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New chassis for the Hattons 14XX

Captain Kernow

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I've been expressing my dissatisfaction with the chassis and mechanism of the Hattons/DJM 14XX for some time now and I have finally started to do something about it.

 

The background to this is that I need a 14XX as the 'signature' loco for my new 'cameo' shunting layout 'Bethesda Sidings', which is a fictitious location on a proposed-but-never-built GW route between New Radnor and Rhyader in Mid-Wales. With the addition of the outrageously improbable 'Vale of Radnor Light Railway' joining the 'main line' off scene, I have sometimes described this layout as 'the Prestigne goods with added Pecketts'.

 

Back to the Hattons 14XX. The body work looked quite exquisite and on the basis of that alone, I ordered a BR lined green version, which would be renumbered to 1420, one of the Presteigne regulars towards the end of that service.

 

The first example from Hattons looked lovely, but ran very badly, as I couldn't get it to run smoothly at low, shunting speeds. In fact, the more I ran it in, the worse the running got. It quickly went back to Hattons, who efficiently changed it for another, identical example with no fuss or bother.

 

The second one seemed to be a better runner, upon initial checking, so I put it away and did some work on the layout for a few weeks. When it came to giving it some serious running in and checking how it was on the layout, it failed to live up to my initial, hopeful expectations. Once again, despite seeming to improve with the slow speed running, it eventually got worse after further running in, so I decided to cut my losses and provide it with a new chassis.

 

Having already heard some accounts of problematical running with this design of loco, I had already obtained a Perseverance chassis and the necessary Markits wheels. If the Hattons/DJM loco had settled down properly, these would have gone under an old Airfix body.

 

However, this was not to be and so the etched chassis is to go under the Hattons/DJM body.

 

I will re-iterate that, in my view, Hattons/DJM have got the looks of the 14XX just right, especially the smokebox end and the finish is exemplary. The lining is nicely done and the overall effect is very pleasing.

 

Hattons/DJM helpfully provide a 'components' list, should any spares be needed, which helped me subsequently in terms of identifying how things might come apart.

 

Unfortunately, having now separated the chassis block from the body, it is my distinct impression that such an activity was never meant to be encouraged and some moderate force was eventually required, once the requisite screws had been undone.

 

But what you are left with then is this bizarre arrangement, where the motor and worm remain ensconced in the body, with just the chassis block and wheels having come free:
blogentry-57-0-30438100-1538139356.jpg

 

I tried unscrewing some of the remaining screws and found that the smokebox/boiler assembly will come away from the footplate, or at least mine did at the front end, but the cab-end remained firmly in one piece, which was probably just as well.

 

What I couldn't work out how to do, was to remove the plastic bracket that held the tiny, coreless motor in place.

 

The 'components list' referred to earlier clearly show that the cab and side tanks are a separate moulding, as are front and rear spectacle plates (there are actually an inner and an outer front spectacle plate, would you believe!), together with the smokebox/boiler/firebox being another separate piece.

 

The problem with separating the cab and side tanks from the footplate seemed to me to be two-fold:

 

i) I suspect that they may have been partially glued together. I certainly couldn't see how to simply unscrew them and I didn't want to risk damaging either the individual mouldings or the lovely paint finish

 

ii) there are some (nicely done) pipe runs that attach to both the side tanks and the footplate mouldings and which would have to be reinstated by the modeller once the parts were separated, something else that I didn't really want to have to do.

 

So, I resorted to drastic action and produced this from an old soldering iron tip:
blogentry-57-0-15851600-1538139817.jpg

 

This acted like a 4mm scale 'oxy-acetylene' cutting torch and made short work of the plastic bracket that held the motor in place, which was partially cut up in situ and the remains removed with pliers. It wasn't gentle or genteel but I wasn't in the mood to be all sensitive with this and the loco had had it coming for a long time.

 

The small motor was removed unscathed and all superfluous wire runs also removed.

