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1062 posts


its all bin said the gas tanks are replaceable with a better designed unit that is all I know about the Rocket as it's a model I have not dealt with my knowledge is limited if RAF 96 is thinking as me as the expert then sorry no is the answer 00 gauge steam maybe and as for expert remember an EX is something that was? And a SPERT is a drip under pressure!!!!


1062 posts

The paint has been ordered but before any paint can be applied I need to carry on finishing some of the detail to the chassis.

The engine needs some good old Great Western cross heads I could use the ones in the kit but these need to be made up from about 3 parts and all soldered together what I normally do is look at what Hornby have made and buy some of there’s and make the necessary changes.

The side bars support bracket from the kit looks ok and as this assembly will need to be strong as it will encounter forces that a normal electric engine wouldn’t face when running under load.

Looking at the parts that go to make up the Hornby cross heads the piston rod needs cutting off along with the vacuum drive parts these can be remade if possible later. Also the connecting rod which is riveted to the cross head wants to be removed and a hole drilled through and threaded 1.2 mm for a nut and bolt assembly to hold the stronger con rod of the live seam A3 type engines.

It was decided that the 2 square lugs on the side bars could have a slot filed in them and the corresponding support bracket from the kit could also have slots filed in place and the two could then lock together and with some solder make for a very strong assembly.

The picture here shows filing of the side bars as mentioned.

Next was to file the slots in the support bracket. This would had to maintain the correct distance between the bars for the cross head so after a little filing the 2 parts were fitted together just to see how things were going on. Here the support bracket is being filed to take the slide bars.

You can see in this picture the finished parts with the slots all that is needed is to fit them together and solder them in place.

The Hornby section at the other end holding the side bars together can then be cut and this part needs a support bracket made up so the completed unit can be screwed in place on the chassis.

Now all soldered together they make a very strong item next will be to sort out how this will be fix to the engine it is best that like the Hornby engines it is not fixed to the body as this will make servicing harder but to fix it to the chassis in some way.

A set of spare cylinders were used to test out the fit and how far the cross head travelled up and down the side bars all looked ok so now a bracket to hold them in place was made.

This picture is of the new bracket which is soldered to cross head bars and uses the 2 Hornby holes in the bottom of the cylinder assembly shown here with two Philips screws holding the bracket in place. This keeps every thing built onto the chassis.

Now with this part complete the body can have some of  the detail fitted. Looking at this picture I see I need to add some wheel weights as well to complete the chassis before I carry on the build of the body.



1062 posts

Hi Chrissaf

£12 one must have gone £24 is a bit steep I wonder if it will copy 


1062 posts

Hi Anthony 

there is one for sale of fle bay I think for £12 check it out 


1062 posts


i have my fathers carpenter tool box I have never used any of his tools as I can still feel him behind me saying keep your stick fingers off my tools.



1062 posts

Yes Rob recognise that set up no doubt dad would have I think he had a set I remember with brown stringy looking plugs now it a tipped drill bit and a hammer drill.

thats like the railways I was watching an old film taken in 1947 of the major junction replacement at St Pancras it had man carrying rails, sleepers and cutting rails by hack saw They were tuff in them days.

i could try reproducing them if your interested.



1062 posts


5170 looks like it was at Stratford in London not Shakespeare country I hope which would be a possible engine as most of my family came from Stratford east London

One of his first jobs when moving to the signalling department was to knock holes in a bridge wall somewhere in Stratford for clips for a signaling cable. He told me he spent a day and a half knocking holes for fixings in the very hard blue engineering bricks he said it took dozens of chisels to get all the holes in this was using a hammer no modern electric tools then plus up a ladder.

when the foreman came round to check he said "why didnt you go into the cement between the bricks that's a lot easier " dad said he didn't anything as he was new in the job having moved from a messenger from Liverpool station but years later when walking passed the bridge he would look up at the wall and all that hard work. No doubt if I knew the bridge the cable might still be there?


1062 posts

Hi Rob 

thats a good point what to paint and finish the engine in maybe you and others could put forward some ideas here.

i was just going for GWR green G W R on the water tanks but had not thought of a number other suggestion in this field can be considere.

