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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For my birthday last year my son got me a etched brass & white metal loco kit & it is far beyond my modelling skills & wondered if anyone knew of a reasonably priced builder. I've called a couple & their asking for nearly 900 pounds & a 18 month waiting time which i think is rather expensive to say the least. I don't want to sell the kit as it was a gift & i do want it building because it will make a really nice model once complete.

Thanks.
 

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900 Pounds and a 18 month waiting list !!!
There are ready made white metal loco's far more cheaper than that price.
Please do yourself a favor and do it yourself. Take your time and enjoy doing it.

By the way what loco is it?

Baykal
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Its a Craftsman Lord Nelson & i couldnt build it my eye sight isnt what it was & i,ve looked over the instructions & parts & its not for a begineer to kit building. The thing is i have a thing for southern engines as a boy we spent many holidays away from the dales down in southern england & i spent most of my holidays by the railways watching all the express trains heading into & out of London & i would like this loco to be built as i remember the Nelsons.
 

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Sorry to hear about the eyesight.

Maybe Peter, one of MRF's Mods might give you an advice on how to proceed cause kit building is his territory.

Baykal
 

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Are you within regular driving range of Bournemouth? Does the kit have wheels, motor etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Im in northern england i have got all the wheels on order from markits & i managed to pick up a motor off ebay. The last time round when i was modelling some years ago Portescap was the motor to buy & managed to pick up a rg4 dirt cheap so it will have what i belive to be a decent motor.
 

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well where do i start with this one?

i would like to see the kit before committing.
take a look at my bench thread and decide for yourself if you are happy with the standard of my work. (i would post a link but i am in a cafe and the internet is creakingly slow)
but its in the "on my work bench" and the thread is called "an update on my bench" i haven't updated it since i went for my Christmas break and it might be on page 2 of the work bench section by now!

is the kit complete? and what parts are included? i have recently done an LNWR coal tank and the whole thing went like a dream. i used a high level gearbox and Gibson wheels. and frankly they are so good i really don't see the point in using anything else. the RG7 is a good motor but i would want to use gibson wheels rather than markits.

Next comes the finish? would you like it painted and if so what livery?

in terms of timeframe i am pretty flexible (it also depends on how much you are willing to pay for the work) i can do things in a hurry but i would want more money. but i am getting busier and busier.

i wont rush a paint job.

Hope this answers some questions and doesn't look too much like i am begging for the work! i am trying to make this awkward transition from student into married man and frankly i need evry penny i can get!

Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well i would like the loco finished in brunswick green with a late crest. The kit is complete & in as new condition im not sure where my son picked it up from but i have had a proper look at the parts & it is complete. Changing the wheelsets isnt a problam i can cancel my order as the cheque has not gone out the door yet to Markits. Someone told me the other day that Gibson wheels rust i dont know wether their is any truth in that but thats what he said are their any better choices i can make for wheels rather than gibson or markits? Im not in a big rush for the kit building as i would like it built & painted properly.
I will message you privately from now on Pedro.

Thanks.
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 4 Jan 2009, 23:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>i am trying to make this awkward transition from student into married man and frankly i need evry penny i can get!

I'm sort of doing it the other way round, but I know what you mean!

Alberta - Having seen Peter's work first hand i can only say it's superb.

regards
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well after a chat on the phone to Peter last night my Lord Nelson is making its way south to the works im getting excited about it already.
 

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*** Granted it looks expensive but have you considered the skill and time required?

After all, whats the charge-out rate for a chippie or a plumber or any spotty first year apprentice to look at your car using a computer - Its certainly in excess of $A75 per hour here for the spotty kid and the car anyway... well in excess of that for a plumber!

To build, paint and line the simplest of kits with the addition of details equivalent to a current RTR level is in excess of 40 hours work... and a hyper detailed loco with lots of additional scratchbuilding can be upwards of 200 hours (I know because I diarise my own work times, and I'm not slow when I get going on it).

Certainly, I've spent far longer than any apprentice learning my building skills... as have most pro builders of quality. So... I if I was to build professionally I'd think I deserved professional rates for my time - which is after all, also my personal modelling time!

I actually will not currently do any work for others as I'm too busy on other projects but when I do get asked, which is quite often, I usually respond - OK, my labour rate is discounted to $50 an hour.... but I can't quote as each kit is different (which it is). I then point out a couple of my locos and indicate the time spread possible (it averages about 60 hours and goes up to 200 hours for the dozen or so I have on display).... Generally that finishes the discussion :).

So - GBP900 = appx $A1800... Thats $45 per hour for an average simple loco - to me, to be honest, it looks fair enough.

So... I don't think anyone really ever overcharges for their work that much, however, I do know a couple of "semi professional" builders who do charge a lot less because its an important part of their hobby - and they simply like doing it!

I'm please Pete seems to be one and can help you - he does a very good job!

