do it!! Respect! :)

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Yes, Allen's etches are very high quality. I especially like the way that you can see daylight through the louvres - although this will probably stop once the chassis is in place.

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  • RMweb Gold

Agreed - that already looks nice - I had a WW etch for a 121 bubble which is sort of 50% complete and then Dapol announced their one ;)

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Yes, well I have a habit of building models of things that come out as RTR models a few months later. I have a (mostly) BH Enterpises bubble car. Thankfully I decided to go for the Gloucester RCW class 122 instead of the 121.


I have heard murmurings about a Dapol N gauge class 22 but not sure how likely this is.


At the end of the day I enjoy building these models and that's the main thing... just a bit of a bummer if most people think it's RTR when they see it.



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  • RMweb Gold



Yes, I remember seeing your Bubble car at the expo - the cab fronts were really nice. Perhaps you could write about that some time?


Sorry to suggest extra work...but there was some very nice rolling stock on the layout and I for one, would love to hear some more about them - am sure there are some other 2mm fans on here too who would appreciate that as well :D



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My main problem for me with the kit is the fact that some parts are recessed, like the frames around the grilles, yet they should be proud of the bodywork. I understand why WW have done this, as it makes the etch much simpler and cheaper to do - and in this scale many people would be put off by extra complexity.


As for the inward slope of the cab towards the front, this seems to be almost all below the bottom of the cab doors, where the plane of the lower body panelling and the buffer beam cowl takes a significant change of direction - whereas the upper part of the nose has little if any deflection - this photo shows the effect quite well... page__view__findpost__p__307008




Also, the cab window middle pillar has a distinct fold, so the windows are slightly swept back, which is rarely modelled. This, to me is the feature that most captures the face of the loco.


Keep up the good work - I am sure you will end up with a very good model.

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I don't mind the grille frames too much. I think that an overlay would need to be very thin indeed if it were not to look overscale in 2mm. My main issue with the sides relates to the air intakes for the main cooling fan - the kit represents these as mesh grilles whereas photos show them as very closely spaced vertical slats. I can't think of a way to fix this without risking completely messing the whole thing up so I will probably live with it.


My cab has a shallow 'V' shaped window surround. I'll be writing this up soon.


An interesting photo... but I think that there is something odd going on there. If you compare the lower cab side/valance on the nearest end with the one on the other end, they don't look the same at all. It may be a trick of the light but I think it's more likely that this loco has had a very rough and ready repair to some bodywork damage on the nearest corner. Here's another of Grahame's photos that probably shows the shape of the lower cab sides as NBL intended them to be.




I'm still not sure whether the slope of the lower sides becomes vertical when it reaches the nose ends. The more photos I look at the less certain I am of the answer (either way). I am sure that if there is any slope left by the time we reach the nose then it's very subtle.


My latest theory is that the slope perhaps continues unchanged along the cab sides and is then lost in the three dimensional curves where the sides join the nose so that the edges of the flat part of the nose are truly vertical (maybe!).


Anyway whatever the answer it's too late to change the model now. I'd like to get a more certain answer if I ever build one with full yellow ends.



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Yes, I forgot about the air intakes :rolleyes: - then there is the roof detail, which is more understandable as the available drawings are all rather vague. I seem to remember Bill Bedford doing an etch for the air intakes, but his empire has now been split up, so I don't know if it would still be available - or from where.

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According to his website the 2mm coach stuff is still available to order. I wasn't aware that he did any class 22 parts but I can't see them in his catalogue.




Etched Pixels do some roof grilles for the class 40 and class 50 plus a bunch of body stuff for the Worsley D600 but their only class 22 item seems to be bogie overlays.




If anybody knows of or finds anything then I'd like to know.

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His catalogue has been reduced quite a bit now. There are several other things I remember clearly that are not there now. Eileens Emporium has taken over some of his stuff, but I suspect some of the more miscellaneous items have been dropped altogether. Why not send him an email?

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