7mm On Heather's Workbench - North Western Commuter Power

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Heather Kay, 3 March 2018.

  1. Peter Cross

    Peter Cross Western Thunderer

    The half round even if over scale looks better than flat.
    adrian likes this.
  2. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    I admit to being stuck trying to make sense of the backhead. The photo shows what’s left after winnowing out the bag of castings, and then removing odds and ends I can definitely identify as not used on a Belpaire box.

    I can see the reversing wheel and bracket, water gauges, regulator handle and stuffing box, and handbrake column. There’s also the safety valve parts, which I think I’ll try to source from elsewhere. The two gauges are also easy to see. What’s left is the odd brass sprue of bits down at the bottom. I think the larger brass thing is something to do with the fire hole door and tray. The various piped castings on the right seem like they ought to go somewhere, as do the three pipe thingies on the left. There’s also what looks vaguely like a clack valve down about five o'clock. Then there a set of what look like support brackets, which may or may not have a bearing on proceedings.

    I have one reasonable photo (thanks, Barry!) which shows the upper end of a Belpaire box on a tender loco. Inevitably, this shows some features that I have no corresponding part for. I have to admit it’s not exactly a complicated backhead, but there you go. I’d like to produce something that looks more or less right.

    The preserved 2-4-2 in the national collection, obviously, is a round topped boiler, and therefore only notionally useful for pipework and fittings associated with the whistle(s) on the roof.

    So, my plea is for a drawing, sketch, or even a photo of someone else's L&Y loco cab, to aid me in orientating various parts into something sensible. Can anyone help? Ta, muchly.
    Michael Osborne likes this.
  3. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer

    Heather, another from my collection that isn't really going to help, but.... 52523  footplate part HC8 28 July 1962 Woolfold.jpg

    Yes, it's an A class with round top firebox...… best I can do at short notice.
  4. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    Just an idea, Heather, but what about the ?Bachmann 4mm scale RTR for a "go by".

    I had a real problem with the Dukedog layout, all those photos on line and nothing useful on the backhead at all. I used the 4mm Dukedog in the end.

  5. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Not a bad idea. I just did a quick check on the Bachmann model (photos of it on the web, at least) and it's a round top boiler. Barry's photo above already covers that.

    I think I’ll be happy for a general layout of various parts. As long as it looks roughly right. I’m a bit disappointed I haven’t turned up a better reversing wheel casting from the usual suspects, mind.
  6. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    here's another photo of a round top Class 27, but it does show the LHS of the back head. I wouldn't worry too much about round vs square topped fireboxes as the positions of the various fittings would be exactly the same.


    Looking at your bits, the two items on the right are the injectors, the one with the top loop goes on the left (although the loop doesn't appear in the photo because the loco did not have a vacuum brake fitted). I imagine they have locating pegs on the back to engage in the holes outboard of the water gauges? The hand wheels fit on the pegs on the upper rectangular parts.
    The large brass casting is the fire hole shelf and fits above the round hole. As you suspect, the middle part on the brass sprue is the fire hole door ratchet and fits against the LH end of the shelf casting, as visible in the photo.
    The part just to the right of the back head could be the train vacuum brake valve, which goes just to the left of the back head.
    I think the small part next to the hand brake column is meant to be the sight feed lubricator which can be seen to the right of the right hand injector in the photo posted by Lankytank, above.
    Sorry, I'm not too sure what the other odd bits represent.
    Last edited: 28 March 2019
  7. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    It doesn’t matter. I often only have a hazy notion of what the bits do! That photo is very helpful, filling in the driver's side as it does, so thank you. I’m going to spend a few minutes sketching a layout, then set to to try and make it all fit.
  8. DavidIS

    DavidIS New Member

    Hello Heather

    The LYR 0-6-0 goods engine seems to have the same boiler. There is a picture on the net of a Belpaire firebox.
    If you go to www.railpictorial.com Paul Claxton Collection and search for 52413 there are two views.

