Information & Sample Instruction Sheets
  Frequently Asked Questions

  The most frequent question that I am asked is “How difficult is an etched kit to build and what tools do I need?” The problem with this question is that it’s like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”

  What is frustratingly difficult to one modeller is pleasantly challenging to another. The task that one modeller will use a precision scalpel for another modeller will prefer to use a heavy Stanley Knife.
  I would recommend printing off one of the sample sets of instruction sheets that I have provided as pdf files and going through in your mind the construction tasks and tools that you would prefer to use to achieve them.
  This in combination with the following questions and answers should enable you to provide answers that are relevant to yourself and determine the correct level of kit with which to start etched kit building. Be it a simple wagon kit or jumping straight in with my most complicated loco.
- Comprehensive Information -
  I have tried to be comprehensive with the answers to frequently asked questions and have presented them as separate browser windows. You will probably not want to spend the time going through them individually but knowing what the questions are should make the answerers a useful future reference source.
- Hints, Tips & FAQ Booklet -
  As an alternative I have also provided the answers as a downloadable pdf print off booklet. This will provide a comprehensive guide and reference for the newcomer to etched kit building that can be digested at leisure.
  This booklet is also available by post for £3.00 for those who prefer not to spend time downloading and printing out from the internet.
Download F.A.Q. Answers as pdf print off
5Mb file and will take some time to download with dial up
  The booklet is designed to print as two A5 pages printed on each side of an A4 sheet of paper (set printer for landscape). Staple the A4 sheets in the centre and fold to form an A5 booklet.
  Print each A4 page individually (set your printer for current page only). Then print the first pdf page containing booklet pages 1 & 36 on an A4 sheet of paper. Turn the printed paper over and print the second pdf page containing booklet pages 2 & 35 on the other side. Then on another sheet of paper print the third pdf page containing booklet pages 3 & 34 and so on until you reach the booklet centre pages 18 & 19.
  You will then want a cover for your booklet and this I have provided in colour. You may wish to print this onto a thick photo type paper.
Download F.A.Q. Booklet Cover as pdf print off
2Mb file and will take a little time to download with dial up
  - Frequently Asked Questions ? -
- Question. 1 -
What level of skill do I need to put a metal kit together, must I solder parts or can I use glue?
Quick Answer, Skill level about traditional schoolboy metalwork or jewellery making,  solder construction gives the most satisfaction.
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- Question. 2 -
What soldering iron do I need?
Quick Answer, If you was only to buy one iron in your life a Weller 40 watt would just about do all jobs.
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- Question. 3 -
What solders do I use?
Quick Answer, 145 degree (initial melting temperature but the working soldering iron temperature needs to be about 350 degrees C.) for brass work, 70 degree for white metal castings and 60/40 tin/lead multicore electrical solder to keep your iron bit in good condition.
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- Question. 4 -
What flux do I use?
Quick Answer, Carr's green label liquid flux (brush it into the joint with a paint brush) for brass work, Carr's red label liquid flux for whitemetal work, plumbers "Fluxite" paste for when you file and re-tin your soldering iron bits.
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- Question. 5 -
When I have got the right iron, solder and flux how do I solder parts together?
Quick Answer, Hold the parts together with the fingers of your left hand, brush flux into the joint, pick up the solder on the end of the iron bit and bring it into the joint.
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- Question. 6 -
Years ago I tried to solder but I couldn't do it! Is there a book that I could read that would magically make me an expert?
Quick Answer, The magical skill is already in your fingers and my F.A.Q.? booklet is all you need to release it.
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- Question. 7 -
I tried to solder some parts together once but most of the solder just sat on the surface in blobs that I could pick off with my finger nail and what solder I did get into the joint looked like chewing gum! What was I doing Wrong?
Quick Answer, Soldering iron to small and the wrong solder and flux.
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- Question. 8 -
I have got an old reel of multicore electrical solder that has got flux included so I wont need to buy any solder or flux will I? What is different about electrical connection soldering?
Quick Answer, Make life easy for your self and get some model makers 145 degree solder and liquid flux, unlike sheet metal electrical wires are already coated (pre-tinned) with solder and so don't need much flux.
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- Question. 9 -
How do I achieve the crisp, square and beautiful solder joints with just a mere hint of solder showing that I see on the models built by the experts on the demonstration stands at shows?
Quick Answer, The experts don't achieve much better joints than you, they have just got good at cleaning up afterwards.
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- Question. 10 -
How do I remove the etched parts from the fret?
Quick Answer, Use a sharp pointed scalpel blade and cut out on top of a block of soft wood.
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- Question. 11 -
How do I fold etched parts and form curves and bends?
Quick Answer, As straight bends have a half etched bend line, lay a steel rule along the bend line and fold with finger pressure, work curves with finger pressure around off cuts of tube or wooden dowel.
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- Question. 12 -
What general tools should I have included in my model makers toolbox?
Quick Answer, Bench vice, tweezers, set of Swiss files, a pin vice and selection of small drills, pliers and cutters, scalpel or craft knife, a hammer is also useful at times.
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- Question. 13 -
How do I fit the cast parts?
Quick Answer, Solder in place with 70 degree low melt solder but you can also use a two part epoxy resin such as Araldite Rapid.
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- Question. 14 -
Are there any specific specialist tools that I will need for etched kit building?
Quick Answer, Tapered reamer and broach set for opening up holes in thin metal, Fibreglass cleaning brush.
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- Question. 15 -
What luxury tools would it be nice to have and that I could put on my Christmas present list?
Quick Answer, Bolt head and rivet forming press, bending bars for long folds (these you can make yourself).
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- Question. 16 -
Where do I get my tools from?
Quick Answer, Squires Model & Craft tools for generally model makers tools, Eileen's Emporium for specialist kit builders tools, both do good mail order.
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- Question. 17 -
What motor do I want?
Quick Answer, Mashima 1833 motor and 40/1 gearset
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- Question. 18 -
What about wheels?
Quick Answer, I recommend Slater's and these are used by about 80% of 0 gauge modellers.
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- Question. 19 -
How do I paint my models?
Quick Answer, Give them a base coat of "Halfords" car aerosol grey primer paint first and you can then brush or spray paint the rest as you wish.
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- Question. 20 -
What about livery and lettering?
Quick Answer, Livery and lettering details are included in the instructions and transfers in different formats are available from a number of producers.
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- Question. 21 -
What electrical controller will I need to run my models and what about some track to run on?
Quick Answer, A basic 12 volt 1 amp transformer/controller (one from an old 00 gauge train set will do fine) and readymade flexible track and points are produced by PECO.
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- Question. 22 -
I am an overseas customer can I get my kit VAT free?
Quick Answer, No I am not VAT registered and so there is no VAT charged on the kits, in the UK low turnover business like myself are not compelled to charge VAT.
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