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On 04/10/2021 at 21:17, Headstock said:

 

Good evening 4069,

 

not completely the case, the Hornby model has the smokebox type fitted to the minority of the class. The majority had the type as represented by Tony's other two models.

 

See link.

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_11_2012/post-98-0-55738700-1352037973.jpg 294.52 kB · 0 downloads

My apologies- I didn't mean to suggest that any of the O1s had the wrong type of door. The point I was trying to make is that so often the shape of the smokebox door is a weak point in a whitemetal kit. Thick, clumsy-looking doors that do not match the subtle curve of the real thing spoil the face of the loco and stand out like a sore thumb. RTR manufacturers usually, but not always, get this right.

Edited by 4069
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6 hours ago, 4069 said:

My apologies- I didn't mean to suggest that any of the O1s had the wrong type of door. The point I was trying to make is that so often the shape of the smokebox door is a weak point in a whitemetal kit. Thick, clumsy-looking doors that do not match the subtle curve of the real thing spoil the face of the loco and stand out like a sore thumb. RTR manufacturers usually, but not always, get this right.

 

Good evening 4069,

 

neither, kit or RTR, has a monopoly on good or bad smokebox doors, or any other components.  No real B1 carried a smokebox door like the thing on  Bachmann model for example. My own O1 has a modified smokebox door grafted on from an old Hornby B17. As good as the Hornby O1 smokebox door is as received, it makes the renumbering of the loco limited, the chimney on the other hand is terrible, both the good and the bad can be cut off and replaced.

 

There have been plenty of good whitemetal and RTR smokebox doors over the years and plenty of bad whitemetal and RTR smokebox doors as well. I don't see any division in quality between the too based purely on material. As a builder, I can if I so wish, equip my kit or RTR locomotives with the best components I can find and without prejudice of material used, be that plastic, 3d print, whitemetal, or machined or cast brass.

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On 07/10/2021 at 20:17, Tony Wright said:

Al (Barry Ten) and his lovely wife visited today, not only to collect many models he'd bought some time ago but also to show me some of the projects he's working on or completed.

 

Including............

 

27XX.jpg.3cdb20b32f6b4726ea50badb12d3b436.jpg

 

A 27XX.

 

1154715561_Bird4-4-0.jpg.1951b7b27bfe083946b05962e60c67a3.jpg

 

A 'Bird'.

 

8939929_City4-4-0.jpg.a1722c30080f6164ae1745d2c8a5a75d.jpg

 

A 'City'.

 

2143936395_Cambrian2-4-0T.jpg.cf2631ddd95c917ed70759df2e0daa19.jpg

 

A Cambrian 2-4-0T.

 

490540956_DeanGoods.jpg.1823ff7c3de192e83d720db650d75bf1.jpg

 

A Dean Goods.

 

2027655312_SEFinecast61XX.jpg.306d2b5fd77a4d692c81cf09ed9171bb.jpg

 

A 61XX.

 

2133931571_DJHE1.jpg.d2f81e012c8ec973203d8e8301c15d46.jpg

 

An E1.

 

1433808173_BBSPITFIRE.jpg.e4835265674f904b7902655f5028e77a.jpg

 

The 'Battle of Britain' he's shown on here of late. 

 

915061433_AirfixCraftsmanSchools.jpg.d16d365c703fcc2eb1f0fdbf0031ef9b.jpg

 

And a 'Schools'.

 

All of the above ran superbly.

 

1772288282_SEFinecastSchools.jpg.d71ea9edcbd6d56bad2202d753847f9e.jpg

 

Just by way of a comparison, here's my 'Schools' (rather well-painted by Ian Rathbone).

 

Thanks for bringing these locos, Al. You can tell us all about them in due course, please. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Tony

 

Many thanks to you and Mo for making us both so welcome, and for a highly enjoyable running session. It was a real pleasure to see Little Bytham in the flesh again, and note the changes since my last visit. We had a good run back from Melton Mowbray (after stocking up on pies) to Aberdare.

