Before the madness of the festive season drew to a close, there was something I wanted to finish off whilst I still had some time to do projects for myself! You'll remember that, recently, I bought a secondhand Minitrains NS2F; here's another look at it, in the condition it arrived in:
A quick note before I continue - you'll have to excuse the differences in colour temperature of the orange of the loco body. I forgot to remove the custom white balance after having photographed the layout on Christmas Day for a future article! Some of the following photos make it look more yellow, which is incorrect. Anyway, back to the practical...
The second photo shows that there was some sort of 'works' plate on the back. I know nothing about transfers (assuming that's what it even was!), but I could feel it was slightly raised, so opted to gently remove it with a fine needle file. In hindsight, and after having read more online, I probably should've used some IPA on a cotton bud, but too late now!
At this point, I wasn't going to even attempt to remove the steps as, although it was easy to slide the chassis out of the frame as there are slots for the axles to slip through, the metal weight would not fit through the frame. As it was connected by the thinnest wires I've ever seen, (that take power from the pickups to the LED headlight) I didn't want to unsolder them as I feared I'd never be able to resolder them later.
However, when my usual lack of confidence reared its head, fate had other plans; as I accidentally fumbled the weight, which hit the cutting mat, and in turn, pulled one of the wires from the chassis. Bugger! Well, I guess it was meant to be... so I thought I might as well give it a go:
Above: And now for the bit I wasn't looking to doing - the painting! First, another coat of primer for the body, now that additional detailing had been added. Note that I'm using old bits of rail, which the parts are Blu Tac'd onto - these A-shaped rail structures were going to be pipeline supports for my Fawley Oil Refinery layout! Anyway, as the chassis frame steps have been removed, the chassis was now ready to be primed, too.
Above: With all the painting done, it was time to add the windows. Now, I could've, and should've, filed away the slight raised frames of the original. However, as I'd already painted, and I felt it might be hard keeping the file consistent across the whole width, I opted instead simply to glue directly on top of the raised frame detail. To be fair, whilst there is a slight gap, it could easily be covered by either adding more plastic cement, more paint, or filler. Oh, and the photo on the right is to do a dry-run, and check that the paint wasn't stopping the parts fitting together. And I guess also because I wanted to see how it was looking overall!
Above: And finally, the cab steps! Now, I have to be upfront here as I've made them mude wider and thicker than the prototypes'. However, judging by the wonky state of many of them, I feel like it wouldn't be beyond the realms of probability for them to be replaced at some point. Besides, the width of the prototype ones was ridiculously narrow, in my view! In any case, they were made, as you can see, using two sizes of styrene lengths, in 4 pieces. Two uprights of 0.020", one step plate of 0.010", and a further 0.020" bottom. I won't bother to explain the assembly as I think it's clear enough in the photos!
I must admit, I haven't yet soldered the wires to the LED light back on. Purely because I wanted to get some new photos of the layout for the 009 Society article with the diesel in - so I was in a rush to get it 'completed'. That also means that the loco, currently, does not have the weight in it - so it's pretty back-heavy! Hopefully the resoldering will be relatively straightforward, but if it's not, I'll come back and add more to this post...
...in the meantime, to summarise, this certainly was not a quick project! However, being my first successful loco project, it has given me some much needed confidence. Perhaps enough now to tackle the replacement motor in my Liliput shunter that died many, many years ago - that will require part of the weight to be removed to fit the new, slightly bigger motor in, as well as working out a way to secure the motor in place. Anyway... that's definitely a project for a future post!
To finish, let's look at some photos of the finish model, starting with a comparison between the original form, and the final form:
Above: A final look of the completed engine as it waits for its driver to change the point that leads to the sidings so that it can resume shunting. In tow, the commemoratively liveried goods van, with the 009 Society's 50th Anniversary logo on the side, clearly needs a good clean. Judging by the similar state of the loco, I don't think that will be a top priority for the crew! Personally, I think the loco is a perfect fit for this tatty sunbleached seaside railway. But what do you think?