A Tale of Two Locos (Part 2)

This is the other secondhand O9 loco that I brought recently. I really like the model, the green livery and the driver with his moustache and fancy tie.

There were a few things I wanted to do to the model. The biggest job: it had a Grafar 0-6-0 chassis (like the first loco) and I wanted to exchange this chassis for a Kato 103. There was a small hole in one side where, I suspect, an exhaust may have been fitted. This hole needed to be repaired… or disguised! Lastly, the easiest job of all, I wanted to add Greenwich couplings.

The Kato chassis had to be shortened slightly so that it would fit into the motor cavity. I added a 2mm diameter bolt at one end to attach it to the body.

Cutting these resin kits generates a lot of unpleasant dust. For this model I fixed the pipe of our vacuum cleaner right next to my workspace and used this as a simple form of dust extractor. Working as close to the hoover pipe as possible, I cut the base of the body using a Dremel with a grinder attachment until the Kato 103 fitted snugly. I glued a nut in place to attach the chassis to the body. (You can see the previous owner has glued a weight into the body to counterbalance the weight of the whitemetal driver. As a result the loco is really nicely balanced).

Next the couplings were fitted.

Inevitably, during all these modifications, I made some marks on the buffer beams and the frames on the sides of the model. I repainted these, then weathered them with a light touch of rust colour. While my paint box was out, I added some brown ‘mud’ around the drivers feet.

Then my thoughts turned to the hole in the loco body. I decided not to repair it because I couldn’t match the colour of the green paint. This meant the best option was to disguise the hole. I rummaged through my ‘bit box’, found a small buffer from a N scale loco, gave it a lick of paint and plugged the hole in the body with it. In my imagination it is a filler cap of some sort.. (well, it is a freelance loco!). Finally, to finish the job, I applied a layer of ‘Dullcoat’ varnish. And here’s the finished loco.

The Kato wheels are a little bright, I will probably darken these down.

What have I learnt from these two locos? Well, buying secondhand has been a great way of increasing my O9 stock quickly. I think it’s good to buy stock you really like, that you don’t feel you want to modify too much. Spending lots of time making many modifications defeats the idea of buying secondhand. You might as well buy a kit and spend the time building it the way you want it to be. For these two locos I think I got the balance about right, but I wouldn’t want to do more work on a secondhand loco. I will keep this in mind when buying secondhand in the future.


A Tale of Two Locos (Part 1)

I brought a couple of very nice, secondhand O9 locos and I wanted to get them up and running.

First, this little red loco. I really like the model, particularly the red livery, but there are a few things I wanted to change. The couplings have to be changed to my standard coupling, the Greenwich. The current chassis was an old Grafar 0-6-0 and I hoped to exchange it for a Kato 103. Finally, I was not sure about the figure. He’s really well painted but he doesn’t look quite right for an English layout.

The Kato chassis was just slightly longer than the cavity in the loco body.

So the first job was to cut the chassis to size. Now here’s something you dont see every day – a Kato chassis wrapped in cling film. I read somewhere that one modeller wrapped a chassis in cling film before cutting it to stop dust and debris getting into the mechanism. It seemed to be worth a try.

I used a razor saw to cut approximately 2mm off of each end.

I’m pleased to say the cling film worked well, no dust got in the mechanism.

However, there was more cutting to do. The cavity in the loco body was designed to accept the Grafar chassis and it would have to be extensively modified to get the Kato chassis inside.

I used a small Dremel drill with a grinding bit to cut away at the body. Cutting the resin was really messy and made a lot of unpleasant dust. Here’s the result. I’ve added a couple of strips of plasticard to stop the Kato chassis moving from side to side.

I’m pleased to say the modified body fitted the chassis very well.

I fitted a 2mm diameter bolt to hold the chassis in place. The seat was a very useful useful way to conceal the bolt.

While I was working on the chassis I removed the N gauge couplings and the seat. The coupling blocks came off when I removed the N gauge couplings.

To finish the loco, I glued the coupling blocks back on, added the Greenwich couplings, and repainted the seat, the buffer beams and the chassis. Here’s the loco after a spray with ‘Dullcoat’ matt varnish.

