Nicks workshop mutterings

Various railway orientated modelling projects in my new workshop/railway room.

Archive for the category “Locomotives”

Eggesford progress

I have now finished the 3mm Society/Malcolm Mitchell kit of a Great Western 517 class tank which is now running on Eggesford with a rake of 4 wheel coaches which are also from 3mm Society kits.


The picture below shows a busy time at Eggesford which, I’m afraid, has become rather “Westernised”! The 517 can be seen on a Down local passenger with a  steam rail motor on an up service and a LSWR Ilfracombe goods shunting the yard


A Merry Christmas to all my readers. I look forward to progressing more in the New Year with reducing my store of flat pack kits!

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517 has progressed

The loco is now looking like it should. I must admit that I haven’t put on every part that the 4 and 7mm models would have, as many of the etchings are so tiny I can’t see them!! I think the overall effect shows what delightful locos these were.


Now to clean the whole body up and get it painted then move on to the next flat pack. Also, looking at the track in the photos, I must get the ballasting finished on Eggesford. 

GWR 517 Class

I have at last made a start on those draws of flat packs that every modeller has! Quite a few years ago I bought a 3mm Society kit for a GWR 517 Class 0-4-2T. The kit is a Malcom Mitchell kit which has been reduced to 3mm scale. I have looked at with all the etches and pages of instruction many times and tended just to put it back in the box!! With the need for an early GWR tank loco I decided I had to take the plunge. 

Actually the kit is beautifully designed and all the parts fit together with very little if any fettling. However with all the tiny parts supplied as well as having to laminate two or three layers at times this is not a kit for the faint hearted. 

As can be seen from the photos I have assembled the chassis with society Finescale  wheels, a High Level gearbox and Mashimas motor to 14.2mm gauge. The body has got as far as the main structure and a trial fit of the boiler and firebox. The next step is the smoke box and then lots of fine detailing. The kit comes with white metal castings but I intend to turn up a brass dome and safety valve on the lathe.

Poppy’s loco building box

Following a discussion at the St Albans show I commissioned a 3mm scale version of their new loco building jig. It is made from laser cut plywood and comes complete with 1/8″ axles turned down at the ends to take coupling rods.

I am now trying it out to build a chassis for a 0-4-2 GWR 517 class tank. This is the 3 mm society kit reduced down from Malcolm Mitchell’s 4/7 mm kit.

The instructions suggest using the supplied silicon tube to hold the chassis central in the box but I was worried about keeping it square. The first axle is inserted in a central hole and the second is fitted through a slot and the wheelbase is held by using the coupling rods. I have threaded top hat bearings with the flange towards the centre of the box onto the rod first. When the side frames complete with bearings are threaded on they can be pushed tight up to the other bearings and this keeps it all square. 

I am building the chassis to 14.2 mm gauge but not compensated as there isn’t enough room to get rhe beam around the gearbox. If building a chassis with hornblocks this will be ideal to get them in the correct position before soldering up. 

The chassis spacers can be tack soldered to one of the side frames and then the whole lot is set up in the jig  before finally soldering up the spacers.

   
 
Overall I think that ,compared with other more complicated and expensive jigs ,at ¬£25 this is good value. My only worry is that the central, fixed axle hole will wear in time. I may fit brass bearings to this hole to stop the wood wearing. 

AGM success

The 50th anniversary AGM of the 3mm Society was held at Swindon last weekend. I was extremely pleased at the reception that my entry for the ’50’ challenge – 50 x 50 shades of grey- received. I was especially pleased by the comments of Maggie and Gordon Gravett who were the guest judges and also all the smiles that the diorama put on people’s faces. The effect of LED lighting gave the whole scene a feeling of a typical dull, grey day in a misty industrial setting where there is little if any colour.  The reactions were totally not what I expected.

I was also pleased to be runner up in the Tony Birch Award competition for locomotives with my model of the LSWR Metropolitan Tank, or Plymouth Tank as it was known. Construction of it was recorded earlier in this blog.

Metropolitan Tank-finale

Below are two pictures of the finished model. It is painted in the late Beattie livery, used between1874 and 1878, of Purple Brown. The boiler bands are homemade transfers with black and white lining. The lining on the tank sides was scribed through the top layer of paint to expose the undercoat which gives a reasonable representation of the fine lines involved.

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Precursor update

I have now finished the model of the ex LNWR Precursor based on the old GEM kit. It has been finished as LMS number 5292 Medusa. The original LNWR number was 366.

The picture below shows it outside the engine shed on the Lakebank layout it is destined for;

DSC_2023

Pick ups, a cautionary tail!

I have started building another locomotive to use on the club layout – Lakebank. This is a Jinty which is being made from a 3mm Society/ J M Models etched brass kit.
The chassis is compensated with a fixed rear axle. Drive is from a Mashima motor mated to a Branchlines 38:1 gearbox. I set the motor and gearbox up and had it running well. The chassis was soldered up on a jig using the coupling rods as guides. Using a set of Romford wheels the chassis ran freely. I then put on the Finescale wheels and gearbox, but without the final gear glued to the axle. After a bit of adjustments to the quartering and a touch of lubricant to the horn guides the wheels were running freely. I then glued the gear wheel and attached fly leads to the motor. On the test bed the chassis went well in both directions. I thought I had cracked it.
I then added the pick ups from .33mm phosphor bronze wire and wired it all up. Trying it on the test track I found it would go fine in one direction but the gear box seemed to jam in the other direction. Two hours and many minor adjustments later it was still the same!! Time to sleep on it…….

The next day I got out Iain Rice’s book on chassis building and reading the section on pick ups I realised my mistake. I had put short pick up wires rubbing on the back of the wheels. This was putting too much pressure on the wheels stopping the compensation functioning properly and causing the chassis to lock up. Putting on proper Bus bars with long pick up wires attached and bearing lightly on the flanges solved the problem and hey presto the chassis runs well in both directions. I have used short wires before with no problem but that was on a non compensated chassis.

The moral of the story? Consult the experts, they seem to know how to do it correctly!

LSWR Metropolitan Tank

I have decided that the standard gauge locomotive stud for Yeoton Wharf needs to be expanded. I have started to construct a 4-4-0T Metropolitan Tank-also known as a Plymouth Tank-. The one I have chosen is No. 318 which was an Adams rebuild in 1877.

metrop[olitan tank 1

I have constructed the chassis using frames and coupling rods for a GWR Bulldog, which has the same wheel base. The motor is a Mashima mated to a High Level Compact gearbox. The outside cylinders are modified from a spare set of castings I had for the Beattie well tank.

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Now to build the body.

progress

I have now completed the basic superstructure for the LNWR Precursor. These are the basic GEM castings which despite being over thirty years old, went together very well and required little if any cleaning up. Construction has ben a combination of epoxy resin and low melt soldering. I have added correct pattern LNWR buffers from 3mm society castings. The tender top was missing from the kit but I have constructed one from plasticard. The tender fittings are again sourced from the society.

The pictures below show the loco on Lakebank Mk2 the layout it is intended for. The picture also shows the new overbridge at the entrance to the layout. In the background is the joint in the scenery where the hill fits. This is made as a lift out piece to allow access to point switches and will eventually be disguised with ground foliage.

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The next job is to add detail to the loco. This includes brake gear, boiler backhead , cab details, vacuum pipes etc. as well as filling the gaps in the castings.

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