GEM's Cardean

Discussion in 'Kits, Kit bashes & Scratch builds' started by Wolseley, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    GEM's kit of the Caledonian Railway Cardean 4-6-0 was introduced in, if I recall correctly, the mid 1960s. It was a body and tender kit only, and was designed to fit the Tri-ang B12 chassis. Crude by today's standards, it was a pretty basic kit in its day, lacking the finer detail of some of GEM's competitors' kits but, at least, it filled a gaping hole in the market.

    I used to have one, although I have to admit that I more or less destroyed it almost 50 years ago, after a botched attempt to turn it into a Caledonian 60 Class 4-6-0.

    I recently got hold of two GEM Cardeans for a reasonable price (quite an achievement where obsolete kits of Scottish pre-grouping locomotives are concerned). Neither is particularly well finished, although the actual construction of the kits has been done to a reasonable standard. One of them is a non-runner but, at worst, it can be put right by replacing the motor which, being an X04, shouldn't be hard to find a replacement for (I have a sneaking suspicion that I may even have a spare one somewhere). I will also have to convert them to three rail, otherwise I won't be able to run them on my layout, but the chassis and wiring are so simple that this shouldn't present any problems. Both locomotives are, however, crying out to be dunked in a container filled with paint stripper.....

    Two Cardeans? Well, I only planned to have one, but when the second one (the non-runner) turned up, hardly anyone seemed interested in it, and I got it for about a quarter of what I have seen them change hands for on eBay. Maybe I'll turn it into a 60 Class. After all, I'm pretty sure that my modelling skills are considerably better than they were in 1970.....

    I'm not sure when I'll get around to doing anything with them, but here's what they look like:

    Cardean.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2019
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  2. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Photo looks dark on my phone (may be my end) but from what I can see, both look nice.:thumbs:

    the choice, as they say, is yours!
     
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  3. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    Looks like the original is a bit too dark. I didn't use the flash because it makes everything look washed out. I just edited the photo to lighten it up a bit. The next photograph I take of them I'll do outside in natural light.....
     
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  4. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    I'll have to think of something else now - I just managed to get hold of one of the old DJH 60 class kits.....
     
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  5. Andy_Sollis

    Andy_Sollis Full Member

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    Take it that’s not a Brush 60 your talking about? :avatar:
     
  6. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    That's some sort of diesel thing, isn't it?
     
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  7. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    I had thought of turning one of them into an earlier 49 class 4-6-0, with the wingplates removed, so that the two models look a bit different. I now find, however, that 49 and 50 didn't lose their wingplates until overhaul in 1924 (all of the "Cardeans" kept their wingplates to the end) so I would have to paint the engine in LMS red to be strictly correct.

    The thought of having both models in Caledonian livery complete with wingplates, doesn't really appeal, as there is hardly any difference, appearance-wise, between 49 and 50 and the "Cardeans" other than the safety valve cover. I now find myself wanting to do something a bit different with my extra Cardean, in order to get more use out of it. I am now seriously thinking of turning it into a model of either McIntosh's proposed Atlantic of 1906 or, perhaps a bit more adventurous, his proposed Pacific of 1913. If I do that, though, it will be the subject of another thread, not this one.
     
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  8. Echidna

    Echidna Full Member

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    Hello Wolseley and other,

    1 / re the burned out X04 motor, you could try a new can motor instead. On You Tube Sam's Trains How Much Do Model Train Motors Really Cost GBP 2 vs GBP 27 ?

    His basic test comparison indicated that a new GBP 2 can motor from Ebay looked and performed the same as Hornby's GBP 27 version. So for GBP 2. it is not a great outlay if it does not suit.

    2 / last year pre Covid-19 a club member was disposing of a deceased estate which included a GEM Caledonian liveried Cardean, nicely built per the kit, beautifully painted ( the deceased was a Draftsman of the old school, so all hand painted, no transfers ) ran ok ( needed a good clean and oil ), but it was the first Cardean I had actually seen.

