I invariably use compensation – it actually seems easier to me to use the rods to set up the wheelbase so that you know it’s right. Then if a chassis runs roughly or a little tight you know what the problem isn’t !
John – in his chassis building book, Iain Rice tackles some tricky ones like 4-4-0’s. It’s an old book of course and the information on motors and transmissions is very out of date, but the basic chassis building advice is pure gold. Of course many of the P4 folks have moved over to CSBs now – (“Compensation ? That’s so last week !”) but I see no reason to change.