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GSR 800

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Hahaha, best laugh I've had on here in a while :)


Harry, a simple cad exercise will sort it. Do you know the smokebox diameter?


I don't Richie, unfortunately. Des might...

Anyway, here's a close up of my 552s smokebox. I usually wouldn't get this close, but this is important...


Meanwhile I'm buchering a GWR county class, to try and turn it into a beautiful swan of a 400... Right now it's a really ugly duckling....

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Give us a look, you might need a break from all the rivet counting....you start hallucinating after a while....


Dunno if this will show up, but here goes:




This is a blown-up crop of the original photo, the copyright of which belongs to SLS.


There's also six rivets on the door itself, in a hexagon formation.

Edited by Horsetan
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Dunno if this will show up, but here goes:




This is a blown-up crop of the original photo, the copyright of which belongs to SLS.


There's also six rivets on the door itself, in a hexagon formation.


Ahh..my eyes!

35 or 36 by my count...(starts counting again)

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  • 3 months later...
  • 1 year later...

                       Back to Work 

I've had quite a long break from modelling locomotives (nearly 2 years!) Mainly to focus on ships.

I tend to lean one way or another, but never both at once. Now with a sufficient battlefleet to protect against. ..er....cheeky buggers....it's time to get back into the Kettles of CIE.

Quite some time ago I purchased an N15 class locomotive with the intention of converting to 402


Being myself, I didn't start taking photos till I had most of the job done. Chassis were terrible on her, so something must be done about that.

Nonetheless, off came the body


One sees the obvious differences between the locomotives.

First tackled was the Firebox. Round on the N15, it was a Belpaire type on the 400s. A piece of brass, bent to shape, along with some glue and filler was used.


The Firebox was filed slightly, to make the corners more rounded.

Splashers were stolen off some poor old airfix kit, filed down, and fitted



Then it was off to the paint shop, for a lick of green.


Looking somewhat like a crazy idea Bullied would have, 402 will have to make do with the tender chassis she's lying on for now😋


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On 2/27/2017 at 11:52 AM, jhb171achill said:

You know there were two different types of rivets in J26 smokeboxes, Harry.


One type were installed by fitters from Inchicore, others Ballyfermot.

As in different engines would have different types of rivets, or the same engine would have different types?


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38 minutes ago, GSR 800 said:

Aye, I heard you let some lads get away with painting their locomotives the wrong colour!  😉

That would never do! 

(Imagine a J15 in NIR "red bull", or an ICR in lined NCC maroon..................................................................................!!)

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  • 1 month later...

                  Jubilee for a Queen

Here we go again......

While Maedbh sits on her perch comfortably the difference in size between her and Macha (converted fromissions an airfix royal scot) is quite noticeable. 

So then what to do. What I've always disliked about converting the Royal Scottish is the cab is quite different along with the tender drive of the airfix models. Now while the Scot has a semi enclosed cab, the Jubilee has a fully enclosed one. But the noticeable tapered boiler is a problem. 

Or so one woold think. Some of the Jubilee class were rebuilt, with a somewhat striking resemblance to the 800s.

So for 30 quid on Ebay,  came Comet.

Trails needed first of course 


No problems there. Ran in, it was off to the workbench!

First things first, removing the boiling fitting ahead of the dome 


As usual, my thumb bears the brunt of the assault. 


One boiling fitting gone, another added

Next job is the smoke box door.

All detail removed,  and holes and dents filled.


Boring the hole for the smoke box door wheel and imageproxy.php?img=&key=ac96cff20d889157Handrails added



Starting to look a bit like an 800


Edited by GSR 800
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                         Part 2

Next job was some paint.


Provided by the man from the west, name and number plates, along with some decals 

Reveasing lever built and added, along with the housing 

She sits outside the shed proudly, the newest addition.


Also on shed is a D2, along with j26 no.553 and 402 behind her, and 073 ticking over on the same road. Macha peaks out of the shed. An unidentified tank is fresh from the paint shop, waiting for her decals.




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  • 1 year later...

A wee update...

Just back from the states, and began to get to work for the next big project.

Some things that need to be done include expanding rolling stock, either shortening or replacing 553's funnel, doing the touch up om the tender springs on the J15 that's in the post tomorrow and thinking about what to do with 402.

Anyway, Maedb has her lining, painted by hand 20190922_010514.thumb.jpg.16e408aa39a0625a28387c80ca6ba988.jpg

I'm wondering if I should put the auld D2 in a more authentic livery or leave her black..


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Decided to have a go at 553's very tall funnel.

The funnel in the kit represented the J26 class in their original form rather than their GSR/CIE form. First thing was cutting the funnel with an angle grinder 


The middle section was then cut again to shorten the funnel to the appropriate length, glued together and repainted before being fitted once more to 55320190923_042153.thumb.jpg.81eca8e6cb743a8692edf9721822a276.jpg

Once fitted, 553 received a bit of a touch up and some weathering 20190923_061444.thumb.jpg.5b167f61b7f5ea0c7895f1fe3fdcbb2b.jpg

Think she looks a bit better now 

Thanks for looking 


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Something arrived from OO works today..

20190926_090011.thumb.jpg.5d6ba58d10483e45addd28245521b565.jpg numbered her 162, very impressed with the locomotive overall, many thanks to OO work, they've done a great job.

20190926_085922.thumb.jpg.94db3ab18530a9248dc388c030b555e8.jpgThe lineup shows how surprisingly small the locomotive is. Nonetheless she is of a good weight, and quite solid. Time to buy some cattle wagons to put her to work! If I'm feeling brave I'l modify the springs. Looks far too clean too..




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Some more work done today on no.309, which was painted, numbered and then rapidly made to look filthy



Other things going on at the works included Macha getting lined. A slow and painful process for myself, tea was needed!

