Kerr Stuart diesel

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Andrew
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Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by Andrew » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:01 pm

Hello!

With the proportion of "proper" Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog stock on my railway gradually increasing, I've been thinking about a suitable battery powered loco to pull it when I don't fancy raising steam. I do have an Andel version of Moelwyn, but it's awaiting a new battery pack and some cosmetic work, and in any case I'm a little concerned that its too fragile for day-to-day service. It stripped its gears once and had to be sent back to its manufacturer for repair, but Andel are no longer trading...

I've thought about a Sweet 16 Simplex to represent Mary Ann, but that would involve electrical work which really isn't my forte, and it would be difficult to achieve the look of the "open" rather than "protected" type...

I got to thinking about my trusty RH Little John... If only I could use that rugged and reliable chassis for something WHR-ish... And then RH released Hercules, the same sort of thing but without the outside cranks, and I began thinking... And looking at pictures of Kerr Stuart diesel 4415, which was tested on the WHR and FfR in the 20s (and has since returned...) and which has voluminous skirts to hide all manner of inaccuracies:


Image


It's got a different wheel arrangement of course, but - I thought - what if I didn't model 4415, but 4416, an imaginary sister loco, almost the same, but not quite... Perhaps the shorter wheelbase would be better suited to slate wharves at Dinas and Minffordd???

The top drawing, below, is what I've come up with so far - a tweaked and shortened drawing to work from, which should - just - accommodate a Hercules chassis, as long as it's the same as a Little John one anyway...

Kerr Stuart drawing.jpg

The next step is to produce a mock up to try out on my Little John chassis... This whole thing's likely to take a while, partly because I can't afford a Hercules at the moment, but I'm quite excited by the idea - any thoughts or suggestions?

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by ge_rik » Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:35 pm

Looks promising, Andrew. A neat reinterpretation of the original to my mind. As I understand it, loco manufacturers were more than happy to adapt their stock products to meet the requirements of their customers so I'd say your shortened version is certainly in keeping with that ethos.

I like the way in the photo the lettering saying 'Diesel Locomotive' has equal prominence. Presumably to explain to any onlookers why there was no smoke and steam in evidence ....

Rik
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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by philipy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:11 am

Thats a nice project and should work out well, Andrew.
ge_rik wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:35 pm

I like the way in the photo the lettering saying 'Diesel Locomotive' has equal prominence. Presumably to explain to any onlookers why there was no smoke and steam in evidence ....
Rik, I suspect that may have been a catalogue photo, so a long the same thought track, the label was probably to explain why there was no chimney, SV, and other 'normal' bits sticking out.

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by GTB » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:34 pm

Andrew wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:01 pm
With the proportion of "proper" Welsh Highland and Ffestiniog stock on my railway gradually increasing, I've been thinking about a suitable battery powered loco to pull it when I don't fancy raising steam.
I looked at building a Kerr-Stuart ng diesel a while back and started accumulating the necessary info. None came to Aust., but 4415 was converted to 3' gauge and trialled on the C&VBT in Ireland, hence my interest.

Andrew,

You may not know, but K-S did build 4 wheeled diesels. Yours looks about right for the 30HP model.

The drawing below is from a pamphlet K-S published at the time they were introduced and shows the 30HP 4w version as designed. Brian Reed in his book on early British IC locos states four were built before K-S collapsed in 1930, builders nos. 4465, 4466, 4467 and 4470. I've seen references to these locos having a different outline to the drawing in the pamphlet, but never found a photo of the 30HP type.

There was also a smaller design of 4W diesel loco designed for civil engineering work that looked more conventional, with the radiator in the normal position at the front, instead of mounted off-centre in the cab like 4415.

KS-30 side-end small.jpg

Rik, Philip,

The photo Andrew posted is said to be KS 4415 while being tested on the WHR and the Colonel must have worked it hard. The patches of dirt/rust on it would be unlikely to have been present when first completed, especially on a works photo taken for catalogue purposes. Photos of it in use on the Ffestiniog show it after modifications and even grubbier, but still lettered.

