7mm On Heather's Workbench - Multiple Maunsells

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Heather Kay, 1 December 2017.

  1. Threadmark: The underframe begins
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    Yay! All done bar the paint. I'm hoping I can find enthusiasm and energy to complete the other three pairs, but for now, these will do. On with the rest of the coach.


    In fairly quick order, on my new sheet of plate glass, the floor and solebar halves have been assembled. I just checked, and in classic Slater's fashion the coach will actually fit back in its box - but not with buffers and gangways. Hmm. Anyway, I was hoping to crack on with this today, despite the weather and our cat being out of sorts (he's not actually ill, but something spooked him early this morning and it's taken a while to get him to feel settled again). However, my enthusiasm has diminished, as it occasionally does with some builds. I think it's the prospect of having to deal with more etched brass bits, plus…


    … gaps in the solebar. I'm pretty sure that's not right. I noticed the problem before I glued the solebar in place, and opted to leave the gap in the middle. It will be easier to plug here than at the headstock ends. I also checked I hadn't missed something painfully obvious in the instructions. I seem to have followed them to the letter, so I'm not sure quite why there's a gap.

    So, with the Mrs Mojo opting for time out, I think it's time for some further armchair modelling on these coaches. I would really like to pin down things like vac and steam pipe routing, as well as handbrake linkages under the floor. I'll also consider further details for battery boxes and other underframe fittings.
  2. 2-Bil

    2-Bil Western Thunderer

    If you're not aware of it already David Jenkinsons build of the Brake Composite in Issue 96 of the MRJ might be of use though not for u/frame detail.Out of interest (mine) does your client want Southern Railway or SouthernRegion "paint jobs?" for his or her Maunsells ? Best wishes for the project etc
  3. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    BR SR is the expected finish, hence my pondering whether to shift WC windows about. Many coaches were refurbished in the early 1950s, using BR lavatory fittings, and as the client is modelling late 50s/early 60s it may be required. I shall be enquiring about that shortly, but I have to do it by snail mail as they don't "do" the internets. I'm building (ha!) up to a fuller report to make it worth the stamp.

    I was aware of the MRJ article. I don't think I have it here, so I may have to enquire from my lending library in Basingstoke. :thumbs:

    Having studied the instructions for this 6-compartment brake composite, it appears Slater's have got the handbrake linkage all in order. That reminds me I don't think I've listed which coaches I am actually building: I'll sort that out in a while.
  4. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Your requested title is not on loan at this time.
  5. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Good to know. Now, just how to get it from thee to me. Leave that with me for now. :thumbs:
  6. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Hmm, I've not seen the gaps in the solebar thing before. But I can't remember whether there was any plastic gymnastics involved in any of my builds.

    I take it you've got the draft gear in the right place and built in from the buffer beams towards the centre?

  7. 2-Bil

    2-Bil Western Thunderer

    Theres quite a few photos of ''single vent '' coaches captioned with late 50s/early 60s dates so maybe Surgery could be avoided?Theres also a fair few of the "acid etched?''SMOKING signs surviving at that date too too .Ive no idea of the quality but if they tickle your clients fancy Blackhams produces said signage.Looking forward to you conquering the kits
  8. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Correct. It seemed the sensible option to fit the beams first, as they only fit in one place. When I get a minute I'll unpack one of the other coaches and run a rule over things to see if it's just this one. It happens to be the older red box, and therefore a little older than the other kits in the queue.

    EDIT: I just compared a newer kit with the one currently under construction. The newer version uses the same brown material for all the under frame parts, where the older one used black for frames and stuff. The sole bars are the same size on both, so there's something a-squiff somewhere. The only obvious issue could be the length of the floor halves. Odd.
    Last edited: 11 December 2017
  9. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I rather hope the client decides that it's not worth the effort, but I still have to ask. All part of the service, as it were!
  10. farnetti

    farnetti Western Thunderer

    (Yay! All done bar the paint. I'm hoping I can find enthusiasm and energy to complete the other three pairs, but for now, these will do. On with the rest of the coach.)

    Heather, I like the idea of blackening the whole bogie. Was it a bath or brushwork? Seems to have not taken in some areas, like my efforts with wheels sometimes.

    I am really looking forward to the rest of this build.

  11. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    It started in a bath, diluted solution of Casey Brass Black. As I hadn't really cleaned them properly, though, it didn't take fully. I then spent a few minutes with a brass brush in the whizzydisc, and brushed fluid on. The bright bits are solder and glue, but there's enough coverage to let paint hold, I think. The next ones I'll do better, hopefully.
    farnetti likes this.
  12. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer


    I can't for the life of me remember how I assembled the solebars, but it seems most likely I worked from the inside out. It might be worth doing a quick check against a side to make sure you're not over - length on the floor.

    I do recall spending a bit of time removing mould drafts and squaring parts up to ensure the fit. Having everything split about half way down the length of the vehicle is hard work and I've seen some cracking examples of how not to assemble these carriages...

