Five Shunter Challenge Pt3.4: Comprehending Compensation

This time we continue the discussion about my plans to build these five kits with compensation. As with all things in life, there are a number of different ways to fit a compensation system and the five shunters being built require quite different approaches. Today we will look at the horn block compensation system.

What are Horn Blocks?

This DJH kit of the BR Class 02 Shunter is built as a rigid chassis, but after attempting to build the chassis a few years ago, I decided that I would prefer to include compensation. The rigid chassis is constructed on horn blocks (bearings that look like brass cubes), so I decided to purchase a separate horn block compensation kit.

The driving axle shouldn’t be compensated on a 0-4-0, so I started to prepare the non-driving axle for compensation. The compensation kit instructions include helpful illustrations, but I was a bit scared to discover that I would need to cut a wider hole in the chassis for the compensated horn blocks to fit into.

I built up the outer horn block plates and used these to marked out the chassis with a permanent marker.

2014-11-09 09.47.32LR


2014-11-08 23.19.14LR


I then cut out the square gap using a fine hack saw with a thread-like blade.

The advantage of this horn block system is that you can manually adjust the height of the driving axle and the amount of compensation either side using screws. This means that even if my cutouts are not identical I can urh… compensate.. for that with the screws. I must admit that I am really pleased with the result and the chassis runs really well.

2014-11-10 21.45.24LR

2014-11-10 21.45.05LR

x5 Shunter Challenge Progress

2014-11-11 20.41.42LR

BR Class 02 Diesel ShunterDJH

Chassis block constructed, compensation fitted.

Sentinel post war 100HP 0-4-0VBT – RT Models

Chassis block constructed, compensation fitted.

Ruston & Hornsby 88DSJudith Edge

Chassis block constructed, compensation fitted.

11001Judith Edge

Chassis block constructed., compensation fitted.

English Electric/Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0DEJudith Edge

No progress

P.S. If there are any aspects of x5 shunter challenge that you want me to cover (be it soldering, equipment… anything at all) please do leave a comment or contact me by email. I will reply. You can also follow me on twitter for instant updates.

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