Although I have a Moore and Wright depth micrometre, I recently needed o check the depth of a hole that I was drilling which was much smaller than the rods on the depth mic.
I had seen a video on YouTube where a gent in the US made a simple depth gauge from a length of aluminium bar stock , a thumb screw and a length of rod.
As luck would have it I recently bought some 2mm silver steel rod for use as retaining pins for gearboxes I also had a piece of 10mm x 100mm x 14mm rough cut piece of mild steel which was left over from my lathe upgrades. The rough cut edge was actually along it’s length rather than one end (although the ends were not perfect either.
Due to the need to mill down the stock to square up the rough cut edge I thought it worth trying my hand at milling some angles along what would become the top of the gauge.
Sadly when I came to drill out the hole for the measuring rod the 1.9mm drill wandered of line and the hole although square front to back was a little off to one side. Although it was not out enough to stop it being functional it bugged me so in the end I mounted the body in a 4 jaw chuck in the lathe and used a 4mm diameter end mill to open out the hole and square it up. The end mill wasn’t quite long enough. so I had to run a drill through the last millimetre, but by then the hole was square and the problem was solved.
Finally I turned a nickel silver bush to fit the hole and them drilled that out 1.9mm and reamed it to 2mm for the measuring rod.. A turned brass thumbscrew completed the job.
The flutes on the head of the thumbscrew were machined using my Proxxon dividing head on the mill table. I made a second smaller thumb screw for the end of the measuring rod so that it didn’t poke my in the eye in use. Lastly I blackened the body of the gauge using Birchwood Casey Gun Blue
I finally managed to get a little more done on the Tamiya Panther at recent arts and crafts group sessions and I have managed to fit the road wheels.
Sometime during the build I have managed to lose one of the wheel hubs. A lady at our arts and crafts group was offering various item free to anyone who wanted them. In amongst them were a pair of 5.5mm knitting needles and I recalled that a fellow Gauge O Guild Member had mentioned how well they turned. So I asked for them and turned a replacement hub. I still need to do a bit of work on the face but I am pleased with how it’s looking so far.
A wider discussion on the subject over on Western Thunder has highlighted that there is more wrong with the motion than just the reversing rod supports.
So far I have modified the Radius Rod, moving the pivot hole nearer to the slot by 1mm. I have also modified a spare set of Combination Rods as those supplied are too long too.
Nick Dunhill had a replacement set of motion etched when he built his three. He has very kindly offered me some of his spares which I will collect at Barnsley. Progress on the chassis will be put on hold until I have the alternate etches.
I seem to have been really busy with real life and not a huge amount to show for the work on the Princess. I have returned to the chassis while I await castings for the back head and the firebox print – Royal Fail seem to be keeping their reputation intact FB posted a week last Saturday and replacement castings from Ragstone posted a week yesterday, no sign of either yet.
On the rear axle which is to be driven there isn’t a great deal of room on the axle for the gearbox, hornblocks and taper pin. It turned out that after trying everything the taper pin actually sat under the left hand hornblock. Initially I tried cutting down the taper pin so that it just went through the axle and would spin inside the horn block. I obviously didn’t make it a tight enough fit as it went walk about. Thankfully I do have a few spare taper pin so I was able to replace it but I didn’t want the same thing to happen again so after some thought I hit upon the idea to thin down that hornblock. I took it out and milled 1mm off the rear of it. Which you should be able to see from comparing the first two photos
Next I moved onto fitting the representation of the inside motion. I had to solder the eccentric straps together and then make some location points for the slide bars and lotion plate.
I have done this with a couple of strips of scrap etch and the plan is to mill a couple of small angle plates to allow the cylinder front to be screwed in place. I will take some more detailed phots once I have finished this.
Subject to retaining it I have achieved what I set out to, you can see the cross heads through the openings in the frames, with a small amount of visible movement when the axle is rotated.
This week has mainly been about returning to the elephant in the room, the Firebox. There had been some discussion on Western Thunder some time ago about issues with the resin casting and I must admit I didn’t get ‘it’ and after a (very!) rudimentary measure up, it didn’t seem far out so I left it at that. Fast forward to last week and Nick Dunhill posted on my thread on the GOG forum and mentioned how far out his had been on all the ones that he built (he built four in total) and how much work it had been to rectify the problems.
The talk also mentioned a whitemetal cast firebox produced by DJH for Gladiator (prior to David and Trisha buying the range). After seeing the discussion the guy that I am building it for rang me and told me that he had one of the Gladiator/DJH fireboxes which he would send me.
Once I had it in hand, I imported some GA’s into Fusion from the Wild Swann book scaled them and started to compare the castings to the real thing.
Once I had done the comparisons it all clicked into place.
Because the ends of my casting were at 90 degrees to the footplate I thought that I had better castings once I realised that Nick had lowered the front by circa 2mm and raised the back by another 1mm it made sense why his front and rear face were no longer at right angles to the footplate and why the subsequent chopping and gap filling.
Nick’s advice was to scratch build one or get Mick Davies (of Finney7) to draw one up and print it for me. I have initially opted to have a go at drawing it myself.
This is where I got to after the first session. Subsequent study made me realise that I needed to bring the curve under the front down a bit.
