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Kenton

OKWB - Kato Portram evolves to a Lister

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while searching t'web for a suitable kit I was redirected to this rather nice looking w/m kit from RT Models

 

img_2375.jpg

 

Which took my fancy biggrin.gif

 

Following the information there I found that the motor for this is one half of a Kato Portram

 

Now there's the problem. I'm quite happy spending the £15 on the kit and even another ~£15 on a chassis/motor aka typical Kato tram but £95 for a new Portram!!

 

Further digging revealed one of these can be obtained new from Ebay for a little less.

but then I have this problem with buying and breaking a perfectly good item just to get at the chassis.

 

Has anyone seen the chassis for these available separately?

 

Has anyone used one?

 

... and as you get two motors in one Portram ...

well - just look at this page to give you ideas Click Here

 

I gather the pulling power of one of these units is virtually zero but then I'm only thinking of a rake of 5 mini-skips.

Edited by Kenton

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The Tomy chassis is completely different it's got a central motor that takes up the whole body so far too big for the lister.

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The Kato chassis should be available separately before too long but considering you get two power units with each tram the price isn't completely ridiculous. They actually are reasonably powerful - I've seen a video of a complete tram pushing half a dozen N gauge box cars.

 

The main problem is bringing yourself to dismantle the beautifully made and decorated tram body, once you're over that hurdle you're left with two very smooth running chassis - they even have flywheels!

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If you want a Portram for such a project its probably price wise worth trying the Ffestiniog shop at Porthmadoc Harbour.

That was the £95 one I linked to above - the one that shocked me - but later found on EBay for nearly half the price.

 

At £58 or so it is still a big spend on a small project though cornelius you are spot on with the mental problem of dismembering one. Are there any estimates out there of when the chassis (preferably as separate units) will become available. If they come in at anywhere near the cost of the other reliable Kato units I can see them being very popular.

 

Meanwhile I'm probably going to place this one on hold ... which is a bit of a disappointment.

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At £58 or so it is still a big spend on a small project though cornelius you are spot on with the mental problem of dismembering one.

 

I doubt they will sell them as separate units as they haven't for any other models. £29 each for two chassis is a bargain! OK you have to buy two but either sell one on for £30 or save it for another loco as you will need more than one tiny industrial for a layout.

 

I would be very suprised if you can beat that price by much.

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I doubt they will sell them as separate units as they haven't for any other models. £29 each for two chassis is a bargain! OK you have to buy two but either sell one on for £30 or save it for another loco as you will need more than one tiny industrial for a layout.

 

I would be very suprised if you can beat that price by much.

Sure I can appreciate that £29 per "loco"chassis is fine and no problem with another project that final link hinted at a very suitable route to be taken (gravity driven wagon) it also shows just how compact and neat these units are.

 

I suppose the real problem is getting over the buying a complete unit then breaking it up without digressing into some tram-based-n-gauge-japanese excursion. I know what I'm like on these things - easily digressed :)

 

Perhaps the first step is to order the Lister kit and add it to the project queue....

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A guy on NGRM was mentioning that he might be getting some available separately at around £45. The forum has just undergone an upgrade so the search function hasn't fully indexed the content yet, when it has i'll post a link. Usual caveat that people moan about when I post the link on here... you have to register, but it's REALLY worth it if you model narrow gauge. No connection to the forum other than as a happy user.

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Perhaps the first step is to order the Lister kit and add it to the project queue....

 

:D that's more like it

 

and if you aren't already signed up I'll join Tom in recommending NGRM too.

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Thanks Tom, at £45 for the double chassis that would be more up my street and a good price - but if that is just for one unit then it is not much better than the Ffestiniog shop.

 

It seems very easy to confuse the Kato Portram with the Tomix Portram :( the latter being useless in this project.

 

Anyway I've taken the step of ordering the Lister kit - even if it ends up as a rusty static item.

 

and if you aren't already signed up I'll join Tom in recommending NGRM too.

Already signed up, though such a rare visitor I've probably forgot my login. RMWeb is all I can cope with :D and covers all my modeling interests.

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Sorry, I meant £45 per unit, not both, although I seem to remember him saying that he's trying to get them without the body to reduce the price of the double unit too.

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Sorry, I meant £45 per unit, not both, although I seem to remember him saying that he's trying to get them without the body to reduce the price of the double unit too.

That then makes them £90 for the double - we are back in Ffestiniog territory, hardly equivalent to direct from Japan - in fact buying direct from Japan and selling at £45 each chassis looks like there's a bit of profit to be made .... idea.gif

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We are if you really need two of them I admit.

 

If you import them be sure to let us know! wink.gif

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Be interested to see how you get on with this Kenton.

I too saw the kit but was put off by the associated chassis price.

But now I have seen one under a slate wagon, its got me thinking :D

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Anyway I've taken the step of ordering the Lister kit - even if it ends up as a rusty static item.

 

OK, knock me over with a feather, the postman has just delivered a Jiffy Bag!