 

Regarding the locos, the 27xx is the Hornby body on a Comet 57XX chassis. Other than adjusting the front splashers, and adding separate handrails, very little work has been done to the Hornby body, so whatever inaccuracies it has remain. I think this one has a Branchlines gearbox and Mashima motor.

 

The Bird is from the Branchlines kit which uses the Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol City of Truro as a basis. Again, a Branchlines gearbox with (I think) a Hanazono motor. This model was out of gauge for Little Bytham as I hadn't filed back the crankpins properly!

 

The City is the same pedigree, with the same motor/gearbox. This one managed not to foul the platforms. It's run on Little Bytham once before but I've since remotored it, and added the cosmetic splashers above the bogie wheels.

 

The Cambrian 2-4-0T is from the Gem kit with a Mainly Trains chassis. For a while, MT were doing this as a package deal in which you got everything in a box, including motor and wheels. The castings were a bit ropey but the rest of the kit went together painlessly and it was one of those rare locos that just worked perfectly first time.

 

The Dean Goods is the Airfix/Dapol body on a Comet chassis. I went up a motor from the one suggested by Comet, as there is just enough room under the firebox for a larger unit. This is one of my favorite RTR/kit hybrid builds as it has settled down to be a very quiet, powerful runner.

 

The 61XX is the SE Finecast model, with a DJH AM10 motor/gearbox. I built a Comet-chassis prairie at around the same time using the same wheels and gearbox, and they both run very similarly. The Finecast one did give problems with track-holding, though, as I found the radial truck harder to get to work than the Comet equivalent with a pony truck. The radial truck is of course correct, but if I ever built another one I'd take a pragmatic view and modify it with a pony truck.

 

The E1 is the DJH kit, again with the AM10. I added etched brake gear from a Mainly Trains etch (I think now available from Wizard Models) and some additional boiler fittings. I did have a bit of trouble getting the cab to sit square in all dimensions so much remedial work was needed. The chassis is a very basic set of brass strips but it worked well from the off.

 

The Schools is the Airfix/Kitmaster body over a Craftsman chassis. Tony offered me this kit when I last visited LB so it was very satisfying to see it running on the layout. The original motor was an open frame one, which ran really well even with the simple gear mount of the Craftsman chassis, but at some point I fear I damaged the motor, so (again) an AM10 was substituted. As some readers may remember, once this model was finished and running satisfactorily, it had a drop to the floor of around five feet and much of it was badly damaged, especially around the cab. I had a stiff drink, gathered up the pieces, and resolved to repair it.

 

Tony's Schools has a much better look to it around the front end, with correctly modelled steps. Mine are a bodge to allow the swing-mounted bogie enough clearance. I think front steps are vital on Maunsell locos, even if they have to be somewhat fudged. They just don't look right without them.

 

Finally, the Battle of Britain was brought as a work-in-progress. It set off well, but developed an annoying lurch before it had completed a lap of the layout. It's on the naughty step for now, but I'll examine it later. (Edit: it appeared that an electrical wire had fouled against the worm gear, after I resoldered a connection last week and didn't follow the same path for the wiring as I should have.)

 

Once again, many thanks!

 

Al

 

 

 

 

Edited by Barry Ten
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1 hour ago, Barry Ten said:

 

Dear Tony

 

Many thanks to you and Mo for making us both so welcome, and for a highly enjoyable running session. It was a real pleasure to see Little Bytham in the flesh again, and note the changes since my last visit. We had a good run back from Melton Mowbray (after stocking up on pies) to Aberdare.

 

Regarding the locos, the 27xx is the Hornby body on a Comet 57XX chassis. Other than adjusting the front splashers, and adding separate handrails, very little work has been done to the Hornby body, so whatever inaccuracies it has remain. I think this one has a Branchlines gearbox and Mashima motor.

 

The Bird is from the Branchlines kit which uses the Kitmaster/Airfix/Dapol City of Truro as a basis. Again, a Branchlines gearbox with (I think) a Hanazono motor. This model was out of gauge for Little Bytham as I hadn't filed back the crankpins properly!

