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David Holman

David's Workbench

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Atkinson Walker built 25 geared steam locos mainly standard gauge for use in industry. The CVR tractor appears to have been the only one considered to be a failure, possibly CVR  loco crew lack of familiarity with firing vertical boilers rather than any inherent failings with the loco itself. http://glostransporthistory.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk/ROD_Universal Works_British steam.html.

Atkinson-Walker appears to have gone out of production as a result of the Depression and competition from Sentinel. The Atkinson-Walker business re-emerged in 1933 as Atkinson Lorries a successful British heavy vehicle manufacture, not sure if there was a connection with Walker Bros of Wigan who built diesel railcars from the 1930s onwards.

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AW  Steam Tractor

 Progress thus far on the model. Not that many etches to play with, so the loco body went together in fairly quick time. The main issues were working out what went where, as Worsley Works does not provide any instructions, or even a drawing. Hence found myself working to the photo in Patterson's book and a drawing, courtesy of Roger Cromblehome in his book on the County Donegal. The latter of course is its later incarnation, Phoenix, so a bit of guesswork required for the AW. Happily, there is a spare window frame included in the Worsley etches, so this enabled me to fabricate a different cab end from brass sheet. Being a bit of a bodger, I cut this with strong scissors - so not as troublesome as might first seem. Also cut out another piece to form the bonnet [actually a water tank] top, while the AW has much deeper buffer beams from than Phoenix, so these were cut out again from brass sheet.

 So, on to the fiddly bits! First were the steps, not included in the etches, which I made up from scrap etches, next the beading, which is 0.9mm nickel silver wire. Worsley helpful again here with etched rebates in the sides to ensure alignment. At this point, suddenly found my modelling wings severely clipped when my 100 watt iron packed up. A Weller, it has stood me in good stead for years, but has now gone in the bin.  So, all I had now was a 25 watt and a 15 watt, neither of which are powerful enough to solder anything to an already made up brass body. Redemption came in the form of my RSU, which I am guilty of not using nearly enough. 

 RSU means resistance soldering unit and can be seen in the pictures. It comprises a metal box with the electrical gubbins inside, a foot operated switch and two leads, one of which is soldered to a sheet of nickel silver, the other is a carbon probe. You might just be able to see in the picture, that depending on which sockets you put the leads in, will vary the power of the unit - from  one volt to 4.5 volts. The latter might not seem much, but this represents enough power to actually vaporise small etchings [been there, got the T-shirt], so I normally use it on 3 volts. To operate the RSU, you either need to pre-tin one or both pieces to be joined, or used solder paint. This is more like a thin paste, which [I think] is mix of flux and solder in suspension. Once applied to one of the items which are to be joined, you bring the two together, apply the carbon probe and press the foot switch. Very quickly,  heat is generated and you can see the solder flowing. Taking your foot off the switch, you can leave the probe in contact with the work until the solder joint sets, which is very useful - almost like having a third hand.

  Anyway, used the RSU to sweat together etches for the for axlebox/spring units, then changed tack and went over to adhesives. First were the two I section plastic beams for the under frames, then I had to make 8 plastic brackets to fixed the axle box units to with Gorilla glue. This morning, the wheels arrived in the post from Alan Gibson [very prompt], so after grinding off some of the chassis block, these went on the axles, though I'll need to add overlays to make them look like discs instead of spokes.

 So, there we are so far. Still a lot of detail to add, including some very awkwardly shaped sandboxes, plus the interior [cylinders and boiler], so will report again when I get a bit further.

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More work, and some rebuilding, for the tractor.

 If nothing else, the previous photos have showed that I was not born with a silver soldering iron in my hands! Ok, so the photos on a laptop screen make the model at least twice as big as it is, but some of that work looked decidedly scruffy. Some elements were plain wrong too. Not entirely my fault, although as ever, the old adage of measure twice, cut once, applies.

  However, photos do help with 'proof reading' and highlighted a couple of problems with the model, apart from the scruffy soldering. Firstly, one of the upper sides, with a longer window, wasn't level, so some tweaking [using the RSU to melt the solder joint] was required. Not too bad as it turned out, but more of a problem was how wrong the under frame looked. The problem boiled down to using Worsley etches for the spring/axlebox mounts. Checking with photo's and Roger's drawing showed they are too deep and too short. So, off they came, with new ones made up plasticard as before. This closed the gap between the mounts and made the whole under frame look/sit better.

 The awkwardly shaped sand boxes came next [plasticard], after which some basic brake gear was added. Unfortunately, the cast chassis is rather obvious but, along with the missing chain drive, I am going to have to live with that - at least for now. The fenders had been causing many a furrowed brow, so what I've added is more of an impression that anything accurate. It would be a major micro engineering job to fabricate them as per prototype. Look at the B&W photo to see what I mean. I've also had to make cut outs for the Kadee couplings. 

