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Graham's Workbench

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Nice work I particulary like the photo of 086SA dates the loco to the 80s Is the leading coach a standard MK1 or have you modified it to a van?


No it's just a standard MK1, but I do have a MK1 brake converted to a steam genny van, I'll take a pic of it when I get the chance.

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Lovely work Thump. Care to share the technique? Acrylic/enamel? really tidy , top of the range.


Very simple techniques really....


The only paints I used for weathering are Humbrol Enamels. The various shades are all a mixture of just two colours, Matt Black 33 and Matt leather 62.

First I airbrush a layer of 50:50 black and leather over the whole loco, I let this dry a little then take most of it off again with cotton buds soaked in thinners (I use white spirit) working in downward strokes to mimic streaking on the loco sides and making sure to leave paint in the recesses.

The roof gets a coat of the same mix, as well as the bogies. Neat black is used for exhaust stains as well as around the fuel tank and wheel bearings. Light patches of neat matt leather are airbrushed onto parts of the bogies to mimic brake dust and I also dust a very light coat over the whole loco which helps tie all the colours together.


I find very light application of paint at high pressure gives a lovely, dusty finish.


The exhaust on 210 was done with Humbrol matt rust 113, silver 11 and matt black 33 and touched up with some rust coloured weathering powders.


Lastly the buffers faces are touched with some Metalcote Gunmetal. I use a an old tin that has almost dried out, it gives a great representation of the thick grease used on the buffers!

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Can a mod sticky the above post. I think he's Tim Shackleton - (same enamel colours etc.) Great tips.


Whoops! Better come clean before a plagiarism suit gets filed against me!;)


Yes, most of the techniques are from Tim Shackelton's book "Weathering Locomotives" which I would recommend to anyone. Also, credit to Georgeconna for his "wash on, wash off" technique for the loco's sides!

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  • 2 months later...

Some UK outline for a change:


I picked up an old Hornby HST from Ebay a while back, it's in good condition overall but the ringfield motor was little knackered! A good service didn't improve matters much and getting a replacement was proving difficult as well as potentially expensive, then I came across this low cost alternative which uses a motor from an old CD drive. Here's the link...



I installed the motor as described except that I had removed the old magnet which left a lot more space around the motor, which I simply filled with blobs of hot glue. Here's a pic:




I wired in a bog standard Hornby decoder and was amazed at how well it runs. Here's short video of it in action, sorry about the low quality as I took it on my phone....



I considerably increased the weight in the loco and as you can see it pulls a 5 car rake as well as a driving trailer with no problem at all.


Edited by irishthump
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Gob. Smacked.


Anything would be better than an old Ringfield but that is just lovely. Great solution, and a tidy little runner.


Yeah, it worked far better than I imagined! Might be useful for anyone re-motoring an old chassis for a Silverfox kit. I imagine it would work for the Lima pancake motor as well.

Edited by irishthump
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  • 7 months later...
  • 6 months later...

I finally took the plunge with a Silverfox A class kit so decided to try to come up with a suitable chassis after seeing Dhu Varren's wonderful brass scratchbuilt job.

I didn't fancy building my own as I'm not experienced with scratchbuilding in brass so the hunt was on for a donor chassis. I have a Hornby Railroadclass 55 and although this is a simple cut and shut and is DCC ready I decided against using it as it wouldn't pull the skin of a rice pudding!


I have a growing collection of US HO locos so decided to look through them for a solution. According to Glenderg's excellent sticky'd thread, the RSD 4/5 is probably the best option but I found them hard to come by.


The Athearn F7 looked about the right length and chassis has a decent amount of weight to start with.




I cut out some sections of the underframe to make it more closely resemble the A class shape. I could simply attach the resin fuel tank castings when I'm ready. The fuel tank will end up slightly off centre but I think I can live with it.




Only problem of course is the F7 is a Bo-Bo but I thought I might be able to switch out the bogies. I tried bogies from an Athearn SD40 but the bogie mounts are totally different so that idea had to be scrapped. However I had picked up an Atlas U36C chassis ages ago and these are a direct fit.






I also had a spare motor and drive shafts from a Proto 1000 F3 which matched up to the Atlas bogies so I swapped this for the Athearn stock motor.




The mounting holes for the motor don't line up perfectly so I glued in a piece of thick steel plate to mount the motor and also to add more weight.




