7mm On Heather's Workbench - small and perfectly formed

Discussion in 'WR Action' started by Heather Kay, 1 January 2014.

  1. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I know, a corny title, but it sort of fits with this breed of loco. I have been commissioned to build a JLTRT GWR 57xx pannier tank. The build will - hopefully - be pretty straightforward and pretty much straight out of the box.

    Having discussed with the client what he's after, which more or less comes down to "I want a 57xx and I don't really mind which one it is", we've settled on building 7752 with the welded tanks. The only reason for choosing this loco is because I have photos of it to hand (in the MRJ article by Ian Rice, "The Ubiquitous 57", kindly copied to me by members of this forum), and because I don't have any further prototype references being more of an LMS/BR Midland Region modeller at heart. Thanks also to Graham "Dog Star" Beare for loaning me a book to help me pin down build dates, lot numbers and so forth.

    7752 is preserved and still running, having been sold out of BR service to London Transport. The loco is currently wearing its LT livery and number L94.

    GWR 5700 'Pannier Tank' Class 7752 (L94) by Stuart Axe, on Flickr

    I will be finishing 7752 in the post-1928 GWR livery of plain green, as being worn by another preserved member of the class, No 5764. In fact, this is the finish I shall aim for at the end.

    GWR Class 5700 No 5764 Pannier by Peter Broster, on Flickr

    The only additions to what's in the box have been the wheels, motor, gearbox, crew, some tools, replacement ATC parts, and eventually making the loco DCC ready with a speaker and associated electrickery fitted.

    So, let's see what we have in the box...


    Is that it? Well, yes, it is. The etches tell me the kit is about a decade old now. The upper works are brass, the chassis and associated parts nickel silver. The boiler, firebox, smokebox and pannier tanks are a solid cast resin block. Ziplock bags contain the whitemetal and lost wax brass/nickel silver castings, handrail knobs, fixing bolts, springs and buffers.


    I added these parts. A driver and fireman, plus a selection of tools from Heroes of the Footplate. ATC pickup shoe and cab fittings from Hobbyhorse (even though the parts are actually in the kit, the plain fact is the Hobbyhorse ones are much nicer). Slater's provide the gearbox and motor, and the wheelsets.

    I have still to acquire the DCC and sound parts.


    This is the one-piece boiler and tanks casting. Laurie has warned me that little flare at the bottom of the smokebox is vulnerable, so until I need this part it remains in bubble wrap and in the box.


    The whitemetal parts. Splashers, top feed (not needed for this build), smokebox door, backhead, sandboxes, dome, chimney, various toolboxes, ATC battery box and some pipework. Most of the castings are clean, but the toolboxes and dome will need some fettling. I might get Laurie to send me a better dome, to be honest.


    On to the brass stuff, of which there is a lot. Axlebox keeper plates, springs and shackles (only four, because I think the cab end ones are volute), bearings and hornguides.


    Screwlink couplings, brake cylinder, steam and vac pipes, lubricators, handbrake cover for the back of the cab, buffer stocks, cab springs and tank fillers, lamp brackets, tender tool brackets and sandbox filler lids and smokebox dart. The curved plates are to help form the bunker.


    Cab fittings - many of which I am currently unable to name :oops: . I look forward to learning what they are and where they fit!


    Boiler and footplate fittings, including the classic safety valve bonnet (which will be painted, sadly). The chimney is also devoid of the copper top. Poor little pannier tank. :(



    Alternative tank fillers for the 8750 variant of the type, which can be built from this kit with some other extra parts. Not entirely sure why these are included, but here they are.

    According to the packing list, there should be various gauges of wire. While I can source these from my shelves, they should be in the box, so a call to Irvine on Friday will be needed (holiday north of the border on 2nd January, of course).

