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South Eastern and Chatham Railway E1 class

Barry Ten


Over the last few weeks I've putting together a DJH kit for the SE&CR E1 class.


These were Maunsell's rebuilds of the earlier (and very handsome) Wainwright E class locos.  They were all but identical to the similarly rebuilt D1 class and the kit caters for both variants. All you do (ignoring minor issues of wheelbase and driver diameter) is choose between fluted and plain coupling rods.


I've had the DJH kit in my SABLE-* for some while, and with the Bird class behind me, I thought another 4-4-0 would be a good if not too challenging project to keep me busy during the later summer months.


This appears to be one of the older kits in the DJH range, as evidenced by the battleship-class chassis frames:




These proved to be quite difficult to solder, and needed the use of a 70 Watt gas iron rather than my usual 40 W Weller. They are also very basic with regards to such niceties as brake detail - there isn't any!


However, it does result in a very solid and heavy mechanism, which pleasingly runs very well without any additional weight.


Work then turned to the rest of the loco. For once, following time-honored advice in the pages of railway magzines, I made the tender





Work then turned to the main loco superstructure, which went together fairly straightforwardly. I found the castings to be a bit indifferent in terms of fit, but some careful work with files, low-melt solder as filler, and a lot of squinting and double-checking, seemed to result in things being square and parallel etc. Unlike the other DJH kits I've made, this one has the boiler in two halves with the join along the top and bottom. 




After another few evening's work, the loco is beginning to approach the finishing line, and has now begun running trials:






Lots of fiddly but satisfying jobs remain to be done, as well as brake gear, but there's no great rush now that it's running. I quite like it when locos are in this semi-finished condition!


*- Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy


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Another interesting 4-4-0, Al.


A dated kit it may be, but I bet it's satisfying to work on. There is something very satisfying about fettling and filing things to achieve a good fit and straight lines.

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It is very satisfying, yes.


Getting things straight is a bit of a preoccupation of mine now as I've learned the hard way, having to do remedial work on kits after I'd built them, because they looked OK as they went together, but then further examination showed things to be amiss. It even happened with the Bird class, which I was cross with myself for as I'd taken a lot of time in the preparatory work, but then rushed one of the critical stages - and then had to spend a day fixing something that needn't have happened.


I've done a fair bit more on the E1 so I'll post another update later. 

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