Once I'd done the prep like modifying the coupling pockets the rest of the Hudswell Clarke kit came together quickly. Assembling the cab is a little fiddly, but otherwise it is straightforward. However I did struggle with the roof; the kit has tabs on the top of the cab front and rear that fit half-etched slots under the roof, but I found the slots further apart than the cab was long and the slots too shallow for the tabs. In the end I filed the tabs off altogether, and resorted to another method of aligning the roof - soldering small tabs of phosphor-bronze (it was the thinnest metal I had) to sit inside each edge. For now the roof is loose for painting but they should help to glue it in place when the time comes.
The kit is well detailed as supplied so there's not much to add (I've left brake pipes off for painting, and mine is vacuum braked so I've not fitted the air brake pump). I did notice it was missing handrails so fitted some to the cab, through drilled holes in the floor (would have been much easier if I did that before fitting the cab!) and glued the tops to the inside of the cab sides. I guess I could fit a smoke-box hand-rail too?
I was left with a few small gaps - at the cab edges, the holes for the fuel rails (I didn't use) on the tank top, and the etched grooves under the cab roof. Nothing a spot of filler couldn't resolve. The final task was to do something with the American style cylinders of the Minitrains chassis - photos of Hudswell Clarke locos had European style smooth (lagged) cylinders. In the end I cut a strip of 10-thou plastic to fit between the flanges and secured it to the valve chest side and around the cylinder. I'll see how this looks with a spot of primer on, it may need a little filler too.
Other than cleaning up, and perhaps metal blackening, it is ready for primer. That will wait for warmer weather though. However I do like the look of the loco, chunky and elegant. One thing needs looking at though - it runs with a whine, I think the flywheel is rubbing on the cab front...
Scale Rail International 11
3 hours ago