7mm Mickoo's Workbench - LMR Princess Coronation

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by mickoo, 8 September 2018.

  1. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Indeed and some engines have a sharp fold, others bent with a distinct radius that smooths and blends the fold area. However, none have cylinder castings 4" narrower than the valance, so in that context it has to be rebuilt.

    Dan, don't, if you said it then how many thought it, especially the customer when he receives it. This is the first of hopefully a new future in this venture, as they say, first impressions count.

    I kinda knew it was wrong, but simply buried my head in the sand....and my hands several times.

    The decision has been made and last thing last night all the turnings came off on one side, so it's a fresh start today with new front and rear profiled overlays and we'll see how that goes.

    You're also right in that I'm not a GWR expert, but then I'm not a complete novice. I do like Castles and modified Halls, Kings and Counties I'd add to the list but that's pretty much where it stops. It has also crossed my mind frequently during the County build, that three of those four are not available as quality kits anymore ;)
    BR Tony, Dan Randall and Dog Star like this.
  2. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

  3. Paul Cambridge

    Paul Cambridge Western Thunderer

    If there was a ‘Sympathy ‘ button I’d have hit it many times by now. However Mickoo, this is an instructive thread and this brand of kits is now on my “avoid like the plague” list. Which is the shame as I used Warren Shepard castings on my 14xx upgrade and they appeared good. I have made the decision to stick to top end kits only or venture into scratch building, which will be good for stretching my skills. I’m sure when the County is finished it will be a fine model, just the journey has been along the road to hell.
    BR Tony and 3 LINK like this.
  4. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer


    Neither is a Caprotti Black 5 with gorilla steam pipes.... ;)

    You're certainly right about the large Swindon 4-6-0s though. My Mitchell/JLTRT Castle is still a very slowburning work in progress and though pretty groundbreaking when it first came out, is showing its age now. Peter Silvester (of 82G fame), very kindly supplied me and my friend Richard, with some castings to represent full working inside motion, along with several pages on how to modify the basic kit to accept them. As my basic chassis was assembled years ago, it'll need lobbing in the oven at some point to turn it back into a kit, so I can make the necessary changes!

    My friend Richard, on the other hand, started his kit relatively recently and was thus able to start with the flat etches. He's now finished his Castle, in fact, it's currently with Warren Haywood for a paint job befitting the build....







    (With apologies for the hijack!).


    Last edited: 28 October 2018
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  5. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Paul, to be fair, Warren does sell the County as an aid to scratch building, it is not one of his developed kits.

    So maybe I'm being a bit harsh with the never ever buy again over the whole range. I'd also table that many who build the County may not be concerned with the issues I've found here, there are many levels and forms of acceptance and modelling, neither are right or wrong.

    The castings are good, certainly several leagues better than the etches and where supplied (lots missing from the County kit) have been fit for use.

    The problem with sticking to top end kits is that they are slowly becoming less and less; more contentious is how does one define top end, where does top end finish and middle end begin?

    Where does one draw the line, no need to answer, as that will be personal and subjective in every individuals case.
    BR Tony, Dan Randall, 3 LINK and 2 others like this.
  6. dibateg

    dibateg Western Thunderer

    Oh dear - it's a pity that the JLTRT one is not available, the one I built went together quite well...


  7. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Not helping... ;):p

    Okay, a day lost which I'll never get back, sigh.

    New front and rear overlays and they're a bit better.

    Other side without the wrapper showing how much the profile changed.


    Low angle or pretty much the angle you see 1:1. The footplate needs a tweak to flatten it a bit more, only noticed that in the photo, when you look at it in the hand it doesn't show as much.

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  8. Peter Cross

    Peter Cross Western Thunderer

    That cylinder shape looks a whole lot better.
    BR Tony likes this.
  9. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

    That looks SO much better Mick - well done!

