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Tony Wright

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3 hours ago, cctransuk said:

 

A caution too far, Tony - I have built a number of Jidenco kits, and they are perfectly acceptable models of subjects that are otherwise unavailable. (I still have some, in Falcon Brass guise, to build).

 

Have you built any yourself?

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

I have, and given up, John,

 

Have you ever tried to build a Jidenco Claughton? I was given two to build on commission on one occasion. After some initial work, I handed them back. So much scratch-building would have been needed to replace the poor/ill-fitting parts that it would not have been economically viable. Would you believe the footplate in both the small- and large-boiler versions was just a flat piece of brass, with no apertures to take wheels or mechanism? 

 

Foolishly, some time later I attempted a Jidenco wagon (my memory fails me as to exactly which one). The fit of parts was very poor, and, once more, I gave up. 

 

Though it might count for nothing in the grand scheme of things, out of the over 500 locos I've built from kits, Jidenco's are the only ones to have beaten me!

 

I'm delighted you find them 'perfectly acceptable models' All I can say is you're a much better modeller than I am. I congratulate you. 

 

If some of them are good, then your post will have set the record straight. My position is 'once bitten..............' Never again!

 

In Jidenco's defence, how have others got on with the kits? Better than I have, I'll warrant. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Edited by Tony Wright
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28 minutes ago, MJI said:

 

 

My favourite 9F is Evening Star always wanted one.

 

Managed to save up Christmas and Birthday money to buy a Bachmann (wages go on house and boring stuff like food).

 

Just because I bought it does it mean it means less to me than my kit stuff.

 

You can like all sources, RTR, converted RTR, kit, scratch.

 

They are all mine.

Of course they're all yours Martin,

 

No one can (or shouldn't even try to) deny you that right.

 

However, on a purely personal note, seeing something which someone has personally made, rather than just bought (whether it be RTR or commission) will always mean more to me. There's a personal story to listen to.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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2 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

I have, and given up, John,

 

Have you ever tried to build a Jidenco Claughton? I was given two to build on commission on one occasion. After some initial work, I handed them back. So much scratch-building would have been need to replace the poor/ill-fitting parts that it would not have been economically viable. Would you believe the footplate in both the small- and large-boiler versions was just a flat piece of brass, with no apertures to take wheels or mechanism? 

 

Foolishly, some time later I attempted a Jidenco wagon (my memory fails me as to exactly which one). The fit of parts was very poor, and, once more, I gave up. 

 

Though it might count for nothing in the grand scheme of things, out of the over 500 locos I've built from kits, Jidenco's are the only ones to have beaten me!

 

I'm delighted you find them 'perfectly acceptable models' All I can say is you're a much better modeller than I am. I congratulate you. 

 

If some of them are good, then your post will have set the record straight. My position is 'once bitten..............' Never again!

 

In Jidenco's defence, how have others got on with the kits? Better than I have, I'll warrant. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

Admittedly, my experience has been confined to wagon kits - I'll try and find them when I return from Portugal and post images.

 

I can see that Jidenco / Falcon Brass kits are anathema to professional builders - but that is not a reason for the self-builder to reject them.

 

If the alternative is scratchbuilding - which it usually is - then the pre-etched parts are a bonus, even if they need 'adjustment'.

 

If a subject was only available as an Jidenco / Falcon Brass kit; (or scratchbuilt); I'd go for the kit any time. (I find that cutting out parts with a piercing saw is far more frustrating than 'adjusting' etched kit parts).

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

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20 minutes ago, cctransuk said:

 

Admittedly, my experience has been confined to wagon kits - I'll try and find them when I return from Portugal and post images.

 

I can see that Jidenco / Falcon Brass kits are anathema to professional builders - but that is not a reason for the self-builder to reject them.

 

If the alternative is scratchbuilding - which it usually is - then the pre-etched parts are a bonus, even if they need 'adjustment'.

 

If a subject was only available as an Jidenco / Falcon Brass kit; (or scratchbuilt); I'd go for the kit any time. (I find that cutting out parts with a piercing saw is far more frustrating than 'adjusting' etched kit parts).

 

Regards,

John Isherwood.

Thanks John,

 

And perhaps my initial comment was a bit too cynical. However, when one is (was) paid to build professionally, then time spent correcting ill-fitting parts is rarely catered for in extra payments. 

