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plasticbasher

Scaling (sort of) a Triang 3F with some help from Thomas (again sort of)

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Posted (edited)

So, how did this all come about?

 

I have engaged in a little eBay shopping of late:

  • I decided that only having one Hornby LBSCR / Southern E2 was indecent.  They have become a bit like Hornby / Triang B12s and  Mainline / Bachmann parallel boiler Royal Scots - I feel guilty leaving a broken pile of bits "unrescued".
  • Being tight, over the past couple of months I have bought up a few non-runners and job lots of scrap that included something E2 related as cheaply as possible.  The idea being what's saleable in the rest of the job lot be cleaned up and resold to cover costs.  Irrepairably damaged or warped bodies will be painting practice...sadly that's the vast majority, so I don't see much cost covering taking place..!!
  • After seeing the healthy combination of fine looking wheels, generic underframe detail and running qualities of the China produced 0-6-0 SSPP chassis as found under the current Railroad 0-6-0s and Thomas the Tank engine (albeit recently even further improved in the past couple of years with a solid rear axle and no traction tyres), I decided I needed to "standardise" on that. 
  • I now have four E2s to detail and build up, all for a fairly reasonable outlay (about the same as a Railroad Jinty off a shop shelf).  But I hope sale of the original X-03 powered chassis's can recoup some of that outlay.

 

Amongst the terrible disasters I've acquired were:

1. A Triang Jinty (handpainted in GWR colours) for a tenner - from the photo in the listing I could see the current Chinese wheels giving away that this was a suitable chassis.  What I received was a Triang Jinty body perched backwards and very high on a mangled Hornby SSPP chassis, all held together using a very Heath Robinson concoction of bent aluminium scraps, big bolts, tons of Evostick contact adhesive and pieces of MDF..!  Apologies if the builder reads this, but it looked awful.

2. A Triang 3F loco body was acquired around the same time on a whim.  I was going to pair the 3F body to a Triang chassis with some 1980's wheels, clean everything up and pass it on. I think this one was about £4 (no one was silly enough to bid over my opening bid).  Painted in thick gloss green and with a copper painted dome, damaged cab roof, no steps and what appears to be a huge rivet pretending to be a chimney.  Nevertheless, regardless odd any dimensional inaccuracy (I haven't checked) it looks like a Midland 3F

 

I judged the Triang Jinty body is little more than scrap (cracked in several places and the Evostick has attacked the plastic quite badly). It will donate it's steps to a straight body with no steps that came in a job lot of scrap bodies I got recently.  The Hornby (China) 0-6-0 SSPP chassis was initially a disappointment too as it's baseplate was missing all the retaining clips (very common it seems) and had been brutally drilled in several places to accept big (M4 or larger) bolts.  After a clean-up, fettling of bent con-rods and removal of tons of Evostick it ran okay-ish. 

 

I decided to combine the above late model Hornby 0-6-0 chassis with the Triang 3F body and see how good I can make it (same wheelbase as the original Triang chassis so wheels line up with splashers, but the motor will not be in the cab).  If anyone is going to copy me, the use of a Hornby China-made chassis is quite important as I'm lowering the body onto the chassis to make it scale height.  Older 1980-1990's type Hornby chassis will also move the motor out of the cab, but use wheels with coarser flanges - that would make life rather more difficult when it comes to lowering the body onto the chassis.  Even with it's much finer flanges, I can already see I will have to do some "easing" of clearances underneath the Triang body with this chassis.

 

The outlay in total should be about £20-£25 (including a new motor and postage costs); much less than the beautiful Bachmann model..!  I haven't worked out how to get hold of a cheap Deeley tender though (I won't be pairing it with the Fowler-esque tender Triang used to supply).  And I may need to buy an aftermarket chimney (but from where?).  Everything else will come from the scrap box.

 

Finally on to what has been done.  This is all essentially "structural" engineering so far, to mate the Hornby (China) SSPP chassis with the Triang 3F loco-body.

 

1. Dunk the Triang body in a freezer bag and cover in Mr Muscle oven cleaner spray to strip the paint.  Wear decent rubber gloves and do this in a very well ventilated room...that's nasty stuff.  It took about 5 hours with a couple of rather messy scrub-ups under running water, but removed the thick green paint and an equally thick layer of red paint, even lifted the Triang printing.  Mr Muscle doesn't always shift factory finishes completely (although I haven't yet tried leaving the item to be stripped for more than 10-12 hours).

