16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

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Re6/6
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16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Re6/6 » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:59 am

Mine arrived today and by and large I'm very pleased with it. It's impressively heavy and runs very smoothly.

Ordering one was speculative as it would be required to be converted. As it turns out, this should be a fairly straight forward job as there is sufficient space between the insides of the centre splashers. Grinding out the insides of the mazak (?) splashers would seem not to be necessary. I haven't tried to separate the wheel assembly from the chassis yet so I'm assuming that the inside distances between the slashers will be the same on both fore and aft wheelsets. Either this 'extra' spacing is fortunate or Mr Rapido calculated this to facilitate conversion to P4 or EM.
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The axles appear to be 2mm, measured crudely with a slot cut in a piece of plastic card as there wasn't enough space to get the vernier calipers in without dismantling the chassis. Pickup is by way of sprung pins bearing on the wheel tread backs (Slaters style) so it will remain to be seen if they will have enough spring to reach the new wheels.

Items required for the conversion would be a set of AG wheels or Ultrascale LNER 12 spoke if a minor compromises (1/4" smaller diameter and 2" less crank throw) would be acceptable, some 2mm rod and 'Branchlines' 1.5mm >1/8th brass top hat bushes (01373 822231 e-mail sales@branchlines.com ...no web presence).
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Last edited by Re6/6 on Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:12 am, edited 3 times in total.
John

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby David Knight » Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:02 pm

I get the impression from the photos that the brake shoes would line up with P4 wheels, or is that just sideplay?

Cheers,

David

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Captain Kernow » Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:37 pm

David Knight wrote:I get the impression from the photos that the brake shoes would line up with P4 wheels, or is that just sideplay?

I've also got one of these and there is an element of side play, I think, in John's photo, but it's nonetheless not too far out for P4, I'd say.

Having had a quick look at the instruction booklet that accompanies the model, the recommended way of getting at the motor (eg. for DCC purposes), seems to be to remove the boiler and tank assembly only, leaving the (plastic) footplate in situ. In terms of changing the chassis completely, which is what I will probably do, a more involved dismantling and re-assembly might be required, will have to see. If I go ahead and convert one (my current one is staying in OO for use on my new OO layout 'Bethesda Sidings', as it's such a good runner, straight from the box), then my preferred option would be to fit the NuCast Partners chassis, designed by Justin Newitt.
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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby 4479 » Sat May 08, 2021 6:48 pm

A bit late to the party on this one but VERY interested to see the promising clearances within the splashers. Back in December 2018 when the 16xx was in the early stages of development I enquired on the RMWeb thread for the model if it was possible to incorporate clearance for conversion to P4 and EM in the design, as someone clearly connected with Rapido was answering detailed questions from members. I was told briefly that it wasn't in the design spec, and when I pointed out that the recently developed EM RTR track might lead to increased sales for an easily converted model I was faced with the rather ludicrous argument that making provision for such conversions would require a different chassis and extra costs.

Missing the point of course but it was clear that I was being batted into the long grass so withdrew. And now we have a 16xx with what seems like plenty of clearance for P4! Well I suppose I'll never know if my foray had an effect but in any event I'm pleased to see it's happened. I'll look forward with interest should any details of your conversion be posted here, and good luck with it. Might well be tempted myself....

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Captain Kernow » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:54 pm

It will be for John to respond more fully, but I have worked quite closely with him on this conversion.

The conversion was done without separating the body from the bulk of the chassis. You cannot really separate the main chassis castings from the body, because of the overly-complex way that this product has been designed.

If you want to remove the motor (for whatever reason), it is necessary to dismantle the whole loco, including the body, into it's main component parts, because of the way it has been designed.

If I wanted to put a NuCast Partners chassis under a Rapido body, I'd have to fabricate new firebox sides, or alternatively undertake significant surgery to the casting that incorporates the firebox area. I would also have to separate the smokebox saddle from the same casting and glue it back between the footplate and pannier/front end part.

The way that this product has been designed is nothing short of a nightmare for those of us who like to tinker and 'do our own thing'. It is clearly not designed for customers to mess about with.

