David Andrews Princess – Princess Marie Louise

Modelling time has been in short spells just recently, hence my lack of posts. I have been beavering away at detailing the front and rear of the tender but I haven’t taken any photos yet. However, a discussion on the Guild forum about details of the coal pusher fitted tenders had me looking closely at the drawings of the modifications done to the 9 Ton tender to increase coal capacity to 10 Tons. There are drawings of the upperworks in LMS Profiles no 4.

The tank vent castings cleaned up quite nicely by spinning them in the mini drill with a bit of scotchbrite and although the water filler was a reasonable casting, when comparing it to the drawing it’s a bit on the undernourished side. So, using the same bar as I used for the eccentrics which was just the right diameter, I decided to make a replacement. I had a look at as many photos as I could find and it seems that David Andrews has the type of hinge mechanism pretty much correct albeit that all the ones that I saw had plain straps without visible fasteners.

Replacement LMS 4000 Gallon Tender water filler
Replacement LMS 4000 Gallon Tender water filler
Replacement LMS 4000 Gallon Tender water filler
Replacement LMS 4000 Gallon Tender water filler

After turning, I transferred it to the mill and used a recently acquired edgefinder (less than £7 posted from Allendale) to help to accurately position the holes. I then used a 1mm collet to hold a .06mm drill and away we went. Fitting such small drill bits into a collet on the mill is a bit of a fiddle and you could really do with another hand but it’s worth it.

Gladiator J6 another little job off the list

Although I dressed the backhead a couple of weeks or so ago, I hadn’t managed to get it to fit into the cab before now because the stub of the whistle protruding through the cab roof stopped it from sliding in. One of those little few minute jobs that seem to take forever to get around to…. I finally got to it and the backhead now fits in place as if it was made for it.

Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab
Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab
Gladiator J6 Backhead fitted in the cab

Wensleydale track survey

We had something a little different down the branch this afternoon or rather it went up the branch last week but I only caught sight of the rear cab window as it disappeared out of view. We thought it odd that it didn’t return (usually most ‘trains’ go up the branch and return the same day). We have had quite a bit of works train traffic on Monday’s of late but much of it has been seen before so I haven’t posted any photos. 

They look to have been working their way back from Redmire surveying the branch because it had already passed our house on the way to Bedale when I became aware of it and popped up to take a look. 
By good fortune it had stopped a couple of hundred yards away and after marking up the ground, (when the machine made a series of loud beeps) it then reversed to about 20 yards beyond the house on the Redmire/Leyburn side. More beeps more marking up and it reversed direction again heading back off towards Bedale. 
I reckon it must be sat in the passing loop at Bedale station now, because just before 5pm we had the Class 20 featured previously, come past light engine heading to Leyburn/Redmire. 

For those it might interest, there are more details shots on my Flickr site

Gladiator J6, a bit of milling

After spending a week teaching myself 3D drawing, I was back at the workbench today. I had originally planned to just turn a couple of appropriately sized top hat bushes, file some flats on them where they come together and job done. My recently acquired mill offered more possibilities to make something that at least looks like the original even if it doesn’t attach in the same way. This will be soldered to the cylinder front in between the slide bars, instead of being suspended from a substantial bracket between the frames.

This is my first real item produced with the mill and I am happy with how it turned out.

Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket
Milled Expansion link support bracket

This is where it will sit in between the slide bars on the cylinder front. I have added some fastenings to make it look as if it should be there, when it’s ultimately lost in the gloom between the frames.

This is where it will fit.

Ramsbottom Safety valves part II

This is the final version. it was a bit of a challenge to get all the lever elements constrained so that I could extrude it but I got there in the end.

By turning different elements off as in the photo I can create separate STL files for just the lever, the complete valves without the cover or complete with the cover.

More 3D drawing adventures

At the risk of boring people with my new found skill I have drawn up a couple more items yesterday.
First was a much simpler task than the chimneys that I have drawn so far, this time a dome for the D2.

Then at a friend’s suggestion I had a go at the GNR version of the Ramsbottom safety valves.

I had got this far when Chris looked over my shoulder and said “it looks good but it doesn’t look right” she was of course correct the springs should be on the lever that I hadn’t drawn yet not the valve stems…
To be continued…

A second attempt nearly ended in tears!

The D2 chimney must have been beginners luck. The next one took me two days of fighting to get it finished. Despite the frustrations I have learned much from the experience (I am a great believer that mistakes and things going wrong are far better teachers than when things go swimmingly).

