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Gortalainn

Suitable donor chassis for Studio Scale Models no. 85 "Merlin"

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Hi guys,

I was just wondering whether anyone knows of a suitable donor chassis that would fit the SSM "Merlin" kit, as it would be a bit outside my budget to purchase the gearbox, crankpins, motor and wheels from them along with the kit.

Thanks!

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5 answers to this question

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De Selby's RM Web GNR (I) Vs Class loco building thread contains a lot of information on assembling the SSM "Merlin" kit. http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/98951-gnr-ireland-vs-class-4-4-0-a-skritchbuild-in-4mm/ 

De Selby used the SSM V Class as a basis for scratch building the more modern Vs 4-4-0 which had a lot in common with Merlin and includes a useful step by step on assembling, bolier chassis and cab.

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Posted (edited)

Hi Gortalainn

A small 4-4-0 chassis like the Fowler 2P Class could be a starting point? but you need to consider the alterations you will have to make to the SSM kit to get anything to fit- Peters Spares do this chassis at around £45 or so! but take a look at it on their site and I think you'll find your into some serious mods to it and the kit!-

https://www.petersspares.com/hornby-h132-railroad-fowler-2p-440-loco-drive-chassis.ir

A new 4-4-0 model will cost anywhere from £90 to £140- second hand at a guess €50.00 and it's second hand!

Someone on here might know one more suitable but my reckoning is you are far better off saving up the dosh and get the right stuff and minimise the headache trying to hack it together for not much less

or maybe your into the challenge😮

Model building is great fun

Eoin

Edited by murrayec

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I agree with Eoin its a far better long term option to build the loco with the chassis as supplied in the kit rather than attempt to modify the loco body to fit a rtr donor chassis. 

Markits wheels in combination with a High Level , Branchline or DJH gearbox and Mashima motor is probably about the most cost effective option, all up the wheels gears and motor should cost no more than £95 . The Markits  LMS/BR Fowler 4-4-0 package may be suitable for a GNR Compound and inclueds wheels, axles & crank pins.

The combination of Markits wheels in combination with a Branchlines Multibox or DJH gearbox and a Mashima motor is a bullet proof in terms of durability and ease of assembly, and likely to outlast a modern rtr loco. 

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Thanks for the help, I'll probably save up for the SSM chassis because I was only looking for it to be a quick project over the summer!

Sorry it took so long for me to reply - exams got in the way!
Thanks again
- Kevin

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Hi Kevin,

I have built a number of brass steam loco kits including some from SSM/TMD. Like you, I initially liked the idea of a donor chassis to 'plonk' the body onto. It seems logical. 

If you go down the donor road, I suggest a tender drive Hornby School class 4-4-0 as this has almost identical wheel size and spacing. Other 4-4-0s such as LMS 2Ps and Compounds are too short. 

As others have already explained, the donor idea has possibly more challenges than building the kit chassis. The main issue being that the finished loco body will require serious surgery to accept the new chassis, especially if it's a loco-drive unit. The other issue is that, in my opinion, the body and tender of the loco kit probably represent 85% of the effort and skill while the chassis is around 15%. 

 

The way I see it, you have two options:

1. Build the kit as designed. I suggest you get wheels and crank pins from Markits, as suggested above, rather than the Gibson ones supplied by SSM as they are WAY easier to fit. 

Or

2. Buy a full Hornby Schools class(tender or loco drive) and use the the parts from the SSM kit to clad and convert it into 85 Merlin. I want to try doing this with SSM GNR S class parts on a Southern T9 4-4-0 at some stage. 

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