New Direction

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New Direction

Postby Bilco » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:01 pm

Now that the decks have been cleared a little with the sale of Wood Bros and Watts' I'm beginning to work in a new direction - Heywood and estate railways.

As a starter I've bought a Smallbrook 'Katie' kit and a second-hand 'Smokey Joe' to see what I can do with them. To begin with, I dismantled the 'Smokey Joe' - I feel a bit happer ripping a second-hand one apart than I would doing it to a brand new one!

Image

This is what I ended the dismantling stage with - the rear set of locating lugs for the body have been broken off - that's what you get for buying second-hand!


Image

The basic chassis comes down to this, and presents the compromises that will have to be accomodated in making the Smallbrook 'Katie'. First up, it's inside framed, and only 'Effie' was that, so the imagineerium solution is to hypothesize a hither-to unknown intermediate stage between 'Effie' and 'Katie' - same size as 'Katie', same inside frames as 'Effie'. Perhaps I'll call it 'Kaffie'?

The second problem is the spoked wheels of the 'Smokey Joe' - so that was the next task:


Image

The 'Smokey Joe' chassis with the spoked wheels filled in with Green Stuff - things are still a bit messy, but shouldn't take too much cleaning up. I've also sanded off the extraneous bits from the frames - sand boxes, brake shoes and cylinders - and filled in the holes in the rear of the frames. Also consigned to history are the Hornby couplings and associated bits. The chassis as bought has the Scalextric motor, which a bit of research tells me is not very controllable in railway usage, so I've bought the latest motor and mount and modified the chassis to fit it in. Surprisingly, it still works when I put it all together, so I'll sit back and bask in the success so far.

I'm off to Berlin for a week, so I'll let things sit and mature for a while, and see how they look when I get back.

Hours of fun!
Bill

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Re: New Direction

Postby chris stockdale » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:23 am

'You're a braver man than me, Gunga Din'

I know that if I disassembled something like that it would never go back together, let alone work.

I'm looking forward to seeing what develops....

Cheers

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Re: New Direction

Postby docnjoj » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:05 pm

I always love solid wheels. I've done my 1:13 Porter with them (in my sig) and I used Fimo and baked them. Works fine.
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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:20 pm

Right - it's about time to report some progress, having returned from Berlin.

I found a good side view drawing of Katie on-line and I'm using that and photos to help get my 'Kaffie' modified. I want to have something like prototypical cylinders and valve gear, rather than have the 'Smokey Joe' rods slopping about in oversize holes in the cylinders, so I made that the next step.

I will mount the cylinders on the chassis, rather than the body as per the instructions, so I've made up a brass sheet 'saddle', which attaches to the underside of the chassis:


Image


I've cut into the sides of the cylinders so that the brass sheet slides in - they will be super-glued on later. The groove on top of the cylinders is for the slide-bar, when I get round to making them.


Image

The cylinders in postion - front view ...


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... and side view.


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Finally, the chassis with the footplate attached.


The instructions say that the cylinder bodies should be in line with the front of the valve chests, but the drawing and photos show that they project either side of the valve chests, so I'll lengthen the cylinders a bit before I stick the fronts on.

So, slowly getting somewhere - now I just have to make the slide-bars, the cross-heads to slide on them, and modify the connecting rods to make it all work.

Hours of fun.
Bill

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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:40 am

Two weeks of fiddling and fumbling have produced a bit of progress with 'Kaffie'. Most of the 'work' seems to have involved cutting bits of plastic off the Hornby chassis, and sticking bits of plastic onto the Smallbrook footplate. Some progress has been achieved in making the valve gear ...


Image

After much effing and blinding we are at this stage - there is another set of valve gear for the other side, but not fitted for this photo session. The slide bars and cross-heads were fabricated from NS bar and sheet, while the piston rods are bits of large paper clip. The valve chest has been built up a bit with a bit of L-section plastruct on the outer edge, and the cylinders have been extended a little - the front end castings will be fixed in place when I've sorted out how long the piston rods should be.

The footplate has had the front and rear buffer beams deepened. After sanding the top of the casting, as directed in the instructions - see, I do read them - I put a sheet of 10 thou plasticard on top to give that slight overhang.


