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I ask this as someone who has never attempted bashing in his life, but does anyone have any thoughts on how easy it would be to convert a Hornby J15 to an E4?  

 

I'm conscious the length of the wheelbases themselves were 16ft 1in. for the J15 and 16ft 6in. for the E4, which in OO gauge would be a discrepancy of 1.6mm, however is this difference down to the difference in size between the pony truck wheels of the E4 and the front driving wheels of the J15? From the info I have the E4 was longer over buffers at 48ft2in vs 47ft3in, which in OO gauge would be almost a 4mm difference in the length of the engine chassis. 

 

I'm not a rivet counter, more someone who wants a fairly accurate representation of something - I think butchering a J15 could achieve this and I think I'd be happy to overlook a difference in length as long as it didn't stick out like a sore thumb. Do people think almost 4mm difference in length is a compromise worth living with? 

 

The main question for me would be the chassis, as I'd be wary of chopping it about to remove the front driving wheels. Does anybody with any familiarity with butchering chassis', or the J15 chassis' workings give their thoughts on how easy it would be to convert it to a 2-4-0 wheel configuration? Bear in mind with your responses you're talking to a novice here...  

 

Thanks in advance. 

Edited by NXEA!
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Having looked at a couple of drawings I think 're going to struggle. The mods to the body alone are difficult to say the least. The front splasher would have to go. probably requiring the smolkebox to be rebuilt. Obviously removing the splashers would mean repairs to the footplate as well. The remaining splashers - centre and cab - are too small for an E4 and would need replacing - by no means impossible but probably not easy. The loco chassis would need new driving wheels and the front bearings would need replacing to accommodate the smaller axle diameter of the bogie wheels. The tender wheelbase is slightly different but I'm assuming from yout question you'd be prepared to accept the relatively slight discrepency.

None of the above is to say that a reasonable out come wouldn't be possible but it's a lot of work.

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I think the J15 & E4's ran with the same size/type of tenders at times, but as for the loco I don't believe that trying to convert a J15 would be the way to go. It's not just the larger driving wheels and splashers but more importantly that the boiler was pitched higher with a different style cab. These two aspects alone would make it a no-no for me because it just wouldn't look right with a lower pitched boiler and nothing would match up either, cab, splashers etc.

 

Izzy

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You could always dig around for a Nu Cast kit. I bought a built Nu Cast E4 and J15 at Ally Pally a few years back. There was a chap selling kit built loco's. I have got a couple of Nu Cast unbuilt J15 kits kicking around. Obviously with the Hornby model now being widely available, I won't be building them now.

Edited by Baby Deltic
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All,

 

Thanks for your replies, by the sounds of it you’re right, not the way to go. I was aware of the difference in driving wheels, but hadn’t considered that... that would make butchering rather more difficult.

 

The Nu-Cast suggestion is a good one, however I am yet to build a brass or white metal one. Does the NuCast one lend itself to being built by beginners?

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If the Nu-Cast E4 has any relation to the Stephen Poole kit of long ago, then don't touch it as a first attempt. Advice from anyone else? (Nearly drove me mad, as it was in no way designed for easy alignment in construction, decent weight balance,  or to accept a practical mechanism from available kit parts in the 1970s. I only have the whitemetal body now in heavily modified form, but my recollection is that the width of the space between the boiler halves as supplied was 4mm...) If it is related to the SP kit, wait until you have built some confidence with a loco kit designed to be assembled. A nice simple 0-6-0T like the GER design LNER J67 to 69 group f'rinstance.

 

Better news, there is a RTR model available from which to carve a suitable E4 mechanism, the Radial tank from Oxford or Hornby. 5'8" drivers, the coupled wheelbase is 3 scale inches short at 8'6", necessarily has a compact drive to fit inside the small diameter low centreline boiler.

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My initial thought is that the splashers and boiler pitch issue will make this more effort than it is worth.  Larger driving wheels mean that the axles, and the clearance between the frames beneath the boiler for the cranks, are higher up, which means the boiler must sit higher up.  This means that kit-bashing locos with different sized wheels but the same boiler is much harder than it first appears; you have to consider the interface between the footplate and splashers and the boiler, as well as the way the boiler interfaces with the smokebox saddle and the front of the cab, the bottom shape of which where it joins the now higher footplate will also be different.

 

You might be better finding a suitable 4-4-0 (or 0-4-4) chassis and cutting the boiler out of the J15 (ideally with a cheap body, or it becomes an expensive donor loco operation), and fabricating your own footplate, cab, and splashers out of sheet plastic, but you are on the way to scratchbuilding now!

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Thanks for all the feedback. Definite no-no then. Must say this thread has been very informative - I didn't know the E4 boiler was pitched higher for example. RMWeb at its best!  

 

Seeing as the NuCast kit sounds like a difficult kit to build for a beginner, I think I will have to resort to hoping a built one comes up on eBay or elsewhere and taking it from there.  

 

34, two of your suggestions turned my head, the Radial chassis (which would be too much of a butcher for my skills but a good idea nonetheless), and the J67-69 kit. What's the SE Finecast kit like to build? 

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The two types of Wills kits I have built ('Wills' morphed into SE Finecast) were for the N7 and J39, and were most satisfactory. Never did a J67/69 as it wasn't a vital loco for my area, while the other two were. The J39s went years ago, but the N7s I still have, both early and late versions. I would hope the other kits were of similar quality, this kit maker had a good name and well deserved in my experience, but this is from more than 40 years in the past.