Fitted in the motor and drive shafts and attached the bogies. Not in the picture but the motor was fixed with a bead of silicon sealer.




Gave it a quick test run and it ran very smoothly. Only problem was that bogies were too rigid which caused one to lift slightly when running over points and the loco would stall. This was easily fixed by trimming away a little of the plastic on the bottom of the worm clips which allowed the bogies to pivot sideways a little.


More to follow. But progress is a little slow due to the arrival of a new family member......



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This is a case of keep trying until you get something to work, having to use three different American Loco chassis to get it right showing the tenacious approach you used in this challenge. Well done on getting it to work. Would love to see a video of it in action.

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This is a case of keep trying until you get something to work, having to use three different American Loco chassis to get it right showing the tenacious approach you used in this challenge. Well done on getting it to work. Would love to see a video of it in action.


Thanks, Kirley. Fair play to any of you who got the 2 motor approach with the Hornby chassis to work well. I had accumulated a lot of HO stock so most of this stuff was to hand. Alos, I think this will be the only one of these that I will make, so I didn't mind pulling out the stops to get a decent running model as I will be installing sound in this one.


I will post a video as soon as I can, it is quite a smooth runner.


Here's some more progress:


One thing with the bogies on this model was the fact that the side frames hold the axles in place as well as the pickups so removing them wasn't an option.

I decided to cut them down to fit behind the resin sideframes and remove all the surface details to get a good fit.










The new sideframe fits neatly on top.




Next was to try to fit the body shell. Here's another reason I went with the Athearn body; width wise is a perfect fit! It sits right down on top of the lugs.




Only issue is that it might sits a bit too high, but that can be easily remedied. As I said earlier the fuel tank is not dead center as I think it should be, but if it's a good runner I can live with it. Also gave the sideframes a coat of black paint.




I also bought Weshty's excellent brass detailing pack for the Sliverfox kit, as you can see I've been cutting out the resin shell to fit them. Since that photo was taken I've also removed the buffers as I picked up a sprung set to replace them.

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As promised, here's a quick video of the chassis running:




As you can see it runs well, very good slow running.


I said earlier that I think the body is sitting a bit too high on the chassis. Here's a couple of pics of it sandwiched between a 141 and a 071. What do you guys think?






I'm struggling to find pictures of the prototype next to any other locos to compare so any advice would be appreciated!

Edited by irishthump
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iPhone 5C back up part 3 461.jpg

There's a photo of a C and a 141 (and an A but its too far away to be much use in gauging height) if its any use.

An A is 12' 7" high, and a 141 is 13'1" in full size, maybe those could be translated into OO scale measurements to help you get the height right

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I suppose a quick guide is the buffer to buffer test and on your pictures the A is higher than the two GM's.


Yep, that's a bit of a giveaway alright!


Thanks a million for the pic UP6936, just what I'm looking for! Yes the body definitely sits too high. Those measurements work out to about 50mm on the A class and 52mm for the 141 so the A class should be a shade lower which should make the buffers line up too. You can't see it from the pictures but the A class is taller than the 141.

As I said it's an easy enough fix.

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A little more work done...


As the body was too high on the chassis I filed the off the mounting lugs to allow shell to sit lower. I glued some styrene strip to the frame to allow it to rest at the correct height.






I also needed a way to fix the shell to the chassis. I drilled 2 holes in the metal chassis on opposite sides.




Then glued styrene pieces to the sides of the shell and tapped them to take screws. They seem to be holding fine, but if they wear out too quickly I can replace them with brass brackets later.



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  • 1 month later...

Been very busy lately but finally got around to doing some more work on the Silverfox A class.


Added the brass parts from Weshty's excellent detailing kit and wire lift rings on the roof.


I also drilled out all the light fittings as I intend to use LEDs and I cut off the moulded horn on the roof and added a separate part.






I didn't attach the windscreen wipers, I might wait until the glazing is in. All I need to do now is add some handrails before priming.

Edited by irishthump
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Progressing well & should certainly be a nice runner with that chassis. A bit quicker than an etched kit methinks[!], but resin is the ideal medium for the complex shapes of diesel locos. Will look forward to seeing the paint job.


Thanks, David. I really want to get the painting started before the cold weather sets in, so the pressure's on!

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  • 2 months later...

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