Image

In this view of the underside you can see that I've glued bits of thick plasticard inside the vestigal front and rear sideframes. This makes the chassis a tight fit side-to-side, as it is fore-and-aft with the buffer beams - I cut off the two remaining fixing lugs. I don't think any other fixing will be needed, but I have a cunning plan just in case ...

The next job is getting new connecting rods sorted for length, and then the piston rods can be cut to length. Hours of fun.
Bill

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Re: New Direction

Postby Colin Peake » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:53 pm

Looking very effective Bill, a cut above the standard Smokey Joe chassis and I think that once completed, the lack of outside frames won't bee too much of an issue.

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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:28 am

Right - cracking on with those connecting rods ...


Careful measurement (and a couple of re-measurements) showed that they need to be 29mm between the centres of the holes. After some thought I decided to do a 'cut-and-shut' job with a spare set of 'Smoky Joe' coupling rods and connecting rods I had with astonishing foresight laid in. This is the result:

Image

So this is what you do - Simply Take:

A piece of coupling rod 19mm long (measured from the centre of the hole).
The cranked end of a connecting rod 10mm long (ditto)
The other end of the connecting rod (the bit that slops about in the 'Smokey Joe' cylinder)
Remember to make the new rods handed (how do I know that?).


Image

The ingredients - the cut-about connecting rods are previous experimental failures.

Then: rub the backs of the rod pieces with emery paper and tin with solder, coat the rod end with Fluxite, and assemble the bits of rod on top, held in place with Blutac. Then apply the tip of the soldering iron to the lot, and try to remove it in the nano-second between the solder melting and the three bits sliding apart (there was plenty of scope here for me to use some of those interesting words and amusing phrases I learned in the RAF). If necessary, gather the scattered bits and try again. When finally fixed in approximately the right position file smooth and polish with emery paper.

And that's all there is to it!

Soon I'll have to assemble all the rods and cylinders - I hope they work :shock:
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

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Re: New Direction

Postby tebee » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:43 pm

I'm confused - why do the coupling rods need to be cranked ?

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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:16 pm

I was waiting for someone to ask that!

On the original SJ they are cranked because the cylinders are wider apart than the wheels, and this is more so on the 'Katie' kit. On the SJ the crank is at the end that is attached to the rear wheel, and that is how the Smallbrook instructions have it, but I thought it would look less obvious and toy-like if it was behind the slide bar.
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If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

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Re: New Direction

Postby chris stockdale » Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:17 pm

Tom,

If you go back to the pic at the beginning you can see how far out from the wheels the cylinders are, thus the crank is necessary to close the gap.

Cheers,

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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:40 pm

As I'm building an inside-framed 'Katie' I thought I should have some brakes in view, instead of hidden behind the frames. I carved up a plastic wheel from a toy (hope grandson doesn't miss it) into brake shoes, and made a bracket from NS strip ....


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The complete bracket with brake shoes, and the original plastic wheel the shoes came from. I cut the wheel into 3 sectors and removed everything that didn't look like a brake shoe.


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The bracket and shoes in position. I cut a small notch in the chassis so that the footplate fits on top.


Image

The footplate in position. I know that the curve of the shoe doesn't match the wheel, though that isn't so noticeable at normal distance. When it's all painted up I'll try to make it even less noticeable!

Not a lot to show for a weeks work, but I had to wait for a delivery of NS bits from Eileen's. Having mentioned painting - I guess that's getting pretty close now. I shall get the underpinnings complete before I start on the upper works.

Hours of fun.
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

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Re: New Direction

Postby Nevadablue » Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:33 am

I haven't been around the forum for a while. I just caught up on this neat build. Nice work Bill! :D
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Re: New Direction

Postby Nipissing » Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:10 am

Well done !
Have a nice day :D

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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Sat Nov 28, 2015 3:38 pm

Well, slow progress is being made. I decided that I'd paint the various parts before glueing them together - might be easier, I thought. Mmm .... maybe not.

