By Frans van Cuilenborg
I just finished my Billy built with the 4 kits from Roundhouse. All in all it is a kit not so difficult a kit and I will recommend it both to newcomers (as I was) and more advanced builders, because it is a very nice loco and it behaves very well. The manuals included with the kits are very well written and tell you how to build everything.
The first kit (HBK1) builds the chassis and all running parts. This is straightforward but I will point out three things which may require some attention.
- When mounting the coupling rods make sure that there is no binding at any point. This requires some filing but it pays off to do this correctly. The same is for the connecting rod, eccentric rod and the radius rod.
- Be very precise when timing the valves and when drilling the hole for the pin that locks the return crank. The return crank is the only part of somewhat poor quality. I had to bend it before it fitted correctly.
- Be very careful when mounting the expansion link bush and the penguin bracket. I was a little too hard and broke the da** thing. I e-mailed Roundhouse and with no questions asked I got some replacements free of charge. A plus for Roundhouse its excellent service. In this step I also mounted the manual reversing lever arm. I did all the test-running without the radio control installed.