High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

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John McAleely
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby John McAleely » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:16 pm

Thanks all. I have spent a few hours now fettling away (just a little each time). The chassis now runs under finger power on a short length of track, but has a strange slightly 'lumpy' feel (just a subtle one), rather than a silky smooth feel.

Put the motor on, and it binds up again (not as quickly though!).

I'm moderately confident that I'm on the right track with fettling - after all I've gone from binds each time to almost smooth under finger power - and I just need one more session to get it running smoothly with the motor. I assume that the motor is weighting & stressing the chassis differently to my finger, and hence all the little errors come out differently. Perhaps the underlying 'bump' under finger pressure is evidence I've not quite got it right there too.

This is by turns very encouraging and very frustrating, so I've taken a break. Testing the assembly by screwing on the coupling rods is incredibly fiddly, and is definitely an X rated experience for language.

At the start of the next session I will be following Mark's suggestion - hopefully to build confidence there are no major errors in my build.

I'd like to thank David for the pointer (via email) to an MRJ article by our tutor at Missenden (Tim Watson) which explained the theory and practice quite clearly - which hole to open up when the rods bind in particular orientations.

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David B
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby David B » Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:33 pm

John wrote " . . . an MRJ article by our tutor at Missenden (Tim Watson) which explained the theory and practice quite clearly - which hole to open up when the rods bind in particular orientations."


The article in question was from MRJ Issue 94 (1997) p.83 where Tim is building a Finney A4 in 7mm.

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Flymo748
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Flymo748 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:43 pm

John McAleely wrote:This is by turns very encouraging and very frustrating, so I've taken a break. Testing the assembly by screwing on the coupling rods is incredibly fiddly, and is definitely an X rated experience for language.

It's a wise move to take a break... Why do you think that my Pug was started at Missenden 2010 and finished at Missenden 2011???

Seriously, it looks from the pictures that you've posted that you're using Gibson or Ultrascale crankpin nuts. I agree with you that these can be absolute sods to get on and off.

Which is why, at the fettling stage, I only use 14BA brass nuts, and don't put the real crankpin nuts on until the final assembly. Using brass nuts is functionally exactly the same during the building, and they are a lot easier to take on and off. Particularly if you have a 14BA spinner from Derek at Eileen's. It makes twiddling your nuts much, much easier...

HTH
Flymo
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Philip Hall
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:58 pm

Instead of crankpin nuts in the testing stages I use short lengths of cable sleeving pushed onto the crankpin. Saves all the screwing up (in both senses) and the unscrewing...

Philip

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John McAleely
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby John McAleely » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:14 pm

That's a top tip, and made today's session much more pleasant. Here it is again as an 0-4-0, but under motor power:

HighLevel03-1.jpg
HighLevel03-1.jpg (59.47 KiB) Viewed 9977 times


On this kit the crankshaft is a dummy - it is rotated via a set of cogs inside the frame, and the crankpin is not attached.

It seems just a little more patience was required. I'm letting some epoxy set right now, so... Does anyone have tips for posting video clips on this forum? Tomorrow looks like it might be the 'big reveal'! I've had the chassis running (touch wood) on my rolling road earlier, so I just need to assemble the brake gear and body onto the chassis, and see that it still runs...

I'm sure another round of fettling after a try out on some track will be needed, but today has seen good progress! With perfect timing, the next CHEAG meeting should be about painting...

David Knight
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby David Knight » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:53 am

John,

At the risk of insulting your intelligence, have you lubricated the axle bearings? I only ask because one of mine was running a bit rough and smoothed out considerably after the application of a very small quantity of oil.

Cheers,

David

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John McAleely
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby John McAleely » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:45 pm

Perfectly fair question - I did have a moment when I thought that oiling would be perhaps a good idea :-)

And after a few more tweaks this morning, here's the 'finished' result:

HighLevel03-1.jpg
HighLevel03-1.jpg (61.85 KiB) Viewed 9932 times


Which runs on my rolling road, and also the few centimetres available on my 'test track'. It's not super smooth, and the pickups are definitely a bit temperamental, but I'm happy I have a working chassis from my first attempt! I think I need to turn back to building a layout to run it on now.

