Building a BR52 Steam locomotive *ORIGINAL* (scale 1/35)

In our new cabinet, we have about 3 large glass shelves, each 90 cm x 90 cm. The idea came to mind to put some “big” locomotives on these shelves. So, I started looking around, and noticed that “gauge 1” or “LGB” or “G-scale” locomotives where in fact “to expensive” to just use is as “decoration”. Why buy a complete engine with all electronics in it and a motor, if you are only going to use it as a static model ? So, I looked a bit further, and I found some interesting kits in scale 1/35th, from Trumpeter. One of these kits is a BR52, which, once finished, will measure about 89 cm in length. If I put this locomotive diagonally on the shelve, I will even have about 30 centimeters left 🙂 After a while, the idea became even “bigger”: Why only put a locomotive on rails in the cabinet ? Why not create a complete diorama around it ? While looking on Ebay for a BR52 for a reasonable price, I stumbled upon an “after-market” product for this building kit. LionRoar does offer a PE-set (photo-etched parts), to replace some of the original “plastic” parts of the original Trumpeter kit, to make the locomotive look even more detailled and realistic. So, I ordered a BR52 from Trumpeter, and … the upgrade-kit from LionRoar 🙂

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The original trumpeter kit

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The LionRoar upgrade kit


Some PE parts (Friday – october, 16th – 2009)

The LionRoar PE-set already arrived, but the Trumpeter BR52 kit is not arrived yet … Because I never worked with PE before, I decided to give this already a try 🙂 First of all, there are a lot of PE-parts in this set, which needs to be bended is certain angles. The PE pieces are really thin (and I mean, really, really, really thin !), so it’s nearly impossible to do this by hand, without damaging the parts. But, there is a piece of tool, specially made for this type of bending 🙂 It’s called a “Hold and Fold”. (which I ordered together with my PE set) The idea is pretty straight-forward, put your pieces between the “Hold and Fold”, and use the included special bending piece, to get everything done as smooth as possible.

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The actual “Hold and Fold” tool

So, I was ready and up for the “challenge” … Here are some of the first results …The first piece is soldered with a special soldering-paste (melting point = 179 degrees Celcius). Everything works fine, but it’s actually not that easy to solder these parts together and the pieces are really getting dirty. After this, I did put the parts in my ultrasonic cleaner, which erased all the dirt from the piece, and made it shinny again !

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First piece.

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These pieces are glued together with contact super-glue. The completed piece you see here above, consists of about 31 PE pieces, some about 1 mm in diameter !

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Next, I was up to a “test” in bending the PE (the 2 above pieces only contained “flat” PE-pieces. On the left, you see 2 pieces, on the right you see these 2 pieces “bended and glued” together. The middle piece is bended in some sort of a “book-shape”, where the 3 points/triangles, form the back of the book (as you can see on the right) I must say, after all, this is a complete new experience for me, but I like it 🙂 My wife is getting nervous if she see such small pieces, but I really enjoy it, it actually makes me calm …


The actual building of the BR52 (Saturday – november, 21th – 2009)

The BR52 kit from Trumpeter finally arrived yesterday. (After waiting for more then a month to receive it from China) … Ooh well, I can’t complain, the kit was actually cheap, compared to (E-)shops within Europe, and I had enough other things to do in the meantime. And on the other hand, even a second BR52 is on it’s way to Belgium 🙂

Enough smalltalk, onto some pictures of my first progression …

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Step one and two of the original instructions are done, I’m currently busy with step 3. The whole locomotive exists out of 26 steps, and another 5 steps are needed to build the tender. On the other hand, while building the original kit, I also need to follow the steps for the PE. I’m currently finishing step 1 out of 10.

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I wanted to be sure that SMD LEDs would fit, so I started some “modifications” on some parts 🙂

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I placed a small piece of tape, doublesided on my cutting board, and placed an SMD LED firmly onto this tape, to easen-up soldering of the wires.

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The “white square” in the middle of the light enclosure, is the actual SMD LED in place.

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The LED … illuminated !


“Chassis” done (Tuesday – november, 24th – 2009)

The chassis of the BR52 is mostly done. (first four steps in the building instructions) So, time to paint this “part”, but before painting I would like to show you some detailed pictures. (they are taken in order from the front to the back)

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Front view.

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Another frontview, but taken from an angle.

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Doesn’t all these PE parts look good ?

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The small handles on the tanks consists each out of 4 pieces !

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Lenght view.

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Back view.

Tonight I hope to paint the chassis in red 🙂


“Chassis” done (Tuesday – november, 30th – 2009)

Last Wednesday, I painted the chassis in red (and black). Because of my illness, I was unable to take pictures and put them here online. Today step 1 and 2 are finished of the second BR52, and while taking pictures of it, I did take some time to take an extra picture. Chassis of BR52 “number one” and chassis of BR52 “number two”, on the same picture, as a sort of proof that we really are “busy” with 2 of these “monsters” 🙂

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Side by side 🙂

To be continued …

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About Kris

I'm born on april 3th, 1974 in Leuven (Belgium). My love of my life is my lovely Christel Pauwels, with who I'm sharing love, my life, a nice house and lots of mutual hobbies and interests. (electronics / (model)trains / travelling / enjoying life / mechanics etc ...)
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