A year or two ago I acquired four kits for S&DJR six-wheeled vehicles from the Connoisseur Models range of 4mm "Pocket Money" models. These kits were reduced from the 7mm vehicles in the main Connoisseur range and judging by the packing on mine, date from the 90s.
An evening's work saw the main body put together without too much difficulty. Although I have a rolling bar, I'd misplaced it, so all curves were formed by gentle finger pressure. Once completed,
I then found the offending rolling bar! The remaining folds were done with a Hold'n'Fold tool.
The six-wheeled chassis threatened to be a challenge, but it turned out to go together without much difficulty - and more importantly, it ran!
It's probably worth mentioning my non-technical approach for 6 axle stock. Rather than faffing around with compensation, Cleminson underframes and so on, I take a very simplistic approach and just make sure the centre wheelset can go along for the ride, doing no work of supporting the vehicle. Perhaps because I work in 00, and favour RTR coach wheels (Bachmann or Hornby equally good) I find that these vehicles run with no trouble once set up. With this particular one, I didn't fit bearings for the centre axle, just allowing it to slop around in the white metal axlebox castings. The result is a free-running axle which can float around enough to absorb dips and rises in the track, while also allowing ample side-play. Since the axle is doing no mechanical work, and this vehicle will only accumulate very modest mileage on my layout, I don't envisage difficulties with wear - but if that proves to be the case, there are a few options available.
A little more work saw the major elements finished:
I don't like the idea of not being able to get back into my coaches once finished, so in this case, I've made a friction-fit arrangement for the roof, so it can be clipped on and off when needed. In his coach-making book David Jenkinson makes use of push-fit roofs, I believe, so I've merely adapted the great man's approach, albeit with more of a bodger's approach!
As an idea of how this model ought to look, when properly finished, I can do no better than show this beautiful 7mm example, purchased at the Bristol O Gauge Show:
Being based on the same Connoisseur design, it's been a useful reference when building the 4mm version - although we differ as to which end the steps should be at! In all respects, the design and
construction appears to be identical, so I imagine if these kits go together well in 4mm, they must be a joy to build in O!
In time these four six-wheeled coaches will be joined by a four-coach rake of S&D bogie stock, from the Mallard range.
Edited by Barry Ten