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Brassmasters and a tale of two tenders


Guest Lyonesse

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Guest Lyonesse

Firstly, the picture of the Maunsell bogie tender is to show that I do now how to build something. This tender is fully scratchbuilt, mostly from the usual 0.010 N/S, with 0.008in N/S for the flare. The tender body is sitting on a block of wood, with the two scratchbuilt bogies in front of it. I think this model is finished, although I am still debating whether to add air cylinders to the top.

 

The second picture shows a completed Brassmasters Hawksworth tender. Although I've managed to finish it, it has to be one of the worst 4mm kits it's been my misfortune to meet and if I ever need another Hawksworth tender I'll scratchbuilt.

 

Alan Sibley may be many thinks, but I don't think he's a good kit designer.

 

1. Step 1 of the kit says take the one piece sides/ends etch, fold the corners and solder to the base. Firstly, the handrail holes, the beading and the stress relief caused by half etching cold rolled sheet means it will not bend cleanly. Secondly, there's nothing to guide you in bending and thirdly the finished metal is only about 0.006in thick and vulnerable to handling. Also, two etches are provided, one in brass and one in nickel. (Why?)

 

I soldered some guides to the base and added lots of reinforcement to the finished article, which also helped in getting the bends in the right place.

 

2. Apart from a small scribble for the brake gear, there are no diagrams in the instructions. (WTF?) There is a picture of the front of a protype tender, but it is really not clear where many of the details go.

 

3. Parts don't fit. This was noted in the MRJ review. I had to make replacement lockers, coal space floor, coal space sides, steps. Unforgiveable really. Also, there's evidence of carelessness. The etched holes for the horizontal handrails at the back make them different lengths. I had to fill and redrill holes.

 

4. Many of the etched parts are way too small and are only theoretical. OK, this is a common problem with etched kits and comes from lazy designers sitting at their CAD packages and not testing the resulting etch with a real soldering iron.

 

Against all that, you do get excellent castings and the etches provide a starting point if nothing else.

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2. Apart from a small scribble for the brake gear, there are no diagrams in the instructions. (WTF?) There is a picture of the front of a protype tender, but it is really not clear where many of the details go...

 

The lack of diagrams also plagues the "Royal Scot" kit from Brassmasters. The decision to rely only on written description must rank as one of the most unfortunate since Napoleon decided to conquer Russia.Shame, because the "Royal Scot" is magnificent. It should have been as straightforward as their "Black 5".

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