I'm sure another round of fettling will be needed when I first run it on a layout, so I shall make sure it travels with tools if the opportunity presents itself.

And here it is running:




It has a bit of a wobble in one direction - which I think you can hear. The motor spindle can be observed to oscillate in & out of the can, which is odd, and clearly needs investigation.

However, the goal here was to prove to myself that a P4 chassis was within reach, and I think I'm pleased that I feel it is. Now, what next? :-)
Last edited by grovenor-2685 on Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to use the Youtube tags - KN

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grovenor-2685
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:37 pm

Looking good, tempts me to get mine out of the cupboard and have a go at building it.
Regards
Keith

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Andy W
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Andy W » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:57 pm

Well done John! The feeling from succeeding is worth the struggle. If it were easy there would be no point. (Although an easy build would be welcome!)
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John McAleely
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby John McAleely » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:47 pm

Hopefully this loco is out for a big adventure tomorrow. Following on from a suggestion earlier in the year, I hope to go to the MRC open day tomorrow, and blag a run on their test track.

Until today, a few yards was all the mechanism had done, and until I'd had it looked over by others, I wasn't sure if the remaining minor judders were big problems or not - I didn't want to grind in a problem!

Having had it looked over a few weeks ago (all clear!) I let it run in today on my rolling road.

Running in has to date been one of those things I've not worried too much about - my previous locos were either silky smooth from the box, or thrashed around toy trainsets as a kid. So I was impressed to observe the difference today. About 30 mins into the run, the mechanism was drawing visibly less current, and (perhaps in my mind) seemed to become more surefooted.

I've now added a small flywheel, which seems to mean the loco starts more smoothly, and it's all ready to try a run on a layout!

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John McAleely
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby John McAleely » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:03 pm

Today I went back to the MRC at Keen House (my P4 adventure kind of started there), and enjoyed looking at the layouts they had out for show.

I also got this loco running. Pleasingly, it ran first time, and happily trundled around their test track without incident:



Seeing it trundle around was quite inspiring, and I think might revisit my original goals. I think this loco deserves finishing!

nigelcliffe
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby nigelcliffe » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:42 pm

If you don't want the loco, I'll give it a good home :-)

More seriously, well done, it is very satisfying to see a loco run on a decent length of track. I do agree, it deserves finishing.


- Nigel

wally

Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby wally » Sun Apr 22, 2012 4:46 pm

Just a quick point on the uses of various fluxes and cleaning up afterwards.

Some folks do not seem to apreciate that Powerflow paste is not an acidic medium and therefore does not corrode in the same way as the "liquids" as it is formulated for use on lead free jointing on potable water pipes.

The residue can be removed by dissolving in I P A (Isopropyl Alcohpol, not best bitter!) then mopped up with piece of kitchen roll or tissue, I find that application and agitation with a cotton bud will normally suffice although if the residue has been in place fo a time agitation with a bit a Scotchhbrite or similar pan scourer helps. A quick swim in the "bubble bath" (ultrasonic cleaner) is all that is needed to finish the job.

Wally

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Apr 22, 2012 6:01 pm

Good stuff John and it definitely needs finishing!!
Mark Tatlow

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Horsetan
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Horsetan » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:39 pm

What a lovely combination. 8-)

I'm awaiting delivery of a HL 03/04 chassis myself.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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John Donnelly
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby John Donnelly » Mon May 21, 2012 6:03 pm

Nice work John, do you think this could be attempted by someone with no previous experience of building chassis or ever soldering?

John

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John McAleely
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby John McAleely » Mon May 21, 2012 8:00 pm

johndon wrote:Nice work John, do you think this could be attempted by someone with no previous experience of building chassis or ever soldering


Thank you John! Yes, I think this is a good kit to use for a first attempt. I think it is more complex than perhaps the received wisdom suggests (it's a compensated 0-6-0 with coupling rods and so on), where you might try a more simple 0-4-0 first. It certainly has a few challenges - you'll have a sense of some from the above.