    You may have lost a day on the cylinders, but at least you won't lose any more sleep over them. :thumbs:


    BR Tony likes this.
  10. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

  11. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Just wondering if the original artwork on the cylinders was distorted to fudge the F/S ?! standards :(
  12. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Dunno about "a bit". Although I'm not a GWR fan, Mick, I have to say that those cylinders now look a whole lot better when compared with photos and well worth the extra effort, I'd say.

  13. Paul Cambridge

    Paul Cambridge Western Thunderer

    Far better. In the last photo, I guess it is the angle of the photo, but I hope the centre line axis of the cylinder is in line with the centre line of the axles.
  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer


    No it isn't and for several reasons:-

    Even with the new overlays it's impossible to get the piston axis higher without recourse to building a whole new front end.
    There are no springs in the horn blocks and the ride height has not been set up, though it's not that far out as it stands.
    It's a Warren Shepard kit.....live with it and look the other way; there are far bigger inaccuracies in the kit to fret about (if you were to be so inclined) than the piston axis being out by < 1 mm.

    Working back through the build this issue stems from almost step one, the slots in the frame and cylinder parts are too deep which allows, and falsely lets you believe, this is the correct height to set them at. They're too deep by about 1 mm, which accounts for the bend in the wrapper being too low and the piston centre line being too low. To compound this there's a raised section in the middle on the cylinder block which impacts the footplate.

    However, nothing can resolve the width being too narrow by several mm, you're never going to fix that without new parts.


    Green arrow shows step in cylinder etch and over deep slot, in hindsight you need to trim the centre section to the same height as the outside and lift the whole assembly up so that the top of the cylinder is level with the top of the frames, but not so fast cowboy!

    There's another issue that goes back even further, the piston covers are too large, blue arrow, I already had to trim them on the lathe and take off nearly 1 mm in diameter, any more and they do not match the radius of the cylinder casing. Even so when fitted they force the valve covers too high, red arrow, and they are fitted at the uppermost of the overly large slot. By doing so the flange, orange arrow, impact the bottom of the footplate.

    The result of moving the cylinder block up by 1 mm is that you'll have to take off the top of the valve turning flange, or turn these smaller. You could elongate their fixing hole and move them inward and downward (incorrectly) and then the valve piston rod (not supplied and has to be self fabricated) will not pass the sand box.

    In short, whatever you do with this set of components will end up with a compromise and error in the final result, your never going to win.

    In hindsight, and I very nearly did after all the tender woes, it would of been quicker for me to have worked up my own set of Nickel Silver etches as an aid to scratch building; much like the set I did for Nick and his NER tanks.
    Last edited: 29 October 2018
  15. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    I agree that the revised cylinders look far better. The originals looked obviously wrong but I had to pull out a book to realise how different the County cylinders were to the earlier GW 4-6-0 classes. One thing re the height of the cylinder centre line - did Hawksworth continue the Churchward practice of having the cylinder centreline 2" higher than the axle centres? I obviously know practically nothing about Counties but wonder if parts of the artwork have been traced from earlier kits when maybe they shouldn't have been.
    BR Tony likes this.
  16. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    According to the GA the cylinder centre line is in line with the driving wheel centres, not above, or below.
    BR Tony likes this.
  17. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    The next object in my sights was the bogie, how hard can it be, six pieces on a separate etch so chances are it's an additional and might be right....fat chance.


    Still, working on the principle that it was the front and rear stretches that were incorrect ( the trench like fold lines had to go anyway) I made new ones to suit the center section, then added the wheels.....or tried to.


    :rant: Fortunately I didn't add the new scratch built stretchers in but the next step was to un-solder everything and reduce the centre section by...a lot! After much cutting and rebuilding I eventually had a bogie I could fit, sadly the pivot point is too far back so that required the slot to be opened and a cover plate adding with a reduced width slot that was also moved back a couple of mm.

    No overly happy with the bearings which are just two pieces of plate brass soldered together, hardly any good for long periods of running. I'll probably end up opening them out and fitting top hat bearings in, I'll skim the flanges to give the merest breath of side play.

