A week off of work, but the rest of the household are still hard at it, so I'm able to spend the next few days "playing trains" with no distractions. The question is: what to do? Well, it's always got to be the last thing that I purchased, all the shelf queens can stay on the shelf! At the S7 bash at Brightwell earlier this year I obtained from Laurie Griffin one of his GER 20ton brake van kits. This kit has done the rounds in its time; originating as a Jidenco 4mm scale kit several decades ago. Some of our younger readers may not know of the horrors produced by Jidenco 30-odd years back; Jidenco certainly were. Their 7mm range was marketed under the "El-crappo" label. You've never had it so good. That is unless you model the GER when Jidenco is still the only source of some essentials, such as brake vans. Okay, so Shedmaster and Laurie Griffin have made a few modifications to the kit, especially in terms of the castings which are all of excellent quality. But there are still fundamental dimensional errors with the etched components which need dealing with. I was not totally unaware of what I was going to be facing as Buckjumper has one on his blog - in fact it appears to be the one which appears in the LG instructions. There do, however, appear to be some differences between the kit that Buckjumper built and the components currently supplied. Which leads us nicely into the first few pics: The etches: The Jidenco artwork on the right (cut into 2 parts to fit into an A4-sized bag) and some later parts on the left. The Jidenco artwork shows its 4mm scale hand-drawn origins with some parts being over-large for 7mm scale (e.g. washer plates are too wide) and parts which should be identical aren't. But not as bad as I was expecting... The castings: lost wax brass, whitemetal and (I think) pewter. What's missing? From the top downwards: rainstrips, roof, wire, angle and strip, wheels, bearings, brake operating mechanism. What's to be replaced? W-irons (Exactoscale sprung), buffers (self contained), solebars (those supplied are not deep enough), buffer-beams (ditto and wrong cross-section). The extra bits: Some 5x2mm C section for the solebars (should have been 6x2), other strip (plus what was in stock), Exactoscale springing units, Slaters wheels (formerly O fine, now reprofiled), sheet of nickel for the roof, some buffers. Initially I was undecided about replacing the solebars with scale depth ones as this affects so many components. These buffers I found in a drawer at Perfect Miniatures (the home of Love Lane and West Mersea, visiting day is the last Sunday every month) and would work for the buffer-beams supplied but they're a bit small for scale ones. I'll have to ask Buckjumper where he got his from. Tool kit: Just the "usual" stuff plus a few indispensable items such as a Hold & Fold (first time I've used mine, brilliant piece of kit), GW Models rolling mill, ultra-sonic cleaner, a lathe (for reprofiling wheels) which can be configured to a vertical drill for accurately drilling holes just where you want them. Confession: Having obtained the extra bits at Railex I have actually been building the kit for a couple of months, just a few hours per week. But now I've just got to one of the "why did I start this?" moments and it may take me all week to sort it out.