Sow's Ear Seeks Silk Purse

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Bilco
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Sow's Ear Seeks Silk Purse

Postby Bilco » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:05 pm

Last May we were on a walking holiday around Whitby, and on one of our trips we took the North York Moors Railway train from Whitby to Goathland and walked back to Grosmont. While waiting there for the train back to Whitby, I wandered into a nearby local shop to buy a paper, and found this on their shelves …

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On a whim I bought it, thinking that one day I might be able to convert it to something Gn15-ish. By the time I took Berger Hall to MOMING’17 I had come up with the idea of bringing the layout 100 years forward to 2000, and making the railway a miniature line, for which the Grosmont purchase might become a suitable loco. However, now that Berger Hall has been asked to more exhibitions well into 2019 it will stay firmly in 1900, as people seem to like it like that.

I had intended to make the conversion of this particular sow’s ear my Winter Project but, as mentioned in the Bit of Estate thread, the construction of two Smallbrook ‘Katie’ kits and repeated bouts of faux-flu saw off any time to spare for conversion work. Now that that’s all behind me I’ve rooted the box out and I’m ready to make a start.

The locomotive in the box is manifestly a toy; when still in the box one can remove the little tab marked ‘Pull out’ and by pressing the top of the ‘dome’ train-like noises erupt. These are the usual ‘chuff-chuff, whoo-whoo’ sounds, and a red LED shines out of the smokebox door as well. There is no motorization – it’s definitely push-along.

Out of the box this is what one sees …

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The locomotive is a sort of LMS Class 2P look alike – in a darkened room, with your eyes half closed – but the tender is rather Germanic in appearance. Touchingly, the letters LMS in small Gothic script appear on the tender sides. There is a cow-catcher on the front buffer beam for some reason, as well as 'buffers'.

On the back of the box is a picture of the whole range on offer – two loco types in different colours, some with coaches. Maybe there is potential for converting the coaches into something useful in O-16.5 scale.

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Time to get the tools out. Hours of fun …
Last edited by Bilco on Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

https://sites.google.com/site/myoldlayouts/
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Bilco
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Re: Sow's Ear Seeks Silk Purse

Postby Bilco » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:10 pm

Right, first thing to do is to dismantle the beast. Lots of little screws hold it all together, and will no doubt come in useful for something in future. This is the result of a frantic 10 minutes unscrewing …

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I had imagined that the loco was constructed entirely of plastic, but the footplate and cab are a one-piece metal moulding. The boiler is moulded from red plastic and painted the same green as the footplate, but the tender is moulded in green plastic to match the loco. There is a little sound card with loudspeaker and LED and 3 button-type batteries.

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One thing I had managed to do in the early winter was scour t’Bay for suitable underpinnings, and I made two purchases …

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... an unmotorized 4-6-0 loco chassis of unknown provenance, and 6-wheel tender drive mechanism by Hornby – the Made in England version. The chassis will lose the rear set of wheels to become 4-4-0. In fact, there will be much violence done to the footplate and tender as well ...
Last edited by Bilco on Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

https://sites.google.com/site/myoldlayouts/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/149926300@N07/albums

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Bilco
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Re: Sow's Ear Seeks Silk Purse

Postby Bilco » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:16 pm

My first bit of butchery was to the footplate. My building material of choice is plasticard, so hacking metal about is a bit of a new experience. I fitted a new blade to the trusty hacksaw and set about removing the unwanted bits. First to come off was the cow-catcher, followed by the strange sloping area in front of the smokebox saddle. Then the large semi-circular cutouts under the footplate front succumbed to the saw. I wanted to remove the cab front too, so got out the piercing saw, and used it again to cut through the sloping area between the in-cab splashers. Finally I rooted out the bastard and filed away all the rough edges I’d managed to create with my cackhanded wielding of the hacksaw – never mind the odd gouges, they can be filled in later …

The results of an hour of cursing and flailing about in the garage …

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I wanted to make the tender front open for the driver to sit in – Harry Ramsden, driver of ‘Kaffie’ from Berger Hall kindly offered himself up as a measure of how much needed to be cut away. The hacksaw made short work of cutting down the sides of the front, and a razor saw cut away the front of the coal space extensions …

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... and extraneous detail was sanded off the back ...

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So far so good – next job is to hack away at the loco chassis and tender drive to get them to fit. I’m enjoying being back on my favourite track, adapting and adopting, and making it up as I go along ...

Hours of fun ...
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

https://sites.google.com/site/myoldlayouts/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/149926300@N07/albums

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Bilco
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Re: Sow's Ear Seeks Silk Purse

Postby Bilco » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:15 pm

The latest bit of bodgement and ad-hoc-ery ...

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The motor was prised out of the tender frame, and about 3mm cut off the back end, to make the frame the same length as the tender body. Also, the steps were hacked off the sides.

The locomotive chassis was dismantled (hope I can remember how it all fits together) and the rear set of wheels removed, to make it a 4-4-0. Then about 30mm was cut off the back end so that the remaining wheels will roughly (very roughly) line up with the splashers.

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All the cut edges were dressed smooth ready for the start of the next stage - building up rather than chopping off.

Hours of fun ...
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

https://sites.google.com/site/myoldlayouts/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/149926300@N07/albums

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Jon Randall
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Re: Sow's Ear Seeks Silk Purse

Postby Jon Randall » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:49 pm

Looks fun 8)
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Needs to stop procrastinating and start modelling

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Grum
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Interests: Building and running exhibition layouts now in Gn15, previously in 009 scale narrow gauge for 34 years. I like steam locos and like to achieve a degree of realism. I am also interested in motor buses from 1945 to 1969.

Re: Sow's Ear Seeks Silk Purse

Postby Grum » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:42 am

I can't imagine just yet how this is all going to look, but knowing your ideas and skills, it should look great!

I have been tinkering with a chassis and frame for a small rail car, - all very tentative at the moment.

Graham

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Bilco
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Interests: 7mm & 16mm NG, Gn15

Re: Sow's Ear Seeks Silk Purse

Postby Bilco » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:28 pm

I've been concentrating on the tender for the last couple of days, and this is the result ...

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A close-up, warts 'n' all front view of the driver's seat ...

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... and the side view. With some help from a guest at Berger Hall, a certain Mr Wells, Harry Ramsden has been able to come 118 years forward in time to try out the seating arrangements. "Very nice," he says "But still no cab ..."

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And a top view. I think this will be a steam-outline i/c loco - then I can fit a rudimentary set of cylinders and valve gear, and the driver won't have to shovel coal ...
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

https://sites.google.com/site/myoldlayouts/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/149926300@N07/albums


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