Richard
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 5 Jan 2009, 07:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>i used a high level gearbox and Gibson wheels. and frankly they are so good i really don't see the point in using anything else. the RG7 is a good motor but i would want to use gibson wheels rather than markits.
Peter

Hi Peter

Agree very much about the Hi-level gearboxes but I'm very curious about your comment on Markits wheels - I use both Markits and Gibson depending on the loco and find Markits very good indeed - their newly tooled wheels in particular are very correct, and they are also sold with the correct etched balance weights in full loco tender sets if you specify the loco they are destined for....

Markits current production that is, not the older wheels still lying around in kit boxes from decades ago - they are a nice virtually RP25 profile and always perfectly concentric - the only change I make is to use some "square holed" spacer washers I had especially etched for me to take them out another 10 thou in back to back as I like 14.75~14.85 as I find it better for running qualities on all trackwork with these (and Gibson wheels) too...

I have also skimmed the back of the flange to slightly refine it if the loco is destined for very very fine scale track with 0.8mm flangeways... easily done with the dremel and fine wet and dry.

Richard

PS: Are you removing the Gibson tyres and then properly re-pressing/glueing the tyre back onto the wheels? It only takes a moment and is really well worth doing, as they are famous for coming apart just after you've laboriously added all the valve gear or brake parts... This applies to Gibsons loco, pony and tender wheels etc...
 

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good morning richard.

very interesting replies thankyou. as i am relativly new to this business i dont really have a pricing plan and when people say "how much would you charge for xyz" i really have no idea what to say.

i know roughly what i charged for the coal tank and i adjusted my pricing for the nelson to account for its complexity. but to be honest i have no idea if i quoted too much or too little. i know i am a fairly good builder but i also know that i can get a really good finish on a loco so i price for the build and paint seperatly to give people the opportunity to use an alternative painter if they desire.

my girpe with the markits wheels is not so much the look of them (i agree with you that the new scale wheels look supurb) but getting the darn things to sit square on the axle i have always found a real pain in the neck. with the coal tank i experimented with the gibsons and with the quatering tool i have they were fantastic. i may well experiment again with the markits wheels but for now i want to stick with what i know i can make work vey well. i know that with one click from the quatering tool i can get a set of gibsons perfectly square with correct back to backs and perfectly square on the axle.
having said that my long running project W1 hush hush has romford wheels and it is running very nicely too.

i have removed the tyres from older gibsons but the newer ones seem to be far better.

Peter
 

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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 6 Jan 2009, 19:32) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>my gripe with the markits wheels is not so much the look of them (i agree with you that the new scale wheels look supurb) but getting the darn things to sit square on the axle i have always found a real pain in the neck. with the coal tank i experimented with the gibsons and with the quatering tool i have they were fantastic. i may well experiment again with the markits wheels but for now i want to stick with what i know i can make work vey well. i know that with one click from the quatering tool i can get a set of gibsons perfectly square with correct back to backs and perfectly square on the axle.
having said that my long running project W1 hush hush has romford wheels and it is running very nicely too.

i have removed the tyres from older gibsons but the newer ones seem to be far better.

Peter

Hi Peter - good morning to you too!

As to charging for bespoke kit work, its a matter of both parties being happy - My post was only a "food for thought" sort of thing really - in the end, as long as both ends of the deal are smiling, thats all that matters.

RE markits wheels:

I generally rub the wheel back gently on a bit of 100mm x 200mm x 12mm customwood onto which I have glued some fine-ish wet and dry. (I do the same with most wheels, including Gibsons as they aren't always careful about cutting off the injection mould feeds).

I then do a very gentle pass of a square swiss file into each side of the squared hole - jst to make sure there a no casting dags anywhere. Its really just a gentle kiss of the file so to speak. That, plus the etched square holed washers and all will usually assemble square.

I also like the Gibson wheels though and as you say, with a good quartering tool like the GW models one they are a breeze.

It's nice to hear that the newly produced Gibsons are holding onto the hub better! Rusting can be an issue but I tame it with a chemical blackening and the odd touch up with the fibreglass brush -the look of the steel wheel is very nice and makes it worth while. (The steel wheels also grip better on NS rail, so a Gibson wheeled loco generally pulls well)

If you'd like to try them, I can put a full fret of those Markits compatible shim washers in with that CD rom of other info I PM'ed you about... remind me when U respond.

kind regards

Richard
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 6 Jan 2009, 10:15) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Peter
PS: Are you removing the Gibson tyres and then properly re-pressing/glueing the tyre back onto the wheels? It only takes a moment and is really well worth doing, as they are famous for coming apart just after you've laboriously added all the valve gear or brake parts... This applies to Gibsons loco, pony and tender wheels etc...

Ok the wheels for the saint have just arrived and one of them has shed a tyre so i am now glueing them! what glue do you use? i was thinking about a thin superglue?

Peter
 

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** Hi Peter

Yes, thats what I use. Give the hub a bit of a clean off with some alcohol or similar first - there will be a wee bit of mould release still on it (same with the tyre - wipe it over to thoroughly remove any residual cutting lubricant).

After applying make sure the tyre really is aquare on the hub then wipe any excess off with whatever you prefer - it only needs a thin smear to hold really well if the parts are clean...

Richard
 
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