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rowanj

Building BR ex-LNER from kits.

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After taking a deep breath and a stiff whisky, I have decided to bite the bullet and attempt my first etched loco kit. Previous experience has been limited to fitting replacement coach sides to RTR donors and building whitemetal kits. I have also attempted a few chassis kits - some worked and some didn't. !!!

 

Starting with a B16 might not have been the most sensible choice, but I wanted a loco which suited my area of interest and which seemed unlikely to appear as RTR in the near future. I also noted Mike Edge's wonderful B16/2 build and Tony Wright's superb B16/1. Though I'll never get anywhere near those standards, I hope to have some fun doing the work.

 

The reputation of the PDK kits persuaded me that it gave me confidence that any major c-ups would be as a result of my ham-fistedness rather than any defects in the kit itself. I also thought I'd share how I'm getting on in the hope that it might inspire others to have a go, point out where I went wrong or sorted out a problem, and get help if needed from the accomplished modellers who post here.

 

Over on Tony's thread, there are regular debates about kit-building v RTR. The common argument goes that kits are expensive and a real degree of skill is needed to build them and then the final result doesn't look as good or run as well as RTR. All of these points are often true. The B16 costs £115 or so and a set of Markits wheels and a motor/gearbox combo will add another £100 . Paint, lining and numbering add a bit more and these too are skills which won't get me into any Hall of Modelling Fame, But if all goes well, I'll be able to say "I made that" as I watch from a suitable viewing distance as it trundles round the layout.

 

Below is the basis of the kit, which seems excellent quality, The instructions seem clear and comprehensive, so off we go...

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Edited by rowanj
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I started with the chassis. This can be made either rigid or compensated and I'll build it rigid. It folds up and then has 3 additional spacers to keep it rigid. I found it very straightforward and when I subsequently fitted wheels, it was all perfectly square.

 

The cylinder block is likewise a fold up, which needs a couple of bushes soldered in to support the crosshead. As seems to be normal, the holes needed opening with a broach but otherwise was simple enough. I understand the PDK etches are on the  thick side, and while this may cause problems down the line, it helps at this stage as bends can be made by hand without distorting the metal .The scores in the metal where the bends need to be made are very clean

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Edited by rowanj
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This is where I'm up to so far. The cylinder block slides into the chassis via a pair of locating slots which is a neat way to accurately locate it, But for some reason the block would no locate at the correct depth. It was easily remedied by deepening the slot in the cylinder block. I was then faced by the piece of metal forming with the cylinder block sides which include reverse curve. I don't have bending bars, but got a reasonable result by soldering the top joint and then bending and soldering to get the finished  article.It will need a bit of tidying at some point.

The wheels are Markits , which I already had ,one reason for risking the kit purchase.. I'm hoping to use a DJH motor/gearbox which I also have, driving on the rear axle

 

The footplate bends were made by hand using the former which becomes the valances, It was just a case of trial ad error, and I suspect some additional filling will be needed later. The instructions suggest leaving this intact until much later in the body construction, but I wanted to check clearance of wheels and cylinder so removed the front part and bent up the splasher fronts. I also fitted the cab as the etch was loose in the box, it helps to check straightness of the footplate and I wanted to see it in place. It fitted easily using the etched tabs and slots.

 

Next step is the valve gear and brakes. Really looking forward to that...

 

John

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We still have some of the improved motion etches I did for the one I built.

Thanks. I may well be in touch.

John

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This is where I'm up to so far. The cylinder block slides into the chassis via a pair of locating slots which is a neat way to accurately locate it, But for some reason the block would no locate at the correct depth. It was easily remedied by deepening the slot in the cylinder block. I was then faced by the piece of metal forming with the cylinder block sides which include reverse curve. I don't have bending bars, but got a reasonable result by soldering the top joint and then bending and soldering to get the finished  article.It will need a bit of tidying at some point.

The wheels are Markits , which I already had ,one reason for risking the kit purchase.. I'm hoping to use a DJH motor/gearbox which I also have, driving on the rear axle

 

The footplate bends were made by hand using the former which becomes the valances, It was just a case of trial ad error, and I suspect some additional filling will be needed later. The instructions suggest leaving this intact until much later in the body construction, but I wanted to check clearance of wheels and cylinder so removed the front part and bent up the splasher fronts. I also fitted the cab as the etch was loose in the box, it helps to check straightness of the footplate and I wanted to see it in place. It fitted easily using the etched tabs and slots.

 

Next step is the valve gear and brakes. Really looking forward to that...

 

John

Hi John,

I have just finished this kit and found I had to cut back the bearing that protrudes from the cylinder block to allow for sufficient travel of the connecting rod.It may help to check this before you proceed any further with the build.Also i found this useful

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/64295-wright-writes/page-98Post 2434.

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Interesting to see the folded up frame in post #3 - I understand this specimen will be built rigid, but at some point in the future I aim to do one in P4.  I thought the allowance for compensation would include 6mm hornguide cutouts, but by the looks of it it is a larger circle cutout for the front 2 axles?

 

Looks like good progress is being made!

