Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Armchair Modeller
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:34 pm

Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Armchair Modeller » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:06 pm

I managed to buy a very cheap Bachmann Class 20 with a bit of cosmetic damage last year - ideal, I thought for testing trackwork and clearances on the model railway. Beyond that, I wasn't really sure what I might do with it. It is a bit large for a steam tramway, after all!

The conversion to P4 was very easy. A lack of forward planning meant I needed wheels very quickly, so I used Gibsons. An easier conversion would have been the Ultrascale conversion, which has wheels and gears already assembled to just drop into the chassis. I believe that Branchlines wheels would also have been marginally easier to use, as you can use the existing pickup arrangement. Gibson wheels only have thin metal tyres, so the existing pickups had to be extended. Nevertheless, it was very simple to do and very satisfying to get working! I should really have taken more photos, but I hope the ones I did take will suffice.

DSC02461.jpg
DSC02461.jpg (18.06 KiB) Viewed 5232 times


The bogie frames were removed by twisting the back of the frames with a pair of smooth pliers. The axles were then levered out using a screwdriver, as in the photo above. I removed the wheels from the Bachmann axles to retrieve the gears and axle bearings using a hammer and a blunt nail.

The Gibson axles were given a tiny taper at the ends using a file and a mini-drill. The inside of the axle holes in the wheels were also given a slight taper by gently using an oversized twist drill held in my hand. This was to make the insertion of the axles in the holes smoother and easier. I also cleaned up the backs of the wheels, where excess plastic was left over from the moulding process. This was to give a more reliable measure of the back-to-backs when the wheelsets were assembled.

The gears were then slid onto the Gibson axles, placing them centrally by eye. I added washers either side of the gears to stop the axles wandering from side to side when replaced in the bogies. The Bachmann bearings were also added. I soldered extensions to the Bachmann pickups using strips of phosphor bronze left over from an old project. I made them over-length, only trimming them once the wheels had been put back in the chassis later on. Here is a photo of the extensions soldered in place.

DSC02469.jpg
DSC02469.jpg (18.55 KiB) Viewed 5232 times


To assemble the wheelsets, I used a GW Models wheel press - a piece of kit I would highly recommend to anyone, even for diesel wheels that don't require quartering. By tapering the axles and axle holes slightly, everything was a very smooth fit. I got everything to go together without any noticeable wobble at all. I double-checked with a back-to-back gauge to make sure the wheels were properly to gauge. I then carefully added a touch of superglue to the inside and outside of the axle holes in the wheels - just to stop any possibility of the wheels sliding along the axles.

The assembled axles were then pushed back into the bogies. The pickups were trimmed to length and everything was ready for testing. The loco was just a little hesitant at first - probably due to oxidisation on the wheels or pickups - but it was soon running very nicely. Very satisfying for such a small amount of effort!

Here is a close-up of the reassembled bogie, minus the outside frames.

DSC02472.jpg
DSC02472.jpg (11.77 KiB) Viewed 5232 times


I will leave it in this state for the time being, as I am not sure what to do with the loco in the long term. I may have a look at converting it into something else a little more useful. It is perfect for track testing as it is though - just as soon as I finish wiring the track!

Terry Bendall
Posts: 1597
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:46 am

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:30 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:I believe that Branchlines wheels would also have been marginally easier to use, as you can use the existing pickup arrangement.


Yes they would. I have done eight class 20s using the Branchline wheels and they are just as easy to obtain as those from Gibson.

Terry Bendall

Armchair Modeller
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:34 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:24 am

Thanks, Terry

The only reason I didn't try Branchlines is that their online presence is so poor. I didn't even think of them until after I had bought the Gibson wheels.

Still, the Gibson conversion was hardly difficult, or time consuming, so I don't feel it is a bad route to take.

As a beginner in P4, it is sometimes difficult to find the best option unless it is very well publicised - part of the steep learning curve, I suppose! :D

Knuckles
Posts: 1181
Joined: Fri Nov 18, 2011 9:15 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Knuckles » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:40 am

The last point you made is just one out of many reasons I like to document my efforts; when researching P4 before I decided to have a go, I struggled to find useful write-ups that would help.

Good post. :) The bogey gearbox looks almost the same as the Heljan Hymek I 'P4'd'.

How easy was it to research what gear to buy? I'm kind of put off by never knowing what to get so for conversions I'm leaning on Uptrascale for the time being. I just don't like yhe two things we all whinge about with them.
“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

User avatar
grovenor-2685
Posts: 3110
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:02 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:02 am

See also http://www.norgrove.me.uk/class20.html where Branchlines wheels were used.
Keith

Armchair Modeller
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:34 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:21 am

Keith - I only found that link after I had bought the Gibson wheels. Your tip about using washers to limit side play in the axles was very useful, however :thumb

Knuckles - I agree it is important for noobs to document what they do. It should not just be the cream of P4 modelling on here. Even the bacteria that turn the cream sour serve a purpose and deserve a bit of space to describe what they get up to ;)

Research is often difficult, as far too few people describe what they do. In the case of wheelsets, it is just a case of looking at the usual suspects to see what they offer - Gibson, Ultrascale and Branchlines. The first two have a list online. For Branchlines, you have to get a list from their stall, or I think one or two pirate copies have been available online. Apologies if I have missed any current suppliers out.