A photo of the loco with the same background as Andrew's photo is shown in the pamphlet, but it looks like the photo has been airbrushed to remove the lettering and dirt patches. There's nothing in Photoshop that the old photographers couldn't achieve in the darkroom........ ;)

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by -steves- » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:31 pm

I wouldn't mind having a go at knocking up an 0-6-0 chassis and body for one of these if i had those drawings :D Well done :thumbup:
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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by GTB » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:32 pm

-steves- wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:31 pm
I wouldn't mind having a go at knocking up an 0-6-0 chassis and body for one of these if i had those drawings
It's an interesting project and unlike more modern diesels doesn't require panel beating skills and a miniature english wheel to build the bodywork in metal. ;)

The Industrial Railway Society reprint of the Kerr-Stuart pamphlet is still available. This has outline diagrams of the 30HP and 60HP ng designs, as well as some useful photos of how they were put together, including the chain drive arrangements.

https://irsshop.co.uk/epages/c06e4627-f ... ucts/0124S


The group restoring the original 4415 have a website with better drawings of the 60HP design, as well as a blog page chronicling the restoration progress, which has some useful photos of bits not usually seen. They've also got a cut away drawing they use for indicating progress, which is useful as it indicates what the cab controls looked like.

http://www.kerrstuart4415.org.uk/index.html

http://ks4415.blogspot.com/

There’s also a recently released new book on the Kerr-Stuart diesels that I haven't seen.

Regards,
Graeme

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by Palmerston » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:04 pm

Roundhouse has 2 and 3 axle chassis (without jackshaft) as kits. Diesel Chassis Kit - HBKD2 and HBKD3
Live steam on 45 & 184mm, battery 45mm only.

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by Andrew » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:36 pm

GTB wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:34 pm

You may not know, but K-S did build 4 wheeled diesels. Yours looks about right for the 30HP model.
Aha! I think I did know once, but had forgotten, thank you for the reminder! Your message encouraged me to have another look for my copy of "Fifteen Shillings Change", the pamphlet you mention. I do like those touched up photos, particularly the one which was clearly in Dinas yard but is captioned as representing a loco in Sudan... The whole thing has a lovely naive optimism about it - including the suggestion that if only the whole country would embrace the cost saving wonders of Kerr Stuart diesels, then the national debt could be eradicated... Who knows what wonders will come to pass when 4415 is restored - peace in our time?

I used the drawings you mention from the 4415 website, roughly re-sized on a photocopier. The pamplet mentions that each of the sizes of loco was available with either 4 or 6 wheels, so I reckon I can justify whatever design I come up with...

I like the lettering on the side, but - if I get round to building the thing - I think I'll go for plain grey, I reckon I'd struggle to get the lettering right. Could just go for "W H Rly" - my back story will be that the Colonel found the money to make a purchase...

Palmerston, I had thought about those chassis, thanks, but I'm not much of an engineer, so I like the idea of using something completely ready-to-run. and - although it's different in many respects - like the KS locos, the RH Hercules is chain-driven, which I rather like...

I'll report back if and when further progress is made - I think a card mock-up is next. If that works I may see if I can scratch together the money for a Hercules, and enjoy the novelty of running that while I construct the new body for it...

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by Jbs » Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:17 am

Andrew,

Essel Engineering make a chain driven chassis if you think it suitable.

http://www.esselengineering.co.uk/chassis.html

John
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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by Andrew » Mon Sep 30, 2019 12:12 pm

Jbs wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:17 am
Andrew,

Essel Engineering make a chain driven chassis if you think it suitable.

http://www.esselengineering.co.uk/chassis.html

John
Thanks John, much appreciated!

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by GTB » Mon Sep 30, 2019 1:48 pm

Andrew wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:36 pm
I like the lettering on the side, but - if I get round to building the thing - I think I'll go for plain grey, I reckon I'd struggle to get the lettering right. Could just go for "W H Rly" - my back story will be that the Colonel found the money to make a purchase...
Sounds like a plan.

I can't see the Colonel giving K-S free advertising, unless they offered him a big discount to leave the lettering in place.......

Graeme

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by Andrew » Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:54 pm

Hi all,

No real progress on this, but I did see a very nice version of the KS diesel at the Exeter show last weekend, which provided inspiration:

KS4415.jpg

It's good, isn't it?! It's by a chap whose name I've forgotten, but was beautifully detailed and ran very well too. Mine won't be as good as that one, but it's good to have something to aim towards!

