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13 minutes ago, micklner said:

 

Plus how many kits are available anymore either, the only place for anything cheap even to practise are almost non existent, if you are very very lucky the only place is ebay nowdays.

 

Kitbuilding is expensive/very expensive end of the hobbby  and a very frustrating experience for many people. I have built dozens , and I still find them a real pain in the rear end at times.

 

Probably as many as there ever was if you are talking about quality as most are far better than the lumps of misshapen whitemetal and stamped metal that was sometimes the case when I grew up.

 

 PDK, DJH, SEF, Nucast/Branchlines, GEM, North Eastern, London Road, Judith Edge, High Level, Comet, Gibson (sometimes) etc.  All have a good selection.

 

But you do have a point about eBay. I have bought quite a few kits for a very good price from eBay. Bargains are out there, but you need to be patent and keep watching. If you look for something also made by the RTR manufacturers there are some very good bargains.

 

Recent purchases include.

 

DJH Britannia mentioned above. £50 with a full set of Romford wheels

DJH BR 4MT 2-6-4T. £50 but no wheels

SEF  GWR Hall. £40

SEF GWR 94XX 0-6-0PT £30 - Already had one, but was on eBay as a BIN just after the Bachmann one came out

Craftsman SR Lord Nelson. £40 from Hattons. Also with wheels

 

I just have to start building them. That's why I look here as I'm what you would call an average modeller in the old Railway Modeller sense. I can just about build them following the instructions. But anything complicated I struggle, especially when it comes to valve gear, meshing and electrics/pick ups. Thankfully I'm mostly into GWR/LNWR/MR so valve gear isn't usually a problem.

 

I even solder them these days!

 

 

 

Jason

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I did struggle with gearbox assembly during my first attempt at building a loco. I bought a C2X from the aforementioned West Coast Kit Centre, which came supplied with a fold-up gearbox and an open-frame motor. 

 

I'd read Tony's book, Iain Rice's book, and Tim Shackleton's book. I'd also read many of Tony's articles in BRM. I assembled the basic tools and set to it. I got the frames done OK but the loco was always a noisy, erratic runner. I couldn't really turn to anyone for advice as I was living abroad at the time and didn't know any railway modellers (literally, none at all). However I did badger people at exhibitions if they looked like they might be able to help. I remember Cida Earl being particularly helpful with her time in attempting to resolve why I might be having problems with gear meshing. However, being a novice, there were lots of other things that I thought might be wrong with the loco.

 

After about five years of fiddling with the C2X, including having Tony fix new pickups at the Missenden weekend, I eventually realised that if DJH were supplying their own kit with an AM10 motor and gearbox, why I didn''t I just order one of those instead? So I did and the result was like night and day. Suddenly I had a loco that could actually run smoothly and quietly and just plod around without fuss, exactly what I'd been trying and failing to achieve for half a decade. It was only then that I really felt I could move on confidently to other models. Now. with the benefit of another 15 - 20 years of experience, I imagine I could probably have got the basic gearbox and motor to work as supplied, but it was certainly beyond my meagre skills at the time.

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4 hours ago, Northmoor said:

Are you seriously suggesting that someone who has done enough model making to advance to the stage of building their own locomotives - which is a tiny, tiny proportion of model railway enthusiasts - would give it all up and walk away from the hobby entirely because they'd bought a wrong sized motor?

 

Not everyone coming back to the hobby starts at the bottom.

 

In my case my re-entry (many moons ago) was a K's kit.  Thankfully it went together well and ran - not always guaranteed as I later found.  But if  it had been a disaster I am not sure if I would have continued.

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9 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

That would be the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway. I think that the title is perfectly clear in the context of Mansfield.

Good evening John,

 

The M&GNR locos only carried M&GN as their branding, no mention being made of its joint status (or that it's a railway). 

 

I would have thought the ampersand should have been replaced by 'and' to avoid any ambiguity in the title.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

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7 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Perhaps we should see Tony give a masterclass in building a kit for a small 19th-century 0-6-0 or 2-4-0 - the sort of simple engine that is ideally suited to the loco building beginner. Like me.

Good evening Stephen,

 

I don't think I could offer a masterclass in anything. Far from it! 

 

I have, however, built well over a score of 19th-Century locos (for others, not me, of course). Luckily, I've been able to hide the drive in most of them.

