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dougidle

Hornby 14xx and High Level Kits chassis - build diary

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Posted (edited)

After about a year of thinking and pondering I have taken the plunge and decided to build a model of West Bay at the end of the Bridport line in EM. I've already built some baseboards, reheeled some RTR wagons, built some wagon kits and made some flexi track. What I need now is a loco.

 

I decided on a 48xx and got myself an old Hornby body from eBay (minus a chimney). After looking at a couple of chassis kits I decided on the High Level kit with Alan Gibson wheels and pickups. All the parts are now ready to go (crank pins not shown as I forgot to order them and received them later on).

fullsizeoutput_1985.jpeg.779d5c195fd11706aa71c0f0226348cc.jpeg

 

Once the chassis is completed I plan to use the 14xx detailing kit and repaint the loco as 4803 with "GREAT WESTERN" lettering rather than "GWR". She was a regular on the nearby Abbotsbury branch and was recorded at Bridport in 1936 (The Bridport Railway p151) most likely on a Sunday. She was a Weymouth engine and was there for quite a while I believe.

E31D26A4-3A09-4963-B37D-C45D42E1A553.jpeg.d62d0f8271bdc108933801ca79c3f6e8.jpeg

 

I've made a few O gauge wagons out of brass (and have one of the new Dapol 48xx models numbered as 4803) but this will be my first chassis kit. I thought it might be interesting to record how I go so maybe others won't make the same mistakes.

 

Cheers,

Doug

 

Edited by dougidle
updated title
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Day 1

Today I decided that I've put off starting the chassis for long enough and made a start. The instructions are nice and clear and it was actually quite straightforward to put together - so far at least. I was worried about assembling the springs as I've struggled before to laminate brass but this went together well. 

 

The rest  was simple enough with care and patience. The mid-spacer gave me a bit of grief getting it straight across all three planes (and I'm still not sure it's 100% accurate).

IMG_4838.jpeg.464feaee9e91c783e476508d920c5ee5.jpeg

 

Although - now that I see the photo the soldering looks a bit messy. Less solder in the future I think!

 

Cheers,

Doug

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Day 2

The model looks broadly the same as it did yesterday but I have actually done quite a bit. The obvious difference is that the outside frames for the read wheels are now fitted.

IMG_4845.jpeg.3f9bb0e373dd8e62aa2f5e041fadd69a.jpeg

 

I've also constructed the front and and rear horn block assemblies. I wasn't able to fit the 2 main pairs as I've got no oil to prevent the bearing getting gummed up when I solder them in place. I've ordered some so fingers crossed I'll be able to carry on next weekend.

hornblocks.jpg.f54c793f69c6e11a74c5456fabd7dd3b.jpgrear.jpg.4a75e9317b693347cfbeef177b14fb22.jpg

 

I also laminated the coupling rods and bore out the holes to fit the crank pins.

 

couplings.jpg.686483d52d24c5f43c877d7caf9275c9.jpg

 

Next weekend I hope to get the horn blocks fitted if my oil arrives and then make a start on the inside motion and detailing.

 

Cheers,

Doug

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Day 3

Despite the glorious sunshine today I 'forced' myself to do a little modelling. I did some work on some wagons and then sat down for another couple of hours work on 4803. I started off by fitting the hornblocks now that I have some clock oil thanks to the kind people at Eileens Emporium (kind enough to ship my order part filled so I didn't have to wait!). This was a bit of a struggle and I tried to make sure it'll all work using a some plasticard strips to keep the right gaps between the wheels. The instructions say to use a chassis jig but since I don't have one and don't know what  one is this'll have to do!

 

I also fitted the inside motion which was quite fiddly. I missed a couple of small parts out but I doubt anyone will ever notice. To top things off I removed the outside frames at the rear and then refitted them so that everything is square. Now the chassis is straight, the hornblocks are slightly out of alignment. I'll have to sort it out next week.