 

Mike - I was going to send a PM but it might be of wider interest so I'll ask here - your build was for a B16/2, while this build is a B16/1.  As I understand it the /2s had outside Walschaerts valve gear, which seems to be what your fret covers (as per the photo in post #24 of your topic as already linked in this thread).  Presumably the slide bars could be replaced from your fret, but the coupling and connecting rods used would be the original PDK ones?  In other words it looks like an excellent add on etch for a /2, but I'm just curious as to how much is useable on a /1.

 

Cheers,

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The etch is only useful for the LNER rebuilds, I just saw your reference to the one I built and thought I would mention it.

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The issue reported by many B16 builders is the limited clearances of the cylinders and bogie. I faffed around on the front end for a while, finding that even on relatively large radius curves, the bogie wheels fouled the chassis and the wheels touched the cylinders. Doubtless part of that is down to my ham-fistedness, In the event I removed almost all of the front and rear metal from the cylinder block, leaving only the metal of the cylinders themselves. I hope the picture shows what I mean. Once soldered to the chassis, the block is still sufficiently solid and robust. I also took some metal from the front of the chassis to give some additional clearance for the bogie wheels.

 

Following Nerron's helpful post, I pared back the bearing which supports the crosshead rod and began to fold up the cylinder bracket and promptly made a real mess of it. I struggled to see from the instructions which way the folds went, and found, not unexpectedly, that some fettling would be needed to fit them into the cylinder block. So inevitably, I broke some of the etched joints. Luckily they soldered back together, and the crossheads run smoothly in the guides. I trust I'll be able to clean up the worst of the solder joints before I come to the painting stage.

 

Re the query on the fold-up chassis, it seems to be only the front and centre driving wheels which are compensated - the instructions tell you to remove the circular etches then solder bearings into the 2 balance bars. I'll pm this bit of the instructions if Jub25565 wishes.

 

As a complete novice to etched kits, I haven't come across anything so far which I couldn't sort out, and I imagine experienced builders would find this chassis a doddle.

 

Finally, I wish I had a heated workshop or a wife who wouldn't mind me soldering in the kitchen.

 

John

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Edited by rowanj
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If its any consolation, I had exactly the same problem with cylinder clearance behind the bogie when I made the (inferior) DJH version of this loco. Eventually I pared the backs of the cylinders just enough to get the model round 27 inch radius curves in OO.

 

I'm sure I've read elsewhere that the problem extends to other NER steamers with a front bogie, and I can only assume that the combination of bogie and cylinder dimensions chosen by Raven was made to make our life difficult all these years later!

 

John.

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But if all goes well, I'll be able to say "I made that" as I watch from a suitable viewing distance as it trundles round the layout.

 

And there is nothing to beat that feeling John, its well worth the effort.

Congratulations on "Taking the Plunge".

Dave.

Edited by DLT

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HI Mick. The bogie has a slot, similar to but nothing like as wide, as the Hornby type. I see Mike Edge widened his and I suspect I'll end up doing the same. The suggested fixing method is a screw passing from the bottom of the bogie through the groove and a hole in the bottom spacer and then fastened by a nut. The bogie, being etched, is very light and to give better traction I suspect a spring will be needed. I'm keeping the final fitting option open until I can a decent test on my unforgiving trackwork,

Edited by rowanj

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HI Mick. The bogie has a slot, similar to but nothing like as wide, as the Hornby type. I see Mike Edge widened his and I suspect I'll end up doing the same. The suggested fixing method is a screw passing from the bottom of the bogie through the groove and a hole in the bottom spacer and then fastened by a nut. The bogie, being etched, is very light and to give better traction I suspect a spring will be needed. I'm keeping the final fitting option open until I can a decent test on my unforgiving trackwork,

Add some lead sheet between the frames. Another dodge is  slightly smaller bogie  wheels than the prototype.

Edited by micklner

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. The bogie, being etched, is very light and to give better traction I suspect a spring will be needed. I'm keeping the final fitting option open until I can a decent test on my unforgiving trackwork,

I inserted a spring and have no trouble with the front bogie. It may also help to add,as Mick has suggested, some lead to between the bogie frames. Folding the cylinder etch is tricky. It may be the angle but in your last photo the cylinder block appears to slope forward rather than slightly backward.

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Thanks Ron.At the moment the cylinder is just tacked at the front to check the clearances for slidebar and crosshead and the bogie. It needs removed in any event to solder the nut for the bogie. Photographs are cruel but helpful..the cylinders are actually straight but need,as you say, a slightly backward slant.They were also not perfectly centred, but at least I know that it will work. I'll also add weight to the bogie as suggested.

Thanks again. John

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John,

 

Just a small point but the front bogie wheels on many of the ex North Eastern locos (A6, A7, A8, T1 and B16) were 3' 1 and 1/4" diameter with 12 spokes. I don't know if Markits do this wheel type and size but Alan Gibson certainly does and theirs is actually a scale 3' 0" wheel. This slight disparity in diameter isn't a problem as loco wheels could lose up to 2 - 2.5" from their initial diameter (due to wear and to wheel tyre re-profiling) before they were re-tyred.