 

It's not a problem disguising the drive where a 19th-Century loco is a 'big' one. 

 

1067450591_JesseSimcompleteC202.jpg.5c976c80c76bd15bec422e1ebee02ef9.jpg

 

As with this DJH C2 I built for Jesse Sim. It has a DJH AM10 drive.

 

125525312_Klondike3254cover02.jpg.b20f61cd34dcfec3c16d08d01f0d6ab9.jpg

 

Painted so well by Geoff Haynes, it now resides in Australia.

 

Though not a 19th Century prototype........................

 

1294359118_J304.jpg.7043339cfd04b000b8f6b6c3fb388fde.jpg

 

A London Road J3 is certainly a small 0-6-0. 

 

And, with its wee Mashima and LRM gear mount, the drive is very small.

 

2000988999_J326.jpg.deee9e3704bcdb3afc8e95b78b8e75a1.jpg

 

And is invisible.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, micklner said:

Tony

 

The main problem is as I have already said before and again yesterday , and again you have totally missed in your above reply is the size of the Gearboxes and attached Motors

.

Where has anyone ever said ten minutes to build a Gearbox ??.

I have built at least 15 High Level Boxes with suitable sized  Motors ,all are virually silent in operation for under £30 a time. All are hidden and much better value than DJH. I have also built multiboxes years ago ,when nothing else was available. I wouldnt even consider one nowdays, they are old technology as are XO4 motors . Portescaps havent been available for years as far as I know.

 

DJH boxes are simply too large for  many many  Locos. People reading your comments ,especially new comers will read that as sound advice from a expert that must be the thing to buy,  they  then waste a lot of money on something that is  totally useless for their chosen kit . Buying any kit is not a cheap exercise, and  that is without paying for all the add ons needed as well. That advice as read, will not enhance your reputation I am afraid.

 

At that point they may walk away from the hobby, never too return.

Good evening Mick,

 

My full reply to your post went missing when RMweb disappeared a while ago. 

 

The main gist was..........

 

'As others have noted, they're too big for many applications'. 

 

Where has my statement above totally missed the point about the size of DJH 'boxes?

 

And, if you look back through this thread, it was a user of High-Level 'boxes who claimed he could build one in ten minutes.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Good evening Mick,

 

My full reply to your post went missing when RMweb disappeared a while ago. 

 

The main gist was..........

 

'As others have noted, they're too big for many applications'. 

 

Where has my statement above totally missed the point about the size of DJH 'boxes?

 

And, if you look back through this thread, it was a user of High-Level 'boxes who claimed he could build one in ten minutes.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

Out of interest, I have today assembled a High Level roadrunner plus. From laying out the parts to fitting leads to the motor and testing was 34 minutes. To be fair, the first few I built did take quite a bit longer, but I've now built several ;)

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20 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Good evening Mick,

 

My full reply to your post went missing when RMweb disappeared a while ago. 

 

The main gist was..........

 

'As others have noted, they're too big for many applications'. 

 

Where has my statement above totally missed the point about the size of DJH 'boxes?

 

And, if you look back through this thread, it was a user of High-Level 'boxes who claimed he could build one in ten minutes.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

Tony

       A great shame your original reply was lost.

 

       Quote

 

"I think what impressed me most was the smooth-running you've achieved (I'm sure you'll fix that 'BB'). The use of the DJH ready-made motor/gearbox combination proved to me, once again, how well those prime-movers work. Yes, they are expensive, but the time saved by not having to fiddle with the making of gearboxes (however well-designed) more than makes up for the price differential; and they work perfectly at source."

 

        You promote the DJH offerings, this has been done on numerous occasions , never suggesting other methods . DJH boxes have very limited uses, and are very overpriced.  As are their now very old kits, which have not been improved for many years. As others have said since your quoted post , time saving is normally only needed by proffesional kit builders.

 

 

        Re High Level Boxes ,

        Ten minutes is obviously utter nonsense ,so why continue to repeat that statement, whenever that was written ? . I have no recollection of ever reading that post, and was probably meant as a joke reply at some point in the past. I can build one in 30 minutes if I wanted to luckily for me, mine are built at my leisure , not to any time scales.

 

Mick

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9 hours ago, micklner said:

Tony

 

The main problem is as I have already said before and again yesterday , and again you have totally missed in your above reply is the size of the Gearboxes and attached Motors

.