After my second session I had this – I did a short video capture of Fusion as being easier than taking multiple renders which I was struggling with.
I entered the loco part of my Princess Royal Build in an online forum competition and although I didn’t get it finished by the close of the competition no one else did either so as a result of a members vote I won first prize.
After my initial post on the Guild forum a fellow member contacted me by PM and showed me photos of how he had articulated the outer section of the cab doors as well as the inner. Never one to shy away from the challenge I modified them the cab doors this afternoon.
Not only is Chris’s suggested method very simple, it’s also very robust.
Last thing last night I managed to get a coat of home brewed Field Grey on it. I didn’t have any proprietary Green Grey (although I do have Vallejo Grey Green it looks far too dark being almost black) so I used Vallejo Air Dark Sea Grey with a few drops of Vallejo Air Olive green to add the green tint to it.
A bit more done at the field gun and it’s ready for paint now I think.
Photos of the real thing show a couple of levers at the front. so I added those from small brass turnings and rod. The one on the right (left as you look from the front) isn’t strictly accurate as it had a more complicated mechanism that it was attached to but I can’t make it out clear enough to models it.
Next I made what I think is the trigger. Emhar had a representation visible in earlier photos but it was again placed on the centre line and a bit undernourished. It was also curiously hollow with an open side which I have represented from filed down microbore tube.
Last but not least on the left of the carriage behind the shield was a hand wheel, presumably somehting to do with adjusting the sighting.
I turned one up on the lathe and I was so pleased with it I decided to replace the ring of plastic that I had added to the elevation screw with a proper turned wheel tapped 10ba.
Shown with my giant sized 5 pence piece for scale…
Since taking the photos I have added some brass chains to the rear of the gun shield.
A bit more playing with rusting things out. This time it’s a pipe.
I started with a short length of evergreen tube. I attacked it with me dremel and a diamond ball burr to thin the ends to make them look corroded and then I ground a hole from both inside and out again to simulate corrosion. Then a coat of primer filled with talc and various Vallejo browns and rusty colours including Burnt Umber, Smoke, Charred Brown, Rust, Saddle Brown, Leather brown. all applied as washes also washes of German orange and finally sponge stippling with Dark Prusion Blue to simulate a bit of residual original colour.
In between doing other bits and pieces I am still playing around with the weathering. Using some techniques that I have ipicked up from watching armour modelling videos I have been trying my hand at rust effects.
They are all whitemetal castings from my spares box.
I wasn’t so wild about these once I saw the photos so I had another go at them this evening.
Despite the hairs which are not visible on the actual items I am happier with them now.
I managed to grab a couple more shots out in the sunshine this morning. I am really pleased that this took third place in the Modelling competition. It was one of three cranes entered and one of them took first. The one that took first was an impressive scratch built beast with a professional paint job which really made it look superb. As soon as I saw it first thing in the morning I was sure that it would win.
I finally got around to finishing off the Crane and match trucks this week ready for taking them to Guildex to enter in the modelling competition. Nothing like a deadline to make you pull your finger out.
I have had a Hobby Holidays Chassis Jig for a good number of years and I am really pleased with it.
It came with additional components to make it into a rolling road. I do use this but I have never really been happy with it. The rollers are set at 32mm apart to suit Peco track but as with the inherent slop in Peco track I find that the loco being tested tends to hunt from side to side never really giving a true reflection of how it’s actually running. I tried once a few years ago to reduce the distance by adding washers behind the roller bearings but my washers were too wide and all it did was seize up the rollers so I took them back out. When I bought my mill I had the bright idea to mill of 0.5mm from each spacer to reduce the slop but never got around to it until yesterday. I was about to dismantle the roller sets to mill them when I remembered that a former guild member had given me a collection of various nuts, screws and washers so I had a look through them and found some 0.5mm thick washers that were also very thin in terms of the washer area which while acting as a spacer to take off 0.5mm didn’t inhibit the movement of the bearings.
Hopefully this photo will show what I am struggling to describe.
This cured the hunting immediately, so I can’t recommend it enough to anyone else experiencing the same issue.
If you are connecting power directly the the motor the HH rolling road units are fine but if you actually want to test pickups then that’s a bit more interesting because the unit really isn’t designed for it. For years I have used a bit of a lash up of some lengths of copper wire and some crocodile clips to transfer power to each of the wheel cradles.
After doing a recent repair job for a fellow member which required testing pickups I thought it about time I did something a bit better. I found in my stash of “it will come in useful some day” materials a strip of aluminium which when cut into two pieces was perfect to create two bus bars. I milled some slots in them to allow adjustment to cover all my rolling road cradles (mine is a 5 axle jig).
As luck would have it in the front of the rolling road units is a hole to allow you to fit a hex key to get at some cap screws on the rear. These were just the right size to tap M4 while still allowing the hex key passage. There are also a set of holes already tapped M4 on top of the adjusters which will pass the current to the other side.
This is the bus bars in place. All that’s left for me to do is shorten a few cap screws to make them fit better. The end tabs allow me to connect via crocodile clip either DC or DCC
To prove it all works I took a shot video but instead of there being a boring video of a loco on the Rolling Road I played with the video editor to to turn it into a cartoon.