 

The City is the same pedigree, with the same motor/gearbox. This one managed not to foul the platforms. It's run on Little Bytham once before but I've since remotored it, and added the cosmetic splashers above the bogie wheels.

 

The Cambrian 2-4-0T is from the Gem kit with a Mainly Trains chassis. For a while, MT were doing this as a package deal in which you got everything in a box, including motor and wheels. The castings were a bit ropey but the rest of the kit went together painlessly and it was one of those rare locos that just worked perfectly first time.

 

The Dean Goods is the Airfix/Dapol body on a Comet chassis. I went up a motor from the one suggested by Comet, as there is just enough room under the firebox for a larger unit. This is one of my favorite RTR/kit hybrid builds as it has settled down to be a very quiet, powerful runner.

 

The 61XX is the SE Finecast model, with a DJH AM10 motor/gearbox. I built a Comet-chassis prairie at around the same time using the same wheels and gearbox, and they both run very similarly. The Finecast one did give problems with track-holding, though, as I found the radial truck harder to get to work than the Comet equivalent with a pony truck. The radial truck is of course correct, but if I ever built another one I'd take a pragmatic view and modify it with a pony truck.

 

The E1 is the DJH kit, again with the AM10. I added etched brake gear from a Mainly Trains etch (I think now available from Wizard Models) and some additional boiler fittings. I did have a bit of trouble getting the cab to sit square in all dimensions so much remedial work was needed. The chassis is a very basic set of brass strips but it worked well from the off.

 

The Schools is the Airfix/Kitmaster body over a Craftsman chassis. Tony offered me this kit when I last visited LB so it was very satisfying to see it running on the layout. The original motor was an open frame one, which ran really well even with the simple gear mount of the Craftsman chassis, but at some point I fear I damaged the motor, so (again) an AM10 was substituted. As some readers may remember, once this model was finished and running satisfactorily, it had a drop to the floor of around five feet and much of it was badly damaged, especially around the cab. I had a stiff drink, gathered up the pieces, and resolved to repair it.

 

Tony's Schools has a much better look to it around the front end, with correctly modelled steps. Mine are a bodge to allow the swing-mounted bogie enough clearance. I think front steps are vital on Maunsell locos, even if they have to be somewhat fudged. They just don't look right without them.

 

Finally, the Battle of Britain was brought as a work-in-progress. It set off well, but developed an annoying lurch before it had completed a lap of the layout. It's on the naughty step for now, but I'll examine it later.

 

Once again, many thanks!

 

Al

 

 

 

 

Thanks for coming over Al,

 

And for bringing such interesting models with you. Personal models, showing ingenuity and self-reliance; just what I like to see. 

 

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.

 

Here's to the next visit. Mo and Josette got on very well. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Edited by Tony Wright
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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

Thanks for coming over Al,

 

And for bringing such interesting models with you. Personal models, showing ingenuity and self-reliance; just what I like to see. 

 

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.

 

Here's to the next visit. Mo and Josette got on very well. 

 

Regards,

 

Tony. 

Tony

      As said before,  no idea why DJH Gearboxes  are being promoted again by yourself , apart  from the crazy cost of the DJH offerings the cheapest is £79.20 in OO  and £104.50 in O . I can easily motorise 3 Locos for under £79.20.

     The much bigger reason for me not using them ,it is they are far too big for many OO Locos, they cannot be fitted without being on show under the Boiler or in the Cab. They are only good for large Boiler Locomotives , where hopefully they can be hidden.

     They give the appearance of Locos from a very different era of modelling standards, when nothing else was available other than XO4 shaped motors and large profile wheels etc etc .

    Appearance to me and I believe to many many other modellers, is far more important than pulling power, and that  will always be the case.

 

Edit

As to time , a High Level Box is 30 minutes to build or less once you have made a couple. If you can build a kit its no problem !!

 

Sorry for the same/similar reply, to the last time this subject arose on here.

 

Mick

Edited by micklner
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1 hour ago, Tony Wright said:

 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.

