Hornby - NRM Shildon 60103 Scotsman Sound Fit


With some trepidation about the loco's gloss finish, I decided to order the Locomotion Scotsman special pack with locomotive and support coach.

The real 60103 at the NRM York in early 2016.


Likely configuration:

I had the opportunity to reblow the sound project in a spare Zimo 644D decoder with a copy of Paul Chetter's latest A3 offering, so despite previous problems combining Hornby steam models with Zimo sound decoders, this was the first option to be tried.

I already had a 28mm round ESU speaker, which will fit the Hornby mounting in the tender....... except that I couldn't see a realistic way to achieve the required front to back isolation using Hornby's mounting arrangements. So something a little more radical was required.

A significant issue is the fragile nature of the gloss finish..... Its very easy to spoil the finish, so I abandoned plans to add lighting at the same time.

I also plan to fit a Zimo 6800uF super cap into the tender, with a protection circuit to keep its charge voltage within specification.


That gloss finish certainly has "presence", but although the prototype also has a glossy finish, the model looks just a little too perfect!


A few issues to sort out:

The tiny wind brake window on one side of the cab was broken upon arrival, but I was able to make a satisfactory repair. I decided to wait until I had the model DCC equipped and running on the loft layout, before fitting the cylinder drain pipes below each outside cylinder casing. I need to investigate possible interference between the pipes and the front bogie on real world curves before finalising the arrangement.



Speaker and stay alive capacitor fit within the Tender.

The solution I decided upon was to abandon the original Hornby speaker location,and instead, to produce a new sealed enclosure, towards the rear of the tender.  The stay alive capacitor fits on one side of the coal hopper and the components needed to protect the capacitor from over-voltage during charging, were mounted on the other side of the hopper.  The decoder fits on an ESU adapter board, which replaces the original Hornby 8 pin connector. Adapter board and decoder are located within the coal hopper, hidden under the moulded coal load. Wiring passes through a hole cut into the bottom of the coal hopper.

Showing the new speaker enclosure and the Zimo capacitor.


Protection circuit (Using the lowest voltage zener left in the pack, but still needing an extra diode drop to keep below 15 Volts at the capacitor)

(The zeners were bought to work with 16V capacitors)

On the other side of the coal hopper is the capacitor protection circuit.


One corner of the ballast weight in the tender base assembly is removed to make room for the capacitor.

(Also the weight is insulated immediately below the protection circuit.)

The decoder wiring is routed into the coal hopper, where it is soldered to the rear of an ESU 21 pin adapter PCB.


The Zimo MX644D plugs into the adapter board within the coal hopper.


The coal load keeps the decoder hidden.


The working locomotive & tender, ready to stretch its legs on the loft layout.


Cylinder drain pipes & modern brake hoses fitted.

(No problems with bogie wheel contact on the loft curves.)

I've trimmed the length of the Hornby A3 pipes to more closely resemble

the real Scotsman's present non-standard drain pipes assembly.

A couple of dummy oil lamps are also now glued in place.

The Function Listing:


Inputting the PC details:

Side view for input to Train Animator,  DCC Address is 29


To see a You Tube video of the Scotsman & train, please click here.



Scotsman Part 2:


The standard Hornby matt finish Scotsman has now arrived........ This one will be treated as a BR A3 East Coast Mainline locomotive of circa 1960 vintage.

Hornby provided a free puzzle with the loco, in the form of a piece of mechanical linkage found in the box.

This was identified as what I suspect may be part of the injector control mechanism below the cab on the right hand side.

A drop of super glue fixed it back in place.


Zimo 644D decoder with Paul Chetter's latest A3 sound project. (Connected to ESU 21 pin adapter board in the coal hopper, hidden by the coal load.)

40x20mm ESU 50334 speaker, fitted in its standard enclosure, facing downwards within the tender. (Venting via the wheel slots).

Zimo 6800uF super cap in rear of the tender, with a protection circuit to keep its charge voltage within specification.

Firebox lighting using a fixed glow red LED and a flickering orange LED triggered by the coal shovelling sound.

Twin express passenger LNER style oil lamps on the outside buffer beam brackets with yellow tinted white LEDs.

Footplate crew.


The Good News:

The matt Scotsman is now complete with all the above in place.......it looks superb, much more convincing than its gloss predecessor!


The Bad News:

Unlike the gloss Scotsman, which ran beautifully smoothly straight out of the box....... Unfortunately the matt locomotive exhibits cyclic hesitation, with a very brief reduction in speed every revolution of the driving wheels, corresponding to a particular driving wheel position. Neither running in on a rolling road or careful lubrication of the wheels and rod pivot points have so far had any significant impact on the problem. Its not incredibly obvious, so I could just about live with it...... but.....


A possible solution:   As that gloss Scotsman will probably spend most of its remaining life in the box, I'm contemplating a chassis swop and a move of the gloss machine's decoder to my new LNER apple green B17. I may have to overpaint the gloss black cylinders with matt paint and also swop the drain cock pipework, which looks better on the matt machine..... but that all looks do-able!  Stay tuned for further developments!

The "Much Better" News:

That has transformed the low speed behaviour! I was even able to swop the cylinder assemblies, so I now have a much more realistic looking (in my eyes at least) Scotsman, complete with lighting and crew, but with a smooth running chassis assembly!

I'll remove the decoder, adapter board and stay alive supercap, in readiness for application to the new B17. Then replace the 8 pin socket.....job done!

Trying to pin down the problem:

I'm wondering what the problem on the hesitating chassis might be.... perhaps one or more wheel sets does not have quite the correct orientation of one wheel to its partner..... something to take a careful look at.........Yup! lead wheel set has >90 degrees between coupling rod pivot on one side and the other, while the rear and centre wheel sets look close to 90 degrees. I'll remove the offending wheel set and see if its possible to correct the issue. After a bit of a struggle, I removed the wheel set, clamped one wheel in a vice and applied a twisting action to the other wheel. I managed to ease the other wheel through a couple of degrees or so and with a lot more of a struggle got everything back together again. My crude manipulation has made a definite improvement in the forward motion, which is virtually smooth now, but the hesitation effect (every wheel revolution) still occurs when in reverse........ So I think its still a case of salvaging useful content and boxing up the gloss machine.......


Some photos of the  Scotsman in a more realistic semi-matt finish...




........project just about done!            

Supplier website links:
Locomotion models    Gloss Scotsman & support coach sourced from the NRM base at Shildon
Hornby shop    Matt Scotsman sourced from here (would have been lower cost from Hattons!)
Digitrains    Source for Zimo stay alive super cap, LEDs, oil lights and speakers


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