Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

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Flymo748
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Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:07 pm

It's a question that the uninitiated may find themselves asking. A bit like "why Belgium?". Except the answer is obvious there: Trappist beer, frikandel, and frites mayonnaise :-)

Of course I'd _heard_ of Missenden for years. I think I've posted on here before that when I started going, some seven or eight years ago, I viewed it as that hallowed place where Iain Rice or Gordon Gravett knocked up the odd layout or two over a weekend. Not for us mere mortals of modellers. So I went. And it wasn't. It was excellent fun. And there was beer (so just like Belgium then) and loads of food. The decent food came more recently. But most of all, it was 48 hours of solid back to back modelling. Interrupted only by food, and sleep. Heaven...

I have a bit of a tradition that whenever I go to a Missenden Weekend, I take a new kit along, and aim to finish it in the weekend ;-) Yes, usually I come nowhere near it, but I _very_ nearly did with my Great Eastern Y6 tram locomotive...

So, I've recently started on a new project. A bit "off turf" for me. Take the Eastern and make it Western. But before I could start cutting nickel silver, I needed to get there. So my modelling workbench went into the boot of the car:

Missenden Mar 20  (0.1).JPG


And I was off for this :-)

Missenden Mar 20  (0).JPG


To be continued...
Flymo
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Flymo748
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Establishing Base Camp...

Postby Flymo748 » Thu Apr 02, 2020 6:01 am

The Spring Weekend at Missenden is the biggie.

Around seventy modellers gather for the weekend, arriving at the end of Friday afternoon, and breaking up at the end of Sunday afternoon. It's not just old hands who turn up. This weekend saw about a dozen first-timers, who are always made very welcome. We split up into groups, based on what our interests for the weekend are.

  1. Painting & lining
  2. Backscenes & scenery
  3. Weathering
  4. Track building
  5. 4mm kit building
  6. Making signals
  7. Templot
  8. 7mm kit building

Each group has a tutor, someone whose name you would recognise in connection with their skills. I was in the 4mm kit building group, my preferred home over the few years I've been here. It's one of the larger groups, with around 18 participants or so.

The first task in to set up you workbench. Everyone turns up with some form of "tea tray" on which to perch tools, do soldering, etc. This is mine, based on a Games Workshop painting tray.

Missenden Mar 20  (0.2).JPG


And time to break out what I'm working on. I'm going 25 years more modern and a hundred miles to the west of what I normally do, but I fancied a change. This is the old Airfix 48xx RTR model, but a state of the art High Level Kits chassis http://www.highlevelkits.co.uk/14xxpage.html to go with it.

Missenden Mar 20  (1).JPG


I'd also brought along with me the necessary research material, in case I felt the need to go beyond the (copious) instructions. A couple of issues of GWRJ, the JH Russell bible of GWR locomotives, and an Iain Rice article on improving the body of the Airfix model, from a very early MRJ.

Missenden Mar 20  (2).JPG


Missenden Mar 20  (3).JPG


So with all the preparations in place, then it was time to start cutting metal...

Cheers
Flymo
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seanmcs
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby seanmcs » Tue May 05, 2020 8:56 am

I'm going to follow this with interest, as I have a started job on the Airfix model. I have the now scarce Rice enhancement kit, his articles in MRJ 1 & 2 and the High Level chassis and motor, Untrascale wheels, etc.

I'm most interested to see what suspension you might go for...

Sean

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Noel
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Noel » Tue May 05, 2020 10:31 am

Do you intend to remove the original paintwork? If so, how, please? I have one of these with the Rice parts as well, although it just might turn into a 58XX, with the autofittings diverted to a 4575. I could live with the basic green remaining, and just overpainting in black, but the Airfix lining is very heavy and would show unless removed.
Regards
Noel

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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby hughesp87 » Tue May 05, 2020 12:17 pm

Noel,

I have just successfully removed the numbering from a Hornby Peckett using a small amount of Mekpak applied with a cotton bud. Be sparing with the solvent though, or else you might take the paint away as well!