 

That's an interesting observation, Tony. I wonder how many are really so short of time that an hour or so building a gearbox kit is such a great problem in the totality of building a full loco kit. I suppose time is of the essence for a professional builder, but for run-of-the-mill folk like me, when, in my case, a loco build will run over several days if not more, it is a drop in the ocean. 

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

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.

 

Tony,

 

I understand why, to a professional modeller, time might be more of an issue than the cost to the client or the visual intrusion of a partially visible gearbox and / or motor.

 

I also understand that you are personally disinclined to spend time - or to fiddle, as you put it - undertaking the simple task of assembling a motor / gearbox.

 

However, since you seem to feel the need to regularly express your personal preference, there is a body of modellers who will feel compelled to dispel any suggestion that DJH gearboxes are the ultimate solution to most locomotive motorising projects.

 

On consideration of size alone, they are best suited to large locos - your favourite subject - but there are many equally suitable alternatives.

 

At the end of the day, we all have our own way of working, but it concerns me that your repeated glowing endorsements will lead less experienced modellers to dismiss more suitable motorising options for their projects.

 

John Isherwood.

Edited by cctransuk
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I find it quite rewarding psychologically to fiddle around with inexpensive user-assembled gear arrangements to arrive at smooth quiet operation. I like to know that the result is a consequence of my own patience and skills (such as they are) rather than a measure of my ability and willingness to spend money.

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To quote a friend (who does visit here) 'you've got to knackle with things to get them how you want'.

I use Branchlines gearboxes, and I get reasonably good results with them. In the main I use their slimline ones (as you can fit them in the cut outs of old Triang chassis blocks (which they transform)), but also use the normal ones for other kit locos. At first they are a bit fiddly to make, but once you have done a couple they are fairly straightforward, and cost effective.

I have recently acquired a HR Castle which is fitted with a DJH gearbox, and I have to say that she is a lovely quiet runner, but the gearbox only just fits inside the boiler. Interestingly a double ended motor is fitted, but without a flywheel, which is certainly going to be added as they is just about room for one.

 

Andy G

 

 

 

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I hesitate to re-enter the fray on the old motor / gearbox debate but everyone else is so why not!

 

My own feeling is that the motor gearbox is the easy bit of getting a sweet running chassis. It’s all the setting up of the chassis, coupling rods, pick ups and valve gear which seems to create problems. I’ve built many kits over the years and none of the kit built chassis run as well as a modern RTR loco to my intense frustration. They are just about good enough to use but not as sweet and smooth as I would like. I know it can be done as Tony shows week in week out, but I think that needs a lot of experience and/ or skill which I’m still learning. It  is not a problem with the motor gearbox where I’ve tried DJH ready made boxes as well as many alternatives such as high level. That bit always seems to work fine. so I’m reluctant to spend the money on a new DJH box when I know that is the easy bit and I may waste it all on the difficult bits to come.
 

For me, if I can find a RTR chassis which is close enough, I’ll always use that rather than try to make my own. Then I can enjoy building the body sure in the knowledge that it will work. I know that some might regard that as ‘cheating’ but surely it’s only one step on from using a ‘RTR’ motor gearbox?! I’d also say that it’s generally cheaper than buying a chassis, wheels and motor to kit build a chassis, especially if you can sell the body on ebay.

 

Sorry to lower the tone!

 

Andy

 

 

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The DJH motor/gearbox was included in a DJH kit of a black 5 I recently purchased on eBay. It is huge but ok for a large bodied loco like this. It runs very well but no better than any of the High Level boxes I’ve made. 
To be honest I find building a sweet running gearbox as satisfying as a good looking model and at £79 a pop I’m not going to be queuing up for the DJH ones.

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8 hours ago, thegreenhowards said:

I hesitate to re-enter the fray on the old motor / gearbox debate but everyone else is so why not!

 

My own feeling is that the motor gearbox is the easy bit of getting a sweet running chassis. It’s all the setting up of the chassis, coupling rods, pick ups and valve gear which seems to create problems...