2. Fettle the chassis as described above - it does really need a new motor though as the existing one runs, but the Evostick glue seems to have got inside it and so it's not "happy" despite my clean-up efforts.  Sadly those motors are not serviceable like a Ringfield or X-04 - they either work beautifully or they are about to go to metal recycling...but they can be had for about £4.50 new at the moment.  I also think one of the wheel-sets may need re-quartering (to be confirmed once I have fitted a motor that runs nicely).

 

The photo's show:

  • The body after paint removal.  The only bits left are a little by the dome, the smokebox door numberplate and where the buffers were; everything else is gone!!  Mr Muscle oven cleaner is thoroughly recommended for ovens and paint removal on plastic models!
  • The chassis after clean up, Evostick removal and attempted service.  The plastic underframe was binned and a somewhat less damaged one installed in it's place.  I forgot to take a photo before I cut off the extensions at the front and rear of the chassis block and what was left of the clips from the replacement (damaged, but not too badly) plastic underframe.  The chassis block extensions both had had their screw holes hugely enlarged (off centre too) which is why this chassis was not destined to go under an E2 body.  There's a complete one of these chassis in the background that shows what one should look like.

 

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Edited by plasticbasher
Adding missing half sentence; correcting typo's
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Next steps were:

 

1. Disassemble the chassis completely, wrap the block in parcel tape to prevent metal filings getting in the places you don't want them and remove the chassis extensions mentioned above from the block:

  1. The front one was removed completely.
  2. The rear one was sawn off in a line that bisects the screw hole (for the original tension lock coupling).

2. Cut the plastic chassis underframe to match:

  1. At the front I completely removed the prongs with horizontal cuts, but not the coupling mount.
  2. At the rear I removed everything to do with the rear clip and shortened it slightly to line up with the stub of the chassis block extension I left in place (it measures 22mm from the centerline of the rear axle.  I also removed what was left of the rear guard-irons on the chassis underframe.

Hopefully the photo's help explain the above (with a chassis as supplied by Hornby to help show the changes).

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Posted (edited)

Now onto the loco body.  Let's create a cab interior...!

 

I used a backhead from a "current shape" (1980 to date) Hornby Jinty cab interior / window moulding which I happened to have in my spares box (I haven't checked, but they may be available as spares from the usual sources).  It comes as a painted clear plastic moulding that is folded up and inserted into the Jinty body to make the entire cab interior.

 

1. I carefully sawed (not cut because the clear plastic is brittle) the backhead off the moulding.

 

2. Using a sharpened screwdriver I cut off some of the detail around the inside front of the Triang cab (enough to allow the Jinty backhead to be installed).

 

3. I filled in the hole in the cab floor with a rectangle of 60 thou (1.5mm) plasticard installed flush with the existing cab floor and allowed that to set hard.

 

4. At the same time I added two strips of 60 thou plasticard under the backhead to lift it up to about the right height.  I trimmed them to match the backhead profile.

 

5. The next day (when the cab floor was nice and hard) I inserted the Jinty backhead (I wish I'd spent more time doing this as it is not sitting 100% flush with the inside of the cab front, but it doesn't show).

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Edited by plasticbasher
Missing closing parenthisis
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Clearly the red one is not the one I chopped up (I forgot to take photo's and so pulled one from my Hornby Jinty as a demo (but didn't notice what a rubbish photo I took)...

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Looks good.  I wonder if 14XX wheels would fit as the SSPP wheel is about 19mm and the Midland 3F as modelled would be around 5ft 2" or 21mm like the 14XX.

Can't wait to see the Tender. It always was the bit which let the 3F down.

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Now to mount the body to the chassis - this is still work in progress and just shows where I got to thusfar.  I worked this out as I went and may have approached things slightly more neatly in hindsight.

 

This post deals with the cab end:

 

1. Between the two ribs that run vertically on the inside of the drag-beam under the rear of the cab I glued two pieces of 60 thou plasticard (10mm wide and about 5mm high).  This pushed the chassis forward into the right place relative to the loco body.

