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David's Workbench

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David Holman
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Since unloading the layout after Beckenham, have had two decent day's worth of modelling time. First up was the smokebox front. Picture shows the second attempt, though still not sure the rivets are right - the outer ring is a bit too close to the edge for comfort... It looks off centre too, but fear not, as it is not fixed down yet.

A small job was tidying up the rear edge of the upper frames, so they match the profile of the splashers, likewise rounding off the front corners of the Belpaire firebox.

Slightly more involved was the cab and bunker area. Began by adding the upper bunker sides [10 thou brass, as usual], then cut out a pair of blanks for the cab sides. These were soldered together before the shape was cut & filed to what I hope is a decent profile.

Fiddliest of all were the four steps. Simple in shape, but the riveted strips above each step, made soldering tricky, so glad when these were done.

Lastly, in this burst of activity, was the 'back head' [firebox rear]. Cut a sheet of thicker brass to the same profile as the footplate section, then marked out where the main controls would be. Used pictures from the Web to give an impression, but no idea if accurate for a Large Tank. The Tyrconnel G2 helped too - being a Beyer Peacock loco, as did Hazlewood. Des at Studio Scale Models was very kind in selling me a pack of castings from the Small Tank kit. These included water gauge glasses, injectors, pressure gauges, regulator & reversing levers, plus a brake standard. Also on the sprues were a smokebox door wheel and a couple of other useful items, so many thanks, Des!

The basic structure of the loco is now complete, apart from the bogie, so next step will be a thorough clean up before I start adding the details. As you can see, i am not the neatest when it comes to soldering, so seems a good idea to get things tidied up before bits like beading, and castings go on.

If anyone can tell me what the correct chimney and dome for a Large Tank in the 1950s should be and more particular where I can buy them, I will be very grateful.

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Edited by David Holman
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  • 2 weeks later...

Went to Expo Narrow Gauge last Saturday & with Branchlines there, was able to get a motor gearbox. This one is an 1833 with 40:1 gears. Assembly is a matter of minutes and as luck would have it, the unit fits neatly inside Sir Henry's firebox. While I was on the chassis [and because I'd ordered the bogie wheels from Slater's], I had a go at the bogie unit. I'd bought a Northstar equalised unit ages ago for a 4-4-0 I was building, but ended up not using it.A standard gauge version, I took the easy way out and did a 'Tyrconnel' - in other words, soldered the bearings in back to front to take the longer axles. It is one of those additions that is seriously clever, giving both lateral and vertical springing. Will need to shorten the main spring a little I think, as it is currently a bit too strong. however, will wait until the loco is nearly finished as the eventual extra weight may not require it.

The other pictures show additional work on the superstructure which includes beading on tanks, bunker and cab [always tricky], the smokebox door, steps and bunkers rails. The 'to do' list doesn't seem to be getting any shorter though!

 

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I believe the kit is now marketed by Gladiator Models, Eoin. Don't envy you on the Scotsman - a serious amount of work, even without the flaws! Am hoping to fit working inside valve to Sir Henry. fingers crossed a Laurie Griffin Miniatures kit will do the job. At least there is decent room between the frames. Time was, you could call yourself a real man just by doing outside Walschaerts, now Ballyconnel Road locos have inside valve gear in 3mm scale...

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Hi David

 

I recently got a copy of Geoff Holt's book Locomotive Modelling Part 1- at the end of the book he discusses Stephenson and Joy valve gear, stunning little mechs, he has a few tips, sketches, and photos of the stuff he built, and gives an build example of valve gear for the Signature Models. I cant imagine trying to make it in 3mm....

 

also cant wait to get Part 2 of his book

 

Eoin

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  • 3 weeks later...

Work on Sir Henry has had to be put on hold for a while, until I can get to the Reading Trade Show in a couple of weeks time. Reading is a bit of a pre-Christmas Mecca [there's a metaphor mix for you] as traders large and small gather to show off their wares. Laurie Griffin Miniatures and Northants Model Supplies will be two of my targets. The former for a set of inside motion, chimney dome & safety valves, the latter for buffers. Also need to see Roxey and Eileens for other stuff, plus have a Clogher Valley 0-4-2T from Ragstone models to collect. Reading can easily get very expensive & that is just in terms of 'needs', allow that 'wants' to take over and am sure it would be now problem seeing spending go into four figures, if not five...

Anyway, now stymied with Sir Henry as can't do any more work on the boiler till I've fitted the dome [which also places boiler bands] & the chassis is in the same place, though now complete apart from the inside motion, as I fitted pick ups and brake rigging recently, as pics show below.

