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Useful Chassis for British H0 Loco and Railcar Projects

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I have updated the table to include suggestions from the last fortnight. I think it has grown nicely; it is not yet five weeks since I started the topic and so the idea was probably worthwhile. I do think, it is best to concentrate on chassis for specific prototypes, and it would be good to be able to add the missing details for the candidates already in the table.

 

I have left out motor bogies. This isn't out of indifference, but rather to prevent the table becoming a catalogue of motor bogies. The modeller can find details of what is currently on sale.

 

If others see this differently, then perhaps we should have a complementary topic on motor bogies.

 

- Richard.

Edited by 47137
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Apols if this has already been posted about (couldn't see it from a quick scan), the CLAG website has a page detailing the prototype info for all BR mainline diesel and electric classes, which might make finding a match easier. 

 

http://www.clag.org.uk/wheelbase.html

 

The Athearn F7 chassis (9' wb bogies at 29'6" centres) is in the right ballpark for the Brum Bo-Bos and the NBL Diesel-Electric type 2 - close enough for me to use anyway! 

Edited by CloggyDog
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7 minutes ago, CloggyDog said:

Apols if this has already been posted about (couldn't see it from a quick scan), the CLAG website has a page detailing the prototype info for all BR mainline diesel and electric classes, which might make finding a match easier. 

 

http://www.clag.org.uk/wheelbase.html

 

The Athearn F7 chassis (9' wb bogies at 29'6" centres) is in the right ballpark for the Brum Bo-Bos

 

I am ashamed to say, I have forgotten to post this link in four consecutive updates of the original post. The CLAG site is excellent. I'll put the Athearn F7 into the next update.

 

- Richard.

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On 07/02/2020 at 14:00, rue_d_etropal said:

...

Does anyone do a small gearbox to fit standard 1/8thaxles. The ones on DJH are a bit big for some locos, and I am sure , that one connected via a universal drive would work and mean motor could be easily fitted.

...

 

I have one of the gear boxes by High Level Kits, and this uses a 1/8 inch axle.

 

http://highlevelkits.co.uk/gearboxguidepage.html

 

- Richard.

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8 hours ago, rue_d_etropal said:

that sound good Richard. Which one have you got?

 

I am not sure, and the paperwork is lost.

 

It has a double reduction gear and looks at bit like the "HumpShunter 60/80/108:1", but the motor fixing lugs are different. It has a Mashima motor, now sadly no longer available. Perhaps High Level have changed to frame to suit different motors. Photo on the class 04 and 58 topic. I would want to be able to assemble and test a gearbox before putting it in a chassis - for example, using a keeper plate or, for a traditional chassis, nuts and bolts holding the frame to the spacers.

 

Have you any thoughts about the side rods to go with a printed chassis? Maybe an etch, or (don't laugh) a 3-D printed drilling template?

 

- Richard.

Edited by 47137
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It would not surprise me if there is not a company doing bespoke etching. Etched side rods are better than drilled ones.

 

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it is odd the info sheet on High Levels website still refers to Mashima motors.

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4 hours ago, rue_d_etropal said:

It would not surprise me if there is not a company doing bespoke etching. Etched side rods are better than drilled ones.

 

 

Of course there are!

 

But as someone who seems to be trying to sell 3-D printed chassis - would you provide etched side rods to match your chassis?

 

Edit: most suppliers will want to fill an A4 or A3 sheet of brass. But really, wouldn't an etched chassis be a better bet? More space for a gearbox, ability to insert a gear box, and put the side rods on the artwork.

 

- Richard.

Edited by 47137

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I don't have access to anyone who can do etching. More in the same design field as laser cutting.  I have looked at software for laser cutting design  and there are online companies who can do the cutting but not cheap. Also got my hands fulll designing for 3D printing.

Better to find individual answers to different problems. 3D printing is very good at some things(in fact quite a lot) but it is a mistake to think it can do everything. Thanks to Shapaways it is also very easy to get designs printed which can be orderd from virtually anywhere.

 

A chassis needs to be strong enough, and some 3D printed plastics are not strong enough in the thicknesses required for a chassis frame. Plastic has disadvantages over metal as it is not as strong, but it also has big advantage of not conducting electricity so short circuits are less likely to happen.

