After that bit of tweaking of the Airfix body, I'll share with you through pictures a couple of things to consider when making sure that body and the High Level chassis work together properly...
Of course, when building the chassis using the P4 spacers (I'm not going to say "to P4 standards" in case there are any who subsequently read this who are using EM wheels
)then the frames will be wider apart than on the original. We also, thanks to the kit, have extra details to contend with.
Chris includes in the instructions mention that you may need to file a little bit of the frame bracing to fit between the valances. He then goes on to say say you should fit it "having made any necessary adjustments". There are two areas where I found I had to make adjustments.Front wheel splashers
The moulded plastic splashers are wider than in the prototype, as the OO chassis and wheels are closer together. It's inevitable, to ensure the splashers cover the treads and flanges of the OO wheels. When you come to fit the P4 width chassis, it won't fit properly because the tops of the rear of the front splashers that are part of the frames sit inside the OO splashers. Like this:
What is needed is to remove sufficient of the plastic splasher to allow the splasher rear to sit behind it and butt up against it. I found that the easiest way was to place the chassis in the correct position in the body, making sure that it was absolutely centred. I then used a scalpel bearing gently on the outside face of the splasher to scribe a line in the plastic to show the amount of material that needed removing. I then did this using a scalpel, finishing off with a fine file.
In the picture below, you will see that the far splasher has the line scribed in the plastic. As you would expect, it's around a millimetre of material that needs to come off each side. The nearer splasher has already had the plastic removed.
It is a case of trial and error, and finishing the job off carefully as you don't want to end up with an uneven rear edge to the splasher top, or a gap between it and the rear face of the splasher. Not a job to be rushed.
Having done that, I tried the chassis in place, and found that it still didn't fit neatly. Indeed, it rocked back and forth from the ends. A quick glance found the culprit.
Again, due to the compromises of moulding of the plastic body, the valances are thicker than they should be. They were coming into conflict with the tops of the rear sandboxes:
I believe that the sandboxes are in the correct place, as they fit neatly into the space for them in the chassis, and indeed have a moulded "pip" to locate them in place for soldering. So I needed to just use a sharp scalpel to carve away a little bit of the plastic on the inside of the valances to ensure that there was clearance for the sandbox tops:
After that, I was able to locate the rear of the etched chassis onto the plastic tab at the base of the bunker in the body (after the tiniest amount of fettling to gain clearance) and fit the two together.
I was pleased to see that on bringing them together, the body fitted flatly and squarely on the frames, and all looked good and square.