This chimney is for non condensing C12’s and J52’s. According to the drawing, the condensing versions were fitted with shorter but otherwise similar profile chimneys. I feel that I have done a better job of this one and it’s a bit finer in shape/detail.


LNER D2 Chimney a venture into 3D drawing

I am not sure whether it’s beginners luck but further sessions today have added a tube under the centre of the flare to help locate the chimney in the smokebox and the rivets around the rim. I still haven’t got it completely hollow but I will perhaps try to achieve that on the next one.

Gauge O Guild Special Interest Groups

You may have seen elsewhere that coming up I have a test build for an LNER D2. The first build is to be a BR period build and I have a J6 chimney casting from Gladiator for it. However once the etches are proved I plan to build a second D2 for myself which I wish to finish as it was in it’s early life with the LNER in lined green.

This means that it will need the original chimney so I need to turn one/have one 3D printed or something.
Those who are Gauge O Guild members my be aware that following on from the success of the virtual shows the Guild has been hosting some special interest session in various subjects one of them being 3D CAD/Printing. I missed the initial session a few weeks ago but caught up with it via the YouTube channel and then joined last nights session.

Prior to joining the Zoom session I downloaded and installed Fusion360 which is the software at the centre of the 3D CAD element of the sessions.

This morning I had a play and following a demo video done by a fellow GOG member last year I managed to draw a chimney.
Having completed it I shared the image below with the gent who ad created the artwork for the D2 etches and he commented that the smokebox looked a bit narrow. Then it dawned on me that I had used the figure for the radius taken from the drawing and hadn’t doubled it to enter the diameter. Apparently you can enter a radius figure but I haven’t worked out how yet.

So this afternoon I attempted to redraw it using the correct smokebox size.

You will note in the image above that there are orange coloured squares. These are offset planes that I used to apply the dimensions from my chimney drawing. I managed to miss out one of the planes (for the bottom of the chimney rim) and try as I might I couldn’t manage to draw any lines between the planes like I had this morning. in frustration I deleted all but the base, saved it and went and had my dinner.

This evening I worked out how to import a drawing, resize it and then draw over it as I would in Inkscape or QCAD.

Below are a couple of views of the revised drawing.

I am now a happy bunny.

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Homemade Eccentrics part 2

I went through the process again this time drilling the offset at 2mm which proved to be perfect for this particular application.

I had been using a very thin cutting tool which someone had ground (not very well it turned out) which came in the box of bits with the lathe. After cutting the first one I thought that I would examine the tool to see if I could improve it or at least rub it on a stone to restore the cutting edge. When I looked closely at the cutting part I noticed that the bottom of the tool was wider than the top and although there was some rake away from the cutting edge the fact that it was getting thicker couldn’t be helping to make an efficient cut.
This is a sketch of what the tool looked like originally albeit the bottom of the wedge is somewhat exaggerated.
[img]https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/51259964196_7d3dd5c448_z.jpg[/img]

I have watched a few Youtube videos on sharpening lathe tools recently so I had a go at grinding the tool to take off some of the thickness towards the bottom making the two sides parallel.
This improved the cut and I successfully cut the groove for the first sheave. Then I parted it off but I was a little too close leaving a very thin edge. During the parting off, the parting tool moved slightly in its holder which pushed over the thin rim of the sheave slightly closing the top of the groove.
In the end it was usable but I decided to cut another pair to be on the safe side. It was while parting off the first one that I noted that my parting tool was in fact just the right thickness for cutting the groove without having to move the carriage as well as the cross slide to get the desired cut.
Having discovered this the next one progressed much faster and modifying the fixture that holds the parting tool so that it grips the parting tool more securely by squeezing it in the vice made the third one even faster still. The parting tool is one like this albeit mine only has one tool. You will note that it’s a pressed steel fitting that grips the part with the aid of a cap screw. Mine didn’t hold the cutting tool very closely to the holder but it does now.
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41Uv-fAJmjL._AC_.jpg

So here we have the finished sheaves.

DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics
DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics


This is how they will fit on the axle once I work out their alignment with the crossheads further down the line.

DA Princess Homemade Eccentrics test fitted to the axle.


It turns out that I wasn’t far out with my 16mm deep offset hole, I had a measure of the remaining stock while putting this post together, and there is just about enough material to cut a 4th sheave had I needed a full set for a conventional inside motion build.

Homemade Eccentric Sheaves

Although these parts are allied to the Princess build, I thought that I would add the making of them and the reasoning behind it as a separate post just in case anyone has need to solve a similar problem in the future.

