A ray of sunshine in the build

Today’s efforts have been very positive.

First I stripped the wheels and axles from the tender chassis and used a couple of 15″ or so lengths of 3/16 round bar through the front and rear axle bushes to twist the chassis until it felt better.

I tried in the front and rear axles but it still didn’t sit square on my pane of glass so a little more tweaking was in order. Once I was satisfied I tried the tender chassis behind the loco just with the front and rear axles fitted. All ran smoothly so I loosely fitted the tender top. Astonishingly it moved under it’s own power without hiccup although the loco wheels did slip a bit. I popped a lump of lead sheet across the front of the frames to stop this during testing.

The next step was to fit the two middle axles and try again with the tender top loosely fitted. It ran even better.

Lastly I bit the bullet and fastened the tender top and on thankfully it seems that is one problem solved.
I was so elated that I took a video which I will post as soon as the camera battery charges.

Next up I tried the boiler/footplate on and discovered that it wouldn’t fit over the Maxon motor. Out with the mini drill and a drum sander which made short work of it. I still need a little fine tuning then I hope to have her running with the boiler in place.

Another long term build makes progress

The first 7mm scale loco kit that I got was a present from Chris at Christmas 2009 I first started to build it in Agust 2010 and I have been building it sporadically ever since.

So a couple of weeks ago in between finishing off the bogie van I got it out of the cupboard and started to think seriously about what needed doing to complete it. The first thing was fitting the front bogie I got it and the spring/screw and put it together and discovered the first problem. My lovely home made brake cylinders fouled the bogie and wouldn’t allow it to turn at all – a proper Doh!!! moment. Undeterred I unsoldered them and started to cut them back in an effort to get them to sit further back. Several attempts later and there was nothing left

So here we are without any brakes but the chassis runs nice and smoothly and goes around curves as best as I can tell in the limits of my layout boards

A3 006

A3 007 A3 003

During the process one of the front springs can adrift at one side so that needs soldering back at some point.

The next problem that those with a long memory may recall was that when test running I had to rest a pair of pliers on one side of the tender to get it to run. My first thought was that this was down to a bad contact so I drilled a hole in the tender chassis, tapped it 8BA and soldered in a short length of screw (the end off one that I had shortened for something else – I struggle to throw stuff away thinking as now that they will come in useful). You can just see the mark on top of the tender chassis where I filed the paint off to do this.

I then reconnected the tender to the loco and all ran really smoothly. So far so good. however when I fitted the tender body it wouldn’t run despite having a much better connection. It did run if I rested a finger on the tender side. Mmmm! I took the tender body off and examined it and realised that with the whitemetal castings that form the corridor connection top the body is top heavy at one side. Because I am using the american method of pick up the weight was lifting the chassis enough to make running intermittent.

My thoughts turned to how I could weight it from the inside of the tender body because any weight put into  the tender top under the coal would be central not to one side that I needed.

I then thought about swapping the pick up sides on the loco and tender which would mean that the tender picked up from the side with the most weight and in theory it should solve the problem.

While all this was going through my mind I took the tender body back off and pondered while running the loco and tender chassis up and down my 4 metres of track. I noticed that the rear most wheels didn’t always turn so I applied some oil to all the axles and running improved. It was while messing with this that I noticed that without the body on although the tender chassis ran up and down quite smoothly and appeared to pick up okay there was a pronounced rock between the front and rear axles and it was biased away from the pick up side. Closer examination revealed a bent bit of the chassis that looks like it has been dropped. I don’t recall dropping it but I must have because no one else touches them.

This is it after a bit of minor straightening with a pair of sooth jawed pliers.

A3 005

A3 004

While the tweaking with the pliers hasn’t solved the rocking it has made the rear axle run smoothly. So the next task is to strip down the tender chassis and attempt to straighten it. I will try initially without stripping any paint but if that fails it’s going to be a back to basics job as I am now determined to get this of the bench once and for all so I can with other things without feeling guilty that it still lurks in the background.

Details from scrap etch…

Following on from a request on another forum for details of how to make the vac pipes I thought I would share these.

While up at the cottage last, I put together a Slaters 8 ton Midland van. It was a kit that I picked up 2nd hand and when I got to them I realised that the castings for door handles/hasp and staples were missing. I had the vague idea that I had some plastic ones left over from another kit but a search amongst the spares boxes didn’t turn them up.

I thought about ordering some from Slaters while kicking myself because I had just had a delivery from them of some of the fine chain that MMP use in their kits (an email to David P kindly revealed the source). Having just finished making up the pipes posted earlier today I decided to have a go at making some myself. A look in Midland Wagons Vol 1 gave me a decent photo of what they looked like and this is how far I have got.

First I got a length of 0.8mm wire and flattened one end in a pair of pliers. I then drilled a 0.3mm hole in the flattened section and doing the same through the dimple in the van door used this as the datum to determine the length. I drilled a second hole and soldered in 2 pieces of 0.3mm brass wire one of these I left long to go through the door to locate it and the other I filed flush. I then filed the 2 front pieces to represent the bolt heads on the face of the handle.

Having determined the length I cut it and flattened the other end again drilling 2 holes but a bit closer together. I bent a piece of 0.3mm wire into a U shape and fed it through the holes to make the staple for the pin or padlock. Again after soldering I left one end long and filed the other flush.

I did a similar exercise to create the vertical handles

Giving these – the handle has only been drilled on one end in this shot.

Midland 8 ton van 003

Fitting it to the van side looks like this. The brake lever and guard are from Bill Bedford via Eileens Emporium.

Midland 8 ton van 005

And both fitted on the other side.

Midland 8 ton van 004

Next up now I have my Mojo back is to make the hasp part. The plan is to make one closed and one open. Details to follow once I have worked out how to do it – more scrap etch to the rescue me thinks.


Home Brewed Vacuum Pipes

Due to other distractions (including updating the website) and general lack of Mojo I haven’t done much modelling for a couple of weeks.

I did spend a couple of evenings on these though.

Home brewed Vac Pipes 800

They are replacements for the whitemetal pipes that are supplied with their kits by Parkside. They look nice enough but I find them a bit vulnerable.

So some 1mm rod, some 28 gauge brass beading wire and some of the infamous scrap etch and we have these – apologies for the not too cracking photo. This was the second attempt and at that I gave up.

A bit like wheel blackening, I find making these up to be very therapeutic.