How much! (By page 1 mega cheap) Heljan Dogfish V The Cambrian C12 Dogfish Build

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by AdeMoore, 25 June 2020.

  1. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Some more bottom rung of the ladder kit building from me!
    You may of seen my slow and evolving Airfix kit building in another thread in Area 51 so as then this is just an exercise to record the ups and downs and hopefully a half decent result.
    I did say over in my WTW No. 5 thread I’d get back to that but alas these have jumped the queue due to my Meldon layout build.
    To explain the title, I was sorely tempted buy the Kernow Models Heljan rake of 4 wagons K4103 Heljan Dogfish Exclusive Pack of 4 - BR Civil Engineers they would need back dating a bit but look rather nice but a 100 quid for 4 seems a lot. Only seems it probably not really!
    So modelling funds always tight I decided to build my own. Now I’ve only ordered two Cambrian kits so £50.00 equivalent in the pot.
    I thought I’d see what I’d be paying myself an hour to finish these and no doubt nowhere near to the same standard but a fun thing to do anyway. I get that RTR is never going to give you the same satisfaction of something you’ve built yourself and you can’t really put a price on that.
    On to the fun.
    So as before on my Airfix build these will be lunch time builds in the van on the makeshift work bench!
    The quality of the instructions leaves a lot to be desired in detail and clarity looks like a photocopy of a photocopy of the 20th photocopy and the download online is hardly better.
    There is a fair bit of flash to deal with along with stubs off the sprue.
    1st up the chute.

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    By the time I’ve worked out which way to glue from a ref. Photo not the instructions were up to!

    That’s Day 1. Day 2 the solebars and headstocks glued the small end upside down as the instructions were not clear enough again photo to rescue the lamp iron should of been the give away. The axle bearings and buffers were before this but as you’ll see I’m again trying to save money.


    And there you are over an hour in!

    I dare say an experienced modeller would be 15mins? By now?
    I was tempted to build them in tandem but space precludes that.
    Fun though.
    Blummin hot today though had to seek out some shade by a stream in an attempt to keep cool.
    Stay safe folks
    Until next time
    jonte likes this.
  2. Neil

    Neil Western Thunderer

    This experienced modeller has built both Cambrian Dogfish and Catfish. They were the most difficult plastic kit builds I have encountered so don't worry about the time taken, it'll be longer and far more fiddly than any Airfix specimen.
    AdeMoore, Pencarrow and AJC like this.
  3. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    A novel idea, Ade.

    I like the thought of a mobile work bench: ‘....some shade by a stream....’. Nice :)

    AdeMoore likes this.
  4. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Having built a few of these, I found that the best way to get a square chassis is to trim and file the moulded pips for location off and to replace the end platforms with slabs of 60 thou’ flush with the sole bar tops. I then reinstated the detail with 5 thou’ sheet overlaying the entire width of the chassis. I’ll dig out some photos later.

    Obviously that’s more work, but the first one I built (in my teens) eventually fell apart and got rebuilt as above. To be fair, they’re a brave attempt at DIY mould-making and the results aren’t bad, but something has to be done to increase the surface area of the structural joints.

    AdeMoore and Pencarrow like this.
  5. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    I've also built a few of these in the past and echo what others have said. A very difficult kit to build not made easy by the instructions and fit of the parts. I would recommend that you follow Adam's advice as the lack of strength in the 4 corners does lead to the wagons being fragile.
    AdeMoore and AJC like this.
  6. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Actually, it seems I was a bit less radical (I was thinking of the Mermaid). I squared the platforms off, took a big file to the detail and assembled them flush to the solebar tops.


    I certainly didn't bother with the pegs for the brakeshoes - adding brake yokes drilled through the shoes makes a world of difference.



    PS - the amount of epoxy under there probably helps, too...
    Last edited: 2 July 2020
    iak63, dibateg, markjj and 4 others like this.
  7. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Wow thanks all for the comments!
    Noted Neil it does seems that way. Cheers Jonte
    Especially Adam fo the fab photos great build there, obviously a detailing kit or scratch additions, very nice, maybe one day for me but not during this build. Noted on the strengthening Adam and Chris.
    Right plastikard from Station Road baseboards As recommended by Chris on his thread needs loading in the van then for Monday!
    Below done before I saw the posts above.
    Ok we got from 1hr 10 to 1hr 34 just trying to get the platform parts files up tidy and fit!


    Next up some clamps and weld.

    243C9A8B-2B8F-4109-A1A8-54F19F8438F0.jpeg 18547F49-F276-49B4-9F86-D4C6B3403080.jpeg 0A0B31F3-C770-4179-8830-871AE15ACEF2.jpeg 0D732E86-4348-4BAC-AE41-B28F537FB7DC.jpeg C2168985-62B4-4CDE-BC3C-93D7E87D57CC.jpeg 23AD4C7C-AAD9-4B10-9BF7-A406F7A32DEA.jpeg

    Ran out of time to finish the smaller platform so just the headstock end welded till Monday.
    Here we are underframe not complete yet and 2hrs in!


    Again thanks for looking in.
    Until next time
    Al Tait likes this.
  8. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    No detail kit Ade - I'm not aware of anything like that - though I chose to replace the handwheels with some very natty ones from Colin Craig which can now be had from Stenson Models. Just lots of bits of wire and some scraps of plastic strip. You other thing you can do - and would recommend - is to pack the ends of the hopper to hold it in place. I think a chunk of 60 thou' (1.5mm) thick sheet at the platform end is what's needed. The resulting additional strength is well worth it.

    AdeMoore likes this.
  9. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Cheers @AJC yours is a great upgrade now I’ve studied mine by comparison!
    More weld on


    Tidied up the hopper and we are up to..


    Tried it for size on the underframe will need work!

