The DJH BR Standard 3
A First Attempt at Building a complete kit
By Steve Aidridge
As a modeller, who has gained a great deal of pleasure from converting proprietary loco’s. It was with, not a little trepida-tion, that I embarked on this project.
I have always been (very) nervous of build-ing chassis’ and the accompanying gear, and to this end have used good running proprietary stock, which only needed cos-metic surgery. It must be said that, before Crownline produced their etched brass Southern Q kit, a conversion was available from an Airfix Midland 4F. Apart from the tender wheels (and motor) and a little piece of smoke box after shaving away eve-rything else, you still had to make virtu-ally a complete kit!
A great pal and fellow clubmate, Dave Cox (sadly an EM and 7mm
enthusiast), who, I think, encouraged me from the beginning to improve my RTR
stock, sold me, for next to nothing, a DJH BR Std 3 2-6-2T.
Fortunately for me, it had been gathering dust in the back of one of his cupboards, and he wasn’t going to build it, as he was on to 7mm 0 Gauge.
Now I have always been a lover of tank loco’s (Stanier, Ivatt and Fairburn) and I think, best of all the BR Std 4 80xxx 2-6-4T. I didn’t have an excuse, I had the kit and so ... I started it.
History of Prototype.
Unlike many of the standard designs, the Std class 3 was not a development of ex LMS locomotives. They, along with their 2-6-0 (77xxx class) tender counterparts, were designed and built at Swindon.
Some 45 members of the class were built. It appears that the class was really surplus to operating requirements. With Fairburn 2-6-4T’s and Ivatt class 2 being the basis for branch line running and the BR Std 4 80xxx holding the heavier suburban routes, was there a need for these ? They weighed in at 73 1/2 tons, with an axle loading of 16 1/2 tons and a tractive effort of 21,490 lb. They were built be-tween 1952 /55 and the last of the class (820 19/29) were withdrawn in July 1967.
The loco’s were fitted with a Swindon No.2 boiler, the same
fitted to classes 51 xx, 56xx and 81 xx , but were shortened by 6 inches to
fit the chassis. Other changes to the boiler included a dome which enabled the
fitting of the standard top feed and regula-tor, as well as the usual standard
Livery for the loco was Mixed Traffic lined black. However, once in the hands of the Western Region were repainted green and adopted the later BR crest.
The loco’s found themselves on all Re-gions, but the greater numbers going to the Western and then Southern. The loco I have built (82013) was allocated to 72A Exmouth Junct., in Sept ‘62 to 71A Eastleigh and finally in Oct ‘62 to 70A Nine Elms to replace the old M7’s to run empty coaching stock into Waterloo, with the occasional GPO staff train from Clap-ham Junction to Kensington Olympia. Withdrawn Jun ‘64.
DJH have always appeared to have com-prehensive instructions. These are very good. The chassis is built using quite heavy gauge brass and this fits together really very sim-ply. I must say that the kit is supplied with eve-rything needed to complete, except motor, paint and decals. The wheels supplied are Romford’s and the square axle ends, do make it very simple to quarter the wheels.
At this point I fitted my motor, a Portescap RG4. This very smooth running unit drives the centre axle. I made my first mistake here, I should have used plunger pickups as supplied by Alan Gibson, but instead chose to use Phosphor Bronze strip. Unless you are very careful, when you put the body on.. it shorts every-thing out. I didn’t find this out until I had built the body a few days later!
The valve gear and coupling rods are made of heavy nickel silver, and, unlike many manufacturers do not require that several layers be soldered together to achieve pro-totypical thickness. Although the instructions are really quite explicit on the construction of the gear (I would recommend a prototype photo though as confirmation) all moving parts require the use of rivets to connect.
Unfortunately only sufficient rivets are available to complete the model. I ruined several, trying to hammer them to achieve the correct spread. I also broke one quite fine piece of crank rod. A quick telephone to Grandspot DJH and replacement parts were immediately sent (including extra rivets).
This was customer service at its best!!
At this point, I should warn you, that the valve assembly will make or break your enthusiasm. If you put on each piece and mirror the action on the opposite side, a test run should confirm whether there is any bind-ing. If there is, it can only be one of the two parts just installed. (I am sure I am teaching some people to suck eggs, but I didn’t know!) After I had taken my valve gear apart after completing one side, then the other... be-cause I had some binding, I discovered the testing rule.
I wish manufacturers would suggest this. It certainly is very impressive when fin-ished and running properly though.
Apart from some fine detail, the only white metal is a preformed boiler, firebox and leading running plate. This makes the body really quite weighty, good for traction. The cab, water tanks and bunker are all fabricated from etched brass sheet. I soldered everything I could, and, it is re-ally quite a strong construction. All parts fitting without hardly any adjust-ment. Detail parts were fitted using super glue, as most of these were white metal.
I did add a Crownline brass turned chim-ney rather than the cast white metal sup-plied and Jackson sprung buffers.
After a good scrub in Flash (left to dry!) and a quick burnish with a fibre brush the model was ready for paint.
I used car undercoat from Halfords in a spray can. A second light coat a couple of hours later ensured complete cover. I then used matt a black spray (Humbrol), two light coats once again. When this was dry, I lined and numbered the loco using PC Models Presfix decals, and with a bit of patience, made the lines quite straight. The model was then matt spray varnished. This, naturally will ensure the decals get fixed in place, but it also acts as a good surface for the Carr ‘s Modeling Powders to weather it.
(Hopefully Graham Plowman or I, will write up our weathering technique in a fu-ture issue).
On reflection, I am quite proud of this model.
It has received some satisfying comments down at the Crawley Model Railway Soci-ety, none more praising than the original owner Dave Cox. It took me about 70 hours to complete, and, if bought new, would work out much less than £1 .00 per hour of totally engrossing model making. I am now feeling confident enough to try a rebuilt Merchant Navy (when I can afford it).