20190927_214513.thumb.jpg.8de5ed6271ccd964eb6e6fcadcfbcb09.jpgbody removed 20190927_214529.thumb.jpg.82eca785536bd5450edd3b204ea9678e.jpg

As few things need to be done to finish Macha, cabut windows and a bit of paint along the running plate.


I seriously wonder how the hell people do this in N gauge.


Feck it, rest will be done by tomorrow!

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I was about halfway through this project when I saw Eoins excellent thread on repairing an O gauge 400 (hopefully I'lt get somewhat close to what that model looks like) that reminded me I should probably take some bloody photos. Anyway.

About three years ago I embarked on an attempt to kitbash a 400 from a hornby sir dinaden, the inspiration having been Scots Macs conversions.


My modelling skills were slightly worse back then, hopefully havin improved since then. You'll note a lack of any chassis, it is merely the body of the locomotive. This will be a bit of a theme in this series. The Sir Dinaden did have a chassis but it didn't work very well. Looking back I have several issues with the conversion. The Sir Dinaden model had small driving wheels that would be undersized for a 400 and I especially disliked the Belpaire Firebox.

Next attempt was with a King Arthur 


I was far happier with this conversion( the firebox looks soooo much better than the other one imo) but again ran into the issue of not having a decent chassis for it, so it remained semi complete 


Recently I came across a chassis I had that I was sure didn't work before but works perfectly now for some bizarre reason. So I decided one 400 was better than one and began hacking. After some consideration I figured the footplate of the first conversion would be better while the boiler and smokebox of the new one would hopefully combine to make a decent thing.

So are there any issues? Firstly it's a Bachmann split chassis so an ass to work with, and lacks a bogie. 


Seconditions problem, it's a bit tall. So trimming the top will be necessary. Will try and get around to that tomorrow.

In what I can only describe as a brutal murder the first locomotive body was basically torn apart to leave only the footplate and cab.


Loose Fitted on the chassis 


Next the boiler and smokebox of the other body were removed, modified a bit and also loose fitted 


You can sort of see what I mean. The smokebox boiler and Firebox seem to be sitting a little high. Also need a new dome and a fair bit of filler so the finish line is more far away than small.


Definitely needs to be lowered.

Thanks for looking 




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There is so much satisfaction to be gained from these kind of projects. Ok, it may not be absolute dead scale, but if it captures the look and feel of the prototype, fits it with the rest of the fleet etc, then all is well. As in many of these things, the final finish and coat of paint makes all the difference.

 Most of all it is yours, by your own hand and not just taken from the box. Long may you prosper!

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Hi lads,  thanks for the replies 

Popeye, tis indeed a pretty big job, especially compared to something like 309, that I didn't do much work on. Nonetheless I hope the end product will be decent looking 

David it can be very satisfying (if it actually works!) And of course dead accuracy isn't usually achieved but if it looks pretty close to it, close to same proportions, looks and certain features then I'm happy. Paint often covers a multitude of issues! Pretty much everything par the J15 is either built or kitbashed. 

Bit more work was done today. My original plan had been, similar to Scots Mac, use a B12 tender for the 400. However this was...tiny 


The King Arthur came with a large double bogie tender. Its much bigger and not too far off the 400s tender with a bit of modification. I also had an old Stanier tender base. Bogies removed and some ripping apart was done



Loose Fitted together


Valances will have to be extended back, ladders added etc. 

Next thing to do was fix the cab front. 


Apologies for the blurry pic, but hopefully you can see the front was pretty much gutted.







Edited by GSR 800
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Finished up on the tender today along with some other work. 20191008_200449.thumb.jpg.04426551fd76d54769acdfc9129fc95e.jpg

I doubt the tank tops are the same but that might be for another time.


Firebox looked a bit too log so it was a cut and shut job.


Still a good bit to do but starting to look like a 400 methinks. Bogies wheels need to be painted you can barely see them! 





Edited by GSR 800
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NIce work it has a" presence", from your photos the feel of the loco looks good. I started  with an old Mainline B1 and it just did'nt have the mass of yours. The King Arthur is a much better starting point. Just a thought, I cut a piece out of the firebox down to where the inward curve starts th en spliced in a piece which I had  put the  curves in with a piece of metal rod and the boiling water treatment.  Just a couple of shots to illustrate my point. The loco is no more! it got dropped onto a hard floor. And the chassis got the dreaded split gear disease.



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Inspiring to see some examples of real old school modelling here. Also fascinating to see how various GB locos can be subtly altered to give the Irish look. I saw a photo in Clements/McMahon of the unique 400 class loco that got a huge Lemaitre chimney and smoke deflectors - looked a bit like a Fowler Scot! 

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Hi Mike, Firebox had been made from a piece of brass. 

So got to it a few hours ago






She'll need to be painted soon!


Onto the more general subject of conversions, I think southern locomotives are as close a donor for irish locos. The likes of the S and H classes would be close enough to a 500. The larger southern 4-4-0s are close to the V and VS class. The T9 class could probably be a donor for a multitude of Irish mid and small 4-4-0s 

Even the Lord Nelson has some features of the 800s that the Jubilees and Scots lack  (namely the huuuge looking boiler) but was ruled out for a possible 800 conversion for the several major differences. Obviously some LMS locomotives are good substitutes

Even the LNER has some very close locomotives, namely their D16s and D11, though the cab and Firebox would have to be modified 

The odd one of the big four for possible conversions is the GWR. Utterly useless for the most part, the tapered boiler on GWR locomotives is pretty much entirely absent from any Irish one.

Galteemore it seems the GSR was up to some shenanigans with their 4-6-0s, one of the 500s looked quite bizarre for a period of time. 


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