I just finished my Billy built with the 4 kits from Roundhouse. All in all it is a kit not so difficult and I will recommend it to both new-comers (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 describing how to built everything.


The first kit (HBK1) is to built the chassis and all running parts. This is straight forward 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 carefull 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 pluss 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 controll installed.


The second kit (HBK3) contains all the parts for the boiler, safety valve, pressure gauge, gas tank, tank for cylinder lubrication and all pipes. Be carefull when bending the pipework. I just used some round nose pliers, which worked well for me. After finishing all this it was time for some trial runs. I filled water, lubrication oil and gas. Oiled all running parts very well and ignited the burner, all as described in the manual. Surprise, surprise when the pressure reached 40 psi I opened the steam regulator and.. it was running. I had the loco running for about 5 hours forward and 5 hours backwards. It was only running on wooden blocks so there was no resistance but all the running parts are «settling in». I did not use «air» because I did not have any correct couplings. I am also a little unsure about the lubrication when using air in stead of steam.


Now it was time to fit (HBK12) the radio controll equipment, which was done without any problems. All necessary parts are coming with the kit.

To finish the whole loco I used kit (HBK5) containing all body parts. No particular problems were encountered except the painting work. I only had used «airbrush» painting but now I used spray cans. Therefore I had to paint the whole body twice before I was satisfied, specially because the use of two colours which made everything a little more difficult or at least a lot of more work.

I have mounted the following extra:
Summerland chuffer. Be sure to buy the correct one because Billy har two exhaustpipes. I also bought the chuffer where you can change the sound level and amount of steam. The chuffer can be installed when installing the smokebox. No problem encountered.
DJB whistle. I wanted to have the whistle mounted correctly in front of the cab and not under the loco. This gave me some problems when using the batteribox provided from Roundhouse. The steam outlet for the whistle sits on top of the steam regulator end builts quit high. I found some rechargable batteries in my «left-over box» and these were much thinner then the non-rechargables. I also modified the batterie box to just being a strip of metal.

Battery box

A Slomo device from
Small Steam Performance. This device was fitted in about half an hour without problems, but I could not fit the cover on top of the Slomo because the weight shaft provided by Roundhouse is bended and not straight. I left the cover off which is not a big deal.