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Mayner

Tales from the carriage shops

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Last years New Resolution not to start any new projects and concentrate on finishing my long list of un-finished projects kind of backfired, to make matters worse one of our cats Beeze took up residence in Keadue station, an eye level layout is very attractive to the feline species.

I have removed the buildings and stock until I get a chance to install a lighting pelmet above the layout to complete the proscenium arch effect to disguise the awkward exit stage right at the Arigna end of the yard.

The year before last we made the mistake of adapting two kittens 6-8 weeks apart who are now unable to share quarters and our office has become by default a cat bedroom.

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I did manage to complete the detailing and painting of some 4mm scale 21mm gauge stock but have not gotten around to commissioning/ordering decals

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The Ruston 88DS is a very old Impetus kit similar to those used by the Sugar Company the rest of the train is my own design, I hope at some stage to have a mail train suitable for the GSR and CIE green & black and tan eras.

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And so this New Years Resolution to tidy up the workbench and start something new for a change 9_9

Prototypes for CIE MK1 & 2 Flat wagons, 650 class patterns and a pair of hooded vans for my mail train.

The Unimat SL is set up for turning between centres for new axle centers for one of the Large Scale   locos. The large scale storage yard and loco yard sit below the baseboards for either an American N or Irish 4mm layout if I ever get round to building either.

The baseboards and backscene for the new layout were installed about 3-4 years ago, I am a slow worker and getting slower by the day.IMG_4082.JPG.4b78fee0e731bd9691225ad79faedf3c.JPG

Close up of lost wax spring hanger masters for flat wagons. The MK2 flats on the left are slightly lower than the standard CIE 20' chassis in order to carry 8'6" containers throughout the system. The MK 2 flat will have to be re-mastered to simplify assembly.

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Lost wax wagon spring and 650 Class loco castings, these were cast using a cold casting process from the original brass masters. The castings will then be used to produce a mould for casting in pewter once I have completed cleaning up the castings

 

 

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9 hours ago, Broithe said:

Every station should have a cat.

Try to instil a sense of duty by making the position official.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tama_(cat)

Beeze had being doing a good job patrolling the line without disturbing or de-railing anything for about a month before he accidently knocked over the goods shed which fell to the floor. Our other little monster Bushka an absolute Ja Ja Garbor of a cat made short work of the crossing gates at the end of the yard and has a penchant for de-railing N Scale trains, keeps a close interest but hasn't tackled the Large Scale trains

His favourite nesting spot was in the cutting between the loco shed and the roadside tramway section though I havent a photo

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One of this years New Resolutions was to start some new builds along with finishing my un-finished projects. Top of the list were a pair of hooded vans for the mail and passenger trains as I did not keep any for myself when I released the vans in 2013.

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Following Eoin's example made a simple jig or fixture to temporary clamp the parts together while soldering the sides to the floor and ends. In this case I screwed the floor to a sheet of MDF and used a piece of stripwood to clamp the sides against the floor and ends until soldered in place. The ends on the JM Design 4w vans are designed as part of the floor and fold up into position to speed assembly, rather than assembled as separate parts.The doors are designed to fit into the recess, solder is locally sourced 139° with dilute "Ranex Rust Buster" (phosphoric acid solution). I usually use an Antex 55 W TCS Temperature Controlled Iron but I have recently graduated to a Hakko Soldering Station

The vans were built on Bulleid Triangulated chassis with the usual Inchacore bufferbeam arrangement with the flanges facing outwards, tricky to form from flat metal parts. Designing a workable arrangement for the underframe was tricky as the axleguards/W irons usually fit behind the underframe channels, designing a headstock/buffer beam that would fold up easily was challenging to say the least.

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1 Solebar one buffer beam.                                                                                                                                                 Folding up solebar flange in vice

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The finished article                                                                                                                                                                                       The head wrecking stuff folding up the buffer beams! 

