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Ferro Suisse RhB G3/4 No.11 Build

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I'm not saying I'm becoming addicted to the RhB or Ferro Suisse kits but i think I'm getting addicted to building Ferro Suisse RhB kits!

After building the FS coaches last year I fancied building a loco and eventually I managed to get hold of a FS RhB G3/4 kit recently along with some more coaches, (but that's another story....).

Ferro Suisse produced several RhB G3/4 ready built locos including no's 1, 11 and 14, all of which have survived in use to this day. They also produced kits for 11 & 14 (not sure about no.1?) which had slightly differing parts depending on the loco you chose to model. 




Comprehensive instructions are included which are accompanied by some good exploded diagrams. I did translate them from German (good old Google translate!) and made a start.




The footplate parts were soldered together being careful to align the edges evenly all round. The two side frames come ready assembled and just need the springs and cylinders adding. I chose to leave off the slidebars and supports at this stage as I wanted to black them instead of painting them. 




I love all the lovely brass castings that come with these kits especially the buffers! The brake cylinders and pipes as well as the guard irons have also been attached.

When you open the box with all the various packets of parts it's quite daunting but equally satisfying when they have all been used.




I have temporarily attached the buffers to protect the pipework on the ends.


Next up, making a start on the boiler.



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I wish you all the best with your build, having seen your coach work, I am sure it will be a success and look great.


I have 2 factory built G 4/5's - I suspect from Joe Works - and while lovely to look at are very poor runners and I had particular problems with the crank pins unscrewing. A tiny drop of loctite has largely cured it but they have been removed from regular running and grace the display shelf very nicely.


I suspect the assembly of them has not been as diligent as you will undertake and I am particularly interested in what you find when you get to the motion aspect. I am pretty sure something is out of true with both of mine as they pitch and roll a lot until either a pin works loose or I think have seen parts of the valve gear bowing on the rolling road . One day I will need to do a complete rebuild to see if I can resolve the issues.

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Thanks for your kind words Jim.

Sounds like a quartering problem but as everything wheels and axles are pre-assembled would be surprised if that's it. Of course loose crankpins won't help. I've had problems with the plastic screws shearing off on FS locos before causing the pick-ups to come loose or even getting caught in the spokes. Not great for reliable running! Old age I suppose - I replaced them with new M2 nylon screws. The other thing it possibly could be is the suspension spring/s missing causing the hornblock to flop up and down. Only guessing I'm afraid!

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Part two:-

The boiler comes ready rolled with holes for various fixings ready punched through. More lovely turnings for chimney and domes as well as a ring where the smoke box attaches. I soldered the bottom seam on the boiler, there's quite a big cutout for the motor/gearbox assembly, and attached the firebox being careful that everything was aligned correctly. Handrail knobs were also added soldering from the inside.IMG_20190725_200630.jpg.cfb39eb71334fe97c92d32a18c5a78b6.jpg


The domes and chimney assembly are attached with screws, I didn't solder them to the boiler but the various fittings were soldered. The cab and tanks come ready formed to shape. There is a seam between the front windows which was carefully aligned and soldered with a support piece behind. Tank tops and cab base were then added being careful to keep everything square.

The photo shows there are three main parts of the loco, it being designed in screw together sub-assemblies which also makes painting easier.



I've now added the handrails and various fittings and bits of pipework - these took me one or two attempts to get shaped correctly! Frustratingly I also lost one of the small under footplate castings, it's on the carpet somewhere! I made a slightly simplified replacement. There's plenty of the various diameters of wire supplied including the neatly represented steam pipe. So with most of the loco built it was time for a test assembly prior to painting. 



I've used Carr's 145° solder for the majority of this loco being very careful to give it a good clean between each session. So far so good!

Edited by A4CML
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Looking good - but I do think you are just showing off by having CARPET! where you solder :)

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 :)If I could count what has disappeared into carpets over the years! The last time I took a carpet up I gave it a good shake expecting to find various lost treasures - of course numerous wire snippings but that was it!!:( I should learn really!

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Time for a little update whilst I've got my feet up in the Peak District. They certainly need it!


I've now primed and painted the chassis and body black. The slidebars and valve gear was also given a quick dip in some metal black to take the n/silver shine down a bit. 



The gearbox had been assembled prior to painting the loco and was attached when fitting the wheels. The three main axles are fitted with spring suspension - unfortunately a couple of springs were missing from the kit. I'm sure I didn't lose these! I managed to find replacements in my spare box. I also attached the pick-ups and gave the basic chassis a good test to make sure it runs to my satisfaction before the valvegear is added.



The backhead has also been painted with the dials picked out in white and the various polished brass bits cleaned up. It is attached to the chassis with a couple of screws. I need to find a crew!



I had considered fitting LEDs in the lamp castings on the body with a view to giving the loco the DCC treatment but couldn't find any that convinced me and anyway the real lights would be nearly invisible in daylight so didn't bother. There was the possibility of using a red LED for some firebox 'glow' but didn't in the end either but the door was only glued in so I could one day if desired.



With the body painted and some glazing installed too the loco is starting to come together. The lovely fittings need a bit of paint removed here and there to uncover the brass but overall I'm very pleased so far.span widget

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About time I caught up with progress on no.11.

Pretty much complete except I may give her a different number as I already have a no.11 hence the cabside numbers being black still. 



Valvegear all assembled, a little scary using those tiny bolts knowing there's no way a replacement could be had now. I'm not really happy that the slide bar supports extend too far out (compared to Bemo) but have left alone. 


I'm happy with the running too, didn't have to faff about with quartering as the wheelsets and cranks are pre-assembled. My only reservation is that if I were building a 'British' loco kit I would have tried to add a flywheel to the motor. Sadly not enough room in this case.



I do like these little locos, solid and workmanlike but yet well balanced visually.




I decided to leave the cab rear doors open for a change and added a crew.




So here's a little posed shot of the loco with a coach and a part scratch built F series van. The van is Bemo chassis and roof with a scratch built body. All I need I now is some lettering! 

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