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Thursday 21 August 2014

GBL BoB - Part 4

Here is the 'Great British Locomotives' Battle of Britain body fitted to a Hornby motorised chassis.

And this is how it was done.

1. Coupling Peg

The coupling peg from the GBL pony truck was cut off and glued to the tender coupling and excess removed so that the tender and locomotive coupled closely ensuring it still went around curved track without hindrance.

Getting the peg to mate with the loco chassis was troublesome because the chassis part has springy electrical pick-ups that tend to push the lightweight tender upwards off the track. I did not want to cut off the pick-ups, even though they are not used in this implementation, because I wanted to keep the chassis intact as possible in case it is redeployed in the future. So, by a combination of spacing off the chassis coupling by about 2 mm and thinning the peg flange an acceptable fit was achieved.

2. Chassis Modification

The width of the body is narrower than the cylinder block on the chassis, which needs to slide/locate inside the body by a few millimetres. I had to grind back the cylinder block and relieve a bit of the central protrusions to achieve the fit. I don't think this upsets the fit of a genuine Hornby body if it was decided to fit one later.

3. Body Hacking

That red slide bar bracket also locates inside the body. It is not practical to cut it back to fit so, the body sides were thinned to 50% of their thickness in the area of the cylinder block and slide bar bracket.

Further relief was created as shown in the photo to accommodate other parts of the chassis and a new chassis screw fixing block fitted. Whilst cutting out the internal ribs the Dremel sliced through the body at the roof line leaving a slot a few millimetre long! This was filled with a slither of plastic card, which can just be seen in the photo top of this posting. Once painted it will be fine.

At the other end of the locomotive GBL had made provision for the Hornby chassis locating lugs. But, either the body overall length is shorter than Hornby or the bulkhead position is incorrect (I suspect the latter) because the motor bracket wants to stick further into the cab. The bulkhead is poorly detailed so I had no qualms lengthening the lug locating slots to allow the motor bracket to fit, which cut into quite a bit of the detailing. It would be possible to modify the motor bracket to avoid or minimise this modification but once again I wanted to keep the chassis as original as possible.

A new floor was fabricated (to be painted) because on the GBL model it is part of the chassis. The chassis resting block in the photo is where the locating lugs rest.

The bulkhead is not easily seen normally and with driver and fireman fitted even less of  this bodgework will be noticeable.

For those wanting a working Southern liveried locomotive then that completes the project. For me it is not the end. Here is a list of further work I'll be undertaking.

  • Correct the front buffer position and size
  • Remove the Southern ring from the smoke box door
  • Re-livery to BR period, early totem
  • Fit nameplates and shield for a west country class
  • Fit window glass
  • Fit Hornby speedometer cable
  • Fit a Zero1 chip
  • Anything else that I think of

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent page, I've just got a GBL BoB and intend to fit a Hornby (old style) chassis to it prior to repainting in later BR livery. So I've found your clear directions very helpful, especially about the body width near the cylinders.

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