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About Iain.d

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    Perth, Western Australia

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  1. ***Sorry, meant to quote t-b-g's post from the last page *** Hi Tony, Thank you for the complement on the look of the carriages. Yes, I do get a level of satisfaction that makes all the hard work seem worthwhile. But often during the build I lose a little bit of interest and need some sort of diversion; luckily, I have other hobbies and live in a beautiful part of the world. I also usually have two projects on the go, so I can flit between them as the mood takes me. To get things done I have to break things down into manageable chunks or tasks. I don’t mind soldering the door stops, etc., but I couldn’t do it all in one sitting. I generally do all the prep work over a few nights, often in front of the TV so I am with the family. So, on a kit I cut the parts from the fret, clean off all the cusp, etch tags, drill all the holes, clean up the castings and then put stuff away until I have time to begin assembly. Because it is all prepped, assembly is quick and one has something to see for their effort quite soon, but even then, I’ll probably only do one side of a coach at a time or maybe just the bogies, or floor or whatever’s next in the build sequence. I also batch build to speed things up. Before painting, everything is done – interior, windows cut, door handles bent, curtains and so on. Then I don’t delay on completion. My least favourite parts are making working scissor gangways (I need two sets of those now) and filing/cutting RTR bodies to accept brass sides. Overall, I find kits less work than modifying old RTR. Comet kits are pretty straight forward. This LMS D1807 TO is about 4 weeks work at about 3-4 evenings per week and a couple of hours each weekend day. Roxey’s are a little more complex and I find I need to put in a little more thought because I think they’re meant to be glued together - well certainly the interiors and the roof, both of which I want removable for future servicing/maintenance. Cutting the roofs are a problem for me. I’ve done seven of Roxey carriage kits and have three LSWR ones to go, and two S&DJR Milk Vans. This Slaters GWR Third Corridor kit was quite easy – its plastic but the bogies were complex, unnecessarily so. They’re sprung, I don’t think they need to be and I’m not sure how they’ll run. I suspect I’ll swap them out for Comet replacements one day. Doing RTR recycling like this is quite time consuming. It’ll take a weekend’s worth of time just to carve/file the plastic sides to accept the brass ones. I know some people cut pretty much all the side away; I leave as much as I can so I have a bigger area to glue the parts together. There’s not much difference in cost between recycling RTR or a Comet kit; wheels aside I can get a Comet coach for £38 (VAT free) and it the same for the bits to do an RTR (the cost of the donor is the biggest factor here), either way both routes are cheaper than a new RTR carriage and you can also get yourself a diagram that’s unlikely ever to be mass produced, like this LMS D1913 BTO. I have two recently purchased Mousa Models S&DJR coaches to build, not sure how they’ll go. Probably quite well as I find most Bill Bedford stuff well thought out. And I’ve a few more Comet kits, one being an LMS articulated set, purchased simply because there has been a few articulated sets shown on here (not LMS admittedly) and I rather like them! LMS and LNER articulated stock was not uncommon on the S&D. Sorry, this is a very long answer to a simple question, when I could have simply said ‘yes!’ Kind regards, Iain
  2. All this talk of how enjoyable, or not, coach builds are, got me thinking about my more recent modelling experience. I returned to the hobby in July 2015 – I did do a smattering in the previous 20 or so years, but that was mostly purchasing, collecting and amassing stuff for the big layout in my head!! – and since then, according to my build list, have completed 58 coach builds or rebuilds. They’re from a variety of sources – Comet, Slaters, Roxey, Kirk and BSL Phoenix but the bulk are rebuilds of Hornby, Mainline and Bachmann with Comet sides and almost everything else being replaced, a fair few of which I’ve shown on WW. I too sometimes baulk at the prospect of fitting door hinges, door bumps, door handles, droplights and individually cut pieces of glass to something like this (Airfix/Comet LMS D1686 C): I always like starting them, and look forward to it when they are at this stage (Roxey Mouldings GWR A2/3 Clifton Downs Trailer): I become a little tired and jaded at this stage (Hornby/Comet LMS D1903 CO): Perk up that they’re almost done at this stage (Airfix/Comet LMS D2159 CK): And think its all been well worth it at this stage (Hornby/Comet LMS D1905 BTK): Normally I do them in batches of two or three but currently I’ve only one on the go; there are about 8 in the queue to do and three more kits to purchase. There is light at the end of the tunnel… Kind regards, Iain
