Monday, 3 January 2022

Upnor Castle

As an easy post-Christmas project I looked out a 3D printed loco kit I got for my Birthday last year. It is a model of Upnor Castle on the Ffestiniog Railway which was produced by the Merseyside group of the 009 society in memory of Roger Christian, a long-time member of the group who inspired many with not only his modelling skills but his willingness to encourage others, through articles in the 009 News and Railway Modeller, many exhibition appearances, and the 009 Society groups, along with Stan Williams. When I was a young 009 modeller Roger and Stan were a great help and encouragement to me. What a great idea to produce a model in his memory.

The loco is finely detailed and appears to have a good finish, comes with a separate roof and interior, and was supplied with a Kato 109 chassis. This model had a partially broken and distorted cab step, Stan had warned me before dispatch. There are no instructions, but clearly the Kato chassis would need shortening to fit the body. 

I cut of the balconies leaving the chassis much shorter than the body, it fitted neatly in but I felt the body sat too high. I cut off the clips and a strip from the "shoulder" of the chassis alongside the motor which allowed it to sit much lower, but the chassis rocked fore and aft. I added strips of 40-thou plastic to the flats at the corners of the chassis allowing it to sit level. Finally, plastic end-stops added in the corners of the loco frames stop the chassis moving fore and aft within the body. The chassis is held loosely vertically in the body, though it doesn't fall out I may use blue-tack or a spot of glue to hold it in place when finished. 

The next job is fitting couplings. Opening up the buffer-beams for the Microtrains couplings was easiest with a saw, since the 3D printed resin is sawn and files cleanly but isn't easy to cut with a knife. I passed a fretsaw blade through the slot and opened out the hole, then cleaned up with a file. I drilled a hole for the retaining screw, and made a recess in the bottom of the buffer-beam for the screw head. 

I spent some time checking the body and cleaning up blemishes, which I guess are from the support structure during printing, and were mainly on the bottom of the frames and footplate, and around the window openings. The deformed step was easily superglued back together, and I glued plastic strips across the back of the cab handle recesses which were open into the cab. I also thinned the back of the cab back where it meets the roof, and the back of the protrusion below the cab roof, as it initially sat a little forward with no overhang to the rear. 

Now I need to get some primer to continue, the first coat will show how smooth the surface is though it appears pretty good.


Keith from Mannin Models said...

Great to see one of the Upnor Castles I (Mannin Models) printed for the 009 society being used. I've really enjoyed being involved in this project!

I was only making Isle of Man models untill Stan suggested making Upnor and since then I've been designing all sorts, so it has been a real catalist for me.

The chassis you have in the picture is different to the Kato 107 that I designed the body around and I was supplied with, which is possibly why it sat too high. The chassis I had was a lot shorter and had no handrails or buffers. I think what you have their is a kato 11-110.

If you have not painted it yet, I have found the Halfords grey primer to be perfect.

Great blog by the way!

Any problems or suggestions please feel free to contact me via or our Facebook page.

All the best

Keith (Mannin Models)

Michael Campbell said...

Hi Keith, thanks for your comment. The chassis is the one Stan supplied with it, but you are right it looks like a Kato 110. I see the 109 is slightly narrower.

Priming is next on the list, I ran out and my nearest Halfords closed a while back, so I've ordered some Hycote from a well-known internet supplier!