Knightwing Bashing in O9

Part of shiftingsands.fotopic.revisited

Based on material posted to on 5th January 2009

The Shifting Sands loco fleet has had its first new acquisition in some time, a rebuild of the well known Knightwing 4mm scale industrial diesel kit, based on a Kato chassis.

But first, some background. My attempt with this kit for use in O9 was back in 2005, inspired by an 009 version seen in the 'Railway Modeller'. At that time I couldn't see a way of using the brilliantly moulded chassis sides in O9 as the wheelbase was too far out and they were too high. So I scratchbuilt a chassis frame around a Kato 4w chassis:

I then encountered a problem, the loco was too short to effectively operate with Microtrains uncoupling magnets, the magnets were strong enough to stall the motor slung between the axles! A massive rethink saw a new chassis frame built, and a short bonnet added the other side of the cab to use up the length. Being honest, this new chassis was never my greatest work and this has been a somewhat unloved loco ever since...

The increased length was matched with a scratchbuilt 'short' bonnet:

I moved on. The next loco off the workbench was the model of Kirklees' diesel 'Jay'. Building this, on the same chassis, resulted in some experimentation with the Knightwing chassis parts, which I cut-and-shut to fit the Kato wheelbase. This was achieved by cutting immediately in front of the cab steps and then in front of the rear axle spring hangers. Re-arranging the parts with some plasticard to replace the steps gave a 28mm wheelbase chassis, although at that stage a very long one:

This was eventually used under the rebuild of the former 'Yellow Peril' as SMR no. 3, albeit shortened a little:

As an aside, illustrated are a novel use of Knightwing axlebox covers, cut out and shaped they feature on my 1/24th scale Lister RM3... This set we spare from a 4mm scale conversion made years ago:

So on to 2008, the latest Knightwing conversion was an attempt to use as much of the kit as I could to make what is effectively an enlarged version of 'Jay'. Perhaps more suited to somewhere like Perrygrove or the Bure Valley than a seaside line, it has proved a very effective conversion. Hopefully the pictures will show the work involved without too much explanation.

July 2008 - The new Knightwing/Kato conversion under way, figure from Phoenix for comparison:

Cab end view showing the dropped door bottom, awaiting a dropped footplate:

A week or so later all sorts of little details are in place, air pipes are from Replica Railways...

Headlights are from the kit, whilst air horns are from A1 Models:

The windscreen wipers and door handles are from brass wire shaped and blackened:

Before painting the headlights were repositioned ahead of the bonnet rather than either side:

The painted loco on Shifting Sands, seen in side view:

Colours are Humbrol Brunswick and Lime greens, the latter from a genuine 'old' Hull produced tin!

Test running with passenger stock, Cumbria just sneaking into the frame:

Headlights are created by painting the inside silver and using a blob of Araldite to form the 'lens':

Test running was keenly observed by Mr Sooty, chief loco-catcher...


In March 2010 my attention turned to some Knightwing bits that were the remains of a 4mm scale conversion I did a few years previously.  The chassis unit is a Sidelines/Black Dog one, on the Bachmann Plymouth chassis. The cab is raised by 5mm, the bonnet by about 3mm. I decided that due to the damage caused during dismantling the parts I would start afresh with new bonnet sides cut out to accept the Knightwing vents. Various bits of plastic rod fill the old light and exhaust holes. I had intended to simply open out the cab front and rear windows but they looked too wide, hence the infill at either end, where I am just starting to add new rounded corners in. I've opened up a doorway in one cab side but on the other I filled the smaller window:

I added a few details here and there to enhance the loco, I added boltheads to the bonnet sides plus fillers for water and fuel (ex-Dapol Drewery crank pins).  Coupler pockets will accept MicroTrains 1015 couplers whilst a Saturday morning of cursing and burnt fingers produced an exhaust to be proud of:

Seen here in primer, the cab interior with oversize gearbox (to clear the worm), gear lever, handbrake and foot pedal. The panel on the wall is from kit parts:

Rather inevitably this got sold on - I have the bits to build another should the mood ever take me! 

O9 Modeller would like to thank Mick Thornton for his help in creating this page.

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