It seemed like a good idea at the time but the Siphon F doesn’t really fit into my region of modelling. However I’d just acquired a Resistance Soldering Unit (RSU) and decided that I’d need an etched brass kit to practice on. As it happened I couldn’t get on with the RSU so I sold that and kept this kit, which is story for another post as RSUs seemed to be a “marmite” issue for many people.
I was scouring ebay at the time when a Metalmodels Siphon F kit popped up, so I put in what I considered to be a lowish bid (about £35-£40 IIRC) as it wasn’t something I specifically wanted – I was just after any kit to have a go with. As “luck” would have it I wasn’t outbid so it ended up on my workbench! It’s quite an old kit – the instructions are dated 1975 but the etches are clean and crisp. The main bodyshell comes pre-folded and was straight and square. The first task is to solder in the end doors as these have extended tabs to locate the side sheets. The sides are built up from three additional layers of etches on the side of the main shell. They use a slot and tab system to locate them and each set of louvres on each layer are etched in a slightly lower position than the previous layer. As you build the sides up this gives a very effective 45 degree louvre to the sides.
To keep the sides straight there are four top cross members to be added, these have an 6BA nut soldered underneath to provide a retaining system for bolting the roof to the main body.
Some brass U channel was included in the kit for the underframe and there was an etching for the headstocks however this seemed slightly narrow for the body so a replacement was fabricated from some nickel-silver sheet.
Unfortunately the whitemetal castings aren’t up to the same standard as the etchings or more modern kits. The buffers were replaced with suitable brass ones from CPL, I then started building up the bogies, I can’t remember the suggested arrangement but I bought a set of sprung bogies from CPL. These went together really nicely, the bogie side frames were joined with a simple bit of brass angle to bolt onto the CPL bogies.
Detailing was then started to be added to the main body, corner strapping, hinges etc. which are all included in the kit. The etched body started to look the part but unfortunately the castings for the bogie were fairly basic and “let the side down” at which point I lost interest in the build.
I later on found a kit from JLTRT for suitable 9ft “American” bogies for the Siphon F which looked a little better in my eyes in terms of detail so these were duly purchased and will form the basis of a new post.