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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all British types out there.

I just picked up a NIB Duchess kit and I'm looking for some comments or advice on this engine. I looked over the forums and cannot find a lot said about it. After building a Berk, this looks so small. One thing I was wondering about is how well do they hold steam? The boiler is only two flues. I noticed that the Castle is listed as a 4 flue boiler. Otherwise the Castle is about identical size wise.

Also I would like comments on how the Duchess kit compairs with the Castle kit. In looking at the build photos, they look similar.

I am aware of two mods that are advised, the enhanced water flow connector, and raising the floor of the burners up a bit. Is there anything else that is suggested?

Thanks much.

Joel
 

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Hi Joel,

While I have not built this specific Aster model, I have built many other Asters (including both both the 9F and the Flying Scotsman) and I would like to make a recommendation to you. BTW, I live just a couple miles from Hans and steam with him regularly, so I am familiar with the operation of this engine. Straight out of the box, it was an excellent steamer. The C type boiler used on this engine is very efficient and holds pressure well, so don't be put off by the number of flues or its size. The loco also has a nice exhaust bark and pulls well. Without making any judgment on any of the proposed changes, my recommendation to you is to build the locomotive EXACTLY per the instructions, and then run it for a while before you launch into a series of modifications. You may well discover that for you and your operation of the engine, no modifications are needed. But if you go and make modifications during the initial construction, then you really can't hold Aster responsible if the thing doesn't run right.


Best of luck with your building,

Ross Schlabach
 

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Joel,

You are a lucky guy to find an Aster Duchess kit NIB. There a lot of people over here who would consider murder to get one of these rarities! As Ross suggests, build it by the book. If you have any steaming issues later on then come back and tell us on MLS and we can then suggest a couple of mods which can easily be made to the finished loco.

Good luck and enjoy the build!

Andrew
 

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I have both Duchess of Sutherland and Duchess of Montrose. They pull like fury and I haven't done anything other than follow the instructions. Getting an extension to the regulator is a good investment (Miltion Locoworks). This video dates back to 2007 before I made the mistake of moving to damp, dreary Seattle!

Robert
 
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