Steve Johnson    Modelmaker

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Hibberd Planet Departmental No.52

Departmental No.52 was a Hibberd Planet 0-4-0DM that worked at West Hartlepool Creosote Works. When delivered, it was incorrectly given the capital stock number 11104.

The kit is made by Nonneminstre Models and is a white metal kit. Designed to run on a Tenshodo Spud bogie, it can be fitted with a Black Beetle, High Level or similar. I had chosen to use the Tenshodo, but I wasn't happy at the slow running qualities. Another problem is that the British Railways version is a little different to the kit. The most noticeable difference being the lack of side sheets between the axles. This would have made the Tenshodo bogie quite visible as well as not having daylight between the axleboxes. I have found that with a bit of body and chassis modification, the High Level Roadrunner unit will fit with a Mashima 1015 motor with flywheel or 1020 motor without will fit and give the required daylight. In any event, all bogies would require the correct 12mm 3 hole disc wheels to be fitted.

So far, I have just taken delivery and inspecting the parts. The first item I will change is the buffers to sprung ones!

Some progress has been made with a rough assembly of the body. I am now awaiting delivery and construction of the High Level Roadrunner gearbox with 54:1 gearing so that I can make the necessary modifications and fit it before continuing. I still intend to fit a DCC decoder, but space is tight. One plus point is that the model is white metal and therefore probably heavy enough.

The Roadrunner unit duly arrived and was assembled for fitting with a Mashima 1020 motor. Although the unit is the right length, the depth of the unit caused a problem fitting the second wheel set. After a bit of a think, I decided to make a sub frame from brass that enabled the motor/gearbox assembly to be fitted at an angle. This then left enough room under the sub frame for the compensated assembly out of a High Level Kits Pacer gearbox kit. Gibson sprung pick ups were fitted to both the motor/gearbox unit and the trailing wheel set assembly and wired together. The performance is very good and being a compensated chassis, provides reliable and very slow running.

Having solved this hiatus, I just need to finish off the bodywork!