P4 Refresh - Hi

Help and advice for those starting in, or converting to P4 standards. A place to share modelling as a beginner in P4.
misspentyouth62
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P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby misspentyouth62 » Thu May 14, 2020 9:52 am

Good morning. After many years of dormant rail modelling, time has more recently allowed me to get back to a small degree - although my memory is a tad rusty.

My main interest has always been locomotive building (1950's era southern/western bias) although I do have a small layout that I've dusted down and managed to resurrect from my previous house it still lacks a fiddle yard. I moved in 1995 so getting it back to how it was hasn't been straightforward and some of the track work is less than ideal!

Luckily, I have also kept most of my tools and 'bits & pieces' including a couple of unmade kits I had purchased and not got round to building including a very nice Malcolm Mitchell 43xx Mogul + Ultrascale wheels which has gone well with exception of that tricky clearance behind the slide bars in front of the front coupling rod boss even using the Ultrascale recessed crankpins. This will need revisiting.

The main reason for this initial posting other than to say Hi, is to ask generally what suppliers exist for things like motors, gears etc? I realise that Portescap motors are no longer available as they once were so what is the motor of choice these days for P4?
I have what I believe to be some Anchorage D11 or D13 motors and would be interested to know if spares are available for replacement commutator brushes?

I used to always use Ultrascale wheels of choice although these sometimes had a tendency to 'slip' on their axles. Are these still available?
Please be gentle - I'm not a true newbie but will likely ask a few daft questions with obvious answers!
Rob

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steamraiser
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby steamraiser » Thu May 14, 2020 10:08 am

Mashima motors were the can motor of choice but they are no longer being manufactured. Some stocks are available from the likes of High Level models and Branch Lines (Westbury).
Chris of High Level has a range of coreless motors and Mike Edge and a few others have been using Mitsumi can motors - see his thread on RM Web.

Ultrascale wheels are normally available, but can take up to six months to deliver.
The other option is Gibson wheels from Colin. He has the largest range of P4 wheels.
Kean Maygib have fallen below the horizon. The only trader I have found who appears to get some is Branchlines (Westbury).

I suggest you spend some time browsing the web sites of the afore mentioned businesses.

I also recommend getting in touch with your local area group of the S4 Society. They will have a wide range of knowledge and skills.

Good modelling.

Gordon A
Bristol

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Steve Carter
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby Steve Carter » Thu May 14, 2020 12:28 pm

Hi Rob

Welcome again. When you receive your New Member Pack you will receive in the pack a list of fellow members who live within 25km of your postcode. Contact details are subject to personal privacy settings of course. Also you will find a copy of the ‘Blue Sheet’ that gives the contact details of Committee, Officers and other contacts such as Area Group Organisers.

A good source of information and links to various traders and suppliers can be found on the Society website here https://www.scalefour.org/links/traders.html.

As Gordon has suggested getting in touch with a local Area Group can be very beneficial. Luckily for you there is an active Area Group that is in your area, the Chilterns Area Group (see viewforum.php?f=115) in normal times they meet in Harpenden. The Area Group Organiser is Tim Easter and he can be contacted via email at chilterns@scalefour.org

Good luck with your return to modelling. I did the same 10 years ago and found a lot of things had changed. I found the help and information available on the Society Forum and joining a local Area Group eased me back into “the new world”. Enjoy.

Take care and stay safe.

Best wishes

Steve

Steve Carter
Membership Secretary
Steve Carter

misspentyouth62
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby misspentyouth62 » Thu May 14, 2020 1:19 pm

Much appreciated responses Gordon & Steve

Philip Hall
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby Philip Hall » Thu May 14, 2020 3:15 pm

Before the lockdown Ultrascale had got their delivery time down to three months or maybe less. However, the current situation (because of the current situation!) is that there is no delivery time estimate shown. I guess this is because access to their premises might be problematic - although recent changes may alter that. I spoke to David Rogers yesterday and at the moment he's getting in still.

Philip

triumph3
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby triumph3 » Thu May 14, 2020 4:07 pm

Lead times from Ultrascale seem variable, I ordered a axle of drivers for an 8F ( one set damaged) and I have had them in less than 3 months!
So my advice, just go ahead and order!

David

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Horsetan
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby Horsetan » Fri May 15, 2020 10:51 am

Philip Hall wrote:...I spoke to David Rogers yesterday and at the moment he's getting in still.


