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Brick’s Forney (getting started)

From Kathleen Breidenbach, 26 Aug 1997

Since I just got started less than a year ago myself, I think I can answer this.

I built my first Brick’s kit (the forney, probably not the best one to start with) a few months ago. It came out surprisingly well except: in cutting off one of the domes for the new dome, I took a nick out of the firebox (I think it’s the firebox, I’m not real good at locomotive parts yet)

I should have soldered instead of CA’ing. I screwed up one side of the tender and had to re-glue and de-glue and re-glue and deglue and I even got my finger stuck to it. (Had to de-glue to get the fingerprint off!) In fact thanks to the advice and help of the guys in the group, I’ve nearly finished a home-made resistance soldering unit to do my next two kits from Brick.

The visor on one side of the cab does not have a clean bend because I bent it against a cutting mat, which gave under the pressure instead of producing a clean bend. Brick recommends, I think, platypus pliers or something like that. I didn’t even try to find them (no doubt I should have)

the tender is crooked, but only if you look at it directly from above.

the most difficult thing for me was adding the rear wheelset under the tender, probably because I used a Kadee [Micro Trains] set with truck-mounted coupler. I stuffed the tender with coils of lead used for tying fishing flies. (As I said I was new to this, but hey, it worked. It’s nice and heavy and runs well.)

So it’s not perfect. I used only Brick’s own instructions in building it. Brick’s instructions are very clear and I like that he includes both a
drawing AND a photograph. You can see what it’s supposed to look like.

I had, however, read thoroughly Brick’s excellent book on modelling in narrow gauge. Buy it or, as I did, get it from the local library. It’s really super for beginners and experts alike. In fact, of all the books on general model railroading I’d read, I found it the most helpful and the least intimidating.

I think you should just go for it. This was my very first kit other than a little plastic house and freight station. If I couls do it–more or less well–anybody can!


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