Sunday, 9 March 2014

Never thought I would do this!

Being a dyed in the wool steam man I never thought I would see the day when I would turn my attention to a DIESEL locomotive!
OK, so I have built a 7mm scale narrow gauge diesel but that was just a fun project over the winter of 2012/13 not for use on my current exhibition layout "Steam on the Cambrian"

Because of my love of steam I have even been called a "Heathen" by a well known blue diesel modeller who also models the Cambrian lines.
So, here I reveal my very first (and maybe only!) purchase of a 4mm scale diesel locomotive.

For those who haven't guessed it's a Bachmann Class 24 in BR Green livery complete with all the faults and inaccuracies. Having spoken to some people who are more knowledgeable about these "Things" I now know that there are a few glaring mistakes with this model but as the saying goes "it's my layout and I'll run what I like"  OR as a certain model rail forum's moto goes "Rule 1 applies"!
Like my RTR steam stuff I never run anything that is straight out of the box, in this case I have fitted the accessories that come with the model to the buffer beams, removed the carbuncle tension lock couplings and added a driver in the one cab. The model was then given a bit of weathering, I like doing this bit and I also like the use of household emulsion paints and Carr's weathering powders. Maybe I like them too much because I tend to go over the top with them sometimes!
As it happens I found a picture in one of my Cambrian lines books of a green 24 at Towyn with the headcode discs as seen below on a train of gunpowder vans heading up the coast to Cooke's explosives at Penryn.

The only problem I have now is, IF i take it with the layout to exhibitions, would I have to change the layouts name to STEAM (& Diesel) on the CAMBRIAN ????

Ah well, that's something to think about for a couple of weeks before the next outing.

More jottings soon!

Friday, 7 March 2014

A Tale of another dog!

This is a commission job that's been kicking about on my work bench or in the work drawer for much too long. It's really about time it was finished, although my friend who I am building it for said "no rush" I think that after 12  months I should get it done!

The model involved is a K's kit of a GWR Bulldog 4-4-0
The tender is complete and the loco body is now 99% finished, needing handrails and the smaller details to complete.
The entire loco and tender body are white metal and I assembled the kit with Car's Lo Melt 70deg solder.

The chassis was fraught with problems.
The wheels supplied by the client were a very nice set of romfords, but they were too big a diameter and fouled the body work when the body was fitted to the chassis.
I ordered a new set of drivers from W&T, These are similar to Romfords and fit on the Romford axles the same way. The major difference is that the W&T wheels have plastic centres and cost half the price!
The drive is from a small Mashima motor with a Comet models double reduction gearbox with a ratio of 38:1

 One other problem I have is with the power pick ups.To help with this I used the kit's supplied tender chassis with phosphor bronze strip pick ups to the two outer tender wheel sets.
The biggest problem with this idea though is getting power across the gap between loco and tender.
This means that the tender and loco will be semi permanently coupled.

How ever to make it removable I made a plug and socket arrangement from brass tube and brass wire.
The draw bar is secured with a couple of brass 10BA pins and nuts. therefore the tender and loco can be separated for maintenance and repairs.
 The picture here shows the tender right way up and the drawbar and interconnect can be clearly seen.  The drawbar has been made long enough to allow the loco to negotiate the tight curves of Peco set track.
The client wants the loco finishing in a mid blue colour with gold lining!
he is building a fictitious layout of a line built by a small pre grouping company using locos bought second hand from the GWR

I'll post an update once some more work has been done on this project.


Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Improving the breed

After a few months of working on my 7mm NG stuff I've finally got my 4mm scale "Mojo" back! Not that it ever went away that much. "Steam on the Cambrian" has it's first outing of 2014 on the 12th-13th April at the Stourbridge Railway Club exhibition, so, It's really time I got my finger out and did something towards that.
Among my latest purchases was the new "Dukedog" from Bachmann. I had pre ordered this from Modeller's Mecca nearly 3 years ago and had decided on the factory weathered version hoping to save myself a bit of work before letting it loose on Morfa Bach / Penmaenpool.

As it comes "out of the box" it's not a bad model at all, quite a lot of work and changes seem to have gone into making this model, one of the reasons for the long wait I suppose?
The "coal" in the bunker is a metal casting and easily removed, so this was the second job after removing the carbuncle tension lock couplings and fitting Smiths screw links. nothing looks as good as real coal so the tender was coaled up with the real stuff.Fire irons and pick axe were added at the same time.
Originally numbered 9022 I ordered a set of etched brass plates from Gary Wells at 247 Developments and these were duly fitted to change the running number to 9017.
The factory weathering was a little disappointing to be honest, just a quick blow of track dirt brown from an airbrush.The brownish colour being applied to the frames, boiler and smoke box. Now,this, to me as I remember steam in service, did not look right, most engines towards the end of their lives were filthy dirty but not that colour!
So, out with the weathering powders and an afternoon of brushing on and off various shades of browns, blacks and greys until I was reasonably happy with it. Extra light grey was applied to the front running plate to represent ash from the smoke box that had not been cleaned away 100%.

The smoke box door was given a touch of "red rust" to simulate the corrosion that seems to occur on the real thing if the door is not 100% air tight and the door over heats with the resulting paint flaking off and light rusting appearing.
A BR (W) lamp has also been added to the right hand lamp iron bracket.

A couple of small criticisms of the model are that the front bogie swivels 360 degrees, and you have to make sure it's facing the right way when railing the locomotive, Not a problem if you use the tension lock couplings.

The other small criticism is the chimney, it looks a bit on the narrow side to me, but without accurate drawings or sizes I'm not sure, it just looks too narrow to me. Also the Inner bore of the chimney is very much too small, this is a common fault on much RTR stuff though, I suppose the mouldings and tools used to make the body account for this. One day I will probably get a lost wax cast chimney and solve these last two problems in one go. Sprung  buffers would have been nice too at the recommended price that Bachmann suggest!
Well that's it for this entry another load of drivel from me soon!