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     Fold 1                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fold 2

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                                               Completing the channel/fold 2                                                                                          Completed buffer beam in position

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Van with solebars and buffer beams soldered in place.                                                                                                                           Solebar folded up and held in position for soldering

 

 

 

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An evenings work.  Next stage running and brake gear

 

 

 

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Edited by Mayner
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Large scale staging lead & turntable to loco yard.

The turnout ladder to the large scale staging was originally laid with LGB Med points and electronically controlled by the DCC system & a JMRI CTC panel on the computer laptop. I relaid the ladder with a combination of handlaid and Sunset Valley No4 switches as a result of de-railment problems with body mounted couplers when I shifted from1:22.5 to the more correct 1:20.5 scalestock for American 3' narrow gauge, with hand operated turnouts.

The ground trow for king turnout at the yard lead was difficult to reach in the corner behind the turntable and under a door. Attempts to convert the turnout to electric control with Aristocraft switch-machines was unsuccessful as I could not get the blades to sit reliably against the stock rails in the reversed position.

I eventually moved the ground  throw out from under the door and installed a mechanical linkage between the turnout and ground throw using 1.2mm KS brass rod and model aircraft bell cranks. 

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Model aircraft bell crank mounted on brass plate screwed to shed framing

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Ground trow and linkage. I used 12mm No 3 dome headed wood screws as guides, the linkage was actually constructed from two pieces of 1.2mm brass rod connected by a 1.2mm bore brass sleeve soldered to the tube. This arrangement gave some adjustment during set up and operation has been 100% reliable since installed.

 

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I acquired a pair of SSM GSWR 6 wheelers a brake 3rd and a 4 compartment 1st as suitable stock for a Burma Road inspired layout up to the end of steam.

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The kits were released by SSM around 1999 as a 5 coach set and have been available individually since Des Sullivan took over the business several years ago. The coaches were designed with a 1 & ½ bogie arrangement to get around curves and can be assembled to suit OO, EM or 21mm gauges by soldering the bearing units to the bogie frames. I used 12BA bolts to align & secure the units in place until soldered then folded the bolt head flush with the bogie frames. I used a tapered broach to open out the holes to a 12BA clearance.

I wasn't able to produce and decent photos of the folding and bogie assembly process as I am still trying to get to grips with  a newish camera.

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Bogie frame folded up and bolted together for soldering. The solder is a locally produced 179° solder which does not appear to flow as well as the equivalent  Carr sheet metal solder and finished the assembly with DCC concepts Saphire flux and 145° solder which flows better and is easier on the sinuses than phosphoric flux.

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The floor, underframe and upper stepboards are  basically designed to fold up from one piece of brass the important thing is to make sure edges and the pieces being folded are adequately supported while bending.

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Bogie units and underframe nearly ready to be joined, I still have to bed up the buffer beams.

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One 6w coach chassis, next step to fix springs and axleguards before soldering the lower footboards in position, followed by vacuum cylinders, gas cylinders and buffers.

I omitted the SSM coupling mounts which appear to be designed for tension lock couplers, on brass  locos and stock I usually mount Kadee or D&G hook and loop couplers on a pad built up from plasticard flush with the underside of the buffer beam.

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very nice work Mayner .

Does this mean the 650 class kit is going to be released ?

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11 hours ago, brianmcs said:

very nice work Mayner .

Does this mean the 650 class kit is going to be released ?

The 650 should be available late 2018 once I have completed a few tweaks to the artwork and the final test build. 

Back to square wheelers:

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The coach body is basically designed to bolt together so that the sides ends and roof can be painted separately. 1st step is to form the tumblehome in the sides, the instructions recommend supporting the sides on a resilient surface like a computer mouse and forming the curve with a piece of brass rod, I prefer to clamp the sides in a vice in a jig formed from a piece of skirting board then form the curve with a brass rod.

 

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Sides and ends have flanges and tabs that bend at 90° for attaching the floor and roof assemblies

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Usual drill of supporting the side or end on a firm surface and bending over the tab at 90°.

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Basic body asseIMG_2043.thumb.JPG.0ea9a435d01f6634060c65f2995c2471.JPGmbly waiting to be bolted together.

