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Damage Control 3 - Into Traffic

Ravenser

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We left matters with a part-fixed Limby DMU and a mild crisis of conscience about details, identities and my general rate of progress on things in general.

 

Happily the 101 does not add to the latter as it's now finished - despite all the little extras that kept crawling out.

 

The first little catch was when looking at various photos in Morrison's DMU book and online. Whatever the faults of the former as a piece of scholarship (The Railcar Association compiled 9 pages of errata to it, and I only managed to print off 3 of them before the Railcar website disappeared for protracted and extensive rebuilding like a medieval cathedral), a photo's a photo and dates are normally reliable. Lima produced 101s with both the early 4 cab marker lights and the later 2 + lower 2 digit code panel. What Hornby did not issue was a DMU with 2 marker lights, one over each buffer , and plated headcode box - which is what happened after their refurbishment in the late 70s /early 80s.

 

This had to be fixed - which meant out with the Xurons and crunch , followed by a good deal of rubbing down with emery boards. Patch painting was also needed, and since Hornby's yellow is a bit orange this meant tinting the Precision Paints post 84 yellow with a spot of Royal Mail red (Railmatch - and to hand from work on the NRX). Since the coats showed further rubbing down was needed, and since yellow takes about 3 coats to cover adequately, this was fun and games - especially with all the colour-matching by eye .

 

I chickened out on a full repaint because I doubted I'd get near Sandakan's finishing with 3 brush coats, there was a risk of getting on glazing and other areas it shouldn't be , difficulties with achieving neat boundaries and avoiding bits of the old colour showing through at edges and elsewhere. What I did do was give a thin wash over the rest of the cab end with surplus paint (I was painting ends alternately) and apply a satin varnish with a drop of Precision yellow. This should blend everything and knock back the orange tint a little - and it seems to work.

 

Somewhere in all this I managed to ping off one of the plastic windscreen wipers and a micro-wormhole in the carpet swallowed it. It will probably re-emerge under the headboard of the bed in another room in 6 years time. The plastic wipers aren't great - but I now had to replace them anyway, a job I'd been hoping to avoid. I managed to find an etch of wipers from A1 Models and fitted a pair at both ends, as this seemed to match what was shown by 1980s photos. I know have my own photographic evidence of two refurbished 3 car 101 sets in the E Midlands in 1981 with single wipers so this obviously wasn't a standard change at refurbishment , but is probably correct. Whether the wipers used are entirely correct I'm not sure - but they're much finer than the original plastic and also the right colour

 

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The plastic gangways were replaced - I was lucky to have the rest of a packet of MJT British Standard gangways , part of which had already been used for the Ratio LNW set. This time I needed to use the cast whitemetal bases, and I made up new faceplates from 20 thou plasticard, using the gaps in the etch where the original etched plates had been as a template for the scriber. I now have proper touching gangways .

 

A thin wash of blue-grey Humbrol wash mixed with dark brown wash was applied to the roof and the gloss shine subsequently removed with matt varnish.

 

A little blue-grey wash with a touch of brown , heavily thinned was applied to the sides and any surplus drawn off with the brush to tone down the finish and blend in the transfers and patch painting . The wash also picked out the door lines, and I dry brushed the hinges with a little dirty black. Inner ends received a couple of wash coats of the blue-grey wash

 

The underframe was given a wash coat of Railmatch frame dirt

 

One major issue I ducked was the underframe "black box". I would certainly have had a go if the front bogie wasn't being held together by superglue , and liable to fail if subjected to the stresses of repeated disassembly and reassembly. The "black box" on this unit isn't bad actually - there's only a small area of plastic that shouldn't really be there , and for some time I couldn't work out how it could be cut away anyway. Enlightenment dawned when I saw a posting on another forum. Lateral thinking - or at least lateral cutting - is required. The black box is cut along its length, behind the moulded detail , leaving a thin "façade" on each side , then you file out the bits that shouldn't be there and build up the various boxes behind.

 

But , as I said, because there is a patched glue repair on the power car I've ducked it for the moment. What I might do , however, is experiment with the "spare" chassis removed from the trailer when converting it from DMCL to DTCL. I could then relatively quickly convert to a power twin set if I ever wanted simply by swapping the interior and bogies from trailer to power chassis moulding and clipping it back into the bodyshell (The trailer car numbering would then be wrong, but how many people would notice?)

 

What I did do was adopt a bodge mentioned on Jim Smith-Wright's P4 Newstreet website. This consists of painting the few bits of plastic that shouldn't be there with matt black - at which point the underframe equipment stands out and the spurious areas merge back into the shadow under the vehicle . He found it sufficiently effective that it was several years before he got round to doing the full underframe rework, and as the photos show it's quite successfu

 

I reassembled everything , tested it quickly , then decided to remove the capacitor to improve slow speed running . Having snipped off the beige blob, I decided to remove the wires back beyond the collar . This was a serious mistake - when I put the chassis back on the track, it was dead as a doornail. Panic!

 

Further inspection revealed not one but two loose wires. The horrible realisation dawned - the capacitor was soldered directly to the motor terminals along with the feed wires, and in wielding the Xurons to take out the remains of the capacitor I had also neatly cut the wires off the motor terminals.....

 

Having dropped out the motor bogie (it's held into the chassis frame by a screw from above) I managed to resolder the wires to where they are supposed to be and we were back in business.

 

It's now been cleaned, oiled and thoroughly tested through a full operating session after a proper running in session on club test tracks (something it never got when originally bought). Performance is pretty satisfactory, though not quite as good as other units with the same motor bogie but no traction tyres

 

That, I think, constitutes a result

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