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Tony Galiani

New Shunter Locomotive Project

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Tony Galiani

Since I can not sort out my layout project options, I am continuing to work on some building and rolling stock projects for future use.  And, by posting this, I will put myself under a little bit of pressure to actually follow through and complete it!

 

So my pending project is a small half cab shunter by World Kogei.  It is seriously small - the chassis measures roughly 28 mm long by 16 mm wide and the motor, hidden under the base plate, measures roughly 11 mm by 4 mm.

Interestingly, the kit comes with enough parts for two body shells - you have the choice of doing it in black or in orange.  Or I suppose you could do a combination as well.  There is only one motor and drive unit however.

I did a test of the chassis and it runs okay on my not too clean track.  But it struck me the unit is very light and probably needs more weight to run well or pull more than a car or two.  But it is so tiny I am not sure where there is room for more weight.  The motor is under the base plate between the wheels leaving the cab open.  Ideally, a metal engine driver could go in there to add weight and add visual interest but not sure anything like that is available.

In any event, I plan to start assembly this weekend.  How to do window glazing will be a challenge.  I did purchase some Tamiya orange to paint the model and I have Kato couplers on order.  (The kit comes with Rapido style couplers.)

 

To be continued ....

(Though if I keep to my usual work rate this will probably take weeks rather than days ....)

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

Shunter kit parts.jpg

Shunter kit power unit.jpg

Shunter kit.jpg

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Kanpai Keith

I wish my eyes where as good as they were 20 years ago so I could see what you’re talking about 🤣🤣🤣

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Tony Galiani

Back before my cataract surgery I was extremely near-sighted so this would have been easy.  Nowadays, while my overall vision is much better (just about 20/20), my near vision is nowhere good enough for this.  I have a pair of reading glasses which are good for most model work and I use a visor with magnifier lenses as well.

 

Of course, halfway through the projects I have been working on lately I find myself checking the Model Trains Plus web site to see if they still have that Kato HO Scale DE-10 in stock!  Not sure how I will feel once I get started on this though the more close work I do with my new eyes the more comfortable I seem to be getting.

 

Cheers,

Tony

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Tony Galiani

Here is the prototype in action:

 

Not sure I can manage all the details such as that rear view mirror or the snow plows.  I am just hoping to get a reasonable build from the kit.

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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Tony Galiani

I actually made some progress this weekend.  Though this project might be said to have moved from the fun stage to the challenging stage - I am at the limit of my skills working on this with regard to some of the issues that came up as I worked on it this weekend.

 

I had originally planned to install some sort of operating coupler but it turns out this is not possible due to a combination of lack of skill and design of the chassis.  In the picture below, the problem becomes clear - the wires for the motor pick up intrude into the likely place to mount a coupler.  The kit is designed with a small folding etch that holds a Rapido coupler.  A flat piece of the etch fits into that space.  I don't dare try and move the wires as damaging them would make it impossible to run the unit.

My current thinking is to use some Unimate couplers I have as the T shaped shank is the same as the Rapido couplers so it would fit and work with that etched mounting piece.  Since I don't think the loco can really be used for shunting and I was just planning to use it to pull a short work train, that should be okay.

 

It does turn out that the kit comes with a weight to fit inside the shell.  I hadn't noticed it in the packaging so that will help with the running ability of the unit.

 

The next challenge came in the painting.  I decided to use Tamiya yellow which seemed right for a work train.  I carefully masked the motor, wheels and wires and taped the unit to a piece of cardboard.

Despite some practice, I then managed to somehow nicely spray the cardboard but miss the end beams and most of the side frame.  However, I did manage to over spray the other components of the kit - the body and cab sections.  Fortunately, I realized what I was doing and managed to remove most of the excess.  The top of the long hood doesn't look that great but my sense is I will use weathering to cover up the bits that don't look too good.

 

Off to rehearsal but I expect to touch up the end beams and side frames later on or tomorrow and then start assembly.

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

 

Shunter chassis.jpg

Shunter parts painting.jpg

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Tony Galiani

Not quite sure what to say about this - it is said that you learn more from your failures than from your successes.  If that is the case, I will soon have a PhD in shunter kit construction.

