A few weeks ago, I picked up a complete set of 125 issues of Hachette’s The Flying Scotsman off eBay. This is a partwork released several years ago allowing readers to produce an O gauge Flying Scotsman as it was in 1928. It’s based on DJH’s O gauge A3 kit, the Flying Scotsman was still an A1 in 1928 so there are some differences.
It’s a little risky buying such items unseen, not only could parts have gone missing or been damaged after being delivered, it’s not unheard of magazines being delivered with missing or incorrect parts. Either way, you have to be prepared for some disappointment, and hope that anything that is missing is easily sourced or scratch-built.
In this case, being based on DJH’s kit, I thought it would be a relatively standard build, and that even if I couldn’t get hold of individual issues of the magazine to replace my missing parts, I might be able to get them from DJH directly, or from other suppliers who sell A1 or A3 kits.
As it turns out, I got lucky. There was only one missing part, from issue 88. Granted, that part was the entire tender body, but it was supplied as injection-moulded plastic and I have a 3D printer, so should be simple to fabricate.
I’ve since made a start on the kit, and this post serves as a introduction to where I’ve got up to with it so far.
The instructions suggest the builder use superglue to assemble the brass parts, but since I am likely to want to run the locomotive on a layout at some point, and superglue can be quite brittle, I decided to solder instead.
I’ve not encountered any issues with the build so far, although I know from reading several build logs on some forums, that there are a couple of things to watch out for as the build progresses. But for now, I’m very happy with it!
Issue 17 – The boiler
As you can see, the boiler is supplied as inject-moulded plastic, whereas I imagine the DJH kit would come with a cast boiler. The moulding is impressive – there’s no flash, and the moulded rivets on the side of the firebox and boiler bands are very crisp. There were two faint moulding lines on the sides of the boiler, but 5 minutes with some wet and dry paper quickly removed those. There are a few ejector pin marks, but it seems that they are all hidden due to their location.
Despite the moulded rivets on the firebox, Hachette made a curious decision to leave a series of holes running along the top of the boiler, and asks the builder to use a length of 0.5mm brass wire to emulate rivets by cutting it into a million pieces, gluing the wire in the holes, then filing them down.
That sounds like it would produce poor results at best – especially given my modelling skills! – so instead I ordered some miniature rivets from Prime Miniatures. I used the 0.5mm rivets, which have a head of 0.8mm.
Issues 1 and 9 – The cab
In the pictures below, you’ll notice a bunch of holes in the cab sides. A number of these, the ones directly above, below and in front of the cab windows are for rivets. I expect Hachette’s solution to this will be similar to the boiler above, and will ask the builder to glue a short length of brass wire in there to emulate the rivets. I’ll use the same rivets I used for the boiler.
Issues 3, 4 and 5 – The main chassis
I’ve not yet decided whether to try “springy beam suspension”, so I’ve not soldered these parts together yet in case I want to disassemble them to facilitate that.
The parts slot together very well, as well as having a couple of spacers made from brass tubing. This helps the chassis align well and feel very solid, even without any soldering.
Issues 6 – The rear chassis
This issue required the builder to emboss some half-etched rivets on the body of the rear chassis. I did a particularly poor job of this using a hammer and an old broach. I ended up distorting the sides slightly doing it. I’ve since bought an embossing tool which should help with this the next time I need to do it.