EM gauging a Merchant Navy

Hi folks,
How would I go about re-gauging a Hornby Merchant Navy to EM?
Cheers,
Rob.
Reply to
Robert Wilson
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Hi Robert, I haven't converted a Merchant Navy to EM, but I have converted some Bachmann locos including a WD and a B1. I would first of all make the point that this message board is very proprietary based - most people do not model in anything other than the 'out of the box' gauges, and I am therefore not surprised that you've had no other replies. There used to be some model shops that would convert to EM for customers as a service and if that is what you require then it's probably worth getting in touch with the EM Gause Society to see if they can give you advice where this can be done. The rest of this reply assumes that you may want to have a go yourself. If this is your first loco conversion, I would put it down and try something simpler first - say an inside cylinder 0-6-0. Not knowing how many locos you've converted before, I might be telling you how to suck eggs in saying that conversion depends upon a number of issues - wheel and valve gear clearances, how good the proprietary wheels are etc. If you are not satisfied with the proprietary wheels, Alan Gibson supplies a full set of Bullied wheels and EM axles specifically for conversion and it would probably be worth your while meeting him at one of the exhibitions and asking his advice on fitting his wheels. Sometimes you have to think a little out of the box. For instance for the B1 and WD, the brakes can be left on if the sides of the keeper plate are carefully (much patience needed) sliced of with a scalpel by scoring repeatedly each side and a strip of plasticard put in either side to bring the brake blocks out. On the other hand, for the Bachmann K3 I intend to used the existing brakes (reduced down) as a backing for new etched brakes. To get clearence for the WD I had to put a joggle in the motion bracket on either side. You will benefit from having a number of tools - the most useful I find are a set of GW wheel-pullers and hex brass tube to be used for undoing crankpins as well as the obvious thin-nosed pliers and set of files. I have to say that I find it regrettable that most modellers do not demand more in terms of manufacturers producing models to the correct gauge, particularly when many of those who accept OO will point out the odd missed rivet as if it was the original sin. The final point is of course that if you are new to converting to EM, you have to be prepared to fail. (It hasn't happened to me yet - but there is always a first time - and yes I am prepared to pay the price for that in return for the much better view of the engines and track).
So best of luck. I've got a Hornby unrebuilt pacific to do myself sometime - just wish I had more time!!
Regards
John C.
Reply to
John Clements
"John Clements" wrote
Bollox, you speak as a man who knows absolutely zilch!
One assumes that anyone contemplating such a conversion has a modicum of knowledge and skill. Anyone needing to ask how to do such a basic conversion shouldn't be contemplating it.
All of the EM-gauge modellers I know (and that's plenty) would die of embarrassment at any suggestion that they'd need to ask such a question, and your silly and ignorant [1] reply exemplifies why.
Don't tar everyone on here with the same brush, some serious and skillful modellers contribute to this group.
John.
[1] ignorant used in the literal sense meaning "not knowing".
Reply to
John Turner
John
Are thes remarks addressed to the OP or to John Clements? People are not born 'serious and skillful modellers' and I assume that to become such, many questions need to be asked of people 'in the know'.
If you don't know the answer, surely there is no such thing as a silly question?
ROB
Reply to
Robert Flint
"Robert Flint" wrote
Check my posting and you'll see that I was replying to John Clements comments.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
The pedant would point out that uk.rec.models.rail is not a message board. It is a usenet newsgroup.
A bit strongly put, but I agree that there are at least a few on here who would know which end of a craft knife is the sharp one.
There are at least a couple of loco scratchbuilders in obscure scales, and I'm sure there are some others who have built or modified things.
- Nigel
Reply to
Nigel Cliffe
Nigel,
You're not referring to S, are you/ :-)
The scale of the Gods, and it's all Imperial :-)
Jim.
Reply to
Jim Guthrie
"Nigel Cliffe" wrote
Agreed, but the whisky usually has an input at that time of night, but it does irritate when people make generalisations such as
< quote > I would first of all make the point that this message board is very proprietary based - most people do not model in anything other than the 'out of the box' gauges. < quote ends >
without having the knowledge to back that up.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I answer to some of replies posted:
I have not done a lot of modelling, but EM gauge does appeal to me. My main interest chiefly lies with Diesel/Electric trains and do not know a lot about Steam outline matters, even before we get anywhere near to a re-wheeling excercise.
