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Posts Tagged ‘branchline’

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08
R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

‘Finescale’ is an odd thing, its a bit like pornography, in that I’m not sure I can define it, but I know it when I see it! One of the barriers for people who want to explore the more accurate gauges in 4mm scale is the barrier of no ready to run models in the wider gauges. Phil Sutton sulzertype2.co.uk has recently broken that barrier with the options available with his class 24, but for the moment, if you want any other locomotive it’s DIY. Hornby’s 08 is an excellent candidate for a quick gauge change using the Ultrascale CAT007/378 conversion set. With the latest batch of this excellent model hitting the shop floors, there will be modellers out there wanting to convert them to either P4 or EM. The Ultrascale conversion isn’t cheap, but you do get a drop in wheel and gearset manufactured to the highest standards, ready quartered and pretty much a drop in replacement. The real beauty of it is that its engineered so that the set up and fixing of the external cranks are all sorted for you, so whilst this isn’t one of my fifteen minute heroes, it is a conversion that can be done in an evenings work.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08
R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

I found the easy way to kick this conversion off is by removing the connecting rods. They are of a soft and pliable white metal so do take care when handling them. They are retained with a captive crankpin screwed into the hub casting of the Hornby wheelset.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

I don’t have a spanner or socket set for these very small nuts, however I used a set of smooth faced tweezers to remove the crankpins, again being careful not to bend or damage the coupling rods.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Coupling rods removed and crankpins replaced. There seems to be a market for these wheelsets so they may have a value on ebay, or alternatively keep them so if you sell on in due course you can convert the locomotive back to OO and sell both loco and the ultrascales separately.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

The next two tasks are the removal of the brake gear and the keeper plate, both are easy jobs, this then gives open access to the wheelsets. Make sure you note the location of any of the plastic shims as these are also insulating pieces from the electrical pickup to the baseplate.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

The Hornby wheelsets can then be removed, my chassis’ had square phosphor bronze type axle bearings, you’ll note the Ultrascale set axlebearings are turned brass. If you ever wondered what the difference was between EM/P4 and OO the gauge difference can be seen easily in the above image. There is fortuitously space between the external frames for the replacement wheels to drop in with no remedial work required.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

The wheelsets are supplied set up and quartered, the bearings have a lip on them which needs easing into the slot on the Hornby chassis where the original sets were located. Make sure this slot is clear from debris and gently press the wheelset into place. At this point I reassemble the chassis apart from the brakegear and turn my attention to the coupling rods. Prior to fitting them, run the chassis with no rods to make sure the gears are meshed properly and the wheels turn without any significant restriction. You will need to adjust the pick ups so they bear gently but positively on the rear of the wheel tread, this will give a slight resistance to the free wheeling, but not enough to stop them or make them run unevenly.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

The original rods can be used again as I have done, and this is the fastest conversion. The Ultrascale crankpins are slightly larger diameter than the original Hornby crankpins so the holes in the coupling rods will need opening out. I use an engineers cutting broach for this, theres a link at the bottom of the article to a supplier. This is the best tool for the job to gently open out the crankpin hole, working from both sides you can cut away tiny amounts until you have a comfortable fit. It needs to be a very close fit but still revolve around the crankpin with no resistance at all. You could also use a fine rat tailed file or try drilling it but I really, really wouldn’t suggest it. It will be far too easy to take too much metal away leaving poor running or to damage the rods irreparably. The Hornby rods don’t need any thinning either so it really is a straightforward replacement. Once the rods are on, test run the chassis to ensure there’s no binding before adding the tiniest dab of superglue on the end of the thread of the crankpin. Capillary action take this into the lead thread and helps lock the nut in place.

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Next steps are finishing, I paint the wheels using Humbrol or Revel enamels, and fit the brake gear back in place. I run the locomotive for a while to be happy everything is bedded or ‘run in’ well before filing away the ends of the threads protruding from the crankpin nut. If you want to use the Brassmasters etched rods for this conversion, I wrote up a Bachmann 08 conversion here /trinity-08-brassmaster Apart from the soldered rod construction the conversion would be almost identical. So then, that’s an evenings work to get an EM 08. No where near as daunting as some conversions can be, and a real booster for your confidence if its the first one you’ve done. The same principal can be used for a number of their conversion kits for simple steam locomotives, such as Panniers or Jinties, so, have a go!