Regards,

Geraint
Geraint Hughes
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Danish Railways in P87

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steve howe
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby steve howe » Tue May 05, 2020 12:30 pm

seanmcs wrote:I'm going to follow this with interest, as I have a started job on the Airfix model. I have the now scarce Rice enhancement kit, .

Sean


I think the 14xx/48xx detailing pack formerly from Mainly Trains can be had from Andrew Hartshorne at MSE. I built one of these from the old Airfix body on the High Level chassis and it was a joy, although removing the top feed was a mite tricky. There's another one on the way... :thumb

Steve

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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Tue May 05, 2020 9:49 pm

seanmcs wrote:I'm going to follow this with interest, as I have a started job on the Airfix model. I have the now scarce Rice enhancement kit, his articles in MRJ 1 & 2 and the High Level chassis and motor, Untrascale wheels, etc.

I'm most interested to see what suspension you might go for...

Sean


Hi Sean,

I'd better get around to posting some more material then. I wandered off and became distracted with other things - mostly Templot, and a Jidenco Midland Calf Van...

I didn't think that the Rice kit was particularly scarce. Mine was "off the shelf" at Wizard Models a couple of months ago, just before Missenden. It's now out of stock, but should be able to be found at https://www.wizardmodels.ltd/shop/locomotive/mt222/ if anyone else is after one in due course.

Suspension will be compensated, as Chris designed it. Whilst I am a big supporter of CSBs, for a quickie I want out of the box, I'm not going to b**ger about with this one ;-)

As Chris's instructions are always so good, I'll only concentrate on posting tips and key steps, rather than a blow by blow account.

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

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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Tue May 05, 2020 9:51 pm

Noel wrote:Do you intend to remove the original paintwork? If so, how, please? I have one of these with the Rice parts as well, although it just might turn into a 58XX, with the autofittings diverted to a 4575. I could live with the basic green remaining, and just overpainting in black, but the Airfix lining is very heavy and would show unless removed.


Hi Noel,

Maybe I'm lucky with the vintage of mine (it was a secondhand purchase in the original Airfix box...) but the paint finish is light in nature, and the thickness of the lining is almost none existent. What they call "tampo" printing, I think.

I'll show more in due course...

Cheers
Flymo
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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Wed May 06, 2020 9:28 pm

So, in the spirit of hints and tips on building a 48xx, I'll start with this picture from Missenden of essential tools for building a High Level kit:

Missenden Mar 20  (0.2) Red pen.JPG


Why the circled red pen? Because it's really, really helpful to:

IMG_6327.JPG


(1) cross out the bits of the instructions that you don't need, and

(2) tick off each stage as you complete it.

Sounds simple, but the number of times I've been in the loco building room at Missenden and someone says "oh b**ger" at having completed stage 17(d) of the instructions, only to realise they have entirely missed out step 9.

Thankfully, that's not a DAMHIK (yet) :-)

Cheers
Flymo
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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Fri May 08, 2020 7:56 am

So, on with the actual build of the 48xx itself then. As I mentioned before, this is more of a series of hints and tips rather than a blow-by-blow. Chris's instructions are so good that approach is unnecessary.

To start with, who doesn't like a picture of an nice shiny etch, fresh from the box?

Missenden Mar 20  (4).JPG


Lovely rigid nickel silver, perfect for soldering. Well laid out, with almost all parts easy to cut from the etch with a stout craft knife.

However, the one thing that I would mention is that because the metal sheet is relatively thick to give structural strength to the chassis, there can be quite a pronounced cusp on some parts due to the etching process. There's nothing that can be done about this in the design, it's just the way things are.

So for parts that I knew were likely to be visible edge-on, I cleaned up that tiny bit of cusp with a fine file before assembly:

Missenden Mar 20  (4.5).JPG


Some of the parts need to have rivets impressed into them, using the half etched circles on the rear. In this case, it's around the spring mounting points. One of the tools I've invested in is a GW rivet press. It's not essential - you can use a blunt needle on a slightly soft surface if you want, and other cheaper tools are available, like the London Road drop riveter. Or "Gravity Powered Rivet Embossing Tool" found here https://traders.scalefour.org/LondonRoadModels/various/components/

I like the GW press for a number of reasons, including the ability to set a uniform pressure (and thus size and depth of rivet) using the set-screw on the right. It also comes with a variety of pins/anvils allowing different sizes. Recommended. Buy one soon, before it's too late :-(

Missenden Mar 20  (5).JPG


So that takes us to the situation of a pair of lovely cleaned up mainframes, with lots of detail, both embossed and etched, ready for the next stage.