Where has anyone ever said ten minutes to build a Gearbox ??.

I have built at least 15 High Level Boxes with suitable sized  Motors ,all are virually silent in operation for under £30 a time. All are hidden and much better value than DJH. I have also built multiboxes years ago ,when nothing else was available. I wouldnt even consider one nowdays, they are old technology as are XO4 motors . Portescaps havent been available for years as far as I know.

 

DJH boxes are simply too large for  many many  Locos. People reading your comments ,especially new comers will read that as sound advice from a expert that must be the thing to buy,  they  then waste a lot of money on something that is  totally useless for their chosen kit . Buying any kit is not a cheap exercise, and  that is without paying for all the add ons needed as well. That advice as read, will not enhance your reputation I am afraid.

 

At that point they may walk away from the hobby, never too return.

I am 80% sure it was you Mick that said you could build a HL gearbox in 10 minutes, if so, well done, you’ve been using them for a while and have mastered the technique.
 

When I first decided to build a loco, a SEF J39, It was horrible, body and motor, but it was my first one it didn’t bother me. I next decided to do refurbish a J10 I bought cheaply on ebay, Tony suggested the smaller DJH box, not because he thinks that’s the only one to use but for it’s ease of getting it to work. For a newcomer it was such as an easy route, less daunting, I was able to get a kit-built loco to run in a short amount of time and give myself a confidence boost. 
 

It all comes down to personal preference, I am still a new comer to building locos, wagons, this might sound snobby, but I think I’ve mastered wagons. Coaches I’m getting there, but locos still have a shadow of doubt about them for me. Using the DJH box takes away some of that doubt that clouds my mind, all I have to do is build the chassis straight and true and make sure the body looks as good as my wagon. I know I just have to plonk the motor in and wire it correctly and it should move. I’ve bought about five or six motors from them and two kits and I’ve never paid the 80 pound you say they are, maybe it was my charm on the phone or they wanted to get me off the phone….who knows. 
 

So if I’m happy with using a DJH motor why can’t I say that I’m happy? Tony as well, he has explained time and time again HE feels that they’re the best for him. If It was flipped and Tony used HL gearboxes the most I think he’d still tell me to try a DJH box out to start with. For a beginner they’re dead easy to get into a loco. “They’re too expensive”, “you can’t hide them” who cares, I’m less worried about seeing a motor in a cab that’s disguised by a crew and other bits and more worried about making sure I finish a layout by the time I’m 60. I said this the last time this ridiculous argument surfaced for the 500th time using DJH saves me a good 40 minutes of building time that can be used for something else, like finishing the loco, coach or wagon, or in my case now rebuilding a layout. More time for getting track straight and wiring finished. 
 

Tony’s been kit building for years and I’ve seen his work in the flesh and how sweetly everything runs, why wouldn’t I as a beginner, strive to get the same superb running? If that means a DJH box then a DJH box I’ll get, because that’s what I’ve seen and used. I’m not saying I’ll never use a HL box, I’ll surely give it a go, but that won’t happen until I can build a loco without stressing out and having to have half a dozen smokes and bottle of Johnny Walker. 
 

EDIT: just seen your above post Mick, I thought it was you who said 10 minutes, but it wasn’t my apologies. But someone did say they could build one in 10 minutes. 
 

Perhaps for my next loco kits I’ll get a HL kit and you could walk me through it? 

Edited by Jesse Sim
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22 minutes ago, micklner said:

, mine are built at my leisure , not to any time scales.

 

Mick

But that’s the thing, some people are on the clock, they have other commitments, could be a family or work. For me it’s work, I work 50 hours a week and still balance a social life, I like to get out on my Harley and go for trips, I like to get out and go camping for a weekend. I also have a missus that expects attention 23 hours of the day……. Ah to be young and in love……..

 

So for me to get any modelling in time is of the essence, not that I rush things far from it, but that 30 minutes can be cut down to 5 using the DJH box and I can finish the loco

quicker and move onto another project.

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3 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Good evening John,

 

The M&GNR locos only carried M&GN as their branding, no mention being made of its joint status (or that it's a railway). 

 

I would have thought the ampersand should have been replaced by 'and' to avoid any ambiguity in the title.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

A better way might have been Railways' (possessive plural).