My idea for a 3D printed chassis is something that is simple, which can be used as a start point for someone building a complete chassis. Only major modifications I would make is the wheelbase, and therefore length might also change,  All the modeller has to do is get a motor/gearbox, wheels, axles and axle bearings. Building  a support for motor fitted(which may be different to one someone else has built) is possily biggest task. Some means of fitting chassis to body as well, but importantly the chassis should be capable of being run without body fitted and be easy to fit. Fitting ponts will vary from model to model, so again better for modeller to design. Personally , I mght use 3D printng for some of these fittings, but I would probably not offer them to others, unless someone was doing exactly the same modelas me. Far too easy to get distracted by small one off requests which take up valuable time for little monetary return. Being realistic.

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For etching, Grainge & Hodder have a very useful (and cheap) service for trial etches.

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etching does not interest me. I originally said I wasn't interested in doing a chassis, but when I realised the new Bachmann J72 wasn't as useful  as I hoped, I thought there mght be a way to do something basic. As I said, plastic has one big advantage over metal , less shorts. Have seen enough problems i the past with metal chassis shorting out.

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6 hours ago, rue_d_etropal said:

etching does not interest me. I originally said I wasn't interested in doing a chassis, but when I realised the new Bachmann J72 wasn't as useful  as I hoped, I thought there mght be a way to do something basic. As I said, plastic has one big advantage over metal , less shorts. Have seen enough problems i the past with metal chassis shorting out.

 

I suggest, this is a good time to let this topic return to its original purpose: a collation of chassis details, intended to help people making their models in 3.5 mm scale.

 

I expect there will be other commercial offerings we have overlooked, for example from the worlds of kits for 3mm and 4 mm scales, and I can add these into the table.

 

Simon I wish you success with your 3-D printed chassis, and it would be great to see a completed sample one day.

 

- Richard.

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Ihave been looking around for suitable loco chassis for a few years. Main problem tends to be position of motor, which is either too high,too wide or both for British HO. Sometimes it is possible to cut some bits of chassis away. Other problem can be for outsde cylinderd locos with cylinders sticking ut too far.

One nice 0-4-0 loco chassis is that used in the Liliput HO fireless loco, which can still be found second hand . The loco itself is pretty good anyway and looks British enough for me. Just a pity the 0-4-0 has a long wheelbase, otherwise it old be even more useful. 

I had hopes for the 0-6-0 version, but the motor surrounds are too big for a British loco.

 

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On 19/02/2020 at 00:36, rue_d_etropal said:

etching does not interest me. I originally said I wasn't interested in doing a chassis, but when I realised the new Bachmann J72 wasn't as useful  as I hoped, I thought there mght be a way to do something basic. As I said, plastic has one big advantage over metal , less shorts. Have seen enough problems i the past with metal chassis shorting out.

 

If you are not going to provide side rods with your chassis, buyers might like to try the "universal" etched side rods from Alan Gibson. These come in two parts, with a boss on each part. You solder the two halves together to achieve the desired length, and add a half boss on each side to complete the overall effect.

 

If I was tackling this, I'd assemble everything in the chassis jig from Poppy's Woodtech, with the supplied extended axles to set up the side rods. These axles are over-length and this will minimise errors.

 

- Richard.

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On 16/02/2020 at 09:58, CloggyDog said:

...

The Athearn F7 chassis (9' wb bogies at 29'6" centres) is in the right ballpark for the Brum Bo-Bos and the NBL Diesel-Electric type 2 - close enough for me to use anyway! 

 

This reminds me - I have a rather tired Proto 2000 chassis and this has 9 ft wheelbase bogies too. It looks like the chassis from the GP30 but with wrong fuel tank moulding:

20200324_075011.jpg.a8de41391a9222581688f82247d758f2.jpg

 

You would have to remove the ballast weight to fit this into a class 25 or similar.

 

I've added the Athearn and Proto 2000 chassis to the table in the first post.

 

- Richard.

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I 'found' these earlier today, NWSL "Stanton Drives"

https://nwsl.com/collections/ho-stanton-drives

Available with wheelbases of 6'6" thru 10' in 6" increments AND also with 33", 36", 38", 40" and 42" wheels. You can even get the wheels in different widths, 110, 88 or 64 (P:87) thousands of an inch wide.

Powered or unpowered - they could be just the job if you want a completely clear body, perhaps?

 

Sorry if I sound like a salesman for them!

John.

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There must be some real perfectionists out there. I mean, adding two inches to the wheel diameter raises the model by about 12 thou.

 

Still - the American market is huge, and the market is picky, so I expect they are pretty good.

 

- Richard.

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