    Then on the advice of Adam and Chris looking to beef the corners up a bit.
    Best compromise I think I could come up with to allow the brake shoes to go on, did think of chopping the brake shoes off and welding on the plastikard , what do you think? And of course epoxy when the coupling hook goes in. 816086DF-FE92-4419-89BC-92419C9E967F.jpeg

    We’re up to!

    more soon
    Until next time
  10. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    I seem to remember having issues with all the hopper wagons getting the hopper to sit flat and level on the supports. Quite a tedious job working out how much to take off which. I did wonder several times if there was a way to fit the hopper first and then add the supports afterwards.
    AdeMoore likes this.
  11. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    Yes, there is - and I did it on at least one of mine - but you sort of need one fully assembled one as a datum! Trim the supports off before assembly and wedge the hopper in place by packing each end. I'll fish one of mine out of the stock box later to check by how much. You can then reinstate the uprights in T section from Evergreen or make your own from strip.

    AdeMoore likes this.
  12. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Cheers Chris and Adam, I’m going ahead using your advice where I can but redoing the supports may be a step to far! Though I would need this one as a datum model anyway.
    Seems all I needed was to take a bit of the struts down into the underframe.


    Decided the 1mm plastikard was not going to cut it needed 2mm I thought for best strength that would fit.
    So was looking for something I could do until 2mm plastikard was at hand.
    Vac cylinder filed up stuck together and added
    Didn’t want to put the hopper on till the underframe strengthening was complete.
    Now we’re up to.

    Next up 2mm plastikard to hand and for the buildings I intend to make with Perspex I bought a sqawker I think it’s called and used it to cut the 2mm plastikard bit of a technique to it but safer and easier than a Stanley knife I normally use.

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    The 1mm corner with the 2mm I changed to.


    Glued in space left for the brake shoes.


    Now we’re up to ..... that does include making the 4 corner pieces.


    That’s it until next time
    Dog Star likes this.
  13. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Three corners done.

    We’re up to
    more soon
    Until next time
    Pencarrow and Peter Cross like this.
  14. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I've never built one of these kits in 4mm scale, however many years ago I did chop some 4mm Heljan ones around to make LT ballast hopper wagons.

    LT Hop Dogfish & LT hopper.jpg

    Now my 7mm Heljan Dogfish is going this way......
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  15. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Nice work there Dave, thanks for looking in.
  16. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Lack of posts as I’m in sunny Cornwall this wasn’t a knee jerk to Boris’s lift on hospitality, we had this booked in January and a second week to the Scillys we deferred that for a year but went with this as we are at a B&B we’ve been going to for years. So we knew it and evening meals were sorted. Mrs Ade works for the NHS and without a holiday since January apart from a week in proper lockdown where we were on one bit of exercise a day it was no holiday.
    So all good some sea air and a bit of modelling!


    got a feeling those squares I cut for brake shoes will be a waste, tried some Bachmann wheels that the instructions talk against in favour of Gibson not sure why and they will be nowhere near the pegs as Adam said but I thought your photo showed them on the pegs maybe P4! Then in the photo?
    And we are up to FDF066C8-0E7A-425A-9D93-E24D80873DA2.jpeg

    Next a faff with the hopper! No way I could get all the iron work to line up with the ribs etc. At once so a compromise was reached I see why Chris said cut it off and mount the hopper and add struts back latter! 6593EDB1-D900-4A88-8553-9BC38D6B22D3.jpeg

    We’re up to

    after much gluing pulling apart and gluing again.
    What did it for me was the vertical struts on the sloped ends getting them to sit outside the ribs as my ref. Phots showed I should of pre bent them but I instead relied on glue to relieve the spring in the plastic
    Lesson learned.
    Until next time.
    Lyndhurstman and AJC like this.
  17. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    That was it on holiday thought I do a bit more but never got to it.
    Yesterday lunch and today 2 steps forward 2 steps back! But we’ll get there.
    Adams advice not adhered to put right below! Thought I needed the pegs for the brake shoes.


    We’re up to


    The rib supports were bothering me not lining up so decided to line them up. Easier said than done with liquid poly cement need sumat with more instant grab.

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    The other side out of alignment


    One done!


    2 done and the middle one went ping and will never be seen again, in the van door pocket or somewhere had a good look nothing!


    And we’re up to!

    Lyndhurstman likes this.
  18. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Had to make a new support strut from some spare chute parts.
    Not to bad. Cruel close up...
    Then before I glue the chute on I thought hang on that will cover up a lot of the bottom of the hopper.
    So I thought get it painted first. Didn’t take a photo though.

    we’re up to

    Lyndhurstman likes this.
  19. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Bit of a gap between the solebar and chute but hey!
    Paint needs a bit of a thin on the rest but it’s a 3 stage process so not bothered down under here.

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    I’ll leave the clock for a bit...
  20. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Blimey this is going on a bit! Anyway I was going to make some bushes but lost the brass tube I had Sod’s law ordered the Gibson ones straight away found it anyway £4.50 for 20 something like that and will save a bit of fettling. I probably should of chose those with the flange but I couldn’t find out what suited. So went with these they’ll do.

    Being a cheap skate and wanting to use up some wheels @AJC Adam kindly sent me. I made em fit!
    File down the bearing mould, Wish I’d know before hand would of remed the holes for bearings out in the flat. I’ll do so on the next one. So my trusty screwdriver came out again! As did on the airfix builds. Of course on the skew a bit but the bearings slotted 50% home and liquid poly did the rest.



    Did I say a buffer has gone ping as well! Just sent an order off to Lanarkshire to! Only £1.99 per set to add to my buffer order bugger.

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    Goodness we are up to 7 modelling hours. I need to get more proficient and quicker!

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