    I've made a start by cleaning up and blackening the wheels. I plan to try and get a running chassis fairly quickly. This build will be in series with the Mk1 RMB I know you're all itching to follow. The coach is currently still in the research phase, and I plan a couple of site visits to real vehicles in the not-too-distant future before I feel happy beginning the build in earnest.
  2. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I look forward to seeing how you intend to get the DCC+s stuff in. I had a good look at one of these kits at Telford and couldn't see anywhere for it to go...
  3. Jordan

    Jordan Mid-Western Thunderer

    Hollow out the resin block..??!!?? :confused: :eek: :shit:

    Never thought of Panniers as particularly 'small' before, anyway will also be watching with interest...:thumbs: but just very quietly from the Back, as usual...:oops:
  4. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I wondered, too. Laurie seems to think a reasonable speaker will fit in the bunker. Depending on the available circuit bits, that ought to fit between the frames. We shall see. :confused:
  5. Steve Cook

    Steve Cook Flying Squad

    If Paul (PMP) can fit a DCC sound installation into a 4mm Pannier, I'm sure you'll be able to squeeze it all in this one Heather :)

    Thanks for laying all the parts out too, I do enjoy seeing a kit in the raw - I'm not sure this is the right phrase, but I almost find the resultant anticipation of the build exciting :oops:

  6. queensquare

    queensquare Western Thunderer

    Can't see the problem, I've done a number of 2mm sound fits:)

  7. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    Of course the beauty of building a Pannier is that due to Great Western standardisation they are all the same - DOH! Heather, I am looking forward to watching this one as I will need to build a 57XX for the fleet of small tanks to do the banking.

    The photo of 5764 gives hope to all of us who hate bending the smokebox handrail!

    Stumpytrain likes this.
  8. flexible_coupling

    flexible_coupling Western Thunderer

    The N/2mm Class 08 with DCC sound that I once found on Youtube stretches ones' perception of can/cannot.....
  9. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Or should/shouldn't. Lets be honest, putting an N-gauge decoder and speaker in an 0-gauge loco would be a little foolhardy.
    But I take the point that fitting sound into an 0-gauge pannier is entirely feasible. My struggle was that I'd have the frames full of motion on my loco and couldn't get a decent sized speaker and Loksound v4 in the bunker. In my opinion any of the speakers 23mm or smaller need a disproportionate level of care in their installation to make them sound any good at all. If I had a pannier I'd be expecting it to bark when accelerating...
    Stumpytrain likes this.
  10. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Shouldn't that be a Terrier?

    *reaches for coat*

    If I'm honest, the client might never actually fit the DCC and sound chip, but he wanted the option available. Of course, not being DCC or sound here at all means I may never know what the beastie sounds like with whatever speaker/decoder combo I end up fitting. :eek:
  11. alcazar

    alcazar Guest

    Sadly, most of the steam locos I've heard with sound chips, whatever the gauge, sound more like someone rubbing two bits of sandpaper sorry, glasspaper, together than a real loco.
    Hester and Jon Fitness like this.
  12. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I was getting a bit fed up with the LNWR coaches. There are times when you seem to be battling away and never getting anywhere fast. I decided to pick up the 57xx and clear my head with something new.

    An obvious place to start is with the frames. The instructions actually start with the bodywork, but I think it's important for me to get the chassis working before I start on the pretty bits.


    I spent a while checking off the various etched parts against the list of bits. A nice surprise was finding S7 spacers included. The items with the arrows act as supports for the upperworks, and can be fitted later.

    The etches were obviously intended to be built as a rigid chassis. The main frame etches have two-dimensional leaf springs and plain holes for the bearings. I have a feeling all the nice brass castings for the springs and hornguides are the super detail pack, and I'll be honest and say I think they're worth the extra. It does mean you need to remove the etched details, so I opted to fit the half-etched outer overlays first to help me work out where to make the cuts. It also means you can use the provided springing to good effect.


    Of course, there is no reference to the cast details in the instructions, so I was on my own trying to work out where everything went. Before I could get that far, I had to spend a while - and several slitting discs - parting everything from its sprues. I then spent a while fettling things to ensure the bearing blocks were a smooth sliding fit in the hornguides.


    Here you can compare the cast spring with the etched version. There are overlays provided to add detail to the reverse of the flat spring, but it would still look very two dimensional. Aside from cleaning back the sprue join, this casting is as it comes. Pretty nice.


    I used the RSU to sweat the overlays to the main frames.


    Then I hacked out the bearing/guide/spring parts and tidied things up to allow the cast hornguides to fit snugly.


