Resurrecting a Duchess...

Discussion in 'Collectors and Vintage Rolling Stock' started by Wolseley, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    ... or two or three or four.

    A while ago I was looking for a Hornby Dublo Duchess tender to match up with a tenderless Duchess of Montrose I picked up cheaply a few months earlier but ended up buying three of them. Why three? Well the vendor had a low starting price (yes, we're talking eBay) and no-one else put in a bid, so I ended up with three tenders for less than most people were asking for one.

    The consequences of this were, of course, that I had to seek out two more tenderless Duchesses to go with two of the tenders, which I duly did. As this was to be at a minimal cost, they are rather battered things, but intact and complete.

    First was to be the Duchess of Abercorn in that odd LMS dark blue-grey livery that was also applied to one other locomotive (a Jubilee I think, but I'm not sure on that). The tender I was to use had a noticeable lean on it, so I bent the tabs on the tinplate to remove the body from the chassis and bend the body back into shape, only to find that two of the tabs snapped off - someone before me had been playing around with it (that's probably how it got bent) and you can only bend these things so many times.

    I was wondering what to do about it, as the poor thing just didn't sit together properly any more, until I came across a picture of the City of Leicester in LMS wartime black livery (Leicester was one of the batch of unstreamlined engines that had the curved footplate like Montrose and Atholl rather than the stepped one that most Cities had. It had a streamlined tender with the extended sides, and then I remembered I had a tender body from a (present day) Hornby streamliner lying in a box - bought for a conversion I never did. So the first of the three Duchesses will end up as the City of Leicester, and here it is:

    P1010280a.jpg
     
    Gary likes this.
  2. Toto

    Toto Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Very interesting. Mind and keep us up to speed with the mods and transformation as it happens. Duchesses. Hmmmm lovely loco's.

    Cheers

    Toto
     
  3. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    Certainly got your work cut out, but great to see these old stalwarts brought back into action.

    Paul
     
  4. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    I just removed the bodies and had a closer look at the two chassis (there are three locomotives in total to be resurrected, but one is still in transit and hasn't arrived yet). Both were sold as non-runners, and now, after having a closer look, I can see why. One was easy to fix - the soldered joint between the pickup wire and the brush cap had broken - I reconnected it and it worked, although it still needs a good clean and service. The other one will need a bit more work - someone has cut off the wires that connect the pickup to the motor and it's missing the motor magnet, one brush spring and the TV suppression thingy. Fortunately I have spares of all those parts to hand. As long as the armature is OK I should be able to get it running again.

    Oh yes - and I've ordered City of Leicester and Duchess of Abercorn nameplates from Fox Transfers.
     
  5. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    Not one of my best photographs, but see if you can spot the missing bits:

    P1010284.jpg

    .... and it's also missing one rivet from the valve gear.
     
    Gary likes this.
  6. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    Well, I've just finished spending an hour or two (I didn't look at the clock to check when I started) cleaning the chassis, fitting the missing parts (thankfully at no extra cost, as I had what I needed in my not very comprehensive box of spares), unbending and generally fixing up the valve gear and lubricating everything, and it now works, and has turned out to be rather a fast runner, even although I fitted an old Dublo magnet rather than a neomagnet. My wife put the television on when I working on the chassis, which meant I just had to leave it running and walk into the next room to check that there was no interference - and there wasn't.

    Speaking of magnets, Murphy's Law proved itself once again when I put the chassis on the track, put the switch to "forward" and the chassis went backwards.....

    That's enough for one night. Touching up the missing paintwork and tidying up the chassis can wait for another day.
     
    Gary likes this.
  7. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    I'll probably touch up the paint on the chassis tonight - there's a bit more cleaning up to do, as I just realised I had forgotten about the front bogie (which I had previously detached) when I was working on the chassis. In the meantime, time to start on the body:

    P1010287.jpg

    There's a bit more of that white surface film on the cab on the other side, inside the body and on one of the bogie wheels. Thankfully it hasn't gone so far that it can't be easily fixed.

    Incidentally, we're babysitting today and I put the chassis and tender frame on the track and sent it around and around for about ten minutes - our youngest grandson couldn't stop laughing - he's only 1 but he obviously saw that there was something odd going on....
     
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  8. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    Getting there:

    P1010302.jpg
     
  9. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    I have got as far as stripping the locomotive body and removing the moulded lines and "LMS" from the tender, but I'll have to change my plans and use a different locomotive for my City of Leicester and use this one for my Duchess of Abercorn. I will have to open up the slots in the footplate that hold the smoke deflectors but otherwise there is nothing to undo. I filled the slots in as the City of Leicester, in the form I am modelling it, does not have smoke deflectors, but the other two will have them. The Duchess of Abercorn will also use a standard Dublo Duchess tender.

    Why the change? Well, I thought I had purchased three Duchess of Montrose models but one, which arrived today, was a Duchess of Atholl (the original Dublo Duchess, without smoke deflectors). No, the vendor didn't send the wrong item - I just forgot what I had ordered. The other surprise was that, although it looked worse for wear in the not very good eBay photograph, the locomotive body which, rather oddly, is fitted to a Duchess of Montrose chassis, actually scrubbed up quite nicely - what looked like wear and tear was mostly just dirt. In fact, the paintwork and transfers turned out to be in much better condition than my existing Duchess of Atholl. Aside from a few minor scuffs and scratches, the only thing detracting from its appearance is that the heads of both buffers have broken off, and they can easily be replaced.

    So the model that started this thread will become the Duchess of Abercorn, my existing Duchess of Atholl will become the City of Leicester, the other one (name not decided on yet) will be painted in lined LMS black and possibly lettered "BRITISH RAILWAYS" and today's arrival will replace my existing Duchess of Atholl.

    And the City of Leicester and Duchess of Abercorn nameplates arrived today too.....
     
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  10. paul_l

    paul_l Staff Member Administrator

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    It has cleaned up well, what primer/undercoat/paint will be using ?

    Paul
     

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