2. On the underside of the cab floor, butted up against the sides, I glued two rectangles of plastic card (the critical dimension is 8mm wide).  This keeps the body mounted centrally on the chassis at the rear.

3. The cab floor simply rests on the chassis block.  Fortunately the 60 thou cab floor works out well as the cab appears to be at the right height.

 

I plan to drill and tap a hole through the drag-beam into the rear of the chassis block to secure the body to the chassis with a screw.  I'll have to be carefully as there is a large hole already partially drilled horizontally into the chassis block by the previous owner of the chassis.

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Now to the front of the loco (again this is progress to date only)

 

1. I cut away all the ribs and so on behind the buffer beam (plastic sprue cutters were perfect for this - just be careful you aren't too aggressive and snap the buffer beam as you go) and used my sharpened screwdriver to clean everything up.

 

2. Then I glued two pieces of roughly 16mm x 5mm 60 thou plasticard onto the floor of the running plate immediately behind the buffer beam, between the "internal buffer shanks".  I also filed some more metal (perhaps 1 mm) off the front of the chassis block.  This all brings the body to as near as the right height (it's perhaps 0.5 mm too high at the front now, so I'll need to fiddle around to lower it a little).

 

I will then need to add more plasticard small squares until it meets the front of the chassis baseplate (I plan to insert a self tapping screw to hold the front of the body and chassis together).  Future photo's will make this clearer...

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Final update for now: a couple of photo's to show how much lower the loco is than as it came from the factory - it more or less matches the buffer height of a Hornby E2 and a Mainline brake van.

 

Happy with current progress!

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40 minutes ago, DavidCBroad said:

Looks good.  I wonder if 14XX wheels would fit as the SSPP wheel is about 19mm and the Midland 3F as modelled would be around 5ft 2" or 21mm like the 14XX.

Can't wait to see the Tender. It always was the bit which let the 3F down.

 

 

Thanks David.

 

Oh - don't say that..!!  I'm going to struggle enough with clearances under the splashers using the existing wheels (yes, they are 19mm...I just checked).

 

Yes - the tender...I'm not sure what to do there.  I reckon a Bachmann tender on eBay would be about £30-£40 (admittedly I haven't seen one, but that defeats my self imposed minimal cost approach here) and the Triang tender is just "too wrong" for me.  I did find an earlier thread on RMWeb about the Triang 3F which mentioned a suitable Ratio tender...I need to investigate that.

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Posted (edited)

Regarding your possible quartering problem. A couple of weeks ago I resurrected a long-dormant Hornby J52 with the same chassis as you're using and I discovered that lack of lubrication of the crankpins, combined with the questionably sprung rear axle, can result in a spectacular limp easily mistaken for a wheelset being out of quarter. A few drops of oil and a few minutes running and all was sweet again.

 

I like the 3F upgrade. It's given me some ideas for something to do with another chassis that currently lives under a redundant Thomas.

Edited by PatB

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7 hours ago, plasticbasher said:

 

 

Thanks David.

 

Oh - don't say that..!!  I'm going to struggle enough with clearances under the splashers using the existing wheels (yes, they are 19mm...I just checked).

 

Yes - the tender...I'm not sure what to do there.  I reckon a Bachmann tender on eBay would be about £30-£40 (admittedly I haven't seen one, but that defeats my self imposed minimal cost approach here) and the Triang tender is just "too wrong" for me.  I did find an earlier thread on RMWeb about the Triang 3F which mentioned a suitable Ratio tender...I need to investigate that.

Ratio tenders are like hens teeth, there was a Ratio Midland 2-4-0 I think with a suitable tender. Even then they are distinctly fragile.   I am hoping you can come up with a suitable low cost/ no cost solution which I can copy...

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10 hours ago, plasticbasher said:

 

 

 

 

Oh - don't say that..!!  I'm going to struggle enough with clearances under the splashers using the existing wheels (yes, they are 19mm...I just checked).

 

 

Don't worry. Some 3Fs had 4' 10" wheels, for which the Jinty wheels are fine, but you would need to add outside brake rods.