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1 hour ago, Jesse Sim said:

I like to get out on my Harley and go for trips, I like to get out and go camping for a weekend. I also have a missus that expects attention 23 hours of the day

Two out of three ain't bad...

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I think this is the third round of the great gearbox debate this year.  I find peoples attitudes to it fascinating. I didn’t comment previously but LNER4479 (I think) made mention of modellers showing their work on particular gearboxes, but there wasn’t, from memory much take up. I did at the time though take a photo of the variety of gearboxes and motors that I have collected. There are a few more of each but they’re in the boxes of kits yet to be made. I had also intended to make a few up but other stuff got in the way.

 

1072786794_MotorsandGearboxes.jpg.d926a3b66c82a198a823f8117b85c19e.jpg

 

I suspect every modeller aspires to a sweetly running chassis, gearbox and motor combination. I think I relayed a few months back on this thread my trials and tribulations of trying to get my first loco, a  DJH Somerset & Dorset 7F, to run. Due to my lack of knowledge, experience, skill and tools it was not a roaring success with a D13 screwed to the chassis driving a very course Romford gearset. The chassis was noisy and jerky, but it didn’t make me give up; I found other ways of achieving the same and I made what I consider a passable working model. It was the start of a journey.

 

As I progressed my ability has improved, but there’s still a long way to go. I have amassed about 30 kits to build – some from companies others’ on here wouldn’t dream of making as, in their experience, they’re such poor quality kits, but I’ll give them ago. In the selection of gearboxes above there are some that will be more difficult than others. There are two HL boxes in the picture and a cheapy from Puffers, I suspect it would take me longer to get the puffers box to run as sweetly as the HL ones. There are also two DJH boxes, bought in 2000 when you could buy them to assemble yourself.  One was intended for a DJH 4MT 2-6-4T, the other yet another S&D7F but I now know its too big for that, so I’ll fit it in the Gibson Black 5 just bought via Tony. I suppose what I’m just trying to say is that there isn’t one answer that fits all. We all have different thresholds for giving up and walking away from something and that threshold will probably be related to how committed we are to modelling what we are trying to achieve.

 

I think its always worth reminding ourselves, that for most of us, this is just a hobby and its supposed to be fun.

 

Kind regards,

 

Iain

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6 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

I don't think I could offer a masterclass in anything. Far from it! 

 

You are too modest; you possibly don't want the magazine editors for whom you write to read that.

  

6 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

It's not a problem disguising the drive where a 19th-Century loco is a 'big' one. 

As with this DJH C2 I built for Jesse Sim. It has a DJH AM10 drive.

 

In my post a suggested a typical 19th century 0-6-0 or 2-4-0; in return you produce one of the handful of 19th-century 10-wheelers.

  

6 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Though not a 19th Century prototype........................

A London Road J3 is certainly a small 0-6-0. 

 

Hardly small; and as you say, not 19th century, being the Gresley rebuild of earlier Stirling locomotives, if I've understood the Encyclopedia correctly. (GNR J4, relabelled LNER J3 - very confusing.) With its 4'8" boiler, it's definitely in the category of large 20th century 0-6-0s; on a par with the Midland H-boilered 0-6-0s - much the same as a 3F but without the Belpaire firebox.

 

Although I don't know much about GNR engines, the sort of thing I had in mind was Stirling's J9 (LNER J7) 0-6-0 or E3 (LNER E1) 2-4-0.

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57 minutes ago, Iain.d said:

I think this is the third round of the great gearbox debate this year.  I find peoples attitudes to it fascinating. I didn’t comment previously but LNER4479 (I think) made mention of modellers showing their work on particular gearboxes, but there wasn’t, from memory much take up. I did at the time though take a photo of the variety of gearboxes and motors that I have collected. There a few more of each but they’re in the boxes of kits yet to be made. I had also intended to make a few up but other stuff got in the way.

 

1072786794_MotorsandGearboxes.jpg.d926a3b66c82a198a823f8117b85c19e.jpg

 

I suspect every modeller aspires to a sweetly running chassis, gearbox and motor combination. I think I relayed a few months back on this thread my trials and tribulations of trying to get my first loco, a  DJH Somerset & Dorset 7F, to run. Due to my lack of knowledge, experience, skill and tools it was not a roaring success with a D13 screwed to the chassis driving a very course Romford gearset. The chassis was noisy and jerky, but it didn’t make me give up; I found other ways of achieving the same and I made what I consider a passable working model. It was the start of a journey.

