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Bachmann OO A1 Peppercorn 4-6-2 with DCC Sound, SuperCap stay-alive, lamps, firebox glow, smoke etc.

Kit: Zimo MX645 (hard-wired) with Flame12 speaker in boiler (NB use IceCube18X13X12-1W instead); YouChoos SuperCap6800uF stay-alive; 3 buffer beam lamps (directional); SMD firebox glow LED; SMD cab light; weathered crew; Seuthe #27 smoke generator; white metal chimney

Our donor loco was supplied to us with some custom weathering already... nice model

Start to disassemble - model is well thought-out and comes apart in fairly obvious stages. Make a note of where everything came from - I use small plastic boxes and keep each stage's parts in sequence.

Crack off the boiler door - can take a bit of doing

Drill a large-ish hole under the boiler which will be used to feed wires through from the lamps on the buffer beam, up into the boiler to the decoder

Enlarge the holes for the lamps - remember the frame is metal, and our lamp legs are 'live', so we need to wrap a tiny length of heat shrink around the base of the lamps, and this needs to fit in the holes - they look like very large holes, but they will disappear neatly once the lamps and their heat shrink is inserted.

Underneath we create shallow channels for the lamp wires to follow (3 wires on each side of the loco), so the frame can sit flush on the cylinders later

Next, prepare the cab, drilling a hole for the firebox glow LED and another in the top to feed wires for the cab light. On the reverse side, grinding a dip, so that the firebox LED will sit closer to the front of the aperture when it is glued behind.

The firebox and cab light LEDs can be glues into position. We also add their resisters now and neatly stick them into the reverse side, as there's loads of room there in the loco.

The metal weight in the front of the boiler needs to be reduced at its' front so that a Seuthe #27 smoke generator can fit in the boiler, sitting in the front chimney. Grind it quite low, so that the retaining screw still screws in, but only just! We need as much height as possible for the smoke unit!

Next we prepare the white metal chimney, de-burring and tidying it up, as well as drilling out the chimney's holes to the right size... the front hole needs to snuggly fit the Seuthe unit.

Using DevCon 5-minute epoxy (high temperature rating), we fix the chimney and smoke generator in place, as well as screwing in the modified boiler weight. This is quite tricky, as it all has to be done in one hit due to positioning of everything. Be patient, and do plenty of test-runs before mixing the epoxy!

Back to the buffer-beam lamps, which can be glued in (remember the heat shrink around the lamp bases, since the frame is metal!). Work slowly, glueing down short runs at a time, making sure the wires are flush and neat in the channels we ground out earlier, eventually working them back to the rear-most hole. We've used 2 yellow vertical mount lamps (outsides) and a single red vertical one in the centre, which will be used for reverse motion.

Feed the 6 wires up through the new hole in the boiler base, and work the boiler back onto the frame, gently pulling the wires through as you go, all wires, including the smoke generator's out the front - the front gives easy access to join everything up.

Finish off the cab by adding some dirty chaps

Black acrylic paint to hide the coloured wires

A single resister at the front will protect our 3 lamps on the buffer beam

Prepare the MX645 decoder, which has an extra function output wire added, as we need 5 in total (lamps fwd, lamp rev, firebox glow, smoke and cab light). Prepare all the wiring as neat and flat as possible, as we will need to ensure no chance of snagging on the worm of the motor, which is exposed in this model.

Finish off the wiring at the nose, protecting with heat shrink, and then covering larger collections with bigger heat shrink - remember that these wires will be feeding past the hot smoke generator, so decent protection from the heat is wise.

Wiring should now tuck in neatly and we can put the boiler door back on.

Home straight now... decoder and SuperCap6800uF are connected up. The decoder should have plenty of space to slot into the boiler behind the smoke generator, and the SuperCap should slide in underneath it - if you've done the wires neat enough, then there's actually a surprising amount of space for them! Remember to cover the SuperCap in electrical tape, as its' case is the -VE connection so must be protected from anything metal!

Perfect space at the rear (where the 8pin DCC socket was) for a YouChoos Flame12 speaker. NB we would use an IceCube18X13X12-1W now.

Small grind off the front of the chassis, to provide space for the lamp wires to go without getting squished.

Everything back together now

Just got to paint the chimney and re-weather where necessary - time for the airbrush!


Please note that these guides are provided as useful resources for you, as-is. YouChoos cannot be held responsible for errors in the information, or for any damage caused to your models or equipment if you choose to follow any of the steps detailed here.

A bit of YouChoos poster art for your enjoyment!