New chassis or convert?

Members Forum RTR Conversions Locos New chassis or convert?

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    • #240658
      Bob Juleff
      Participant

        In conversation with a kit manufacturer the other day, the question arose as to how worthwhile was it to cater for EM gauge as well as P4 when producing a finescale chassis kit for a RTR steam loco? The drift of the discussion was that the RTR OO chassis was sufficiently accurate that OO modellers would not bother with a replacement kit, but P4 modellers were more likely to go for a kit rather than rewheeling to gauge. But which route do we EM modellers prefer to take? Personally I have done both with my few locos. Given the time a finescale sprung chassis will win hands down, but I’d be the first to admit to giving up on a tricky chassis kit and reverting to rewheeling the RTR chassis. It would be a pity if kit manufacturers didn’t cater for EM devotees but I wonder if it is worth their while.

        So my question is, what proportion of EM modellers, given the availability of a chassis kit, would go for a kit rather than rewheel and regauge the RTR chassis?

      • #240791
        Nick Ridgway
        Participant

          It’s an impossible question to answer as many EM gauge modellers, the writer included, do both as applicable.

        • #240792
          Paul Willis
          Participant

            This is a P4 modeller who would happily rewheel as many RTR locomotives for 18.83mm gauge as he could get his hands on if there were actually genuine Edwardian era RTR models available which matched my interests (variously GER, GWR and LNWR).

            The narrow chassis width would be dealt with by plasticard and added detailing.

            Cheers
            Paul Willis
            10060

          • #240794
            Bob Juleff
            Participant

              Thanks for your replies, Nick and Paul.
              I had hoped for a slightly wider response from the membership, hey ho.

            • #240795
              Bill Eaton
              Participant

                If the (hopefully simple) rewheel and regauge will produce a model that looks right and runs well then that would be my choice, the kit would be the fallback position when the simple option is not possible.

              • #240797
                Dai Davies
                Participant

                  I would always push for regauging the loco unless events dictated otherwise. The quality of chassis, motor and gearing is so much better than it used to be. Perhaps the ‘add-on’ market might push for cosmetic overlays for the chassis, and not just a rebuild. I speak as an EMer, perhaps I would respond differently if I were a P4er.

                • #240802
                  Stuart Firth
                  Participant

                    Leave ’em on the shelf in the toy shop and build the whole thing yourself from a kit or scratch! OK so my vote would be for building a new chassis but that’s as much for the enjoyment of construction than out of necessity.

                  • #240812
                    Nick Ridgway
                    Participant

                      @Bob Juleff said:
                      Thanks for your replies, Nick and Paul.
                      I had hoped for a slightly wider response from the membership, hey ho.  

                      Only 10 members have posted 2 or more posts.

                    • #240816
                      Paul Willis
                      Participant

                        @Nick Ridgway said:

                        Only 10 members have posted 2 or more posts.  

                        Nick,

                        In a self-reinforcing situation, I only look into here every couple of months, because there is so little traffic that I can quickly catch up.

                        The Scalefour Society Forum seems to be averaging around twenty posts each day at the moment, and of course reading RMWeb could be a full-time occupation given the volume posted there. I have to use the search function and follow topics selectively to ensure that I find what interests me.

                        The other issue here, as I’ve just found, is that you can’t seem to post images – that makes it very difficult if you want to illustrate the answer to someone’s question with a photo or drawing. A picture paints a thousand words, as they say…

                        Cheers
                        Paul

                      • #240817
                        Ray Byde
                        Participant

                          As an EM modeller, I would say that it depends on the wheel arrangement whether it is beter to re-whel / re-gaue or build a new chassis from a kit.
                          A short wheelbase loco such as a 0-4-0 or a 0-4-2 or even a 0-6-0 tank engine woud benefit from a kit-built chassis, built compensated. This is purely because it helps to cope beter with any track irregularities so all whels are in conact with the track at all times, which improves pick-up. Of course if your track is perfectly flat this doesn’t come into the equasion, but speaking personally, my track certainly isn’t perfect, and with these small locos compensation helps.
                          Tender locos and larger diesel locos run quite happily un-compensated and so a simple re-wheeling is perfectly adequate to ensure smooth running. It’s a mattter of horses for courses.
                          Briefly going back to the original post from Bob about whether it is worth kit producrs catering for EM and P4, surely the main diffeence would be in frame spacer width and diffferent wheel profiles? How hard is it to supply alternative spacers for each gauge?

