Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

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Gordon234
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Joined: Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:10 am

Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

Postby Gordon234 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:55 pm

Hello!
I have a Hornby M7 tank engine ( Southern # 249 ) that I purchased about 25 years ago. It still runs well, but I would like to update its appearance in keeping with some of the locomotives coming out now (eg: the Hornby Wainwright Class H coming out later this fall ). Any ideas for little details would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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kiwitram
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Re: Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

Postby kiwitram » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:46 pm

Hello there,

I'd suggest, for starters:

- scraping away the moulded handrails carefully, and the smokebox handle, and replacing these with metal handrails and knobs
- the coal rails could also be replaced if you so wished, in either plasticard or brass strip
- scale wheels shouldn't be *too* difficult to fit
if you wanted to, you could also replace the dome and chimney with offerings from SE Finecast, who sell parts from kits separately, or from Alan Gibson
- I'd personally look into updating the motor, as it's rather chunky by the looks of things
- if you went down that route you could add a cab floor over the rear bogie and add a crew (and coal and other such things)
- lamp irons are easy to make out of staples or metal rod; drill through the footplate and bunker rear and attach
- Hornby's T9 buffers ought to be a good replacement for the models', and they're not expensive, either, or difficult to fit; cut away the current buffers, drill a hole just big enough for the replacement (sprung) sets to be glued into, and then paint to match
- the air tank underneath at the front (?) looks like it could do with being bulked up a little bit
- the couplings are large and metal and unless you're happy with their appearance (I entirely appreciate their functionality) I'd cut them away and instead glue or wrap a piece of metal wire over the buffers taut so as to act as a coupling bar
- repaint to taste (don't forget to double check prototypes and whether they were long or short framed; you could also adapt the front splashers to suit different locomotives as not all of them had the sandbox included, some did but of a smaller size, and other such anomalies)

I hope this is of use to you, it's a project I've considered for a while myself but one which my student loan hasn't allowed for yet!
-

Alexandra
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Mike Parkes
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Re: Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

Postby Mike Parkes » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:36 pm

Adding up the cost of the changes and the skills needed I would suggest it would simpler and cheaper to sell the loco and get one of the current Hornby models. Not exactly the cheapest but I have acquired three off ebay at quite low prices.

GWR_fan
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Re: Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

Postby GWR_fan » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:39 pm

Not what you want to hear but after spending the money required in the second post a later detailed release would be a better way to spend your money. Embrace the older loco for what it is and what it represents. I have several older Tri-ang Blue Pullman six-car sets in several liveries and many times have looked at replacing with the Bachmann highly detailed model, however, after spending the money would I get as much enjoyment as I receive seeing the older model run superbly?

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SRman
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Re: Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

Postby SRman » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:51 pm

Add to Alexandra's list:

False chassis frames over the rear bogie to hide the daylight (I used very thin plastic card on mine, years ago - this could flex a bit when rounding tight curves).
Extra coal rails for most of their later lives - easy with plastic sheet and microstrip.

There are probably other things as well, but none will disguise the too shallow tanks and cab. After all that, I would go with Mike Parkes' suggestion. I sold all of my original Triang/Hornby M7s and currently have several of the much newer, super-detailed model (two BR lined black, and two variations on LSWR livery).

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flying scotsman123
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Re: Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

Postby flying scotsman123 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:51 pm

Equally, it's a nice little modelling project to get you into modding locos, and you don't need to do all the mods, just the ones you fancy. It was the first engine I ever did anything too, a few years later and I'm building them from scratch!
"listen carefully, i shall say this only once"

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Gordon234
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Re: Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

Postby Gordon234 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:50 am

Many thanks to all of you for your feedback. Much appreciated. Cheers!
Gordon

Bigmet
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Re: Updating Hornby M7 0-4-4 tank

Postby Bigmet » Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:24 pm

Gordon234 wrote:I have a Hornby M7 tank engine ( Southern # 249 ) that I purchased about 25 years ago. It still runs well, but I would like to update its appearance in keeping with some of the locomotives coming out now (eg: the Hornby Wainwright Class H coming out later this fall )...

Realistically, to get anywhere close to what the H class will look like, you would need to spend more than purchasing the current M7 model! At the end of the process the inherent limitations of the old M7 as a starting point would still leave the reworked item a long way behind the RTR product. Line up the old M7 against the current product if you have the chance to get an idea of the gulf to be bridged. (It's a version of the old saw: if you want to go there, then you are best off not starting from here.)

If the M7 and planned purchase of the H indicates a Southern interest, then let me suggest that a very worthwhile SR conversion is to convert the Midland 4F 0-6-0 into a Maunsell Q 0-6-0. That's never likely to get a RTR model, as they were few in number and a lot less interesting than every other 0-6-0 on Southern rails; and it is a reasonably straightforward conversion from a relatively cheap starting point, as the Midland 4F and Q share a lot of design commonality, and there's a good choice of RTR models kicking around as project feedstock.

Perhaps my approach is a little on the utilitarian side, but I would rather put in what time is available for modelling making the items that I want which I consider least likely to get a RTR model, rather than duplicate the generally good efforts of the manufacturers.


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