Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Help and advice for those starting in, or converting to P4 standards. A place to share modelling as a beginner in P4.
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John McAleely
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Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby John McAleely » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:43 pm

Encouraged by the beginners workshop last year, I want to have a go at a brass loco kit.

I plan to spend a weekend (at a Missenden Abbey course in March) getting started, and would like to make as much progress as possible assembling the model in that time.

My personal interests are blue diesels & electrics, which are well served by excellent RTR models, but I think that loco building will be something I enjoy. In order to get something that might fit a future project, an industrial shunter that was operational in the 70's and 80's seems like a good idea.

So (On recommendation of local members - thanks Paul!), I thought I'd have a go at one of the Judith Edge: http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/catalogue/judithedge kits. If I fancy the look of the Sentinel 0-4-0 or 0-6-0 kits, I would like to ask some advice of the assembled members:

* Assuming these are reasonable starter kits, is there any reason to prefer one over the other, considering it's my first P4 kit, and my hope to get good progress in a dedicated weekend? I am aiming to gain confidence in building a working chassis.

* Any advice on what I should use to complete them (Motors, gears, wheels, etc - although that sounds easy for the 0-4-0, since Judith Edge say it fits a Tenshodo motor bogie)

* Any advice on specialist tools I might benefit from. I have the toolkit recommended for the recent society one day workshops.

For now, I'll not consider painting and finishing the model - I think that will make a good follow on project!

simonmoore

Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby simonmoore » Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:40 pm

Some of the Judith Edge kits use a RTR motorbogie so you will only need to construct the bodywork. I found that a wagon kit was the best place to start, Lochgorm kits do a beginner etch it costs about £8 & is a good place to learn about etched brass & how to solder parts. Doing a loco kit firstly is a big jump & it rings back the learn to walk before you run saying. Judith Edge kits are a very well designed kit & will go together exceptionally well given time & patients .

Simon.

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Russ Elliott
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby Russ Elliott » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:22 am

I get the impression that many Judith Edge kits are all a bit different in the chassis department, some not being designed for compensation (let alone springing), and even where compensation is designed in, it can be a bit of a weird 4-point arrangement involving strange sets of beams whose intended operation is indiscernible from the instructions. If going for a coupling rod kit involving a jackshaft, make sure the jackshaft throw can be made exactly the same as the throw on your chosen wheels.

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Flymo748
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby Flymo748 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:32 am

John McAleely wrote:Encouraged by the beginners workshop last year, I want to have a go at a brass loco kit.
I plan to spend a weekend (at a Missenden Abbey course in March) getting started, and would like to make as much progress as possible assembling the model in that time.

Morning John :-)

Well, missenden is a great chance to get loads and loads of quality modelling time, all in very convivial company, and just like an Area Group, all that you have to do is ask and you'll get as much or as little guidance as you like.

John McAleely wrote:My personal interests are blue diesels & electrics, which are well served by excellent RTR models, but I think that loco building will be something I enjoy. In order to get something that might fit a future project, an industrial shunter that was operational in the 70's and 80's seems like a good idea.

There does remain a strong attraction for me in loco building, despite the fact that I'm not particularly good at it. I've just popped the High Level Pug on the rolling road for the first time to give it a quick forty minutes running in before going to work, and it's very satisfying just sitting there chugging away :-)

John McAleely wrote:So (On recommendation of local members - thanks Paul!), I thought I'd have a go at one of the Judith Edge: http://www.ukmodelshops.co.uk/catalogue/judithedge kits. If I fancy the look of the Sentinel 0-4-0 or 0-6-0 kits, I would like to ask some advice of the assembled members:


Well, I picked up a Judith Edge kit for a Barclay 204hp 0-6-0 (erstwhile BR Class 05) a few months ago. I'll take the instructions into the office and scan them, and you can see what you're in for with this style of kit. That said, I think that this is one of the older ones, and the new locos may have more extensive instructions. These are a bit dense and typed only.

However, much more useful is that you will find James Hilton's blog of a Sentinel build here http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php/blog/482/entry-2973-exciting-parcels-and-burnt-fingers/.

It's not only his first loco kit build but his first one in P4 as well. Sound familiar? And I have to say, he's made a lovely job of it. You can follow the entries right through to (nearly) the end...

John McAleely wrote:* Any advice on what I should use to complete them (Motors, gears, wheels, etc - although that sounds easy for the 0-4-0, since Judith Edge say it fits a Tenshodo motor bogie)


If it's the same kit, then James used a Black Beetle, specially made in P4. I don't know what the delivery lead-time is, so if you are going for one, I'd start making phone calls now...

John McAleely wrote:* Any advice on specialist tools I might benefit from. I have the toolkit recommended for the recent society one day workshops.