 

As I progressed my ability has improved, but there’s still a long way to go. I have amassed about 30 kits to build – some from companies others’ on here wouldn’t dream of making as, in their experience, they’re such poor quality kits, but I’ll give them ago. In the selection of gearboxes above there are some that will be more difficult than others. There are two HL boxes in the picture and a cheapy from Puffers, I suspect it would take me longer to get the puffers box to run as sweetly as the HL ones. There are also two DJH boxes, bought in 2000 when you could buy them to assemble yourself.  One was intended for a DJH 4MT 2-6-4T, the other yet another S&D7F but I now know its too big for that, so I’ll fit it in the Gibson Black 5 just bought via Tony. I suppose what I’m just trying to say is that there isn’t one answer that fits all. We all have different thresholds for giving up and walking away from something and that threshold will probably be related to how committed we are to modelling.

 

I think its always worth reminding ourselves, that for most of us, this is just a hobby and its supposed to be fun.

 

Kind regards

Hi Iain,

 

I have a few HL gearboxes coming my way next week. I hope to construct one of my kits and I was just wondering where did you source your motors from?

Rest assured, I haven't got 30 kits to build only about 8 at the most.

I am going to start with either a J69 fro SEF.

I'm in NSW hence my interest.

 

Regards

 

RodneyV

 

 

 

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On 05/04/2021 at 15:10, Barry O said:

£80 is a ridiculous amount to pay for a motor and gearbox.. It takes very little time to build a Hi Level One, whose gears are the same as those that DJH use (apparently) The motor can be sourced from China for £2  ( and comparing the  ones I have to the DJH ones they are very similar) and even I, the master bodger, can get these combos to work.. and Portescaps on the second hand market are no longer such as "precious" item.. selling for about £60.  I would imagine that a professional builder would knock out a high level gearbox and motor combo in no more than ten minutes.

 

Only problem at the moment is that Chris is on Furlough as he can't get some of the component parts to produce High Level Gearboxes.

 

Baz

 

Found it.....

 

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8 hours ago, Jesse Sim said:

I am 80% sure it was you Mick that said you could build a HL gearbox in 10 minutes, if so, well done, you’ve been using them for a while and have mastered the technique.
 

When I first decided to build a loco, a SEF J39, It was horrible, body and motor, but it was my first one it didn’t bother me. I next decided to do refurbish a J10 I bought cheaply on ebay, Tony suggested the smaller DJH box, not because he thinks that’s the only one to use but for it’s ease of getting it to work. For a newcomer it was such as an easy route, less daunting, I was able to get a kit-built loco to run in a short amount of time and give myself a confidence boost. 
 

It all comes down to personal preference, I am still a new comer to building locos, wagons, this might sound snobby, but I think I’ve mastered wagons. Coaches I’m getting there, but locos still have a shadow of doubt about them for me. Using the DJH box takes away some of that doubt that clouds my mind, all I have to do is build the chassis straight and true and make sure the body looks as good as my wagon. I know I just have to plonk the motor in and wire it correctly and it should move. I’ve bought about five or six motors from them and two kits and I’ve never paid the 80 pound you say they are, maybe it was my charm on the phone or they wanted to get me off the phone….who knows. 
 

So if I’m happy with using a DJH motor why can’t I say that I’m happy? Tony as well, he has explained time and time again HE feels that they’re the best for him. If It was flipped and Tony used HL gearboxes the most I think he’d still tell me to try a DJH box out to start with. For a beginner they’re dead easy to get into a loco. “They’re too expensive”, “you can’t hide them” who cares, I’m less worried about seeing a motor in a cab that’s disguised by a crew and other bits and more worried about making sure I finish a layout by the time I’m 60. I said this the last time this ridiculous argument surfaced for the 500th time using DJH saves me a good 40 minutes of building time that can be used for something else, like finishing the loco, coach or wagon, or in my case now rebuilding a layout. More time for getting track straight and wiring finished. 
 

