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Mystery Class 48xx Kit - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Feb 19th, 2020 10:42 pm
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Colin W
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Yesterday the Postman brought me a package and a mystery.

I'd purchased what was described as an Airfix Great Model Railways 54152-7 - non runner with various damage, none of which worried me as I wanted it for spares and it was at a "give away" price.

When I opened the box I saw it was no Airfix but a kit build of some sort.



Very mangled indeed with quartering totally out, con rods and their pins bent, scratches and scrapes as promised, fine numbering and plates, pity they're the wrong ones for this era.

The following photos show various elements. The chassis is basic, just the 4 driven wheels in a brass frame with no compensation. The pony wheels float after a fashion from a separate mounting on the body.

Since I wanted the wheels from the Airfix I pulled things apart but could quickly see they were no use to me, the level of damage and wear ruled that out. If only old models could speak, this one has had much use judging from the grime behind the pickups etc, but then it fell on hard times. To my unskilled eye the original build was very well done, neat soldering and good paint job and detailing.










After some TLC it runs moderately well, something of a growl and very occasional sticking which might be due to the brass gears?

Now since the product was not at all as described and
the cost was low I got a full refund from the supplier with no need to return to UK (postage rules that out). The body looks inviting to put in a kit built chassis but I'd already decided that activity was above my pay grade. Fiddling with this tiny chassis for some time tends to reconfirm that view.

Thoughts please as to what it is, and what options might lie beyond renumbering and some painting which might turn it into another Class 48xx for W-H, even as a static model.




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Colin
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 Posted: Thu Feb 20th, 2020 09:03 pm
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Colin W
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Mystery solved

I have my answer, from the "other place" where someone built this same kit back in 1982-3. It is a K's, apparently the design was changed several times over the years and back then they'd switched to the short base chassis.

Now I know what it is, a search of former Pre-owned sales has turned up quite a few and by comparison it looks like my model's bodywork was done by a pro. So I have a very fine GWR loco body and a very average chassis. Comet still make a chassis for the 14xx, to date I've resisted but I'm weakening.


One final observation. Despite all the weight (190g+) of the bodywork, the COG sits behind the rear driving wheels. As assembled the trailing wheel sits higher in the body so the loco tips back. More weight is not an option so I need to lower the rear axle by ~1mm.




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 Posted: Thu Feb 20th, 2020 09:49 pm
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Longchap
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Hi Colin,

I thought it was a K's loco, but was foxed by the diminutive chasis! However, the build looks to have been carried out very well indeed, so a great result.

As well as the Comet unit, Perseverence also made a chassis for this model, as well as the Airix / Hornby loco and you may be lucky to find one as old club member stock, or on Ebay. I think both units offer full compensation as an option, but probably not as difficult as you may be thinking. There are some excellent books available on etched chassis building and the February 2020 Model Rail mag also carries an article on building them. I can scan and send you a copy if you can't get hold of one.

I would suggest that before adjusting the body for height, you decide on the chassis first and then alter the bodywork to suit.

Best of luck,

Bill




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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Thu Feb 20th, 2020 10:14 pm
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Colin W
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Thanks Bill, I've sent you a PM


Colin



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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2020 03:03 am
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BCDR
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Hi Colin,

That chassis is actually bullet proof.  From the photos the spacers  locate with screws from the outside of the frames, the bearings just solder in. Solid, square and level. Looks like 1/8" axles, so Markits/Romfords or Scale Link wheels would be direct replacements. Put wipers on the trailing pony to make it an 0-6-0. What lets it down is the motor and square cut gearing. Looks to be a 3 pole, so it will cag at slow speed along with a high start voltage. A decent 5 pole motor and flywheel, suitable low ratio beveled gears and a decoder will be a worthwhile investment. 

Nigel




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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2020 09:01 am
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Colin W
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Thanks Nigel,

most useful guidance and I'll follow up finding some suitable components. Wizard Models has many of the parts needed including gearbox from the Comet range. Would that be a good choice?

