I've been assembling a diesel outline, battery powered loco using a kit of parts. It is an IP Engineering "Jack", bought at the 16mm Association Garden Railway Show in 2008 and no longer available. I don't know which prototype it's based on (if any), but this Fowler locomotive, seen recently at Amberley Working Museum, has some features in common: (If anyone can find a picture of something with a closer resemblance to an IP Jack, I'd be interested to see it.)
It's a fairly basic kit, so at the same time I bought various bits from IP to improve the appearance. To a certain extent, it's up to you where you stick the "dress up" bits. I ended up with a few extra parts as IP sent me a couple of bags of bits from another kit to replace some badly cast parts.
Most of the parts that weren't fixed by screws were glued with thick, gap-filling, superglue. However, I decided that a good fillet of epoxy was the stuff to use for fixing the front casting to the bonnet.
I decided that the standard arrangement of a plain buffer beam with a couple of M3 panhead screws could be improved by adding some rivets. I used real rivets but cut them short and glued them in place with Loctite, as I didn't need them to be functional.
The buffer beams fixed together for drillling
Inserting the rivets (the excess Loctite just wipes off)
Filing off the protruding ends of the longer rivets
The next improvement was to file the top corners of the front casting to match the radius of the sheet metal bonnet. "Before" on the right, "after" on the left.
Some of the painted parts being hardened off in the oven
The chassis with the motor fitted and wired and ready for the footplate to be added. I had got this far with the unpainted chassis some time ago but then the original gearbox failed and I had to decide what to do about it. In the end I paid for a new motor and gearbox kit from IP. The old gearbox was enclosed by two castings glued together and I decided that an open box would be easier to repair in the future. I've mounted the motor between two axles rather than at the front, as the instruction show, as I may need the space behind the buffer beam later. The yellow sand box covers were done on a whim; I thought they would make a nice contrast to the rather sombre colour scheme of the bodywork. In any case it makes them easy to spot if left lying around ;-)
Just about finished externally.
I decided to omit the bonnet fixing screws (it locates fairly snugly over flanges on an internal plate) and cover the holes with various items. You just have to remember not to pick it up by the bonnet!
I bought some extra handrail knobs and a piece of brass rod to make handrails along each side of the bonnet. I chemically blackened all the handrails and the coupling pins. They're more grey than black, but I think they look better than brass for this sort of loco. Certainly the coupling pins would be steel, not brass.
Cab roof screws are M3 reduced-head hex machine screws.
The spectacle rings are glazed. They're flat watch glasses, 0.7mm thick; surprisingly cheap and available in 0.1mm diameter increments.
I used the same screws for the front buffer beam as the cab roof.
Not very visible, but I made some safety chain eyebolts to replace the rear buffer beam fixing screws. I might make some more for the front. They're just slotted screws with a square section single coil spring washer glued in the slot.
Still to do:
Add a driver and some cab internal detailing.
Fit the front light bezel.
Fit loco number plates and a manufacturer's plate.
Maybe a step each side at the front.
Replace the manual speed control with remote control (but not a model aircraft style joystick type).
Add a white light at the rear and red lights front and rear, suitably controlled.
Various other functional mods, to be decided!