Missenden Mar 20  (6).JPG


Cheers
Flymo
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Winander
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Winander » Fri May 08, 2020 11:16 am

I'm looking forward to seeing this develop.

One question - how does the rivet press manage if the metal hasn't been half etched, i.e. you are pressing a rivet through the full thickness? It seems to me you will not get as a crisp an impression, but does the action of the pin and anvil still produce acceptable results?
Richard Hodgson

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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Fri May 08, 2020 11:40 am

Winander wrote:I'm looking forward to seeing this develop.

One question - how does the rivet press manage if the metal hasn't been half etched, i.e. you are pressing a rivet through the full thickness? It seems to me you will not get as a crisp an impression, but does the action of the pin and anvil still produce acceptable results?


I'll dig the press out later today, and do a series of pictures to show you - Chris included some "practice" rivets etched on the waste fret, so there is plenty of opportunity to show variations.

One other consideration to mention is that nickel silver is more rigid than brass, and you will get slightly different results from the different materials. If I can find comparable thicknesses of material, I'll show that as well.

I forgot to mention the practice rivets earlier. Most lax of me, as they were helpful in setting up the set-screw on the press to be "just right".

Cheers
Flymo
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www.5522models.co.uk

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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Mon May 11, 2020 9:41 pm

So, having diverted via the riveting stories of presses, and unshorting and shortening of gearboxes, back to the 48xx build...

I'd prepared the lovely etched sideframes of the chassis, and the next step was to add the cosmetic springs from etched layers. When the job was done, it looked like this:

Missenden Mar 20  (7).JPG


Now, at this point, I have to say it's one of the points in the build that I am slightly unconvinced. Fitting the springs at this stage meant that they stood out laterally from the frames. Which was a bit of a problem at a couple of later stages when it would have been helpful to have the frames flat for soldering other bits to them.

As it happened, I managed, but whether it would have been easier to attach the springs (which are, after all, only cosmetic) at a later stage to ease the construction strikes me as a question worth thinking about - I accidentally bent one back to 45 degrees when working on something else, and being nickel silver I did have worries of snapping it off whilst straightening it.

Of course, one of the joys of Missenden is that it is a residential weekend. And after several years, the Abbey has finally learned that it can do a very good trade in liquids to sustain modellers engaging in late-night sessions. Of modelling, that is.

Missenden Mar 20  (7.5).JPG


Very good real ale. I wouldn't want to be drinking this at the same time as doing Ian Rathbone's lining course...

Anyway, I called it a night after that, and will do so here. Until next time.

Cheers
Flymo
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Le Corbusier
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Le Corbusier » Tue May 12, 2020 7:25 am

I am slightly confused Paul ... aren't the springs removable - so that you can drop the wheels out? Or do you fit the wheels permenantly so to speak requireing them to be removed from the axles if they need dropping out at a later date?
Tim Lee

Winander
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Winander » Tue May 12, 2020 11:05 am

Le Corbusier wrote:I am slightly confused Paul ... aren't the springs removable - so that you can drop the wheels out? Or do you fit the wheels permenantly so to speak requireing them to be removed from the axles if they need dropping out at a later date?


Tim,

Unless I am very much mistaken, the wheelsets would come out the same way they have to go in as neither they, nor the hornguides are fitted.

regards,
Richard Hodgson

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Le Corbusier
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Le Corbusier » Thu May 14, 2020 6:55 am

Winander wrote:
Le Corbusier wrote:I am slightly confused Paul ... aren't the springs removable - so that you can drop the wheels out? Or do you fit the wheels permenantly so to speak requireing them to be removed from the axles if they need dropping out at a later date?


