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As usual the Swindon cross country

 DMU polled highly and was ignored.

AGAIN

 

Will there ever be an RTR model of one?

 

 

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21 hours ago, dibateg said:

Apologies if I have posted this before, I honestly can't remember. I'm a lot more suspicious these days when building locos and never assume that anything is right, so refer to photos in preference to drawings. Had I still got my 4mm B1s, I would have had to do something about that motion bracket... Anyway I think I got this DJH/Piercy B1 right. Don't say anything now as it is away being painted by Paul Moore!

P1050870.JPG.cc19d3b1df04297aecf232ed2046c3b9.JPG

 

Regards

Tony)

Lovely Tony. Which one is it going to be? (61209, 61281 or maybe 61264 possibly?)

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8 hours ago, Bernard Lamb said:

That does rather emphasis the point of people not being willing or able to actually do some modelling.

Taking two of the top three the J39 is provided by Bachmann with an easy chassis swap with a Bachmann J11 and the Buckjumper can be produced in several varieties by using a 3D printed body on a readily available Hornby chassis. 

If that is beyond the skill of the average modeler than what hope is there?

Bernard

Hello Berhard, I think that perhaps there's a perceived difference in the knowledge and skills required to build a kit, compared to swapping bodies and chassis. With a kit, you have instructions, someone to guide you, you know you're following a sequence that will produce the desired result (well, in theory, anyway!), plus others who may have built it that you can ask: with body-swapping and similar things, you're on your own! Maybe some people find that kind of thing more intimidating.

I've done one loco body-swap and I made it work, but it took quite a lot of work. I think, overall, it probably took as much work as a small kit:rolleyes:.

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I'm probably not one who should throw stones about kit building seeing I still produce bodges.... But I think one of the problems that I come across in the secondhand kits that I have acquired over time is the lack of prep-work before assembling the bits. 

If you don't put the leg work in before you start building, the end result you get tends to be a disappointment. I often find parts that haven't had the flash removed from the joining surfaces, or the etching tabs filed off. Poorly cast bits often require filling during sub-assembly stages, but often don't get it at all!

I still struggle with the chassis part of the builds, I'm not quite sure why, and as a consequence find building locos un-rewarding, but having said that, now I can solder w/metal kits together I get a bit more joy from them, but its always the chassis part that kills the build for me. Being left to work out for yourself why it doesn't run very well is should destroying, and often leads to the kit going back in the box for it think about its bad behaviour for several years!

Thankfully a recent visit to Sir didn't end up with me being totally embarrassed...

 

Andy G

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1 hour ago, MJI said:

As usual the Swindon cross country

 DMU polled highly and was ignored.

AGAIN

 

Will there ever be an RTR model of one?

 

DMUs are an odd one; Lima produced a Class 117 which only really operated on the Paddington Suburban network, instead of the Class 116 that operated in the South Wales valleys, Birmingham and Glasgow.  Now there's another Class 117 from Bachmann....

 

As for polls, surely they are only indicative of the wishes of the people who shout the loudest?  As @Michael Edgesaid above, what people say they'll buy and what they actually buy, are often two very different things.  No doubt those who demand such-and-such a model have a long list of excuses why, once it's available, they no longer want one; it's 0.5mm too short, it's not the exact number they want, it needs to be half the price, etc., etc.

 

Rob

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Apologies chaps, the Martin Finney kit that was top of his poll and then sold badly was not a Barnum but a Stella. 
As a founder of Brassmasters we always struggled to determine what the next model should be and how it would sell, it never worked out as we thought! But as we only produced models that we wanted and were interested in in made the selection easier.

 

David

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44 minutes ago, Chas Levin said:

Hello Berhard, I think that perhaps there's a perceived difference in the knowledge and skills required to build a kit, compared to swapping bodies and chassis. With a kit, you have instructions, someone to guide you, you know you're following a sequence that will produce the desired result (well, in theory, anyway!), plus others who may have built it that you can ask: with body-swapping and similar things, you're on your own! Maybe some people find that kind of thing more intimidating.

I've done one loco body-swap and I made it work, but it took quite a lot of work. I think, overall, it probably took as much work as a small kit:rolleyes:.

 

There is also the cost issue for many.  I remember my first body swap at a time before the internet and companies selling spares, so the swap involved purchasing two complete and new locomotives in order to get one locomotive at twice the cost of a standard item.

 

I don't regret it even now nearly 40 years later.  I still have a loco that has not yet 

been produced by the rtr market or indeed the kit market.