I don't know why this should be, either, as a contemporary product to the Rapido 16XX is the new Bachmann 94XX, where you can separate the body from the chassis in the traditional way.

If you do decide to go ahead with a conversion, you will need Gibson driving wheels (or some slightly wrong Ultrascale LNER ones) and some Branchlines 1/8" to 2mm bushes and replacement 2mm axles.

You will also need to completely rebuild the brake gear to fit the wider P4 wheelsets or better, fabricate a replacement set from anything to hand.
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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Captain Kernow » Tue Jun 08, 2021 2:42 pm

Here's a photo of John's Rapido 16XX on his unfinished 'Parkend Marsh Sidings' layout:
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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby 4479 » Tue Jun 08, 2021 6:57 pm

And looking at home in what is very much home territory for some of the class. Thanks for the heads up on the chassis issues. Not what I was expecting to be honest, but perhaps a clue to the nature of the earlier response on RMWeb to my questions. The way Rapido have chosen to design the 16xx chassis is baffling - almost as if they have positively decided to foil the 'improvers' amongst us. Well, they've sold one less I'm afraid as I don't have the time or inclination to conduct the kind of surgery your description indicates in order to achieve a sprung chassis. A great shame as the 16xx body is well executed, but you can't have everything I suppose. I hope Rapido's design decision doesn't spread!

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Philip Hall » Tue Jun 08, 2021 11:29 pm

From what I gather the engine runs very nicely already, so unless you cannot live without a sprung or compensated chassis I can see no reason to dispense with the works as supplied. There seems to be a keeper plate holding the wheels in, so I guess they just drop out and replacement wheelsets mounted on new axles and dropped in. Brake gear can be widened and a plus is that there seems to be clearance in the splashers, not always a given.

It's a shame that more thought is not given to us who like our wheels further apart, but we are a minority in the great model shop out there and I doubt it's going to get much better. As a Southern modeller the wealth of accurate carriages and wagons in recent years has been very welcome and I wouldn't have wanted to forgo them just because they were a bit more difficult to convert. Certainly Hornby were not terribly interested when I asked some years ago about a bit more clearance for P4 wheels, but strangely the contact there now apparently works for another manufacturer who is doing exactly that for P4 and EM!

Philip

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Captain Kernow » Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:20 pm

Hi Phil,

The centre axle on the Rapido chassis is sprung anyway (like a few Bachmann 0-6-0s), so you do have that advantage, plus there's already quite a lot of weight.

The plastic Rapido brake gear does not lend itself to easy conversion (some kind of slippery plastic that doesn't like glue). I did the brake gear on John's chassis, as I had it already and decided that it was far, far easier to solder up a replacement set from a spare etch that I fortunately happened to have. I have made it so that it can be removed, which you would have to do, in order to remove the keeper plate to get at the wheelsets.

One odd thing is that the loco is driven on the leading axle, thus explaining why the tension lock coupling on the front, straight out of the box, is set so ridiculously far forward. I gather that Rapido wanted to ensure that there was room for a firebox flicker!

I have one of these still in it's box. Not sure whether to convert it or not (I also model in OO), as I already have a made-up Cotswold example in P4.

One other factor that I recall, is that the Rapido coupling are made of an odd kind of alloy, which I found difficult to solder a brass bush to. My preference would be to make up a new set of rods from an Alan Gibson or Lanarkshire 'universal' etch, in order to get less slop between the Rapido rods and the new crankpins.
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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:31 pm

Tim,

Sounds an interesting job. Slippery plastic brakes are not uncommon but as always, it’s trying to find a glue that works if you need to glue the stuff. I often squeeze the mountings in a pair of pliers to move the brakes outwards because of slippery plastic.

If the chassis is that sloppy taking some of the slop out wouldn’t be a bad idea.

If someone asks me I to do one I shall have to think carefully…

Phil

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby bécasse » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:58 am

Philip Hall wrote:I often squeeze the mountings in a pair of pliers to move the brakes outwards because of slippery plastic.