  13. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Steph, I've just checked the sides against the floor. They seem to be spot on.

    While a gap in the solebar is not ideal, it will be relatively easy to patch and fill, and won't be hugely obvious with the full length footboard in place. Annoying, but not the end of the world.

    Right, let's see if I'm in the mood for more brass wrangling to get some brake rigging installed. Onward!
  14. Threadmark: Solebar shenanigans
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Reasonable progress today, despite diversions engineered by Microsoft and Best Beloved.


    I patched the solebar gaps by gluing a strip of scrap styrene inside, then filling with suitable strip material at the front and making good. Not perfect, but it will do. I opted to use the kit's trusses (making brass section ones would be a relatively simple job, but not for me this time. Sorry Steph!). I deem the plastic ones adequate, and once assembled they're fairly rigid. One just has to be mindful when handling the underframe. Cleaning the beggars up, though, well, that's another ball of wax, ripe for accidental twanging and snappage. I have also installed the etched vee-hangers, which have since been reinforced with five-minute epoxy after some twit managed to bend a couple during further brake rigging work…


    The outer vacuum reservoir saddle needs a gentle shaving to let the truss sit square. The styrene material used for the truss moulding is pretty flexible, but also vulnerable to breakage if you're not careful. I was a lot happier when they were finally cemented in place.


    State of play by lunch on the second day. While the underframes are essentially ambidextrous, various parts have been fitted which pin down the orientation at this stage. There's a cross member this end opposite the vac reservoir, which is where the dynamo lives. The guard's van is the other end. This is important when the brake rigging is installed.


    Speaking of rigging, this is the van end cylinder and cross-shaft. The shaft is brass tube, with brass wire through the centre to hold it in the vees. This is the end where the handbrake linkage attaches, hence the extra lever and, just visible, a fulcrum point.


    A better view, showing the gubbins.


    To finish the day I have been amusing myself by installing the strip material to make up the U-channel chassis members. It's one of those Slater's details that could quite easily be left out and no-one would notice. I find it a satisfying thing to do, so I'm doing it. Tomorrow, I suspect I shall have to begin the brake pull rod rigging. Oh, what fun.
  15. 2-Bil

    2-Bil Western Thunderer

    As much "fun"as that MMP Mk1................?
  16. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Ha! They're different kinds of fun. There's more solvent abuse in a Slater's kit, for a start. :confused: :D
  17. David Varley

    David Varley Western Thunderer

    Accidental twanging and snappage doesn't half sound painful :confused:
  18. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    I really hope you get away without replacing the truss rods - I haven't yet; they always seem to end up with the central section bowing upwards...:(

  19. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I shall keep an eye on them, Steph. If they show any banana tendencies, I shall know what to do. ;)

    Actually, I wonder if some metal strip glued in the angle would help. One to ponder. Today will be about more brass knitting.
  20. Threadmark: Brake coach rigging
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I call it brass knitting because there are small etched parts and lengths of wire which need to be stitched together to form the brake rigging.


    The dynamo end rigging. The instructions show the pull rod that goes to the bogie gear pointing up into the floor. All photos of the real thing show, obviously, the rod runs horizontally. Equally obvious, perhaps, is fixing the rod horizontally at this stage would be horribly vulnerable to damage. What I've ended up doing is engineering these pull rods so they're not actually fixed at the cross shaft, but can still wobble about like the real thing. A strip of masking tape holds it down to the floor at the free end for now.

    I've swapped out the 0.5mm wire for 0.7mm wire. Although the thinner stuff might be closer to the scale size, it does look very thin and spindly.

    If I was being truly masochistic about this I'd be looking to actually attach the pull rods to the bogie brake levers. I'm not going to do that for all the obvious reasons!


    This is the van end of things, with the handbrake linkage running from the end of the coach. It all looks satisfyingly complex.


    Battery boxes. Slater's have this idiosyncrasy which annoys the heck out of me. They do it all the time, and I can't begin to fathom why. There are grab handles on the box covers. They're pretty prominent and visible. So, why mould piddly flat things instead of actual holes for wire handles? The same sort of thing happens at the coach ends with things like communication gear and lighting cables. Why? WHY‽ Why spoil the ship for a ha'peth of tar? It beats me, and makes extra work for me, too.


    And breathe… oh, wait. Here's another thing. The battery box cradles: how do they fit? The boxes don't actually fit between the frames, and there's no positive attachment point anywhere. I made it work somehow, but it's something I shall consider carefully on the next three models.


    There's more. The suspension bolts are represented by 0.5mm wire. There are holes in the cradle, but nothing to locate the wires on the floor. I've had to adjust everything by eye, and blob glue to hopefully hold things vertically. Poor show, Slater's, frankly, especially when you consider the thought put into other areas of these kits.

    I'm done now. I promise not to rant about anything else underframe. I've still got the headstocks and actual bodywork to get worked up about, though. ;) :thumbs: