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Converting a Bachmann BR 03 Shunter chassis to fit inside a Craftsman BR 07 shunter

Grasslands

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The running quality of my locos is important to me. Irrelevant of how well made they are or how detailed, if they cannot run along a piece of track smoothly or cross a point without stalling, then the loco is of little use to me.

 

The long suffering Craftsman BR 07

 

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My BR Class 07 Shunter is one such loco that looks much better than it runs. This Craftsman kit was purchased partly completed in 2003. One of the areas completed was the chassis, which was quite jerky and the rods appeared to be binding. I decided to deconstruct the chassis and start again.

 

I rebuilt the chassis with a new set of wheels and a new Mashima can-motor. I spent a very long time making sure that the chassis was set up properly so it would run smoothly. This was all done on a straight test track. I didn’t realise that the engine would not enjoy going round curves or crossing points.

 

I persevered, redesigning the pick-up arrangement on the wheels. I was also trying desperately to find a method of keeping the motor from rocking backwards and forwards, which made the fly-wheel skim the inside of the bonnet. My attempts at stabilising the motor eventually led to the DCC decoder blowing up, and the 07 quickly went back into storage (it was that or out the window).

 

After purchasing a couple of the new Bachmann Class 03 Shunters, I started to wonder whether one could be adapted to replace the Craftsman chassis. I did some quick measurements and decided it was worth a go.

 

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Body modifications

 

The first thing I did was widen the opening for the chassis and cut away some areas inside the 07’s body cavity. This modification also required removing the floor of the cab and cutting away the control panel (no doubt much easier if the body has not been constructed). The opening in the rear bonnet also required opening up slightly for the DCC decoder harness.

 

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It looked as if the 03’s chassis may actually fit inside the frames, but the chassis itself would require some modifications.

 

Chassis modifications

 

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The main modification required was to remove the front end of the 03’s die-cast chassis. The length of this section of metal restricts the chassis from sitting where the 07’s wheel sets are prototypically positioned. My new hacksaw was used to cut away the front of the chassis, with some masking tape around the motor core, stopping any metal shavings getting inside.

 

Once this was finished I unscrewed the axle nearest the crank shaft from the coupled wheels and used a mini-saw to grind away the coupling rods so that the cranks could be removed. At this stage I was a bit nervous whether the new chassis would still operate properly.

 

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Reinvigorated

 

The new chassis runs very well and sits as low as I hoped it would. The 07 will now happily cross the point work of Brewery Pit. I next need to reattach some bits to the 07 that unfortunately fell off while I was accosting it with a mini-saw. I also want to see if I can fit some of the former chassis’s little details to the new one.

 

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I am fully aware of the inaccuracies in the chassis including: the wheel sets not being entirely accurate, with a slightly different spoke arrangement; and the brakes being fitted the opposite way around, but (as I said at the start), if I have to compromise the accuracy of the loco to ensure I can actually run the darn thing, then so be it.

 

visit my main blog for more projects: http://grasslandsmodels.wordpress.com/

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Nice looking model and a good right up too.

 

The 07 is a loco that is crying to be made as a RTR affair. Perhaps by the likes of Model Rail following their USA Class release.

 

 

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thanks for the comments. I am also surprised that a RTR version has not appeared.

 

I actually painted this model a slightly odd livery (red rods and buffers with BR blue) because I thought that a model from one of the RTR manufacturers would be imminent, but it seems that my little 07 is safe as a unique loco for the moment.

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looks nice, can i ask what you did with the 03 body ????

 

drop me a pm if you would like to get rid :)

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looks nice, can i ask what you did with the 03 body ????

 

drop me a pm if you would like to get rid :)

 

apologies for not replying, I'm not too sure how to set up my account to receive notifications of comments to my blog. I still have the body, haven't really decided what to do with it, but I know my father has been eyeing it recently.

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... I'm not too sure how to set up my account to receive notifications of comments to my blog.

 

When writing (or editing) a blog entry you should see a 'Post options' on the right hand side bar with 'Follow this entry' below it. Clicking on the box next to 'Follow this entry' will set up notifications for you.

Or just click on 'Follow this entry' at the top...

Once you could recieve notification of new comments via email but that seems to have dissappeared.

 

Paul.

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When writing (or editing) a blog entry you should see a 'Post options' on the right hand side bar with 'Follow this entry' below it. Clicking on the box next to 'Follow this entry' will set up notifications for you.

Or just click on 'Follow this entry' at the top...

Once you could recieve notification of new comments via email but that seems to have dissappeared.

 

Paul.

Hi Paul, sorry it took a while to see this comment (for obvious reasons ). The box seems to be ticked for me to follow this blog, but i don't seem to have the option to recieve email notifications (as you have mentioned).

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