Beyond Triang

By Garry Hall

For my sins I am a happy Tri-ang TT modeller and where possible like to use their locos/chassis's etc for modifications or new builds.  Repaint/rename is easy, conversion or new build a little harder.  Due to certain limitations conversion is not always possible so I have ventured into making some chassis and body kits. I started doing my TT kits well before I joined the 3mm society so knew nothing of the different gauges, chassis width etc.  My first one was a 9F which I guessed Tri-ang may have made if they had continued.  This was an easy Tri-ang style to reproduce by just measuring and drawing the Britannia chassis outline for motor and fixings.  Then I altered the base to accept 5 Jinty wheel sets keeping the centre one as in the Britannia.  Wheel spacing was just made to suit the chassis and look reasonable, no attempt at "true scale" was made.  I did want a slightly better valve gear representation though.  The coupling rods are double thickness, as are the chassis sides, with crankpin holes to suit Tri-ang ones as well as their screws. Spacers were slot and tab giving a strong chassis when soldered up.  A new pony truck was also etched to fit in with the design.  The tender is a standard Tri-ang chassis but a scratch built top as I wanted the high sided type for something different.

View 9F by Garry Hall

Having managed to win an old BEC 2P kit I needed a chassis for this.  The instructions as you will know stated the use of a K's tender drive which has long since been deleted so I decided to try a small Mashima which I obtained as a Tri-ang XT60 would not fit.  I drew up the outline as best I could then cut a plasticard one out to see if it would fit, once satisfied The wheel spacing's etc were drawn along with the coupling rods and bogie.  As this loco would have to use Romfords the rods and crankpin holes were a lot finer. Due to using a different motor I also drew up a gearbox mount so I could use Romford gears along with the Mashima.  This was in two parts as one part had was adjustable slightly for the mesh then soldered to a clip to always keep it in mesh if ever something needed to be changed.  As I am not keen on a tender assembly that includes the wheels fitted during building I also drew up a tender chassis to suit. This enabled a separate chassis to drop in and out if required.

View 2P by Garry Hall

After a couple of chassis's I thought about doing a body to fit on the Tri-ang chassis and after a fair bit of searching came up with the N7. This was made to scale drawings, length , width etc but made to fit around the Jinty chassis which I had to measure and draw to check the fit of parts around the motor etc.  This meant the chassis could be seen between the boiler and footplate etc but as it would be black then it was not an issues, and, it was similar to a lot of the old GEM and BEC kits. Being drawn in CAD and etched allowed the grills and coal rails to be made as one to aid assembly.  Due to the motor size and position a round top firebox was out of the question unless I went completely out of proportion.  A new rear pony truck was etched to be fitted into a new drilled and tapped hole in the chassis, or, have a separate fixing (included in the etches) glued in.

View N7 by Garry Hall