For some time, I have eyed off the Cartic 4 kit from the NGS as being one of those kind of vehicles which would be interesting to have. It was going to be a Rule 1 kit until 18 months ago when I decided to add the BR Blue era to my list of interests - a bit of research showed that a train of Cartics would be acceptable in this period and so it moved up the list from Rule 1 to "needed" (for a given value of needed as my wife says!).
The NGS advises that this kit is advanced (the website also says it comes with decals but mine didn't - I will have to chase this up but I may have older stock! No matter as I will be getting at least 2 more) but I think, so far, that it would be a good introduction for someone who is comfortable with building plastic to move into brass - from my experience, it is shake the box, follow the instructions and voilà.
Photo 1 shows progress at the end of the first evening. The plastic bases had been taken from the box the kit comes in, cleaned up and glued together. I found that by putting them out in order, I avoided gluing the wrong bits to the wrong bits. Next was putting the bits in for the articulation. The loops can be shortened as desired for closer coupling - I shortened mine to run around the Kato 315mm radius set track curves as this is the tightest my layout curves will be. Apologies for the ruler being upside down, but it does give an indication of how long the unit is when completed.
This photo shows the first of the inner units folded up and in the jigs ready to solder. The instructions say if you do it properly then you can move it around without if coming apart. I must have done it correctly because that is what I found. Taking the time to make sure the top deck is a drop-in to the locating channels on the side is the best approach - just like it says on the page. I soldered mine together but using supa-glue to holding then epoxy to put it all together is certainly an option.
The two inners done - this was done on the second evening of progress and took around half an hour. The second was certainly faster than the first and by the time I started on the outer units, I had dispensed with the jigs. Once I had the two inners done, I checked to make sure they were still clearing on the Kato oval.
The end of the second evening. The unit is basically complete as all which is left to do is add the rails and other nickle silver detailing parts, then paint (Rail Blue in my case) and source some transfers.