Colin



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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2020 02:02 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Colin,

I have used Branchlines gearboxes in the past. I like the ranges of ratios available. I did try a Comet one once. Plus a couple of Romfords. Where you need to spend the money is on the motor. Mashima or similar. If you can find one an MRC 5 pole would be a direct replacement. Add a flywheel.

Nigel



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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2020 04:15 pm
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Longchap
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Mind you, Comet's 14xx chassis at £18 (£15 excl VAT) provided the basis for a much more detailed unit at modest cost and also provides the new con rods you'll need if you change the wheelsets.

Sorry Colin, I shouldn't be a naughty boy complicating things!

Bill
:oops:



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At 6'4'', Bill is a tall chap, then again, when horizontal he is rather long and people often used to trip over him! . . . and so a nickname was born :)

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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2020 10:57 pm
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Colin W
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Longchap wrote: Mind you, Comet's 14xx chassis at £18 (£15 excl VAT) provided the basis for a much more detailed unit at modest cost and also provides the new con rods you'll need if you change the wheelsets.

Sorry Colin, I shouldn't be a naughty boy complicating things!

Bill
:oops:
Thanks Bill,

I'd read elsewhere that the K's kit is short of correct length and as I have a Hornby version here is the comparison. According to that source it makes fitting a Comet or High Level chassis more of a challenge. Another hurdle! Because of perspective it's not very clear in this photo but model front ends are aligned and the K's is a full 3mm shorter. 







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 Posted: Fri Feb 21st, 2020 11:06 pm
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Colin W
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BCDR wrote: Hi Colin,

That chassis is actually bullet proof.  From the photos the spacers  locate with screws from the outside of the frames, the bearings just solder in. Solid, square and level. Looks like 1/8" axles, so Markits/Romfords or Scale Link wheels would be direct replacements. Put wipers on the trailing pony to make it an 0-6-0. What lets it down is the motor and square cut gearing. Looks to be a 3 pole, so it will cag at slow speed along with a high start voltage. A decent 5 pole motor and flywheel, suitable low ratio beveled gears and a decoder will be a worthwhile investment. 

Nigel



Thanks Nigel,

after further research, what you suggest appears perfectly reasonable for me to do but with the odd hurdle along the way.

The central (i.e. rear Chassis mounting point) which can be seen in my 4th photo of the original post is forward of the cab front by about 10mm. A gearbox / motor combination will reach further back than that and I cannot see how the existing mounting bolt can be used. I’d need to create a new rear chassis mounting further back and accessible from underneath. Maybe a short chassis extension plate of some sort?

Branchlines appears to not be functioning these days (unless someone knows otherwise?)

Have you (or anyone) any suggestions for where I might source a suitable motor to go with the Comet gearbox?





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Colin
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 Posted: Sat Feb 22nd, 2020 09:30 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Colin.

The Keyser 14xx is shorter than the Hornby one but matches the diagram in Russell. I believe the Hornby 14xx is 3mm too long.

Mashima motors are available on eBay. They are not cheap. 

Branchlines. No web site, you have to go on the blog and request the brochure . SE Finecast also have motors and gearboxes, along with chassis. VAT-free as well.

NIgel



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 Posted: Sat Feb 22nd, 2020 09:48 pm
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Colin W
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Thanks Nigel,

I got onto SE Finecast from an excellent post on Tony Wright's blog. He highly recommends the solution you first suggested, and if anyone knows he does!

I'm exploring availability before placing an order.


Colin







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 Posted: Fri Feb 28th, 2020 10:22 pm
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Colin W
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After considerable research I've come up with a suitable gearbox / motor combo (High Level) to fit the narrow space between the robust brass sides of the K's chassis and within it's limited length. Most gearboxes from other suppliers are designed to fit inside thinner chassis sides of the modern kit type or their on-line documentation is so poor / non-existent that I can't find out. One week later I'm still waiting on a reply from SE Finecast to my email / follow-up; too late now!

Wheels, axles and some minor detailing items complete the shopping list. Now the wait while the suppliers send them and the mail system delivers them. Patience CW!







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