SDS 800 class. Sort of

  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

While having 7 of these locomotives now and quite nice they are to I was looking at a book on Australian diesel locomotives and came upon the standard gauge WAGR H class loco's and the 2 Goldsworthy Mining locomotives which were identical and the similarity hit me. There is only a couple of inches in the overall length about 4 inches from memory, the width is spot on the same and the height of the WAGR is higher because of the higher roof line on the short hood and slightly raised cab. But I have now commenced a conversion to a H class loco just for something a bit different.

The underframe and bogies are similar, so the drive system can stay the same, the ends of the hoods are straight up and down though on the H class but slightly angled back on the 800 class, some styrene sheet and filler fixes that problem though. The cab need to be moved forward on the underframe and that is no great problem and a new short hood made up to finish it off.  I am not looking for a dead exact model just a near enough one without hacking the body about greatly.

But so far it has come out reasonably well and gives me another loco type for my roster, so here is a photo of it in a rough state as far as it has got. Still a heck of a lot of work to do on it though, the cab windows need to be altered or opened up lengthwise but the rest is all done, in this photo it is not glued together yet as it is easier to work on it as smaller pieces but once done it will be glued up and then glued to the underframe and thus can be removed from the mech exactly the same as the original model can.

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  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner
  M636C Minister for Railways

Heres  a photo of one of the prototypes.
The main problem with the conversion is a basic change that English Electric made in design of their locomotives between the SAR 800 and the WAGR H class.

The 800 and earlier locomotives had sloping hood sides, at least partly to prevent engine room doors from opening if the latches vibrated loose. By the time the H was designed, EE were using spring loaded clips and the H had vertical hood sides.

In fact, the 800 was an exact copy of an earlier English built locomotive, five of which were built for use in Jamaica (which has standard gauge railways). The Jamaican locomotives were green with yellow lining in the same pattern as adopted for the Tasmanian Y class.

  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

That is quite true about the sloping sides etc but as I want to use as much of the original as possible without resorting to make a complete new body I have done it this way.  I am not altering the detail on the body much either but if you close your eyes and squint from 1 metre away it will look like a WAGR H class hopefully.

Yes I know about the Jamaican sisters to them and I might even have a go at one of them as well as that conversion would be a lot easier to do actually I have a colour rendering of one so I know what colours they were. But thanks for the info Peter, mine is just going to be a near enough model of one not a dead accurate scale model though. But it is pretty close in most of the measurements of the two types though.
  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

Well I have now got it rough painted still needs fettling though. The chassis and electronics have not been altered except at what was the cab end where a small piece of plastic around the centre surface mounted LED had to be removed to allow the light to shine through the new headlight at that end of the model. Tried the other day and all headlights line up nicely and light shines through them.  The long hood end headlight is roughly where the old headlight was and did not need anything done to it at all.  By the way the headlights on the 800 model are easily removed as well as they are very lightly glued on or not glued at all, I have got both types with all the 800's I have bought.  Decided to do a Goldsworthy mining version though as it is easier to paint. Gloss coat is now on it so that decals in places can be put on it, then a weathering mixture and finally a dull coat over the lot of it. Lots of paint touch ups needed though.

  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The Jamaican locomotives were green with yellow lining in the same pattern as adopted for the Tasmanian Y class.

Except the TGR locos were delivered in red with cream stripes.  It was the X class that started off green

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