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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As pointed out by a poster on a previous thread we wandered off track and started a topic within a topic. So I've started a new topic Kit building! fun or torture!! How many of us have heard about a particular kit of such and such a model, bought it, got home only to find that it's thousand parts with an instruction sheet that reads " Fit parts 1 to 1000 and see picture". I can remember back when kits came with exploded diagrams and written instructions on how to put them together. Now you get a picture with lots of little symbols and arrows and a picture of a finished product and you build it and it looks nothing like the picture. The Dapol kits are fairly simple although they are starting to show their age as the moulds are starting to wear. The Cooper Craft kits are really good with excellent detail, Romford wheels, brass bearings but the instructions could use a little work. Parkside are similar in quality and both have an excellent range. Walthers and IHC, both american, have an excellent range of building kits that could be modified to suit for say industrial buildings and if you want a massive turntable Walthers have one though I doubt that any English modeller would need a 120' turntable. So how many kits do you build? Plastic, card, metal? No need to limit this to plastic buildings and rolling stock as there are quite a few metal kits out there.

Ozzie21
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dennis, It wa quite common for me when I was teenager and getting 2quid a week to scratch build a building from carboard, actually artist board which is a bit thicker and better quality, and cover it with brickpaper. I used to make buildings from plans in MRC and RM. I built a lot of Alan Downes plans from RM. I think the series was called " In Search of Realism " in the early seventies.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (Dennis David @ 4 Apr 2006, 13:03)I've build kits by Piko, Kibri, Pola, Vollmer and Faller, Vollmer had the best instructions but I end up buying the buildings I fancy from whoever makes them. Never had any need to resort to cardboard for buildings though.

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Kit building. Depends on manufacturer!

I hate Superquick kits. Every time I build them, it says something about some part of which I'm unsure, and then it takes me five minutes to scour the sheets for the correct part. By then, I've lost where I was on the instruction sheet (Normally, there are about four "instructions", each containing 30-odd sub-parts
)!

Plastic kits- love 'em to bits. A lot of the buildings in my possession have been hacked about from Airfix kits- they go together really well, and are the "other side" of kit building. I'm modelling a preserved rail centre at the mo', and the Airfix prairie is ideal- particularly when you add a bit of detail, and knock it about to make it look like a "bog standard" 5100 class tank, ex-Barry (of course!).

German HO kits are also a joy to build. They can be quite complex, but are very satisfying, and so long as you just keep on doing what it says in the instructions, you'll get what you want...

Kind Regards,

RM
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes you have to love those ancient Airfix kits, their like a Timex take a beating and keep on ticking along. I'm in the process of bashing together a couple of water tanks to make a larger version and at $12 each they are a bargin. Ahh Superquick I see from your post they haven't changed still as much fun as ever. I'll have to get one now as it's been over 30yrs since I've built one and I like a challenge. As for the European stuff well Heljan and Faller I remember and Kirbri was a bit expensive so I didn't build them. Maybe I'll find something like Bath Green Park In amongst that lot.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (cig1705 @ 4 Apr 2006, 22:11)Kit building. Depends on manufacturer!

I hate Superquick kits. Every time I build them, it says something about some part of which I'm unsure, and then it takes me five minutes to scour the sheets for the correct part. By then, I've lost where I was on the instruction sheet (Normally, there are about four "instructions", each containing 30-odd sub-parts
)!

Plastic kits- love 'em to bits. A lot of the buildings in my possession have been hacked about from Airfix kits- they go together really well, and are the "other side" of kit building. I'm modelling a preserved rail centre at the mo', and the Airfix prairie is ideal- particularly when you add a bit of detail, and knock it about to make it look like a "bog standard" 5100 class tank, ex-Barry (of course!).

German HO kits are also a joy to build. They can be quite complex, but are very satisfying, and so long as you just keep on doing what it says in the instructions, you'll get what you want...

Kind Regards,

RM
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As to powered locos etc., methinks that DJH are the top range. Complex, yes, but you could build one of their Pacific locos out of the box without having built a DJH kit before- as long as you follow the (generally good) instructions. Alas, DJH stock is at the top end of the price range...

Nu-cast kits are quite good if you've built, say, the DJH starter kit and possibly the ex-LBSCR C2X or something simple like it first. They are cheaper and still relatively easy to build, with a massive range of engines for you to spend your life building. However, a lot of the kits are ex-K's kits, and are lacking on detail compared to DJH.

Etched brass- Uuugh! Too hard for me to build. I can stumble my way through, say, a side tank kit with metal or pre-rolled boiler, or an EMU kit, but more complex stuff, no. Etched brass sides are pretty good, though. Cheap way to build an EMU or odd vehicle round a redundant coach, and something I can do!