    Heather Kay likes this.
  9. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    David, thank you. Further little details to help. :thumbs:

    As I said before, I aim to get something together that looks about right, even if not quite 100% accurate in all aspects. I’ve been assembling odds and ends to supplement the kit parts, and Barry S also managed to find some further very useful images from the L&YR Society archives. I’ll share what I’ve done a bit later.
  10. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    With the aid of Barry S, David IS and Dave H, I ended up with this:


    I’ll plate in the firebox hole from behind. Someone suggested an LED in there, which might be fun if it wasn’t electrickery. Compared to the sort of runs of pipework you get on GWR and LMS locos, this is fairly restrained. I could add a couple more bits to the steam turret, but I will be fitting gauges to the cab front sheet. Under normal circumstances, I reckon this will pass muster.

    Time for a lie down. ;)
  11. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    What with the time all being monkeyed about with (keep it GMT, I say!) and generally feeling a bit out of sorts, I am trying to work out where next with this build. The essential upper bodywork is more or less there now, so my thoughts are turning to detail castings. The list of things I need to do goes a bit like this:
    • Make the cab roof and engineer some fixings so it’s removable.
    • Fit the cab front and side sheets to the body.
    • Create a new smokebox saddle, after I’ve worked out where it actually fits in relation to the smokebox and the footplate.
    • Fit handrail knobs on the boiler and smokebox door.
    • Fettle the chimney and dome castings.
    • Decide which safety valves 10650 was fitted with, and see whether I have them in the box.
    • Add to a growing list of castings I can’t find in the box that I need in order to make the model, or those that are horribly cast and need to be replaced/scratchbuilt.
    • See if I can actually work out what is happening under the footplate at all.
    • Work out how to make a representation of the pull-and-push motor fitting gear for the smokebox.
    So, I have my work cut out then.

    PS The engine I’m building, apparently, was a non-superheated Belpaire boiler. Photos of superheated locos show a Wakefield lubricator on the footplate ahead of the side tank on the fireman's side. I’ve not found an equivalent view on a non-superheated loco, save for round-toppers, the latter show no lubricator. Before I head off to order a lubricator, does anyone know for certain such thing were or weren’t fitted to the NSBB* locos?

    It does strike me that an awful lot of this build is becoming more bothersome than it need be.

    *Work it out for yourself! ;)
    Last edited: 1 April 2019
    Michael Osborne and Rob Pulham like this.
  12. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Dunno if these assist or not. The dome is smaller (lower) than on the round top boilers so my casting was turned down....
    WEB Lanky Radial 2.jpg

    The Belpaire boiler was pitched slightly higher than the round top type, but having been on a Belpaire L&Y 0-6-0, it seems like the top of the backhead was in the gods...
    WEB Lanky Radial 1.jpg

    I mistakenly fitted a large bunker before reverting to a smaller type. But it shows the lower dome. Carrying wheels were from Markits and were the nearest I could find the capturing the chunky hub. Nevertheless, they would have benefited from an additional 'washer' glued to the hub.
    WEB Lanky radial 3.jpg
  13. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    I've looked through a number of photo books and found quite a few shots of Belpaire 2-4-2's with no signs of a mechanical lubricator on either side. Some of the locos were push-pull fitted, as per Larry's 4 mm model. Perhaps not a definitive study, but I think it helps your dilemma.

    L&T_2-4-2T_001.jpg L&T_2-4-2T_0011.jpg

    Last edited: 1 April 2019
    Michael Osborne likes this.
  14. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Gents, both, much appreciated. Larry, I fear the brass casting I have is the taller dome. I think I shall just plough on with it regardless at this stage. While you and I will fret over such things, my client isn’t quite so fussy. (I may just have a quick search to see if anything suitable is available from the trade, though ;))

    Dave, thanks for taking the time to review your library. I’ve since opened my email and found a whole load of photos of 10650 from various sides and periods from the inestimable Barry @lankytank - and they reveal loads of things that answer many of my questions earlier. Essentially, as I guessed, the NSBB locos didn’t have the lubricator fitted on the footplate. I guess I shall have to join the L&YR Society now to pay something back for all the help I’ve received!