 

Andy

 

 

I easily forget that the pick ups can have an undesirable effect on the running even when they are fully effective as current collectors, as was illustrated recently when I wasted lots of time studying the rods as a not-very-logical potential source of a tight spot that seemed to have re-appeared in what I judged previously to be a smooth-running newly built chassis. Not surprisingly, I could find no fault in the rods, and I declined to further increase the size of crankpin holes that had previously been sufficient. The penny eventually dropped when I remembered that I had "twanged" one or other of the pick ups a couple of times in the course of further handling of the chassis as the rest of the model was being put together, and had re-adjusted the disturbed pick-ups to ensure good contact. I therefore checked the pick up pressures again, and once I had eased those to the minimum that kept them in contact with the wheels (even with the effect of maximum sideplay) the running reverted to perfect smoothness.

Edited by gr.king
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What an interesting (further) series of comments regarding gearboxes. Many thanks to all who've contributed.

 

I don't think I've ever stated that DJH motor/gearbox combinations are the 'ultimate solution' to most locomotive drives. As others have noted, they're too big for many applications. 

 

Anyway, why shouldn't I endorse a product which I find to be entirely suitable? That's to to imply that others are inferior. Of course, because I test products for DJH (I tested the new gearboxes when they first appeared), folk might well think I'm biased. However, I'll only state that a product works really well if that's the truth. If not, I'll soon be rumbled and my 'reputation' diminished even further. 

 

And, why shouldn't I praise the running of locos built by a friend when he brought them for me to see? My comment was related to how well his locos fitted with DJH combos ran - better than the others he'd brought with different motor/gearboxes. That's not to say those others were poor runners - far from it - but they weren't quite so quiet and sweet. 

 

My observations are based on my own experiences. I don't think there's a motor/gearbox combination out there which I haven't used. With the exception of Portescaps and the current DJH ones, all have had to be assembled. Now (and this is not my being arrogant), despite my years of loco-building experience, I've never made a gearbox which runs better/sweeter than the current DJH ones. Many have come close (and most are far quieter than Portescaps) and are even equal to them, but none has ever been better. 

 

I've not long ago taken moving footage showing many of the motor/gearbox combinations I've used down the years. This has been edited and will appear in the next BRM virtual exhibition, later this year. Viewers can then make their own minds up as to which is best. 

 

Modellers are free to choose what they use. To some, it's clearly a waste of money paying for a made-up gearbox when they can make one (though not in ten minutes!) by themselves. As stated, I've made every type (at least I think so). Some, I've made-up with ease, and others I've had to 'fiddle with' to make sure they're super-sweet (not always with total success, especially with regard to noise). High-Level gearboxes are well-regarded (with justification), yet I have one which is noisy. I don't have a noisy DJH one. 

 

Finally, though it's right that any 'competent' loco builder should be able to erect a sweet-running gearbox, I've lost count of the number of locos I've examined where this has not been the case. In many (most?) cases the finished things have looked rather good, but they don't run - not to the standard I insist upon. Very often, the primary cause of poor running is a poorly-assembled gearbox. I've also lost count of the number of times I've been told 'It'll run-in'. No it won't! 

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3 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

What an interesting (further) series of comments regarding gearboxes. Many thanks to all who've contributed.

 

I don't think I've ever stated that DJH motor/gearbox combinations are the 'ultimate solution' to most locomotive drives. As others have noted, they're too big for many applications. 

 

Anyway, why shouldn't I endorse a product which I find to be entirely suitable? That's to to imply that others are inferior. Of course, because I test products for DJH (I tested the new gearboxes when they first appeared), folk might well think I'm biased. However, I'll only state that a product works really well if that's the truth. If not, I'll soon be rumbled and my 'reputation' diminished even further. 

 

And, why shouldn't I praise the running of locos built by a friend when he brought them for me to see? My comment was related to how well his locos fitted with DJH combos ran - better than the others he'd brought with different motor/gearboxes. That's not to say those others were poor runners - far from it - but they weren't quite so quiet and sweet. 

