Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

williambarter
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Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby williambarter » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:23 pm

I'm just about getting my act together to build one of these, bought several years ago. Wondered if anyone has any experience or advice to offer, particularly as to motorising it?

William

Philip Hall
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:18 pm

William,

I’ve not seen the 0 kit but I suspect it may be similar to their Ilfracombe Goods kit. I was going to use a High Level gearbox and a 1220 or 1224 Mashima motor, but this was before the advent of the 10 series. That kit had a cast boiler/firebox and if the 0 is the same there would be plenty of room and plenty of weight.

Philip

williambarter
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby williambarter » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:13 pm

Philip,
Thanks, that's encouraging. It looks as if the High Level 'Roadrunner +' could drive the rear axle without fouling the firebox backhead, and if I can get away with a small motor then the necessary cutaway in the boiler underside will largely be hidden by the splashers of the middle axle.
Next challenge is to devise a way in which the driving axles/wheels, once quartered, can be removed complete without having to take the wheels off the axles and doing the quartering all over again ...
Regards,
William

Philip Hall
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:20 pm

My solution to the wheel problem is not to keep taking them on and off. I only do it once at the end of most of the construction. Alignment of brakes etc is done with the wheels slid onto wooden axles (this is also how I work out sideplay) and the brake hangers are bent back when the GW press is used to mount the wheels and bent back to shape again after the wheels are in. The chassis is painted and weathered beforehand. As are the wheels, complete with balance weights.

So the principle is that the chassis is assembled with painted parts. This is also how I deal with conversions; I don’t care to take apart an engine I’ve got running nicely!

OK removable bearings in horn blocks will permit dismantling, but so far I’ve never seen the need. Yes, it does make putting the wheels on axles easier if the frames are not in the way ( and I enjoy this facility with rtr conversions) but so far I’ve managed home built chassis this way.

Philip

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grovenor-2685
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:52 pm

Philip Hall wrote:Alignment of brakes etc is done with the wheels slid onto wooden axles (this is also how I work out sideplay)

Thanks for that Philip, not something I had thought of, I can see it being very useful.
Regards
Keith
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Horsetan
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Horsetan » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:12 pm

williambarter wrote:I'm just about getting my act together to build one of these, bought several years ago. Wondered if anyone has any experience or advice to offer, particularly as to motorising it?


Good luck with:

- the oval boiler casting - you'll see this when trying to plug it into the smokebox casting;

DSC00445.JPG


- the cast footplate halves - one of which is marginally shorter than the other. Having soldered the two halves together, you then have to saw a hole out of your handiwork in order to create space for your chosen motor and gearbox....;

DSC04318.JPG


- weak chassis top line; if you open it out to fit hornblocks, there is little to no support along the top;

P290912_16.35_[01].jpg


- tender outside frames that could have been better rendered as etchings, rather than sideframe castings soldered to an etched floor;

DSC04320.JPG


The detail castings are nice, though, so I suppose that's something.

This kit had so much promise, but the design of it was done between Britain and New Zealand and somewhere along the line I think something was lost in translation.

I'm having to resort to the old Jidenco etches to help correct some of the weaknesses, and using Jidenco as a fallback is not something you would do lightly.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

Philip Hall
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Philip Hall » Wed Aug 19, 2020 10:57 pm

William,

There is a solution to the chassis top line weakness, but although I know it will work, I hesitate a little, for fear my sanity might be questioned. But here goes...

If the model is fairly evenly weighted (and with a cast boiler it should be) and provided the wheels are absolutely concentric, then it is possible to merely open out two of the fixed bearings with a file to allow a tiny bit of downward play, with a little bit of upward play as well on the middle axle. One axle is fixed as for compensation. The chassis is assembled on a surface plate and the alignment of bearings is checked by rods placed through the axle holes, resting on other rods outboard of those resting on the surface plate. This allows you to make sure the axle holes are absolutely in line before you do any filing. I guess you could do the same thing with one of the fancy chassis jigs.

The principle is that the wheels can drop a touch on uneven track, but not much movement is needed because the wheels are dead true. I think Tony Reynalds has used this method on his engines, relying on the weight of the wheelsets to allow them to drop. OK that’s in 7mm scale, but I know it works because I have done this on a conversion of the 00 Works LSWR D15, and on an EM Gauge Dean Goods chassis recently completed. Now if this heresy gives you the quivers, a compensation beam could be introduced between the from two axles in the conventional way and a bit of upward play on the outer axle as well. You’ve just saved having to cut out slots for the hornblocks and potentially weaken the chassis.

This system is no good at all if there is any eccentricity in the wheelsets because the engine will wobble along rather than glide. It requires more effort in some respect because you have to be very careful in opening out the bearings, as well as making sure the coupling rods precisely match the axle centres.

I said it was a bit dodgy, so I will now retire to bed and await the approbations from my fellows that might well be here in the morning!