And I will have almost every (portable) tool imaginable with me, so don't worry overly about that. If you have the opportunity to try using some of them, you'll have a better idea about what works for you, and what is unnecessary. Just bring along plenty of enthusiasm, and knowing you I don't think that is a problem!

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

Terry Bendall
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Feb 07, 2011 9:01 am

I have built two of the Judith Edge shunter kits, both 0-4-0s - the Steelman Royal and the Thomas Hill Vangard. Both of these are designed to use a motor bogie as the power source and because of the short wheelbase, no conpensation or springing is required. The kits were developed by Mike Edge for my son's MoD layout Staverton and are now part of the Judith Edge range. Because there is no compensation needed they are ideal for a first time exercise. We found they run very well on the somewhat indifferent track on the layout and they go together easily. Building any 0-6-0 type, especially if fitted with coupling rods is another matter and I have not done any of these. However the Bachmann 08 shounters used on the same layout and fitted with Ultrascale wheels also run perfrectly well without springing or compensdation. There is of course some movement in the axles of these which may not be ther case with a kit chassis. My approach is that I only use springing or comensation when it is needed and quite a lot of the time it is not.

simonmoore wrote:I found that a wagon kit was the best place to start, Lochgorm kits do a beginner etch it costs about £8 & is a good place to learn about etched brass & how to solder parts.


The Society bought some of these for the workshop held last year. In the end they were not used, because we felt they were a bit too complex for the beginner, especially some of the folding required. It looks like Simon may have a different view.

Terry Bendall

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John McAleely
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby John McAleely » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:09 pm

Thank you all for the advice. I've spoken to the folks who carry the various bits, and if I wanted to build the 0-4-0 in P4, the special order beetle needed for the Hunslet would have probably arrived after the modelling weekend. I could build in 00 (after all, this is one case the build would be the same), but that means the loco would be destined for my 'old' layout, and not the future :-)

Concerned that the chassis of the 0-6-0 might not be designed with suspension in the kit (as opposed to an exercise for the builder according to taste), I've hit upon the idea of using one of the high level kits instead.

Right now, I've bought their 03 chassis kit, which I hope means I can focus on the hard bit (the chassis) for the weekend, and then plonk the rtr body on top when I'm done. I spent an enjoyable saturday morning at the watford show buying tools & jigs.

As you can see elsewhere in the forum, I've started to build wagons for practice!

steves17
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby steves17 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:08 pm

Well I've got part of my layout working and have now tested it with a bought P4 engine- though it frustratingly isn't working correctly- but never mind that for the minute. I'm looking to buy some wheels for a class 28 and 35 diesel- both Haljan. I know Ultrascale do conversion packs for both and i've read Knuckles's attempt on the 35 class , but I remember someone on my first visit to a P4 club recommending Intercity wheels over these. I can't remember why exactly, the only thing I could think of would be you could have the pick up closer to the axels- leading to less resistance on the pick ups. I could very easily be wrong on that assumption, but does anyone have a suggestion for the best company to do a simple wheels swap of these two RTR loco's? Price (or looks as you don't see that much of a wheel behind the framework ) isn't so much an issue as results.

Could someone out there also recommend a Clerestory type hook and chain kit to convert a few of my coaches? I'm quite certain these are just loose coupled- pre-dating vacuum brakes and more modern forms of linking up passenger stock. Would they just be the same as truck three linked chains, or something a little more sophisticated?

Thanks.
Steve
Last edited by steves17 on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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HowardGWR
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby HowardGWR » Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:21 pm

Could you have a look at your post Steve. I can't understand your first sentence or your last paragraph. There is an edit facility you can click on. If the P4 engine was bought second hand ('brought'?) was it a coupled engine or a bogie diesel? All the problems with converting engines to EM or P4 are to do with coupling rods, quartering, etc. in my experience. I have not come across anyone who had any trouble with a bogie engine conversion. I'd love to hear from those who have experience though.

I simply cannot follow your last paragraph at all. What have Clerestory (was that what you meant?) coaches to do with coupling the coaches together?

Perhaps you could have another look at the posting please?

steves17
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby steves17 » Mon Apr 14, 2014 7:42 pm

Sorry I was half asleep when I posted that. The 14xx engine has already been converted and was running fine when I bought it. I since tried a shell swap- but have done something to the engine as it stops and starts. I was going to take it back next time I pass by the club- so am not too worried about that for the moment, but I do at least know now that i've got the DCC system working. I have a Haljan class 28 and plan to buy a 35 of the same company. I think I know how to do the basic wheel swap without too much hassle- as it looks easy enough. I just wanted to know about Inter-city wheels, as a club member mentioned them to me on my first visit, but I couldn't remember the basis for his preference.

