Unklian's HO and P87 workbench

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by unklian, 23 August 2017.

  1. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Some time ago I fell in love with these. French, rare (only two ever) and technically way ahead of its time, bimode electric or diesel electric in 1939. They were nicknamed Amphibie . Also rather good looking especially when compared with most railcars IMHO. The only model I had heard of was by a French artisinale maker at eye watering price for a dodgy looking resin kit, that is until Atlas Editions came along with one. In their Michelines et Autorails collection , france only, I had to have one and eventually got one through a certain auction site for about £30.


    So when the boss cocked up the rota and I ended up with an extra day free, in true scattergunneri modelli tradition, rather than finish an existing project I kick started motorizing this one.


    The obvious method would have been to fit a SPUD or similar power bogie, but I have never been impressed with their performance, especially slow running. What does run nice and smooth are the old Athearn US diesels, and it just so happened that the guts of an otherwise tired Geep, would fit in the engine room and baggage compartment of the Amphibie.


    Four screws held the railcar together.....


    ...... and the diesel came to bits pretty easily too.


    The floor plate was then strengthened and the Athearn bogie pivot swapped over after a bit of filing. A big chunk of the floor was then cut away. I also fitted smaller wheels and after lots more filing got the powered end to sit at the right height. A trailing bogie was then concocted from some more split axle wheels, a bit of tufnol, some bearings and brass strip, so that it picked up through its bearings as per the original bogie on the other end . After a few build up and strip downs to get everything to fit and sit at the right ride height, oh and to go round corners too. I ended up with this pile of bits, most of which had been modified in some way .
    It does run and just as well as its Athearn underpinnings would suggest. I need to sort the wiring mess, it runs wrong way too . Maybe one day I will have a proper go at the cosmetics and correct a few little mistakes, but for now I have to make some new bogie sides and that should be it . And of course it took more than a day off to get this far .......


    76043, Alan, Stevesopwith and 13 others like this.
  2. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    What a lovely looking model, well done.
    Do I spy a "Waterman" too?
  3. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Thank you all,
    and yes John there is a 2D2 Waterman ( which will be a real challenge to motorise and get round corners ). There are also some Roco 4600's a Biquette or three, and these ...
    RIMG0361.JPG RIMG0374.JPG

    So thanks to the imaginative efforts of this subscription model collection, I should be able to stock a nice little layout set in Region4 SNCF or P.O-Midi . Just got to work out how to do the very complicated overhead. I haven't even started on the other railcars and trams they have been doing. Also the rumour is that they might go bust, which would be a real shame, but in some ways not surprising .
    allegheny1600, jamiepage and Neil like this.
  4. ceejaydee

    ceejaydee Western Thunderer

    I'd love to learn more about and see a little more of your layout :thumbs:
    allegheny1600 likes this.
  5. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    ^^^ Seconded!
    Thanks for the extra pictures, I do have a 'thing' for earlier electric traction, I just find these machines so fascinating.
    While most of the early British overhead electrics were tucked away in the industrial heartland, the Europeans (and Americans) were developing what must have seemed like "space age" technology back in the twenties and thirties and earlier.
    So, please - show us what you've got!
  6. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Thank you for your interest Chris and John hope this helps as they say. Pardon the slight delay, but the weekend got in the way of this post, and then I realised I had no pictures I could use.
    Well this is my 'old' HO layout, it was started ( like a lot of my projects ) in a burst of enthusiasm and then stalled ... for more than 20 years :eek:. It spent some time in storage and then a few years ago I dug it out and set it up in the workshop as a test track and to see if I could be inspired to do something with it. It is 8' 6" long and 15" wide BTW .

    I had to clear a ton of stuff off of it to take the pictures :rolleyes:. So why the long set back ? I don't honestly know in some ways, but a lot of it is to do with procrastinating over what to do with the track and wether to move on from the original idea and change it radically . So it started out as a station based on Ermida in Portugal, on the wonderful Douro valley line . The track plan is pretty close but very compressed. I have gathered together various bits of stock for this version too. I did experiment with P4 track and wheels to get a scale 5' 6"gauge before this layout, but my skills were not up to it and I compromised with NMRA standards and unfortunately code 100 Shinohara track. This has worked well ( way better than my P4 efforts ) but its appearance has always bugged me. Recent experience with P87 has not helped my feelings either.