My decision process that led to this choice was influenced here.

This was my first chassis build, and before starting I had made about 3 solder joints. In between deciding to start this and actually wielding my soldering iron on it, I did decide to build a brass wagon. That wasn't exactly a clear success (first time), but it helped me get my eye/hand in.

The one thing that was important to me was to do a fair bit of the build 'in company' - either this forum, my local area group (CHEAG) or a weekend at Missenden. I'm pretty sure I would have got off OK with just a soldering demo, but I think progress would have been slower, and occasionally more frustrating (for me).

Having said that the kit has very detailed instructions, and goes together straightforwardly. Much of the design magic goes into helping you get a good result, so all in all, yes - this is a good first choice. Following the instructions will get you to build the step assemblies first - a not too subtle way to get some practice in at soldering before you go on to the more critical bits!

It worked for me!

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John Donnelly
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby John Donnelly » Wed May 23, 2012 11:55 am

Hi John,

Many thanks for that, it is much appreciated. Having spend last night wiring up my new layout, I think I need a lot of practice with the soldering before I venture in to a chassis :D

John

Knuckles
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Knuckles » Sun May 27, 2012 11:13 am

Authough late may I also say well done. I've only myself built one working locomotive (chassis) but that was in 00 and had fixed wheels, no suspension or anything. It works but not very well, stalls when going slow, binds and falls of the rails all too often!

Seeing those two videos, the 2nd especially has made me want to try a build straight into P4. Unsure weather I should convert some of my engines or just go with a straight build but it's been an interesting and inspiring read. I've heard nothing but good things about High Level Kits so maybe it's a company worth trying.

Does anyone know of a company who you would actually avoid for P4 loco's?
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Thomas Paine

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/sparksho ... eationsscc
Mostly offering Loco kits & bits in 4mm.
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DougN
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby DougN » Sun May 27, 2012 11:51 am

Tough call there Knuckles. Do you have a loco in mind that you want to build? I find this the best way to achieve a finished loco is to go for one that you really want to work on. Personally any of the High level loco's go together well, Malcolm Mitchell, Martin Finney, Dave Bradwell, Brass Masters, London road models. All can be built. (first minor detail) and run in P4 with out modification (which at worst you would be warned about).

If as you say the first one that you have built in OO runs a little bit less than the way you want. Try a loco from Highlevel. It will get you a loco that runs well and is a little bit of a challange but it will be all worked through and is quite painless. Personally I built the Little black Hawthorn in a realatively short time while concertrating on the Dave Bradwell Q6... funny the BH is finished and running and the Q6 is still awaiting on a few things!
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

Knuckles
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Knuckles » Sun May 27, 2012 4:39 pm

Well, I want to convert or redo the engines I already have done, you can see a few of them here

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1690

But I also want to build future things straight to P4, I was thinking of Caley Coaches 812 class. 04 Drewey Diesel similar to the one above, LB&SCR E2, two different forms, A FR 4-4-0 K2 'Larger Seagul' but modyfied (Dragon Models are going to make one, been liasing with them for 2 years) and a fair bunch of other things.


I don't know, too much choice!

But one of the most important things is for me to get my head around Templot, and this is proving to be almost impossible. Everyone says that's normal but if it's so hard to learn why design it that way? Anyway, I've made 2 turnouts, both Exactoscale and C&L Timber Tracks type so I have at least some idea what I'm doing, maybe I should make a simple cross over as a next experiment or convert some more wagons? Still new to this P4.

An Ex LNWR 4-6-2T 4P (is this the same as a Robinson A5??) would be nice in LMS Crimson Lake/Maroon.

I don't know to be honest. I really want to get working hornblocks though, never tried them. The fact that I didn't do a brilliant job on the fixed 00 chasiss (L&YR Class 28 modded) worries me somewhat, especially as I'd have to cut my own horn guides or whatever you call them to do a P4 version.

