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Martello towers?


Wow - a fantastic and very atmospheric addition to any Dublin based layout!


Question - is there anywhere else in Ireland where a Martello tower is within sight of the railway? I don't think there is.....


Between Booterstown and Blackrock station theres one right beside the line. Not sure what its used for now but was a changing facility for the football pitch in the park at Blackrock. Climbed the steps to the top a few times. Very cramped and tight steps in them originally too

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  • 1 month later...



So got a bit more done on the Scot'


After a lot of quiet thinking, sketches and research I eventually abandoned the Flexichas idea on this build! It required a rather complex beam system for which this chassis did not lend itself to the idea- mainly the back end with its separate frame bolted onto the main frames under the cab, a nightmare trying to come up with a solution. So I decided to leave the motor on the middle drive axle (fixed axle) and put suspension on the others, the bogie & pony will be weighted and have guide wire springs back to the chassis which will help to centre them! The bogie will also have compensation on its rear axle..... Done....


I got stuck in, first was to cut out for the horn guides in the frames, make the chassis jigs and get all the bits ready

FSO-15 IMAG1913.jpg


FSO-16 IMAG1916.jpg


The coupler rods were sweated together on a little 2.6mm dia aluminium rod jig and the parts were then steel riveted together

FSO-17 IMAG1925.jpg


FSO-18 IMAG1928.jpg


The frames, frame spacers n all were soldered up, then a test fit of the horn guides, bearings and chassis jigs went without any trouble

FSO-19 IMAG1918.jpg


FSO-20 IMAG1920.jpg


FSO-21 IMAG1921.jpg


The coupler rods were then hung on the ends of the jig to set the axle centres from the central fixed axle

FSO-23 IMAG1923.jpg


All fits lovely, didn't have to file a thing!

FSO-22 IMAG1922.jpg


This is a set-up 'a la Rice' to check a few datum points on the frames, and to set the axle heights to tack solder the horn guides- suddenly I had an error, I measured, measured, and measured again- still out!! .... click- those brand new shiny rulers bought for this purpose are different sizes, 8.9mm and 9.2mm- just because they are by the same manufacture doesn't mean they're the same.....

FSO-24 IMAG1929.jpg



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Thanks all for comments and support


Next step was to solder up the bogie truck and do the compensation thing


These first photos are the truck soldered up, which involved soldering up the structure, sweat soldering the rivet detail sides to the truck structure and soldering in the front axle bearings.

FSO-25 IMAG1946.jpg


FSO-26 IMAG1947.jpg


Then for the modifications, laid out in this photo shows- I opened up the bearing holes by 1.4mm top and bottom to form a slot, milled off the sides of the bearings, and cut 1x.5mm strips to form the horn guides that the bearings will run up and down in. On front of these is the 1mm brass wire compensation beam and a .5mm brass wire hook for the chassis centring spring to hook into, this will be soldered on just in front of the comp beam.

FSO-27 IMAG1948.jpg


This photo shows how the beam is bent up on the fixed axle so the axles will be level.

FSO-29 IMAG1944.jpg


Horn guides soldered in place and the bearing sides adjusted to a sliding fit in the slot and on the horn guides.

FSO-28 IMAG1951.jpg


Beam soldered on, axle n wheels bolted in, and testing the beam this way.

FSO-30 IMAG1953.jpg


and that way, works beautifully, just had to file small chamfers on the top and bottom of the inside flange of the bearing.

FSO-31 IMAG1952.jpg


Pony truck soldered up and wheels about to be installed.

FSO-32 IMAG1955.jpg


The driving wheel bearings and suspension horn guides were soldered in after I sorted out the odd ruler thing, the fixed bearings went in first then the rear horn guides with the chassis jigs were set up on the rulers (see previous post for photos) everything was adjusted to the datum marks, the coupler rods installed on the jig and then in with the soldering iron. The frames, horn guides and the jig take a lot of the heat away and the solder is reluctant to flow, just hang in there, eventually the solder will flow, next the same thing with the front horn guides. I soldered in .5mm brass wire to retain the bearing keepers, when the bearings are assembled in the guides the keepers are threaded onto the wires and the wires bent slightly to hold them in place. Eventually these will be soldered in but for the moment I need to be able to remove the bearings while constructing.


