The project to replace the chassis on my first Hattons/DJM 14XX is now almost complete.
Following the replacement of the number plates and the minor repair to the steam heating pipe arrangements mentioned in previous blogs, I have now painted and weathered the chassis and re-assembled it.
The chassis, minus the driving wheels, was first brush painted with Halfords red oxide primer (sprayed into the aerosol lid). I didn't want to remove the motor and all the associated hassle of excessive handling, as I'd already got the pick-ups in exactly the position I wanted them, so I generally prefer to brush-paint the chassis.
Once the primer had dried, I then painted weathering colours directly onto the chassis, from a mix of Humbrol enamel colours, such as No.62 Matt Leather, a Metalcote black, a dark/mid-grey, dark brown etc.
Then the wheels were sprayed with red primer, then matt black and finally given a light dusting of a track colour or sleeper grime type aerosol, to give them a base weathering colour.
Other paint was then dry-brushed on to the wheels, which were then temporarily attached to an axle and given a spin in an electric drill, whilst a cotton bud, soaked (but not soaking) in cellulose thinners, was held against the wheel treads and flanges to clean them off:
I also primed and painted the coupling rods.
Once the enamel paints had thoroughly dried (for various reasons this ended up being three or four days), I carefully cleaned the business end of the pick-ups with cellulose thinners on a cotton bud, where some enamel paint had accidentally gone, and re-assembled the chassis:
Once satisfactory test running had taken place (which it now has done), I will lightly glue some etched overlays on top of the Romford axle nuts, to give a more prototypical portrayal of an axle end.
The chassis was re-lubricated, where necessary, and test run, which was fine. It was then re-united with the loco body and is seen here posing on 'Bethesda Sidings', alongside the much more recently bought second 14XX, which will be re-numbered to 1420 in due course:
I am finally happy with the running of 1458, The high gearing and quality of the High Level gearbox give it good controllability for all the shunting that will be indulged in on 'Bethesda Sidings'. Here are a couple of clips of it running this afternoon:
One final word on the subject of the second (weathered) Hattons/DJM 14XX. From the outset, it seemed a better runner than the first two that I had from Hattons (the second of which became 1458), but still wasn't sufficiently good to keep the Comet chassis kit in my 'unmakde kits' box.
Following a prolonged amount of running in on a rolling road and latterly on a circle of set-track, it was with some trepidation that I tested it on 'Bethesda Sidings' yesterday afternoon, using my AMR slow speed controller.
Whilst not quite as responsive as 1458, it nonetheless surprised me and was, in fact, sufficiently controllable to warrant the chassis being kept and not requiring replacement. Good news and one less job to do!