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16 minutes ago, Norton961 said:

Apologies chaps, the Martin Finney kit that was top of his poll and then sold badly was not a Barnum but a Stella. 
As a founder of Brassmasters we always struggled to determine what the next model should be and how it would sell, it never worked out as we thought! But as we only produced models that we wanted and were interested in in made the selection easier.

 

David

Maybe it is you I've spoken to in the past regarding the Barnum. I hope you do produce a kit (as well as the 388 Armstrong), though understand the reasonings if you decided not to proceed.

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9 minutes ago, Andy Hayter said:

 

There is also the cost issue for many.  I remember my first body swap at a time before the internet and companies selling spares, so the swap involved purchasing two complete and new locomotives in order to get one locomotive at twice the cost of a standard item.

 

I don't regret it even now nearly 40 years later.  I still have a loco that has not yet 

been produced by the rtr market or indeed the kit market.

Hello Andy, there's also the satisfaction of saving an old friend: the body-swap I did (purists please look away now) was because I was so fond of my old Hornby A4 Seagull, but I couldn't bear it's continual poor running even after a lot of work on the drive (not always the case: I do have one Hornby tender drive A4 that actually runs beautfully!), so I put the Seagull body onto a Hornby loco drive Falcon, with an empty tender of course. The ways in which the two bodies are fixed to the two chassis are very different and it called for some interesting solutions: it became one of those 'let's just see if I can' projects, but like you, I get great satisfaction see it running, in spite of the very dated look of the body!

What loco did you produce with your swap?

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We must not lose sight of the fact that there is a big hurdle to overcome to enter the world of kit building locomotives, that presents an enormous deterrent for newcomers.

 

Anyone embarking on their first kit build is faced with a very different proposition from an experienced builder.  The newcomer doesn’t have any of the tools required, doesn’t know any of the techniques necessary, and is faced with purchasing a kit that needs a gearbox and wheels to complete from different suppliers that may be hard to source from an unfamiliar  marketplace.  The kit will, likely, have inherent pitfalls for the uninitiated, requiring modifications using new and unfamiliar skills and techniques, and materials that they haven’t ever used before.  

 

This first model will cost not only the kit, but a load of expensive new tools, jigs and materials, it’s construction is a huge learning curve of unfamiliar techniques and skills.  So it will have cost the newcomer rather more than an experienced builder in money, time and effort - and be of considerably poorer quality than most of the contributors on this thread can achieve.  It will likely be a bit of a ‘dog’, something that would require rather a lot of ‘fettling’ should it one day find its way to Tony’s workbench!

 

Of course, the newcomer’s second build will hopefully be of better quality (and require less financial outlay), and the third even more so, etc. until proficiency is reached.

 

The point I am trying to make is that at the outset, it appears to be a very long and expensive journey for the newcomer to locomotive kit building, before they will reach a point where they can consistently achieve good results.  Discouragingly long, for most.

 

Add to this the fact that metalworking is no longer provided by our national curriculum, and that the end result will need a layout with minimum 3 foot radius curves to run on, it is not only a very daunting proposition, but very few will even be in a position to make full use of the end product.

 

Therefore, those among us who are experienced enough in this field to take a kit and build it competently, will always be very much in the minority simply because the journey to get there is so daunting at the outset, that few will actually embark on it!  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Chas Levin said:

Hello Andy, 

..............

What loco did you produce with your swap?

Not really of interest to the majority of posters on this bit of the forum but it was a Paris Lyon Mediterranean (PLM)  141C (2-8-2) produced from  jouef Pacific (donor body) and a 141 R - with spoked wheels (donor chassis).    REE have recently started to produce these as rtr but not as the original PLM version.  

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My first loco kit was a perseverance chassis for the Mainline J72. I used the perseverance jigs and it works well enough with a portescap motor. Only other tools were files and a soldering iron which I already had for building other kits.

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2 hours ago, Northmoor said:

DMUs are an odd one; Lima produced a Class 117 which only really operated on the Paddington Suburban network, instead of the Class 116 that operated in the South Wales valleys, Birmingham and Glasgow.  Now there's another Class 117 from Bachmann....

 

As for polls, surely they are only indicative of the wishes of the people who shout the loudest?  As @Michael Edgesaid above, what people say they'll buy and what they actually buy, are often two very different things.  No doubt those who demand such-and-such a model have a long list of excuses why, once it's available, they no longer want one; it's 0.5mm too short, it's not the exact number they want, it needs to be half the price, etc., etc.