This is a shot of the front axle from the underside, you can see the wires holding the assembly together, and the dinky little spring at the bottom.

FSO-33 IMAG1966.jpg


The same axle the right way up.

FSO-34 IMAG1968.jpg


The rear frame bolted on and the pony truck installed.

FSO-35 IMAG1973.jpg


The full chassis so far.

FSO-36 IMAG1971.jpg


After bolting up the drive wheels and coupler rods, heart in mouth I turned the wheels, rotates almost freely, a slight little bind in the motion but nothing major to lock it up- excellent. I'll return to that later when working on more of the motion gear.


I'll just sit and look at it for a while....



Edited by murrayec
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Lovely work. Puts my soldering to shame and am sure you spend far less time cleaning up than me!


Hi David


Would yeah stop! I just put down the New Irish Lines after an enjoyable read of a fantastic article about the construction of 3 no Gauge O models by guess who. Fantastic stuff, the models in black n white photos look stunning, I want all three.....






I'm sure with the holiday spirit he will forgive...


Thanks all for looking and happy Christmas




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  • 3 months later...

Hay Kirley


Your post on the G2 progress reminded me to post up a few shots- the G2 is looking great by the way.


So over the Christmas and many nights here and there I got all the linkage and cylinder bits together, a mammoth task in the end.


A cautionary warning here if anyone is building one of these kits or one of the newer ones- do not follow the instructions to the 'T' if you do your heading into trouble. Check and double check the fit of all parts and don't rely on the instructions alone- especially if soldering the parts, for example;- they would have you stick on the rear die-cast part of the cylinders (pretty tough stuff), then they have you stick on the cylinders and when you have done that all other parts don't sit square to this assembly. They then tell you to take a file to the cylinders to square it up- not an easy task stuck on to the chassis n all, far easier to do this before sticking it all together!! I caught this one just in time and took the easy route.


Another key one is- the instructions indicate hand drilling some of the components- deep drilling of white metal up to 6mm! and drilling brass in any thickness!! don't do it by hand unless you want to destroy the parts- do it with the parts clamped to timber in the drill press- it needs speed. Carefully with the white metal though.


The majority of the parts are soldered, the cylinders will be epoxied on as the die-cast wont take solder, I modified the cylinders so that they can be removed from the frames during construction and will steel rivet the linkages instead of BA brass bolts....


FSO-37 IMAG2055.jpg


FSO-38 IMAG2059.jpg


FSO-39 IMAG2058.jpg


FSO-40 IMAG2060.jpg


FSO-41 IMAG2061.jpg


This is a shot of a component after a little sandblast in my new mini sandblaster- see 'useful tools' for more info, it darkens down the parts and gives a more realistic look to it.

FSO-42 IMAG2062.jpg


Mod to the cylinder assembly- a nut epoxied in so that the mounting screw through the frame can be removed when the cylinders are stuck on.

FSO-44 IMAG2054.jpg


And back in the bags until next time....

FSO-43 IMAG2052.jpg



Edited by murrayec
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  • 5 weeks later...



I had the parts out of the plastic bags on many an evening over the last month and got it to this point. The linkage sub assemblies ready to start fitting them up to the wheels n cylinders;-

FSO-45 IMAG2108.jpg


The nice little steel rivets work very nicely and give the real look;-

FSO-46 IMAG2109.jpg


The cylinder outer casing was epoxied on and the linkage support frame soldered to the main frames;-

FSO-47 IMAG2110.jpg


FSO-48 IMAG2111.jpg


Many hours later the whole lot came together and ended up looking like this;-

FSO-49 IMAG2112.jpg


I supported the wheels off the ground and connected up the power- a slight difficulty at first but with some gentle persuasion, that main drive wheel linkage cam is a devil to get in the right position- trial and error succeeded, but because two axles are sprung, and not sitting on a track it was a bit clattery. Must set up that rolling road I have planned and it will run a lot better.


