Having made a few kits, DJH and Ks mostly, I
wanted to make an LMS dock tank and I know from your blog that you will
understand when I say I wish I hadn't bothered.
Your blog has been a great help but I don't think
I'll be attempting another all brass loco kit.
1.What did you use to achieve the gleaming finish
2. How did you manage to paint inside the
At the risk of teaching you to suck
eggs - When I solder nuts I thread the nut on a cocktail
stick to hold it in position. In the worst case a few twists of a tap is enough
to clear any solder.
When making the waggly bits I just thread a piece
of paper between the bits I want to stay free.
Thanks for all the tips in your blog, I think
I'll achieve a working dock tank though nowhere near as good as
The Mercian LMS Dock tank isn't a beginners kit by a long way. Part of the problem is the prototype puts a lot of wheels in a small area, precluding much in the way of chassis strengthening where you need it. I recall putting bracing wires in in the same way you weld rods into car doorways when straightening the body, just to keep the chassis in line.
Add to that all the waggly bits (never fun) and a cab roof designed to clip in and out that I've never made work, and this is a kit that requires a level of skill. Were it to be designed now, I suspect that most of these points would be dealt with. That said, it's quicker than scratchbuilding!
You can read one of my builds of this kit here.
Anyway, the questions:
1) Shiny locos come from regular application of Shiny Sinks cleaner. After every soldering session, I head down to the kitchen sink to give the metal a scrub with this followed by a nice clean with washing up liquid and plenty of water. Do this ever time and you remove flux from the hidden corners.
2) The inside of the cab is black on my model. I know it probably should be cream, but I solder the roof wrapper into one piece, or even replace it with a plastic one, and that makes getting the brush inside a nightmare. I have done this, but it's fiddly, knackers the brush and to be honest, if you stand a crew in the doorway, you can't see in anyway!
Good point about the paper when making valve gear. I have used Rizla papers for this, but now prefer tin foil. It's tougher and yet repels solder.
And don't think I'm a genius with the dock tank. Mind has more slop in the mechanicals than is really ideal, but I think that's why it runs well. I think I had to re-make the pickups at least once before I got there - but now it's a good-looking loco. It's a surprise that there has never been one RTR, but I'm not complaining.
Incidentally, the kit isn't available in 4mm scale any more, but I'd love to build the Gauge 1 version one day.