 This morning, had a go at the interior. The windows are big enough for there to require an impression of the boiler, cylinders, controls and piping. These have been cobbled together from odds and ends. Lacking any precise detail, I've simply gone with a general impression and once the roof is on, hopefully this will be ok. Other work has included adding pick ups [phosphor bronze wire] and connecting up the motor. Test running shows that with my Gaugemaster hand held controller, running is slow and smooth enough for the shunting duties the model will be required to do. 

 A bit more cleaning up, then apart from the lights, it will be off to the paint shop, about which not much to say, as it was grey. Am thinking of naming it 'Fintonagh'. The original never had name or number, so if it had survived to work my station, then that makes the name appropriate. The roof is not fixed yet, plus there is the chimney and water tank filler to add too.

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Edited by David Holman
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 Needed a bit of light relief from the 101, so with the AW tractor nearing completion, decided it was time I finished it off. Mostly it was painting. Started with a couple of coats of Halford's grey primer, then once that was dry, could paint the interior fittings black and the buffer beams red [both acrylic]. Glazing came next, then a single crewman, after which it was time to fit the roof.

 Lettering is my preferred method of dipping pen with white ink. The assumption is that the CVR did buy the loco, after further testing, so it became No 8 on the loco fleet. Talking to folk, there is feeling that the CVR crews might have scuppered the original deal, as the tractor was intended for one person operation - thereby doing a fireman out of a job. The unusual firebox [the door was in the floor of the cab], may have caused problems too.

 The photo in Patterson's book shows it to be a fairly grubby condition, so I've tried to replicate this with weathering powders. A word of warning here. Humbrol black weathering powder is pretty strong stuff and if anything, sticks rather too well - creating unwanted streaks when I tried dusting it on. Extensive cleaning up was required to get rid of these, using cotton buds dipped in meths & wiping off the streaks with a vertical motion, to simulate the effect of rain running down the sides. The Humbrol powder is ok on the chassis and mixes well with other tints, but will not be using it on bodywork again - indeed the roof will probably need repainting.

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At Warley, bought  " Locomotives of the GSR", by Jeremy Clements and Michael McMahon.

 Actually, the wife gave me the money for it as a Christmas present. Hence, only really got my hands on it yesterday, but well worth the wait.

 What a fantastic, encyclopaedic tome!

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A beauty, David - well done. I would leave the roof as in real life it would be much more filthy on a beast like that. I think it looks very realistic.

1 hour ago, David Holman said:

At Warley, bought  " Locomotives of the GSR", by Jeremy Clements and Michael McMahon.

 Actually, the wife gave me the money for it as a Christmas present. Hence, only really got my hands on it yesterday, but well worth the wait.

 What a fantastic, encyclopaedic tome!

I got a water-damaged edition a few years ago when it came out, for next to nothing. False economy; the cover keeps falling off due to the water damage! Very irritating!

Yes, a superb piece of work - though how a reference work of this stature was published with no index is beyond me!

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David, 

As a relative new user when it comes to weathering powders, Humbrols powders generally get panned for being a bit "aggressive" and some times just plain wrong in certain shades. If super subtle is what you are after, ground down chalk pastels are the business. You really need to work the dust to get any real connection. Mig Ammo's weathering powders are similar to this, and work a treat on military models for subtle shading. I like to use them on areas where, say, the background is very light, and the weathering a vast difference, such as rust. 

There is another range by AK Interactive (Mig Jimenez of Mig Ammo made that range too, but there was a bit of a falling out so he made his own company.) The AK Interactive powders are a bit more aggressive, but can be soothed much easier and I'd favour them any day over the rest.

That said, the cheapo in me likes sanding down a charcoal stick on some sandpaper and using the resulting powder for roofs, shur it's the same material as the real thing for kettle work? 

Richie.  

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 With Arigna Town now retired from the exhibition circuit, it seemed appropriate to put some of the stock on display at home, rather than have it hidden away in boxes. Makes a nice reminder of what I've made over the last few years. 

 Left to right, we have two SLNCR Small Tanks [both North Star, now Studio Scale kits], Timoleague & Courtmacsherry 0-4-2T Lark [Tyrconnel kit], SLNCR Large Tank, Sir Henry [scratchbuilt].

The second shelf has E/J26 0-6-0T [Tyrconnel], Richard Chown's Shannon, and MGW G2 2-4-0 [Tyrconnel]

The third shelf has Deutz G class diesel [Worsley etches] and SLNCR Railcar B, with Railbus 2a [both scratchbuilt].

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That is truly a Wall of Fame & Achievment David; you are entitled to feel a little pride in your work.

Cheers

Glover

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David,

That is an impressive line up of motive power, all the more special as you constructed most of them.  

Well done Sir, and you're right not to hide them away in boxes - they deserve to be on display until their next outing.

Beautiful models - you can be rightly proud of them.

Ken

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