Readers of the David Andrews Princess thread will have noted that I had to make the brake gear removable to ensure that I could remove the wheels due to them being mounted on telescopic axles. This need stems from a similar issue but I will start at the beginning.

Although the gent that I am building it for doesn’t want full inside motion. One thing that is quite visible through holes in the front frames, is movement of the crossheads. I was asked if I could add some element of movement using the spare outside motion bits from the kit ( a set of Premier rods etc. has been supplied for the build). Having started to think about it long before getting to the actual start of the build I realised that with the axles being hollow I couldn’t use traditional cranks to make the crossheads move (or rather I wasn’t comfortable that I could make it work without ruining axles wheels). So I thought that a pair of eccentrics would impart movement while being able to be attached to the hollow axles without having to cut them.

Driving wheel with hollow axle

We agreed this as the way forward and I ultimately bought castings for the slide bars/crossheads and eccentric straps from Laurie Griffin. I was also going to buy some eccentric sheaves too until I recalled Nick Dunhill finding the new cast versions very time consuming to prepare. Further thought made me also realise that the LG cast ones wouldn’t really work anyway. This is because in a ‘normal’ inside motion set up the eccentric sheaves are trapped between the cranks so the eccentric straps cannot slip off the edge of the sheaves. Of course, I planned to use them as a single eccentric so they would need to be restrained at either side.

Instead of ordering a set of cast eccentrics along with the other parts, I bought a length of 12mm round brass bar instead.

Initially I was going to offset in the lathe using a four jaw chuck to offset the bar but having done a bit of research online, most machinists were of the view that you could but if you had a mill it would be far easier to drill it in the mill. Not being as proficient with my mill as I hope to be in time I did use the lathe to put a small centre mark in the end of the bar before transferring it to the vice in the mill.

Then using a centre drill inserted into my centre mark to centre it quickly, it was easy to plot the offset (2.4mm, more on this later) and then drill it out to 4.5mm. I then took it to final size with a reamer.

Transferring it back to the lathe I took a skim off the outside and marked up for the first sheave. Some time later we had this.

Home made eccentric sheaves first attempt
Home made eccentric sheaves first attempt
Home made eccentric sheaves first attempt

I tried the eccentric strap for size and found it was just a little too wide for the strap to close completely around the sheave.

Home made eccentric sheaves first attempt – test fitting the strap

It was at this point that I noticed that the depth of cut of the groove to accommodate the strap was such that it was very close to breaking through into the offset hole. It seems that in setting my offset hole at 2.4mm from the centre to gain the maximum amount of movement was just too much.

You may be able to see the mark where it’s just about to break through in the image below. This was made worse by having to apply a second slightly larger reamer than 3/16 (4.74mm) to get the axle end into the offset hole

Home made eccentric sheaves first attempt – offset too great, turning breaking through.
Axle test fit in sheave.

The plan is to start again from the other end with a 2mm offset hole and see how I get on.

To be continued…

Gladiator J6 Inside Motion progress – valves almost fitted

Yesterday saw more progress on the motion for the J6, with the valves almost complete.
I still have the arms to make that connect the valve rockers with the expansion link etc. But I am pleased that I have got this far as I had hit a bit of a mental brick wall with concern that attempts at soldering on the valve rocker supports would result in them dissolving into individual parts again.

As happens often when procrastinating, I worried for nothing.

Gladiator J6 Overhead Valves
Gladiator J6 Overhead Valves

Modification of Buffer Heads from NER wagon kits

In my varied kit collection I have a few items of NER rolling stock from Medley Models/NER Days and it recently came to my attention via a fellow modeller that among other things the buffer heads in some of the kits need a little attention.
I had a vague recollection of Steve Hoyle mentioning something about his supplier having supplied them as they are and has subsequently passed away so no chance of doing anything about them.
These are what came with some of the kits (appologies for the slightly out of focus photos). You will note the interesting collar that would prevent any kind of compression…


I bought a couple of B1 opens from Mossy and they have been sat on my desk with the buffers beckoning to me each time I sat at my laptop. So this afternoon I decided to turn the collar off.
In the end I did about 30 and it was quite a good exercise in repeatability on the lathe using the graduations on the lead screw handwheels although the minor variations in sizes proved that they weren’t done with a CNC machine. I also took the opportunity to file off any centre pips and rub over the heads with emery while I had them in the chuck.


