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GEM J36 kit


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I have an old GEM J36 body kit that I have been thinking about building and need a chassis for.

 

I know there is a nice etched chassis available, however I do not think the GEM body is worth the expense once the cost of chassis, wheels, motor and gears are considered.

 

What I would like to find is a ready to run chassis with similar wheel diameter and spacing.

 

According to RCTS Vol 5, the J36 has 5'-0" dia. wheels and a 7'-6" x 8'-0" spacing - any suggestions as to a suitable RTR chassis?

 

Thanks in advance,

Steve

Canada

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Steve

 

The etched chassis is probably the best idea and if all is bought new you are right it will be quite expensive, but you can source the parts for a lot less second hand.

 

I have a GEM (George E Mellor) version of the J83 and its not too bad, I have certainly seen a lot worse. The Newer models may have been improved in quality, the 2 I bought are better and improved

 

I have a couple of GEM etched chassis (2-4-2T & 4-4-2T) and they are quite superb, so the etched one available from Lytchett might be a goo option. I have an old cast one which I may use when I get round to building it and they do come up cheaply now and then. My instructions states the K's HM2P Motor, where as the W&H catalogue states the K's mk 2 mptor

 

Yes they are 20 mm wheels and Markits are just over £5 each, but again they do come up on Ebay for a lot less. Look for ones on chassis, they can be picked up for a few pounds only. Same with older motors, just keep your eyes open. Or you could buy some Gibson wheels

 

You can actually buy better quality components, hand rail knobs, funnel etc to improve it , Bambi staples for lamp irons, what about your spares box ?

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Steve

 

The etched chassis is probably the best idea and if all is bought new you are right it will be quite expensive, but you can source the parts for a lot less second hand.

 

I have a GEM (George E Mellor) version of the J83 and its not too bad, I have certainly seen a lot worse. The Newer models may have been improved in quality, the 2 I bought are better and improved

 

I have a couple of GEM etched chassis (2-4-2T & 4-4-2T) and they are quite superb, so the etched one available from Lytchett might be a goo option. I have an old cast one which I may use when I get round to building it and they do come up cheaply now and then. My instructions states the K's HM2P Motor, where as the W&H catalogue states the K's mk 2 mptor

 

Yes they are 20 mm wheels and Markits are just over £5 each, but again they do come up on Ebay for a lot less. Look for ones on chassis, they can be picked up for a few pounds only. Same with older motors, just keep your eyes open. Or you could buy some Gibson wheels

 

You can actually buy better quality components, hand rail knobs, funnel etc to improve it , Bambi staples for lamp irons, what about your spares box ?

Hi John,

 

Thanks for your suggestions.

 

Lytchett doesn't list the J36 or J36 chassis any more and most of his chassis are around the £30 mark which is close to the Eastfield models at £33 but currently not available.

 

I estimate parts bought new for a chassis build would be about £100:

 

Chassis £33

Wheels Markits £30

Gears Comet £14.50

Motor Comet $18.50

Crank Pins £2

Axles £2.50

Total £100.50

 

Whereas a ready to run Bachmann tank engine is typically about £75 new and less S/H and I could probably sell the surplus body.

 

No problem improving the J36 body kit - that is what I plan to do, but if I could save a few £ on the chassis and also save a lot of time that would be great!

 

Steve

Canada

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Steve

 

#Sorry was looking at the J83 not the J36. Looking at the trusty W&H catalogue it uses the J83 chassis which looks like 30 mm x 32 mm. No idea if this is correct for the J36. Would a RTR chassis fit a whitemetal body anyway

 

Nothing wrong with your maths re the parts for a new chassis, but my suggestion was to source the parts s/h. takes a bit of time but you can pick up Romford wheels quite cheaply (I have about 250 in my wheel box). if you buy a chassis with Romford Wheels it will come with motor and gears, which can either be used or sold, Look for re-wheeled RTR locos (collectors don't want them). Leave a search on Ebay for J83 & J36 you never know. Just have a look at what's about.

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...What I would like to find is a ready to run chassis with similar wheel diameter and spacing.

 

According to RCTS Vol 5, the J36 has 5'-0" dia. wheels and a 7'-6" x 8'-0" spacing - any suggestions as to a suitable RTR chassis?...

The sources I have agree on a 15'6" loco wheelbase, don't have the spacing. The nearest thing available in RTR OO is a Bachmann 57xx pannier chassis, 7'3"+8'3", correct for overall wheelbase; the centre axle may be slightly off position. Measure the splasher spacing on the kit to see if you can live with that. The wheel diameter is undersize over treads for 5', but close to scale for a worn tyre over the flanges. Typically good news for a whitemetal kit, as there is then clearance enough inside the spashers without too much too shave out to eliminate any risk of short circuits while running.

 

If you go this way the one you want is the current Bachmann 57xx model with wiper pick up. Earlier split chassis Bachmann and all other makes are NBG for various reasons. The current Bachmann chassis has the forward representation of the boiler underside as a screw on part, easily removed and altered to suit the new subject.