    Here's the inside face, with the castings posed for the photo. The outside has lots of nice bolt and rivet etch which lines up nicely with these castings. It seems odd to be doing all this inside the frames when there's no inside valve gear, but there you go.


    A close up. A keeper plate fits above the spring, presumably with a piece of wire or bolt through it. Things will need a bit of fettling to make the plate a neat fit.

    I made a bit of a horlicks with the other frame, so I'm pending replacements from Irvine. I think my palette has been refreshed sufficiently that I can return to those coaches for a bit.
    Ressaldar, Dog Star, taliesin and 2 others like this.
  13. Dave Bowden

    Dave Bowden Western Thunderer


    I have a nice photo of 5764 on the Severn Valley would you like it added to your topic or I could add it to my New Members List.

  14. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Please do add it here. All images are welcome! :thumbs:
  15. Dave Bowden

    Dave Bowden Western Thunderer

    Hi Simon there is a excellent demonstration of bending GWR smokebox handrails on Rmweb by OzzyO see message 1785 on the following.


    My name is kada33 on Rmweb and you as you will see I helped on a source for round nosed pliers.

  16. Dave Bowden

    Dave Bowden Western Thunderer



    I've just remembered I also have cab photos of 5764 so here's three of them.

    57xx cab 1.JPG

    This photo was over exposed on purpose to get the cab detail.
    57xx cab 2.JPG

    5764 cab3.JPG

    I hope these are helpful to you in your build.
    I model the GWR in O gauge so I have most of the Ref. books and lots of photos.

    Stumpytrain and Dan Randall like this.
  17. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Dave, that's fantastic. If you don't mind, I'll snaffle those away into my reference folder. :thumbs:
  18. Dave Bowden

    Dave Bowden Western Thunderer

    Glad to be of help, no problem.

    Here's one more photo I've found.


    Stumpytrain likes this.
  19. 3 LINK

    3 LINK Western Thunderer

    Good evening Heather,

    I built one of these a few years ago now and from what I remember the bearing blocks were far too wide and protruded too far outwards, so far in fact that the wheels would not fit tight up to the axle ends ( Slaters wheels ). In the end I replaced them with some Finney blocks and guides.

    There was also no mention in the kit as to what combination of motor/gearbox would fit and when I asked Pete at the Reading show he also could not help as the display model on the stand had no motor fitted. In the end I fitted a small Canon with a Markits G/box, but it was a very tight fit up inside the resin casting. Saying that the loco has turned out to be a very smooth and quiet runner.

    As for putting a speaker in the bunker I wish you luck as the bunker is built up in sections, and you will need to keep the inner framework in place to support the various etches and cast bunker sides.

    Hopefully the issues above have been addressed over the years but I thought it best to forewarn you just in case, like I said I built mine around 7 years ago, but as for any " re-tooling " I would not hold your breath :rolleyes:.

    In my opinion it does build into a decent model, but it was my first JLTRT kit and at the time I did expect a more thought out kit, especially with all the " hype " going around at the time.



    P.S. When you get to building the bunker make sure you have the " swear box handy! " :D.
  20. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    That may still be an issue with this build. Until I've got the frames erected (get me, with the posh loco building talk there!), I won't be able to tell. :(

    I agree with the smallness of the bunker. I'm hoping there'll be some space under the cab between the frames. I'll have a better idea when things have progressed further. Requirement for a swear box noted! :eek::D

    Interesting what you say about the motor/gearbox. The 'structions recommend Markits for motor and gearbox (1833 and 1240 respectively). Slater's seem to have engineered their GB40S specifically to fit JLTRT kits, and when I offered the unit up to the space in the firebox, it seems to fit quite nicely. Of course, that may well change as the build gets further on, and I am prepared for some hacking about in the space if required.

    My aim was to get a rolling, if not powered, chassis this week. That's on hold due to my hamfistedness with one of the frames, as mentioned earlier. It's all back in its box, pending supplies, and I'll get on with those pesky LNWR coaches for a bit.

    I can hear a faint voice calling out for his RMB to be started, too. It won't be long.
    Bob Reid likes this.