That's good news. :thumb Should be able to put in an order for more axles of various lengths at end of month.
That would be an ecumenical matter.

misspentyouth62
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby misspentyouth62 » Fri May 15, 2020 10:55 am

any thoughts on whether replacement D11/D13 motor brushes can be sourced or whether a re-motoring would be necessary?

From what I can see, the 4mm build market has shrunk considerably from early 1990s or is that me misreading? Will many model-makers have moved to 7mm which now seems much better catered for than before? Or is it the case that rtr models are so much better in 4mm (not P4) than in the past so fewer people want to build for the realism they want?

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Will L
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby Will L » Fri May 15, 2020 11:47 am

misspentyouth62 wrote:any thoughts on whether replacement D11/D13 motor brushes can be sourced or whether a re-motoring would be necessary?

From what I can see, the 4mm build market has shrunk considerably from early 1990s or is that me misreading? Will many model-makers have moved to 7mm which now seems much better catered for than before? Or is it the case that rtr models are so much better in 4mm (not P4) than in the past so fewer people want to build for the realism they want?

Its a while since D11/D13 motors have been available, the last time they came up here was 2011 see viewtopic.php?t=1294#p8973 and I'm not aware of a source of spares since Anchorage closed their doors.

I'm not sure how much the market has shrunk, but it certainly has changed. It is true that many more people are happy to use RTR as a source for stock. It is very rare to find somebody scratch blinding these days, which is in part due the fact that kits quite often live on after their originator has given up. Quite a large range is available from people like London Road Models who's website the society hosts, see here. https://traders.scalefour.org/LondonRoadModels/

However when it comes to motors and gearboxes, I think we are actually as well served as we ever have been by Highlevel Models. Their website is here. http://www.highlevelkits.co.uk/

misspentyouth62
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby misspentyouth62 » Fri May 15, 2020 11:57 am

thank you Will - I think I need to purchase a range of motors to then start to judge what type will best suit my needs.
I am definitely picking up that there is more of an emphasis to re-chassis a rtr model for P4 something I did with a couple of Lima diesels many years back.

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Horsetan
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby Horsetan » Fri May 15, 2020 12:43 pm

misspentyouth62 wrote:any thoughts on whether replacement D11/D13 motor brushes can be sourced or whether a re-motoring would be necessary?


You may be able to adapt pencil leads if you're stuck for spares.

From what I can see, the 4mm build market has shrunk considerably from early 1990s or is that me misreading? Will many model-makers have moved to 7mm which now seems much better catered for than before? Or is it the case that rtr models are so much better in 4mm (not P4) than in the past so fewer people want to build for the realism they want?


RTR quality in terms of appearance and accuracy have been a lot better in the last 20 years, to the point where - as far as bodies and running gear are concerned - there doesn't seem much point in having the skills to build one for yourself. Shame, really, but there it is.

That said, there are still many builders out there who are able to turn out models of fingersnap quality
That would be an ecumenical matter.

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Steve Carter
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby Steve Carter » Fri May 15, 2020 2:22 pm

misspentyouth62 wrote:thank you Will - I think I need to purchase a range of motors to then start to judge what type will best suit my needs.
I am definitely picking up that there is more of an emphasis to re-chassis a rtr model for P4 something I did with a couple of Lima diesels many years back.


I would speak to Chris at High Level and explain what you are looking to do. Chris is very helpful and I am sure will offer his advice on both motors and his excellent range of gearboxes.

Steve
Steve Carter

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David Thorpe
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby David Thorpe » Fri May 15, 2020 2:29 pm

misspentyouth62 wrote:any thoughts on whether replacement D11/D13 motor brushes can be sourced or whether a re-motoring would be necessary?

There are plenty of carbon brushes for a variety of motors on ebay - search model railway motor brushes. Whether any of these will fit the Anchorage range I don't know.

DT

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steamraiser
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby steamraiser » Fri May 15, 2020 4:43 pm

misspentyouth62 wrote:any thoughts on whether replacement D11/D13 motor brushes can be sourced or whether a re-motoring would be necessary?

From what I can see, the 4mm build market has shrunk considerably from early 1990s or is that me misreading? Will many model-makers have moved to 7mm which now seems much better catered for than before? Or is it the case that rtr models are so much better in 4mm (not P4) than in the past so fewer people want to build for the realism they want?



Try Brian at Branchlines(Westbury).
It would be useful if you know what size and type of brushes you require.

Gordon A

davebradwell
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby davebradwell » Fri May 15, 2020 7:18 pm

Everybody is being too kind and none of them would put one of your motors in a model these days. Follow the hint and go to Chris G at High Level. My personal theme is to avoid high gear ratios in order to reduce noise. I suggest you look seriously at DCC once you settle in the hobby as the motor control is way ahead of dc systems, providing you buy the better decoders, of course.