Tony’s been kit building for years and I’ve seen his work in the flesh and how sweetly everything runs, why wouldn’t I as a beginner, strive to get the same superb running? If that means a DJH box then a DJH box I’ll get, because that’s what I’ve seen and used. I’m not saying I’ll never use a HL box, I’ll surely give it a go, but that won’t happen until I can build a loco without stressing out and having to have half a dozen smokes and bottle of Johnny Walker. 
 

EDIT: just seen your above post Mick, I thought it was you who said 10 minutes, but it wasn’t my apologies. But someone did say they could build one in 10 minutes. 
 

Perhaps for my next loco kits I’ll get a HL kit and you could walk me through it? 

Not a problem , get ready with your soldering iron !!!!! I look forward to it, and save yourself a lot of money in the future !!

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2 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

You are too modest; you possibly don't want the magazine editors for whom you write to read that.

  

 

In my post a suggested a typical 19th century 0-6-0 or 2-4-0; in return you produce one of the handful of 19th-century 10-wheelers.

  

 

Hardly small; and as you say, not 19th century, being the Gresley rebuild of earlier Stirling locomotives, if I've understood the Encyclopedia correctly. (GNR J4, relabelled LNER J3 - very confusing.) With its 4'8" boiler, it's definitely in the category of large 20th century 0-6-0s; on a par with the Midland H-boilered 0-6-0s - much the same as a 3F but without the Belpaire firebox.

 

Although I don't know much about GNR engines, the sort of thing I had in mind was Stirling's J9 (LNER J7) 0-6-0 or E3 (LNER E1) 2-4-0.

Or try a LNER Y7 or Y8 they are very small !!

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3 hours ago, Compound2632 said:

 

You are too modest; you possibly don't want the magazine editors for whom you write to read that.

  

 

In my post a suggested a typical 19th century 0-6-0 or 2-4-0; in return you produce one of the handful of 19th-century 10-wheelers.

  

 

Hardly small; and as you say, not 19th century, being the Gresley rebuild of earlier Stirling locomotives, if I've understood the Encyclopedia correctly. (GNR J4, relabelled LNER J3 - very confusing.) With its 4'8" boiler, it's definitely in the category of large 20th century 0-6-0s; on a par with the Midland H-boilered 0-6-0s - much the same as a 3F but without the Belpaire firebox.

 

Although I don't know much about GNR engines, the sort of thing I had in mind was Stirling's J9 (LNER J7) 0-6-0 or E3 (LNER E1) 2-4-0.

Good morning Stephen,

 

All the magazine editors know me well enough so as not to be influenced by anything I write.

 

My apologies for not satisfying your 'brief', but I don't have any digital photographs of the LNWR 'Precedent' I built (in EM), nor the trio of outside-framed GWR saddle tanks I put together some little time ago. 

 

Will this do?

 

158070084_BM0-6-005.jpg.666d9d869a60f0f1b3bb00f729600791.jpg

 

847347443_BM0-6-023.jpg.3d00253eaa0b46e5458769ef67c03392.jpg

 

766934160_BM0-6-024.jpg.430c1dab42f8a28d5ac3af6e24f6f85a.jpg

 

 

Probably not, though I don't have pictures of the Aberdeen-based Z something or other I built for a friend either.

 

The definition of 'small' is a relative thing. When 90% of a layout's loco stud is RA9, then a J3 is positively 'tiny'.

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Iain.d said:

Following up on modelling previously shown, I have just about finished constructing this Johnson 3500 gallon tender and thought I’d show progress.

 

The chassis runs nicely and I have the option to add some sort of pick up assembly to the middle frame spacers if necessary.

 

452956462_GeorgeNorton-Johnson3500GallonTender(04).jpg.d26c79820a6f5e01fda01e48e7de366f.jpg

 

I don’t think the tender front is right; there are no instructions with the kit and the line drawing provided with it is wrong. I have no photo’s showing all the front, a trawl of the net showed lots of examples but nothing exact, albeit there was some good stuff on the Scalefour website. Given these tenders were in service for more than 60 years, differences are inevitable; I accept mine is a best guess. Even with things like the tool boxes seeming to have no standard type or fit, I found some tenders had a single long box, some had doors that were hinged to open upwards (as I do mine), some were hinged to open downwards, some were chests.