  3. I rather enjoy it!!! Although, yes, there are some parts that can be very repetitive and unnecessarily time consuming. Kind regards, Iain
  4. I’ve been working on this LMS D1810 Restaurant First Open from Comet/Wizard. Progress has been slow but this week I have advanced a little further. As a 68 ft Period II vehicle the sides are devoid of features; I have added door hinges and door bumps, door vents will be added after painting. The Stones Ventilators are beautifully fine brass etches from Rumney Models. I started to solder them from the back but struggled to get them level, so after the first couple I ended up doing them from the front with the tiniest amount of solder I could. I think the tidying up is smooth enough for the solder not to show under the paint. The main components: And soldered up as the basic body: There’s still a fair way to go with lots of detail to add and an interior to build. I’ll also make the roof removable so will solder in a couple transverse strengtheners to the body, between the windows and close to cant rail level – on previous builds I have soldered them in to lie just touching the underside of the roof. I’ll fix bolts in from the roof, hiding them with a vent or something like that. Kind regards, Iain
  5. I did manage to do some work on my rebuild of the damaged DJH 7F today, not as much as I’d planned, but it is all heading in the right direction. The paint stripper I have isn’t particularly powerful and it took a fair application and some vigorous work with a toothbrush to get the old paint off; some still remains in nooks and crannies. The castings are, on the whole okay, however one side of the boiler is quite heavily pitted but I think it can be filled and smoothed. I’ve still to straighten out some of the bent and damaged castings. I’ll probably remove all the cast boiler bands and firebox cladding retainer strips and replace with tape just before the painting stage. I’ll also file off all the rivet representation from the smokebox and running plate. I’ll add rivet transfers, again just before painting. The safety valves and dome need to come off; I’ll replace these with spares from an Alan Gibson 7F kit. I also dug out from my accumulated stores - a Kemilway brake gear fret, a pony truck etch and wheels and some sprung buffers – although these are LMS/BR ones and I need to get some MR ones. I also did the same with the tender. Its not quite accurate for a Deeley one of the era that I want to do (it’s a Fowler 3500 gallon one) but I think it will be okay - I can certainly Deeley-ise it. I have a Mainly Trains fret of MR tender and loco steps to replace the missing whitemetal ones and I have a Comet tender inside frame etch to build up. I’ll try and use the kit’s provided tender wheels after I cut down the axles, but I have a set of Gibson wheels if needed. I fancy building the tender with a tender cab but they’d been removed from all six in service locos by 1920, so we’ll see. I have yet to start degreasing the chassis and wheels and breaking down the cylinders and motion, maybe I'll be able to do this, this week. Kind regards, Iain
  6. Thanks to all for the info on the wheels. For this one, for now, I'll have a go with the K's wheels and see what I can do. The nearest Markit ones I can find are the WH201A 4ft 6in 15 spoke - as for an LMS Jinty. A few options I have are, to purchase four Markits axles worth of wheels or I have an Alan Gibson LMS Jinty in the ‘to do’ pile that has 3 packs of Alan Gibson 4ft 7in wheels (4855). If I can find another pack of those (unfortunately long time out of stock at Wizard Models) I can use those for this 7F, and then, I could then use the Ks with the Jinty (its unlikely to be under heavy/high power like the 7F). Mind you I have another Gibson 7F in the queue that is two sets of wheels short, so I need three packs of 4855 altogether! I’ll have look at the Wizard website tonight and see what’s available. Kind regards, Iain
  7. Yesterday I showed some motor gearbox combination builds, which prompted me to look a little more closely at a damaged locomotive that’s been sat on my shelf for some time now. It’s a DJH Somerset & Dorset 7F, I bought off eBay in 2013, the advert saying it was a non-runner but that with a little bit of care and attention it might be restored! I’m not sure of its age – its one of a few old DJH 7Fs I have acquired to build. A couple are 80s/90s ‘blue boxed’ ones and a couple are older looking ‘green boxed’ ones. The ones in the blue boxes have better quality castings in partitioned heat sealed bags to those in the green boxes, where everything is just chucked in a clear poly bag. My best guess is that this would originate from the 1970s. It had been assembled using some nuts and bolts and a variety of glues, including super glue, evostik impact adhesive and some sort of epoxy (like car filler). It didn’t take long to dismantle. I don’t think it has ever been run as there are no picks ups and wires have never been soldered/attached to the motor. Whatever lubrication was used (engine motor oil maybe) has thickened and is very tacky/gungy. The axle ends are ‘D’ shaped to provide quartering; the wheels, plastic centred, are fixed by bolts screwed into the axle ends. The crankpins are screw threaded at the end to accept a small nut (but they’re not Gibson ones). There is quite a contrast between some of the finer detail and the cruder components. The bogie wheel appears to be Alan Gibson, but is nickel silver tyred. On looking closely at the motor, it’s labelled as a Kean/Portescap RG4 077/24. On the end, melted into the plastic closure, is written ‘Faulhaber, Made in Germany’. On applying current it operated silently and smoothly, without hesitation; pretty impressive given its years of probable inactivity. I’m going to look at doing this as a background project – I know its never going to have the same level of finish as a Bachmann one or a Gibson one, but I enjoy bringing things like this back to life. This afternoon I’ll paint stripper the body and try and degrease the chassis, wheels and running gear. The castings need a lot of work and the slidebars and motion support bracket need replacing. Not sure how I’ll do those yet. And I’ll use the HL Gearbox shown on my previous post to drive it. I’ll finish it as No. 80, circa 1921. Kind regards, Iain
  8. Thanks for that, it’s a good idea and I will try the same on the other two Comet gear boxes I have. I agree that the noise is slightly worse in one direction than the other, and I also thought it might be something to do with the bearings in the motor, I have an old D13 that does the same. I didn’t think to add some sort of outboard restraint, but will try that too. Kind regards, Iain
  9. A week or so back we had a discussion on gearboxes that generated some good debate and dialogue. The fact that I don’t have anywhere to operate what I build has never stopped me acquiring, collecting and making stuff, but I’m aware I haven’t done much construction in the motor and gearbox environment despite having purchased a reasonable number of each, come the day I need them. My only experience of drive train assembly is those bend up plate things from years ago that used coarse very noisy Romford gears, uggh! So, over a couple of evenings this last week, I put together a selection of what I have and thought I’d share my thoughts. First up are these two DJH/Model Loco GB2 50:1 boxes. I bought them in about 2000/2001 when I read DJH were going to stop production of some of their loco kits. Not knowing what might be discontinued, I bought a S&D 7F and BR 4MT tank engine and these GB2s and Mashima motors. The boxes didn’t present any problems to build, that said they were a little fiddley in trying to line up all the various spacers, shims and cogs, but once loosely screwed together, it was easy. The only difference between the two boxes was one came with a red plastic worm rather than a brass worm. The noisiest is the plastic wormed one; the brass wormed one is very quiet. I did swap every moving component around between the two in an effort to resolve it, but it was always the plastic wormed one that made the most noise. I don’t believe DJH sell them for self-assembly anymore, one would hope the current factory produced ones are nigh on silent. I will see if I can find a brass 50:1 worm to replace the plastic one – I may get a selection from High Level and see what I can do. Next is a High Level Road Runner+ (I can’t remember the ratio, but I don’t think it’s in the current range) and a Comet 2 Stage 50:1. Of these two the Comet took longer to assemble, only because the bearing holes took a while to open up to the right size for the bearings. Both of these boxes are running cheap Chinese motors, the smaller motor (a Mitsumi) is quite noisy when running free of the box. The other motor is reasonably quiet but not as quiet as the Mashima’s above. Also neither of the Chinese motors fix vertically to the gearbox mount. The Comet combination will easily fit in a Dapol/Hornby LMS 2P body and the HL combination will easily fit in an Airfix LMS 4F body. Both of these boxes are super smooth (beginners luck?, precision etching and quality manufacture more likely!) and produce low levels of noise – bearing in mind I don’t have much of a reference point to compare them to. I have two more Comet boxes to use and think I’ll be quite happy with them; they’ll also be fully hidden in the 2P body when driving the front axle. On the HL I’ve not yet secured the idler shafts – firstly, because I’m not sure of the best way to and, secondly, I’m not sure what loco it’ll run in, so don’t know how much room I’ll have between the frames, as I may need to shorten them by a mm or so. I think future purchases will be between the HL type and Comet. Personally, I couldn’t justify £80, or thereabouts, for a DJH motor gearbox combination. I do understand though that a professional builder would consider the time/cost benefit differently. Horses for courses as they say. Kind regards, Iain
