Chronicling the development of my Cambrian and Narrow Gauge 4mm scale model railway

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Light relief

With the railcar being painted I spent a quick half hour starting on another back burner project – 6320.

Regular readers will know that I sold my Mogul as I bought a foreign interloper – an LMS Crab. I had a 28xx and my plan was to turn it into 4801, one of the oil fired locos. For the immediate post-war period, the oil fired locos were one of the interesting experiments. As an ex Ffestiniog fireman I understand the benefits of oil firing despite some claiming it “doesn’t smell like a steam loco”. 🙄

However, coming back on point, I’ve always wanted a 30xx ROD for my “heavy freight” loco so the 28xx is going to depart and I decided to do the only 43xx as my oil fired loco. This was 6320 and was reported to “go like a Castle” when oil fired. I already had a spare Dean tender “in stock” so procured the oil tank for it from Shapeways (see here).

For the loco I managed to find a painted and crewed 43xx body shell on eBay for all of £10 and then I bought a Mainline 61xx Prairie tank for the chassis. For why, you ask? Because the original 61xx chassis (unlike the new Hornby one) would almost certainly fit, with some surgery to the cast weights, and, unlike the Mainline / Bachmann 43xx chassis is “normal” not split, thus making it easy to convert to DCC.

Here is what the chassis looks like new (typically I forgot to take a photo before hacking it).

I cut the back off, and the sides, and a small part off the front and made it look like this.

I then made a couple of minor trims to the body plastic to accept the new chassis, and Robert is your mother’s brother.

Next to tackle the tender which will have replacement buffers, and permanent addition of the oil tank.

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Paint shop

Well the railcar is in the paint shop.

I have always known what the exterior would be but wasn’t so sure about the interior. It depended a bit on what was available and I thought would look good.

I eventually plumped for Phoenix BR rail grey for the third class saloon and vestibule floor, Humbrol satin 131 green for the third class seats and floor of the first class saloon, LNER teak for the tables and saloon internal partitions, and Railmatch Midland Railway Red for the first class seats to look a bit like Chesterfield Oxblood colour.

The underframe and driver’s seats were painted in Humbrol Matt black 33 (which looks glossy in the photo as it was still wet at the time.

I’ll add some oily colours to the engine area before considering it complete.

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Fitting out

The seats for the the railcar are courtesy of Boston Largs Works, as mentioned in a previous post. One half of the railcar is first class, and one half third class.

The partitions between the central vestibule and the saloons are made using the Ashover kit ends, with one window opened out to form a doorway, and then a footstep added to the outer edge as the original Ashover kit is narrower than my railcar.

The seating had to be cut down to fit over the motor compartment but as you can see, thanks to the slimline Kato chassis, most of the seat still exists so the illusion can be maintained.

To maintain appearances, the motor end is in third class while the quieter trailer end is in first.

Two of the first class seats were used to form the drivers seats. Once painted, glass partitions (well plastic really) will be inserted between the driver and the saloons.

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Buffing up

I decided the easiest way of finishing the underframe was to put a piece of plastic rod just behind where I wanted the channel to bend, soften said channel with liquid poly, and then bend into place.

I then attached another piece of I beam under the first by holding in a curved shape while letting the glue set.

Using the RT models height gauge which I use for all my stock, the central buffer/couplings were added (Narrow Planet).

I also added some pipe work to represent the braking.

With that done attention can now turn to the interior.

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Powering up

The chassis detailing continued with fitting underframe and engine compartment. Tbh you won’t see much of this so it isn’t the most precise modelling ever.

The underframe is ridiculously over length while I work out how to finish it off but with the body being painted I didn’t have it to hand to measure it up.

Bending the exhaust pipes for the engine is quite easy I find. I bend the plasticard rod cold and then paint with liquid poly. This softens the plastic and resets it to shape. I find if you use the liquid poly to soften the plastic before bending it squashes the scrape of the rod.