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In the background, can be seen what I've recently been working on, namely a couple of new coaches for the train which Sir Henry will be rostered to on the layout. As ever, these began life with the purchase of two Alphagraphix card kits, one for SLNCR six wheel saloon brake No 4, the other for bogie No10. Bodywork on the saloon didn't take long. Essentially it is a 40 thou box, with over large cut outs for glazing, to which is overlaid a 20thou outer. This then has microstrip put on for the panelling. A Tyrconnel under frame has also been folded up & awaits Slater's wheels. As an aside, you can see what happens to solder/flux when you don't clean it off immediately!

Yesterday afternoon, while listening to footy on the radio, marked out the sides for the bogie coach, which uses the same principals. These were originally outlined by David Jenkinson in his book 'Carriage Modelling Made Easy' Well worth getting if you do this sort of thing.

Am hoping to finish the coaches in the typically 'well weathered' look of the SLNCR in the late 1950s. That will mean a base coat of bare wood, then a daubing of Maskol, before the top coat is applied. This should create a well weathered, peeling paint effect.

SLNCR coaches were painted a shade of maroon, though what this weathered too is less certain. When you get to read this JB, would be interested in your opinion.DSCN1697.jpg

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David, from the photos posted, it looks red for a start rather than maroon.

 

Decent photos of SLNCR coaches ex-works are red, as few saw a paintbrush in the 50s at all! They weathered to a russet browny red. You might get a reasonable approximation by heavy weathering of that kit.

 

Eye witnesses described new paint as a shade or two darker than that used by (latterly) GSR, or NCC. That would have been the opinion of jhb171senior, who saw them every day in the 50s. No lining was used, and numerals / lettering was gold or possibly creamy yellow.

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Couldn't agree more Eoin. One of the best aspects of our hobby is that [for layout builders in particular], one can have a number of very different projects on the go at any one time. Plus, after a spell of, say, loco building, it can be very nice to do a building or some scenery for a change, while simply sticking the model on the shelf and going down the pub/watching TV/doing nothing can also be useful as you suggest.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The body of bogie number 10 is as far as it can go at the moment, as my stock of 30x20 strip is almost empty, so cannot do the panelling until after a visit to Eileen's at Reading on Saturday. Evergreen is my first choice, but is becoming hard to get in these parts, as well as expensive. Local model shops are turning to Plastruct, which appears cheaper at first, until you realise the strips are only 30cm long, compared to 45 for Evergreen.

Instead, had a go at the bogies. These are Slaters 8' SR plastic kits. As with the previous number 11, I cut them down to the correct 7'6". However, I don't remember the process being half as fraught as this time - despite having two finished ones to copy. I take solace in the fact that little will be seen once the footboards are in place, and at least they run well. A gentle push is enough to take one full length of the layout.

Other work on the bogie was to cast a set of seats for the compartments [i still have the moulds I made for the previous version], and make four sets of side by side seats for the saloon.

The six wheeler also had some attention, with the under frame fitted. This is a Tryconnel etch, though again needs adapting as the Sligo coaches had brakes on the middle wheels and one end, as opposed to each end on standard six wheelers. This put the coach ready for the paint shop. An initial coat of primer was followed by 'bare wood' [Humbrol 110 & 64] brushed on. Once dry, I added patches of Humbrol Maskol to those areas where I wanted peeling paint to show the bare wood, then brush painted a mix of leather, teak and brown to try and replicate the colours in one of the Ferris albums. This shows number 10 in a very run down condition, where the original dark brown/maroon has weathered to more like a teak colour, with lots of bare wood showing through.

Have since added the lettering [Fox Transfers SECR - a fairly close representation], door and grab handles, so the coach now awaits final detailing [inside & out] and further weathering.

Behind the models you will see some of my collection of Irish railway books, plus my latest acquisition, a Parkside model bench grinder, bought in our local Lidl this morning.

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Just re-reading these posts again, David. I said the Alphagrafix thing looked red, but suggested they WERE red - I meant to say DARK red.

 

Fading and weathering turned them a browny shade of red, but most of this was due to brake dust. The correct colour was always dark red (reddish maroon?) rather than actual red or actual brown.

 

There's a photo - I think of No. 11 - kicking about which shows it looking almost dark brown, but this is due to either deterioration in the colour slide or poor light when the picture was taken. Jhb171 senior saw it just painted and likened the colour to "similar to newly painted GSR or NCC maroon - maybe marginally darker".