Now let's just understand that I only ordered the kit at 15:00 yesterday and to receive it within 24 hr deserves a round of applause for RT Models. It would probably have been quicker had the postman's scheduled delivery time had not been so late round here.

 

Packaged: Extremely well inside a poly bag inside a plastic box.

A double-side A4 sheet set of instructions, part-list and exploded diagram.

In the bag 12 w/m parts and a short length of brass wire.

 

lister_01.jpg

 

Now where did I last mis-place my magnifying glass and micro soldering iron tip ?

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Well just thought I would add that following a read through of the instructions - it took 2 attempts, they were a bit jumbled, I know now that the chassis is required BEFORE attempting to build as a motorised Lister.

 

Ah well, that is a dangerous delay as it will now go back into the queue of kits.

However, I now also await deliver from Japan of the required chassis and their inevitable slow progress through Customs.

 

as they say in the movies .. I'll be back

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Currently building the same Lister kit myself. I'm making a few alterations on mine to turn it into an 60's built version like the one we have at the GVLR. Will also be making its flying bedsted canopy. Plenty to do whilst I wait for the chassis to arrive.

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The ParcelForce van delivered a small box today.

 

Of course I realised that when purchasing from Japan I was going to be stung for VAT ... but I had forgotten about the hidden tax of compulsory ParcelForce. A tax by any other name because it is not possible to avoid it and it is, in my view, far too high. It is NOT a delivery charge - that was already paid for, it is a charge for handling - and it was excessive.

 

So anyway it has finally arrived - and on reflection I should have purchased through Ffestiniog. Perhaps if this project works, then I would shop there next time. Of course if they could supply just the motorised chassis at a competitive rate ...

 

Anyway here it is:

 

portram_01.jpg

portram_02.jpg

 

Now to figure out how to separate those motor bogies from that nice new rtr tram :(

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The ParcelForce van delivered a small box today.

 

Of course I realised that when purchasing from Japan I was going to be stung for VAT ... but I had forgotten about the hidden tax of compulsory ParcelForce. A tax by any other name because it is not possible to avoid it and it is, in my view, far too high. It is NOT a delivery charge - that was already paid for, it is a charge for handling - and it was excessive.

 

 

 

Occupational hazard with buying from Japan unfortunately. I don't mind the VAT (okay, I do mind, but I accept it as one of those things), but I do object to the Parcel Force handling fee...especially bearing in mind the amount EMS costs. The high cost of postage - even the economy SAL ain't cheap - coupled with these nice little extras easily wipes out any financial gain you would have had by buying direct from Japan....assuming of course what you want is available here (most of the stuff I get isn't, and probably will never be, available in the UK)...

 

Essentially it is a fee for the privilege of getting your parcel held up for days on end and getting VAT slapped onto it. I had one that was held at customs for over a fortnight (normally it takes one or two days)...cue much complaining correspondence that not only had my parcel been held up for ages, but I also had to pay the resulting fee! :angry:

 

Needless to say I got nowhere...:rolleyes:

 

Rant over!

 

--------------

 

The question is with the tram, can you really bring yourself to pull it apart?

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The question is with the tram, can you really bring yourself to pull it apart?

Not yet - it is sitting there looking at me, pleading not to be butchered. I keep prodding its underbelly with a sharp scalpel but can't quite figure out the most painless cut, and every creek in the house makes me worry about an anti-vivisectionist invasion. I then drift back to a more constructive task I'm working on, and to give my poor eyes chance to recover from examining the tiny details on this model.

 

... either that, or I'm being lazy and waiting for the guidance of someone else.

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As I mentioned elsewhere, the Parcelforce £8.00 fee is because, before the package leaves the customs area, the fee has to be paid. This means that PF have already paid the customs charge IN FULL, and the fee is to cover the recovery of your payment to their coffers plus the lack of interest in their money.

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As I mentioned elsewhere, the Parcelforce £8.00 fee is because, before the package leaves the customs area, the fee has to be paid. This means that PF have already paid the customs charge IN FULL, and the fee is to cover the recovery of your payment to their coffers plus the lack of interest in their money.

It wasn't £8, it was £13.50. I didn't have any contract with ParcelForce - I didn't have any choice in using them, just who made that choice?

 

This should be managed by HMRC - I don't have an issue with the VAT so much, even though if I was travelling with the package it would be without VAT.

I also have the issue with the delay incurred. Tracking this item from Japan it left 1 day after ordering and arrived in UK a day later - the rest of the time has been ParcelForce fif-faffing-around sending me an invoice (snail mail) and moving from one depot to the other. I have to ask why it took less than 24 hours for a parcel with the Lister kit to arrive and over 7 days for a letter from less than 10 miles away to be delivered? ... but then we have been there before.

 

Anyway what is done, is done and I'll know not to take that route in future. Buying from the US never seems to have this problem.

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Apologies - Then £8.00 fee refers to the Post Office - PF obviously have their own charging system!

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