I expect you'll find yourself with quite a museum unless you're into heritage modelling.

DaveB

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zebedeesknees
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby zebedeesknees » Sat May 16, 2020 1:00 pm

Or, Rob, you could go for the modern Chinese motors on eBay, many of which are designed to be used with a single - 1S - Li-Po cell which provides sufficient current without fading, making battery power quite easy. These motors are usually listed as 3v-6v, and could be used with a 6v rather than 12v supply to the running rails if desired.

One of my 'standards' is the FF-031, 20 x 14mm with 12mm across flats, 1.5mm shaft and fits High Level gearboxes. M1.4 threads which incidentally, are also 12BA... Installed in a Bachmann 2251 Class 0-6-0 with High Level chassis and CSB suspension (see http://www.clag.org.uk/) the motor is well capable of spinning the wheels with a 3.7v battery supply.

Using radio control, in this case a DT or Deltang system from Micron Radio Control - Protocab is also available - it is controllable from a creep speed up to full speed, that depending on the gearbox ratio. There are many advantages of battery power and radio control, not the least being not having to wire the layout at all!

Ted.

misspentyouth62
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby misspentyouth62 » Sun May 17, 2020 12:49 pm

thanking everyone for their responses.
DCC is completely new technology from where I left off and my controller that I have is a Pentroller from the early 90s I guess. I must confess to enjoying loco build much more than running them on a layout so whether I'd want to go back and revisit what I have remains unclear to me atm.

Most of the larger locos that I built have Portescap motors in them and haven't turned a wheel in 25 years. They look nice in my display cabinet though :-)
The anchorage motor is new and unused but doesn't run due to what I presume to be defective brushes. It was purchased with an old j94 kit by my father in late 80s and was what I thought an easy build given plenty of spare time albeit a relatively poor detail kit in white metal. I also have a new Mashima can motor and a couple of new Portescap motors but these are too wide for practical use on the J94.

Edit : a few images added to my Flickr site showing some of my locos on display. Not all of these are P4 btw & some fine scale OO
https://www.flickr.com/photos/113816008 ... 4063578467

DougN
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby DougN » Mon May 18, 2020 6:11 am

That collection looks great. Recently I converted a EM gauge 45XX kit built loco to P4 it was fairly straight forward if it is something that your keen on doing, more work in the OO to P4 as you may want to change the chassis width and suspension

Sound like you have some historic bits and pieces in your collection. As others have been saying have a look at the Highlevel kits website as Chris other than being very helpful.. he has some great gear that is straightforward to put together which runs nicely.

Wizard models has some Comet brand gears which could be of interest for you as well.
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling

misspentyouth62
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby misspentyouth62 » Mon May 18, 2020 1:16 pm

all good advice and will definitely take a look at a few options I have.
What's bitten me to get back into kit building is a Malcolm Mitchell 43xx Mogul which is probably the highest quality kit that I've attempted. Purchased in the past with Portescap motor and Ultrascale wheels for P4 but shelved due to house move at the time and a big shift in my priorities. Lockdown presented time to 'open the box' and launch myself in
I also have a Mitchell 45xx small pannier in P4 which from memory was his first kit launched around the early 80s? The others are a few DJH kits with P4 chassis (compensated) and an array of brass & w/m kits including a few Wills Finecast with some added detailing. Modern RTR from the likes of Bachman would now surpass in terms of detail except that enjoyment from building would be missing. The 3F Jinty is a Gibson kit I believe.

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon May 18, 2020 3:15 pm

misspentyouth62 wrote:
Edit : a few images added to my Flickr site showing some of my locos on display. Not all of these are P4 btw & some fine scale OO
https://www.flickr.com/photos/113816008 ... 4063578467


That collection is looking pretty impressive; perfect for where the east coast mainline meets the LSWR mainline meets the GWR mainline meets a nice industrial complex!!
Mark Tatlow

misspentyouth62
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Re: P4 Refresh - Hi

Postby misspentyouth62 » Tue May 19, 2020 11:05 am

Indeed a mixed bag.

I come from 34D so ex LNER pacifics are 'nice' to create but my small e2e layout was based on a fictional LSWR terminus named "Lulworth Cove" so has a Swanage Branch feel of southern, BR standards and the odd Western tank thrown in for good measure. I try not to get too tribal with my allegiances towards one region over another tbh.


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