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David Holman

7mm scale 101 - a tribute to Richard Chown

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What, another J15?

 Well, yes - so sorry about that. A bit like buses, none for ages, then several come along at once. I must admit that a 101/J15 was not on my radar, as they never appeared on the SLNCR and my proposed branch to Arigna Town has been, thus far, a joint line with the MGW. However, acquiring Richard's 0-6-0 Shannon set me thinking. Arigna's fiddle yard is full, but what about back dating things, to do two distinct periods? At home, I can run what I like of course, but it is not unusual at shows to see layouts that will change, say, from steam to diesel - either half way through a day, or  on separate days for a weekend show. Hence, when the chance came at Telford, back in September, to buy an unmade TDM kit of a 101/J15, it was an opportunity I wasn't going to refuse. The plan is to model trains around the turn of the century. Shannon was built in 1900/01 as is resplendent in WL&WR lined black. The GSWR took over the WLW in 1901, so my 101 will be in lined black livery and with the MGW also working into Sligo, the opportunity for all three companies' locos to appear alongside each other is far from impossible, though how that will eventually come about, you'll have to wait and see!

 Given that I've had the kit for a couple of months, why wait until now to start it - after all I'm not one to leave such things on the shelf? It all revolves around what was in the box, which included a letter from Terry McDermott [of TDM Models/Studio Scale] apologising to Richard for the delay in supplying the kit. The letter [see below] was dated 29th November 1998, so it seemed appropriate to make a start on the 20th anniversary of it being posted. I presume the kit was photo-etched and therefore is a blown up version of the ones currently being shared elsewhere on the Forum. Good news for me, because I have all that expertise to lean on - including the history of these locos, so many thanks to all concerned.

 It is interesting to ponder just why Richard never got round to building the kit and why it stayed unopened for 18 years, until his death in July 2016? Was he busy with one of his many other projects? I can't imagine a modeller as resourceful as him would have been put off by the need for extra components, so perhaps we will never know. Anyway, today I have made what is more of a token gesture in starting the kit, by cutting out the frames and using some 4mm brass rod as temporary spacers. Hopefully, after Saturday, I will have most of the key components I need to get started properly. Saturday is the Reading 0 Gauge Trade Show, a splendid gathering of major and minor traders, where I should get what I need.

 The kit doesn't actually contain any frame spacers. In the 4mm version, brass rod is used. I am planning to make my own from brass sheet and along with various brake rods, this should ensure a rather flimsy  pair of frames become properly solid. I haven't decided yet whether to add springing - partly because none of my other locos have it, but also because I'm not yet sure about working inside valve gear. It would be nice [if expensive] to fit it, but I don't know if it can work on a set of sprung centre drivers. Am sure Lawrie Griffin will put me right on Saturday. You can see all the additional stuff I need in one of the photos. The kit is more at the Worsley end of things in that it is only etchings, but at least there is a good set of instructions and a 7mm scale drawing. That said, I have re-typed the instructions [8 pages!] in bullet point form. This can be a useful exercise anyway, as it gives you an insight into any extra required and gives an idea of how the model is intended to be built. Apart from things like chimney, dome, buffers, axle boxes etc, I'm hoping to treat myself to a set of profile milled coupling rods from Premier Components. These are a big improvement on sweating two or more layers of thin brass together, plus they also do a nice line in machined motor gearbox combinations. Just a matter of making sure one will fit!

 So, there we are. I'll report progress from time to time, so please feel free to comment, especially on anything which is not correct. This won't be one of Eoin's specials, but as long as I can create a good looking model, which reflects the prototype and also runs well, I'll be happy and hopefully if he is looking down on me, Richard will approve too!

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One would hope so, the compound interest over the last 20 years would be considerable. Nice little anecdote though!

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Love the overall/apron, especially the pouch for catching small items that get dropped. Must get myself one!

 What's the tap for though - recycling any spilled Guinness?

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Hi David

That's the 'Dribble Bib' when one gets modelling excited!

- but as you say it could double up for recycling spilled Guinness......

Eoin

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Shopping!

  So, I got my kit for £40, which is great, but as many of you will know, there is still a lot required to build the model. So, Reading 0 Gauge Trade Show yesterday, an event where it would be possible to spend well into five figures without even trying. A Lee Marsh loco, a rake of coaches, no problem...

 Well out of my league, but nevertheless, it gets quite expensive. First a visit to Premier Components, for a nice set of profile milled, jointed coupling rods, plus a Mashima motor and 40:1 gearbox. Seventy quid, just like that! A few stalls down and you come to Slaters. A pair of driving wheels is now £22 an axle, so with tender wheels and bearings as well, another £110 gone. Just as well I found a set of Slater's buffers on Roxy's stand, because at £12, they are a good £10 cheaper than the Markits versions. Yes, you read that right... Thankfully a bag of other castings [whitemetal] weren't so bad, but my £40 kit is now running well over £250, but still not bad in this scale. When you think that a Dapol Jinty costs less than £200 and wheels/motor/gears alone could easily make up more than half of that, recent RTR 7mm scale models look a bit of a bargain. You don't get the fun of building them though!

