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Building BR ex-LNER from kits.


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A bit more progress on the tender. K3's built after 1936 were equipped with vacuum brakes, and a few were at 52B, 52D and 64A, so I'll go for one of those. The only problem I have is that a couple of my existing K3's also have the vacuum tank, when they probably shouldn't.  Yeadon does say tenders were swapped fairly liberally, but I'll change the ones I already have.

 

The next big job is to get the loco chassis finished. The instructions suggest driving off the rear axle, but I'm going to try to use the centre with a Highlevel Compact+. 

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The HighLevel Roadrunner Compact+ sat too low in the chassis, and the motor wouldn't fit. Perversely, I had a Roadrunner+ -the 3 stage version- which at some point I had struggled to get running, so I had a go at that, and all was easily sorted. Obviously leaving well alone for a few months is worthwhile. 

It fitted to the centre axle, as I'd hoped. , but I needed to be pretty brutal to the firebox to allow it to clear the motor. However all seems well, and the motor is still invisible in the firebox, and there is no protuberance into the cab, which is a pet hate of mine. 

So I'll sort out the brakes and pony truck, then the only other "minor" issue will be the valve gear. 

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The chassis' are essentially complete, and the motor installed. I soldered wire to the chassis to represent sandpipes. The cab and roof are just there for photographic purposes - there is a fair bit of detail provided for the cab and most will be done before finally adjusting and soldering it in place. 

On another thread TW built a DJH 8F in 10 minutes and said something like "I'll knock up the valve gear tomorrow morning". I should be so lucky... but that's the next task.

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High Level do a couple of iron core motors, and I picked one up with my last gearbox order.  I thought i'd try it in the K3 and it fitted nicely, and runs well too. It is the 1020 version- they also do a 1015.  At £9.50, it seemed worth a punt. My locos don't do miles, and the trains are fairly short, with any gradients on the layout accidental, but I'm unsure how the motor would cope under stress. It does seem, visually at least, better built than the cheaper Mitsumi's, and ,when tested on the layout, performed nicely. The shaft is 1mm, and I got the worm from Chris at High Level. I'm not sure how easy it is to get this diameter if other gearboxes were to be used.

The loco will be St Margaret's typical scruffy black, so I've used Railmatch Weather Black, from the can, on the  topcoat. The kit is built more or less out of the box, other than the addition of an AWS banger plate and a few wiggly pies around the smokebox.

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The chassis is now wired up, and I'm really pleased with how it runs with the (cheaper) High Level motor - fast when needed, but controllable down to a crawl.  So no excuses not to fit the valve gear, not my favourite job. the chassis gives the option for either a detailed or simplified version of the valve gear. Being simplified myself, I'll go for the latter. The cylinder block and motion bracket are in place to check clearances... the latter is particularly worth watching, as it sits very close to the outer rim of the leading drivers. The whitemetal cover is there to check the fit against the etch, and it needed a good degree of cleaning up to get it to fit properly. 

 

So I'll pop the kettle on and one side should be ready by the time it boils and I'll do the other while the coffee cools...or not.

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A start has been made on the valve gear. I have successfully assembled a couple of SEF versions of the LNER gear, but didn't find the cylinders easy. For some reason, I couldn't get this one to go together, but had a set of PDK slidebars, which they sell as spares, so used them with the excellent SEF etched cylinder block. The SEF crossheads work after a bit of filing. Other than the usual issues with clearances, so far all seems to function.

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The K3 is making good progress RowanJ, getting the valve gear fitted and running smoothly can often be really tricky so well done.

 

One comment and suggestion, this is an early SEF K3 body kit which was designed to fit an early Hornby chassis. As a result it had the underside of the boiler "missing". What I have done in the past is to bend a section of brass sheet to the correct boiler curvature and fix this (usually superglue) to the underside of the whitemetal boiler finishing with some "green stuff" filler and W&D paper until the brass boiler section blends in. If needed you can add boiler bands too.

 

It makes a huge difference to the appearance of the completed model.

 

I had to do the same for my very old SEF "U/N" Mogul kit that I built as an early "U" class (prototype rebuilt from a 2-6-4 tank) sorry I don't have a really clear picture but you can just see the boiler insert.

 

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and the completed model

 

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Its worth the extra effort. All the best and keep up the good work!

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

A couple of pictures of the almost completed SEF K3. 61984 was at Heaton or Tweedmouih until the early 60's. so is a suitable candidate for a latter - build loco with vacuum brakes. I wanted it to be work stained but not filthy, so the weathering is a work in progress. I ran out of transfers for the boiler bands so they will be added, as will a dummy front coupling, also on order.

 

I built the kit more or less out of the box, the main change being the use of etched cylinders rather than the brass castings supplied, Draincocks are Hornby from the A1/A3 - the A1 version is what you need-, and the drive is on the centre axle, rather than the rear as suggested by SEF. It's a moot point whether this was worth doing, I know some folk think it helps to drive on the centre axle, but it did involve removing a fair bit from the boiler underside to get it all to fit. My PDK B16's all drive on the rear axle without any issues.

 

One problem I did have was with the crosshead. I cut these to ensure the front does not strike the front of the cylinder block, checking they don't then fall out the hole at the rear at the same time. The RH side promptly did just that, so I found a small length of brass tube with an inside  diameter sufficient to allow the crosshead to run freely,, and soldererd it through the cylinder block. Enough was left outside the block to prevent the crosshead falling out, and also to represent the extension at the point where the crosshead enters on the prototype. It worked so well , I did the same on the LH side too.

