Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Toby in the Workshop 8

Toby has now been fitted with battery pack and radio control. The boiler has been temporarily fitted and new handrails have been fabricated.
The final jobs are to fit the smoke generator, the sound card and speakers. There's no room left inside for a 2 inch speaker so I'm waiting for a couple of small laptop speakers to arrive from eBay.
Hopefully Toby's transformation should be completed sometime next week.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Thomas the Tank Engine and His Friends Discuss G Scale

Thomas and his friends on the Sandwell Valley Railway discuss if they are good for promoting G Scale, or if people seeing them conclude that G Scale is simply all about toys.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Toby in the Workshop 7

Toby's cab sides and windows have now been tidied up and the paint touched up.
The windows have been glued in place.
Toby's boiler can be glimpsed through the cab door.
Toby undressed. The funnel extension from the smoke box lines up with the funnel on the cab roof.  The wires from the smoke unit will pass down the funnel.
The lower half of the boiler is boxed in to leave room for the battery pack and electronics to be installed.
Toby's eye operating mechanism has been painted matt black. This will not be boxed in. Hopefully it won't be noticed behind his driver.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Toby in the Workshop 6

Top to Bottom: Boiler, rear cab back, front cab back.
Work on Toby has stalled lately. I've still got to tidy up and paint the cab and window openings.
Meanwhile I've fabricated backs for both cabs and started work on the boiler.
The cut out in the front cab back is for the Toby's eye mechanism.
The boiler is being made from 38mm plastic waste pipe. The smoke box and firebox have been made from a No More Nails container.
Toby can't have a complete boiler because of the location of the motor and gearbox. Also enough room is having to be left to add the battery pack, sound and R/C components.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Toby in the Workshop 5

Toby's windows have now been made and his cab floors painted.
Toby with glazing temporarily in place.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Toby in the Workshop 4

Floors have been made for both cabs, so now Toby's driver and fireman have somewhere to stand.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Toby in the Workshop 3

All opening have now been cut out, including the side windows. The red circle which can be seen through the left hand cab window is the bottom of the smoke unit.
A slightly different view of Toby. The smoke unit and motor block can be seen more clearly in this photograph.
A view showing the smoke unit in place.
Toby is based on a LNER class J70. A lot of information about J70s can be found at
This is what a J70 looked like with the body removed.
A side view of a J70 with the skirts removed.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Toby in the Workshop 2

The cab openings and windows at the rear of Toby have been cleaned up. There will be plenty of clearance for new floors and backs in the cabs. I'm thinking about cutting out the side windows too.
A rear view of Toby. Doesn't he look much better now that there's a view through the windows and cab sides?
There is still a lot of tidying up to be done to the front cab. This view shows that the eye operating mechanism will need to be boxed in, but again there is enough clearance to fit a floor and cab back.
Thoughts are now turning to how the cabs will need to be fitted out. I've scanned a couple of pictures from book number 7 "Toby the Tram Engine" published in 1952.
It looks like the Bachmann Toby's windows are far too small and the funnel isn't right either.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Toby in the Workshop

With James now ready for action, it's Toby's turn to be fitted with battery, R/C, smoke and sound. This is going to be a longer job as I'm considering cutting out the doors and windows. Meanwhile this is what Toby looks like with the body removed.

The first job will be to remove all of the existing wiring, switched and PCBs.

Since this morning I have decided to have a go at cutting out the doors and windows - a high risk strategy for a numpty like me!
I've drilled out the corners and used a Dremel to roughly cut out most of the plastic.
The body is thermoplastic and is melted as much as cut by the Dremel cutting wheel, but here's the result.
I think Toby looks better already with the cabs opened up. Tomorrow I will have a go at tidying up. Please wish me luck.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

James Ex-works

The work has been completed and James is back in one piece.
The speaker was fitted in the tender.
James' new driver.
The plug and socket connection for the speaker wires between loco and tender.
Hopefully James will be to flex his wheels outside on the SVR tomorrow - weather permitting.

Monday, 5 January 2015

James in the Workshop 4

The wiring has now been completed for the sound card. Aux 1 switches the sound card on/off and Aux 2 sounds the whistle. The speaker will be fitted in the tender.

Testing the smoke unit. I've used the original polarity switch to switch the smoke unit on/off. The master on/off switch in the cab switches everything off, including the smoke unit.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

James in the Workshop 3

The smokebox, including smoke unit, has been re-fitted. James is no longer cross-eyed.

Battery and R/C wiring connected and ready for testing. Sound card, speaker and wiring for smoke unit still to be done. It works.

On/off switch and battery charging socket in the cab.

James in the Workshop 2

 Stage 1 is to strip out all of the original wiring - PCBs, switches and pick-ups.

The complete wiring harness removed.

Stage 2 is to create more space in the boiler for all of the components that need to be placed here.

This is being done by bending over the two metal plates.

Here are most of the components that need to be fitted, except for the speaker. The receiver and speed controller are from Timpdon Electronics, the smoke unit is a Seuthe No. 6 10-14V from Gaugemaster, and the wiring harness, 12V battery pack and sound card are from Peter Spoerer.

The battery pack will now fit above the motor.

The funnel has been drilled out and smoke unit glued in place, held by coffee stirrers while the glue dries. The operation seems to have sent James cross-eyed!