Also at the Exeter show I managed to sell a few bits and bobs to help fund the project (I can nearly afford the RH Hercules that will provide the chassis now!), and purchased a few KS castings from the old Gratech range from Trenarren Models too, so I guess that now there are some 3D bits I've officially started the project!

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by GTB » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:39 pm

Andrew wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 12:54 pm
It's by a chap whose name I've forgotten, but was beautifully detailed and ran very well too. Mine won't be as good as that one, but it's good to have something to aim towards!
Looks like one of the batch built by Dave Holroyd. If so, there is a review and photos in the Jan. 2017 issue of Garden Rail showing the innards.

It's a nice model. Certainly sets the bar quite high.......

Graeme

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by Andrew » Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:59 pm

GTB wrote:
Thu Oct 31, 2019 2:39 pm

Looks like one of the batch built by Dave Holroyd. If so, there is a review and photos in the Jan. 2017 issue of Garden Rail showing the innards.

It's a nice model. Certainly sets the bar quite high.......

Ah yes, that's the name! I had a chat with the owner of the one in the photo, who showed me the aforementioned innards, very neat... The level of detail's incredible - even down to a curiously-shaped length of angle-iron in the recess for the cab step, which I'm told no-one knows the purpose of!

I'll go for strong, neat construction, just enough detail and a decent finish - if I can achieve that and plonk it on top of a reliable and powerful RH chassis, then I'll be happy...

Cheers,

Andrew.

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Re: Kerr Stuart diesel

Post by Andrew » Mon Jun 20, 2022 7:34 pm

Evening all,

I seem to have begun my project to build a Kerr Stuart diesel for the (WH)WHR, so I thought I'd start a thread - then found that this one already existed!

To recap, the plan was to use the chassis from a Roundhouse Hercules under a scratchbuilt body representing a 4 wheeled 30HP Kerr Stuart diesel, the "little brother" of the 60HP 4415, which was trialled on the WHR and FR in 1928 and 1929 - and to edit WHR history to fit, of course.

And so, for the past couple of years, visitors to my railway thread will have seen this little (well, quite big, almost 7/8ths-y looking) loco trundling about:

No 6 E.jpg

Yesterday, I got around to renewing the battery pack in my RH "Little John" so that I'd still have a functioning electric loco while the "Hercules" is in bits. Which was the next step:

KS 1.jpg

I might put all that back together again at some point, for one last run in "Hercules" guise, I'm not sure. Either way, eventually I think I'll put all the bits I don't need on eBay, I imagine someone will want 'em.

To be honest, what I found under the bonnet came as a bit of a shock. I knew the battery pack was smaller but otherwise I'd expected everything to be the same as the "Little John" - It wasn't. My planning had been based on a false assumption, and for a while it looked like everything had gone wrong - the batteries, motor etc weren't at all where I was anticipating, and they weren't going to fit under the sloping bonnet. Were I more of an engineer, I expect I could have taken all the bits and rearranged them, but I'm not - that's why I'd opted for a tried and tested RTR chassis in the first place, I'm not even planning to take a soldering iron anywhere near this.

Fortunately, us modellers don't give up easily. Over a mug of tea I pondered the problem, and realised I'd been looking at it the wrong way round, literally - if I put the motor etc behind the radiator in the cab, then I could put the charging socket and on/off switch under the bonnet instead, accessed via the convenient hatch that is a distinctive feature of the real thing. I think it should all work - I should even be able to reuse the LED from the "Hercules" front light inside the lamp that features in pictures of 4415, again without any soldering.

It's all change with the body too. It was going to be scratchbuilt, but I didn't seem to be getting round to that. Instead, I discovered that PDF Models make a kit for 4415, and they were willing to sell me the parts for just the body at a very reasonable price. It will need shortening to fit the chassis and represent the 30 HP version, but I think that should be OK.

Here are some of the bits trial assembled. They say that see-through acrylic is perfect for loco kits, but I just can't see it myself:

KS 2.jpg

Sorry, very bad joke...

So that's where it's up to at the moment. The next step will be to do some careful measuring, then start chopping up the bits. The cab on both versions of the KS diesels appears to be the same size, as does the sloped bit of bonnet, so it's some of the middle I'll need to lose... I'll keep you posted.

Cheers,

Andrew.

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