  10. I have shown the progress over the last couple of weeks on a new tender build for an old Triang MR 3F. The loco was modified/updated in 1993 but I only did minimal work on the original tender. I’d had in mind to change it out for a new tender at some point in the future and was able to purchase a George Norton Connoisseur’s Choice Johnson 3500 gallon tender a few years ago. I had hoped to finish it last week using one of these 28 year old cans of black Humbrol spray, that I’d kept all this time with this project in mind!! Shaking the cans told me there was plenty of paint in them, unfortunately one can had no propellant left in it, but the other seemed to work fine on my test piece, however, when I did the tender it left semi hard particles in the finish – not sure what they were, maybe bits of dry paint? So it got stripped and resprayed through the week, this time using Tamiya gloss black and Mig matt varnish. Its not quite the same colour as the locomotive, but close enough. I’ve toned the ‘brightness’ down with dry brushing some dark grey onto it, and added a fall plate. One day I’ll fit a driver and fireman and a few fire irons and the like. Also when I was finding the paint and some low melt solder, in long ago packed boxes, I found a small bag of crushed coal! Probably enough to do half a dozen loco’s. Kind regards, Iain
  11. I suspect there’ll be inaccuracy in all our modelling regardless of how hard we try; the issue is the acceptance of the level of inaccuracy. Like everything, it’s a balance. I can understand the desire to model a specific date but then other issues can arise, such as how to model the weather or even the time of day – if you want to be that precise, or pedantic. For me, I want to model a period from 1950 through to about 1965, based on Midsomer Norton on the Somerset & Dorset (a commonly modelled location, a bit twee to some but I lived close enough in my mid-teen years for it to be considered home) and I have managed to assemble and collect stock to cover that time. Within that time span I’ve also broken it down into the early 50s, mid 50s, etc., so that I can create variety and more interest, to me at least. I will try to be reasonably prototypical within those times, for example I have a Bachmann Evening Star but it won’t be seen running with a Maunsell 3 carriage set in Crimson and Cream, and it won’t be assisted by a Midland 2P. But I probably will have an early BR emblem Standard Class 5 running with a late emblem BR Standard Class 4, where historically that didn’t happen. I spent a long time looking at Robert Carroll’s CWN documents for S&D services, in comparing photos of trains (I have an extensive S&D library) to the CWN they were frequently different. So my formations are only a close representation of what might have been; they also need to cover multiple services so what might be right for one wouldn’t be for another. To edit slightly Headstock’s post’s postscript, to me its more about trying to get the right [type] of loco on the right [type] of train, in the right location [at roughly the right time]. That being said, I do have a recently acquired WD 2-8-0 (from Tony); I’m only aware of two of them running on the S&D – one as a test/clearance trial working and the other a goods train. I’m being a bit hypocritical – but I wanted one! What I have found, is that while doing this collecting of stock, the research has moved my interest period to the left; I’m far more taken with the early 50s than the early 60s. This is probably due to there being a greater variety of stuff running, in particular coaching stock. I don’t have a layout (and sometimes wonder if the big roundy-roundy will ever materialise!) but am well advanced in the design and purchase of bits and pieces to make a reasonably scaled rendition of a terminus layout based on the S&D plan at Bridgwater – it’ll be more of a test track and learning ground for modelling technique rather than a layout ‘proper’. And more by luck than judgment I’ve managed to assemble a fair amount of rolling stock that would fit the S&D era of about 1920-1921; for some reason I’m also drawn to this period, perhaps more so than the period I’ve been collecting stuff for, for so long! Bizarre! While I try to get things as right as my knowledge, time and budget allow me, I’m well on the side of compromises and inaccuracies if that makes one happy. Kind regards, Iain
  12. Hi Rodney, Other than the single Mashima, the motors are all eBay purchases. Most are branded Mitsumi with 1.5mm shafts and are dimensionally about 20mm x 15mm x 12mm. I can’t remember the cost but they wouldn’t have been much individually or for a bag of 5 and the postage was probably free. The larger motors have 2mm shafts. It is comments on RMWeb that caused me to buy the ones I did. Some of the larger ones (toward the back left hand side of my picture above) are very similar / the same as those that have been shown on things like Michael Edge’s thread pages – I think they’re Mabuchi. I know they will all perform differently so I’ve bought a variety to try out. Hopefully I’ll be able to standardise on them. I’m not expecting them to last as long as the likes of Mashima, so I feel it would be prudent to have some spares. Kind regards, Iain