Kind regards,

RM
 

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I am not really a massive kit builder as my construction skills are limited But i would recommend dapol kits to all modellers they may not be totally accurate but they are fun and easy to build after that I would recommend coopercraft kits as they are simple and include uncommon prototypes including provender wagons I have never really attempted card kits are they any good?
 

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I've done two superquick card buildings, the first was a goods depot which wasn't too difficult the second was the footbridge kit. I think my choice of adhesive had something to do with it but I couldn't get the stairs to stay attached to the bridge part. Eventually resorted to sellotape. It worked.
I've also done 2 parkside kits, the first was a bogied wagon which again was for the most part straight forward despite the lack of blow up diagrams however the bogies are a bit tight and don't tend to go round curves. The other was a brake van which was easy enough. Its a pity you don't get at least a basic decal sheet with them as it would really help finish the job off.
I have a metcalfe platform kit to try out and their pub which looks pretty complex.
 

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QUOTE (Ben Manicom @ 4 Apr 2006, 17:44)Thanks I have tried two parkside kits one Plate wagon which is too light to b used effectivly on my trackwork and a Python cct which has a knack of derailing everywhere are brass kits and whitemetla kits hard to do as i have never tried
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Ben,

Depends on who made the metal kits. May I suggest you begin with a DJH kit? They are quite expensive, but their starter kit is £60 for the diesel (Cl. 02), and £70 for the industrial steam loco (w.outside motion). Both come with motor, wheels, gears etc., and can be assembled with glue.

You may want to progress to a DJH inside motion 0-6-0, or outside/inside motion tank loco before going any further.

SouthEastern finecast are another "good manufacturer" particularly for the S.R. or G.W.R modeller, whilst Nu-Cast (type either into a search engine to see prices, whilst www.sefinecast.co.uk lists the SEF+ SE Flushglaze range). Other than that, I suggest you ask someone else about whitemetal stuff- very mixed bunch. If you want an etched brass model, why not start with sides, particularly if you are a S.R. modeller (the best kind there is :) ), since there are lots of EMUs you can create from redundant coaches.

Your "too light" Parkside kit probably needs some weight. Model Rail (check this issue or www.model-rail.com) supplies some tiny lead balls called "liquid Lead" that you can hide under a load, or mount on the underframe. You can also stick 'em in locos (such as motorised Airfix/Dapol railbuses etc.) and coaches...

Kind Regards,

RM

P.S. One manufacturer I forgot to mention is G.E.M. models. They produce a very nice NLR 0-6-0T in whitemetal (as seen on Cromford and High Peak Line and now at Bluebell). You can get very easy to build G.E.M. chassis, and M.J.T. etched brass sides for those essential EMU conversions from www.mainlytrains.com- highly advised, with great service and prompt delivery!
 

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>I have a metcalfe platform kit to try out
Start saving your empty breakfast cereal boxes, you need them for the "foundation" of the decking. My one platform so far has been immensely satisfying. It's about 5 foot long with a gentle curve at one end. You can barely see the joins between the platform surface tops. The self adhesive edging is a nice touch.

Metcalfe kits make up into nice models. I prefer them to Superquick though it's almost 30 years since I built my first Superquick. It doesn't look like they've changed either. :-(

I use one those roller pizza cutter style blades for cutting and a 12" steel rule.

David
 

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I got the metcalfe kits a couple of years ago but after the superquick footbridge incident decided against assembling them. I reckon I'll need a fair few platform kits as I would love to run a full length HST and 225 set. With coaches a foot plus in length it may have to remain a dream.
I have seen the 2 DJH starter loco's and wouldn't mind having a go at one of them. Maybe have to get off my butt and go do some modelling soon.
 

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Metclafe viaduct looks good- RM says it looks like a SR viaduct...

Hmmmm... could do with an MN heading up six Pullmans across viaduct to harbour!

Metcalfe kits, whilst marginally more expensive, have vastly better instructions, quality and a better range than Superquick, though there are some things (e.g. Regency houses) that Metclafe don't do, but Superquick do offer
 

