Keith M's workbench. Another day, another 'project'!

Discussion in 'Workshop Benches' started by Keith M, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    A few days ago, I grabbed a Lima Class 117 3 car DMU fairly cheaply (£37) on Ebay, sadly not in BR(SR) green, but you can't have everything. These did appear on the Southern for a time, so an excuse to have one, and presently, the Lima incarnation is the only one available, although Bachmann have one in the pipeline for next year. Hopefully mine will eventually end up costing me less than the new version despite my intention to update it. It's in decent condition, sold with "Motor tries to run" in the description, and indeed after a little attention, it ran reasonably, but I'm not keen on the Lima 'pancakes' as they tend to be "All-or-nothing", even after DCC converting, so the existing motor/bogie has to go. I've ordered a Tenshodo motorised bogie from Scalelink, and a full new wheelset from Alan Gibson, as they do sets with the narrow 24.5mm axles that Lima used, some tiny 4 pin plugs/sockets for the lighting, a DCC decoder and as I'm out of LED carriage lighting strip, 5 metres of that too, so it'll be a waiting game for that lot to arrive. Apparently, the rear trailer car on the 3 car sets is not strictly accurate as it's portrayed as a brake, which is not correct, but Silver Fox models do a conversion kit to sort this, and I've already got that, so a start can be made. This is the set as received though my intention is to repaint it in BR(SR) green once the bodywork etc is sorted.

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    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
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  2. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    After stripping the rear car, each side has to be cut, the part side removed and replaced with the Silver Fox kit side panels. I've cut out the existing and glued both new panel parts into place today, so awaiting the Araldite to set so further work can commence. Here's a view of the car with replacement side panel alongside to show what happens next.

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    The kit comes with a replacement seating section, extra partition etc, and although not particularly cheap, is well detailed to match the Lima moulding.
     
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  3. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Things have progressed somewhat since I received the motor bogie from Scalelinks (ordered Sunday, arrived Tuesday, spot on service!), and as on a separate thread, it was converted to enable me to use a DCC decoder to control it. Luckily the original Lima motor bogie outer frame was, with a little 'cut and shut' made to fit onto the new Tenshodo bogie, and Araldited in place, bracket attached to allow mounting onto the Lima chassis, and I decided to leave the tension lock coupling as it was.

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  4. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Nice project Keith ... somehow I cannot imagine the rail blue scene working too well on your layout. :avatar: I'll follow your dmu progress with interest. :thumbup:
     
  5. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    The Tenshodo bogie has 35mm wheel centres, the original Lima bogie only 34mm, but as it's so close (and I couldn't find a Tenshodo listed with 34mm centres), at only half a mm out per wheel, I can live with that! (No rivet counters here!). As yet, I've not received the new wheelsets from Alan Gibson as I only ordered them yesterday by 'snail mail order', but they have 12mm wheels whereas the original Lima ones are 11.35 according to my micrometer, so they'll be very slightly larger diameter. That being the case, I drilled the Lima chassis to fit the Tenshodo bracket onto, and all seems pretty level to me as even with new wheelsets the non-drive end will only be lifted by less than half a mm, so if needed, I can always add a packer to the Tenshodo mount. This is the result so far.

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  6. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    This shot shows a bit clearer how the Tenshodo is mounted to the Lima chassis.

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  7. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Now returning to the bodywork, as until the new wheelsets arrive that's all I can really do on the chassis, although I am also working out how to install red/white direction lights front and rear. With both sides 'cut and shut' and new panels glued in, here we are ready for initial primer. This almost always shows up bits not originally noticed that need a bit more fettling, and so it proved.

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  8. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I've just primer coated all 3 bodies initially, awaiting full drying before further work, but in the meantime I'm working out how to install directional lighting front and rear of the 3 cars, plus interior lighting all through. I did find a 'one-man-band' company called "Black Cat Technology" in Chesterfield (not a million miles from where I live!) who does a bespoke direction and interior lighting kit specifically for the Lima Class 117, but at around £40, I'll pass on that and work my own out, especially as I've already ordered the materials. When the bodywork and lighting is sorted, I'll be painting the interiors and adding passengers, after all, if you're going to draw attention to the coach interiors by lighting them, then they'd look a bit odd without passengers.......all in good time!
     
  9. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Nah, they'll be BR/SR Green Paul, in fact at this stage, they're halfway there, in grey primer!:giggle:
    I'm not particularly a DMU (or EMU for that matter) fan, but for the era I model, they were part of the scene, so perhaps a 'necessary evil'!:hammer:

    Keith.
     