 

My observations are based on my own experiences. I don't think there's a motor/gearbox combination out there which I haven't used. With the exception of Portescaps and the current DJH ones, all have had to be assembled. Now (and this is not my being arrogant), despite my years of loco-building experience, I've never made a gearbox which runs better/sweeter than the current DJH ones. Many have come close (and most are far quieter than Portescaps) and are even equal to them, but none has ever been better. 

 

I've not long ago taken moving footage showing many of the motor/gearbox combinations I've used down the years. This has been edited and will appear in the next BRM virtual exhibition, later this year. Viewers can then make their own minds up as to which is best. 

 

Modellers are free to choose what they use. To some, it's clearly a waste of money paying for a made-up gearbox when they can make one (though not in ten minutes!) by themselves. As stated, I've made every type (at least I think so). Some, I've made-up with ease, and others I've had to 'fiddle with' to make sure they're super-sweet (not always with total success, especially with regard to noise). High-Level gearboxes are well-regarded (with justification), yet I have one which is noisy. I don't have a noisy DJH one. 

 

Finally, though it's right that any 'competent' loco builder should be able to erect a sweet-running gearbox, I've lost count of the number of locos I've examined where this has not been the case. In many (most?) cases the finished things have looked rather good, but they don't run - not to the standard I insist upon. Very often, the primary cause of poor running is a poorly-assembled gearbox. I've also lost count of the number of times I've been told 'It'll run-in'. No it won't! 

I always used to buy my cast kits from Alan Bunn (West Coast Model Centre). Turned Romfords, motor and gearbox pre-assembled, everything in the box except paint and number plates. Made life a lot easier without breaking the bank.

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The DJH units are superb, I've got one to go into a scratchbuilt Duchess, so impressed was I seeing them in action on Little Bytham.

I am also a big fan of portescaps, having used them extensively over the years either as bought or modified to fit various configurations using replacement frames from Martin Finney or MJT. I have built up quite a stash of these over the years.

However, I would only use the above units if they can be entirely hidden. If not, I turn to High Level gearboxes, there is a configuration to suit any prototype and assembly is so simple and straightforward resulting in superb, near silent performance. Price is also a factor. In my view High Level wins hands down, even taking into account the time to build them, though many of my portescap units have been acquired cheaply by buying locos off a well known auction site, stripping the portescap out, replacing it and selling on the loco.

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A very interesting selection of new books for review in BRM next month............

 

107709821_BRSteamAllocations.jpg.ee285cf5ca57ee0a3e078ce8dcaf85a6.jpg

 

The ultimate work on the subject?

 

459340444_CentralDivisionMiscellany.jpg.e67ca93ba45eea36652dfca8e005b3b9.jpg

 

Simply wonderful.

 

61848265_NottinghamtoMansfield.jpg.1493b0f01a44c7ddd1f41b7e05f2763d.jpg

 

I'd question the punctuation in the title of this. Did the M&GNR go anywhere near Mansfield? Yes, its trains ran through to Nottingham, but they'd left their own metals west of Little Bytham. And yes, I know what the title's supposed to describe. 

 

Peppercorn.jpg.b3ba66e8b42bcaae3179ee871c1c0107.jpg

 

A fascinating insight, but does it tell the whole story?

 

It's one of loads from Pen and Sword this month.

 

1612836165_TheSomersetDorsetRailway.jpg.55ee92e1bc4c241dbcd711fe3389b467.jpg

 

This one does.

 

969047193_WestRiding.jpg.47616ef3ee8c58ee5bff7a2dd8dec48d.jpg

 

Published posthumously. 

 

Please read what I think of the above titles in the next issue of BRM. 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tony Wright
typo error
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16 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Did the M&GNR go anywhere near Mansfield? Yes, its trains ran through to Nottingham, but they'd left their own metals west of Little Bytham.

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

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55 minutes ago, Tony Wright said:

Did the M&GNR go anywhere near Mansfield? Yes, its trains ran through to Nottingham, but they'd left their own metals west of Little Bytham.