Tim,

Unless I am very much mistaken, the wheelsets would come out the same way they have to go in as neither they, nor the hornguides are fitted.

regards,


Oh dear ... I must be being completely thick here :( I took it from Paul's description
Now, at this point, I have to say it's one of the points in the build that I am slightly unconvinced. Fitting the springs at this stage meant that they stood out laterally from the frames. Which was a bit of a problem at a couple of later stages when it would have been helpful to have the frames flat for soldering other bits to them.

that the springs had been fixed into place? am I misunderstanding something :? ....if so then I assumed that once the hornguides had been jigged with the blocks and soldered into place, they would then be captured by the springs ?
Tim Lee

Winander
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Winander » Thu May 14, 2020 4:13 pm

Tim

I think Paul is talking about the cosmetic springs that appear (if you enlarge the photograph) to be attached to the outside of the frames. Maybe you are thinking about CSB springs - maybe... possibly...?

No doubt all will be revealed.

best wishes,
Richard Hodgson

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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Fri May 15, 2020 8:41 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:I am slightly confused Paul ... aren't the springs removable - so that you can drop the wheels out? Or do you fit the wheels permenantly so to speak requireing them to be removed from the axles if they need dropping out at a later date?


Hi Tim,

No, the springs aren't removable. There is a spring "front" etched as part of the mainframes. It's visible here: https://www.scalefour.org/forum/download/file.php?id=23834&mode=view

Then you pop a couple of overlays (underlays?) behind it, so it thickens up the sideways view. So you can't drop the wheels out. I'm sure that it wouldn't be too difficult to fabricate a couple of L-shaped brackets to fix separated springs to, attached by a couple of 14BA screws. But life's too short, and I'm building this one "out of the box".

Once the wheels go in, I hope they can stay in!

Cheers
Paul
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Flymo748
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Back to the 48xx

Postby Flymo748 » Sat May 23, 2020 1:30 pm

So, after a quick rolling stock diversion (and I did find it remarkably therapeutic to be applying tiny boltheads to the solebar, although there was definitely a boredom threshold that I felt I was approaching at times..) I'll return to illustrating the 48xx build sequence.

This is a short episode, as a break between pressing the buttons on my ultrasonic cleaning tank where the carburettor from my Ducati 350 Single is currently sitting, just to illustrate a couple of points on the way through to the next challenging stage.

IMG_6629.JPG


Firstly, the fact that there are various degrees of masochism built into the kit ;-) Apart from the usual OO/EM/P4 choice of spacers, there is also a "P4W" choice, which will give extra sideplay inside the rear outside frames. A thoughtful piece of design, which should certainly help if you have really sharp curves to traverse.

Missenden Mar 20  (7.6).JPG


So this takes us to the point at which the chassis is erected, and it suddenly looks as though it will fit under a locomotive body. Note from the instruction sheet that there are a *lot* of parts still to go!

Missenden Mar 20  (8).JPG


And finally a reminder that it always a really good thing to have a periodic clean-up of your workbench, put all the tools that you have used and don't immediately need again away, and check where you are in the instructions. For the avoidance of doubt, this is the after picture - you should have seen it before!

Missenden Mar 20  (9).JPG


Now back to that carburettor...

Cheers
Flymo
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DougN
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby DougN » Sat May 23, 2020 11:37 pm

Your right Paul, my modelling area has now changed from a 2ft tray to 6ft fold up table... so far in the last few weeks I have lost, my GW riveter, and now my 10ba tap! The riveter was in the garage after a spray of WD40, to stop any surface rust! (Found 2ft from where I thought I had placed it!) And now the tap will surface when I clean up the work tray today, or so I hope! I keep doing random clean ups. I find the COVID thing good for modelling and is encouraging me to continue. I thInk it has formed a habit to get something done each weekend. Which is quite different to how my work seems to have gone which is in the lull period of large buildings where things are moving but the paperwork and issues have reduced.

4 hours later the V2 has brakes and the tap was found.... trying to hide in a corner. :thumb
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

shipbadger
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby shipbadger » Sun May 24, 2020 7:44 am

Beware WD 40 as a rust preventer, after about three months it starts to break down and become hygroscopic, in other words instead of repelling water it starts to absorb it. Duck Oil from Swarfega may be a better alternative.