    For an early 1960s white metal body kit, I was quite impressed, despite no cab detail, I thought that it was a nice casting that was made into a nice model, looked "right", and from arm's length, a very creditable model, so I think you have done very well there.

    3 / I look forward to seeing and hearing about your experience in revamping the currently dead Cardean.

    4 / At a subsequent ( and to date the last ) meeting, a K's GCR 8K / LNER 04 2-8-0 completed as a ROD / GWR 30xx from the same estate was brought along. As I recall the K's ROD came out some time after the GEM Cardean. I did not think the completed ROD was as good a casting as the GEM Cardean, the ROD currently has an as yet undiagnosed short circuit, and it too lacks a detailed cab.

    Bearing in mind that a plain green, shirt button emblemed GWR ROD is intrinsically austere compared to the CR liveried Cardean, I just felt that the K's castings seemed a bit rough in comparison, though compared to the current Bachmann ROD, the K's ROD did not stand out as being out of proportion, and from an arm's length at the "normal" 3/4 front view, the K's still looked quite good.

    ( I cannot recall where I recently read of using a car primer filler spray paint, in a pressure pack can, to fill rough castings so as to give a better base for the next primer coat may be a solution to the rough castings of some w/m castings. )

    5 / So, as Wolseley has indicated, even though these white metal kits date from the 1960s, they can still end up being made, or crafted into a reasonable model, especially when at arm's length hauling a rake of vehicles around the layout !

    Best wishes and regards to all, Echidna.
     
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  9. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    Well, I finally got around to three-railing one of the Cardeans' chassis. GEM's Cardean, and Prince of Wales for that matter, were designed (with compromises) to fit the Tri-ang B12 chassis, and three-railing the B12 is fairly straightforward - just a matter of fitting a Marklin skate in place of the two-rail pickup, making sure that it is positioned so that it clears the front screw that holds the pickup assembly in place (the rear screw is dispensed with as the screw that holds the skate also serves to hold the rear of the assembly in place. In addition I shorted out the insulated drivers using electrically conductive paint.

    When I put the chassis on the track, it took off at typical Tri-ang speed and kept doing circuits of the track with no problems whatsoever. When I fitted the body though, it short-circuited. I'm pretty sure I know where the problem is, but I've had enough fiddling about with it for now, so I'll tackle it tomorrow.

    I'm in two minds about what to do with the second Cardean. I was thinking earlier of turning it into a model of McIntosh's stillborn Atlantic, with the main part of the work being the chassis, as dimensionally the Atlantic was virtually identical to the 903 class, however I am now thinking I might cut a bit out of the middle of the body and turn it into a passable representation of a Dunalastair IV - it could look the part, so long as you don't run a scale ruler over it.....
     
  10. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    As I suspected, the short was caused by a live wire touching the metal body. Easily fixed with a bit of insulating tape.

    Here's how I fitted the Marklin skate:

    Cardean 1.jpg

    As for the rear coupling, I had a spare Dublo style plastic coupling with a very long shank (Jouef or Playcraft maybe?) that, after filing a bit of metal away, fitted perfectly on the rear tender bogie and, as a bonus, the end of the shank fitted inside the bogie frame in such a way that it restricted the coupling from moving too far to the left or right:

    Cardean 2.jpg

    Cardean 3.jpg

    here's the complete loco. Whoever painted it was a bit heavy handed with the lining, but it looks good from a normal viewing distance. I will repaint it at some point, but I'm not in a hurry:

    Cardean 4.jpg

    Cardean 5.jpg

    And, just to show that it goes, here it is in action:

     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  11. jakesdad13

    jakesdad13 Staff Member Moderator

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    Hells bells! That is a rocket!!!

    Pete.
     
  12. Wolseley

    Wolseley Full Member

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    It's faster than my Dublo Mallard......

    Jim
     
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