  13. I think this is the third round of the great gearbox debate this year. I find peoples attitudes to it fascinating. I didn’t comment previously but LNER4479 (I think) made mention of modellers showing their work on particular gearboxes, but there wasn’t, from memory much take up. I did at the time though take a photo of the variety of gearboxes and motors that I have collected. There are a few more of each but they’re in the boxes of kits yet to be made. I had also intended to make a few up but other stuff got in the way. I suspect every modeller aspires to a sweetly running chassis, gearbox and motor combination. I think I relayed a few months back on this thread my trials and tribulations of trying to get my first loco, a DJH Somerset & Dorset 7F, to run. Due to my lack of knowledge, experience, skill and tools it was not a roaring success with a D13 screwed to the chassis driving a very course Romford gearset. The chassis was noisy and jerky, but it didn’t make me give up; I found other ways of achieving the same and I made what I consider a passable working model. It was the start of a journey. As I progressed my ability has improved, but there’s still a long way to go. I have amassed about 30 kits to build – some from companies others’ on here wouldn’t dream of making as, in their experience, they’re such poor quality kits, but I’ll give them ago. In the selection of gearboxes above there are some that will be more difficult than others. There are two HL boxes in the picture and a cheapy from Puffers, I suspect it would take me longer to get the puffers box to run as sweetly as the HL ones. There are also two DJH boxes, bought in 2000 when you could buy them to assemble yourself. One was intended for a DJH 4MT 2-6-4T, the other yet another S&D7F but I now know its too big for that, so I’ll fit it in the Gibson Black 5 just bought via Tony. I suppose what I’m just trying to say is that there isn’t one answer that fits all. We all have different thresholds for giving up and walking away from something and that threshold will probably be related to how committed we are to modelling what we are trying to achieve. I think its always worth reminding ourselves, that for most of us, this is just a hobby and its supposed to be fun. Kind regards, Iain
  14. Following up on modelling previously shown, I have just about finished constructing this Johnson 3500 gallon tender and thought I’d show progress. The chassis runs nicely and I have the option to add some sort of pick up assembly to the middle frame spacers if necessary. I don’t think the tender front is right; there are no instructions with the kit and the line drawing provided with it is wrong. I have no photo’s showing all the front, a trawl of the net showed lots of examples but nothing exact, albeit there was some good stuff on the Scalefour website. Given these tenders were in service for more than 60 years, differences are inevitable; I accept mine is a best guess. Even with things like the tool boxes seeming to have no standard type or fit, I found some tenders had a single long box, some had doors that were hinged to open upwards (as I do mine), some were hinged to open downwards, some were chests. Everything constructed on it so far has been soldered – I think a first for me as I will often resort to epoxy for attaching the fiddley bits. It is ‘neater’ than I thought it would be, in particular the handrails and coal rails. I managed to keep the solder blobs to a minimum. The whitemetal axle boxes will be soldered but I need to locate the low melt solder first. It’ll be painted soon, after which I'll add the buffers and the coupling. And I haven't yet worked out exactly the drawbar configuration to the loco. Need to find some coal too…not much of that around here. Kind regards, Iain
  15. Last weekend, well I think it was last weekend, I started this Johnson 3500 gallon tender from a George Norton / Connoisseur’s Choice kit to replace an old Triang one that came with a MR 3F. The fit of parts has been superb, in particular the brass work. The nickel silver not quite so, it was/is also coated with something like a clear varnish or preservative. I found when I soldered the brake gear up, it seemed okay, the flux sizzled and the solder flowed and everything was secured, but the next day more than half of the joints were loose. So I unsoldered the few secured pieces and then scrubbed all the parts in Jif. It seems okay now. The brake gear is removable so that the wheels can be inserted. The axles have 2mm-1/8in sleeves that have been secured in place with Loctite 601, from a very old bottle which I was half expecting to be ‘off’. There's not much sideplay on the chassis but it will happily negotiate Peco OO bullhead points. The flares at the tender top were done by bending the brass around a 1/8in bar and applying little more than finger pressure. I need to decide on a buffer beam; two are provided, one seems too deep and the other too shallow. And I think I’ve worked out the bending and fitting of parts for the coal hole and tool boxes. All being well I’ll be able to do some more this week. Kind regards, Iain
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