                        • #240820
                          Nick Ridgway
                          Participant

                            Given the number of members that have opened up the forum, I would recommend a note in the newsletter instead, which will spread the matter to around 30-40 times as many members as the forum has managed to attract.

                          • #240821
                            Paul Willis
                            Participant

                              @Ray Byde said:
                              Briefly going back to the original post from Bob about whether it is worth kit producrs catering for EM and P4, surely the main diffeence would be in frame spacer width and diffferent wheel profiles? How hard is it to supply alternative spacers for each gauge?  

                              Yes, and no…

                              The simple answer is that it is not hard. All that you do is draw another set into the artwork at a different width. However that in turn will push up the cost. Brass or nickel is not at all cheap at the moment, and is likely to become more expensive as the pound declines in value versus the dollar (metals are globally priced in USD). I have been watching this carefully as an occasional kit producer ;-)

                              The second issue is whether the spacings would work out properly. For an inside cylindered 0-4-0, it’s a no-brainer – no problems at all. If there are tight clearances, you may run into more problems in EM than P4. I’ve built a successfully running High Level Y5 GER tank in P4, and and there is literally half a Rizla in space between the front face of the wheel and the back of the crosshead. If you had a wider wheel like a Romfor/Markit type, I’m not sure that it would even fit, even if the frames were moved closer together. And moving the frames closer together would start to cause problems with where the backs of the splashers fell, and so on…

                              Thinking about it, I’m not sure that I have ever seen a High Level Y5 built in EM, although I know of several completed models in P4.

                              So you have to consider whether EM-spaced frames + EM thickness wheels is >= P4 width frames + P4 wheels.

                              Of course, there are finescale EM wheels like Gibsons or Ultrascales, but not everyone uses them.

                              Anyway, I hope that this gives you a bit of an answer to your question.
                              Cheers
                              Paul

                            • #240823
                              Dai Davies
                              Participant

                                @Nick Ridgway said:
                                Given the number of members that have opened up the forum, I would recommend a note in the newsletter instead, which will spread the matter to around 30-40 times as many members as the forum has managed to attract.  

                                How about moving it to public area as well. It might help recruit people to modelling EM, which in turn might lead them to joining the society.

                              • #240826
                                Paul Willis
                                Participant

                                  @David Davies said:

                                  How about moving it to public area as well. It might help recruit people to modelling EM, which in turn might lead them to joining the society.  

                                  That’s something for the Board to consider, on how they see the Forum Q&A as part of the overall benefits and marketing package of the EMGS, towards members and non-members.

                                  A question for someone to ask at the AGM? I suspect that I won’t be able to travel to ask it myself.

                                  Cheers
                                  Paul

                                • #240827
                                  Ray Byde
                                  Participant

                                    @Paul Willis said:

                                    That’s something for the Board to consider, on how they see the Forum Q&A as part of the overall benefits and marketing package of the EMGS, towards members and non-members.

                                    A question for someone to ask at the AGM? I suspect that I won’t be able to travel to ask it myself.

                                    Cheers
                                    Paul  

                                    Out of interest the forum of the Scalefour Society is open for the public to view. Also there is a Guest book area where non members can post questions etc. Would a similar idea be a possible answer to this connundrum? I do understand that it would entail some working out, but it may reap rewards and even increase Society membership.
                                    Just a thought,
                                    Ray

                                  • #240847
                                    Colin Divall
                                    Participant

                                      I’ve scratchbuilt in P4 and converted RTR, so perhaps I ought to try the middle way of a kit…. These days I usually convert, for me that gives the best balance between time, performance and looks. More overlays designed for RTR would get a big thumbs up from me though.

                                      Colin

                                    • #240848
                                      John Cutler
                                      Participant

                                        Re opening up the Forum

                                        @Ray Byde said:

                                        Out of interest the forum of the Scalefour Society is open for the public to view. Also there is a Guest book area where non members can post questions etc. Would a similar idea be a possible answer to this connundrum? I do understand that it would entail some working out, but it may reap rewards and even increase Society membership.
                                        Just a thought,
                                        Ray  

                                        Slightly off topic, so sorry for that.
                                        If this Forum is opened up to the public, there is a danger it will become like RMWeb with all the vitriol that sometimes goes with it.
                                        I would be the first person to stop posting!