 

Rob

 

 

And the Bachmann 101 is slightly wrong and also not suitable for many people as two car, so stocking with older models, I could do with some Lima 101 to produce a couple more 3 cars.

 

Anyway I will be doing some 120ing tomorrow

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G'Day Folks

 

Body swops and hacks, right up my street, my latest involves a Dublo/Wrenn R1 chassis, Hornby wheels and a GBL Director, hacked and bashed........ A LNER B8 4-6-0 (a work in progress) Don't know what'll pull yet, haven't got it running yet.

 

Terry (AKA manna)

DSCF5799.jpg

DSCF5801.jpg

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Good evening :)
 

One thought I have on newcomers to the hobby versus, shall we say, seasoned veterans. Over the decades the detail and quality of kits has improved drastically - in the 1970s or even earlier, kits weren't particularly detailed and frequently used a RTR chassis. I won't say it was EASIER to build kits then, but I think it fair to say they were less complex and it was acceptable to be of lower detail that would pass muster today (a common phrase for older kits is they were good for their time).

 

So someone who has been building kits for many years has not only built up that experience, but likely started with relatively less detailed kits and as advances were made, found it fairly straightforward to up their game with their builds as they already had the basics mastered.

 

A newcomer doesn't have that luxury and unless they build a few older kits and accept the lower detail and accuracy for practice then they have to hit the ground running as it were.

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2 hours ago, Chamby said:

We must not lose sight of the fact that there is a big hurdle to overcome to enter the world of kit building locomotives, that presents an enormous deterrent for newcomers.

 

Anyone embarking on their first kit build is faced with a very different proposition from an experienced builder.  The newcomer doesn’t have any of the tools required, doesn’t know any of the techniques necessary, and is faced with purchasing a kit that needs a gearbox and wheels to complete from different suppliers that may be hard to source from an unfamiliar  marketplace.  The kit will, likely, have inherent pitfalls for the uninitiated, requiring modifications using new and unfamiliar skills and techniques, and materials that they haven’t ever used before.  

 

This first model will cost not only the kit, but a load of expensive new tools, jigs and materials, it’s construction is a huge learning curve of unfamiliar techniques and skills.  So it will have cost the newcomer rather more than an experienced builder in money, time and effort - and be of considerably poorer quality than most of the contributors on this thread can achieve.  It will likely be a bit of a ‘dog’, something that would require rather a lot of ‘fettling’ should it one day find its way to Tony’s workbench!

 

Of course, the newcomer’s second build will hopefully be of better quality (and require less financial outlay), and the third even more so, etc. until proficiency is reached.

 

The point I am trying to make is that at the outset, it appears to be a very long and expensive journey for the newcomer to locomotive kit building, before they will reach a point where they can consistently achieve good results.  Discouragingly long, for most.

 

Add to this the fact that metalworking is no longer provided by our national curriculum, and that the end result will need a layout with minimum 3 foot radius curves to run on, it is not only a very daunting proposition, but very few will even be in a position to make full use of the end product.

 

Therefore, those among us who are experienced enough in this field to take a kit and build it competently, will always be very much in the minority simply because the journey to get there is so daunting at the outset, that few will actually embark on it!  

 

 

 

Good gravy Chamby,

 

Is that the broad church or we?

 

Having read through your litany of fear, I am left wondering how you ever managed to construct your own layout, without worrying yourself to death over the cost of tools, jigs and materials. I'm impressed that you manage to keep your mental health intact, coping with unfamiliar techniques and skills and god help us, the horror of different suppliers in an unfamiliar market place!

 

Get a grip dear Chamby, I think you may be a little too focused on some imaginary sweet spot over the finish line, seemingly oblivious that the journey is full of joy and wonder not fear. If cost is an issue, remember that when you compare it to the instant fix of buying objects, they quickly require another fix and another. The cost is not as great as you surmise, as you are paying for a long and bountiful journey not just the destination.
 

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9 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

laying track on the floor to test a new locomotive seems to me to be the way of the nursery

Just to play devil's advocate for a moment, if someone gets a brand-new train set or loco and doesn't already have a layout, then the floor is the obvious place to try it out. And, as the saying goes, if it'll run there, it'll run anywhere.

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4 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Good gravy Chamby,

 

Is that the broad church or we?