 

You make a very interesting point, regarding the difference between the 'professional' builder and the self-builder. Time spent by the latter is often enjoyed in a way not given to those who earn a crust by making models. Not that I didn't enjoy making models professionally (have you ever tried to teach 5C?), but there was always a maximum price one could ask for a model, and to take so much time 'correcting' a kit's mistakes, either in its prototype inaccuracies or poor fit of parts was never going to be economically viable. 

 

Strangely, I never built any of the 'high-end' kits, either; the Mitchell/Finney ones. Though their quality was/is unimpeachable, so much time would have been needed  for me to erect them (assuming I could?) that the price would have been way too high. Imagine fashioning Gresley crossheads from umpteen sandwiches of etched brass! I've built one Brassmasters' kit - a Beames L&NWR 0-8-4T. The chassis was way too complicated for me - fully-sprung and so on. I made it rigid, in a fraction of the time. 

 

Are JIdenco/Falcon Brass kits anathema to professional builders? Clearly, from your experience some of the kits must be fine. If so, then my prejudice should be challenged.

 

Will other professional modellers comment, please? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Edited by Tony Wright

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I'm not a professional builder, but I have put together a very few Jidenco kits.  I doubt any professional would have touched them with a bargepole and I wouldn't consider a loco after building the rolling stock kits.

 

frambrake_zps1e13bf62.jpg

 

GC 6 wheel brake van as used on the Framlingham Branch.  The instructions told you to fit the handrails, then a few steps later had you adding the corner overlays - which the handrails pass through.  If you built this with the original solebar/axleguards you'd never get it to the right height as designed.

 

jidenco_bv_zpsf04a8fd5.jpg  toadb-zpsc835894a.jpg

 

I ended up changing the duckets, making end posts out of plastic and adding all kinds of detail to this.

 

gc.jpg

 

This GC composite had picture windows all along its length, so the one where the door between first and third class is hung had to be remade as two smaller windows.  The bogies are also awful and I still haven't replaced them.

 

Edit - forgot this GN fish van (right).  I'm not sure anyone else has ever offered this vehicle.  All the door strapping had to be replaced but apart from that I don't remember any major issues.

 

GN-19ft-frigo-fish-zpskoxlmca5.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by jwealleans
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Definitely not finescale modelling but here's what I've been working on on and off over the last few weeks.

 

pannier2.jpg.78604819b4859909d6788ca24dac5696.jpg

 

pannier1.jpg.1e9af40a1425593530308d8627ee8a52.jpg

 

It's a Tri-ang Hornby Pannier body which I've backdated to non-topfeed condition, and added wire handrails and some other bits. The underlying 57XX chassis is a spare from Bachmann. It required a lot of "skirt" material to be cut away from beneath the panniers, but was otherwise a fairly straightforward fit. The body is from one of my oldest models and can't be far off 50 years old. Dimensionally, it's very good, the only real issue being the thickness of the cab side sheets, which I've attempted to thin down along their visible edges.  The filler around the chimney and front of the pannier is to repair damage that happened in the 70s!

 

Al

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I have always thought Jidenco kits the perfect introduction to scratchbuilding. The biggest issue I felt was the use of too thin an etching material. Boilers to be rolled from half etched 10thou - to produce the boiler bands which of course were thus far too thick and the actual boiler fag paper thick - was useless. I once took on building a MR 3130 class 0-6-0. When I finished it I was so determined to use something of the kit that I did - the turned brass whistle. Never again ......

 

Izzy

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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

I have, and given up, John,

 

Have you ever tried to build a Jidenco Claughton? I was given two to build on commission on one occasion. After some initial work, I handed them back. So much scratch-building would have been needed to replace the poor/ill-fitting parts that it would not have been economically viable. Would you believe the footplate in both the small- and large-boiler versions was just a flat piece of brass, with no apertures to take wheels or mechanism? 

 

Foolishly, some time later I attempted a Jidenco wagon (my memory fails me as to exactly which one). The fit of parts was very poor, and, once more, I gave up. 

 

Though it might count for nothing in the grand scheme of things, out of the over 500 locos I've built from kits, Jidenco's are the only ones to have beaten me!

 

I'm delighted you find them 'perfectly acceptable models' All I can say is you're a much better modeller than I am. I congratulate you. 

 

If some of them are good, then your post will have set the record straight. My position is 'once bitten..............' Never again!

