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As all my planned layouts are set in the Steam/Diesel transition era I will be able to operate both types together. However as diesels are easier to build my plans were to build one or two first, and then later add some steam locomotives to the fleet. What actually happened is that the first steam loco has been started before the first diesel is fully complete.

The three locomotives I have actually started are shown below. I intend to expand this page very soon to add further images showing the stages in construction of these and any further locomotives. Railcars and railbuses will be covered in a separate page.

This locomotive is a combination of a modified 00 body kit and an N gauge chassis, these being a Knightwing body kit and a Kato chassis. When I started this locomotive I was building it after seeing an example on a layout, and reading about it on narrow gauge modelling forum. However during the construction phase article on how to build this model have appeared in both the 009 News and also the Railway Modeller.

There are a number of ways to use this body kit, which will affect the chassis chosen, as it can be built longer or shorter on a suitable 4 or 6 wheel chassis, or it can be built on an 8 wheel chassis as either a single or double bonnet unit.

The version I have built is shortened from the original kit. This reduction is all in the length of the bonnet, the cab being as originally designed. I did not use the kit footplate, but replaced this with a piece of 0.040" plasticard which was cut to sit over the Kato chassis. Some people building similar locos do not use side frames on the chassis, being happy to let the Kato chassis show, however I have cut down the kit sideframe with axleboxes and fit that to the chassis.

When first constructed I found that the Kato chassis would not fit between the buffer beams as I had constructed them. The reason is that I built this around a Kato chassis which had been cut down for use under a railcar, however when I bought a new chassis and tried to fit it I found that it was 1.5mm longer than I had thought and would not fit! I had considered rebuilding the chassis part slightly longer so that I would not have to make any major modifications to the Kato chassis, however when I check and found out how little things were out by I got the standard chassis to fit by simply sanding a little from each end.

This locomotive is an A1 body shell kit on a Kato chassis. The construction of this loco was the fist time I have tried to solder a brass kit, having always used glue before, and I am quite pleased with the way it turned out. That is not to say it was all plain sailing to get here! The main problems I had were holding the brass parts together in correct alignment whilst soldering them, it all sounds easy to hold the parts whilst tacking them and then complete the joint but in practice I did need more than one attempt to get it done.

The photograph shows the body on an unmodified Kato chassis. Prior to use on the layout this will need a minimum of DG couplers, if not some form of chassis building around the Kato unit.

The interior will also need some work. At the moment this is completely open and it is possible to see through the grills and windows. The minimum that will be needed will be either some representation of an engine and/or some interior bulkheads to prevent it looking so empty. Further cab details can then be added dependant on how much is visible once glazing has been added to the windows.

This kit was originally designed for the old style (inside framed) Farish 08 shunter chassis. That is now quite an old chassis and not really up to modern standards. Also, whilst it does have the connecting rods, being for a diesel it does not have cylinders. Whilst many steam locos did have indside cyclinders this was not common on the narrow gauge as there was simply not room between the frames.

For these reasons I have used the Lifelike 0-6-0 chassis. This required some cutting out of the footplate casting where the Lifelike motor is larger than the Farish, but no modifications were required to the body so overall it was an easy change.