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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:29 pm
Posts: 401
Last night I picked up a bargain G2 Bachmann Body. I've never felt like taking a razor saw to a new one but at £15-00 I'd be willing to give it a go!

Has anybody done this, and succeeded!!!

Regards


Peter S.

PS. The chap has one more if anybody wants it!


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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2017 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:29 pm
Posts: 401
Ah, just found Richard Powell's postings of September 2015! Any chance of a bit more of a blow by blow account please Richard?

All the best

Peter S.


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 6:50 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:23 pm
Posts: 22
Location: Warwickshire
Pete,

I think this was done on RM Web some time back.

Steve


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:29 pm
Posts: 401
Haven't found it yet but did discover Richard Powell's posting on his efforts!

My pal has three more G2 bodies (At 19-00 today!) with tenders if anybody is interested?!

Peter S.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:33 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Waikanae, New Zealand
I'm new to the forum and have just picked up this thread; and also checked out Richard Powell's very accomplished work on modifying the Bachmann G2.

I was thus encouraged to dig out a project which I started some years ago, put aside, restarted, then put aside again. More than a decade ago and prior to the Bachmann release, I bought a couple of already-made, very second hand, Gem "Super D" models with the thought that they might find a place on my mid-30s North Wales 4mm 16.5 gauge layout (which is itself a very slow work in progress!). They were a bit rough cosmetically, but I managed to get one of them running more or less satisfactorily, but not nearly well enough when compared with the then current generation of RTR models, and even my own kit-built efforts. So I purchased two Comet chassis kits, made up the first and fitted it with a Mashima motor and a gearbox of unknown make which I bought when living in the USA some 35 years ago. (I knew it would come in handy one day!) The body was poorly assembled with crumbling epoxy so a dip in paint stripper gave me back a Gem kit of parts. Some had seen heavy handed filing but I soldered the boiler and footplate together knowing that a lot of fettling and filling lay ahead.

As an aside, though the Gem kits have little or no fine rivet detail, my view is that, as with any model, provided the dimensions are accurate and proportions right, all lines that should be are parallel, assembly is neat and paintwork fine, and with just a few extra details such as lamp irons and fall plates, such models can run comfortably with the best of today's RTR offerings.

Then the Bachmann model arrived. Temporarily discouraged, I left the Gem model to languish in a drawer. But for me there is something satisfying about saving and sensitively upgrading such venerable items. (It also means that one's layout is not the same as everyone else's.) After a look at the bits and pieces a couple of years ago I thought that, if I backdated the Gem body to, say, a round top boilered G1 (cf Plate 269, Vol 2, Jenkinson and Essery, "Illustrated History of LMS Locomotives") I could have a locomotive which would make a nice contrast to the Bachmann model.

So, with a piercing saw I removed and set aside the belpaire firebox and replaced it with a piece of copper tubing of slightly smaller diameter than the boiler, cut to a half round and eased open to match the boiler outside diameter. I fitted it with epoxy. I have a GEM Precursor kit with modern etched chassis which I am going to build as a late survivor in LMS condition so, to save time, this kit donated the cab front and cab roof, suitably shortened. (The Super D belpaire firebox may end up on the 4-4-0. I believe they had substantially the same superheated boiler.)

The attached photos show the original chassis, and where I had got to with the upgrade when I put it back in the drawer for a second time: the basic body assembled and mounted on the Comet chassis, which runs sweetly on the rolling road; boiler backhead/front modified to round top and installed; the (difficult) LNWR handrail made up and fitted; Brassmasters dome and chimney fitted; and the tender castings reassembled.

There's still a lot to be done: chassis brake gear and guard irons; crankpin washers soldered on; gaps in the body castings filled; sandbox rods and reversing gear shaft; smokebox door smoothed off and either levers or a wheel fitted; miscellaneous body details added; and that cab combined handrail/roof support looks a bit heavy in the photo! The stray wires under the chassis are for tender pickups.

The tender itself needs some thinking about. Before Brassmasters deleted their LNWR kits I bought a couple of kits and other items including the Bowen Cooke to Whale tender conversion pack. That gives me a chance to add more variation.

So, thanks for the posts which stirred me to get off my chuff and try to finish the job. If anyone shows any interest I could post a couple of pics of progress, though with my pace of working, it won't be this month!

And yes, that is the Bachmann Coal Tank you can see at the edge of the last photo, awaiting conversion to Pull and Push fitted.

Mike

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:49 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:43 pm
Posts: 478
Location: Wellingborough
Congratulations Mike - a nice model from a mediocre set of parts. One thing about GEM kits - there is so much metal that one can file things to shape without fear of going right through or distorting it. And you have replaced the worst parts - boiler mountings and chassis.

Have you thought about back-dating the second one further by shortening the smokebox and changing sandboxes to make a D or G?

Mike


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:01 pm
Posts: 249
Mike how can you say such things about GEM kits??? ☺☺

Totally agree with you that changing the chassis and the boiler fittings makes a huge difference.

There is also rivetted chimney base and smoke box wrappers available from Brassmasters which makes a heck of a difference to the front end of a GEM loco

David


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:33 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Waikanae, New Zealand
Thank you David and Mike for the responses and encouragement.

Yes, on the assumption that I complete this G1 conversion satisfactorily, my plan is to perform rather more drastic surgery on the second model. I'm contemplating conversion to a "Piano Front G", the last of which I believe to have survived into the 1930s before rebuilding. As well as the reversal of the LMS cab modifications, it will of course require shortening of the smokebox, and front footplate and chassis to match. Without a donor model to supply castings, I will have to fabricate the original LNWR cab roof and spectacle plate.

Are the Brassmasters smokebox wrappers still available? I'd certainly be interested if they are.

I agree that Gem kits are "of their time" but George Mellor certainly helped keep LNWR (and North British) 4mm modelling alive during the time of the great spread of chocolate and cream. And I've managed to work with several of the kits, helped by the fact that my modelling isn't to Pendon standards - skill deficit and lack of years ahead of me - but hopefully reminiscent of what passed for "competent" in the 1970s. While this thread is about G2 backdating, I hope our hard-pressed moderator will bear with me if I post four non "Super D" pictures to make the point.

The 18" Goods has had a couple of rebuilds since the kit was purchased by mail order from W&H Models in the late 1970s. The locomotive body shell is still there, but with a scratchbuilt Belpaire firebox added. The original chassis (which ran reasonably well) has been replaced with a "Watford Tank" chassis from London Road, with the rear extension for the trailing truck cut off. (Surely no-one will notice that it has coil springs where the "Cauliflower had leaf springs!) Sharman wheels, small Mashima flat can motor and Gibson gearbox complete the ensemble. A George Norton etched brass Webb tender replaces the original cast Gem item.

By contrast, 5373 is almost all original, with its Gem "L1" cast chassis and an Airfix 5 pole X04 clone, protruding into the cab, and driving her through a coarse Triang Hornby plastic gear wheel. It has had some added detail and the cast coupling rods replaced by new ones filed up from bullhead rail in the great traditions of the 1940s! Typically, this low tech dinosaur is one of my smoothest runners after the modern Bachmann offerings. It's hauling a set of PC kitbuilt coaches, bought from the long gone model shop in York Way during a visit to the UK in the mid-70s, and finally assembled in the mid-80s.

I'll have to see to that "lazy" turnout blade in the left of the first photo.

Hope these are of interest.

Mike
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