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Found 1 result

  1. Mayner

    A Gaggle of J15s

    I ended up modelling the 101 Class almost by accident. I set out too many years ago with the intention of modelling the Mayo Road in the 1950s & scratchbuilt a number of locos including a 650 Class and a 594 Midland standard goods, ten along came the TMD J15 in 1985-85. My early scratchbuilding efforts ran reasonably well but looked a bit rough, I was impatient and did not have the steadiest hand with the piercing saw. I scrapped my scratchbuilt engines keepings the wheels gears and motors castings and other bits with the intention of building replacements, but I am only getting round to it 30 years later, though I did build quite a few brass and whitemetal kits both Irish & UK. I seem to go through a pattern of building a J15 every 8-10 years and currently have a total of 5. Two working, one part built and two unbuilt kits. I 1st assembled 193 (loco on left) between 1986-7, it did not run the best so I rebuilt it 7-8 years later and flowed up with 191 in 1995. I acquired my 3rd J15 as part of a job lot of part built & unbuilt TMD/SSM kits at Expo EM around 2000, the builder of this loco had attempted to assemble the loco with a compensated chassis to S4 standards and ran into problems with the chassis assembly. I acquired a further pair about 10 years ago, when my modelling interests turned towards the Limerick-Sligo line where the 101 Class handled the majority of freight workings from the Amalgamation to the end of steam. The basic idea is to retire 193 and have 4 locos available for freight service, with at least one with a superheated boiler and heavier frames, to free-up a set of frames. I prepared a set of test etches for converting the SSM kit, I hope to cover off the test assembly of the superheated loco using these parts in the thread. I though it would be useful to review how I approached the challenge of assembling and motorising 193 & 191, before considering the build completion of further locos. 191 & 193 have different motors and gearboxes, and I decided to standardise on Mashima 10X20 motors and Branchlines Road Runner + gearboxes on the "new" locos to bring a bit of standardisation into the fleet. A bit like the GSR my attempts at standardisation will only add to the variety of the fleet. 193 has lost some of her tender springs and 191 some of its tender axlebox covers which were glued on, I soldered them on to the white engine! 193 has a sprung chassis, with Anchorage DS10 (Tenshodo?) open frame motor and Sharman milled brass gearbox with 40:1 reduction gearing, Sharman B profile wheels set to 21mm gauge with a back to back of 19.5mm. Pick up is through the axles and bearings on the "American system" with the loco picking up power on the opposite side to the tender, the driving and tender wheels are shorted out on one side with fine brass wire. The phosphor/bronze wire soldered to the frame space may be to aid power pick up from the axle to the frames and motor. This system has operated reliably at exhibitions and at home except when I lubricated the bearings with a Labelle oil for the Inchacore 150 Exhibition. I flushed out the bearings with a solvent and oiled the beraings with my usual Fleishmann oil and the locos ran perfectly on the second day of the exhibition. Initially assembling the chassis almost defeated me, I fitted new frame spacers, sprung hornblocks and flywheel during the 1993-4 rebuild, unfortunately I discarded the brake gear during the 1st attempts at assembling the loco as I did not have any suitable bits to drill 0.45 or 0.7mm holes. The DS10 motor was one of the smallest available at the time and is a bit high revving for a goods loco, the Sharman gearbox is fully enclosed with an Ultrascale 40:1 gear set. I will probably re-use the motor and gearbox in a passenger loco when 193 is retired from service. 191 is fitted with a Mashima 12X24 motor and Branchline Slimline open frame gearbox with 80:1 gearing, which gives more realistic handling and top speed for a goods locomotive. This loco is fitted with a compensated chassis with a fixed rear axle and the leading and driving axle free to move up and down approx .5mm from center. Smoother slow speed running compared to a loco with a rigid chassis (as a result of improved pickup with all 6 wheels in contact with the rails) is probably the main benefit of a suspension system in a small loco. I build my locos in removable sub-assemblies to allow a loco to be dismantled for painting, and maintenance. The loco brake hangers and pull rods are a removable sub-assembly, which allow the wheels, gearbox and motor to be dropped out. I soldered a piece of brass rod to the brake stretcher bars to reinforce a very fragile sub-assembly. The brass strip under the tender is an afterthought that serves the same function! The insulated loco-tender drawbar is a piece of C&L abs plastic sleeper strip, power connection between the loco and tender is a very neat single pin connector that was sold by a UK kit/part supplier possibly Crownline or Comet at exhibitions. 191s compensation beam may also perform a power pick up function. The "White Engines" frames after removal of hornblock system. The white engine was originally fitted with an early version of the Perseverence Hornblock system and a Mashima motor and Branchlines gearbox similar to 191. I initially tried to re-use the chassis with the minimal amount of effort, by reaming out the existing bearings and fitting Sharman B Profile wheels. The original builder had become stuck at the same point with a number of engines and gave up in frustration, mainly weak soldered joints possibly as a result of insufficient heat soldering frames to spacers and axles seizing in their bearings due to a combination of inadequate preparation and flux contamination. I was dis-satisfied with running so I ended up removing the existing hornblocks to fit MJT hornblocks similar to those used on 191, the solder joints between frames and machined brass spacers failed as a result of the heat, so its probably simpler to use one of the nickle silver chassis from one of the un-built kits to get this loco into service, than try and rebuild the existing chassis. The photo also exposes a major weak point of the chassis for a builder who intends fitting a suspension system, there is precious metal left above the hornblock cutouts at the rear of the chassis once the half etched lines are cut out. I fitted reinforcing strips to the rear of 191 & 193s chassis as a result of a lesson learned during my first attempt at assembly of the same loco. There has been a lot of development in fine scale chassis since I 1st assembled 193, I am looking at the feasibility of fitting the 3 new chassis with a continuous beam suspension system which has become popular during the past 20 years rather than compensation like 191 or sprung hornblocks like 193, I am also looking at the pros and cons of mounting the motor in the tender with a flexible drive to the loco compared with mounting the new smaller 10X24 motor between the frames in order to maximise weight in the boiler and firebox and increase adhesion weight.
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