 

It's quite funny to look back and think that during my first time around in model railway I managed to construct about a dozen loco kits to a satisfactory working standard, and that was considered good going. (The E4 never made it into the satisfactory class.)

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G'Day Folks

 

I'm fairly good at hacking things about, but I don't think I could do that change, for me I'd find a chassis that is close enough, and scratch-build a body around it, a cut down Hornby tender would finish it off. Maybe one day.

 

manna

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Hmm an interesting idea but I agree with the others the starting with a J15 is a non starter though if you could source a J15 tender that would save you a lot of work plus give you something of a fixed dimension to help build the loco by.

 

One chassis option could be the Hornby 0-6-0 chassis as it a big old cast lump so lends its self well to chopping around and general abuse plus if you get a well played with Thomas body you can pick them up cheap so if it doesn't work out you've at least gained a lot of experience with very little cost. The Hornby chassis can be rewheeled with Markets/Romford type wheels to the correct size very easily.

 

As to the front wheels as there hidden behind the out side frame I would be tempted to cut away the whole area where the front axle sits and fit a radial type pony truck it would have a limited ark but then it doesn't need much and should help the loco negotiat points and any tight curves.

 

For the body as I havant got any drawings or dimensions for this loco I'm only speculating but I would look for a cheap source of boiler and as a suggestion would a GBL C class one be any good if you hang on they come up on that auction site for sometimes as little as a tenner. The cab and splashers could be cut from plasticard as could the running plate though you may even be able to do something with the C class one.

 

I know this brings you into the realms of sctatch building but using these suggested avenues means you can give it a go with out to much cost.

 

When making parts like the cab sides or splasher sides for a scratch build I using a line drawing scaled to the correct scale cut out the parts from the drawing and stick them onto some plasticard with a pritt stick glue then you can use these as templates to cut round and you'll soon see the basic shape come together.

 

As for fittings like the correct chimney or dome company's like SE Finecast (No conection) can often supply items of the correct style and size.

 

Any way that's a few of my thoughts but I hope it's given you the incentive to maybe give it a go.

Steve

 

Edit add here's a picture of a Hornby 0-6-0 chassis that I converted to a 0-4-4 by cutting away the chassis where the rear axle was and grafting on a pony truck

post-17847-0-02389100-1526799802.jpg

Edited by Londontram
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The Alan Gibson catalogue suggests that they are considering a new production run of E4 kits (or even that they might have some in stock).  These are of course etched brass kits and are quite buildable as long as you're reasonably handy with a soldering iron.  If you're interested I suggest that you contact them and check the situation.

 

DT

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I purchased a 7mm Alan Gibson E4 (from Scalefour North of all places!) so it could be that Alan Gibson are considering a re-run of the 4mm E4 kits. However there is a thread on RMWeb that suggests that it may not be an easy build. I have the Alan Gibson 4mm E4 kit which took me over 2 years to source, eventually found one for sale from Ellis Clark. While my primary interest is  ex GER area in EM gauge I do intend to build a 7mm ex-GER layout at some point and with, it seems, more and more kit suppliers retiring, ceasing trading etc I now buy the kits when they are available.

 

EDIT: Here is the thread: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/125058-gibson-e4-in-4mm-problems/&do=findComment&comment=3126816

Edited by Guest
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My Nu Cast E4:

 

post-6737-0-11224600-1526839323.jpg

 

Another shot with it in the background. The D16/3 in the shot is a Crownline brass kit which is was very good for its time and still holds it own against the Hornby model, although it can't pull the skin off a rice pudding. The NuCast kits could be a bit crude by today's standards, and heavy.

 

post-6737-0-33791500-1526839538.jpg

 

Finally a NuCast J15 which, although it makes a reasonable model, is a tad crude and dated compared to the Hornby model.

 

post-6737-0-46467900-1526839633.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Baby Deltic
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Hi all,

As a donor chassis could you not use the old Triang/Hornby M7 chassis. Or is that too big. Or for that matter any of the early Triang/Hornby 4-4-0 chassis's

Edited by cypherman
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Thanks all for your input. I think I'll keep an eye out for a NuCast kit to put in the 'one day' pile, and focus on building up my kit building abilities at some point before I attempt it! 

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Thanks all for your input. I think I'll keep an eye out for a NuCast kit to put in the 'one day' pile, and focus on building up my kit building abilities at some point before I attempt it! 

 

Looking at my unbuilt NuCast J15 kits, I would say one of the main skills requires for the main body is just soldering and fettling. There is a lot of flash on the castings so you will need to do a lot of filing and sanding. The main issue will be the white metal chassis provided for obvious reasons such as getting accurate alignment and free running. Maybe an etched brass chassis would be better.

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The solution is obviously for someone here to start scratch building an E4, which will invoke the law of inevitability that leads to Hornmann or Bachby bringing out an even better rtr example.

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The solution is obviously for someone here to start scratch building an E4, which will invoke the law of inevitability that leads to Hornmann or Bachby bringing out an even better rtr example.

 Yes this is the model railway world 'rain dance'. Being an idle sort, I have explored the minimum necessary effort aspect of this. How little has to be done to provoke the announcement? My greatest triumph even before we had the Bachmann O4, let alone the Hornby O1, was 'adjusting' a Hornby 8F mechanism with the cylinders and gear off a dead Replica B1, and beginning to carve up and reassemble the B1 body to fit, with a view to a DIY O1. And then the O4 was announced and I stopped, reasoning that an O1 would follow as days follows night.

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  • 2 years later...

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