 

Further to my  sanctified and learned friend @St Enodoc's remark, I think it was rather the case of Joint engines working through trains of Midland / LMS stock as far as Leicester (not sure about Nottingham but willing to stand corrected); whether one would call those M&GNJR trains or not is an interesting point.

 

I look forward to Tony's observations when he's given some Irish titles to review - GSWR and GNR are nicely ambiguous, and as for the Midland Great Western...

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2 hours ago, Tony Wright said:

What an interesting (further) series of comments regarding gearboxes. Many thanks to all who've contributed.

 

I don't think I've ever stated that DJH motor/gearbox combinations are the 'ultimate solution' to most locomotive drives. As others have noted, they're too big for many applications. 

 

Anyway, why shouldn't I endorse a product which I find to be entirely suitable? That's to to imply that others are inferior. Of course, because I test products for DJH (I tested the new gearboxes when they first appeared), folk might well think I'm biased. However, I'll only state that a product works really well if that's the truth. If not, I'll soon be rumbled and my 'reputation' diminished even further. 

 

And, why shouldn't I praise the running of locos built by a friend when he brought them for me to see? My comment was related to how well his locos fitted with DJH combos ran - better than the others he'd brought with different motor/gearboxes. That's not to say those others were poor runners - far from it - but they weren't quite so quiet and sweet. 

 

My observations are based on my own experiences. I don't think there's a motor/gearbox combination out there which I haven't used. With the exception of Portescaps and the current DJH ones, all have had to be assembled. Now (and this is not my being arrogant), despite my years of loco-building experience, I've never made a gearbox which runs better/sweeter than the current DJH ones. Many have come close (and most are far quieter than Portescaps) and are even equal to them, but none has ever been better. 

 

I've not long ago taken moving footage showing many of the motor/gearbox combinations I've used down the years. This has been edited and will appear in the next BRM virtual exhibition, later this year. Viewers can then make their own minds up as to which is best. 

 

Modellers are free to choose what they use. To some, it's clearly a waste of money paying for a made-up gearbox when they can make one (though not in ten minutes!) by themselves. As stated, I've made every type (at least I think so). Some, I've made-up with ease, and others I've had to 'fiddle with' to make sure they're super-sweet (not always with total success, especially with regard to noise). High-Level gearboxes are well-regarded (with justification), yet I have one which is noisy. I don't have a noisy DJH one. 

 

Finally, though it's right that any 'competent' loco builder should be able to erect a sweet-running gearbox, I've lost count of the number of locos I've examined where this has not been the case. In many (most?) cases the finished things have looked rather good, but they don't run - not to the standard I insist upon. Very often, the primary cause of poor running is a poorly-assembled gearbox. I've also lost count of the number of times I've been told 'It'll run-in'. No it won't! 

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.

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19 minutes ago, micklner said:

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

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?

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33 minutes ago, micklner said:

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.

 

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.

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41 minutes 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?


Some might even check the dimensions before buying.  

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1 hour 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?

Yes I am,  it is quite possible , no one will ever know either way and never will, no one knows how many people actually build trains either.

 

If I was a first time builder, and  happended to read a experts opinion on what to buy and then found that it then didnt fit , I  would say never again. R.t.r is at such a level now of quality, in looks and running , why would many bother.

 

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.

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1 hour ago, BoD said:


Some might even check the dimensions before buying.  

 

They're on the website. I'm wondering which will be best for a Pacific. I'm assuming the 44:1 rather than the 50:1.

 

Personally I wouldn't normally go for a DJH motor, but I will for my DJH Britannia. Yes, it's a bit more expensive but I know it will fit and is designed for such a kit. I did get the kit for a very good price and it even had a full set of wheels. Even with the motor/gear box it will come to less than the current price of a Hornby version.

 

Thankfully most locomotives I will be building are going to be smaller ones. Mostly tanks and small tender locomotives that I don't think the RTR boys will even consider. So cheap coreless motors and gearboxes will be fine for those.

 

 

Jason

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