7mm On Heather's workbench - Western royalty

Discussion in 'WR Action' started by Heather Kay, 11 February 2016.

  1. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    It was bound to happen sooner or later. A JLTRT Whizzo has arrived on the workbench!

    D1042 Western Princess is to be built in maroon, small yellow panel, and as a static display model. At least that means I can't make a horlicks of the drive train!


    I have the kit, the wheels, the plates. I plan to populate the interior with representations of the twin Maybachs. I need to acquire a couple of suitable figures for the cab. Before I illustrate the thread with the box contents, though, a question if I may.

    After headcode indicators went out of fashion it was common for the panels to display the loco's running number. This didn't happen until the mid-1970s, apparently. I would like some options for suitable train numbers for the headcode panels, say a mainline passenger express, from sometime during the 1960s. Any ideas gratefully received!
  2. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Hi Heather... or are you now to be known as Western Princess?

    This link explains what the individual parts of the headcode mean...

    whilst this link gives examples from BR(WR) during the 1960s in Cornwall.

    Otherwise, grab a photo album of Westerns and look at what is shown on individual engines.
  3. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Good thinking, Mr B.
  4. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    This link is a good starter for Westerns in their natural habitat... whilst most seem to be blue, there is a good selection of maroon examples. The headcodes make for interesting reading - in that some headcodes are for other than class 1 trains.
  5. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    The location is unknown but it is Western Princess. The shed plate you have is obviously for Landore so a Paddington - Swansea or vv. head code would be appropriate. e.g. 1C77 was the 1500 Paddington - Swansea. Just a thought.
    Compton castle likes this.
  6. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Here's a couple of mine for you to cogitate about.

    D1000.  Old Oak Common Shed Yard.  14 April 1964.  Photo by Brian Dale.  1000dpi.jpg

    D1000. Old Oak Common Yard. 14 April 1964

    D1002.  Swindon.  23 May 1965. Photo by Brian Dale.  FINAL WT Copy.jpg

    D1002. Swindon. 23 My 1965.

    Neither in maroon at the time - D1000 was in Desert Sand and D1002 in Green with red backing to the name and number plates. However, there were plenty of Westerns about at the time in maroon.

    Both my copyright.

    jonte likes this.
  7. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Thanks everyone!

    Just to muddy the waters a little, I'd like to have Bristol as a destination. The only reason is the client lives in Bristol, so aside from his choice of the loco number - the reasons for which are purely personal to him - I thought it might be nice to have a suitable headcode.

    From over the Other Place, from Graham's links earlier, I found this list of trains to and from Cornwall:

    00.25 Paddington-Penzance 1B89
    00.30 Paddington-Penzance 1B85 (newspapers)
    23.45 Paddington-Penzance 1B83

    08.00 Bristol-Penzance 1B81
    07.30 Paddington-Penzance 1B03
    09.30 Paddington-Penzance 1B25


    Other non-passenger traffic
    St Blazey-Etruria Clayliner & return 6M55/6V53
    10.30 Plymouth-Penzance Parcels 4B08

    15.20 Penzance-Paddington "perishables" 4A13
    12.40 Penzance-Crewe parcels 4M05

    16.40 St Erth-Acton (The Milks) 6A21
    19.18 Acton-St Erth (The Milks) 6B19

    So, I could feasibly have 1B81 on the end with the crew, and 4A13 or 4M05 on t'other for the return.

    Of course, about the only photo I can find of Western Princess is at Cardiff Canton in 1966 with a very interesting code.

    5315586811_13f4caf5ae_b.jpg D1042 at Cardiff Canton Depot by fireman_photter, on Flickr

    I'll need to watch out for those missing wipers and a sprinkling of warning flashes, too. :thumbs:
  8. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Just put "western princess D1042 photo" into Google and then choose "Images" from the results and there's more than enough to amuse for a while!
  9. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Time for the obligatory box content shots!


    The etched parts are self-explanatory.


    Underframe and bogies, set of wheels and a bag of nuts, bolts, springs, washers, etc.


    I've taken the precaution of acquiring a spare glazing sheet in case of mishap. The small parts live behind the lower skirt openings. The iconic "face" was enough to fool the iPad camera software into thinking it might be human!


    Roof and sides.


    Whitemetal parts for the bogie bolster spring details, cab seats, fans and whatever the other bits are.


    A large quantity of brass cast parts. Many are for bogie and brake details, drawbar pipework, and lots of lifting eyes for the roof.

    The box also contains a short length of 1.6mm styrene rod, 0.5 and 0.7 nickel silver wire, and some form of instructional material.

    Having illustrated that lot, I guess Fridays will become Western days at Snaptophobic Towers. Mr Beare has jokingly suggested I publish a list of what projects are worked on which days of the week. I think I shall pass on that. ;)
  10. Pugsley

    Pugsley Western Thunderer

    Check some of the western build threads on here as, I can't remember the exact details, but depending on how far you and your client wish to go, I think there is something about cutting the roof to line up the grilles properly. It's possibly either Dan's, or the Guv'nors build thread, but I can't remember that either!
  11. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Thanks Pugsley. I'll do some digging later.