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Hi all,

I look forwards to seeing the end result. I have a spare 3F Midlander body shell and tender and a Hornby chassis knocking about. Both bought at a bargain price from you know where for parts for other projects. Would be nice to make something from them. My own current project is to make a new set of electrical pick ups for a mainline 4mt. If it works I will post it. if not I will go quietly into the night...…. lol

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On 05/07/2019 at 10:20, DavidCBroad said:

Ratio tenders are like hens teeth, there was a Ratio Midland 2-4-0 I think with a suitable tender. Even then they are distinctly fragile.   I am hoping you can come up with a suitable low cost/ no cost solution which I can copy...

 

Might end up attempting scratch building...this is probably the No.1 option..!  I do have a damaged GBL static model of a Midland Compound (ie. ripped off from a Bachmann Compound); but it looks like a Fowler tender attached to that.  But (subject to me checking), the chassis might be a good starting point I guess.

 

21 hours ago, Tiptonian said:

Don't worry. Some 3Fs had 4' 10" wheels, for which the Jinty wheels are fine, but you would need to add outside brake rods.

 

Yes - thank you!  I found photos of of a couple here https://www.railuk.info/steam/getsteamclass.php?item=3F-B and here https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hitchin_ex-Midland_3F_0-6-0_geograph-2787696-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg...looks like mine will become one of them..!

 

On 05/07/2019 at 03:07, PatB said:

Regarding your possible quartering problem. A couple of weeks ago I resurrected a long-dormant Hornby J52 with the same chassis as you're using and I discovered that lack of lubrication of the crankpins, combined with the questionably sprung rear axle, can result in a spectacular limp easily mistaken for a wheelset being out of quarter. A few drops of oil and a few minutes running and all was sweet again.

 

I like the 3F upgrade. It's given me some ideas for something to do with another chassis that currently lives under a redundant Thomas.

 

Thanks Pat....glad I'm providing some food for thought!!  And thanks for the tip.

 

The chassis block is pretty messy after all the sawing and cutting (and it will need a hole drilled and tapped at the back soon as well).  Quite a bit of the paint came away with the dried blobs of Evostick it arrived here covered in - even the wheels had Evostick on them...no wonder it ran badly!!!.  So it will get a total stripdown and the block itself will enjoy a dunk in Nitromors followed by a respray when I'm ready.  Hopefully that, a replacement motor, new oil and careful reassembly will help (I also have a pair of new axle springs too just in case).

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, cypherman said:

Hi all,

I look forwards to seeing the end result. I have a spare 3F Midlander body shell and tender and a Hornby chassis knocking about. Both bought at a bargain price from you know where for parts for other projects. Would be nice to make something from them. My own current project is to make a new set of electrical pick ups for a mainline 4mt. If it works I will post it. if not I will go quietly into the night...…. lol

 

Thanks - and definitely post your efforts (I have several split chassis Bachmann loco's that might benefit from the same and I'd personally be interested seeing how you do it).

 

The tender is my current issue (I'm not happy with the Triang option as most 3F's never pulled one of those as far as I can tell - if I had one, I wouldn't mind reworking it to match the loco if it was the "right style"; but it isn't..!  See the links to photos in my reply above this one to see what I mean.

 

More progress updates coming below in a few mins :-)

Edited by plasticbasher
missing words

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Next update.

 

I spent a bit of time (far too much time actually...) tweaking the front of the chassis and satisfying myself the body fitted the chassis properly and was level (I used a steel rule to measure from the bottom of the footplate to the bottom of the chassis keeper-plate and have a consistent 8.5mm all the way along.  The rear axle is sprung so measuring it on the track is not reliable (and I plan to load up the spaces in the body with some extra weight which will affect the "ride height).

 

The main adjustment I made was shaving fractions off the keeper-plate ahead of where the prongs used to be (as that's what the body is resting on) until I was happy  The knife in the second photo is pointing to that bit in the photo below.

 

First photo shows the loco against a Mainline Stanier tender (as I remembered I changed the wheels in the Mainline brakevan above and wanted to check height against another item of rolling stock (old Triang buffers temporarily refitted to the 3F body just to be doubly sure).

 

Third photo shows I filled the cast printing off the chassis block at the back to make it sit tight to the cab floot (probably overkill).

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Posted (edited)

Having got the height of the body and chassis right I also finalised the bits of plasticard added to the body to secure it to the chassis.

