I brought a couple of very nice, secondhand O9 locos and I wanted to get them up and running.
First, this little red loco. I really like the model, particularly the red livery, but there are a few things I wanted to change. The couplings have to be changed to my standard coupling, the Greenwich. The current chassis was an old Grafar 0-6-0 and I hoped to exchange it for a Kato 103. Finally, I was not sure about the figure. He’s really well painted but he doesn’t look quite right for an English layout.
The Kato chassis was just slightly longer than the cavity in the loco body.
So the first job was to cut the chassis to size. Now here’s something you dont see every day – a Kato chassis wrapped in cling film. I read somewhere that one modeller wrapped a chassis in cling film before cutting it to stop dust and debris getting into the mechanism. It seemed to be worth a try.
I used a razor saw to cut approximately 2mm off of each end.
I’m pleased to say the cling film worked well, no dust got in the mechanism.
However, there was more cutting to do. The cavity in the loco body was designed to accept the Grafar chassis and it would have to be extensively modified to get the Kato chassis inside.
I used a small Dremel drill with a grinding bit to cut away at the body. Cutting the resin was really messy and made a lot of unpleasant dust. Here’s the result. I’ve added a couple of strips of plasticard to stop the Kato chassis moving from side to side.
I’m pleased to say the modified body fitted the chassis very well.
I fitted a 2mm diameter bolt to hold the chassis in place. The seat was a very useful useful way to conceal the bolt.
While I was working on the chassis I removed the N gauge couplings and the seat. The coupling blocks came off when I removed the N gauge couplings.
To finish the loco, I glued the coupling blocks back on, added the Greenwich couplings, and repainted the seat, the buffer beams and the chassis. Here’s the loco after a spray with ‘Dullcoat’ matt varnish.
I must admit this was much more work that I expected and cutting the resin chassis was not a pleasant task. However, I’m pleased with the result.