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  10. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Well either way you have a good deal there Keith. Are you going for the whisker front or small yellow panel ?
     
  11. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    They were actually a full yellow front in the BR Blue Paul, and I've masked the fronts off so as to retain that, though I've no idea if that was the case when they were used on the Southern. I notice that the Lima Class 117 sets that were available in BR/SR Green still had "W" in the coach numbers (they were I gather "Borrowed" from the GWR and presumably repainted) rather than "S" and again I'm not sure if that's correct so I'm rather hoping that someone (probably 'SR Man') with far greater knowledge than me can throw some light on the subject. I'm in no rush to repaint yet so no hurry for additional information.
    Keith.
     
  12. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    In between other projects, I've been plodding on with working out how to fit front and rear lighting to the cars without resorting to buying 'proprietary' kits at extra expense. I decided the easiest way was to fit dual 2mm Red/White 'Lighthouse' type LED's, but there's not a lot of room at the front for these so a bit of head-scratching ensued! The actual light apertures in the DMU bodies are a little under 2mm, so I opened them out to just over 2mm with a reamer so that the 'tower' part of the LED was a nice sliding fit. Then it was a bit of careful measuring to cut two slots in the chassis front lip to allow each LED to poke through, more measuring and drilling to fit each LED though the underside of the 'control panel', drivers/second mans seats, and out of the underside of the complete seating unit. Here you can see what I mean hopefully, LED for size comparison.

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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  13. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Once the driver and second man are fitted and the partition to the cab rear, none of the connections should be seen, especially with the interior painted. The idea is for the 'tower' part of the LED's to poke through the body light apertures once the body is refitted onto the chassis. This is a front on view of the LED's in place. Sorry about the poor focus, (phone camera).

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  14. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    So with the LED's in position, it's now 'How to fix them'? as I've found that most glues seem to react with the LED body and soften or completely melt it. I decided the best way was to superglue a small piece of Veroboard under the seating unit and solder the LED's directly to that so they can't move. Here's what I mean.

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  15. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    There is sufficient clearance (just!) under the seating unit to clear the board, resistors and wiring, the masking tape is temporary until the glue holding the wiring sets (Superglue sometimes melts wiring insulation so "UHU" used here). The idea is to keep the wiring in place at least until everything is fitted back together, which may be a while yet!

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  16. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    This is the front of the chassis showing the small notches cut into the front lip to clear the LED's and allow them to poke through and hopefully engage in the body light apertures, that's the idea anyway!

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  17. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    This will hopefully show how it should all fit together. Basically, the seating unit is flipped from that shown here, clipped into the existing retaining notches, and the wiring will be soldered into the small veroboard at the motor bogie end (rear in this case) of the chassis. The second white Plasticard piece is for the DCC decoder to be fixed to, it's connections can then be made directly to the motor bogie below for pickups and motor connections, the remainder will be connections for external and internal lighting, a 4 function LaisDCC decoder being used for this. The rear car wiring will be similarly treated except for there being no motor bogie at that end, external lighting being fitted in exactly the same way as the front unit. So far, so good!

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  18. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    A bit more progress today on the motor car, seat base clipped in, wiring from the front has been connected to the Veroboard strip above the motor bogie, DCC decoder wired in, programmed and lighting tested.......All ok so far.

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  19. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    I've deliberately left a small amount of excess decoder wiring to allow bogie swivelling without straining connections, and as this part of the chassis is the guards compartment and I won't be lighting this part, it's unlikely anything will be seen anyway. In the pic below, you can see that there is a Green and a Purple wire still unconnected. I won't bother with cab lighting (I'd need 5 functions to enable each cab individually rather than the 4 this decoder has), so the Purple wire won't be used, but the green will be used for interior lights. I'm still awaiting the 4 pin mini plugs and sockets from China as yet so further work on this driving chassis will stall for now. I still have the rear trailing car to do the wiring and LED's in, although there won't of course be a decoder at the rear end, just external and internal lighting. Until I get around to respraying the 3 coach bodies, I can't install interior lighting, but this is very straightforward anyway, and all the seating and floors need painting too, so plenty left to keep me busy in between my other projects. How did I ever find time to fit work in before I retired I'll never know!:avatar:

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  20. Keith M

    Keith M Staff Member Moderator

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    Moving on a bit further today, so I've now got the rear car to the same point as the driving car, seating fitted and underseat wiring completed. We're at the point of being ready for interior painting now, but here is the underside view of the rear car showing how I've organised the wiring. Where the white Plasticard attaches to the existing brown seating is where the extra seating supplied in the kit is now attached.

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