Converting Hornby tank engines

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robb1
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Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby robb1 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:41 pm

Now that the children have grown up I find myself with three Hornby tank engines. I can't find any model numbers but the 0-6-0 is obviously Thomas, the GWR has the number 101 on the cab and the small blue saddle-tank is marked Powergen, Castle Donnington Power Station, I imagine these will be readily identifiable from the attached photo. Is there anything I can do to convert these into more "authentic" locos? e.g. detailing, new bodies etc. They all run quite well but the little saddle tank is a bit of a tearaway, being uncontrollably fast. Can I change the gearing or do anything to make it run slower and smoother?
Any help and/advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Mountain
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Mountain » Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:55 pm

Some clever people have altered the gearing in them in the past. I've seen conversions using two stage gearing. Never tried it myself. One thing that does slow them down a little is adding weight. It doesn't slow them a lot, but it does a bit. It increases what they can haul and also increases the ability for the loco to pick up the track current slightly. However, the only downside is there is extra strain on the gearing so be aware of this. Probably best not to go overboard like I have done with one of mine! :lol:
To make them look more realistic... The GWR 101 was based on a GWR prototype. The main upgrade for realism is to work on the cylinders. It is one of the upgrades many narrow gauge modellers have done using these chassis. I've not tried as yet, but I have been impressed by what I read.
From what I gather Thomas was origionally based on a prototype shunting engine. The saddle tank you have also is based on a prototype.
Mind you, with thoughts of working on them, have you seen the possibilities to convert them to 7mm narrow gauge? It may not be for you, but take a look for an idea at these pictures. (First picture. Loco on the right is the standard 00 gauge model. The middle is my scratchbuilt conversion. The loco on the left is a Smallbrook Studio Clio kit built for the same chassis though I've used a Triang chassis with the modern Hornby parts. Second photo is the scratchbuilt conversion again).
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Bufferstop
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:55 pm

GWR 101 was an experiment, round the turn of the 20th Century, in using the Holden method of oil burning. It didn't run in that form for long before it was converted to coke burning and spent the rest of its life as a yard shunter at Swindon. When it was 10 years old the non standard boiler needed replacement, so it was scrapped.. I've only ever found one photo of it, which I imagine was an official GWR one. In good prints you can see that it was standing on a wagon turntable.
GWR101.jpg

It had a single slidebar and crosshead above the piston rod and a rather long and spindly valve gear (which I'd be inclined to ignore) The slidebar and crosshead should be easy to replicate, and connect to a shortened Hornby connecting rod. Unless you are modelling Victorian/Edwardian period it's totally anachronistic but at least it existed.
If you want to tame the chassis' jack rabbit tendencies, there are a number of approaches, the simplest if you have a well stocked scrap box is to replace the worm and gear with the ones fitted to the Triang Hymek, if your mechanical skills are up to it replace the massive can motor with a type 7 and use the free'd up space to fit a two stage drive. If I were doing one today I would be inclined to go for an N format motor of around 600rpm from ebay and a pinion and crown wheel from the packs of nylon gears also from the same place. The motor would set you back £5-7 and a pack of gears about £1.50, delivery is free in about 2-3 weeks.
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Mountain
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Mountain » Sun Jun 10, 2018 4:12 pm

I seem to recall reading that there were five such locos (Or was it four?) that were built to this design numbers 101 to 105. They didnt last too long.
Would have been interesting to see one in use. Maybe they had speeds like the Hornby model and were not practical in use? :lol:

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Lysander
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Lysander » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:32 pm

No, just the one: an experiment which did not prove its worth, hence its conversion to coal.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

Puffingbill
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Puffingbill » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:46 pm

As far as the little 0-4-0 tank engines running to fast I solved the problem by repacing the plug pack power adaptor with a 12v DC unit less power to the track means less speed from the locos, mine now stop, start and run at realistic speeds, my other 0-6-0 locos also run better with reduced power, also advisable to keep the track and wheels clean especially with the 0-4-0 engines.
Only mods I do to these little engines is give them a coat of Tamiya satin black spray paint and use BR early crest transfers to finish them off.

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Bufferstop
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:57 pm

Locomotives of the GWR (volume 2 I think) says that it was a one off.! You may be thinking of 1101 -- 1105, which were a Peckett design similar to Cadbury No1, for harbour use. They had a cut down cab roof to deal with some wagon sized bridges. They were absorbed by the GWR at the grouping, and subsequently given typical Swindon fittings. They are another design which would fit the 0-4-0 chassis well if you can ignore the wheelbase being a touch too long.
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Lysander
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Lysander » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:13 pm

Saddle tank can be sprayed black, lettered LMS and given an appropriate number, crew and lamps, etc..

'Thomas' was originally a Hornby E2, a Billinton designed 0-6-0 for the LB&SCR. It can be improved but will never be a great looker alas. Get shot of that awful face and replace it with a more appropriate smoke box door, spray it black, add crew, coal and other details and letter it in a Southern livery with an appropriate number.

