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This afternoon I’ve mainly been finishing off my Standard 4 conversion.

The back story to this is that the loco was acquired for 40 quid at the end of the Ally Pally show last year when Bachmann wanted to clear all their returned locos. Dennis Lovatt did warn me there would be no warranty on it and I took great delight in telling him it doesn’t matter as it even if it had one it would be invalidated the first time it came out of the box! He did actually comment that most of his club members did exactly the same thing.

I like to do things economically and pull the wheels out where I can on locos. I do however buy new bogie wheels and in this case tender wheels, as the bogie wheels are quite noticeable even in running, and you can’t beat the Gibson finescale look on the front end, a case of gilding the lily.

There isn’t much clearance twixt the con rod and the front crankpin and valve gear so I do a little butchery. First the lead crankpins are filed down to about half depth to give a little more room – evidenced by the bright brass nut in the photos. I also put a washer on the driving crankpin behind the con rod boss to bring it out and provide a little more clearance. You also need to severely limit the sideplay in the lead drivers. Now if i was rewheeling the drivers this isn’t a problem as I’d pack out the Gibbos or Romfords with spacing washers on the lead axle, equal amount either side. However if Im doing a wheel pull, Im a bit wary of actually taking the wheel off, basically its hanging on a thread and it wont go back on successfully. Dummy sideframes wont work either as you really have to limit the sideplay at the front, so what I do is put some built up plasticard (black!!) on the frames behind the wheeltread. This limits the sideplay and ensures nothing fouls at the front end and can be seen in the naked top shot just at the front of the leading wheel.

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The next job is to renumber and a moderate weathering job using the airbrush and weathering powders. Hopefully the loco should be running, along with a Fairburn 2-6-4 tank which also needs the bogie and pony truck wheels on and the packing treatment at the Liverpool show in a few weeks time.

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