 

Regards

 

Mike

Edited by mikemeg

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Thanks for the offer for the photocopy John, but your description and the photos tell me enough.

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The issue reported by many B16 builders is the limited clearances of the cylinders and bogie. I faffed around on the front end for a while, finding that even on relatively large radius curves, the bogie wheels fouled the chassis and the wheels touched the cylinders. Doubtless part of that is down to my ham-fistedness, In the event I removed almost all of the front and rear metal from the cylinder block, leaving only the metal of the cylinders themselves. I hope the picture shows what I mean. Once soldered to the chassis, the block is still sufficiently solid and robust. I also took some metal from the front of the chassis to give some additional clearance for the bogie wheels.

 

Following Nerron's helpful post, I pared back the bearing which supports the crosshead rod and began to fold up the cylinder bracket and promptly made a real mess of it. I struggled to see from the instructions which way the folds went, and found, not unexpectedly, that some fettling would be needed to fit them into the cylinder block. So inevitably, I broke some of the etched joints. Luckily they soldered back together, and the crossheads run smoothly in the guides. I trust I'll be able to clean up the worst of the solder joints before I come to the painting stage.

 

Re the query on the fold-up chassis, it seems to be only the front and centre driving wheels which are compensated - the instructions tell you to remove the circular etches then solder bearings into the 2 balance bars. I'll pm this bit of the instructions if Jub25565 wishes.

 

As a complete novice to etched kits, I haven't come across anything so far which I couldn't sort out, and I imagine experienced builders would find this chassis a doddle.

 

Finally, I wish I had a heated workshop or a wife who wouldn't mind me soldering in the kitchen.

 

John

 

John

 

A small point, the left-hand top slidebar appears to be offset to the right. It could be just the photo but I thought it worth a mention.

 

Looks fine otherwise.

 

ArthurK

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John,

 

Just a small point but the front bogie wheels on many of the ex North Eastern locos (A6, A7, A8, T1 and B16) were 3' 1 and 1/4" diameter with 12 spokes. I don't know if Markits do this wheel type and size but Alan Gibson certainly does and theirs is actually a scale 3' 0" wheel. This slight disparity in diameter isn't a problem as loco wheels could lose up to 2 - 2.5" from their initial diameter (due to wear and to wheel tyre re-profiling) before they were re-tyred.

 

Regards

 

Mike

Thanks Mike. I was never happy with the bogie wheels in the photos but was using them to check clearances. Once I'm sure all this is going to work,I will get something more akin to the prototype. The Gibson wheels are a good suggestion, though I've never used them.

Today's very limited work involved resiting the cylinders to centre them and put in the prototypical slant. Coupling rods were soldered up and, amazingly, there are no tight spots.Nuts were soldered to allow loco body and chassis to be screwed together to check straightness as I, stupidly, removed the valance former which would have aided rigidity. I'll know next time.

Thanks for all the help so far. It's really useful to get feedback and tips from such accomplished and experienced modellers.

John

Edited by rowanj
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The latest photo shows the chassis all but ready for cleaning and , to quote the instructions " your chassis is now ready to paint " . I had a bit of a disaster getting the crossheads sorted. I found the folds at the etch very fragile, eve when strengthened with solder filler, and when it came to fitting the support bracket, there were a couple of breakages, Repairing by soldering was not too arduous, but there are so many soldered joints in a relatively small location that one loosened as another was replaced. But I got there eventually after much cursing and heated finger ends.

I've managed to lose a soldered nut, which is the one used to screw the leading bogie in place. Typically , its located just below the cylinder bracket, which I'm certainly not going to remove after all this. I think there is just enough room to capture the nut with a cocktail stick and get the iron in. Otherwise I suppose I'll have to resort to epoxy.

 

I'll start to dress the soldered joints next, and move on to the loco body.

 

 

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Pic of RH side, having added the saddle and cab floor. All fitted well after minimal fettling. I had intended to use a DJH GB1  motor/gearbox which I had in the spares box, driving the rear axle with the motor body sitting over the middle axle. This would have needed a small amount removed from the boiler bottom. However the gearbox is just too big and pushes against the cab rear. Plan B is a Mashima 1620 with a Highlevel Gearbox, which should sit more conventionally over the middle axle.

 

Growing confidence has persuaded me to order appropriate bogie wheels from Alan Gibson as Mike(meg) suggested,

 

The second photo is my self-indulgence - the boiler and cab roof just posed to see the effect. It looks a bit like a B16/1 doesn't it????

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Edited by rowanj
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Motive power is Mashima 1624 with Highlevel Roadrunner+. It went together without any problem. I decided to drive on the rear axle as this will need only minimal amount of metal removing from the boiler bottom.. It seems really smooth - I can certainty recommend this combination for easy and accuracy of assembly.

 

Hopefully, the next couple of days will see the chassis running, so I'll not bother to pst any more photos on the rest of the body assembly unless any problems arise which would be of interest to fellow novices. I'll return when I start on the tender.

 

Bogie wheels are now Gibson's and I think they make a huge improvement.

 

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Good motor/gearbox combination there, the LoadhaulerPlus would be another alternative box if you wanted a bigger reduction.

Cheers, Dave.

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