How to modify a 'Tin Turtle'


A straightforward chassis swap is all that’s required to breathe new life into a broken down kit of this iconic wartime workhorse. We show you how...

Back in the November 2014 issue of BRM, we built a Meridian Models Armoured Simplex locomotive for our 009 gauge layout ‘Owen's Bridge’. Sadly, after a few shows and many, many miles of running later, the chassis of this heavy little model was worn out. This isn't the end of the story, though.

Japanese firm Tomytec produces a simple four-wheel chassis that is just the right size for this model. It would be too simple to expect the chassis to drop right in, but with the aid of a special etched plate from Meridian and some glue, this Turtle could live again. 

Removing the old chassis supports took just a few minutes and a little brute force, but if you were building the locomotive from fresh, this wouldn't be required. The Tomytec chassis has a ridiculous top speed on the track, but it can also be slowed to a quick march and it seems happy to run for hours at a time. Here are the simple steps involved in its resurrection:

 

 

1

Tomytec supplies the chassis with a van-shaped body, standard N gauge couplings and stickers for decoration. All that's required is the chassis, so the rest goes into the scrap box.
Modify a Tin Turtle railway modelling 009 kit parts

2

Meridian's etched frame can be folded to shape with pliers and then it slips, with a bit of wiggling, over the chassis. It clips in place, and there is no need to hold it with glue.
Modify a Tin Turtle railway modelling 009 installing the new motor

3

The frame is fitted inside the body with superglue. Test fit it without glue first to check the height the body rides on its wheels. It needed a tiny bit of plastic sheet packing to gain a millimetre.
Modify a Tin Turtle railway modelling 009 installing new motor

Expert Tip - Grey or Green?
Since there are no contemporary colour photographs of these locomottives, their colour is open to debate. Our guess is that, like much military hardware, these early locomotives were originally shipped in grey and painted in the field. Later machines were left painted green.

Modify a Tin Turtle railway modelling 009 finished

 

 

That's it! Simple. In just three very simple steps you've replaced the chassis of a Tin Turtle!

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