                                        JohnC

                                      • #240849
                                        Paul Willis
                                        Participant

                                          @John Cutler said:
                                          Re opening up the Forum

                                          Slightly off topic, so sorry for that.
                                          If this Forum is opened up to the public, there is a danger it will become like RMWeb with all the vitriol that sometimes goes with it.
                                          I would be the first person to stop posting!

                                          JohnC  

                                          John,

                                          To reassure you, if done in the same way as the Scalefour Forum, there is no chance of that.

                                          Whilst much of the Forum is publicly visible, the Guest Book posts are all subject to individual approval by the administrators. It’s not an onerous job, and as one of them I’ve never had a post to the Forum that is of the type that you fear.

                                          The amountg of spam to the Society’s general enquiries email address on the website on the other hand… And that is after running a spam-catching filter.

                                          Cheers
                                          Paul
                                          10060

                                        • #240851
                                          Stuart Firth
                                          Participant

                                            With apologies to the original poster of this thread, as we are way off-beam now, I would like to see this forum as more of a place for general discussion rather than just ‘Q&A’, and I did moot this at an AGM some years ago. Certainly the S4 society forum, open to non-members too, appears quite lively and vibrant, whereas, as others have said, so little happens on here that even I, as a top 10 poster (with 6 !) very rarely look at it. In such a situation, again as others have said, the ability to post a photo would be all but essential. Of course there is an issue of resource, but perhaps, with EM RTR track becoming available for the first time through EMGS, there is a chance of new members and ‘new blood’ in EM generally, so maybe it is worth looking at to help draw in more recruits. After all, we desperately need younger members if we are to thrive in the future.

                                          • #240853
                                            Paul Willis
                                            Participant

                                              @Stuart Firth said:
                                              With apologies to the original poster of this thread, as we are way off-beam now, I would like to see this forum as more of a place for general discussion rather than just ‘Q&A’, and I did moot this at an AGM some years ago. Certainly the S4 society forum, open to non-members too, appears quite lively and vibrant, whereas, as others have said, so little happens on here that even I, as a top 10 poster (with 6 !) very rarely look at it. In such a situation, again as others have said, the ability to post a photo would be all but essential. Of course there is an issue of resource, but perhaps, with EM RTR track becoming available for the first time through EMGS, there is a chance of new members and ‘new blood’ in EM generally, so maybe it is worth looking at to help draw in more recruits. After all, we desperately need younger members if we are to thrive in the future.  

                                              Apropos of this, there was a suggestion earlier today that a dedicated EM Gauge area is set up on RMWeb, in a similar way to the existing 2FS areas, etc.

                                              This was prompted from the discussion of the new EM RTP track, and the increased attractiveness of the EMGS to prospective members. I’d suggest keeping an eye on it to see if it develops, and becomes as thriving as the 2mm finescale community make their little part of the internet.

                                              Cheers
                                              Paul

                                            • #240856
                                              David Franks
                                              Participant

                                                Hi, as someone who only looks in occasionaly I would like to see a more user friendly forum like webpage, yes I agree that to open it up to the general public would be a disaster but a members only site would only work if members would actually post on it, some don’t even know it exists. Okay I’m as much to blame having only one or two posts but if we could make it grow then fine . Someone has said photos or diagrams can’t yet be posted so that may be something to look into, I would be willing to post about my own railway or projects if anyone was interested.
                                                Anyway, back to the original thread. My layout ‘Wharfeside’ has a varied collection of stock mostly kitbuilt with scratch chassis or much modified kit chassis but more recently Bachmann or Hornby locos have been converted for use by fitting Ultrascale or Gibson wheelsets which have turned reasonable runners into good EM runners, some have had Mashima motors fitted to improve the slow running and they perform beautifully with the original RTR mechanism. Okay I do have the luxury of a wee lathe to make collars and mountings for motors and bushes for the chassis if needed but it’s not that difficult to rewheel say a Bachmann 4F with the Gibson wheelsets and have nice model to detail further.
                                                Performance wise the replacement wheels work better than just pulling out the RTR wheel to EM and in any case the shiney chrome plated RTR wheels are just too slippy and sloppy to haul much. A Bachmann Jubilee I’ve done with Gibsons and a Mashima motor has hauled 26 Bachmann and Hornby coaches round and round Wharfeside just to prove the point, the Jubilee model has been criticized in the past for poor haulage.
                                                So I suppose it’s horses for courses, if it’s a nice modern RTR model to use as a basis for a layout loco then yes use the RTR chassis but if the mech is at all suspect then build a new chassis.

                                                Cheers,
                                                Dave Franks.

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