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The sources I have agree on a 15'6" loco wheelbase, don't have the spacing. The nearest thing available in RTR OO is a Bachmann 57xx pannier chassis, 7'3"+8'3", correct for overall wheelbase; the centre axle may be slightly off position. Measure the splasher spacing on the kit to see if you can live with that. The wheel diameter is undersize over treads for 5', but close to scale for a worn tyre over the flanges. Typically good news for a whitemetal kit, as there is then clearance enough inside the spashers without too much too shave out to eliminate any risk of short circuits while running.

 

If you go this way the one you want is the current Bachmann 57xx model with wiper pick up. Earlier split chassis Bachmann and all other makes are NBG for various reasons. The current Bachmann chassis has the forward representation of the boiler underside as a screw on part, easily removed and altered to suit the new subject.

 

Thanks, I shall definitely consider the 57xx chassis option.

I don't think 1mm off on the centre axle is a problem unless the kit does not have scale spacing on the splashers.

 

Steve

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Have a quick look and measure of the footplate. If it does foul find the splashers and see how thick the metal is, I have been fiddling with the splasers on my George the Fifth and there is plenty of metal you can thin down if required to find some clearance

 

Thats the beauty of a GEM kit, if might have been cruder than the more expensive options but you can fettle and mess around with them to make it work

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Steve.

For your info, Eastfield Models has been taken over by NBR Developments, their website is:- http://www.nbr4mm.co.uk/locochassis/9203.htm

Andy

Thanks Andy,

 

I had checked the NBR Developments site, however the J36 chassis is currently unavailable.

At this point I am still leaning towards fitting a 57xx chassis, however if I decide to do an "all bells and whistles" model then I think the Eastfield Models chassis will be the way to go.

 

Steve

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks Andy,

 

I had checked the NBR Developments site, however the J36 chassis is currently unavailable.

At this point I am still leaning towards fitting a 57xx chassis, however if I decide to do an "all bells and whistles" model then I think the Eastfield Models chassis will be the way to go.

 

Steve

Hi Steve,

 

If you want to go for the 'Bells and Whistles' approach to the J36...

 

Buy the PDK kit - brass body and nickel silver chassis.

 

http://www.pdkmodels.co.uk/index.htm

 

Thanks

 

no connection - just a satisfied modeller!

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Hi Steve,

 

If you want to go for the 'Bells and Whistles' approach to the J36...

 

Buy the PDK kit - brass body and nickel silver chassis.

 

http://www.pdkmodels.co.uk/index.htm

 

Thanks

 

no connection - just a satisfied modeller!

Hi Scottish Modeller,

 

Thanks for the advice - I am sure the PDK kit knocks the socks off the 30 year old GEM model. However, I am a Yorkshireman by birth, and I already have the GEM body kit, so it will be hard to free up the extra coppers needed for a PDK kit!

 

Steve

Canada

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Hi Scottish Modeller,

 

Thanks for the advice - I am sure the PDK kit knocks the socks off the 30 year old GEM model. However, I am a Yorkshireman by birth, and I already have the GEM body kit, so it will be hard to free up the extra coppers needed for a PDK kit!

 

Steve

Canada

Hi Steve,

 

I'm half Scottish and half Yorkshire...

 

You can imagine how deep my pockets are and how tight the purse strings are.....

 

I'm also quite happy with my original GEM J36 - as well as the PDK one that has sat in it's box since built - waiting for paint.

 

Thanks

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Hi Steve,

 

I'm half Scottish and half Yorkshire...

 

You can imagine how deep my pockets are and how tight the purse strings are.....

 

I'm also quite happy with my original GEM J36 - as well as the PDK one that has sat in it's box since built - waiting for paint.

 

Thanks

LOL - I can imagine!

 

Steve

Canada

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I'm half Scottish and half Yorkshire...

 

So am I and although I am careful with money, I learned some time ago that I prefer to save up to buy what I want, rather than buy would I could afford at the time and then wish I had waited.

 

I also decided that whitemetal kits weren't for me, largely courtesy of the GEM LNWR kits I bought. Having discovered etched kits I found I got much more enjoyment from building them and that the finished model was, to my eyes, "better".

 

Jol

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I built one years ago, in 18.83 mm gague, 4mm scale.

 

The chassis was scratch-built and based on compensation principles, it used Sharman wheels, Gibson coupling rods, Gibson brakegear and various bits and pieces, with a Portescap motor gearbox it went well.

 

It featured in Railway Modeller one month, but was sold on when I went 7mm.

The chassis was easy enough, filed and sawn up from 15 thou brass to the shape I got from an Isinglass drawing. It had Perseverance hornblocks and used Perseverance frame spacers.

Quite enjoyable and was finished as 65243 "Maude" in late BR days, complete with hand-painted nameplate....I used to be able to paint moustaches on Subbuteo players, so that was simple enough.