Yes I did mean Clerestory and as a separate project. The ones I have are an old Hornby type with the RTR hook couplers.
Image
I was thinking of re-placing the whole buffer beam for a sprung set, but thought another option would be to try placing in sprung buffers and adding a hook and chain as there is nothing on the old moulding. I'm looking to place it at around 1900, so I presume this is before screw link couplings were used. I'm not really at rivet counting yet and you're not going to see much of this area when linked up, but I still want to get it as rights possible. I'm pretty green to modelling, not just P4 and thought a few people in the know might have a few pointers before I commit to buying anything.

I have half of my layout wired, but am floundering on making the point operate. Thats an issue to its self and I think I know how to rectify this.

Ta.

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HowardGWR
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby HowardGWR » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:36 pm

Thanks, I'll be interested what your club colleagues have to say about the 14xx. If it is not 'jibbing' (coupling rods binding) then it sounds like a pickup problem. You could have a look at that by running it upside down with the wires from the controller (or whatever DCC does) to test the pickup to each wheel pair. It's what I did and that did at least eliminate one problem. It seems you have a very eclectic range of stock on your system! Will the clerestory coaches not run as a set normally?

steves17
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby steves17 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:46 am

Thanks for the tip, will try it when i've got a bit a time spare. I think the problem though is more around the cored engine area, as I haven't touched the pick ups. The motor came loose when I unfastened the screw underneath the chassis to remove the shell. Its a surprisingly tight fit around the bunker area, I wished I had done the shell swap after I tried it on my layout. I hopefully will be acquiring another loco in the next week, if not then when I convert the 28 Cobo.
Yes I do have a wide range of stock on my track- this is because i'm trying the model The Railway Series. That Clerestory coach is a red herring though. I believe its from the Hornby Caledonian train package from the 80's. I have a few from my 00 collection and thought they would be a good starter project to break in my modelling skills. I just like the look of them really and re- creating a fictitious railway gives me a certain amount of leeway and I was thinking of putting them on one of the three pre NWR railways that were absorbed in 1914. The layouts are set up to run real world stock to (i'm not really getting bogged down with the correct chair bolting etc), when I come to cross that bridge. My interest is in steam really, but as I want to have the diesels from the books then I might as well do them first as they are much easier to convert ( what could go wrong ;) ). Might spring them later on if I feel they need it and I am feeling more technically confident.
What i'm really gunning for in this posting is to hear from anyone who knows about those intercity wheels. I know I can use Ultra-scale or Alan Gibson, but if there is a good reason to choose them over those two I wouldn't mind knowing before I buy or place an order. And I thought while I was at it I could get some opinion about choosing the right couplings to re-place the RTR hooks.
Cheers.
Last edited by steves17 on Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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John McAleely
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby John McAleely » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:00 am

steves17 wrote: What i'm really gunning for in this posting is to hear from anyone who knows about those intercity wheels.


Can I suggest you start a separate thread then, with that specific title? Those with the experience of them are unlikely to think to look at a thread with this title, and you will also be doing a service to those who have the same question in the future.

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Noel
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby Noel » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:29 am

No information on the wheels, I'm afraid, but if you intend to set the period as around 1900, coaches would have had screw couplings and vacuum [or air] brake pipes, because continuous automatic brakes [CAB] were obligatory after the 1889 Regulation of Railways Act, passed following the Armagh accident earlier that year. Fitting CAB, where not already present, didn't happen overnight, but was largely completed early in the 1890s.

Screw couplings came into use significantly earlier, as loose coupling vehicles lets them oscillate between the vehicles on either side, resulting in a jerky ride. Apart from possible safety issues it was uncomfortable for passengers. Using screw couplings kept the buffer faces in contact and essentially made the whole train one unit.

Noel
Regards
Noel

steves17
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby steves17 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:19 pm

Thanks for the pointers Noel & John. I've looked up the intercity wheels now, but can't seem to find a great deal on them, when I pop down to the club next time I will see if I can find out more about them. I think after just looking up on the Ultra scale conversion packs I will go with them, they state that the wheels have an enclosed complete metal backs- so the pick ups can rest anywhere on them, The pick ups just need to be adjusted out a bit for P4. Knuckles has done this for his Hymek, so I will follow his posting on it. Will be placing an order shortly to get the ball rolling-as i've heard about their waiting times.
I will look into some screw link couplings and brake pipes for my clerestory coaches - thanks for setting me right on that front.

Kind Regards.
Steve.

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John Donnelly
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Re: Advice to get first loco project off to a good start?

Postby John Donnelly » Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:44 pm

steves17 wrote:Will be placing an order shortly to get the ball rolling-as i've heard about their waiting times.


At least 6 months at the moment... :shock:

John


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