IMG_4873.jpeg.35cb7d939bdb002a7501afe3bbd7d288.jpeg

I wanted to see what the chassis looks like with the body on so I also made the modifications needed here... nice and straight forward. The only problem is attaching the body - the instructions in the kit say to use the original screw but having bought my body on its own from eBay I don't have one. I assume that there should be one that goes all the way up into the chimney and screws into it so it doesn't come up.... my body also didn't come with a chimney.

IMG_4874.jpeg.95e8bb8bcb9e29517604c967bf8a43e3.jpeg

 

Next weekend, I hope to complete the detailing part of the instructions and who knows.... I might even have a rolling chassis!

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The original method of attaching them together is here.

 

http://www.lendonsmodelshop.co.uk/pdf/Airfix Locomotive Service Sheets/0-4-2 Tank.pdf

 

Don't worry about the missing chimney as the original one was rubbish.

 

Replace it with either the Mainly Trains version or the one from 247 Developments. Mainly Trains also do a detailing pack. Very useful as it has cab detailing such as the backhead and the push/pull gear which Airfix left off. The parts are also available separately. They also do replacement cab windows.

 

https://www.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/locomotive/mt222/

 

https://www.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/locomotive/mt226/

 

https://www.247developments.co.uk/loco_detailing.html

 

 

Jason

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Thanks for the heads up on Jason. I was already aware of the detailing kit but not the spectacle plates or the 247 developments page.

 

I'll definitely be getting the cab windows.

 

Cheers,

Doug

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Day 4

What looks like a small bit of progress today but it actually looks ages. I've pretty much finished detailing the chassis now - next us is fitting the compensation units and the brake gear. Maybe today :-)

 

I really struggled fitting the rear sand boxes - I don't know why really. I need to use less solder too but otherwise the kit is going together really well.

IMG_4904.jpeg.84c96aad8adbb6b8c83f581a8f4f7a55.jpeg

 

Here it is sat under the body shell.

IMG_4903.jpeg.6feee2b77d4d453c2f4ee769645dc2e4.jpeg

 

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Day 5

I’ve finished off the detailing on the chassis, added the rear wheels and the internal compensation beams. These were a bit fiddly but no swearing was involved!
ADB5305C-16F5-48D1-854E-311B2B1B5BAB.jpeg.3defa7c0de2eb61d1d2eb103fe18cb48.jpeg

 

I only fitted one side of the front wheels for now. They were such a tight fit I didn’t think I’d be able to get them off again afterwards.

6FD30D69-6040-42DF-9907-69ED55786393.jpeg.9125a26637c07f51aec4c4c650383296.jpeg

 

Brake gear tomorrow!

 

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Day 6

I took Sunday off because the weather so good! I spent a couple of hours either side of lunch today working on her again. 

 

The brake detail at the back (which can't be seen in the photo) is completed and went together easily. I must be getting better at this soldering lark. The next step in the instructions is to fit the wheels and see how the model goes around curves. Since my layout doesn't have any curves it was pretty simple.

 

I struggled to get the wheels on straight, not helped by fitting the OO axles instead of the EM ones. I then cut up my fingers trying to get them off and while fitting the correct axles I broke one of the tiny bolts that hold the rods in place. I won't be able to get it out so I'll have to replace the wheel and buy a new crankpin set :angry:

 

I did get a photo of it all put together though but before I'd levelled it out.

IMG_4921.jpeg.24bce4b39a9f0016aee333d9af9126dd.jpeg

 

Once I'd corrected my mistakes she ran a lot better, as you can see here.

 

I'll see if I can replace the broken parts during the week. Next weekend I'll build the brake gear and then we're on to the part I've been dreading.... actually motorising her.

 

Cheers,

Doug

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Day 7

I'd been unable to complete the brake rodding until I received a 0.5mm drill bit. These arrived over the week so I got back to it this weekend. The brakes went together quite easily.

 

Last weekend I'd done a short piece of work on the gear box, only to discover that the worm supplied with the kit was a different diameter to the shaft on the supplied motor. A quick call to High Level Kits and a replacement is on the way - until that arrives there's nothing else I can do. Once it does arrive though I should be able to finish her off and get the chassis sprayed.