 

Having read through your litany of fear, I am left wondering how you ever managed to construct your own layout, without worrying yourself to death over the cost of tools, jigs and materials. I'm impressed that you manage to keep your mental health intact, coping with unfamiliar techniques and skills and god help us, the horror of different suppliers in an unfamiliar market place!

 

Get a grip dear Chamby, I think you may be a little too focused on some imaginary sweet spot over the finish line, seemingly oblivious that the journey is full of joy and wonder not fear. If cost is an issue, remember that when you compare it to the instant fix of buying objects, they quickly require another fix and another. The cost is not as great as you surmise, as you are paying for a long and bountiful journey not just the destination.
 

Putting together a brass or W/M kit for the first time with little or no guidance can be very off-putting for a novice.  I found Iain Rice's articles in the MR and Guy William's MRC book both godsends.

My initial attempts were not helped by the quality of some products available at the time.  A K's J72 with parts that did not fit at all, and a keyhole chassis that squeezed the bearings tight was a poor start.  Q Kits and Falcon Brass also come to mind as bad news.  However, many mistakes and dead ends later, being able to make a reasonable representation in miniature is very satisfying.  Mixing and matching to produce the rebuilt Raven A2 is my latest project-DJH kit, Nick Easton Etches, modified SE Finecast Boiler and scratch components for this P4 model.  1265440079_ModifiedFabricatedandBoughtInComponents.jpg.efccd9cc7813295bc059d3f612ef1fb7.jpg

Frames Footplate and Boiler Lined Up.jpg

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8 hours ago, Northmoor said:

As @Michael Edgesaid above, what people say they'll buy and what they actually buy, are often two very different things.  No doubt those who demand such-and-such a model have a long list of excuses why, once it's available, they no longer want one; it's 0.5mm too short, it's not the exact number they want, it needs to be half the price, etc., etc.

 

 

There are also those who'll shout for a particular kit and then whilst it's being developed hear that a particular RTR manufacturer will released one in 18 months time etc. etc. so keep their wallets in their pockets until then (the Clayton being an example here).

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My journey into kit building started when I was about 8 and found an unmade Airfix Presflo kit in Dad's wardrobe. I'm sure he wasn't impressed when he came home from work and saw what I'd been up to? I first started tinkering with w/m metal kits Dad had built before we left the UK in 1964. I think mainly I tried to get them (BEC J52 and BEC J17) to run better on their Triang chassis during my mid teens around 1970. I asked for and got a Wills N7 for my 16th birthday which was duly built and put on a Triang chassis.  I think a BEC J11 and D11 were next on their Triang chassis. The D11 eventually got Romford drivers (as did all the others) and a Buhler motor/Ultrascale gearbox and in fact was used about 2 years ago as a practice piece on which to learn how to do the red lining on an LNER black loco with bow pen and lining pen. Its still on the layout now but did undergo a fairly major rebuild back in the 80s.

 

My first go at building a chassis was on a Ks J72 (like John above), which Dad purchased on a holiday to Canberra in 1972.  It wasn't very successful and it wasn't until I realised that the frames didn't match that I was able to sort it out. One end axle slot went too high, so I had to solder a piece or brass across the top to line it up with the other two. I've still got it, but it hasn't seen the light of day for a long time. 

 

In my late teens I built a Ks C1 which I had great difficulty with because of lack of clearance around the bogie. I had to fit 12 mm bogie wheels and to bend the front of the main frames in - I was trying to get it to go around roughly 2 ft radius. I replaced the Ks Mk 1 motor with an MW005 I think. Next was a Bristol Models V2 where the chassis was simply two pieces of brass, spacers and front and rear pony trucks. There were no cylinders or valve gear and the body castings were very thick. I modified some old Triang Britannia cylinders and purchased a set of Ks P2 valve gear (in fact I got 3 sets, 1 for V2, 1 for a Wills K3 and a spare) - which I've still got!). It actually turned out quite well and I was very proud of it at the time with its brushed paint work, Kingsprint press on lining and lettering. Immediately after that I built the Wills K3 with a similar chassis from Bristol models rather than fitting the recommended but inappropriate Triang 2-6-2T chassis. At that stage I found out about using Holts Duplicolour car spray paint as primer and top coat - gosh what a difference that made for a black loco. A year or two later (1979-80) I built my first brass kit a Craftsman C12. That was the first soldered loco as all the w/m kits had been glued together! I still continued to glue w/m kits together continuing on with the NuCast Q6 and O2/2, DJH U1 (brass soldered but w/m glued), Ks P2, WSM J6....Probably for the next 10-15 years I improved steadily in my ability. I didn't get an air brush until 1987 and around the early 90s I starting to solder w/m together.

