Part 12 Completing the basic body shell
The inside story
Both kits come with full cab interiors, and as these very much influence the size of the space into which the motor and gear box are going to have to fit, they need to go in now. The use of the Highlevel Slimliner gearbox with a Drivestretcher (see part 2
) means that the motor sits in the boiler space, the gearbox is vertical in the firebox and drives the rear axle under the cab floor. Therefore, there is no intrusion into the cab and a complete cab interior will be fitted. The picture illustrates this drive chain, I’ll come back to the torque reaction link later. J65 to the front and J69 at the rear.
The major part of the cab interior is an etch that folds up to form the cab floor (etched with wood plank detail), the cab back/bunker front, and the shelf across the back of the cab. The bunker front also has a little shovelling plate which folds down into the bunker space to form the coal hole. The J69 etch also includes the lower cab front, in theory. However, as the etch contained an error (the floor is one plank too long), the cab front bits, there are two, have to be removed and fitted separately. The J65 has a separate single lower cab front etch in the first place.
The cab back needs the coal hatch detail to be added around the coal hole/shovelling plate before the bending begins. Once bent, I fitted edges around the shovelling plate which I made of scrap etch, so it is not just a hole into the void when I want to detail it with coal. There are a couple of small boxes which go into the front corners of the cab, the right hand one of which will eventually carry the screw reverser (all J65s and my chosen J69 were nominally passenger locos, the GER only fitted lever revers to shunters). These boxes need folding up and will be fitted at this stage. Beyond that, there is a fair bit more detail to go into the cab interior, but not now, we will come back to it later.Assembly, at last.
Having got all the bits ready, it’s assembly time. But first, the J69 cab sides have a small etch which represents the step into the cab. This should be applied first at the bottom of the door opening and I probably should have mentioned it a couple of posts ago.
Starting with one tank/cab/bunker side, we are going to tack solder to it all of the following. The bunker back, the bent-up cab interior, the cab lower front and the tank front piece. The cab interior needs to be carefully aligned with the rear edge of the cab door and the cab step detail. On the J69 the floor fits against the cab step etch soldered to the cab side that I mentioned just now. On the J65 it sits on the step detail which folded up from, and forms part of, the footplate. The fit needs checking before we progress further. Then in goes the lower cab front piece (or half of it in the case of the J69) and the tank front piece. Although they are not going to be fitted yet, it is wise to ensure that the cab spectacle plates, front and back, both sit on the cab interior and align properly with the top edge of the cab sides. They won’t if the cab interior isn’t in the right place.
The J65 kit instructions suggest that the plate provided to top off the bunker coal space should be fitted at this stage, the J69 instructions don’t. I’m with the J69 as this would close off an otherwise useful space for adding weight, or a DCC chip if that’s what turns you, or your locos, on.
Now we should ensure the assembly so far will fit squarely on the footplate before tacking on the second cab side, not forgetting the second cab front piece on the J69. One last careful check that the whole tanks/cab/bunker unit sits squarely on the footplate and aligns where it should, before running in solder to complete all the joints made so far.
You get one last chance to ensure the captive bolt on the J65 footplate is firmly attached, as we’re not going to be able to get to it again, then the whole assembly is soldered to the footplate. After that fit those little boxes into the cab front corners. On the J69 the kit provides pieces to form the tank backs. These fit directly in front of the cab front pieces, but unlike them, sit on the footplate. They exist to form a ledge onto which the tank tops will fit sometime soon. The J65 manages without.
Once satisfied the whole cab etc assembly is correctly attached to the footplate, remove those cab handrail positioning jigs from the cab sides, clean up and drill the footplate 0.5mm for the cab handrails just inside the cab door.. In theory these handrails are tapered from bottom to top but I’m afraid I chickened out on that and just used plain old 0.5mm wire which is soldered in now. Enough for now
Having reached this stage we have enough of the body available to check that motor gearbox and pickups will fit in the finished body. So in the next few posts it will be back to the chassis to finish them off. One more picture to show the bodies built to this stage and showing that the chosen motors, (Mashima 1024s my favourite motor, now sadly unavailable) are going to fit. The J69 to the front, shows that the motor goes in no problem, while for the J65 to the rear, it is a tight fit. RC 32038