    Recent ideas have wavered between a French steam era layout based on somewhere on the P.O-Midi Railway or some part of the Midi's electrified routes. The resin station building in the pictures is by Artitec and based on Mauzens Miremont on the P.O .
    The big problem though is what to do about the track. Peco code 75 would be an improvement ,but not by very much IMO. I am very excited by the new Peco code 75 bullhead track. The French were big users of chaired track and the Midi especially so, and it just so happens that in HO the Peco track matches the Midi specs almost exactly. Trouble is so far no turnouts, and I don't really fancy making my own. Then whatever track I decide on there is another thorny problem, do I alter the track plan ? I would like it to be basically a double track with a loop and a couple of short sidings. For two reasons, to justify more mainline trains and secondly to fit with another project ( oh oh ... ). Which is of course a double track horseshoe curve ! I will leave you with a plan view and a picture of the curve and see what you think .... ?
    Cheers Ian


    cmax, Obblygobbly, Steve Cook and 8 others like this.
  7. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Couldn't resist this , been playing trains and getting stock out of dusty boxes [​IMG]

  8. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Some of you may know or have worked out from postings 'over there' that I am involved in P87 or finescale HO . More specifically with a Danish layout built by Geraint Hughes called Obbekaer . Obbekaer - P87 - Overseas Modelling Whilst Geraint has built the layout, originally as a try out for P87, I have been asked/encouraged to help by building rolling stock and being part of the operating and set up team.
    Our latest show was due to be the Manchester one, but that was not to be in the end. It is an ill wind and all that and so I ended up with a free weekend . So in honour of Obbekaer I dug out a Danish P87 project to pass the time like .
    We have needed a more typical steam loco for the fictional RGVJ, and what could be more typical of a Danish private railway than a Henschel built lightweight 2-6-0T. In typical unklian fashion I searched out the nearest thing I could find and set about butchering it to suit. In this case a DJH body kit to convert a Prussian T3 0-6-0T ( Fleischmann model chassis ) to a Mecklenburg T4 2-6-0T as built by Henschel . The main advantage of this kit being that I did not get a chassis to throw away ! I am hoping to use most of the etched body, the cast boiler and lots of the nice lost wax brass details though. The first thing to tackle though was the chassis, principally so I could gauge what I was going to wrap the body around, but also cause I like to tackle the hard/unknown bits first. For this I dug out a sheet of etchings I drew and had etched by PPD many moons ago . The idea behind this was to provide a source of the 'difficult' parts of various locos I fancied building and then some . The sheet is only half an engine as it were, I had a dozen sheets done so I had enough for both sides and a lifetime or two. Eat your hearts out you CAD jockeys this was done with Rotring pens and red and black ink ....:p

    This being the first engine to be built with parts from the sheet ( cruel enlargement time this loco is only 80mm long !) .


    Back to the 2-6-0T the gearbox is a Prickly Pear product, the motor a Mashima, Branchlines gears and Romford wheels. Yes I did say Romford wheels , but much machined and fitted with reprofiled steel tyres from Alan Gibson P4 coach wheels. This combination means that with a soldered chassis and lots of tiny bolts this......


    can be turned into this with a couple of screw drivers, and all the mechanical bits got to. I have a thing about soldered together mechanisms :eek:


    This had all been achieved before the past weekend and so the weekends aim was to make it actually move. But first it had to have suspension . This was done by adding what I call pushers to the Gibson axlebearings, you can see these tiny Y shaped bits of brass wire in the explode view above at bottom right. And soldered to two of the axleboxes. These then project through the tops of the Gibson hornguides. A phosphor bronze wire spring ( hair pin type thingy ) then bridges across to the next axle box with a bolt holding it to the chassis cross member in its middle.


    The picture above shows the springs and their centre bolts being made , as well as the first attempts at rods and a pony truck !


    This next picture attempts to show the rear two springs in place. Little bits of bronze are soldered to the end loops of the springs to locate them on the push pins. The springs are not fixed to the bolts but pivot on them a bit so that they provide a degree of compensation as well as spring. A nut on the bolt but under the cross member allows for ride height adjustment .
    With a mkII pony truck and springs between it and the leading coupled axle everything sat at more or less the right level. Just a bit high which will hopefully be corrected with the weight of the body . With some pickups on the centre drivers and lots of wheel spin it MOVED .:)
    Alan, mickoo, steve1 and 16 others like this.
  9. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    Hi there (Ian?),
    I was sorry to have missed you at the Manchester show but pleased to see what you did with the time instead!
    That's some very nice work there, it's almost tempting me to dig out my old P:87 stuff and see what I can do. Ah but, what to focus on!?!
  10. unklian

    unklian Western Thunderer

    Thank you John and for all the likes. Yes uncle+Ian = unklian , its a long story :)

    So after years of sporadic research I did a quick google search today and found you quite the best pictures yet of the subject for my model .

    RHJ nu 2 Randers 1961 Niels Munch.jpg


    Courtesy of Niels Munch on the Jernbanen.dk site here Danske jernbaner rullende materiel gennem tiderne
    Neil, allegheny1600 and Alan like this.
  11. allegheny1600

    allegheny1600 Western Thunderer

    You're welcome, mate!
    That is a little beauty you found there, it's quite "Prussian" looking if you don't mind me saying. The cab shape, cab windows, overall appearance, wheel arrangement and buffer housing all shout to me, anyway as a big Prussian fan.
    My introduction and route back into modelling European outline was via Danish railways and the Nohabs (after years of US outline) so how I came to model the KPEV is a very long story.
    However, I am still fond of Danish railways and follow with interest.