 

What this essay is attempting to show is that generally for most people, I believe the art of building locos is a process that can take quite a long time to learn and develop. But it is a journey that I have found most enjoyable and in the past has been used to provide locos that were never likely to be available RTR. I always tried to add a bit of extra detail. Perhaps unlike a lot who build locos, I have never been phased by the need to build Walschaerts valve gear. In fact I started trying to improve the look of valve gear on my Triang A3s back in the early 70s and did in fact fit Ks Black 5 valve gear to the Triang Hornby Black 5 back in the mid 70s. 

 

l will continue to enjoy this journey as I have about another 40 locos stashed away to build - mostly of prototypes not likely to be made by RTR manufacturers, including some of South Australian prototypes which can be quite a challenge to build. Alongside this journey I have built hundreds of wagons, lots of coaches and kit-bashed quite a number of RTR locos. Railway modelling is for life! 

 

Andrew

 

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15 hours ago, BMacdermott said:

Hello Tony

 

My layout  has an approximate gradient of 1 in 100 on one side (as it is a 'looped eight' and has to climb over itself).

 

I have just hooked 14 mixed Hornby and Bachmann Mk1s, Colletts and Hawksworths onto a Hornby A3 - and she pulled them away on the uphill from a standing start. I had to really 'drive the loco' to avoid excessive slip, though

 

I don't think Hornby can take the can for not being able to haul 13 metal kit-built coaches. You wouldn't buy a VW Up if you were wanting to tow a caravan.  Horses for courses!

 

Brian

Good morning Brian,

 

I don't think I've ever suggested that any RTR loco should 'carry the can' for not being able to shift 13 all-metal carriages. As I said, my comment was as a result of smugness on my part when my kit-built equivalent could, and did - without a trace of slipping (probably unprototypical). 

 

If you'll have watched my recent Youtube presentation, I extol the pulling power of Hornby's locos (though none of them is on Bytham's heaviest trains). Indeed, I was recently 'put to shame' by an old friend's grandson who brought an RTR 9F along, a Bachmann EVENING STAR. We put it on a 40+ van train and it just a walked away with it. He asked to see how many wagons it might pull, so I coupled up another rake of vans, making a total of over 70. Though it slipped on starting, and for most of the circuit, it just about took the mammoth train. 'Will one of you 9Fs do that?' I was asked. 'I don't know, let's try'. Shame on me! I tried two of my DJH 9Fs, one built by me, the other by than none other than Roy Jackson. Neither would shift it; not without dramatic bouts of slipping, with the controller full-on. They were less-able to pull the train than the RTR equivalent. 

 

In my 'defence', since I've never bothered to test 'to the limit' the haulage power of any of my 9Fs (they all take 50+ wagons with ease), I had no idea they'd be beaten so comprehensively by a schoolboy's RTR loco. There's space for more weight inside them, of course, so next time! Honour was satisfied when I put on one of my DJH A1s, which took the rake without the slightest hint of slipping. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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7 hours ago, Headstock said:

 

Good gravy Chamby,

 

Is that the broad church or we?

 

Having read through your litany of fear, I am left wondering how you ever managed to construct your own layout, without worrying yourself to death over the cost of tools, jigs and materials. I'm impressed that you manage to keep your mental health intact, coping with unfamiliar techniques and skills and god help us, the horror of different suppliers in an unfamiliar market place!

 

Get a grip dear Chamby, I think you may be a little too focused on some imaginary sweet spot over the finish line, seemingly oblivious that the journey is full of joy and wonder not fear. If cost is an issue, remember that when you compare it to the instant fix of buying objects, they quickly require another fix and another. The cost is not as great as you surmise, as you are paying for a long and bountiful journey not just the destination.
 

 

Good morning @Headstock.  Yes I did lay it on rather thick, but the point seems to have hit the mark, given subsequent tales of ‘the journey’ that you rightly point out is what it is all about.  

 

Your mention of ‘some imaginary sweet spot over the finish line’ is very percipient.  In my case it is epitomised by the desire for a Colwick based A5 (or two) that both runs sweetly and can hold its own well enough to complement, rather than detract from the standard I eventually achieve for the rest of my layout.  I have no idea yet how easy or difficult that particular kit will be to build, but all in good time!

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