 

In Jidenco's defence, how have others got on with the kits? Better than I have, I'll warrant. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

I thought it was just me.  I bought a GWR Cordon gas tank wagon, and found that Falcon suggested that the tanks were made up from dowels, with the etched ends glued on.  The frames for the seven tanks, apart from being unbuildable, if opened out to the correct diameter, would have broken through each other.  Eventually, new frames were cut out, tanks scratched, and that meant that apart from the tank ends-turned down to the correct size-all the topsides were scratched.  The underframe was detailed, and the model was now graces a GWR layout.

I also had an LNER fruit van.  The floor, sides and ends were one etching-with no fold lines.  Scoring these in and soldering up showed the etches to be 2D, with much additional work to make them comparable to a Parkwood plastic kit.  Closer inspection showed the body had warped.  Unwarping saw the body split on the etch folds.  The body can be viewed by interested modellers in the  scrap bin, with the underframe in the spares stores.  Never again.

Never again.

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I suspect that some "notoriously unsatisfactory" kits can perhaps make good models in the hands of those who proceed warily, checking everything, trying temporary assemblies and making careful alterations compatible with other parts of the kit, when required. In the hand of those who "just build", soldering up solidly from square one, expecting everything to fit (or very nearly so), the same kits are bound to produce poor models or to prove impossible to assemble.

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Currently on the bench at the moment is a Jidenco Brighton Atlantic in 3mm scale. I asked the customer for the etches before I agreed to take it on but all seems ok. The axle holes and coupling rods all match and the basic body shown here was fine and its by no means a simple prototype. I think the kits vary enormously with some being much better that others - Ive not come across a Claughton. The boiler unit is just resting on the footplate in the photo.

 

20190623_213952.jpg.3e900731c27a41819037211b575e74d0.jpg

 

With the lovely LNWR tinplate stuff at the top of this page I thought these may be of interest. Another of my customers brought them to last weekends Swindon show for me to have a look at - Bing push along, c.1911, 2mm scale (ish) - believed to be the first commercial 2mm.......... and yes I did put the tender the wrong way round.

 

IMG_0016.JPG.73102d6ec64778234e36bcffae38243a.JPG

 

 

Jerry

 

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8 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

'Go back to magazines of the 60s, 70s and 80s and they are full of layouts that were largely RTR, and not very good at that.'

 

Very true, Jerry.

 

However, they tended to be in the Proprietary Modeller section of the mags, and, in my memory, were in a minority. Unlike today. 

 

Great 2mm modelling, by the way! Thanks for showing us.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Up to a point, Lord Copper...

 

There were some truly awful "proprietary" Railways of the Month in the 60s and 70s - I won't name them but folk of my vintage will be able to make their own lists - and yet there were also some that were really inspiring. One that made a very big impression was the Hillbury & Lington, from about 1963 (when I get home tonight I'll check the exact month) that was nearly all Tri-ang stock and SuperQuick buildings, yet it all seemed to fit together and look like a proper railway.

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13 minutes ago, jrg1 said:

I bought a GWR Cordon gas tank wagon

Thanks for that. I've also got one of those, still in its box. Based on your comments, I think that's where it will remain.

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks John,

 

And perhaps my initial comment was a bit too cynical. However, when one is (was) paid to build professionally, then time spent correcting ill-fitting parts is rarely catered for in extra payments. 

 

You make a very interesting point, regarding the difference between the 'professional' builder and the self-builder. Time spent by the latter is often enjoyed in a way not given to those who earn a crust by making models. Not that I didn't enjoy making models professionally (have you ever tried to teach 5C?), but there was always a maximum price one could ask for a model, and to take so much time 'correcting' a kit's mistakes, either in its prototype inaccuracies or poor fit of parts was never going to be economically viable. 

 

Strangely, I never built any of the 'high-end' kits, either; the Mitchell/Finney ones. Though their quality was/is unimpeachable, so much time would have been needed  for me to erect them (assuming I could?) that the price would have been way too high. Imagine fashioning Gresley crossheads from umpteen sandwiches of etched brass! I've built one Brassmasters' kit - a Beames L&NWR 0-8-4T. The chassis was way too complicated for me - fully-sprung and so on. I made it rigid, in a fraction of the time. 

 

Are JIdenco/Falcon Brass kits anathema to professional builders? Clearly, from your experience some of the kits must be fine. If so, then my prejudice should be challenged.