    The detail freak in me would like to get things right, of course. However, there are times when the client may be happy with something more or less out of the box. I must learn to tread the fine path between the two extremes!
  12. Mr Grumpy

    Mr Grumpy Western Thunderer

    I chickened out and bought mine a few years ago from Pete RTR. It is a magnificent loco!
    In the future, I will sell mine on and have a go at building one myself, so looking forward to seeing you ironing out any snags!! ;)
  13. Andrew Thompson

    Andrew Thompson Western Thunderer

    Heather Kay likes this.
  14. Pugsley

    Pugsley Western Thunderer

    Commercial realities suck, don't they! :D
  15. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    Expect to see it built by Sunday tea time then:):thumbs:
    40126 and Heather Kay like this.
  16. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    I spent some time tidying a little flash and moulding pips from the cabs and interiors. All the resin bits have now been washed and are drying off in the AADF*, while I set about the wheels with some Birchwood Casey.

    I've also dug around the interwebs for useful photos, and read through Dan's thread on Western Rifleman. I wonder if he's found time to finish it yet! while it would be splendid to pose the side windows open, I think that will be step too far for this build.

    * Advanced Air Drying Facility, aka my airing cupboard.
  17. Mr Grumpy

    Mr Grumpy Western Thunderer

    Hi Heather,
    Hope you won't mind quick tutorial, I'm hoping to blacken some Slaters wheels, could you please give me a quick lesson on how it's done?
    Are there any problem areas to look out for with the process?

    Many thanks,
  18. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    This is the method that works for me on Slater's loco, wagon and coach wheels. Your mileage may vary.
    1. I generally fit the wheels to the axle to make them easier to work with. I tighten the screw just enough to hold the wheel.
    2. Fit a brass or steel wire wheel in your whizzydrillythingummy. My thingummy has a variable speed, and I set it to about 10000 rpm. It doesn't need to be terribly fast, especially as brass wire wheels tend to shed…
    3. Gently clean one surface, say the tyre face on one wheel. Make sure any corrosion is cleaned away. Stubborn stuff may need working at with a scratch brush of some kind, followed by the whizzywheel. Try not to touch the cleaned surface, as finger marks will leave some grease.
    4. Apply the fluid in an even but reasonably liberal coat on the cleaned surface. I use an old paint brush, while spinning the wheel in my fingers. I used to use cotton buds, but I found the brush allowed a little more control. You will see the metal darken straight away. If there's any grease, or a bit where the whizzy wheel hasn't cleaned, you'll see it now as the fluid will kind of puddle away from it. Dab off the fluid you've applied, whizzywheel clean again, and reapply the fluid.
    5. I do not wipe the fluid. I let it dry naturally. I also apply fluid as soon as possible after cleaning.
    6. Set the axle aside to let the fluid dry. It may dry with a powdery finish in places, but this doesn't matter. It can be buffed off later if desired.
    7. I find it easier to work on one wheel per axle through a set. By the time I get back to the first axle, the fluid has dried enough and done it's work.
    8. Once one set of wheels has the tyre face blackened, I do the rear of the tyre. Same process.
    9. The final stage is the tyre tread and face of the flange. Eventually, all the wheels are blackened.
    10. If the coverage seems to be a bit iffy, allow the fluid to dry then buff with the wire wheel and reapply fluid until you get the finish you want.
    As you can see in my photo, the steel parts of each wheel have taken on a dark brownish hue. This is because I've used brass black. I've no experience of steel black, but I would guess my process would work the same. Non-conductive surfaces can now be painted, even without primer.

    If electrical conductivity is required, a careful polish of the tyre treads (and rears if using plungers) with the wire wheel or a scratch brush will help. If you clean enough you can actually almost get back to the plain metal, but in my experience the chemicals should allow electrical conductivity once the surface has been polished up a little. Running will also help to wear the tread to a more realistic finish.
    Mr Grumpy and Dog Star like this.
  19. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    I'd like to add a couple of thoughts:

    With Slater's wheels, I always polish the backs on a large piece of emery/wet&dry stuck to an MDF board, to de-nib, and ensure the brass centre and steel rim are in the same plane.

    The chemical stuff is nasty - it contains rather more selenium than a Brazil nut and is to be treated with some respect per the MSDS below. All four horsemen, simultaneously...

    I presume other makes are similar.

    I think I'd tend to avoid whizzy wheels after putting the stuff on, particularly if you're going to breathe the dust they produce, though they do a cracking job of preparing the steel for the chemical to do its bit. You can also degrease with acetone (also hazardous!) before treating. It really does need to be completely oil/grease free before applying the magic mix.

    I've never allowed the stuff to dry on the wheel. I tend to wash the blacked item in warm water, dry thoroughly and then oil. This seems to prevent rusting. I think you'd want to wash the nitric acid off...

    Mr Grumpy and Dog Star like this.
  20. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Thanks Simon. Pertinent advice, and something I should really take note of.

    Oddly, I've never had a problem with corrosion after blackening. As I said, your mileage may vary.