Anyway, I got the coupling and connecting rods painted and assembled them with the cylinders on the chassis. I had thought that quartering wouldn't be a problem - after all, Hornby must have made the holes in the rods and wheels in the right place. However .... I had pulled the crank pins out with a pair of pliers, using a little wriggle and a big pull. This had evidently made the holes slightly bigger, so when I put the pins in they were slightly loose - not so slightly in one case. The fix was the put a little pill of GreenStuff down the holes in the wheels, then press in the pins and, once dry, all should be well. Well ... on rotating the wheels I found a little bind, in one spot and going in one direction, so there have been a couple of evenings trying to sort that out. It seems to be OK now ....

Anyway, some pictures:

Image

The chassis with cylinders, rods and brakes, side-on ...

Image

... from the front ...

Image

... and from the back. The grey bits in the ends of the chassis are lumps of wheel balance weights, to give a bit of heft to the whole thing.


Image

A view with the footplate in position. Just visible at the left end are some rather oversize rivets on the vestigal outside frames. These were applied with dots of PVA, supposed to indicate that the frames are, in fact, the ends of an under-footplate coal bunker. Probably just as well it's very dark under there ...

Hours of fun.
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:00 pm

Well ... 3 weeks since the last update, and there isn't much to show for it. Having got the mechanism and footplate sorted and painted I started to fiddle with the boiler/tanks casting, but the more I fiddled, the more work I gave myself ...

I started by building up the underside of the boiler between the tanks, as it looks from photos to be a bit exposed, and I think the standard SM has a retaining spring for the motor, which goes in that space. I didn't have this spring, and used 2-part epoxy to hold the motor in place. I used GreenStuff to do the building-up, with no great problem, leaving a gap for the worm but hiding it.

Next I sanded the underside, as instructed. The GreenStuff needed a bit more removing than the rest - a bit over-enthusiastic on the previous stage - but I put a sheet of fine emery-paper on a sheet of glass and rubbed the casting down until most of it was flat. However, the rather flimsy cab sides still had a gap below them - in fact, the bottom of the sides sloped up towards the rear, and I didn't want to remove too much of the rest of the casting to get them level - I could stick on a bit of syrene strip and sand that back to level it all up. Having got the casting flat it also became apparent that the tank fronts weren't vertical, so there had to be a bit of delicate sanding there, too.

The cab sides also had a tendency to bend inwards, once I'd removed the piece of card that had protected them in transit. I looked up 'straightening resin castings' on Google and found this site http://www.sylvanscalemodels.com/modelling.htm#Warping All seemed very straightforward, and I lashed up a cunning arrangement of MDF blocks, rubber bands and C-clamps to hold the cab sides in the position of required straightness, ready to give the hot water treatment. At first I put the casting under the hot tap, but when the clamps were removed the cab sides sprang back to the bent position, so I tried boiling water. The sides did straighten but, being very thin, bucked like pieces of well-done bacon. After a few futile attempts to straighten them I cut them off, and plan to fix styrene cab-sides in place later.

However ..... while the thrashing around, juggling with blocks, bands and clamps was going on, the beading on the tank sides started to break off on one side. When things had calmed down I tried sticking the broken bits back on, but that looked awful, so I decided to remove the beading completely and replace it in due course with styrene strip. The beading on the broken side came off easily - mostly - but the other side was of sterner stuff and I had recourse to a sharp blade to slice it off. Of course, the tops of the tank sides ended up slightly less than level, so the next cunning plan was to fix styrene strip along the tops and sand it down level as required.

And that is the current position, with a sadly mutilated casting - but at least the tank side tops are level!

Image

I've also marked where the chimney and dome will go - I'll fit them with a piece of wire fixed into a hole in the casting to get positive attachment. I've started to make the new cab sides, and fitted little pieces of L-section to them to get a more positive attachment than a plain butt-joint. I don't know how much work I'll be allowed to do over the Christmas jollifications - it may be a while until the next update ....
Last edited by Bilco on Sun Feb 07, 2016 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New Direction

Postby Nevadablue » Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:43 am

Watching with interest. I've just started work on my first styrene scratch build. I'll be learning from you!
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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:52 pm

I managed to sneak in a half-hour project today, while mai laidy waif was otherwise occupied. I soldered up the bits to make the couplers for 'Kaffie' ...


Image

Confected out of brass tubes, brass wire and NS sheet. The idea is that they slide into holes in the buffer beams and through into the ends of the chassis, thus holding the chassis in place.

