My next plan was to dress the back head, a part of the model that I always enjoy. Sadly when checking the parts it seems that we are missing a sprue or two which contain many of the bits need. The plan is to source replacements from Ragstone and until I get those I did a bit more of the cab internals. There are a couple of took boxes within the cab which David has done the same size however the trusty GA reveals that the right hand side box was only half the size of the one on the left. A fact that I didn’t discover until I had folded and soldered it together. A quick bit of piercing saw action soon had it the right size.
The left hand box has a nice half etched representation of the door to which I added a 4mm scale handrail knob as the door knob (I filled the hole with some rod first). The other box didn’t have anything supplied so I added a false top and hinges to it.
It was my intention to fit the backhead to the floor and have it removeable as one unit but the toolboxes as they are don’t sit close enough to the cab side sheets. I will probably end up removing them them from the floor and fixing the floor and them in permanently leaving the backhead to be fixed later.
I also fitted the fall plate which is a nice design and easy to fit while making it rise and fall.
More work on the roof in the last few days, starting with the roof shutters. You get a pair of half etched pieces to represent the shutters which you can solder in position open, closed or somewhere in between. Looking at the GA in the Wild Swan volume and a really good photo that I found online of Princess Margaret Rose I thought that it shouldn’t be too difficult to make the shutters slide.
While I was at it I added the really prominent riveted strips across the middle of the roof and a pair of handles for the shutters.
The last two NER vehicles that I have been finishing for a friend are brake vans and a bit of ingenuity was required to get the lettering in the small spaces between the frames and make the best of the available letters on the Fox sheets. You need lot’s of M’s and N’s for NER liveried Brake vans
Since my last update the loco seems to have fought back a little. I am not sure whether it was that I had folded the sides of the cab floor too tightly but the sides needed trimming down to fit. That said it’s a snug fit in the cab so it’s probably unlikely.
My next task which again needed a lot of work for very little to show for it was the upper frame sections that fit between the splashers. Each piece was between 1mm and 2mm two long so they had to be patiently cut and filed until they fitted in the space between the splashers and seated properly.
Still a bit of cleaning up to do.
Having sorted the cab floor I looked at the upright pillar that support the cab doors. These have a pair of slots in them to take a half etched tabs on hinges of the cab doors. Again I am not sure if it was me but once I had folded the small section that is bent at right angles the slot was completely closed. To be fair that wasn’t an issues as I had already decided based on past experience to make the cab doors removable. This I did by soldering a couple of short lengths of micro bore tube in between where the holes should be (even though the holes were no longer visible, there was a half etched recess). Then I used a small broach as a spacer and folded the half teched tabs on the doors around to make a hinge and inserted a cut down dressmakers pin to hold the doors in position while leaving them free to move and removable by lifting out the pin.
Next I fitted the rear cab roof arch and started to form the cab roof.
The cab roof was a challenge in it’s own right and required quite a bit of coaxing to get it to curve to the right shape being half teched nickel I was very conscious of it wanting to crease across the top where the two strips either side of the opening are.
In the end to get it to stay in shape with a chance at being soldered to the top of the cab I used a piece of scrap etch as a former/stay. this fits just inside the rear arch frame. I dropped lucky in that where one of the sections of arch was removed from the etch left this strip which was at exactly the same curvature as the front/rear so perfect for the task once the cusp etc was cleaned up.
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.
After fitting the brakes I decided to return to the loco body to move that forward.
That started out as a one forward one back because I had to re-solder the boiler section as for some reason the soldered seam had failed. Still better that it failed now than when the loco is finished. That little job done I looked in the box and sighted the chimney casting so decided to tackle that.
There was quite a bit of discussion about the David Andrews Chimney, or to be more accurate about all the chimneys in the kit’s that are/have been available for a Princess Royal with the consensus being that none of them were accurate. Mike Hopkins was commissioned to draw up and have cast an accurate replacement (by David Hill at Gladiator I think). Noting that I was building a Princess Mike dropped me an email and asked if I would like a replacement for the kit provided casting and I took him up on it.
Now I have to confess, having used one of Mike’s chimney castings on the Class 5A, that I am not wild about the way that Mike designs the flare/inner chimney. I understand that being 3D printed the chimney needs to be supported and that those supports have to be cleaned up so adding them at the bottom makes sense I much prefer to remove the usual screw thread/stub from the bottom of the chimney, drill it out and them use the smoke box wrapped in wet and dry to smooth out the flare to make it sit on the smoke box properly.
Although I forgot to take a photo of the Princess chimney before I started I had a J63 chimney in stock (for when I get around to swapping the lopsided one off my J63). The Princess chimney was similar to the photo above in that it had the remains of the casting sprue attached to one edge of the hole and the remains f the supports around the bottom of the inner chimney and the flare.
I started by cutting off the casting sprue and then had made a start on the laborious job of filing out the rest when I thought that I could pop it in the lathe and use a tiny 3mm boring bar to remove the remains of the sprue from inside the chimney. To stop the rim getting marked I wrapped it in a strip taken from an aluminium drinks can (I have a few cut down cans in the workshop for just such tasks). Suitably protected I put the chimney in a collet and centred it as best I could (it still had a slight wobble). Then working steadily taking 0.1mm cuts I bored out the remains of the sprue. I also shortened the inner chimney by approximately 2mm which took care of the stubs of the supports.
That done I used a diamond coated mini drill attachment to grind of the remains of the stubs on the base of the flare.
At this point the hole in the smokebox is only about 1mm in diameter and I was wonder about the best way to enlarge it as the inner chimney is just over 10mm in diameter. I decided to use the practice smokebox that I ad created to ensure that I could successfully roll the thick material of the smokebox. As luck would have it I have a 5mm centre drill which up to now has been too big for anything that I might have needed. It was perfect to drill a hole and then use the countersink part of the bit to slowly open out the hole in the smokebox until the chimney would fit.
This confirmed that the chimney would sit flush on the smokebox so now I just need to open out the hole in the proper smokebox to suit.