IMG_5078.jpeg.ef25c9500a3dfe702c6c8c086a4ed727.jpeg

 

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A very helpful tread as I am just weighing up the possibility of building this kit. I have very limited experience of chassis building and none of a compensated chassis. How do you rate the degree of difficulty complexity in getting the the compensation sorted and getting it the run smoothly ?

Looking forward to seeing it with the motor on a and running under its own “steam”

Well done so far!

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I am detailing an Airfix 14xx  too , but using  a Perseverance chassis and gearbox .  I have made a chimney on my lathe, but I just made the straight part ,and  left the moulded  saddle in place. I am also part way through making  a new smoke box door.  None of the castings available were up to scratch, so I didn't bother with them.    I also cut off the toolboxes  and made new ones fitted further forward.  I know that some locos had one further forward than the other, but I found a picture of a loco with both in the forward position, and copied that.

Also the cab windows  I have made my own fush glazing for the front windows, But left the rears, because I think they are better than the wizard ones.

Rob266541340_IMG_20200522_155348563_HDR2.jpg.15b9ce7822a01d374b5293bfc2707f2a.jpg

IMG_20200522_152212391_HDR.jpg

IMG_20200522_152430740_HDR~2.jpg

IMG_20200522_152240649_HDR~3.jpg

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7 hours ago, RobMG said:

Also the cab windows  I have made my own fush glazing for the front windows, But left the rears, because I think they are better than the wizard ones

I agree, if you're referring to the etched rear cab window guards provided in the ex-Mainly Trains etch, which I think are too two-dimensional. In extremis, you can use 5 amp fuse wire, bent over a card former, with the individual strands of fuse wire glued into their own holes in the rear cab plate (not something I'd recommend every day, though!).

 

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Posted (edited)
On 21/05/2020 at 19:42, jazzer said:

A very helpful tread as I am just weighing up the possibility of building this kit. I have very limited experience of chassis building and none of a compensated chassis. How do you rate the degree of difficulty complexity in getting the the compensation sorted and getting it the run smoothly ?

I've built a couple of Perseverence 14XX chassis. I've not built the High Level 14XX chassis, but I have just finished their 74XX chassis.

 

I suppose it depends on whether you want compensation or a rigid chassis.

 

To my mind, it's important to keep the daylight under the visible part of the boiler on these models. If you are happy to proceed on that premise, then you would need to bear in mind that the Perseverance chassis kit leads you down the route of single beam compensation, with the leading main axle being driven and the compensation beam acting between the rear main axle and the pony axle.

 

As such, it's difficult to keep all the daylight under the visible part of the boiler preserved.

 

If you want, therefore, to drive the rear main axle, unless you are building a rigid chassis with no compensation (straightforward but probably less good for pick-ups and even less ideal if you're building in P4).

 

If you have decided to put the gearbox drive on the rear main axle and you want a compensated chassis, then I think you are driven inexorably down the route of twin-beam compensation. This should give you a good, stable chassis and good electrical pick up, but the Perseverance (and the Comet) chassis are not designed with this in mind, so you'd have to build your own twin-beam compensation in.

 

I'm not sure, but my High Level 74XX chassis gave you the alternative of rigid construction or twin-beam compensation, with the gearbox drive on the rear axle. If their 14XX is designed in a similar way, then I suspect that you will get twin-beam compensation on that as well.

 

Springing, including the much-hyped continuous springy beams, is also an option, albeit not one that I personally prefer.

 

I have contemplated building my remaining Comet 14XX chassis (which will be in OO) with the rear main axle driven, a fixed beam soldered to the chassis for the leading drivers to bear on (these would be in hornblocks) and some kind of springing arrangement on the pony wheel (having said that I don't like springing!), but again, the chassis instructions don't cover this and you are effectively 'on your own' in terms of making it work.

 

The High Level 74XX chassis is an absolutely excellent product, very complicated with a lot of small bits (especially in comparison with Perseverance and Comet chassis). It went together very well, with minimal fettling but you are advised to follow the instructions to the letter.