Having spent a lot of time around the Ultrascale website and looking at how easy it is to re-wheel a Diesel/Electric locomotive, I was hoping there was a similar approach available for Steam outline models. There is a drop in kit for the Bachmann 08, which is at the end of the day an 0-6-0 model.
At least someone had the good manners to post what was meant at least as something encouraging, it's not really fair poster to get shot down in flames.
This is not the way to get new people into the modelling fraternity, which will add extra business to the modelling trade.
Sincere regards to all,
Rob.
Reply to
Robert Wilson
Rob In my experience this one of the more "involved" conversions shall we say. Not difficult but on the other hand I wouldn't say it was easy either....if that makes sense.
Firstly, join the EM gauge society. The manual you get is worth the joining fee alone. It has a detailed run down of how to convert a Bulleid light pacific...very little difference (in terms of conversion) to a Merchant Navy.
HTH Ian Clarke
Reply to
Ian Clarke
"Robert Wilson"
I wasn't getting at you, it was the comments about the rest of the group by John Clements which irked.
In my opinion EM gauge is not for beginners, unless they are particularly skilled. Other may disagree with this.
All of the modellers I know who model in EM had considerable experience in other scales, including building kits and developing experience before making the move.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
Oh dear!! I seem to have ruffled a few feathers. I would like to make the following points to Mr Turner in particular whom I believe is in the trade and therefore possibly has an axe to grind? 1. My reply to Robert was intended as a general reply to him about loco conversion to EM. Having noticed that no-one else had replied to his question it was intended as a general guide as what could be achieved. I am amazed that anyone would be offended as no offence to anyone else was intended. I attempted to cover the subject from as many angles as possible within my experience - I know what I've achieved but I didn't know what he was capable of and tried to cover that in the reply. 2. I built a reasonable layout in OO in the late 1970's. It had atmosphere. But I have a love of railways and the way the real permenant way looks and to me, OO can never really look right (my opinion, although many others share it). It always looks narrow gauge due to the wide crossing clearences and narrowness of track compared to sleepers and for double track layouts the proportion of the 6' way looks wrong (except for GW ex-broad gauge lines). I have modelled in P4 and EM since with success, although house moves and work have prevented a successful completion of a full layout...yet. So I do know that modellers who model in OO can and do achieve temendously high standards. To take my reply as a criticism of OO modellers is plain wrong and cynical on your part. ('let's make this guy seem pompous or patronising' or something like that) . I just feel if more people had been critical of status quo in the past we would have had a correct (or close to correct) gauge as propietary and the extremely good models (gauge aside) that are produced by Hornby and Bachmann would have been even better. The point is I would never criticise anyone else's modelling. What anyone achieves in this hobby is praise-worthy. But I can still have an opinion about accuracy. 3. I have read this message board (usergroup if you like) and have done for a couple of years or so now. I have a reasonable knowledge of railways (general) and particularly the LNER lines. I have been happy to answer factual queries when possible to help fellow modellers. I do have a pretty good grip of who writes here and I would say in terms of stock, most are 'out of the box' modellers. No criticism implied here. Many are daunted at the prospect of completing a brass or even a white-metal kit. I fully appreciate that a layout is much more than just the stock. BUT REMEMBER I was replying to someone who had specifically asked about EM conversion. 4. This leads me to come to the conclusion that you have something against the finer gauge societies and modellers?? - I think the 'bollox' gave you away.
To Robert I would reply just the following: Having read your replies, and now I know roughly where you are at, I would do nothing more than to agree with Ian Clarke's reply that as a first move I would contact the EM gauge society - I am a member and it's definitely worth joining. The only thing I would agree with Mr Turner with is that you don't have to listen to me. There are many EM modellers all with their own approaches and it's best to talk to as many as possible and pick their brains. All I can say is that so far it;'s worked well for me. The fact that you are interested says something about what you aspire to and therefore what you are likely to achieve.
Best Wishes (even to Mr. Turner!)
John C.
Reply to
John Clements
"John Clements" > wrote
Why would I have an axe to grind?
As I've now repeated twice, my main criticism was you drawing inference that there was little other than *out of the box* modellers on here, when after something like five years of contributing to this group, I for one know different.