Happy Christmas to everyone, more updates ... soon..ish ...
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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:23 pm

After getting a bit of work in over Christmas, things got slowed down by competing demands on my time. At least I've managed to reinstate the cab sides and beading ....


Image

From the front ...


Image

... and from the rear, showing the bits of L-section I added to beef up the joint.

I've also cleaned up the chimney, dome and cab front - all just propped in position, but it's looking like a loco after what seems to have been an age ...


Image

It'll soon be time for a painting debacle!
Bill

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Too soon old, too late smart.

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Re: New Direction

Postby docnjoj » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:53 pm

That is super crisp work!
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Re: New Direction

Postby lesmond » Sat Jan 16, 2016 5:07 pm

That's a lovely job - I've all this (hopefully) ahead, so am paying careful attention :D

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Re: New Direction

Postby Nevadablue » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:29 am

Yes, me too... good stuff Bill!
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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:17 pm

Well, I have managed to progress Kaffie, when the temperature and moisture in the garage have allowed some spraying of undercoat. Things weren't right after the first try - a bit of rubbing down, filling and fettling to do - or even the second time, but finally I was satisfied that we're just about ready for the top coat faff ...

Image


Image


Image


The chimney and cab sheet are just propped in place to see what it looks like - but some progress is being made, albeit very slowly.
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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:13 pm

A bit more progress! I sprayed the finish coat - a light green shade that I remember using back in the late 1970s when I built two of the GEM IoM loco kits and liked.


Image


Image


Image


Unusually, the finish coat went on nicely and with no great traumas. In part that's down to the paint I'm using :


Image


I get it from an art shop in Oxford - I used the same make on the Eimco compressed air loco I made a few years back - that produced a nice orange-peel/cast-metal finish, but the green's gone on quite smoothly. I also got a selection of nozzles to use with these cans - a variety of spray widths - and used a fairly narrow spray for this. The pressure in the can doesn't seem to be as high as in the usual Halfords car paint sprays, and that helps me get a good coverage without drips and bloops, given my terrible technique. :roll: I shall hand-paint the smokebox and chimney black.

Next up is the lining, when the green has hardened - another technique I haven't practiced for a couple of decades!
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Re: New Direction

Postby lesmond » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:38 pm

Bill, that looks lovely. You've built it beautifully, and the green really suits it.

Very handy that you can get a selection of nozzles with the paint, also good to hear that the pressure is lower than the Halfords cans. I've had varied results with those too. I'll have to keep an eye out for that brand of paint.

Thanks for sharing :D

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Re: New Direction

Postby Bilco » Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:56 pm

The storms of the last few days had one beneficial effect in the Bilco household - I was forced to forgo my usual 3 mile walk through Blenheim Park - instead, I've cracked on with lining Kaffie, with the following results:


Image


Image


Image


I used Fox Transfers 7mm scale lining, in white-black-white. I realized that, far from my last lining being two decades ago, it's closer to three! I started with the cab back, doing corners first, then filling in the straights and, when that went reasonably well, tackled the tank sides, and the boiler bands. Finally, just for kicks, I put some on the cylinders, but I couldn't do little rectangles, as the Fox corners sheet has 17 corners, and I used up 12 - well, 13 if you count the one that needing replacing after a small blooper.

In the end the results are certainly not perfect, but better than I feared. Handling the long straight bits was a bit of a trial, and I'm sure you'll be able to see where 'straight' is what they ain't. 'Water slide' transfers certainly slide, and not where you necessarily want them to go, then when you press down with a bit of kitchen roll, as per Fox's instructions, they stick like the proverbial. I had occasion to employ some of those interesting and amusing words I learned in the RAF, and the lady at the other end of the village complained about the shouting - must have been carried on the wind. :shock:

Next up is a coat of Railmatch satin varnish, after I've given the smokebox and chimney another thin coat of black. I have a set of Kaffie nameplates and Duffield Bank worksplates on order with Narrow Planet, meanwhile, it's on with assembly - hours of fun.
Bill

If at first you don't succeed, cheat.
Too soon old, too late smart.

https://sites.google.com/site/myoldlayouts/
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