This was the result of one of those ‘good ideas’ you have from time to time. For my EM layout Bawdsey http://bawdsey.wordpress.com/, I’ve been building up the motive power and stock to reflect Eastern Region Practice in the late 1950’s through the early 60’s. As such I’d got hold of a Bachmann Derby Lightweight DMU which I’d converted to EM gauge. I’d done this using a Branchlines conversion kit. As I did this I swapped the OO wheels from that unit back into this my 108 unit which had provided the original DMU service on Bawdsey.
As I’d found a couple of Slaters scissors corridor connection kits in my pile of ‘to do’ stuff I thought I’d use them for the Derby lightweight. (These were items I’d bought in the 80’s for use on a Lima 117 DMU makeover, but never got round to using). A wonderful plan apart from once I’d removed the endplates from the etches, the endplates and scissors as seen above, were too wide to fit between the Derby’s exhausts. So I now had two DMU’s that wouldn’t work for me, the Derby still had too wide a gap between the corridor ends, and the 108 that whilst close coupled still niggled as not being quite right, there being a visible gap between corridor ends.
I took the easy way out, I tried fitting the paper concertina bellows into the Slaters unit as a dry run, (see top above), and fitted that to the end of the 108. This showed a massive improvement, so out with the soldering iron and I built them carefully soldering captive washers at the joints to keep the belows active.
My first option was just to make one unit for expediency. It looked ok butted against the original plastic version, but it was clear they were two different types, and types of construction. Even allowing for the new one painted they were still going to look odd. So I bit the bullet and put together a second corridor, and I’m so glad I did. The pic above just shows them as an interference fit hence the different heights on the ends.
As I have the unit close coupled I was able to loosely fit the connections, and couple the units. This mad a huge visual difference and immediately I knew I’d made the right choice to do this conversion. Running through a crossover the unit bellows gently compress and expand keepng the coupling under tension, but not tight. Such a small difference makes a really big visual impression.
Next job involved the regulation application of Halfords black primer to both units before the final fitting. The spray was misted across the bellows units, which has allowed the scissors to still function.
Whilst not a fast job, it was at least an evenings modelling to get the corridor units together working and painted, its a job that has been really worthwhile. I didn’t get the Derby done, but I did get my eye back in for soldering small functioning joints, which has spurred me on to complete a functioning lattice post LSWR starter signal, and got me back into making signals, one of which is required for a book project. The final benefit is I’ve ended up with a 108 that will now go straight into ‘stock’ for East Dursley, a project layout I’m working on. (Theres a link on the right hand side here but it’s currently not active.) I also have a Blue Grey variant too so I know that can be done next evening I want to build something ‘complete’, which gives a really satisfying feeling. I now have to get some corridor etches from Masokits, to see if theirs fit any better for the Derby unit, so I’ve not finished with DMU’s just yet!