 

Will other professional modellers comment, please? 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

Whilst not a fan of Jidenco I feel that provided you were prepared to spend the time you could produce  a reasonably acceptable result. I picked up two of their coaches (unbuilt) on a club secondhand stall. The first was this Barnham shown below. As Jonathan has remarked. the bogies were awful but I did get them to run (these were six-wheeled). The other was a sixty foot  corridor third similar to the one in Jonathon's post. I built the body shell for that and decided I had no use for it and  sold it on half built.

Slide2447A.jpg.6984e73768fbbc852ad3f5bfe1448c83.jpg

 

I also built four NER ironstone hoppers. Again these were not easy builds but the result was acceptable, but might not pass close scrutiny.  I will photograph these and post them on here later.

 

Whilst we are talking awful (impossible) kits , I nominate MTK Gresley 61' 6" coaches.  These were a preformed shell, beading included. It sounds an easy build until you find the bottom beading is under the the coach bottom!!! Enough said. I would rate these way below the Jidenco coaches.

I must add that I have never bought or built a Jidenco loco kit.

 

ArthurK

 

Edited by ArthurK
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Jidenco kits 4mm. I built an Ivatt 2mt 2-6-0. I used a Comet chassis as the Jidenco was poorly etched, particularly the valve gear.

The body and tender weren't too bad but after completion I realised that the firebox and rear of the boiler were oversize.

The tender tank was also 2mm too high.

 

Some of the wagons possess inaccuracies as well.  

I've purchased fairly recently a Falcon Brass LNER ironstone hopper and an LMS ballast hopper wagon as shown in Mick's post above. They do look to be an improvement on the Jidenco ones.

 

Modern Traction Kits, AKA Modern Trash Kits. Need we say more? confirmed when the proprietor named his 7mm range 'El Crappo'. 

(I believe he was noted as someone to be the first to preserve a main line diesel loco - a 'Warship')

 

Needless to say the one thing it has taught me is to verify the accuracy of everything, don't assume it will always be right!

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4mm Jidenco/Falcon Brass? I built a Midland 0-4-4WT over 17 years ago, and it runs beautifully. It saw many shows as part of the fleet operating on my exhibition layout. What does let it down isn't the kit but my poor attempts to hand line it out back then. (It's in pre-1907 MR livery). I must strip it and repaint it properly at some time.

 

At the same time I bought a Jidenco/FB MR steam railmotor and trailer. Whilst the coach parts were easy enough, the mechanicals beat me, and I have never got it to run. However, salvation may be at hand, as John Redrup will sell me a kit of his new version of the power unit. So this should be (finally) up and running ere long.

 

Mark

Edited by MarkC
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5 hours ago, gr.king said:

I suspect that some "notoriously unsatisfactory" kits can perhaps make good models in the hands of those who proceed warily, checking everything, trying temporary assemblies and making careful alterations compatible with other parts of the kit, when required. In the hand of those who "just build", soldering up solidly from square one, expecting everything to fit (or very nearly so), the same kits are bound to produce poor models or to prove impossible to assemble.

I think the time and effort factor comes into play here-spending a week's modelling time to produce an acceptable result when a plastic kit would give the same or better in a couple of hours tends to depress me.

I also have a Jidenco LNWR 0-8-4T.  This is half built, and looks quite good-all square and good etches.  However, the bunker is a scale foot short, and the cab roof follows a profile that could be described as wistful, and needed to be drastically altered to conform to the works drawing.  Also, the splashers and footplate openings are too close together for P4.  apart from that, all is well.

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5 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

Thanks for that. I've also got one of those, still in its box. Based on your comments, I think that's where it will remain.

I did  a build description for TCH; if you are interested I can go into more detail.  The topsides are absolute rubbish, but the underframe can be tarted up satisfactorily.

I only realised recently that the end tank covers should be convex, and not flat-I never spotted that during the build.

I have a series of build photographs, but these are not uploading, for some reason.

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5 hours ago, Michael Edge said:

My records show that I've built 17 locos from Jidenco/Falcon kits plus a couple for my own use, most of them are too far back to have been photographed digitally but here are two examples.

 

304690872_08-322MT2-6-046491fl.JPG.817b37b90a9aef0c72bafc62f7ca9815.JPG

 

2024235105_08-32blptd.JPG.26e9bdafdfcd9548e78e91dc0b61e1a1.JPG

 

1547431906_04-41br.JPG.1d1db13ee7e5864152c325ec1fd1367d.JPG

 

 

In case anyone is wondering these are 3mm scale/TT gauge. 

