World Kogei N Scale #11 Kit Assembly

This page will feature photos and some basic notes as I build this wonderful kit. World Kogei kits are extraordinary with incredible attention to detail and precision. They can be hard to source on occasion, often reserved or sold out long before production.

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This is what greets you. This is often the very step that stops a kit from being built. Yes there are alot of parts and many sheets of etch for an N Scale loco, some organisation keeps the parts safe until needed.

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One of the very first operations is alot of etch bending. There are many ways to bend etch I find a specially ground pair of pliers sometimes useful for bending tabs. Below is an example of an etch bending tool, there are many different sizes and varieties of these tools on the market...

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Below are the pair of frames. Remembering these kits use live frames, it's extremely important to remove all tags off parts, ensure all parts are square so the two halves of the frames never touch. Getting it right now is much easier than after the thing is painted...

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Testing the frame for a short, my Fluke tells me all is well so far. When assembling the frame, critical to follow manufacturers advice on spacer washers, both metal and plastic, to ensure the frames sit the right space apart.

n scale locomotive assembly

Here is the chassis with all gears and the motor mount fitted. The clearances are extremely tight, check the frame for any short circuit as you go, and rectify immediately before proceeding. Time taken to this point approx 1.5 hours.

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Below is the chassis with the gears, wheels and valve gear fitted. These kits use a gear train to drive all the wheels and the rods go along for the ride, this doesn't mean you can ignore any alignment or quartering, if anything, it's a tad more fiddly having to effectively watch for gear and rod alignment, twice over... Wheels are made by inserting the centre (you need to mark your own quarters with both wheels and gear relationship, remember both gear and rods need to align) then pressing the wheels onto the geared boss, gauge is automatic. The motor needs to be inserted with the positive motor tab matching the chassis to ensure NMRA standard of + power on right rail to move forward  (or to the right, depends where you sit on that). With kits this tiny gear mesh is critical. Turns out when I built the motor cradle I must have bent it at 89 and not 90 degrees, a small shim made from 5 thou plastic, filed down to about 3 thou aligned the motor, you can see this in the bottom photo. The mech runs sweet and draws less than 10mA. 

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The cylinder block is a flat etch, folded and soldered. The wrappers are then fitted along with remaining details. You need to be very careful with solder, only the most minimal amount is to be used otherwise the rods will foul. There are braver souls than I that fit a small square of lead in the underside of the cylinder block for weight, I'll pass. I'll add it in the boiler. Next step of assembly, the tender for a change of pace. Time to this point, 5 hours.

etched brass kit n scale

The tender is made up of 3 subassemblies. Starting with the frame. The various tabs are bent out, the underframe is folded, but very important NOT to solder the laminates until inserted into the floor. the fit is so precise any solder, any movement of a part or any type of interference will prevent etches slotting together. Once the frame is assembled, the frame is soldered, then excess tab filed flush with the floor.

n scale locomotive

Here are the axle/box spring subassemblies. They start out flat and require many folds to build up a part. This is certainly one of those operations where you must get it right first go. As the tabs when folded correctly hold everything in alignment. The etch will not survive an unfolding and retry, it will all split. If unsure with a complex operation such as this, take the extra time to either think it out, ask for help or seek out a modelbuilding group to assist. This axlebox assembly had 7 folds.

etched brass kit

Here is the tender body. Again there are many folds, and with brass etch this fine, everything needs to be done first go, the right way around. A minimum of solder is needed to assemble the various laminates. The inside of the front of the bunker needed to be polished smooth as it's on show on the finished model. So very important that the locker boxes and shoveling plate on this bunker front are soldered well, with solder under the part, otherwise the assembly will fall apart when finishing.

n scale locomotive
etched brass tender

This locomotive is to have Micro Trains couplers fitted. A small modification to the frame was required to allow a coupler to fit. I could have used a MT-7 in the etched coupler box for the typical Rapido coupler, though I prefer to standardise one coupler part # where possible. The tender is complete, rolls sweet as a nut. A small square of lead will be added prior to final assembly to offer some weight, though not necessarily needed as this loco will only haul two wagons (subject of a future article as well.) To this point, fit of every component is perfect out of the box, attention to detail is magnificent and a joy to observe and work with. Up next is the locomotive body itself.

n scale locomotive kit

Painted and ready for a little more weathering and coal to finish the tender off.

Paint used is Tamiya LP-5 Semi gloss black over an etch black Primer. Very little paint was used as the primer did most of the work. Client requests standard MT N scale couplers, for small N Scale models I recommend the Z Scale couplers for closer to scale appearance.

Thanks for following along...!

N Scale locomotive