This is an original Hornby E2 that I 'improved' a while back. Exactly the same can be done to your 'Thomas':

Image

Image

Thomas has extended side tanks although this is not a problem as a number of E2s were converted in this way later in their life.

Simple projects that will improve your locos immeasurably.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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SRman
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby SRman » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:12 am

Lysander wrote:Saddle tank can be sprayed black, lettered LMS and given an appropriate number, crew and lamps, etc..

'Thomas' was originally a Hornby E2, a Billinton designed 0-6-0 for the LB&SCR. It can be improved but will never be a great looker alas. Get shot of that awful face and replace it with a more appropriate smoke box door, spray it black, add crew, coal and other details and letter it in a Southern livery with an appropriate number.

This is an original Hornby E2 that I 'improved' a while back. Exactly the same can be done to your 'Thomas':

Image

Image

Thomas has extended side tanks although this is not a problem as a number of E2s were converted in this way later in their life.

Simple projects that will improve your locos immeasurably.

Tony


I like what you have done there, Tony. I have one in LBSCR umber livery. To convert the Thoms loco, the false front splashers will also need to be removed, but, as you said, the tank extensions can stay and it can be renumbered into the second batch of locos, whose numbers followed straight on from the first lot.

Technically, the kick-ups in the footplate are too sharp, but as you have shown with yours, it can still be made into a quite decent looking model.

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Lysander
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Lysander » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:47 pm

I think that without altering the chassis [it sits too high] or major surgery to the body, that's about the best that can be done. This was an old gloss LB&SCR E2 with a damaged body and a duff chassis. A Hornby shunter provided a replacement chassis. It was done as more of an experiment to see what could be easily improved than anything else and didn't take long. It's returned a wreck to service however, which is good.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......

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Mountain
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Mountain » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:29 pm

It is impressive. Well done. :) I love to see old locos given a rework and brought back into service.

robb1
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby robb1 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:20 pm

Thanks to everyone who has come up with suggestions. Please keep ‘em coming, I’m enjoying it and learning a lot from your expertise and innovative ideas.

Lysander - I love your E2 conversion. Can I ask where you got your smokebox door and is the paint some form of satin black or is it matt with a satin varnish top coat?

Mountain - Thanks for the idea of trying 7mm narrow gauge. If I can get the saddle tank to run slowly and smoothly I’d like to try that with the Smallbrook Clio kit.

Puffingbill - I’m not an expert on electrics and/or motors but I don’t see how replacing the power pack would make any difference. Surely 12 volts is 12 volts? Can you explain how this would work?

Thanks again everyone.
Rob

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Mountain
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Mountain » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:36 pm

The Ceto kit is simpler to make. The Clio kit is nice though! Just takes more work to build. Still far far easier then many other kits out there!
Smallbrook kits are made from resin. There are advantages and disadvantages to resin. Disadvantage is that most parts need a little fettling to get them to fit. The advantages... Parts are very easy to work on. The material is bonded using superglue so one does not need to wait ages for the glue to dry. (Though make sure they are in the right place! Using glue sparingly like tack welding and then using more later (Runny superglue) along the joints is the best plan as the gap in the joints tend to suck in excess glue). Another advantage is any chips or bubbles that need sorting are easily corrected using modelling clay like DAS or similar.
A good quality of anything made from resin is the chunky weighty feel they have. Plastic tends to be light weight but resin is heavier. On top of this, some Smallbrook kits have added lead shot added to the resin while it is curing, so you usually get lovely weighty locos. Ceto won't have added lead but Clio does.

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Mountain
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Mountain » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:47 pm

I can answer the controller question. When current passes through rectification to convert it from AC to DC form one tends to lose a couple of volts in the process. Hence, a 16-18v AC voltage drops to around 12V in DC form.
Therefore if one uses an input of 12 volts it will drop a little as the voltage passes through rectification (Even though it doesn't need rectifying). I hope this makes sense and I've explained it right.
As the layout I'm building is going to be run from a car battery, I found that a standard Gaugemaster panel controller does work, but certain trains run too slow with it so I resorted to making my own controller to compensate for the 12v DC input. Is not quite finished yet, but here is a photo of it on test. The bulb acts as a simple form of overload protection. The knob and resistance wire side of it came from rescued scrap parts from a Triang controller. The basic panel is made from printed circuit board.
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Lysander
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Re: Converting Hornby tank engines

Postby Lysander » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:40 pm

Rob, the paint is good old Halfords rattle-can matt black. It gives a 100% consistent semi-matt finish as long as it is used in dry, dust-free and temperate conditions. The smoke-box door came with the original model as it was not a 'Thomas' edition but a far, far older Hornby model. I seem to remember that the smoke-box door hand rail was scavenged from a scrap Airfix 14xx. The smoke-box dart was a brass accessory - I cannot remember from where [Markits maybe?]. You can find them on-line though.

There's more faux brass on the model than there probably should be, but it does give a black livery a lift.

Tony
Men with false teeth may yet speak the truth.......


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