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Hornby 08 R3261 R3342 R3343 R3484 R3485 R2933

Here is one supplier of Engineering Cutting broaches, hobbyholidays.co.uk at the better exhibitions you will find either Phil with Hobby holidays, or other similar suppliers for this sort of tooling. Its worth getting good quality,when you buy too, good equipment will last a lifetime, and good suppliers like Phil above, will have a range to suit your budget. Tell him I sent ya ….

_B6O4719.CR2

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This week we shall have visitors, some image tomfoolery awaits!

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At Model Rail Live this year I was particularly taken by the Y1, so much so that I bought one! It’ll need converting to EM which looks quite straightforward, it’s a pretty simple assembly, and then straight into operating stock, a nice easy win! Heljans Class 16 is very tempting too, so far I’ve resisted. Double click the images for a really good look at the Y1.

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As far as the layout goes I’ve had a couple of offers for exhibitions for 2014, which if I can get the weekends, I’ll be doing. There’ll only be a few, and I’m hoping to give the ‘presentation’ of the layout a rework to. Once Albion Yard has had its swan song at Warley in a few weeks and the layout for the DVD I’m working on is complete then I’ll be able to attend to a simple, and clean makeover. Bawdsey will appear in the DVD too, there are some very clever design features to it, which aren’t apparent when the layout is set up, but are huge benefits for the storage and transport. More on those in the DVD and on here in due course.

_B6O4719.CR2

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A week or so ago I announced that we’d be taking Bawdsey to Model Rail Live 2013 at Newark. Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances I’ve had to postpone its appearance this year. Ben at Model Rail has kindly agreed to extend the invitation to the Model Rail Live show in 2014. We will however be taking Albion Yard to Model Rail Live this year.

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This is the first of three grain wagons for Bawdsey. Built from the Parkside kit, it’s not the easiest of builds. Being one of the earlier kits in the range it is showing its age, but with a bit of work scrubs up well. I’ve yet to add a few more details such as the handrails and refine the end steps.

This is an example of the kit completed to P4 standards on Longcarse West and shows just how well it can turn out. I’m hoping my three will end up a similar quality.

This picture was taken at Scalefour North, one of the shows where the layout was exhibited. You can read more on Longcarse West here
 

http://waveydaveysmodellingblog.wordpress.com/

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You know those days when everything seems to have gone well, and you sit back thinking, ‘the boy done good’, well heres one of those bring you down to earth moments. Looking through the images taken a day or so ago, I found this little gem. Fortunately I’d taken several very similar shots so I don’t have to unpack the trainset again.

I took the opportunity to see how the Hornby Gresley Suburbans looked on the layout too, apart from being a bit too clean, they capture the look and atmosphere of the Suffolk branch line well. When the Thompsons arrive I’ll weather them all together in a batch, to get a uniform finish in terms of overall color and texture. Then I work on the details. More to follow soon.

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For the first time in well over a year the layout is up and a few of the newer items snapped on it. I’ve put Albion Yard and Bawdsey up together for the first time, and its very interesting to see the differences in approach by Chris Matthewman who built Bawdsey, and how I’ve done Albion Yard. Having said that I have used a very similar structure for Albion Yards supports based on Bawdseys’, after all why re-invent the wheel? The next few items to convert and shoot are the Hornby Gresley Suburbans, and with the Thompson Subs a week or so away (according to my sources) I’ll have a fully authentic coaching stock roster, ready for a photo shoot in the near future.

The reason for the assembling the layout is for a couple of people to see it, my good mate Paul Lunn is over tomorrow and the layout will be an example in the book project we’re working on, and the other visitor is for a potentially very interesting media project to run in the future.

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In my previous post I mentioned that I’d got an idea for the Derby lightweights corridor connections. Unfortunately that didn’t work out as the mountings were too wide, full story here http://albionyard.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/108-connections/

However what it did do was spur me on to get the soldering iron out and brush up on rusty skills, so it’s not been wasted effort, see below.

Practise results!

I’m now looking at Masokits range to try their connections for double scissors connections as a suitable replacement. From the improvement with the 108 (see link above), I know the effort will be worth it. I’ve also taken a provisional booking for the layout for the Autumn next year, so I’ve still got a little while to sort the DMU’s out!