For some locos, no one does replacement wheels though.

User avatar
jim s-w
Posts: 1685
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby jim s-w » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:50 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:b
For some locos, no one does replacement wheels though.


Which ones?

Armchair Modeller
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:34 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:54 am

Hi Jim,

I thought there were problems with some of the new Dapol products like the NBL Class 22 and the Beattie tank, for example. A conversion for the Westerns is available sometime in the future, but only to those who subscribed.

Apologies in advance if I got it wrong....... :shock:

Tim Horn
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:23 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Tim Horn » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:18 pm

Armchair Modeller wrote:Thanks, Terry

The only reason I didn't try Branchlines is that their online presence is so poor. I didn't even think of them until after I had bought the Gibson wheels.

Still, the Gibson conversion was hardly difficult, or time consuming, so I don't feel it is a bad route to take.

As a beginner in P4, it is sometimes difficult to find the best option unless it is very well publicised - part of the steep learning curve, I suppose! :D



Hello,

I tend to order online form DC kits for "Branchline" wheels, they come from the same Australian manufacture I believe.

http://www.dckits-devideos.co.uk/shop/b ... ndex-2.php (no connection etc . . )

Cheers
Tim

Armchair Modeller
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:34 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Armchair Modeller » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:17 pm

That's excellent, Tim - now bookmarked. Many thanks! :thumb

Terry Bendall
Posts: 1597
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:46 am

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:41 am

Armchair Modeller wrote: It should not just be the cream of P4 modelling on here.


And I don't think it is by a long way, and that is abosolutly right. Anyone can post what they have done, and many do, and it is only by asking either on here, or face to face at an exhibition, area group meeting or anywhere else how to do things, that we learn. One of the things we have tried to do at Scaleforum in the last few years is to include what I call "ordinary" people doing some of the demonstrations. It is always good to see the well-know acknowledged experts but ordinary folks can do just as well with a bit of practice.

Terry Bendall

User avatar
martinm
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 5:49 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby martinm » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:59 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
Armchair Modeller wrote: It should not just be the cream of P4 modelling on here.

And I don't think it is by a long way, and that is absolutely right. Anyone can post what they have done, and many do. . . It is always good to see the well-know acknowledged experts but ordinary folks can do just as well with a bit of practice.
Terry Bendall


I can't imagine that anyone is born an expert, most seem to have spent quite some time developing their skills. Certainly many of today's 'experts' readily acknowledge their 'predecessors' whose work, both in modelling and publishing, has helped move the hobby forward.

We should all feel able to learn from others, but without feeling that their attainments are out of reach. Surely that is precisely why this forum exists?

Forethought, care and practice will be rewarded with better models - perhaps one day you too will become an expert too!

martin

User avatar
Andy W
Posts: 819
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 8:11 am

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Andy W » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:30 am

I think the term "expert" can be broken down as: "x" = an unknown quantity, and "spurt" = a drip under pressure.

I know when I've been demonstrating that's exactly how I've felt.
Make Worcestershire great again.
Build a wall along the Herefordshire border and make them pay for it.

Armchair Modeller
Posts: 1117
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 7:34 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Armchair Modeller » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:32 am

martinm wrote: Forethought, care and practice will be rewarded with better models - perhaps one day you too will become an expert too!

martin


I hope that last comment was aimed at me, rather than Terry :D

I am sure it was!

I was really motivated to do this bit on the Class 20 by the comment Will L made in the last Scalefour News "I am always a little surprised that there aren't more threads on the forum dedicated to the whole layout development process"

It occurred to me that I had sketched over several things like the J72 chassis and the Planet shunter chassis, thinking they were too matter of fact to deserve a mention. In reality, these are all part of the learning process for a new P4 modeller. Perhaps I should cover them after all! It's too late for what I had done so far, but the Class 20 was the next loco in line, so why not?

This topic will be left for a while, but I do intend to get back to it in due course. Once I (hopefully) have a few more typical "tramway" locos under my belt, I hope to develop the topic as a theme for converting an RTR loco into something a little more unusual.

User avatar
Flymo748
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 6:00 pm

Re: Here We Go... Bachmann Class 20 "Conversion"

Postby Flymo748 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:53 am

Armchair Modeller wrote:As a beginner in P4, it is sometimes difficult to find the best option unless it is very well publicised - part of the steep learning curve, I suppose! :D


We'll try and make it less steep :-)

A number of people spoke to me at Scaleforum about the S4Wiki. This is still something that I hope will take form in the next couple of months. I'll repeat again that I'm keen to hear any questions or comments from anyone on here.

Cheers
Paul Willis
Deputy Chairman
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk


Return to “Armchair Modeller”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests