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Must get this 3F built before Bachman bring theirs out


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Many moons ago, when Moby Dick was still a tadpole, I aquired an Alan Gibson Midland 3F. It was originally bought to replace one off Gauxholme Viaduct, which had taken a hit on the floor from the fiddleyard at Sheffield show back in the late 80's. However as the layout was coming to the end of its exhibition career it never got built, and returned to the darkest depths of my kit cupboard.

 

When I started to build New Hey about 6 years ago, I knew that it would be resurrected at sometime as Ian Holt had photographed 43734 at Jubillee just outside New Hey, (and not exactly far from the new owner of the business which originally made the kit) so it was always on the cards to get built. The photo is from 21st May 1961 and its on a short 3 vehicle Rochdale / Oldham / Stoke parcels working, and the loco was based at Rose Grove at the time. It was also photoed at Rochdale station in the bay platform, so I actually have views of both sides! Aparently much unloved by ex L and Y enginemen, I suspect they were put on this working in the hope that some midlands shed would take them back!

 

Now Ive plenty of motive power to run the layout successfully I decided over the weekend to get the kit out and start building it. Today as Ive been off work marked the first day of honest toil (or at least so I thought) Instructions read the kit came out of the box:

 

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The instructions first say remove the footplate etch, and solder the rear steps followed by the valances and a few other bit, then build the chassis. Now Ive long since learned the hard way about not reading the instructions before starting work, and in this case i reckon the tactic worked, as the chassis instructions require you to bolt the two spacers which are used to bolt the chassis to the body be positioned on the footplate and then bolted to it (with paper in between to prevent soldering them to the footplate), enabling it to be correctly positioned when soldering the spacers to the frames. Now I know I can get round this by a careful bit of measuring and marking, but to try to do this when the steps and valances are on - maybe not!!

 

Having thought that one through I made to get on with prepping the chassis. The frames are milled with 6mm hornguide slots in them, so theres no option for rigid chassis so I decided to spring them - and to save money I will use the Gibson units supplied, not my favourite these days but they do work. Out came the frets, and the soldering Iron was plugged in. 2 mins later there was a curious smell from it as I was positioning the threaded washers for the adjusting screws. Checked to see nothing was on fire, all looked OK and started to put flux on he first two, picked the iron up and it was cold! It would appear my Antex 25 watt Iron has bit the dust sad.gif . I do have a 75 watt iron but I suspect that might incinerate the more delicate parts!

 

An inauspicious start but at least I read the instructions again and maybe have been forewarned of a couple more problem areas for what appears at first glance, a simple kit! Now to aquire a new soldering ironrolleyes.gif

 

When theres more progress to show (like a new iron) then expect further updates. I would like to have it running before bachman get theirs out (suppose that gives me a couple of years then!!)

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