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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Fri May 29, 2020 5:57 am

So, back to the story of the 48xx chassis. This post contains a couple of tips, at least one of which I've referred to several times before, but I'll say again in case there are any new readers out there in internet-land.

The next stage of the building process is to make the axle bearings that the rear carrying axle runs in. Those used to High Level kits, or indeed the component parts, will be wondering what this is about, as Chris makes the most beautiful hornblocks and bearings for use in compensation and springing. But in this kit, the standard 2mm (for a carrying axle) bearings won't work and you have to make your own.

Missenden Mar 20  (10).JPG


These are the components:

Missenden Mar 20  (13).JPG


A front and back plate to run inside and outside the frame, a middle plate that provides the location, and a top-hat bearing. The holes in the three plates are all etched slightly undersize for the bearing, which is infinitely preferable to an oversize hole, as you can make the hole fit the part, rather than deal with a sloppy fit.

Now the key for me in anything like this is to get the three holes exactly the same size, and for this I use a trick with a ratstail needle file. I use a black permanent marker to colour the "cutting length":

Missenden Mar 20  (11).JPG


You then make your first hole to the correct size for the bearing, as you would expect. In doing so, you wear off the file/leave little metal deposits along the length that you have used. SO for the second and subsequent plates, you can easily see quickly and easily exactly how far you have to go before you reach a hole of the same size. Saves a lot of time and back-and-forth checking. You can see on the left of this picture the area that is "polished" and on the right of the plate the little way I have to go before it has the same dimension as the previous one:

Missenden Mar 20  (12).JPG


I also use the same trick with holes that I make using broaches:

IMG_6537.JPG


So then you need to assemble the three fettled plates, and the bearing, and hold it all together whilst soldering it carefully with a tiny amount of solder to avoid flooding it into the slots at the sides of the completed bearing. And this is where the trick that I've referred to before of the miniature clothes peg comes in:

Missenden Mar 20  (14).JPG


Missenden Mar 20  (15).JPG


So at the end of that I had two completed bearings which were a tight but sliding fit in the frames. You don't need them immediately, so I tucked them safely in a little poly bag to keep them safe. I hope they are still there!

Cheers
Flymo
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Winander
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Winander » Fri May 29, 2020 3:29 pm

Flymo748 wrote:But in this kit, the standard 2mm (for a carrying axle) bearings won't work and you have to make your own.


Thanks for the excellent tip regarding the files.

Are yoiu saying the High Level Miniblox won't work http://www.highlevelkits.co.uk/minibloxpage.html? Why is that?

best wishes,
Richard
Richard Hodgson

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Flymo748
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Flymo748 » Fri May 29, 2020 8:53 pm

Winander wrote:
Flymo748 wrote:But in this kit, the standard 2mm (for a carrying axle) bearings won't work and you have to make your own.


Thanks for the excellent tip regarding the files.

Are yoiu saying the High Level Miniblox won't work http://www.highlevelkits.co.uk/minibloxpage.html? Why is that?

best wishes,
Richard


Hi Richard,

I'm not saying definitively that the Miniblox won't work. They may well do. I was probably wrong in saying "won't" work as I hadn't tried them.

What I was doing was following the instructions and parts in the kit. I've built enough of Chris's stuff to know that it's excellent quality, and it's best not to beggar around with the instructions, IYSWIM :-)

It may well be that the kit was designed, and the instructions written, before Chris had introduced the various slimline bits into his range, so they simply weren't available to use. I'm not back on to the chassis yet, as I'm in the middle of replacing all the plastic bits I've carved off the Airfix body with various etched and wire replacements, as well as the Mainly Trains detailing kit.

Perhaps the answer will be revealed when the chassis starts to come to final assembly...

Cheers
Flymo
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Winander
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Re: Beer and Buckjumpers

Postby Winander » Fri May 29, 2020 9:02 pm

Flymo,

Thaks for the explanation, I didn't realise it was a High Level kit - explains a lot :)

best wishes,
Richard
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