I would like to know how you achieved such a good result with these kits-I am aware that the quality of Falcon/Jidenco varied enormously, but these are outstanding

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5 minutes ago, jrg1 said:

I did  a build description for TCH; if you are interested I can go into more detail.  The topsides are absolute rubbish, but the underframe can be tarted up satisfactorily.

I only realised recently that the end tank covers should be convex, and not flat-I never spotted that during the build.

I have a series of build photographs, but these are not uploading, for some reason.

Ah, I half-remember that. If you can give me the TCH number I can dig it out! Any additional info woudl certainly be interesting too.

 

Thanks.

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3 hours ago, jrg1 said:

I would like to know how you achieved such a good result with these kits-I am aware that the quality of Falcon/Jidenco varied enormously, but these are outstanding

With any kit built loco I replace or modify whatever I know is wrong, I don't just put together what I find in the box. The vast majority of loco kits I have built, from nearly all sources, have had something which needed altering, the exceptions are mostly Finney/Mitchell in 4mm scale (although they have their own problems) and Dave Andrews in 7mm.

3mm presents its own problems but I have built a lot over the years, these two were done "fully detailed", most of my 3mm work has a lot less detail to keep the cost down for some customers. With etch reductions like this the only giveaway is the axle end diameter, TT uses 1/8th axles and they do look very oversize.

That's my own painting on those two as well, not nearly as good as Ian Rathbone or Dave Studley who paint a lot of my work.

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11 hours ago, cctransuk said:

 

 

Once again, I don't seem to be able to open a new post without an old one coming up. It must be me!

 

Never mind. Thanks for all the comments on 'difficult' kits. The pictures show what can be achieved, and they're brilliant. 

 

Clearly, Jidenco/Falcon Brass kits can be built into satisfactory models, but the skills required are way beyond me (if my experience is anything to go by). 

 

Speaking from my own experience, the various metal kits I've built (both locos and rolling stock) down the years have usually been all right (accepting that it's usually more than a case of just 'shaking the box' to put them together.

 

From memory, I'd list them (in no particular order) as such.....................

DJH: I've built hundreds of their locos. Earlier (Banbury) ones can be tricky, but for OO and EM I consider the range to be among the best.

SE Finecast: again, I've built loads of these. Earlier Wills ones were compromised, but later ones are excellent.

London Road Models: not so many of these built (just into double figures) but superb.

Nu-Cast: good for their day, but not with a white metal lump for a chassis. Dozens built, either with scratch-built or etched chassis. 

Little Engines: a few built, and generally very good. 

Pro-Scale: a couple of good ones, then ummm: a V2!

Anchorage: excellent. 

Brassmasters: one 0-8-4T; as designed, the chassis way beyond my abilities.

Redcraft: one B&M saddle tank was enough!

Magna Models: basic, but OK, provided one made a brass chassis.

McGowan/Cornard: who'd make a chassis completely out of white metal, including rods and motion? 

Bristol Models: plenty of white metal.

Millholme: even more white metal!

K's: fine, if one chucked the mechanical bits away.

Jamieson: what a wonderful introduction to making locos in sheet metal.

Jidenco: as mentioned, beaten!

ACE: just one 4mm loco built. Interesting! The holes in the valve gear etch were huge. In fact, many had 'escaped'!

Comet: brilliant carriages; Caprotti Five a bit of a challenge, though. Scot and Ivatt 2MT very good.

Alan Gibson: generally no problems.

WSM: the J6 and the C1 proved 'interesting'!

MTK: you're kidding!

Q kits: more kidding!

MJT: marvellous.

BSL/Phoenix: excellent starting points for carriage builders, though detail is minimal.

Kemilway: excellent, if complex.

Isinglass: a very good LNER milk van.

D&S: superb rolling stock kits. 

Crownline/PDK: generally OK, but not the resin boilers in some in my view.

DMR. One K1, and very good, too; though the cab proportions are slightly out. 

Craftsman: a few C12s, a couple of MIdland 0-4-4Ts and an A5; jolly good.

MPD: a 3F; very nice.

Mallard/Blacksmith: some experience needed.

 

There must be several more, but I can't readily remember. 

 

Anyone got any other stories, please? 

 

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