 

Same with No. 4, or indeed all SLNCR coaches.

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Nice work David

 

The 6 wheel saloon with its peeling fading paintwork was always a favourite of mine. I remember reading some where that the SLNCR manager was embarrassed at the standard of coach paintwork in the mid-50s as the company had to rely on a wagon painter and no doubt did not have the money to pay for an experienced painter or the paint.

 

I am thinking of trying the David Jenkinson method for some MGWR 6 wheelers, though I am not sure if Evergreen do a small enough half round strip for 4mm beading

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From Senior's tales of his time in Enniskillen (1950-7), it's clear that few coaches saw a paintbrush at all during that time. No. 4, also a favourite of mine, did get a repaint and so did one, possibly two of the trio of bogies.

 

However, they were kept outside. My own experience with repaint of wooden bodied coaches at Whitehead in the pre-carriage-shed days were that rapid deterioration took place in such circumstances, with paint beginning to peel after as little as two years.

 

I could see the SLNCR being embarrassed, and blaming a wagon painter, but the real culprit was the company's dire financial straits. Senior recalls "ballast" trains consisting of a wagon of ashes and cinders from Enniskillen loco shed attached to the back of the goods, which stopped at the required spot to shovel it off.....

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The above picture was the basis for painting number 4 - it comes from one of the Tom Ferris colour albums. Seems clear that this is a very long way from the SLNCR's dark red, that I painted my earlier model of number 9. The caption says it was late 50s. Looking at the background colours,the roof tiles seem about right, as is the track colour, so am guessing that the photo hues are reasonably authentic, though am only too aware of the effects of time, light, printing, weather etc etc. The only photo I have of number 4 is in Sprinks SLNCR album and is in black and white, so whether it is as far gone as number 10 is debatable. Perhaps I need to go for something in between?

Am very much aware that I am the outsider and pupil here, when it comes to what constitutes authentic colours, so am always grateful for the advice from JB and others. I am in no position to argue, other than the occasional colour picture and colour in the 50s was a challenging subject for photography with slow film.

Re your interest in the Jenkinson approach JM, would definitely say go for it. The basic box provides an easy way of fitting glazing and tumblehome also works well - though not required on the Sligo coaches. As for panelling, in 4mm would think that 20x10 strip should work well and that plain [rather than half round]strip would be perfectly suitable. The six wheeler uses 40x20, but have since noticed that I used 30x20 on the bogie. From any normal viewing distance, flat strip v half round will be pretty difficult to distinguish, though a wipe with a glass fibre pencil should soften the edges well enough. Jenkinson's philosophy was that life was too short to waste on unnecessary details [sadly all too true for him personally] and though he did make some fabulously detailed models, many of his coaches were devoid of stuff like interiors [bar compartment walls], brake gear, sole bar details etc. Each approach has its merits, of course - it just depends on what you are personally trying to achieve, which ultimately is one of the great joys of our hobby.

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Yes, David, from eye witness stories, No. 4 did get that bad too.

 

And indeed, that's how very badly worn once-maroon paint can get, when left outdoors for years and painted on wood. It is possible - indeed, probable - that it was the cheapest quality paint they could get in the first place!

 

There are photos available of a Cavan & Leitrim coach still in service in GSR maroon well into the 1950s. The maroon on it is just as bad! A nondescript browny reddish colour. GSR maroon was initially like BR 1960s coach maroon, or LMS maroon - the same shade. Again, there's the proof of how scrappy it can look.

 

Contemporary British fans will testify to how scruffy even a (steel sided!) BR Mk. 1 could look in worn maroon. I saw this myself in north Wales in 1970.

 

I suppose the key is to have an uneven finish on your models, so it doesn't look as if the worn shade is the way it was initially painted; also maybe to make one look a bit tidier than the other, to emphasise the unkempt appearance of what you choose to be the worse of the two!

 

Incidentally, remiss of me to omit to initially mention the sheer class of these models. Fantastic work, fantastically interesting prototypes. Arigna Road just keeps getting better!

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After my trip to the Reading trade show on Saturday, it was impossible to resist going back to Sir Henry, especially as I had a few lingering doubts about whether or not I was going to capture the essence of this fine engine. When kit or scratch building, there are times when the character of the model is apparent from the start; with others, it only comes through as the detailed bits get added - especially the 'face' of the loco in its smokebox door etc.

Chimney, dome & safety valves came from Laurie Griffin Miniatures. A former Chatham Club member from way back, Laurie is a very fine modeller and his range of cast and turned parts is massive. Not cheap, but quality, as hopefully the turned brass dome & lost wax chimney & safety valves attest. They didn't take long to add with 5 min epoxy and at last the character of the engine began to emerge.

So back to my 'to do' list & from it the boiler bands went on next [phosphor bronze strip], then the various pipes and brackets could be added to the boiler, followed by the handrails & knobs. Never seem to get these right first time & it was the 5th attempt before I was happy. Always the same with ones that follow the curve of the smokebox...

Time then to add the boiler to the rest of the superstructure. Am now in danger of doing things properly, as had pre-planned for the two to come apart for painting. Hence have a countersunk 6BA bolt in the back of the firebox, which enables me to bolt it to the cab - the nut being hidden by the back head. At the front, a 10BA bolt is screwed into the base of the smokebox, while the handrails & pipes on the boiler slot into the cab/tank fronts.

Finally [for now] smaller details such as the brackets between boiler & tanks [scrap brass], brake & heating pipes [lost wax castings], safety chain loops [etches from Roxey] and steam brake cylinders [plastic] went on, though before this, spent much of yesterday evening fettling off excess solder & giving the body a a bit of a polish. Still some work to be done on the cab interior & roof, but the body is now not far off being ready for the paint shop.

Next step though will be to gird up my loins & attempt to install working inside motion. Laurie supplies a nice kit of parts, but though I've done outside motion a number of times, this scares the bejaysus out of me. Will just have to go carefully.

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After my trip to the Reading trade show on Saturday, it was impossible to resist going back to Sir Henry, especially as I had a few lingering doubts about whether or not I was going to capture the essence of this fine engine. When kit or scratch building, there are times when the character of the model is apparent from the start; with others, it only comes through as the detailed bits get added - especially the 'face' of the loco in its smokebox door etc.

Chimney, dome & safety valves came from Laurie Griffin Miniatures. A former Chatham Club member from way back, Laurie is a very fine modeller and his range of cast and turned parts is massive. Not cheap, but quality, as hopefully the turned brass dome & lost wax chimney & safety valves attest. They didn't take long to add with 5 min epoxy and at last the character of the engine began to emerge.

So back to my 'to do' list & from it the boiler bands went on next [phosphor bronze strip], then the various pipes and brackets could be added to the boiler, followed by the handrails & knobs. Never seem to get these right first time & it was the 5th attempt before I was happy. Always the same with ones that follow the curve of the smokebox...

Time then to add the boiler to the rest of the superstructure. Am now in danger of doing things properly, as had pre-planned for the two to come apart for painting. Hence have a countersunk 6BA bolt in the back of the firebox, which enables me to bolt it to the cab - the nut being hidden by the back head. At the front, a 10BA bolt is screwed into the base of the smokebox, while the handrails & pipes on the boiler slot into the cab/tank fronts.

Finally [for now] smaller details such as the brackets between boiler & tanks [scrap brass], brake & heating pipes [lost wax castings], safety chain loops [etches from Roxey] and steam brake cylinders [plastic] went on, though before this, spent much of yesterday evening fettling off excess solder & giving the body a a bit of a polish. Still some work to be done on the cab interior & roof, but the body is now not far off being ready for the paint shop.

Next step though will be to gird up my loins & attempt to install working inside motion. Laurie supplies a nice kit of parts, but though I've done outside motion a number of times, this scares the bejaysus out of me. Will just have to go carefully.

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Absolutely beautiful piece of model engineering. Superb.

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Thanks chaps, appreciated as ever. Nothing special re the Belpaire firebox, it is a separate item, bolted to the boiler tube. Cut two ends to the required profile, then used ten thou nickel silver sheet for the wrapper. Centre lines marked on each part. Then bent the wrapper roughly to shape and tack soldered to one end. Repeat for other end and then complete seams all round.

The rounded front shoulders are filled with solder on the inside then filed to shape.

Crude but effective.

Washout plugs as per Geoff Kent's book 2 on loco construction. Holes drilled in wrapper, then small plates with square brass rod soldered in behind.

Edited by David Holman
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Cut two ends to the required profile, then used ten thou nickel silver sheet for the wrapper.

Centre lines marked on each part.

Then bent the wrapper roughly to shape and tack soldered to one end. Repeat for other end and then complete seams all round.

 

The rounded front shoulders are filled with solder on the inside then filed to shape.