I've already decided that I'll buy one of the loco building jigs, not cheap but if it means I have more chance of doing a good job then it'll be worth it rather than making a dogs ball of it and wasting money. Unsure which to get.
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest.” Thomas Paine

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/sparksho ... eationsscc
Mostly offering Loco kits & bits in 4mm.
SCC Photon Resin Prints Price list
download/file.php?id=19320

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David Thorpe
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby David Thorpe » Sun May 27, 2012 6:44 pm

Whoa there, don't run before you can walk, Knuckles!

As everyone agrees, High level kits are beautifully engineered and go together well. BUT they're small and very fiddly and I wouldn't really recommend them to someone just starting out. My High level loco (one of their tiniest) has been put at the back of the cupboard as I just can't get it to run smoothly at the moment - I'll return to it later. I'd go for something bigger but also simple, probably an 0-6-0 tank or a 4-4-0 loco, and I wouldn't try anything with outside cylinders. I've enjoyed building Gibson kits, but the chassis are generic for 00/EM/P4 and require some minor modifications - I've never got on with their sprung hornblocks or plunger pickups, for example, but that's easily solved by getting another brand of hornblock - I've usually used basic MJTs. Pickups I hate at the best of times......

It has its faults, but nevertheless my Avonside Chassis Pro is one of the best buys I've ever made. It was a real joy when the first chassis I made on it - admittedly only a 4-4-0 - ran smoothly from the start without any tweaking. Of course I managed to mess it up trying something stupid a bit later, but that's another story and, in any event, was fairly easily resolved.

Oh, and by the way, about your rigid chassis that doesn't run very well - in my limited experience, it is easier to build a smooth running compensated chassis than a rigid one.

DT

P.S. I can't work Templot either.

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Martin Wynne
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Martin Wynne » Sun May 27, 2012 7:38 pm

DaveyTee wrote:P.S. I can't work Templot either.

Have you asked for help on Templot Club? Many folks say Templot is too difficult, but never actually tell me which bit they don't understand.

Please watch these two videos:

http://www.templot.com/martweb/videos/f ... up_em.html

http://www.templot.com/martweb/videos/f ... arter.html

On the bottom right is a counter showing the elapsed time. Please stop the video at the first place you don't understand and then report the elapsed time here or on Templot Club ( http://85a.co.uk/forum/ ). I will then be happy to explain that bit in greater detail.

regards,

Martin.
40 years developing Templot. And counting ...

DougN
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby DougN » Mon May 28, 2012 2:54 am

Knuckles I think that you have answered your own question. Go for the O4. You have the advantace that there is a thread on it here. Other "fors" it is readily avialable with good back up support from Chris Gibbons. Fast turn around on "bits" from Chris and not too expensive!

As for Templot, I have been "playing"with it now on and off for a month or 2. Martin has put every thing in there it is just a case of learning where to find things. My bigger problem is finding a time that I am in the right mood to have a go at Templot. Which recently has been Sunday night! It is a challange but I can see where the benefits lie!
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

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Flymo748
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Re: High Level chassis kit for Class 03/04

Postby Flymo748 » Mon May 28, 2012 5:29 am

Knuckles,

If you want to pick up your Sodor theme, what about the High Level chassis kit to go underneath the Bachmann Pannier? That would be an alternative to the 04. However either of them would be a good start to etched kits.

In terms of what makes a "good" P4 kit, then the simple answer is that almost anything can be made to run in P4. The only question is how much of the original chassis you throw away, and how much you have to modify the body... The names given you so far are a very good start. The one thing that I would say is that they require patience... I spent around an hour on Saturday just attaching four lamp irons on my Y5. Not because the kit is difficult - far from it - but because the detail warrants a really careful and precise approach.

The best approach, if you would like to try something other than the couple of suggestions so far, would be to choose a kit and ask for opinions on here before you buy it.

Oh, and yes - Templot is extremely good, and like me, your brain may simply not be designed to work that way.

HTH
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk


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