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  • 3 months later...

Update....

 

I finally decided to go JeffP's route (OO not 18.83) and build my own chassis. I used 18 thou NS and some Gibson coupling rods I had in stock - actually the front half of one set and the back half of another to get the proper spacing. I spent a lot of time looking up photos on the web to get the brake gear and sandbox arrangement but it all seemed to go together OK. I had 6 x 20mm insulated Romford wheels and used those. Power is with a 10 x 24 motor and High Level gear box. The tender chassis was cobbled together the same way.

 

The GEM superstructure went together fairly easily, however the footplate distorts with the slightest pressure so had to be continually checked for straightness and square. The boiler is still not quite round as it has thick internal ribs which make it tough to bend into shape. Many details were added with bits of brass, especially in the areas of the cab and backhead and the sanding rods and levers. The fun started when I tried to set the superstructure on the chassis and keep the footplate at the correct height as the splashers fouled the wheel flanges. I sanded, filed and scraped away splasher material until they were about the thickness of a cigarette paper and had a hair clearance to the flanges. However a soon as I picked up the loco, the footplate distorted a bit and the flanges were touching again. I decided that the best option was to remove the old Romford wheels and get some new Markits 20mm 14 spoke wheels as they have flanges about 0.5mm smaller so would give greater clearance without the worry of touching the splashers.

 

Everything is now ready for final cleaning and then the paint shop where it will become 65222 Somme in around 1962.

 

post-9373-0-09491300-1408461545_thumb.jpg

 

post-9373-0-43251600-1408461496_thumb.jpg

 

post-9373-0-90607400-1408461529_thumb.jpg

 

All in all, I think the old GEM kit scrubs up reasonably well with a bit of effort. I do prefer building a well thought out etched kit, such as produced by High Level or Dave Bradwell, but overall this was a fun and satisfying build.

 

 

 

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Excellent Steve!  I have a GEM Cauliflower (body and Lytchett chassis which is very good by the way).  I agree about the footplate - very wimbly.  I'm building mine to EM with Markits wheels.  I think Romfords have deeper flanges than Markits and I recall machining down some Romfords because of this.

 

John

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Excellent Steve!  I have a GEM Cauliflower (body and Lytchett chassis which is very good by the way).  I agree about the footplate - very wimbly.  I'm building mine to EM with Markits wheels.  I think Romfords have deeper flanges than Markits and I recall machining down some Romfords because of this.

 

John

Hi John,

 

The overall dimensions and shape were OK otherwise I would not have gone ahead.

 

By the way, I have the Gaugemaster GM05 Non-Acid Safety Flux in stock now - I haven't had time to try it yet.

 

Steve

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I agree, the overall dimensions must be right.  I've abandoned conversion of some Hornby and Dapol wagons because they've messed up that.

 

I wonder if the flux works on regular 145/188 solder?  I suspect it will.

 

John

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I think that is just utterly superb and shows how with some thought and detailing the GEM kits can still stand up and be counted.

 

Did you manufacture the tender coal rails yourself?

 

The footplates by design were left as thick as they could be but were known to be the weak point of the kit, especially on the larger locos such as the LNWR Prince of Wales.

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The new up dated ones seem much better quality in the castings and type of metal used, coupled with etched chassis nice locos which either can be built as per kit or super detailed. May not stand up to the detail of modern etched kits or RTR models, but neither of these have the weight/mass that whitemetal kits have. Nice kits but am I correct in thinking its out of production at the moment and that it may be due to be re-released ?

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...All in all, I think the old GEM kit scrubs up reasonably well with a bit of effort. I do prefer building a well thought out etched kit, such as produced by High Level or Dave Bradwell, but overall this was a fun and satisfying build.

You have resuscitated that alright. Once painted it will more than satisfy and a close inspection will be needed to spot it for a whitemetal kit; fine for a working layout loco.

 

There is one thing I would do to it, to make it a reliable runner: line the inside of the splashers above the flanges with 10 thou plasticard strip, pre-formed to shape. The bendy footplate problem cannot be eliminated, but its liability to produce occasional shorts can be...

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I like the scratchbuilt chassis.

I do the same myself if there is no etched chassis available.

If there are no suitable Gibson rods, I usually use the universal rods, but occasionally do the same as you, using front of one set and rear of another, but only if I have potential use of the rods left over.

With a little work, a whitemetal kit gives a good result and the model is always a good puller on account of the intrinsic weight.

 

Thane of fife

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I think that is just utterly superb and shows how with some thought and detailing the GEM kits can still stand up and be counted.

 

Did you manufacture the tender coal rails yourself?

 

The footplates by design were left as thick as they could be but were known to be the weak point of the kit, especially on the larger locos such as the LNWR Prince of Wales.

 

The tender coal rails were an unused part from my David Bradwell J27 kit.

 

Steve

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