Body assembly temporarily bolted together.

 

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Starting to look like a coach, the detailing takes a bit longer!

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Posted (edited)

One of this years new year resolutions was to catch up on my backlog of unfinished projects along with my new builds.

I picked up a job lot of TMD/SSM loco kits at Expo-EM at the Bletchley Leisure Centre around 20 years ago including a MGWR E Class later CIE J26  0-6-0T loco the first etched Irish loco kit. 

 Although I already had a model of 553 assembled from one of the original TMD kits about 30 years ago, I thought another E Class/J26 would be useful as the original loco is just about due for an overhaul/re-build. 

The kits are supplied with parts to assemble the locos in original MGWR condition with long cast iron chimneys, flush smokeboxes and a rather ornate smoke box door, the MGWR reboilered the locos from around 1912 and fitted conventional smokebox doors, the locos appear to have received snap riveted smokeboxes and Inchacore built up chimneys during the 1940s with most operating to the end of steam.

I have worked on this loco in fits and starts over the past 4-5 years, the build was substantially complete when I managed to break off the end of one of the coupling rods. I decided to have an new set of rods engraved rather than attempt a repair or fabricate a new set of rods.

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This week I eventually got round to fitting the rods, these are a fish belly pattern similar though a bit heavier to those supplied with the kit, there was no sign of binding when I rolled the chassis up and down the test track. On this loco I am experimenting with pickups fabricated from phosphor bronze strip soldered to short strips of PCB sleeper strip glued to the inside of the mainframes. The chassis was spray painted Howes weathered black. The motor is a Mashima 12X24 can with drive through a Branchlines Multibox gearbox with a 50:1 reduction this arrangement should result in a low top speed and adequate low speed torque for a shunting branch line loco.

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The Branchlines Multibox have multi stage metal gears and should last a lifetime. 

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The riveted smokebox was produced from my own etchings, most of the detail filed sanded off the smokebox door and hinges added from etched wagon strapping, I am not sure where the chimney came from. The photo shows up the wonky sandbox, the vacuum pipe arrangement is classical Midland, the pipe is by Markits who produce a huge range of wheels, gears and detail castings for steam locos.

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I finished the superstructure of the loco about 2-3 years ago, I need to investigate why its not sitting level on the chassis and do a bit more of a clean up before painting and lettering.

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The chassis on my original J26 has an 1980s drive system with an open frame motor and single stage 40:1 gear box and tends to wobble a bit at the tail end. I will probably upgrade the loco with a similar chassis and motor transmission to the new loco and back date the loco to GSR condition with tall cast iron chimney and flush smokebox.

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Edited by Mayner
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One of my 2017 New Year resolutions was to complete what had been the study model/test build for the CIE 4w TPO, SSM prepared a set of suitable decals around the time I released the kit. I painted the van about 12 months ago along with a brace of ex-MGWR vans in CIE green, GSR Maroon & Purple Lake but could not find the decals.

I finally unearthed the decals when I started work on the GSWR 6w coaches, including a set for a silver van!

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Its tricky masking around those recessed doors but at least the 4 wheelers did not have mail bag pick up and set out gear like the bogie & 6w TPOs.

The P & T emblem and lpost box instructions were on plates fixed to the coach sides presumably supplied by the Department rather than lettering applied by CIE staff. 

Des did an excellent job on the bi-lingual instructions which are fully legible, the van is a bit schizoid on one side numbered 2965 & 2566.

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I am planning to add an interior to the TPO and the other 4 w vans, David Malone a pioneering S4 21mm gauge modeller built a heating van & a luggage van with detailed interiors from my kits so the challenge is set.

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One of my ambitions is to build 1960s and steam era mail/goods trains, though the steam era train will probably be made up of pre-amalgamation stock with an ex MGWR 6w TPO

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The break through of the week was rescuing a MGWR van & a CVR horsebox after 12 months from a brake fluid bath. Apart from an accident with hi-build primer the MGWR van is ok, the horsebox was an early exercise in soldering and basically needs a complete strip down and re-build.

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