 Speaking of construction, I also bought a Poppy's Woodtech loco cradle. In laser cut MDF, the kit glues together in 5 minutes and has already proved its worth in holding the frames together while I soldered in home made [29mm] spacers. A photo shows that I already have a rolling chassis, though there is a small problem with the milled rods. In the past, I'm sure the joint was a rivet, but what's been supplied is a steel pin, that is actually too short to solder a washer on. Any thoughts out there?

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David,

I have the Poppy;s loco box for 4mm which is excellent for construction of chassis - it does give plenty of space around the frames for soldering.

 

My understanding of the pin with the coupling rods is that it's a simple rivet - you have to take care not to peen to tightly?  

For the 0-6-2T I'm working on a the moment, I ended up using a track rivet as the rivet to hold the coupling rods together which worked rather well.

 

NIce looking chassis BTW!

 

Ken

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Hi David

You only need to use a peened rivet if your chassis is sprung or compensated, your chassis is fixed so I would solder the back of the rivet and the join ensuring the rods are straight first- you may need to file the back of it down after soldering, depending on the clearance to the wheel!

Eoin

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Thanks Eoin & Ken - it was probably around 5am this morning that this came to me. As you say, why have hinged rods on  a rigid chassis! It was because the rods come in two parts, that made me think they needed to be jointed, but it is a pin, not a rivet that is supplied, probably to make sure a four coupled set up works first, before adding the second pair? I've got a set of Slater's sprung horn blocks waiting to be used, but the 101 frames are pretty flimsy, even in 7mm scale. They do have half etched cut outs for horn blocks, but the Slater's ones are 2mm wider than this, which makes them actually wider than the bottom of the frames. So, solid chassis it is. 

 At the moment, not sure whether to go along the full, inside working valve gear route, or make do with 'dummy'. My SLNCR 'Sir Henry' has Laurie Griffin's working inside valve gear & I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to build. Getting on for £100 though, so not to be taken lightly. Guess it will depend on how visible it will be be, especially as dummy motion is easily made from plastic strip.

 Tidied up the chassis today, reaming out the bearings slightly to ensure all the wheels spin freely, then added the fixed rods. There were a couple of tight spots, but again, a bit of gentle reaming of the crank pin holes soon had things turning smoothly. Time then to add the motor gearbox and see if it would run. It doesn't matter how many locos I build, there is something very satisfying about achieving a smoothly running chassis. The model actually works, so all the rest is purely cosmetic. Well, sort of...

  There is no doubt that, structurally, the 101s are complex beasts, especially as regards the footplate area, with splashers over both coupling rods and wheels. Fortunately, Terry McDermott has included some clever design features, to help make lifer easier. The footplate on its own would be incredibly flimsy if cut out on its own. Instead, you are told to leave a lot of etching attached in the middle at first, to retain strength until other parts are added. The second photo shows progress thus far, with just the valences attached. Again, very flimsy, but the etch has a strengthening piece attached and it works well. A clear sign the kit maker actually built his product - not always a given, I'm afraid, but very welcome. So glad I'm doing this in 7mm scale, am more than a little impressed with its 4mm brethren.

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The kit was designed by the late Eamonn Kearney an active modeler who worked to S4 standards, he designed the majority of the TMD and SSM loco and coach kits.

From memory Terry McDermott was mainly interested in pre-group Midland Railway in 7mm scale, I had a look at the test build of the J15 in Terry's  house before buying the kit.

The J15 was one of the first TMD kits to incorporate elements of slot and tab and modular construction, quite advanced by the standards of kit design in the early-mid 1980s.

We seem to have taken opposite directions in assembling the running-board, I retained the temporary splashers and removed the central section with my two locos.

O gauge is expensive in comparison with OO but no where near as expensive as Gauge 1 or Large scale narrow gauge where ready to run plastic and brass locos cost upwards of $1000, but you get a lot more metal or plastic for your money than in N or OO

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Thanks John. Credit to Eamonn then. I once built a Gibson GER E4 that had clearly been blown up from 4 to 7mm scale, enhancing, if that is the right word, a fair few dimensional errors. Taught me a lot in a way, because I had to make several new body parts and use rather more filler than I wanted.

 Early days yet, but the fact that a set of bought in profile milled rods matches the etched chassis is promising. Presumably the kit was hand drawn, unlike the CAD stuff of today when resizing much less of a problem.

 Just following the instructions for now and will be glad when I've got that footplate finished!

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I have built 2 of these kits, one in 7mm and in S Scale. They are a great design of a fine loco. I would like to clarify that they were designed by Terry McDermott. I have the original paper artwork drawn by Terry, which was then used to produce the photo-tool for etching. It is a brilliant piece of design by Terry and has all manner of additional parts for different cabs and splashers  to do the original and later Coey versions of these very fine locomotives. Good luck and enjoy the kit David!

Best wishes, Paul Greene aka Broadstone.

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