FSO-50 IMAG2113.jpg


FSO-51 IMAG2118.jpg


FSO-52 IMAG2117.jpg




Some of the BA screws with the kit are not the same diameter size as the BA screws I have in stock so look out for this one if replacing the kit versions- they don't mix!


There are a few points of this assembly that the instructions are a bit scarce on- so again double check everything.





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  • 1 month later...



The rolling road is now up and running and will be able to fine tune the Scot valve gear now;-


RR-OG-01 IMAG2171.jpg


RR-OG-02 IMAG2173.jpg


RR-OG-03 IMAG2172.jpg


This will also act as a chassis construction jig with pointed bars through the hole between the roller bearings and pinched with the brass screw on top of each roller bearing up-stand. The bars have yet to be made.


On the first test run I found the Scot has two wrapped wheels so this will have to be sorted first....



Edited by murrayec
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  • 2 months later...

....and then we did a bit of work on the footplate, cleaned down of cyano, straightened up, and filed down to fit around the motor- about 1.5mm had to be taken off each side.

FSO-53 IMAG2233.jpg


FSO-54 IMAG2234.jpg


Drilling out various holes- this one is one of the 4 deep lugs that the chassis mounting screws turn into, this has to be done on a machine- no way by hand, the footplate is die-cast akin to mild steel and even a bit dicey with a freehand pistol drill.

FSO-55 IMAG2236.jpg


The boiler rivet detail was done with small brass rivets, pop it in and a drop of cyano under and done, the instructions would have you messing with .5mm wire, gluing in, chopping off, filing little domes on each one!!


See next post for photo!!



They look very well

FSO-57 IMAG2238.jpg


The boiler was cleaned down of cyano with fibre pen and acetone- it's ok on this plastic. The moulding lines were removed with the fibre pen, this works very well I reckon a better way than in the instructions- with files, masking tape and sandpaper.

FSO-58 IMAG2239.jpg


I decided to have the boiler detachable from the footplate, mainly for painting n decal reasons and made up a brass bracket from etch leftover, two 2mm holes drilled through the footplate and bolted on. The furnace end will be epoxied on to the wings of the bracket, and then the whole can be unbolted n removed- the front is bolted on as per the kit.

FSO-59 IMAG2240.jpg



All the white metal castings for the boiler were cleaned up, the chimney and dome were the worst.

FSO-60 IMAG2241.jpg


The chimney was drilled out to open it up- nothing worse than a solid one on a model.

FSO-61 IMAG2244.jpg


A corresponding hole done on the smokebox. The snifting valve, brass rivet detail under, and the chimney are epoxied on now but the safety valves and dome will be stuck on after painting n decals are done.

FSO-62 IMAG2246.jpg


Next few shots are of the front buffer beam and buffers being soldered together after all cusps were removed and parts cleaned with fibre pen. I decided to have the buffers and mounting shanks removable for painting so the beam was used initially as a jig to solder the shank assembly with paper between to protect against soldering the whole. 7mm brass wire for the rivets was trimmed and pushed through the paper into the beam jig and all was soldered- the paper worked.

FSO-63 IMAG2247.jpg


FSO-64 IMAG2250.jpg


FSO-65 IMAG2252.jpg


FSO-66 IMAG2254.jpg


FSO-67 IMAG2255.jpg


The smokebox door was damaged in transit and required a bit of flattening and filing on the surround to straighten things up, a bit of filling will be done at the painting stage. All holes were drilled and the brass handrail was installed- 140 deg solder thinning on the brass and 70 deg lead solder to stick it to the white metal. The dart is missing from the kit- I'll make one up in brass at a later stage.

FSO-68 IMAG2256.jpg



Edited by murrayec
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.....and that rivet shot

FSO-56 IMAG2237.jpg


The furnace bracket epoxied on. The white metal splashers were cleaned up and epoxied on after they were lined up with the wheels when the position of the footplate was settled on- one can spy the under side of them in this shot.

FSO-69 IMAG2265.jpg


It's now looking like a loco


FSO-70 IMAG2259.jpg


FSO-71 IMAG2262.jpg


FSO-72 IMAG2261.jpg


FSO-73 IMAG2264.jpg



Edited by murrayec
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