 

I have been working on the assembly since my last post and it has been a challenge every step of the way.  I should have test fit all the construction before I painted it and started putting it together.  Assuming the parts would fit well was a mistake as none of the tabs fit at all.  I had to trim or remove all of them to make this work.  The circular tabs on the bottom of the weight did not fit either and I had to open the holes in the frame and trim down the tabs on the weight to get it onto the chassis.  And not all the parts are sized for a good fit.  The hood ends have a bit of a gap and the cab doesn't fit easily on to the assembled hood.

 

I installed the couplers using Unimate dummy couplers.  That actually worked - sort of.  Unfortunately, the only way I could fit them in was gluing in them and they came off during my third attempt to install the hood fronts and front railings.  Of course, the handling during the five attempts to install the cab likely didn't help.

 

Turns out the cab - while it fits together off the model, doesn't quite work when placed on the hood and frame assembly.  I have trimmed some of the pieces and am getting ready to try and assemble it once more.  I cut off part of the cab front to make it fit better.  It was only after another try that I realized it would have been better to cut off the opposite side.  But if I can get it to fit, then I will hide the missing part with an exhaust pipe or something similar.

 

Here are some pictures of my present progress.  One of the shunter without the cab and then the shunter with a Kato DD-13 for size comparison.  I am going to work on the cab over the next day or so.  If I can get that to work, then I will revisit the couplers and add a few details.  Also, a lot of weathering to hide as many of the flaws as I can.

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

tractor update 1.jpg

tractor size comparison.jpg

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roadstar_na6

How does the coupler assembly exactly look? I can’t imagine it would work with Rapidos but nothing else

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Tony Galiani

The Unimate couplers are designed to be drop in replacements for Rapido couplers.  The T shaped end piece matches the T shaped end piece on the Rapido couplers - only the coupler itself is different.

Here is a picture of the assembly instructions.  According to Google Translate on my wife's phone, the metal piece is to be held in place by rubber adhesive or instant adhesive.  I used some CA glue on it which held for a while but I probably needed to be a lot more careful when I was working with the model.

Tschuss,

Tony Galiani

shunter coupler picture.jpg

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roadstar_na6

tbh I would ditch that whole assembly and mount couplers like this (→ screw them to the chassis).

Edited by roadstar_na6

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Tony Galiani

That was my original plan.  However, I am afraid to attempt it at the end where the wires are located.  They are solidly fixed in place.

image.png.809f372c2b0030a032dabe885a5d9b2d.png

I might settle for mounting something at the open end and just gluing a dummy coupler at the end where the wires are located.  Once I get the cab sorted out, I will revisit the couplers.

Tschuss,

Tony Galiani

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roadstar_na6

Couldn't you have the screw head on the top part of the chassis?

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Tony Galiani

Not at the end with the wires as there is no room.  Possibly at the end without wires though it would have to be done before the weight, hood casting and hood front are glued in place.  And once they are on, you cannot remove the coupler if something goes wrong. 

I think someone with more skill could probably figure something out but this is totally new territory for me.

WIth hindsight, I should have installed the couplers last - gluing them in might have been okay if I had not handled the model so much while trying to glue the cab and hood fronts in place.

Tony

 

 

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Tony Galiani

I have reached a point where I am going to take a pause on this project.  I have more project ideas than time to do them and I want to work on some skill improvement before coming back to this one.

For example, I have never done any coupler installs so this was probably not the place to start.  I have a couple of what will (hopefully) be easy coupler upgrades I plan to do to get some experience.  And some (also hopefully) easy Aru Nine kits to do to get some experience with those and working with metal and wire.

 

So here is a picture of the shunter as it stands - cab is in place though the roof is not installed.  My solution to the gap at the cab side has been to install an exhaust pipe which still needs trimming and painting.  The figure is not glued on - it is just there to give another idea of the model's size.

 

Since the kit comes with an entire set of spare parts, I may install an complete new cab.  One thing I did learn is that the cab construction is very flimsy.  So on this version of the shunter, I cut some plastic strip and used it to reinforce the cab interior.  That was a definite improvement over my first several tries to assemble it.

 

shunter with figure.jpg

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