Handed over to Ian Hopkins, hopfully more details to follow.
The kit I have is without instructions, probably got lost over the years. The roof sections, it is clerestory, are pre-formed in wood. The sides are laminated from two etches so there are no separate drop lights or window frames to fit.
I began as usual by doing as much as possible 'in the flat', though I missed a few things, like fitting the door lock plates and drilling holes for the door handles, not quite so easy once the body is assembled. This included making up the basic floor, which is a fold-up such that the buffer planks are wider than the floor so that bending up the solebars needs a set of bending bars the exact length of the part to fit between the buffer planks. I did not have such a beast and so removed the buffer planks, folded up the solebars and then soldered in the buffers planks adding some substantial strengthening too. The buffer plank ends fold back on themselves to represent, I think, a wooden plank. This was done after the sole bar overlay was fitted. It makes for a very neat joint and the plank looks very much like a solid plank of thick wood. I also made a couple of extra parts for spacers to prevent possible bowing of the sides. In fact I used only one, the remaining partitions between the seats and for the end vestibules will be plasticard.
I then laminated the sides together. This was best achieved by clamping them together to ensure the parts were lined up and then using a whopping 75watt iron rather than the RSU to solder them together, then the ends were offered up and one fitted to each side thus:
Once the two side units were proved to be square, the body was soldered together and the partition fitted, which is pretty much in the middle.
The chassis now ready for fitting all the under gear. The buffers are rather nice turned bodies and heads with internal springing. Unfortunately, they are so designed that the heads are permanently trapped, which will make the painter's job a little more complex I suspect. However, on checking a drawing that arrived later, they should be oval buffers so these will have to come off and be replaced.
The body stands proud of the floor because it rests with the ends on the buffer planks and leaves a gap all round. How to fix in place? A little thought and after some careful measurement I fitted a couple of stretchers in the body the exact thickness of the overlap of the sides with the angled flange on the inner side, with holes tapped 8BA having drilled clearance holes in the floor. It did occurred to me later that a wooden floor is meant to fill the gap but the part I thought might do the trick is too thin.
A pair of pads were also soldered in place at the centre of the solebars to prevent the chassis bowing upward.
The buffers needed to be replaced with an oval set. the problem was that the heads revolved in the mounting so, to fix the problem I soldered a length of wire across the nuts that screw onto the shanks. Once painted, these can be refitted and the nuts fixed in place with Loctite. They will still be able to spring but the heads will no longer revolve in the housings. I have fitted also the vacuum and steam pipes.
Here then is a view of the end with the proper buffers and pipes fitted. Photographs also suggested that a handrail was fitted at each end by the steps so suitable wire was soldered into drilled holes. Now all that is required is a set of CPL corridor connectors, which technically are Great Western but some modifications can be made to disguise that fact.
There are no parts for the brake rigging in the kit so I scratched some up using spares as masters and soldered them in place along with the cylinders.
The original bogies supplied were tried out and found wanting, just too many problems in getting them to run at all let alone smoothly. A set of bogies from Wayho were obtained and the parts are shewn here. At first sight they look excellent, we shall see when I get round to building them.
Unfortunately, the holes in the etched frame are set at 9'9" but the resin frames have the correct 10" centres. I am still waiting for an answer on this from Invertrain. Well, there was no real answer, the current owner inherited them as they are and neither he nor I can understand why no one has brought this up before. How I wonder have other people dealt with it?
I did not discover the error until I had assembled one of the bogies so altering that one would prove to be tricky. This is what I did:
Pieces of scrap etch were soldered over the existing holes having first established the correct centre line and measured up for the correct horizontal when the pieces had been soldered in place. They were then carefully drilled through 1mm and then opened out with a broach to fit the bearings, which were soldered in place. Now it was not necessary to use the supplied washers to reduce the end float in the axles. The assembled bogie had to be completly disassembled to do this. However, the resin side frames how fit correctly and the brass axles box supports filed back to the shape of the resin axles boxes. It took a whole afternoon to complete this. Additionally, the bolsters were too deep and had to be removed and those provided with the bogie kit fitted as replacements.
To be continued