I must admit this was much more work that I expected and cutting the resin chassis was not a pleasant task. However, I’m pleased with the result.




7mm Scale Seated Figures

My work took me to Sheffield recently and I took the opportunity to visit Rails of Sheffield. It was really enjoyable to browse around the shop and I was very impressed by the excellent selection of models in all scales and gauges, for all eras, plus scenery and accessories.

I need to populate my 09 coach and I brought these two seated O scale figures. They are lovely figures and they look great in my coach.

However, Bachmann charge over £9 for two figures. At these prices I wont be able to populate a coach, let alone a whole layout! I will need to find a less expensive alternative.

Light Green Open Bogie Coach

The 09 bogie coach has visited the paint shop.

I said I fancied a light green livery and here it is – Moot Green from Citadel to be exact. I think it gives the coach a nice, summery feel. Well, you wouldn’t ride in an open coach in mid-winter would you?

The wood effect is Citadel Karak Stone dry brushed with Zandri Dust and the sole bars are painted with Humbrol Dirty Black.

I haven’t varnished the coach yet because I want to add some transfers for the stock number and perhaps a logo. The catch is that I don’t have any transfers – but I have ordered some.

Colin Peake designed the coach and wrote his article describing how to build it in order to encourage others to get modelling. It worked for me!



Carry on Coaching

I have continued work on the open bogie coach. I have cut out the side and end panels from 1mm thick plasticard.

Next, I attached them to the coach, and added some seat supports. Then I cut out the seats themselves. Each one has a groove in it to represent planks of wood.

Finally, I added some buffer beams to the ends of the coach and some U channel to represent the sole bars. The underside of the coach isn’t particularly pretty, but it will be hidden from view.

As everything was assembled I decided to add a few coats of primer. I’m always amazed how much better a model looks after the primer.

Now for a nice livery. I fancy a lightish green…..



Simple O9 Coaches

In the 7mm Narrow Gauge Association handbook ‘Going Minimum Gauge’ Colin Peake wrote a really good ‘step-by-step’ article showing how to build freelance miniature railway coaches. The article describes how to make a four wheel, eight seater coach. At the end Colin included a photo of a 12 seater bogie coach that you can build using the same approach.

I particularly liked the bogie coach and I decided to try to build one. I’ve never made anything with bogies before. I contacted Colin and he gave me some good advice on which bogies to use and how to brace the underside of the carriage. Thanks Colin!

Armed with all this info I could start.

First, I made the floor of the coach from a 88 x 26 mm piece of 1.5mm thick plasticard. I scored the card at 4mm intervals to represent planking.

I decided to mount the bogies on 2mm diameter bolts. These fit nicely through the existing hole in the Parkside Dundas bogies. I made two pieces of plasticard, drilled a 4mm diameter hole in each one, and araldited the heads of the bolts into the holes (see left hand end of chassis).

The flanges of the wheels protrude slightly above the top of the bogies. I made two small spacers from 0.5mm plasticard (see right hand end of chassis). These increase the gap between the plastic mounts and the bogies and stop the flanges catching on the plastic.

The bogies are held in place with small nuts.

As this is my first bogie vehicle, I wanted to test it before I went any further. I tried it on my test track, weighted down with the first piece of lead that came to hand. I was pleased to see it negotiated the 9½ inch (approx. 24cm) radius curves on the test track without any problems (click the image to view the video).

Great 🙂  Now, on with the rest of the build.






Here is the finished Unit Models O9 box van.

No rocket science was involved in finishing it, although a steady hand was useful when painting the iron work details.

I used Humbrol acrylics for the basic colours. The body is German Camoflage (160) with Dirty Black (RC401) for the iron work and Engineers Grey (RC413) for the roof.

The weathering was done by drybrushing with Citadel acrylics. Ulthuan Grey to create a worn look, XV88 mixed with a small amount of Doombull Brown for the rust effect, some Stirland Mud around the bottom of the door and a hint of Caliban Green in places on the roof. A few coats of varnish, some couplings and ‘job done’.

I’m rather pleased with it. Many thanks to David Gander for giving me the original kit.