 

It was then that I peered inside the body and saw that there was another unexpected obstacle to my planned installation of a High Level LoadHauler+ gearbox - a lump of mazak:
blogentry-57-0-51822500-1538140003.jpg

 

This lump of mazak, which clearly acts as a weight for the plastic body, can only be removed by separating the cab from the footplate, which I had already decided I didn't want to do.

 

I then wasted some time trying to cut it up on the spot using some burrs in a mini-drill, but that clearly wasn't going to be effective and only made a load of mess.

 

So, I reviewed what space I now had available, as any replacement motor and gearbox would have to fit in the (approx) 30mm x 18mm space afforded by the inside of the mazak block. I sketched the available space on a scale drawing:
blogentry-57-0-09292300-1538140140_thumb.jpg

 

By overlaying the gearbox planner thoughtfully provided by Chris Gibbon of High Level on top of the scale drawing, I was able to calculate that either a LoadHauler Compact+ or a RoadRunner+ would fit, with the 'drive extender' arranged back underneath the motor, which would have to be a Mashima 1015, with probably insufficient room for the flywheel that I might otherwise have fitted.

 

A call to the ever-helpful Chris at High Level has resulted in both types of gearbox being ordered and an interesting discussion on how other customers of his might fare, should they try to fit one of his 14XX chassis kits to this body (short answer - you've got to remove the cab from the footplate!).

 

The next job will be to fettle the Perseverance frames to fit the profile of the Hattons/DJM footplate underside.

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Well done for getting so far!

This has confirmed to me that I will never order a DJModels loco again. I'm planning to pick up a Comet Chassis next weekend from Wigan show next weekend.

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All very interesting, and will be filed away for when I get 1470 running and find it’s not up to scratch.

 

 

I assume it will be a bit more difficult to go down the high level route given the moulded inside motion will get in the way of the etched...

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I'll be watching this with interest, Tim, as I also have a Persevererance 14xx chassis to build. Like yours, mine was originally bought to go under an Airfix body, which will still be the intended idea.

 

There must be a good way of cutting into Mazak that's fixed into a body but I've yet to find one. Presumably a milling job would be needed.

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I think that this reinforces my view that DJM designed models deliberately to discourage any tampering with them. This started with the Beattie Well Tank.

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I think that this reinforces my view that DJM designed models deliberately to discourage any tampering with them. This started with the Beattie Well Tank.

 

Yeah, plus created a crap drive system that runs sub standard. Like I say, I wont touch another.

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Oh dear, what a really mixed bag these locos are. These designs seem to be 4mm versions of those used in some Dapol N gauge locos such as the pannier, which appeared while DJ was there. Similar issues exist when the motors fail and need replacing as they are glued into the bodies according to threads I have read.....

 

While I do hope it works out I wonder whether the small 10x15 Mashima, which is often used in N to re-motor UM tender drives, will have enough oomph to power the loco even coupled to a 60-1 roadrunner +.

 

Izzy

 

 

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I wonder whether the small 10x15 Mashima, which is often used in N to re-motor UM tender drives, will have enough oomph to power the loco even coupled to a 60-1 roadrunner +.

I had a fairly long chat with Chris Gibbon this morning and have discussed motors with him on previous occasions as well. I'm hopeful that the 1015 will be up to it. It's certainly at least twice as big as the horrid little coreless motor provided by Hattons/DJM.

 

I'm weighing up whether to install the 60:1 RoadRunner+ that I ordered this morning or the 90:1 LoadHauler Compact +, which I ordered at the same time. The one that doesn't get used will be used for another project.

 

The loco will only ever have to crawl into Bethesda Sidings, shunt about a bit and then depart again. It won't have to work the 'Chalford Flyer'. Chris estimated that if the motor was run at top whack with a 90:1 gearbox, it would equate to a top speed of just over 33 mph. The maximum permitted speed into Bethesda Sidings is only about 20 mph max, so I should be OK.

