Will’s Finecast Schools Class – help needed please

Members Forum Kit Building Locos Will’s Finecast Schools Class – help needed please

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    • #240248
      Membership Secretary
      Keymaster

        Hi all,

        I am returning to the hobby after 25 years, having only ever run OO gauge RTR stock when I was a child. Since then I’ve become experienced in metal, resin and etch kit building (automotive subjects mainly) and am handy with an airbrush. I have over the last few years been collecting a few kits and bits and pieces with a view to constructing a SR layout from a period just before WW2 so I could run both steam and early electric prototypes. Thus far, I’ve picked up a Will’s Schools class, which came with a chassis and wheelset and for which I now have transfers, motor and gearbox, and the excellent looking Roxey moulding’s 3SUB kit. For both I have OO gauge wheelsets.

        I am about to start building the schools class, and I thought if I was going to go for EM, now would be the time to decide. The trouble is I am confused, even after reading a fair amount of information, as to what I need to purchase and how to go about it. I assume I will need to purchase finer wheels (the ones I have inherited could probably do a good job of slicing pizza) and EM gauge axles and that I may need to be prepared to fettle the body a bit to get the chassis to fit. Is that all I need to do or have I underestimated? I notice that there is a kit to convert the hornby model in the shop, and wondered if that would basically do me for what I need.

        Sorry if that seems a very simple question, but it would help to understand what I’m taking on so I can make an informed decision before I start. This will be a small layout where the emphasis will be on quality, hence I’d prefer EM if I thought I could manage it.

        Thanks in advance for your help!

        Regards, Mark.

      • #240249
        Stuart Firth
        Participant

          Hi Mark – I can’t speak for this specific kit, but cast kits are usually buildable in EM. The more enlightened ones will even have EM frame spacers but the Wills kit maybe not. I would recommend Iain Rice’s books on White Metal Loco’s and locomotive kit chassis construction to help with this. The wheels you mention are likely older Romfords. These have a square ended axle and a brass nut that tightens the wheels onto the axles. These wheels are now made by Markits and are now somewhat finer but there’s no reason why you couldn’t use the older ones with new EM axles, available direct from Markits, although Scalelink also sell them and are easier to deal with. Wheels are also available from Alan Gibson, and look even better but require more care setting up.

          The kit to convert the Hornby loco – is that a replacement wheelset? It probably has axles of a diameter to match the Hornby loco, a metric size, so would not be compatible with the kit building scene where the standard axle is 1/8″.

          If you post pictures of your progress there will be help available on the forum if you need it !

           

        • #240250
          Membership Secretary
          Keymaster

            Thanks Stuart, my concern about the wheels is whether they would run on anything other than code 100 rails. I will take a look at the book you suggest before I get started. I do want to build to EM but I also want to make sure I give a good chance of succeeding given this is my first loco build. Appreciate the advise and will have a  look at that book and post pictures of how I am getting on.

          • #240251
            Stuart Firth
            Participant

              Here’s some older Romfords – these still work fine on hand built track but it has to be said that more modern wheels do look better !

               

            • #240253
              Membership Secretary
              Keymaster

                Thanks Stuart, these are what came in my kit. Look similar and quite ‘chunky’ to me. Are these also Romfords do you think?

              • #240255
                Stuart Firth
                Participant

                  Hi Mark, yes they are indeed. By chance I have 3 different examples of basically the same LNWR wheel so I can illustrate the differences. From left to right, Older Romford; New Markits; Gibson. Obviously the older wheels aren’t so fine. Gibson are the best looking and about half the price but Markits are very sturdy, self-quartering, and can be taken on and off many times, whereas Gibson tend to loosen after a few attempts.

                   

                   

                   

                • #240257
                  Membership Secretary
                  Keymaster

                    That’s an excellent image to illustrate the differences – thank you. I will do a bit of reading before the soldering iron comes out! Thanks for your help, Stuart.

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