 

 

Washout plugs as per Geoff Kent's book 2 on loco construction. Holes drilled in wrapper, then small plates with square brass rod soldered in behind.

 

 

+Preheat oven to 180 and bake for 2 hours....

 

Darina Allen coud n't provide in instructions as concise as that!

 

Many thanks David and also for the shout out :)

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Attention now turns back to the chassis for Sir Henry. As an inside cylinder 0-6-4T, on the face of it, there is little need to bother about what goes on between the frames. However, there is a sizeable gap in front of the tanks [not helped by a high pitched boiler], plus there was a nagging voice in my head that kept suggesting I ought to have a go...

Have done Walschaert's a few times, first with the Vulcan 7mmNG kit of the Sierra Leone Hunslet 2-6-2T. Lovely kit this I& the valve gear was actually held together by 14BA nuts and bolts. In model form, it taught me that all those rods and levers are really just flapping around outside the wheels and con rods etc, but don't actually contribute anything much else. Look good though1

Did a standard gauge set on my B17/6 4-6-0 Nottingham Forest. This included elements of conjugated valve gear for the inside, third, cylinder. On 6'8" drivers, it looks very impressive, though whenever I run the engine, I can't quite get over the thought that it will tangle up & bits fly off in all directions!

Anyway, Laurie Griffin has long done a kit of parts for inside motion & if the 3mm boys on Ballyconnel Road can do it, then I ought to be able to with broad gauge frames in 7mm. We'll see.

Began by reading the instructions umpteen times, but only really started to make sense when I opened the pack of castings. The really clever bit is the two cranks. The loco axle goes through them, to be held in place by 638 Loctite [a jointing compound, strong enough to be used by 7.5" gauge live steamers]. Once set, the axle is cut through between the cheeks on each crank, to which the con rods are eventually attached. you also get a set of 4 turned brass eccentrics which work the valve gear.

A bit of surgery needed on my frames, as it is really only possible to assemble the crank axle & associated bits off the model. Hence had to sweat out the centre bearings & will have to replace them with horn blocks, so the crank axle can be dropped in & out for construction & maintenance. Basically, i'm writing this as much to clarify things in my own head, as much as sharing it with the website. It really is a step up in my modelling.

Below is the neat set of lost wax castings Laurie supplies and yes, the price for these three bags of goodies really is £90, so it bloody well has to work!

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The biggest problem with the valve gear is working out what goes where. This is not the fault of the instructions, though a working knowledge of how the real thing works would certainly have helped - and it is something I don't have. So, a case of read & re-read, stare at the drawings, stare at the original GA drawing of the loco, read the instructions again etc etc. Thankfully, Book One of Geoff Kent's treatise on loco construction has a section on inside motion AND he uses Laurie Griffin's parts!

The first picture shows the most important parts of the whole thing, namely the cranks & eccentrics. The loco axle goes through the crank, which is either glued or silver soldered in place or glued. The axles is then cut away between the cheeks of the crank and hey presto, you get a cranked axle. The eccentrics are also really clever, with a steel rod lining them up correctly with the cranks. The eccentric straps, which link the eccentrics to the piston valves [& hence act as forward & reverse gear on the real thing] come in two parts and need the forked ends adding to enable them to join to the expansion links. The latter are connected to the reversing lever in the loco's cab. If you are still with me - or already understood this - well done and please forgive my ham fisted description...

The next two pictures show the cranks and eccentrics assembled on the loco axle. Rather than use silver solder [wouldn't know where to start], I opted for the Loctite 638 [at this point note the spell checker wants that to be 'lactate']. This is a powerful jointing compound favoured by 7.5" gauge live steam engineers, so should be up to the job for my project. A 5cc dispenser costs about £5 from Amazon [who else?]. It is dark green in colour and comes with dire warnings about contact with skin, eyes, ingestion etc. Creme de menthe it ain't. The third picture shows where the original axle was cut away [hacksaw job] to create the finished crank axle.

 

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The other two pictures show the assembly in a trial fit. Rather than chop out a rectangle for horn blocks, I've simply sweated out the bearings and then cut upwards from the bottom of the frames, so new ones could be used that just drop out, when required, as I don't want to be assembling this lot in situ. Small brass keeper plates hold the bearings in place with 10BA nuts and [captive] bolts, while a 'flat' filed on the outside face of the bearing stops it revolving.

Thus far, and much to my surprise, the wheels still turn and the cranks and eccentric rotate as intended. Crossheads next, then try to assemble everything.

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Edited by David Holman
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