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I think its a single track one in 00 but i'm sure you could kit bash 2 into a double. I also plan if this layout ever gets beyond the planning stage to have a fancy bridge of some sort over the staircase into the loft. Maybe a curving viaduct would be ideal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Spongebob, The DJH kits aren't difficult to build but they are time consuming depending on the method of construction you use. There are two ways to build them by a combination of glues usually epoxy and superglue, and by soldering. I don't like the glue method so I solder everyone. Now soldering a kit is not without it's hazards as you can use two methods either standard solder or low temp solder. Standard solder works great on brass etchings though you have to be careful of the size of the etching as the bigger the part the more heat it'll take to get the joint to solder but it's to hot for whitemetal and will just melt it away. Kits with whitemetal and brass etchings require both types as white metal has to low temp soldered. For that you need a good temperature controlled iron and a good non acid flux and some basic hand tools including a taper reamer. DJH instruction sheets are okay though not as concise as the Australian kit instruction sheets. The NSWGR AD 60 Garrett, of which I've built two, has about 25 pages in it's instruction sheets and would probably be the most time consuming one to build. The most difficult one I've built is the NSWGR 57class heavy mountain 4-8-2. This was a 3 clyinder loco with Gresley conjugating valve gear mounted on the front of the footplate. This is replicated in working form. One major difference between kits for both countries is ours come complete with wheels, Markit/Romford RP25 drivers, Motor usually a Mashima and a gearbox usually NWSL and of course ours are to HO scale and not to OO though in terms of loading gauge ours isn't that much bigger. And yes get get off your butt and have a go. Ohh and if you do get a small glass fibre brush, great for cleaning castings and etchings prior to soldering.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (spongebob @ 5 Apr 2006, 08:07)I got the metcalfe kits a couple of years ago but after the superquick footbridge incident decided against assembling them. I reckon I'll need a fair few platform kits as I would love to run a full length HST and 225 set. With coaches a foot plus in length it may have to remain a dream.
I have seen the 2 DJH starter loco's and wouldn't mind having a go at one of them. Maybe have to get off my butt and go do some modelling soon.
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Whether a kits any good or not really depends on the manufacturer and whether they can be bothered putting in decent instructions.

I've found the German plastic kits Vollmer Faller, all pretty good. The Walthers plastic ones are good but DPM are a bit vague on instructions.

Metcalfe are pretty good, Superquik are a bit lacking instructions wise. Hornby and Peco kits are pretty easy but they are also pretty basic. The Town street models are straight forward to assemble. The main issue is getting plaster to stick to plaster.

I only ever attempted one loco kit which was an Australian one. Can't remember the makers name, was from somewhere in New South Wales though. That pretty much put me off. It was awkward to assemble and ended up costing more than
a ready to run and to be honest it doesn't look that great. At the end of the day while I enjoy making kits, I am going to spend more time running a train than building it. So after that experience I no longer bother with Loco kits. While after building a few you may gain the skills to make perfect kit loco, I don't have the money to waste with the first few attempts going wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes that can happen. My first attempts were all rolling stock, guards vans, s & k trucks and like. My first kit was an 18 class similar to a 3F jinty. Then I just kept going. Sure the first couple had some minor hassles but you can always go back and fix that. The most fun is fitting DCC but that's another story.

Ozzie21

QUOTE (neil_s_wood @ 5 Apr 2006, 10:31)Whether a kits any good or not really depends on the manufacturer and whether they can be bothered putting in decent instructions.

I've found the German plastic kits Vollmer Faller, all pretty good. The Walthers plastic ones are good but DPM are a bit vague on instructions.

Metcalfe are pretty good, Superquik are a bit lacking instructions wise. Hornby and Peco kits are pretty easy but they are also pretty basic. The Town street models are straight forward to assemble. The main issue is getting plaster to stick to plaster.

I only ever attempted one loco kit which was an Australian one. Can't remember the makers name, was from somewhere in New South Wales though. That pretty much put me off. It was awkward to assemble and ended up costing more than
a ready to run and to be honest it doesn't look that great. At the end of the day while I enjoy making kits, I am going to spend more time running a train than building it. So after that experience I no longer bother with Loco kits. While after building a few you may gain the skills to make perfect kit loco, I don't have the money to waste with the first few attempts going wrong.

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I have been put off some of the metal kits just by the way they look when finished. As a more modern image diesel modeller there is always the option of buying a resin body and using a suitable donor chassis. Considering that a lot will run from a lima chassis or more recently from bachmann ones You can have a one off loco for the cost of a full metal kit without the aggro of trying to make it look right which judging by some of the MTK kits I have seen is virtually mission impossible.
 

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QUOTE (spongebob @ 5 Apr 2006, 17:24)I have been put off some of the metal kits just by the way they look when finished. As a more modern image diesel modeller there is always the option of buying a resin body and using a suitable donor chassis. Considering that a lot will run from a lima chassis or more recently from bachmann ones You can have a one off loco for the cost of a full metal kit without the aggro of trying to make it look right which judging by some of the MTK kits I have seen is virtually mission impossible.
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Never buy MTK unless there is nothing else for it!

However, No Nonsense Kits (www.nnkits.co.uk) have refurbished some of the old MTK toolings, and have made them into decent models. They are your best source for a 313/314/315/507/508 family unit. Looks quite good from what I've heard of it...
 
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