Now that is a useful tip. I have often wondered whether it was possible. Perhaps the subsequent use of a warm soldering iron to "relax" the squeezed plastic might improve its long term durability?

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Captain Kernow » Thu Jun 10, 2021 2:32 pm

One word of caution on your suggested, method Phil, in that there's not a lot of plastic on the Rapido brakes to begin with!

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The replacement brake assembly next to the original plastic one. The additional 'rod' down the centre of the replacement brakes was put there to provide some additional stability when soldering up, although I subsequently decided to leave it in for added robustness (you can't see it when the loco is the right way up!).
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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Jun 10, 2021 3:53 pm

David, I wouldn’t go near plastic brake rodding with anything to warm the plastic up as there is too much chance of distortion. The squeezing of brake hangers usually works so long as the plastic is a bit bendy. I do have my failures, though, where the pliers slip and nip the hangers in two, so then I resort to drilling holes for wire pins and superglue. Which is where we came in with the glue. I find Hafixs has been pretty good with bendy plastic, but am now having very good results with Everbuild medium or high viscosity glue along with an activator spray.

Maybe I’ve done too many of these things, but I would have a go with the Rapido brake gear, but I appreciate your warnings, Tim. I also now tend to thin the outside rodding by scraping away on the inside edge with a scalpel. That way the rods can be close to the wheels with no danger of shorting.

My original point was that I would not discount an engine than runs nicely simply because it ‘ought to be’ suspended in some way. As Tim says, some RTR engines have a sprung middle axle and the recent B4 0-4-0T is actually compensated. I have converted countless RTR engines over the years and so long as the wheels are perfectly concentric and generally wobble free they work just fine, even over slightly less than perfect trackwork.

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Enigma » Thu Jun 10, 2021 4:30 pm

Philip Hall wrote: That way the rods can be close to the wheels with no danger of shorting.Philip


Plastic brake gear Phillip? 100% standard on RTR locos I would have thought.

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:43 pm

Paul,

Not always. The outside brake rodding on a Hornby M7 or a Terrier is etched brass. The actual brake hangers and shoes are invariably plastic.

Philip

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Enigma » Fri Jun 11, 2021 1:10 pm

Philip Hall wrote:Paul,

Not always. The outside brake rodding on a Hornby M7 or a Terrier is etched brass. The actual brake hangers and shoes are invariably plastic.

Philip


Well, as they say, every day's a schoolday. Etched brass on a Hornby loco. Whatever next.................... ;)

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby barrowroad » Thu Aug 26, 2021 4:35 pm

Tim, What is the diameter of the axles on this model they look like 2mm? Are the replacement Alan Gibson wheels for 1/8in axles?
Robin

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Re6/6 » Fri Aug 27, 2021 8:02 am

Robin, they are 2mm. The wheels that I used were Ultrascale LNER 4'1¼" 12 spoke (a slight compromise).

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby barrowroad » Fri Aug 27, 2021 5:29 pm

Thanks John, appreciated.
Robin

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Martin Kelly » Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:06 am

Hello! I've been reading this thread with interest because it appears to be relevant to my potential plan to convert a Hattons P Class RTR loco to P4 as my first motive power attempt. AFAIK the Hatton P Class has 2mm diameter axles fitted as an OO out-of-the-box item and Alan Gibson appears to do appropriate P4 wheels but I'm led to believe they are intended to fit 1/8th-inch diameter axles. Hence my interest in the technique of fitting bushes described in this thread.

There are some nice photographs of the underside of the Hattons P Class on this RMWeb thread:

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index ... k/page/34/

which appear to show there's plenty of clearance for P4 wheels and one of the axles is already sprung. So to my inexperienced eye this looks feasible as a pretty simple job of removing the OO axles, reclaiming the gears/bushes, fitting them on a 2mm axle and then fitting the AG wheels over the sort of bushes described in this thread on the end of new P4 2mm axles. Does that make sense?

Also, where did you source P4-suitable 2mm diameter axles? And is there anything else I should look out for as potential pitfalls?