 

The complexity may put some people off, especially if you are new to building etched chassis, in which case the Comet product (or Perseverance, if you can get an unbuilt one second hand, as they are no longer in production) might be more suitable.

 

However, you don't have to add every last one of the small fiddly bits on the High Level chassis, to get a decent-looking and well-running loco chassis.

 

Having said that, I did try to put all the various bits and pieces on my 74XX chassis, but once I had painted and weathered it and put the loco body on, I found that much of the small detail just wasn't visible from normal viewing angles!

 

20200519_120526.jpg.8fa1e9d661875cf902582ea8dd59d3ce.jpg

 

PS. The Markits axle nut covers haven't yet been added!

Edited by Captain Kernow
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I've just noticed this thread. At some point in the future I have a High Level 14XX chassis to go under a Hornby 14XX so I'll be keeping up with this thread to see how things go.

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The rear axle is driven on my Perseverance chassis, but the compensation doesn't work very well. Plan to dismantle and rebuild it. I bought it already part built.  I have in the past scratchbuilt  compensated chassis , so I have a an idea how I will do it.  I will probably go for rear a driving axle and trailing wheel set up.  but still driving on the rear axle.  

The gap under the boiler  I filled with a section from a piece of Plastic tube I found the right diameter.  

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, RobMG said:

The rear axle is driven on my Perseverance chassis, but the compensation doesn't work very well. Plan to dismantle and rebuild it. I bought it already part built.  I have in the past scratchbuilt  compensated chassis , so I have a an idea how I will do it.  I will probably go for rear a driving axle and trailing wheel set up.  but still driving on the rear axle.  

The gap under the boiler  I filled with a section from a piece of Plastic tube I found the right diameter.  

 

I don't know this kit at all but built a Perseverance chassis in the past fitting it to a K's terrier driving the front wheels and beam compensation on the middle and rear wheels. With the K's kit there is very little visible space under the front of the boiler, so the motor mount is not noticeable, but if driving the middle wheel perhaps using a form of springing on the outer pairs of wheels with stops restricting upwards movement might work

 

I have another loco to convert I will use one of the High Level plus gearboxes, perhaps even using a drive stretcher and if needed a shorter bodied can motor

Edited by hayfield

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2 hours ago, RobMG said:

The rear axle is driven on my Perseverance chassis, but the compensation doesn't work very well

 

 

 

I will probably go for rear a driving axle and trailing wheel set up.  but still driving on the rear axle.  

These both sound like twin-beam compensation, presumably with a fixed beam for the leading driven axle to rock?

 

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The front axle is in fixed bearings . I will just compensate the rear driver and trailing wheels.  The motor is a Mashima. The gearbox I am not sure about , but it runs very smoothly.   The chassis was missing most other parts, I have to make brake gear, rear outside frames, and coupling rods.  Not too much of a problem.  I am using Romford wheels,  with axle nut covers.  Gibson trailing wheels.

 

Rob

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One day when I am rich, I will buy a High Level chassis kit.   I have another perseverance kit to build for a Bachmann 8750 pannier body.  It looks like a pretty good kit to me.....

 

Rob

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5 hours ago, RobMG said:

The front axle is in fixed bearings . I will just compensate the rear driver and trailing wheels

Forgive my being a bit dense here, Rob apologies if you have already made this clear, but if the leading driven axle is in fixed bearings, then I don't understand how you can compensate the rear driven axle and the pony axle and put the gearbox on the rear driven axle at the same time?

 

This doesn't seem to fit with my understanding of how three point compensation works.

 

Thanks.

 

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5 hours ago, RobMG said:

I have another perseverance kit to build for a Bachmann 8750 pannier body.  It looks like a pretty good kit to me

You're right there, it's a lovely little kit and the tab and slots provided make it pretty easy to build.

 

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On 23/05/2020 at 20:11, Captain Kernow said:

I've built a couple of Perseverence 14XX chassis. I've not built the High Level 14XX chassis, but I have just finished their 74XX chassis.

 

I suppose it depends on whether you want compensation or a rigid chassis.