David Andrews Princess Tender Body

Further progress on the tender has seen the basics of the body put together.

DA Princess Tender Body
DA Princess Tender Body

So far, the only issues have been some bowing of the half-etched sheets which has taken a bit of work to get them soldered up straight. The worst being the rear sheets with the steps and the coal door.

DA Princess Tender Coal Doors

In the end I added a second sheet of 10thou nickel to back off the coal door.

DA Princess Tender basic Front
DA Princess Tender Rear of front plates.

I still have more detail to add to the coal door.

DA Princess Tender Body Just resting in place

Gladiator J6 – Boiler Back plate dressing

While I am distracted with outside jobs during the good weather, I have been working on another of the key outstanding jobs that is simple to pick up and put down. The back head/plate, is as I mentioned earlier in the build, a GNR Boiler Back Plate set from LG Miniatures. It wasn’t quite deep enough so I added a strip of thick brass along the bottom. Also missing from the set as delivered, were the injectors. Laurie includes a layout drawing in the set and it showed the missing injectors. An enquiry to Laurie had an apology and a pair of injectors in the post.

I am not sure if they were from the GNR set or another more generic pair but a little bit of scratch building had them looking the part. I had to fabricate one of the levers for the right hand injector from a .9mm rod with one end squashed and drilled out for the pin and then tapered with a file in the mini drill (too small to old securely in the lathe).

In the end I only used one of the hand wheels from the set because they came with cast stems on them and I wanted to fit them to the stem already present on the castings so I used some cast hand wheels from the spares box which had holes in the centres. Had I not had them to hand I would have cut the stems of the castings and drilled them for the ones with the cast stems but it would have been a bit tedious.

J6 Backhead
J6 Backhead

The GA showed some kind of inline valve down the right hand side of the cab at the side of the back plate so I knocked one up from a couple of bits of tube and a cast handwheel from the set.

J6 backhead – scratchbuilt inline valve

My apologies for the greenish tinge it’s reflections from the green storage box that I propped it against for the photos.

David Andrews Princess Tender chassis – Brakes fitted

With the brake hanger height sorted it was time to fit them. Because the wheels are on telescopic axles, they need much more wiggle room to be removable than the Slaters et al, types. It’s actually quite surprising how little room you need to remove a Slaters wheel.

The lack of space around the brakes meant that for the wheels to be removable the brakes need to be removable too. I did this by adding a collar from microbore tube over the .9mm rods that the brakes hang from on the frames. And at the moment the cross shaft at the front of the tender is removable but I am sure that if this were fixed the brakes would pivot out of the way to get the wheels out.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender inner Chassis – brake support sleeves
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender inner Chassis
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender inner Chassis

Just to prove that they are removable.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender brakes

I also made the two quite hefty support rods for the water scoop.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender water scoop detail

Plus, a Blue Peter moment in that here’s one I did earlier. I fitted the brake cylinder that I turned when I first got the Unimat 3.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender brake cyinder

A few general shots of the inner chassis, for no other reason than I got a bit carried away with the camera.

DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender Water scoop details
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender inner Chassis – brakes removed
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender water scoop detail
DA Stanier 4000 Gallon Tender water scoop detail

GCR Class 5A Ready for Paint

I received the chimney from Mike last week but the good weather meant that outdoor jobs took precedence. However, some modelling time yesterday afternoon and evening, saw the final touches to added the loco. I am now going to sit and look at it for a few days before arranging painting with Warren. Just in case I spot something that I haven’t noticed…

GCR Class 5A Ready for Paint
GCR Class 5A Ready for Paint
GCR Class 5A Ready for Paint
GCR Class 5A Ready for Paint
GCR Class 5A Ready for Paint

David Andrews Princess – A comparison of tender brakes

The next interesting bit of the build was when I came to look at fitting the brakes. The kit provides etched brakes for the tender in the usual dual layer fashion. I had some nice casting from the Hobby Horse Reynolds range. They were the ones that I was drilling out when I showed my use of pliers to clamp them for drilling a short while ago.
When I put some rods through the chassis in the holes provided and dry fitted the Reynolds castings to the stretchers and pull rod frame they wouldn’t fit because they were not long enough. After a bit of head scratching I checked the drawing and sure enough they are to scale length. However when I checked them again the etched ones provided it all made sense.

David Andrews Princess Tender Brakes comparison


The answer to this little dilemma was to re-drill the holes in the frames 1mm lower down. There was just enough frame depth to do this without having to resort to adding hanger brackets.