So let's hereyour ideas



1062 posts

hi joe

not out the woods yet still problems around the corner no doubt Rob took the time to work out wheel speeds which i did ask Alexa and i think she agreed i say think as she runs on if you ask her someing complicated which reminds me of a bloke i worked with if he was unsure he would run on like a that hoping to wear you down with rubbish.

i was never that good at maths so will pass i can remember at school the teacher saying 3d a hundred weight how much a ton? i would be thinking of what would i want a ton of? and if i did buy it where would i keep it?

but back to the engine and now i'm looking at the following..........

Having run the engine for some time now and happy with its performance finishing off some of the other parts can be under taken.The tender boiler being one of the next jobs as it was thought that heat generated here might damage the servo motor and so some lagging was fitted.The front section had a thick heat proof mat glued in place as here in these pictures.

 The rest of the boiler had a thinner material  glued all around the surfaces of the boiler the reason for the thinner covering was that the boiler is a very tight fit on the inside of the body sides.

The next thing to tackle was the front boggy wheels the wheels I was using were some in my spares box not sure what they were for but these Hornby wheels along with the truck fitted perfectly the only problem I had was some times they would short out on the cylinder covers. Others may have found this out with there live steam engines if curves are too tight.

To resolve this problem I decided to make the wheel centres a little smaller and then make up some new tyres.

But first I noticed there was a lot of sideways movement on the axle in the frames all due to the fact that the hole through the casting was a bit on the large size so some brass bearings were made up and pressed in place as in this picture.

The wheels had there old tyres machined off and the black plastic centres also machined down a faction.

Then the new tyres were machined up from stainless steel as in this picture here and pressed onto the plastic wheel centres.

Once the wheels and tyres were all made up the flange out side diameter was machined down to a set size and the back of the wheel flange was machined to give a good true running finish.

Here you see the 2 wheels complete and ready to fit in the truck frames I did spin them to make sure they had no wobbling side to side and they looked great.

The wheels in place a test run will prove if all this has worked of cause what will happen when the body is fitted I’m not sure there could be a problem with the wheels shorting on the front buffer beam but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Next the safety valve changes.

There was at least a 4 mm gap between the top of the supper heater and the inside top of the boiler shell and a short copper pipe which would run from the Hornby safety valve to the GWR type safety valve might just work.

The picture and drawing here shows the lay out of the parts.

The parts were made up as you can see in the pictures here notice the small hole in the copper pipe this should line up with the GWR| bonnet, testing will prove how successful this will be.

Next thing to build was the oil tank switch.

This pictures shows the parts to the switch that replaces the Hornby switch fitted to the regulator arm.

The switch contact is connected to the printed board at the rear of the chassis to work the LED.

I’m not sure if I will use the 2 colour LED as an indicator or just a single red LED.The light from the LED will shine via a fibre optic cable to the engines rear oil lamp.This lamp will show a dim red light at all times but when the switch closes in the oil tank the light will become much brighter telling the driver the engine is about to move off.

Here is the switch fitted and the red wire connected to the PCB all this needs to be tested out.

The drawing here shows the idea and lay out of the warning lighting system.



1062 posts

Walking the dog

Called it a pocket rocket and it was steamed up yesterday with the new boiler and at one point shot off the track on a bend so move fast when it wants to.

You might have thought that as this engine has smaller wheels it might run a bit slower. Engines with small wheels give more pulling power but not so much top speed not like the 6 foot drivers on express engines which were tuned for speed.

What speed the very small wheels on modern rolling stock turn at when doing 125 mph who knows as the 6 foot drivers must travel much further along the track per revaluation.

My father said that engines like the Detic when they came out did break the fish plates on the track with too much load on a small area of rail joint.

Well now having completed a few runs with the new water tank I filled the engine with water and run non stop against the clock till it stopped out of steam the time recorded was 28 minutes so very pleased with the out come.

Will keep at it now and look forward to finishing what will be a nice little engine so many more parts to make and fit so will carry on posting the work as it is completed.


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