 

To my mind, it's important to keep the daylight under the visible part of the boiler on these models. If you are happy to proceed on that premise, then you would need to bear in mind that the Perseverance chassis kit leads you down the route of single beam compensation, with the leading main axle being driven and the compensation beam acting between the rear main axle and the pony axle.

 

As such, it's difficult to keep all the daylight under the visible part of the boiler preserved.

 

If you want, therefore, to drive the rear main axle, unless you are building a rigid chassis with no compensation (straightforward but probably less good for pick-ups and even less ideal if you're building in P4).

 

If you have decided to put the gearbox drive on the rear main axle and you want a compensated chassis, then I think you are driven inexorably down the route of twin-beam compensation. This should give you a good, stable chassis and good electrical pick up, but the Perseverance (and the Comet) chassis are not designed with this in mind, so you'd have to build your own twin-beam compensation in.

 

I'm not sure, but my High Level 74XX chassis gave you the alternative of rigid construction or twin-beam compensation, with the gearbox drive on the rear axle. If their 14XX is designed in a similar way, then I suspect that you will get twin-beam compensation on that as well.

 

Springing, including the much-hyped continuous springy beams, is also an option, albeit not one that I personally prefer.

 

I have contemplated building my remaining Comet 14XX chassis (which will be in OO) with the rear main axle driven, a fixed beam soldered to the chassis for the leading drivers to bear on (these would be in hornblocks) and some kind of springing arrangement on the pony wheel (having said that I don't like springing!), but again, the chassis instructions don't cover this and you are effectively 'on your own' in terms of making it work.

 

The High Level 74XX chassis is an absolutely excellent product, very complicated with a lot of small bits (especially in comparison with Perseverance and Comet chassis). It went together very well, with minimal fettling but you are advised to follow the instructions to the letter.

 

The complexity may put some people off, especially if you are new to building etched chassis, in which case the Comet product (or Perseverance, if you can get an unbuilt one second hand, as they are no longer in production) might be more suitable.

 

However, you don't have to add every last one of the small fiddly bits on the High Level chassis, to get a decent-looking and well-running loco chassis.

 

Having said that, I did try to put all the various bits and pieces on my 74XX chassis, but once I had painted and weathered it and put the loco body on, I found that much of the small detail just wasn't visible from normal viewing angles!

 

20200519_120526.jpg.8fa1e9d661875cf902582ea8dd59d3ce.jpg

 

PS. The Markits axle nut covers haven't yet been added!

 

  Thanks for your very helpful comments Cap'n. As it happens  I have a well used Bachman 57xx  that really needs to go in the works for a chassis overhaul so I have the option of putting a new chassis on that as well as/instead of the 0-4-2.  No doubt the 57xx chassis is virtually the same as your 74xx. so I might go for that option first , but a few further questions first if I may :-

 

I am inclined to go for the High Level Kits version because everyone speaks highly of their quality. I am not bothered about fitting too much fiddly detail at this stage because on examining the 57xx body its clear that, like your 74xx, that most small detail is going to be obscured by the  body , especially as it is a working loco generally viewed from aa minimum of 18inches away, usually more, not a static exhibit. If I get a smooth slow running shunter I will be more than happy. So with that background is the  High Level  0-6-0 a fair project as a starter ? I would imagine the basic chassis is no more complicated than the Comet/wizard but the attraction is that you get  the motor and gearbox in the price , the gearbox being highly rated in terms of quality, it seems .  Is that a fair assessment?

Secondly to compensate or not to compensate? I will be OO gauge so that seems to say a rigid chassis is ok but it seems to me kits built chassis are much lighter than RTR and I wonder if there will be enough weight with a plastic body , even perhaps with a bit of lead in, to ensure good pick up and pulling power ( max 4/5 coaches or equivalent goods train ) is not compensated?

 

Any observations will be much appreciated . Thanks in advance .

 

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High Level chassis do not come with motors, newer built one but have 2, they are super, I think I am correct in saying High Level kits come with gearboxes and hornblocks, If you but a Comet kit both are extra. I have built and use several High Level gearboxes

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