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Building a Lister based on the Kato Portram truck

The Kato Portram truck is an interesting little bogie for small critter projects. Recently I stumbled upon a white metal Lister kit from the UK made especially for this little creature.

You can buy the complete Portram car from Kato with two trucks, but it has also been available separately with several part numbers, like 14802D1G. With this you will also get an electroncs board that is not needed. Please note that maximum voltage without electronics should not exceed 6V.

The RT Models parts are nicely done without too much flash, and the frame is prepared for the bogie to snap in. There is no need to fix the chassis to the frame. If you take care during assembly and dry-test once in a while, the chassis will snap in and stay fixed.

Parts and Kato bogie

The driver shipped with the kit looks a bit odd, and is probably oversized for HOn30, so I left it out.

Assembly of the frame is straightforward after some cleaning and filing. Make sure to test-fit the bogie before assembly. I used medium CA, but low temp solder is also an option. Using a Dremel with a brass wire brush before assembly will also add to the finish and make the glue stick better.

Soldering the wires to the truck should be done quickly to avoid melting the gears. Be well prepared and use a small hot tip on your soldering iron. Note how the wires are crossed to get correct polarity (Never sure about this..).

Frame and Kato bogie

Frame and Kato bogie

The truck fits snugly, but some of the black plastic on the sides may have to be removed with a sharp knife. The protrusion in the front of the truck needs to be removed. I also painted the sides of the wheels a rusty brown before assembly as they are *shiny*.

Truck mounted

Truck mounted, note lots of space for MT couplers

The details were added as per the instructions, the model was then washed with soap water and primed with Tamiya light primer, and the final colors were brush painted on.
Finally, an old driver from Weston/Campbell was sent to the chiropractor for some adjustments, and touched up with a mix of colors from a Woodland mini paint set.

Final result with a Weston figure in the driver's seat

Some clutter and weathering remains, but it is running really nice, and can pull several of the small cars.
Although I have not checked the height, it looks like there is plenty of space for some small MT couplers in the end beams.
Thanks to the Murquick Mine page for inspiration.
Next project based on this nice little truck will probably be a Sequoia speeder – Looks promising so far.

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