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Paul Willis » Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:14 pm

Martin Kelly wrote:Also, where did you source P4-suitable 2mm diameter axles? And is there anything else I should look out for as potential pitfalls?


Hi Martin,

There are two aspects to this question:

(1) where to get 2mm diameter axles from
(2) what is the appropriate length that is meant by a P4 axle, considering the thickness of the boss, flaring of the spokes, hollowness of the axle end, date of scrapping, phases of the moon, etc, etc...

I'm sure that you've seen many discussions on the Forum that take the route of (2). I will aim to answer (1) ;-)

The main routes that I would suggest are pre-length 2mm axles, or "cut your own".

For pre-bought, Ultrascale supply plain ended 2mm axles https://www.ultrascale.uk/eshop/products/view/CAT022/64 although there will inevitably be a delay because so much of Ultrascale is made to order. An alternative is the plain-ended 2mm axles that Alan Gibson includes in packs of bogie/tender/diesel wheels. I can't see them listed separately from the wheels in the online catalogue http://www.alangibsonworkshop.com/Catalogue.pdf although a call to Colin at AG may well be fruitful.

The alternative, much cheaper, approach is to buy a length of 2mm silver steel from (say) Eileens Emporium https://www.eileensemporium.com/materials-for-modellers/category/silver-steel-rod where £1.50 plus postage buys you a multiple of axles... The rod cuts easily enough with a fresh piercing saw blade, and you can finish it off with a file. One way - being careful! - would be to put the cut axle in a Dremel or similar to smooth off the burr and round the corners.

You can take your choice, and you won't be wrong ;-)

Cheers
Paul
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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Winander » Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:33 pm

Martin, Paul,

I ordered 1/8" and 2mm axle material from Ultrascale some time ago and it was despatched promptly. The items are listed under Miscellaneous Items https://www.ultrascale.uk/eshop/products/CAT013 as precision ground steel rod i.e. not called 'axles'. I don't think these are subject to delays as they are generic stock items - I'm sure a phone call will clarify the supply situation.

They come in 150mm lengths for you to cut the length you require and are ground to a precision of +0.0001"/-0.0003" (that's a tenth to three tenths of a thousand of an inch).

p.s. a normal hack saw blade will easily cut silver steel and be less liable to break in the process.
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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Jeremy Suter » Wed Sep 22, 2021 9:50 pm

Winander wrote:Martin, Paul,

I ordered 1/8" and 2mm axle material from Ultrascale some time ago and it was despatched promptly. The items are listed under Miscellaneous Items https://www.ultrascale.uk/eshop/products/CAT013 as precision ground steel rod i.e. not called 'axles'. I don't think these are subject to delays as they are generic stock items - I'm sure a phone call will clarify the supply situation.

They come in 150mm lengths for you to cut the length you require and are ground to a precision of +0.0001"/-0.0003" (that's a tenth to three tenths of a thousand of an inch).

p.s. a normal hack saw blade will easily cut silver steel and be less liable to break in the process.


You could also try Rennie Tools who do the same thing with online purchase and next day posting
https://www.rennietool.co.uk/collection ... eel-bs1407
https://www.rennietool.co.uk/collection ... eel-bs1407
I have always had excellent service from them.

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Martin Kelly » Thu Sep 23, 2021 8:17 am

Thank you all for your swift replies. As somebody attempting to put a P4 locomotive on the tracks for the first time, it's funny what odd little queries pop into my head. I am sure many of these are second nature to more experienced members of the society so it's great to be able to reach out and get practical responses.

At present, the idea of converting the Hattons P Class is looking increasingly do-able for me as a modeller rather than an engineer with access to lathes, milling machines etc. I wanted the simplest route for my first locomotive and, after false starts with several idea that seem to involve things I don't have the means to achieve, this one looks like I can pretty much do it all sitting at my kitchen table.

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Re: 16xx by Rapido from Model Rail

Postby Captain Kernow » Wed Nov 24, 2021 10:04 am

One thing I would advise, is to check that every 1/8 to 2mm bush is absolutely consistent in measurements, both internal diameter (2mm) and outside (1/8").
Tim M
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