    Time for a clearance test.


    It's close up front near the cylinder cover, but close is fine so long as it doesn't touch, with the original set up the front wheel clouted the cylinder cover and the rear the motion bracket. In reality my slot is a little over egged and I'll need to shim it, this'll move the bogie forward another 0.2/3 mm or so and take the fore and aft slop out of the pivot; the above is worst case scenario on a 6'-0" radius curve.


    Not quite sure how the front sand pipe is going to get down between the wheels and motion bracket, mind the engine height is a little low by a mm or two so that'll create a bit more of a gap and the bogie wheels are the wrong size, due to the correct size not being available. They're 10 spoke but 3'-3" and the county is 3'-0". Now in the grand scheme of things 3" isn't much, but it might be enough to provide enough clearance for the sand pipe. I don't really want to, but if needs must then I'll skim them down in the lathe.

    Also just noticed the safety valve bonnet has a little ding in the skirt that needs sorting :cool:

    Overall view to date.

    Starting to look like a County now.

    Couple of RH views to balance the overload in LH views recently.



    Not sure what to tackle next, I already know the brake gear is going to take some work to get even basically right. Like the tender, most of it is over etched and the cast hangers supplied are totally wrong, the etched ones look closer to 1:1 but I've not checked in detail yet, I'm saving that delight for later :D
    Last edited: 1 November 2018
  18. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    The smug feeling with progress evaporated rather swiftly this evening, can anyone spot the huge blunder Captain cock up and his crew left behind ?

    No, well the clue is in the last few images above, but to save time I'll explain. The smoke box wrapper is one of the very few parts that has indents on the inside to aid rivet punching, so off I duly went, joined all the dots up, rolled and fitted, all tickety boo, not so.

    I'd based the orientation on the holes provided in the sides, on the left, two for hand holds, on the right one for the injector and one for hand holds, I knew it wasn't in the right place but figured it'd be some sort of pipe bracket for the injector and that the hand rail hole simply hadn't been etched, easy enough to drill a new one.



    However, note the cluster of six rivets toward the rear, these should in fact be at the front, but if you flip the smoke box around then the holes for injector and handrails are on the wrong side.

    So one solution is thus, take the smoke box off, remove the front and chimney (it has a small vent hole that must be on the RH side),


    turn the wrapper around, fill the large hole for the injector pipe, add a new one on the other side and then seal the rear hand rail hole on that side and add a new one on the other side. Reassemble and then clean it all up, chances are the securing nut at the base will be out of line now, only has to be 0.5 mm to not secure correctly.

    However, if you do that then the rivets on top of the smoke box are now wrong, single line and double line to the rear.

    What's basically happened is that the holes for the cluster of six have been etched at the wrong end and one hand hand rail hole to the rear of the injector inlet should be ahead.

    The second solution is to leave it all assembled, trim off the six rivets and hope there's a enough material underneath not to blow a hole in the wrapper where they have been punched, then fill and redrill the handrail hole and add the six rivets back up front from turned rivets, I have probably just enough to spare ones from another project to achieve that.

    If the rivets blow a hole then the wrapper will have to come off and the backs filled.

    Being as the wrapper was on half etched I just blindly assumed it was right, this basically means that the only part of the engine etches which are not wrong (there's an issue with the frames which I've just discovered now it's all coming together...which I'll explain later) are the valances, main footplate, cab floor and rear drag beam.

    And it was just beginning to get a bit easier.
    Last edited: 2 November 2018
    BR Tony likes this.
  19. Peter Cross

    Peter Cross Western Thunderer

    Can you not file them of, drill and add new ones the front?
    BR Tony likes this.
  20. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I could and edited my post whilst you were typing as I'd forgotten I had some turned ones....hope I still have them somewhere. Looking at the location in greater detail, the originals are not in the right position height wise anyway.
    BR Tony and Peter Cross like this.