 

However, the LoadHauler Compact+ is quite a wide gearbox, at 11mm and the OO frame spacers work out at 11.5mm, although the drive extender is narrower. It may be that this is sufficient reason to use the narrower RoadRunner+ instead, which is about 8.5mm wide.

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I had some issues with the 1015 in my Dean Goods, Tim, which seem to have been due to a sub-otpimal combination of motor and gearbox, with the gear ratio  (38:1) not high enough to get the best effect from the motor. From that experience, I would guess that a 60:1 or 90:1 gearbox will be fine. If you're interested there was some good discussion by folk more knowledgeable than me:

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/90035-mashima-1015-motor-low-torque-problem/

 

In the end I found that I could get a 1024 into the Dean without any difficulty, making me wonder why a 1015 was recommended in the first place. I have however heard that others managed to get 1015s working well in the Deans.

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Top job Tim.

 

There is almost an air of these being disposable. They break and that's it.

 

I have one with me at present with the other en route to Hattons to be replaced....

 

 

Rob

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I had some issues with the 1015 in my Dean Goods, Tim, which seem to have been due to a sub-otpimal combination of motor and gearbox, with the gear ratio  (38:1) not high enough to get the best effect from the motor. From that experience, I would guess that a 60:1 or 90:1 gearbox will be fine. If you're interested there was some good discussion by folk more knowledgeable than me:

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/90035-mashima-1015-motor-low-torque-problem/

 

In the end I found that I could get a 1024 into the Dean without any difficulty, making me wonder why a 1015 was recommended in the first place. I have however heard that others managed to get 1015s working well in the Deans.

Thanks for that link, Al.

 

It looks like some folk have had problems when they cut the shaft of a motor with a cutting disc, something I've often done in the past, with no apparent problems.

 

However, with the limited space within the mazak block on this loco, I may have no choice but to cut part of the unused shaft of the 1015 off.

 

Hopefully the 90:1 gearbox will fit OK, too!

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I've had another Mashima die on me in the last year, a bigger motor this time, and (interestingly or not) it was also one where I cut off the shaft with a motor tool. When I bought a second, i realised I hadn't really needed to remove the shaft so i didn't. I can't rule out that the motor failed for some other reason, though.

 

I don't know if it's covered in that thread I linked to, but I've recently seen a tip for preventing metal overheating by wadding it in wet tissue (for instance when soldering and you don't want a prior soldered joint to melt) so that the tissue absorbs the heat first. I'm thinking I might try that the next time I inevitably have to shorter a motor shaft.

 

Good luck with this project, in any case. Having seen your J72 and Jinty runnning, I know how impeccable your standards are!

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If I need to cut a motor shaft these days I now always use a diamond needle file of some shape. Cuts quickly and neatly but generates no heat.

 

Izzy

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I've managed to snip them off with pliers in the past but it does take a hefty pair and a fair bit of effort. I'll look out for a diamond needle file.

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I only have experience with the Dapol and Hornby 1400's which when serviced can run well yet they don't easily stay good runners.

 

I'm finding myself increasingly scared of buying RTR because there are just so many brand new locomotives that run like a nail, even when they have been ran in or serviced.

 

Recently a Hornby Railroad 'Scotsman has been a recent bane of mine. Starting slow and changing direction slow was impossible and there was a clear bind where it would strain then eventually jerk. Once up to medium speed it was ok. Tried getting advice from the MRC but they were useless trying to convince me it was a good runner.

 

Amoo moo. Ox poo.

 

So, after piss farting about grinding the gearbox mount thinking it was a mesh issue I eventually figured out the 3 pole motor itself was to blame. Much prefer the 5's anyway, Hornby should habe left them as 5's.

 

It had a distinctly strong 'cogging' effect when turning it by hand after removing it, much stronger than other locomotives with the same motor. It was that strong nothing wanted to move.

 

Utter tripe.

 

Not impressed. So need to find a replacement now.