    I have also had a chat with the client about which livery he would like, and we’ve settled on the black, lined red, passenger livery, with number gold shaded on the bunker and LMS on the tanks. It’s not quite correct for his period, but Rule One applies I think.
  15. lankytank

    lankytank Western Thunderer


    Just glad to have been of assistance. It's not compulsory to join the L&YRS - but out of the line Societies I belong to, or have belonged to, it is by far the best.... :thumbs: :rolleyes: . Worked out the other day that I'm coming up to 25 years a member, where did that time go.....? I do know that there are a couple of WTers who are members...….. :eek::eek:
    Lancastrian likes this.
  16. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    I think I’m happy with the boiler fitting now. As you can see, I’ve started adding some detail castings, and formed the roof - which means I’ve committed to fitting the cab front and side sheets. The dome and chimney castings are plonked on, while the tape holds things in place. I suppose I can’t really put off the saddle any longer.
  17. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    The reversing lever had been worrying me. Being aware the internal motion can be a little on the delicate side, I wondered how I might adjust the lever so it cleared the boiler properly. I consulted with Paul for some ideas.


    Here was the problem. The top of the lever made contact with the boiler barrel when at or near the neutral position. It had the effect of preventing the boiler sitting down properly.

    The solution, thanks to Paul, was some careful cuts into the lever material at the bend points, followed by gentle attention with a pair of pliers. I also thinned the back of the boss as best I could. I didn’t break anything. I consider that a definite win.


    Much better. Should the client decide he'd like the gear to actually operate with changing direction, it will now be possible. I shall fix the lever in a forward position, though.

    What's next? Ah, yes, that pesky saddle. I may be some time.
  18. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Still procrastinating about the smokebox saddle. I will get round to it, I promise!

    I dun sum steps. Looking at the real thing, there’s a prominent bolt in the lower section. This is holding a bracket behind the step plate, in turn attached to the sandbox. I punched a rivet to represent the bolthead. Meanwhile, an idea arrived…


    Perhaps I could use the sandboxes, which are folded from flat etch, attached directly behind the step plate to act as strengthening support. One little compromise, since the real ones are a little further inboard, but in the great scheme of compromises I think this works well.

    Save for the cab steps, of course. There’s a tank balance pipe behind the steps, and the sandboxes are actually a little smaller as a consequence. They are on the real one, at least. The kit ones are large, and since I’ve spotted the problem I’ll need to trim them back a bit. I’ll have to consider options, though I’d still like to keep the boxes attached to the footplate as it makes a lot of things easier overall.

    I aspire to the Invisible Solder School, but where a joint is out of sight, I assume it is also out of mind. Sometimes, life is a little short, and I find nickel silver lends itself to a quick dabbed tack joint rather than careful seamwork. ;)
  19. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    More anti-smokebox saddle procrastination!


    There’s a fairly prominent strip that runs all round the side tanks and bunker at footplate level, so that’s now done. While I was there, I fitted the grab handles on the tank fronts.


    Then, in a fit if I don’t know what, I cut some thick wall brass tube and *gasp* headed for the lathe to square off the ends. Somehow I also managed to create a lip - call it serendipity as it wasn’t intended or expected - which will do nicely for sitting the cast lid on.

    I’ve had to sit down for a minute because I’ve surprised myself with all that.
  20. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    With the cab roof propped in place, and the filler cap installed. I forgot to post this yesterday.


    This morning's fun and games was tackling the coal rails. 1.5mm half-round wire was supplied, it on measuring how much I’d actually need I felt there wasn’t enough to cover for the inevitable visits from Captain Cockup and his Crew. I made a short extra length of half-round by soldering some rod to scrap brass and attacking it with a file until it looked right. The next job was to sweat the half-round to the etched rails. Quite how one was expected to make neat joins on the corners is not clear, so as usual one winged it to see what might happen.


    Still not entirely happy with the corners, but the rails are now in. Since taking the piccie, I’ve added some solder filler and fettled things with a fine file until it looks a lot better.

    I am now tempted to sort out the cab door handrails. Anything to put off the smokebox saddle, eh? :thumbs: :p