 

I'll stick a couple of photos on here of the loco in action just for completeness,

Santa is bringing me kits for a High Level RSH 0-6-0 ST and an LRM N8/9( which will be built as an N9). I've virtually run out of appropriate ex-NER/LNER/BR loco kits for Little Benton. How will I survive?

 

 

 

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61984 joins the fleet, having passed its' test first on the test track and then on the layout. It is in work-stained condition, rather than filthy. 

Gateshead, and to a lesser extent Heaton, get a bad press for the external condition of their locos, and I admit it does them no favours to see a filthy A4 on The Flying Scotsman. However, the engines themselves had the reputation of being very well maintained mechanically.  i suspect that lack of cleaning was simply down to a lack of manpower. The Railway competed locally with the NCB and Shipyards for staff, and those who did choose a career on the footplate had the opportunity to progress faster up the chain to fireman and driver, given the volume of sheds in a fairly narrow geographical vicinity. Just a theory, of course.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

There isnt much point in posting if you dont also include where you went wrong.

 

The K3, an SEF kit, is back on test, after I discovered that, despite running well "light engine", it wouldnt actually pull a train. I replaced the whitemetal tender with a Bachmann top, modified GBL outside frames, and checked that all wheels on the etched sub- chassis ran freely. It still didn't work, so I had to admit that the problem must be that the small Mashima motor just didn't have enough beef. I replaced it with a Taff Vale 1227, and all is now well. I'll keep the plastic tender, so need to get the lining transfers back out, and, at some point, I'll put a new sub-chassis under the SEF tender body. 

I still live and learn from what was a pretty elementary error in using too small a motor

 

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On 07/01/2021 at 09:57, rowanj said:

 

I still live and learn from what was a pretty elementary error in using too small a motor

 

Well done RowanJ - the K3 looks fine. I suspect that with the high level of traction and now power it can pull a bit?

 

My loco modelling "career", such as it is, is littered with, shall we say "learning moments". In a way that is part of the fun.

 

Whats your next loco going to be?

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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The 1227 from Taff Valley Models is a nice motor, and pretty economically priced. I have tried the K3 on a 9 -coach rake, and it has both speed and torque. It just about fits the boiler of the K3, which had already cut to allow the drive off the centre axle. It has the very odd arrangement, similar to Mitsumi's, with the position of the fixing screws leaving the motor "skew" in the gearbox. Certainly, it would be a fight to get this motor into anything smaller than the K3, though would be a good fit for something like an A5.

 

What's next. The pictures show the state of my pile of kits. I'm having a bit of trouble getting motivated, but have made the basic chassis for the N9. So far, no issues, nor anything out of the ordinary in etched chassis construction.

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I have been asked to show the N9 build, so am happy to post the odd photo. So far, there is nothing too difficult about the kit, though I haven't really got very far.

 

The coupling rods are laminated and are designed to float on the centre axle. I usually fit rigid rods on my low-tech OO non-compensated chassis, -  i.e. I never try to split them if that is how they come on the etch - but nor do I join them up if they come in parts. For an 0-6-0, I have never found it makes any difference to the running. On this kit, only a quick turn of a broach to clean the holes produced free-running, with no tight spots. Unusual for me!

 

The rest of the chassis is just the brakes, so I cut out the footplate, as the instructions suggested, to check clearances. I did have to do a bit of filing around the wheels, and also on the tabs where the footplate fits into the chassis. The latter obviously wouldnt be needed if I was modelling in EM or P4, as the kit has wider spacers . but I do wonder how much work would be needed on the former to get the wider wheelbase to clear the footplate and still leave the splashers in place. The brass on LRM kits is thinner than I am used to, so handling takes care. There is already a ripple on footplate which needs attention from where I removed a part etched inside the footplate etch.

 

The big visual difference between the N8 and N9 is the longer chassis and footplate at the front end. Both classes had larger or shorter tanks during their life. My N8 has a short footplate and large tanks, so the N9 will have a long footplate and shorter tanks, as luckily one of the last 3 withdrawn  in 1955 was in that condition.

 

I dragged the N8 out of the loft, suffering hypothermia in the process, so I can check what I had done to build it if I am unsure of anything as I go along.

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The chassis is more or less finished, and the footplate assembled to check for any issues. Some material was removed from it around the wheels to avoid shorts, and that's in OO- EM modellers presumably have to do even more, and there is not that much metal between the gap for the footplate and the footplate edge.  Otherwise, assembly was the normal type - wishing I had 3 hands, was ambidextrous with asbestos fingers. 

 

I'm building this N9 with the shorter tanks and bunker, and there is a half etch to show where the reduction is made. Once done, the superstructure can be started.

 

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Long, long ago in what seems like a galaxy far far away, I bodged a K4 from a Replica B1 and some other plastic bodies, now forgotten, using the GBL Magazine locos. I cut back a standard 4200 gallon tender to produce the shorter smaller version, and stuck the whole thing on a Bachmann K3 chassis.

Around the same time, Dave Alexander was selling the main etch for his K4 kit at local shows for £1 each, and I bought a few, and have used bits and pieces since on various projects.

I have no idea if it will work, but I dug the body, now sans chassis out today, plus a set of frames, and will see if I can tidy up the body and cobble together a working chassis from what is left. I have 21mm wheels, and a few motors and gearbox, so no great loss if it doesnt happen.

Here is the starting point.

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