I could have answered Robert Wilson's question at length, but am still of the opinion that if he doesn't know what's involved in converting an Hornby MN 4-6-2 to EM gauge, then he would be better served by starting on something rather more simple and perhaps under the guidance of other modellers in his local model railway club.
If Robert's experience of converting locos to EM is simply dropping replacement wheelsets into diesel locos, then I don't think he should be tackling such a complex job as his first excursion into modifying a steam loco to this gauge.
He needs guidance as to whether he can re-gauge the Hornby wheels, either by moving them on their axles or whether he can retain them and fit new axles, or as seems more likely he might be better employed by completely re-wheeling using the products manufactured by Markits or others. Axle diameters are crucial here, so it's not just a question of banging an order in for some Bulleid wheelsets. He'll have to consider remounting the final wheel gear to any new axles, and probably how to dismantle and reassemble the valve gear with finer tollerances when the loco is regauged.
I apologise if my initial response was discouraging to Robert, but to be perfectly honest I still think that if he needs to be asking such a basic question, then he should not be tackling it - at least alone.
John.
Reply to
John Turner
I have found that some in the trade do not have any expertise on the more accurate gauges and therefore actively encourage modellers to not to pursue the topic. ('You're far better staying with OO' is typical of their attitude, even though they are replying to someone actively asking). There is also a section of the trade who are nothing but inverted snobs on the issue. And finally there are those who just want to sell goods and nothing else. You do seem to have some knowledge and maybe none of these apply to you - but you still seem to be very 'anti' and your initial comments would have frightened most people off. I would add that I support my local model shop even though they deal mainly in OO, because I believe doing this. (Where I need things they can't supply I go to exhibitions or use the excellent 'Mainly Trains').
Having re-read this I am willling to concede that it does sound a bit 'holier than thou' but it certainly was not the way it was meant. I was writing to someone who was already an EM modeller who had received no replies or help from anyone else. The intention was not there to cause offence, and apart from yourself and one other, none seems to have been taken. I simply did not consider it would be of interest to many. Anyone who knows me, would know that I am not an ivory towers type modeller.
The fact is you didn't answer Robert's question and the rest was convered in my first reply to Robert.: "The rest of this reply assumes that you may want to have a go yourself. If this is your first loco conversion, I would put it down and try something simpler first - say an inside cylinder 0-6-0." and "then it's probably worth getting in touch with the EM Gauge Society to see if they can give you advice " and "Alan Gibson supplies a full set of Bullied wheels and EM axles specifically for conversion and it would probably be worth your while meeting him at one of the exhibitions and asking his advice on fitting his wheels" Yes there were a couple of points missed out (possible use of Markits wheels and suggestion to talk to widely to other EM modellers) , but it was a long enough reply as it was and would have been included on another day wen I was less tired after work.
I don't disagree with this. I made the point above about frightening off people - and to summarise, you didn't initially offer advice to Robert and then only replied to slag me off when I had at least offered some help. I am a strong advocate of EM (and P4 for smaller layouts or larger groups of people). Yes it does irk me that 50 years after 4mm modelling we are still stuck with a b*stard gauge but as I said previously, I have modelled in OO before and would never criticise anyone for whom the jump to EM or P4 is too much. I just believe they shouldn't have to make the jump in the first place. ( and of course the more people who model in the more accurate gauges would increase the chance of it being taken up by one of the major manufacturers). I'll never be a Dave Bradwell or Chris Pendlenton but I would aspire to as high a standard as possible and encourage all others to explore just how far they can go.
So my final point is a question - how do you change your name on these boards - from now on I would like to be known as 'The man who knows Zilch'.
John C.
Reply to
John Clements
"John Clements"
But you're trying to tar all with the same brush again.
The intent *was* to put Robert off, becuase without expert guidance (and he'll not get that on anything other than a specialist group, or better from people working in a face-to-face with him) he'd be likely to find the job beyond him.
I spend a significant proportion of my time telling people *not* to buy stuff because it's not suitable for them. And if I don't know whether stuff is suitable I'll try and put them in touch with someone who does.
And maybe mine was a bit on the same lines too, so for goodness sake let's put this to bed now.
Mr. Turner. :-)
Reply to
John Turner
If you actually read what I have said, plainly not the case.
agreed.
Reply to
John Clements

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