 

1521585730_GeorgeNorton-Johnson3500GallonTender(06).jpg.de289b444ae62fb5162c0fa640d1d3ca.jpg

 

Everything constructed on it so far has been soldered – I think a first for me as I will often resort to epoxy for attaching the fiddley bits. It is ‘neater’ than I thought it would be, in particular the handrails and coal rails. I managed to keep the solder blobs to a minimum.

 

854135621_GeorgeNorton-Johnson3500GallonTender(05).jpg.aaef04a8d558be558107decbd69f4f23.jpg

 

The whitemetal axle boxes will be soldered but I need to locate the low melt solder first. It’ll be painted soon, after which I'll add the buffers and the coupling.  And I haven't yet worked out exactly the drawbar configuration to the loco. Need to find some coal too…not much of that around here.

 

Kind regards,

 

Iain

I don't think I've seen a Midland tender like that, the vast majority had one standard MR box (the ones with a rounded top)  across the middle, these look more like LNER boxes. I don't think any of these had any sort of division plate behind the toolbox either.

 

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It's a pity my comments on gearboxes were 'swallowed up' when RMweb went down for a short time last night. If I recall, they went rather like this (with regard to DJH and High-Level ones).

 

DJH.

 

1. They come ready made-up, just drop into the frames with ease and are quick and easy to install. The only thing to watch out for is the small size of the grubscrew holding the final gear wheel on to the driven axle.

 

2. Every one I've used (over 50 now) has been super-smooth, quiet and beautifully-responsive to the controller. 

 

3. They're very powerful, especially in large locos (the equal of a Portescap). 

 

4. They're expensive (though not compared with a Portescap).

 

5. They're difficult to hide in smaller prototypes. 

 

High-Level

 

1. They have to be made-up.

 

2. If made-up properly, they're very smooth and quiet. Granted, my experience of making them is limited (I built/installed them in an A5 and L1, with super-smooth performance, though no better than a DJH equivalent). I have, however, a couple of locos fitted with them (not built by me) which are very noisy (though they've never really been run). 

 

3. The pair I've made is more than adequate for 12-wheeled, big tanks. I assume they're powerful enough for Pacifics/V2s? 

 

4. They're considerably cheaper than a DJH motor/gearbox.

 

5. Because of the multitude of variations, they're ideal for 'hiding' in small prototypes.

 

Are the above ten points fair? 

 

All the above comments are based entirely on my own experiences. Naturally, I'll recommend something I've used extensively, but that doesn't mean (by implication) that I won't recommend something I have less experience of. 

 

The debate has become a bit adversarial, which I don't think I started. It's a matter of choice. As a one-time professional loco builder, my clients insisted on quiet, smooth, sweet and powerful performance from the (usually-big) locos I made for them. I insist upon those things for my own locos. If a prime-moving product gives me that at source, is rapid to install and saves me time then it's ideal for me. Having received a loco from me (painted by Ian Rathbone or Geoff Haynes), no client ever complained about the price.

 

It's not my place to claim that my locos run to a client's satisfaction. If anyone on here has a loco built by me, fitted with a DJH motor/gearbox combination and wishes to comment, then it's up to them. 

 

Finally, as implied above, DJH does not have a monopoly on good-running gearboxes. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, RodneyV said:

Hi Iain,

 

I have a few HL gearboxes coming my way next week. I hope to construct one of my kits and I was just wondering where did you source your motors from?

Rest assured, I haven't got 30 kits to build only about 8 at the most.

I am going to start with either a J69 fro SEF.

I'm in NSW hence my interest.

 

Regards

 

RodneyV

 

 

 

Hi Rodney,

 

Other than the single Mashima, the motors are all eBay purchases. Most are branded Mitsumi with 1.5mm shafts and are dimensionally about 20mm x 15mm x 12mm. I can’t remember the cost but they wouldn’t have been much individually or for a bag of 5 and the postage was probably free. The larger motors have 2mm shafts.

 

It is comments on RMWeb that caused me to buy the ones I did. Some of the larger ones (toward the back left hand side of my picture above) are very similar / the same as those that have been shown on things like Michael Edge’s thread pages – I think they’re Mabuchi.

 

I know they will all perform differently so I’ve bought a variety to try out. Hopefully I’ll be able to standardise on them. I’m not expecting them to last as long as the likes of Mashima, so I feel it would be prudent to have some spares.

 

Kind regards,

 

Iain

Edited by Iain.d
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