Hailed in MRJ as one of the best etched kits ever, ok so that was maybe the 4mm version, but still, I needed one of these for my embryonic layout, so I just had to have one. I started building mine last summer, 2017, and my first learning experience was discovering the need to use solder paste for the very delicate overlays eg on the body ends. I also experimented with a gas soldering iron (disaster), better, new bits for the Antex, but as I work a lot in the garden or at our caravan, I have settled on a battery powered Antex which I really like and use for everything except where you need a lot of heat. This is a great kit and the parts fold up well and fit very nicely into place using the slots and holes provided. The resin roof fits like a glove too, what a splendid way to solve that perennial issue.
My attempts to build it though have been, as usual, a steep learning curve. This was the first etched kit I’ve tackled in 2FS, and the first in any scale for some years, and in hindsight I’d have been better starting with something slightly smaller, but as you will see, it’s coming together. Yesterday I spent some time sat in the sun, which is by far the best lighting for me, and cleaned up my efforts ready for a coat of etch primer. This did reveal a few issues which I have tried to photograph below in the hope that showing that even my less than perfect workmanship can hopefully produce something halfway decent, in order to encourage other first timers to have a go.
The underside of the chassis is shown before I started cleaning it up. A lengthy session with a fibreglass burnishing brush (I really hate these, the dust and shards of fibre get everywhere, is there a better option anywhere?) cleaned up a lot of the surface dirt and some excess solder, though I have clearly used too much of that. I had far too much trouble getting the captive nuts to stay on and should have done it earlier than I did. There is a buffer overlay half off, a few of the axle box overlays are missing or slipped, a step is missing and another in off course, and the brake rigging needs fettling.
The body is better but still needs work, one end overlay was coming adrift, but this was resolved with a little solder paste and using the excellent peg clamp to brace it against while I applied heat (iron not shown, insufficient hands). I find the peg clamp a really useful tool for holding work down and it’s so easy to make and customise for various jobs.
This is ongoing work, I’ve fixed many of these issues, but it has also given me the confidence to continue, and I’ve got a couple of BR vans under construction with Association underframes being soldered up nicely, even got the wheels spinning freely, so persevere and learn from your mistakes, I try to, and I hope that these “warts and all” articles will encourage those of us who are still striving to reach the dizzy standards seen in this forum.