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Its been while since I’ve updated Bawdsey’s blog, and thats because nothing much has been going on. Earlier this year I obtained one of the Bachmann Derby lightweight units and that has been sitting waiting for some attention in coupling the units closer. Recently whilst going through the ‘one day that’ll be useful’ pile I found some Slaters scissor corridor connection kits that were originally destined to tart up a Lima 117 unit back in the late 80’s …

Anyway a quick look at them reveals a simple soldered construction which should look far better than the supplied version. The units have been brought closer together using a shortened Bachmann BR Mk1 ‘hose coupling’, so fitting the bellows unit above will massively improve the appearance. It has now been EM’ed swapping out the Branchlines wheeset from my 108, meaning the 108 is now back to OO and that suits another project for Railway Modeller just fine.

The other kit in the image is one of the Craftsman 02 Diesel kits. Its early 80’s vintage in terms of design, but is an excellent starter kit for those who want to try making something. I have changed the drive system on mine to accomodate a ‘High Level’ drive, but have yet to decide OO or EM gauge. The prototype is the sort of thing that could have been used by an industrial line but introduced in 1960 they may be a bit too modern for plausibility, so it’s looking more OO at the moment.

Theres curently no shows for Bawdsey this year, however I have a provisional booking for next year of which more closer to the date. By that time I may have an entirely diesel fleet for the show sequence, all appropriate to the region and era. Steam however isn’t forgotton, with a J15 and J69 kits in the workshop, with a Bachmann Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0 under conversion to EM, which I’ll return to in the future.

http://www.highlevelkits.co.uk/
http://branchlines.blogspot.co.uk/2007/01/bachmann-108-wheels.html

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In the time honoured ready to run tradition of ‘we never ad it so good’ Heljans Waggon und Maschinenbau railbus has arrived. The unit is packed in Haljans standard sturdy blue box with foam insert and a vacuum formed cradle. The cradle is a one way fit due to the chassis moldings so take care when re-packing it. First impressions are that a) its heavy, and b) it looks like one. Mine runs quietly and well with smooth stopping and starting. I’ve not yet had the top off, not running DCC this isn’t a priority as I don’t need to chip it. The instructions advise that its a 21-pin DCC fitting.

HELJAN 8702 W&M RAILBUS E79963

The quality of the finish is excellent and no blemishes were found on my sample. The only problem with mine is I appear to have an Antipodean Export version.

Antipodean version

I’m hopefull that will be an easy fix to change it to Bawdsey. The glasing throughout the vehicle is clear and well defined, there is very little light refraction through any of the windows, the curved cab windows are exceptional in this regard. Internally the seating is well represented in a light grey molding that includes the cab interior and partition. The cab partition on mine shows a slight distortion on one of the vertical bars but I anticipate that too will be an easy solution. Painting of the seats will give a marked improvement to the overall appearance of the internal components.

As Bawdsey is EM my thoughts are how easy will it be to convert this model. I’m pleased to say that I think this will be one of the easiest conversions to EM and S4. The wheelsets drop out from a gearbox cover held in by three screws.

Heljan Railbus Gearbox Cover

Once the cover is removed the wheelsets drop out, the final drive gear wheel being offset on the axle. The washers hold the axle in its location restricting the lateral movement, and will need to be replaced once new wheels fitted, the gap in the chassis being a width of approx 22.5mm. The pick ups are four simple phosphor bronze wipers bearing on the top of the wheel tread. There may be some value in tweeking these to collect from the rear of the wheel faces reducing the potential of dirt contamination from the wheel treads.

Heljan Railbus Gearbox Cover Removed

I’m sorely tempted to put the layout up and convert this straight away, it just looks right. You’ll note theres no mounting for a tension lock coupling, Heljan noting that as these vehicles ran as single units rather than in trains or with ‘tail traffic’ they’ve supplied the scale screw coupling as standard, which I think is a good touch myself. Also the running lights only show ‘white’ in the forward direction of travel. Theres no red tail light showing, the units were not fitted as such relying on the traditional red oil lamp. Also supplied as extras are a set of steps to fit underneath the doors for low platform or halt access for passengers and crew. If you want to model an East Anglian branch line in the late fifties and early sixties, particularly with diesel motive power, then this really is a golden era.

Heljans Waggon und Maschinenbau Railbus

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