 

At the front I cut two small rectangles that fit snugly between the gap in the front of the keeper plate (7.5mm wide and 5mm deep).  One was 60 thou again and the other was about 1mm thick (I keep a little box of potentially useful offcuts...I believe it was part of a CooperCraft wagon floor once).  These filled the gap perfectly  and align the front of the body on the chassis so I can drill and insert a self tapper here.  This self tapping screw will secure a front mounted (small Bachmann) tension lock coupling, the chassis and the body all in one go.

 

At the back I added another two rectangles of 60 thou plastic card to help restrict the chassis's side-to-side movement.  They were cut 9mm wide and once the glue has set trimmed until the chassis was a snug fit (I probably shaved 0.5 mm off each side).  Now the chassis fits securely and 100% centrally.  They don't secure the chassis (I plan to use a bolt through the drag beam into the chassis block), but they are snug.

 

Third photo to prove the loco fits level on the chassis (it didn't 20 minutes before I took the photo..!!)

 

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Edited by plasticbasher
correcting a potentially confusing typo
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Posted (edited)

Having added lots of plastic to the loco body, I though it about time I removed some..!

 

I have started shaving the hand rails off and drilling holes for handrail knobs.  I hate doing this as I always mess it up (luckily here less so than at other times).  I'd appreciate it if anyone can tell me if they have a better way.

 

Photo's below were taken after the actual work was done rather than during (hence you can see drilled holes in the first photo..!!)

 

Step 1.  Use a sharpened screwdriver to remove most of the handrail in the immediate vicinity around where a hole needs to be drilled (ie. for a knob).  I leave it proud so I can see the remnants of the moulded knob and handrail so I know exactly where to drill.

 

Step 2. Use a sharp point to firmly make a mark exactly at the point I want to drill the hole (I use an old broken compass from when I was at school...rather a long time ago!) .  This is where I often go wrong...I have big hands and the tension of trying to be precise means my hands start to tremble (you can imagine the rest!!).  Having said that, I'm pretty chuffed that these holes came out okay (except the whistle which is off the centreline...only by a fraction, but it definitely shows.

 

Step 3. I used a 0.7mm drill bit in a pin chuck to drill the hole by hand (I never use anything like a Dremel...way too fast and inaccurate and the friction melts the hole rather than drilling it.

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Edited by plasticbasher
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Posted (edited)

Final photo to show where I'm at now.

 

  • Body resting on chassis correctly - done.
  • Holes drilled for wire handrails and lamp brackets - done (whistle needs drilling again and I forgot to do the three lamp brackets on the front of the footplate)
  • Drill and tap holes to secure body to chassis - pending.
  • Filing off handrails - part complete
  • I need to make up some sandboxes (?) to eventually glue onto the chassis between the driving wheels, sort out the under-boiler skirt and make some new cab steps.

 

Whistle is a standard Triang / Hornby one, the safety valves actually came off an Airfix Royal Scot (I think), but look much better than the Triang ones did)

 

Obvious things to sort out - which may involve money :-(

  • Tender
  • Chimney
  • Buffers

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Edited by plasticbasher
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Photo 2 above make the body look wonky on the chassis - it's not when assembled properly...I must have nudged it..!

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Posted (edited)

Hi Plasticbasher.

The Hornby 3F is not a Fowler engine but a Johnson 3F so as you say it has a tender with lovely fluted sides as shown in this picture here. I would love to find a tender like this that would not be as expensive as buying the Bachmann one.. Possibly you could either use a Bachmann one. Or just graft the tender top on to the Triang/Hornby chassis  Plus a slightly taller chimney.

https://chasewaterstuff.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/steam-locos-of-a-leisurely-era-1875-johnson-0-6-0-midland-railway/#jp-carousel-10050

The 4MT is just waiting on the arrival of a few bits before I make start.

Edited by cypherman

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My, what a way tom improve an old model! I'm making my Hornby James more loco-drive using the Bachmann 3F model's chassis.

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3 hours ago, LNWR18901910 said:

My, what a way tom improve an old model! I'm making my Hornby James more loco-drive using the Bachmann 3F model's chassis.

 

Thanks!  In some ways that might have been the better way here (a Bachmann Jinty chassis).  I have EKM Exhibitions' Bachmann spares price list sitting next to me as I needed a wheel-set for a Royal Scot.  It looks like you can assemble most of a rolling Jinty chassis for about £30 (block, gears, wheels, baseplate), but not motor.  Way beyond the budget of this build though...and I presume the splashers wouldn't line up with the wheels, which would mean more work!

