Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Wheels on the Sentinel...

.....go round and round.

Which is something of a relief.

It isn't a great photo but it is a great leap forward for me. Early this morning I got round to fitting the Ultrascale EM gauge wheels to the Sentinel, and slipped in a cheap and cheerful Hornby 8 pin DCC decoder. It would have been a ten minute job if they hadn't started gluing the brakegear on to the chassis. And yes I know the body isn't fully seated in the photo, it will be coming off again soon as I need to pack the decoder a bit more carefully in the cab and disguise it a little.

But hey, I now have my first functioning EM gauge loco, and it ran like a dream.


  1. Brilliant news James, so that is one down with how many to go ?

    1. Geoff,

      Good question. A 14XX or the pannier should really be next but in either case it will mean diving into chassis construction. I don't think I'll need to convert anything other than that this year with the rate I'm making progress.. It is the Leamington show this weekend so I might get inspired to make another push, and I've also got the EMGS pointwork jigs on order.I could do with a day off and some sunshine to encourage me to get baseboard construction underway.

    2. The 14XX can be fitted with EM drivers rather easily James, in fact my very first conversion was done by dropping the Airfix wheels out and new Gibsons in, I even retained the old Airfix coupling rods and pins, it all worked rather well as a stop gap until I had cut my teeth on etched chassis. Assuming your Pannier is a Bachmann model then an Ultrascale drop in conversion will easily sort that out, many people have assumed that my own Pannier has an etched chassis and have been surprised to find that isn't the case, now there is a lesson to be learned there don't you think ?

      The advantages of taking such an approach is that it will allow you to get up and running rather quickly thus maintaining interest which I feel is essential when you change gauge.

  2. Geoff,

    I might take that approach to the Pannier then. I know the 14XX needs quite a bit of work on the body>Incidentally where did you get the tank vents for your 14XX? I've lost one so I might as well replace them.

    1. James,

      Try for GWR tank vents,

      You can find all you need to know about the Pannier chassis conversion here
      A little weathering, the thinning down or replacement of the brake pull rods and some decent etched balance weights make a world of difference to the chassis. Body wise not much work is needed, a turned smokebox dart, sandbox control linkages, extra lamp irons and etched No.plates really lift the model.

      So, for say a mornings work you will end up with a really decent Pannier which is the perfect GWR branch loco.

    2. Thanks Geoff, I think that definitely moves the Pannier to next in line, even allowing for the lead time from Ultrascale, especially now I believe his wheelsets include balance weights