Philip

Edit: I wrote the above before seeing Ivan's pictures of the chassis, which doesn't look too bad to me. I've had far worse. However, in this case I would solder a length of nickel strip (bullhead rail would be fine) along the top edge if you were worried. My other solutions are still valid, though.
Last edited by Philip Hall on Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:05 am

I've built a couple of the chassis to go under SEF R and R1 kits (in OO with no compensation). You'll need a set of Alan Gibson coupling rods, as the ones provided by the kit are a bit poor and very flimsy. The other problem I had is that the brake cranks go where the rear fixing screw is located, so a bit of simplification was needed to get the screw to fit.

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Horsetan
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Horsetan » Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:49 pm

Philip Hall wrote:....I said it was a bit dodgy, ....


It goes with the whole ethos of the kit.

pete_mcfarlane wrote:.... coupling rods, as the ones provided by the kit are a bit poor and very flimsy. ...


I managed to make the original rods properly jointed, but they are very slender and perilously close to snapping in half.

It's such a shame. This had all the makings of a creditable kit, and with better choices of material would be a friendlier kit to build - the following would improve it:

- etched loco footplate
- brass boiler tube
- etched cab
- etched tender outside frames.

I don't know what you would do to strengthen the chassis topline, though, but providing more metal above the hornblock positions would be a start.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:46 am

Horsetan wrote:I don't know what you would do to strengthen the chassis topline, though, but providing more metal above the hornblock positions would be a start.


I would be inclined to solder on brass angle, but I fear that if added inside the frames it might conflict with the suspension. Presumably it could be added outside the frame, to support the edge of the running plate. Further, the frames are presumably etched a little low to sit under the cast-slab running plate. If the slab be replaced with brass, then the angles might be arranged as a frame extension to keep the body-height correct.

This is hand-waving for the moment, but I have one of these kits in the FIFO of fear, so have to sort these matters eventually.

PDS
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby PDS » Mon Aug 24, 2020 9:57 am

William

I'm posting the following words of wisdom of a fellow Epsom Club member who is the only person I know who has actually built one of these kits and got it running.

As to discussing my 01, that would be fine. My only reservation is that, whilst it makes it round Wadhurst, it has never been as free running as I would like. If I recall, it has a Branchlines 38:1 SL gearbox, fitted upside down, with a Mashima 1224 at an angle up through the fire box and with the upper section of the drive shaft cut off. It may be that 38:1 is not high enough. Branchlines did do a 50:1 gearbox in the same series, but it was a bigger gear wheel and box and went for the 38:1 as I thought it more likely to fit.

I keep thinking about re-motoring it but have not wanted to touch the quartering as it works. I have had my motor/gearbox overlays out, and If I was doing it again I might try a High Level Load Hauler, again fitted upside down so that the long section of the gearbox was parallel with the boiler, and the motor vertical in the fire box space. The motor would probably have to be reduced to a 1220 (if one can still be obtained). I read something a few months ago that suggested a 1220 was technically more powerful than a 1224. However, I cannot definitely guarantee that this would fit as it is not what is in mine.

Hope this maybe of some assistance.

Peter

Philip Hall
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Philip Hall » Mon Aug 24, 2020 4:53 pm

I have just remembered that I had a Ilfracombe Goods kit when they first came out and that too had an oval boiler, so maybe the casting technique used had the same fault? I returned the kit and (on Les Darbyshire’s advice, and he knew about these engines) bought a Falcon one. Les said it was one of the nicest kits he’d built, but I never got that far as my interests changed and it went in the Bring & Buy at Scaleforum a few years ago.

What’s the Falcon one for the O like?

Philip

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Horsetan
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Horsetan » Mon Aug 24, 2020 10:21 pm

Philip Hall wrote:....What’s the Falcon one for the O like?


Its redeeming feature is that it's not a Branchlines one.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Tue Aug 25, 2020 1:43 pm

I think there's a picture of a completed Jidenco/Falcon 01 in one of Iain Rice's books. It looked very nice, although that's not necessarily a sign that the original kit was any good.

I wonder if the South Eastern Kits 0/01 could be shot down to 4mm scale? I have 4mm versions of his Q and A in my to do pile.

Philip Hall
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Philip Hall » Tue Aug 25, 2020 3:31 pm

pete_mcfarlane wrote:I think there's a picture of a completed Jidenco/Falcon 01 in one of Iain Rice's books.


I think I know who built that engine. I might be able to find out more, but perhaps this is getting away from William’s original query regarding building the Branchlines one?

Philip

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Horsetan
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Horsetan » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:35 pm

pete_mcfarlane wrote:.....I wonder if the South Eastern Kits 0/01 could be shot down to 4mm scale?....


Already done, and available to order, apparently. 5 weeks.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:30 pm

Horsetan wrote:
pete_mcfarlane wrote:.....I wonder if the South Eastern Kits 0/01 could be shot down to 4mm scale?....


Already done, and available to order, apparently. 5 weeks.

Now that's interesting......

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Horsetan
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Re: Branchlines SER/SECR Class O kit

Postby Horsetan » Wed Sep 23, 2020 5:08 pm

pete_mcfarlane wrote:Now that's interesting......


40 quid if you want 5 week delivery.

35 quid if you can wait until Christmas.
That would be an ecumenical matter.


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