 

15 hours ago, cypherman said:

Hi Plasticbasher.

The Hornby 3F is not a Fowler engine but a Johnson 3F so as you say it has a tender with lovely fluted sides as shown in this picture here. I would love to find a tender like this that would not be as expensive as buying the Bachmann one.. Possibly you could either use a Bachmann one. Or just graft the tender top on to the Triang/Hornby chassis  Plus a slightly taller chimney.

https://chasewaterstuff.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/steam-locos-of-a-leisurely-era-1875-johnson-0-6-0-midland-railway/#jp-carousel-10050

The 4MT is just waiting on the arrival of a few bits before I make start.

 

Yeah - fully agree; however:

  • The Bachmann tender is simply likely to be too expensive and I've not seen one for sale.  It also defeats my personal objective somewhat - this is (generally speaking) a make-do-and-mend type build whilst still attempting a level of realism (note that I didn't say "total accuracy"..!!).
  • I also don't have a 3F Triang tender.  And, as it is wrong, I'm not prepared to invest in one frankly (the chassis looks too deep, so I don't even judge it a suitable starting point).
  • The money will go on a replacement "Type 7" motor and a chimney (I'm hoping they can be procured for less than a tenner all in with postage).

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Okay - some more progress to report.

 

I have adjusted the clearances on the underside of the body-shell to allow the wheels to rotate freely.

 

This was quite nerve-wracking as I carved a lot of plastic away.  The splashers actually probably do have enough space for 21mm wheels (see DavidCBroad's comments on using Airfix /Dapol/Hornby GWR 14xx wheels).  21mm wheels would necessitate dropping the body a further 1mm onto the chassis and I reckon that is perfectly do-able:

Easy-peasy at the front.

At the rear I'd probably try to file 1mm off the "deck" at the back of the chassis block - not much fun doing that accurately without a milling machine though (my cab floor rests on the chassis block)!!

The problem is the comparatively long throw of the cranks on the Hornby wheels.  The crankpins and coupling rods bash into the footplate - that is what the plastic needed to be removed for.

 

So I started by using my sharpened screwdriver like a chisel to carve "moon-shaped" cut-aways on each splasher's inner front face to clear the crank-pins.  On the center splasher I really must be approaching the limit of how much plastic I could remove (the centre crank pin is longer than the outer ones and so needs more clearance).  See the first photo.

 

Now the wheels revolved freely, but as soon as I refitted the coupling rods they hit the underside of the footplate.  Only a little, but they still hit it.  That meant that I needed to use the same sharpened screwdriver to gently and slowly chisel away plastic from the underside of the footplate between each splasher.  About  2/3rd of a mm of plastic was removed and then the wheels rotated freely.

 

The photo's aren't great (they show all the splashers done but the footplate only carved away on one side for clarity), but I hope they make sense.

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8 hours ago, plasticbasher said:

 

Thanks!  In some ways that might have been the better way here (a Bachmann Jinty chassis).  I have EKM Exhibitions' Bachmann spares price list sitting next to me as I needed a wheel-set for a Royal Scot.  It looks like you can assemble most of a rolling Jinty chassis for about £30 (block, gears, wheels, baseplate), but not motor.  Way beyond the budget of this build though...and I presume the splashers wouldn't line up with the wheels, which would mean more work!

 

 

Yeah - fully agree; however:

  • The Bachmann tender is simply likely to be too expensive and I've not seen one for sale.  It also defeats my personal objective somewhat - this is (generally speaking) a make-do-and-mend type build whilst still attempting a level of realism (note that I didn't say "total accuracy"..!!).
  • I also don't have a 3F Triang tender.  And, as it is wrong, I'm not prepared to invest in one frankly (the chassis looks too deep, so I don't even judge it a suitable starting point).
  • The money will go on a replacement "Type 7" motor and a chimney (I'm hoping they can be procured for less than a tenner all in with postage).

I am using Bachmann's 3F 0-6-0 Tender model to make a modern super-detailed loco-drive version of the Hornby James. That way, it would also be more RWS-accurate with a hint of the TVS flavour to it. I always do find Hornby's modern loco-drive models much more reliable for smooth running than the old tender-drive models.

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