 

With RTR in general I'm rapidly getting disillusioned with RTR running qualities and quality control or lack of.

 

You get some gems, you really do but it is nothing more than an expensive gamble that should not exist. With the prices that are literally double what they used to be they just bloody well work...and well.

 

I get the feeling quality control control does one test. Did it move? It did? Oh good....pub.

 

Kit building is a good answer to it. :-/

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Thanks for the tip about the motor shafts. I'm going to have to try the damp wadding approach, as the shaft is definitely going to have to be shortened and I don't have any diamond needle files here (but will also be investigating getting some).

 

I've been running the motor in gently on the bench this afternoon, just on its own, which is something I always do, prior to attaching it to the gearbox (which will also get a running in, when built, with the motor attached).

 

While that's been going on, I've been fettling the first of the two etched Perseverance side frames, to get it to fit the body. I've also had to fettle the body a little, at the front end. Photos to follow.

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Machine Mart do a 10 piece diamond needle file set for £8.39. I got a set a few years back so just checked they still sell them. Okay, not as fine as some others I have, quite coarse by comparison (they are usually classed in grit sizes), but don’t be fooled by the price as for many jobs - like the one being discussed, they do the job needed.

 

If you have to use a cutting disc in a mini-drill then hold the end of the motor shaft in either a pin chuck or a vice. They will act like a heat sink and keep the heat level of the shaft down.

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It's a good job that I've decided not to model GWR any more, and concentrate on SR. I now don't have to worry about 14xxs. Although I do have a Beattie Well Tank that needs some attention . . . . . . . . 

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I am just surprised the Hattons 14XX ran so badly, we have one and it is runs extremely smoothly throughout the speed range. It just a shame the rear axle isn't powered as ours doesn't like dips in the track and struggles to shift a B set from our back platform which has a nasty bit of subsidence.

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I am just surprised the Hattons 14XX ran so badly, we have one and it is runs extremely smoothly throughout the speed range. ...

Maybe he got one which was rejected by someone else?

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These locomotives have been such a disappointment.  Great body, almost faultless but really poor underneath especially for those wanting to change the gauge

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Well, I'm getting on with some jobs on the chassis, such as preparing the main frames and spacers for soldering and making up the hornblocks, but further progress will now depend on the receipt of a parcel from High Level. I had another useful chat with the ever-helpful Chris Gibbon this afternoon and he's rushing further gearbox components to me, so that I will have a variety of configurations to try later this week.


 


I've realised that I may well be able to revert to my original plan of driving the leading axle, fixed, using a High Level DriveStretcher attached to the end of an 'articulated' LoadHauler Compact+ or Roadrunner+ gearbox, which should allow me to have the gearbox clear of the second axle and occupying the available space inside that horrible mazak block. This in turn would allow me to fit single beam compensation on the rear driven and pony truck axles, as per the kit's original design.


 


Doing this in OO has proven a bit of a headache, as there isn't enough room (in some of the possible configurations) to fit the gearbox between two internal rocking compensation beams, had I opted for twin-beam compensation on either the front two or rear two axles.


 


If the above cunning plan doesn't work, then twin-beam compensation at this stage will almost certainly require one of the High Level SlimLiner gearboxes, originally designed for 3mm scale modellers, but with a much narrower width between the frames, one of those would allow twin compensation beams either side of the gearbox.


 


I could, of course, fit purely sprung hornblocks, but they are a little outside my comfort zone and I'd rather work with designs that I am already familiar with, even if the application of same needs to be a bit more inventive.


 


Why even bother with compensation or springing in OO? Well, I do try to do this with locos of this size, as it does improve electrical pick up and overall running, even in OO.

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Hattons replacing bad runners will ultimately degrade the offering.
- what a way to go!
Are all DJM models like this?
 

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Are all DJM models like this?

 

I believe others have had better experiences with the Kernow Beattie and 02, but I also have one of his Kernow 1363 saddle tanks, which doesn't look too promising, either.

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