SanCheng Midland 4F facelift...

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by LarryG, 1 October 2019.

  1. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    O gauge/7mm was always a builders scale (until quite recently) and a lifetime of painting for other people taught me never to buy kitbuilt or scratchbuilt locos unless I knew of the builders reputation. I thought it would be safe to buy used brass RTR but we live and learn.

    This loco is no different with Alraldite where once lay solder plus bodged repairs that only came to light once dismantling took place. Enter a SanCheng Midland Railway 4F 0-6-0 & Tender...
    WEB 7mm 4F 1.jpg
    On the face of it, the loco looked okay so nothing unusual there! The photo below shows the felt-tip 'blacking' of the wheels has been removed and the tyres cleaned ready for primer. Bits of sandbox and coal rails complete the scene.
    WEB 7mm 4F 3.jpg

    The superstructure will be stripped tomorrow ready for soldering. New parts will include a Stanier chimney, LMS standard buffers and lost-wax brass vacuum pipes.
    Last edited: 2 October 2019
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  2. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    My second 7mm scale kit was a Connoisseur (Jim McGowen) 4F. It went together well and runs well, what more can one ask? It needs a bit of TLC at the moment as it is low on my priority list but with a few brass fittings replacing Jim's (excellent) white metal castings it looks the part.

    The main improvement was to replace the white metal lubricators with brass ones from Laurie Griffin that took a while to install. I also put the DCC sound gubbins in the tender with wiring to allow DC or DCC running without too much hassle.

    4Fs were seen everywhere on the LMS and often strayed onto neighbouring lines so my 4F will be seen passing Moor Street on a cross town transfer from time to time.
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  3. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    SanCheng's paint is very stable so the superstructure was given a good wash instead of a paint-strip. This was when more bodged sandboxes fell off. Cleaned and soldered back....
    WEB 7mm 4F 4.jpg
    WEB 7mm 4F 5.jpg

    The tyre sides given Halford Acid 8 etching primer. An hour later matt black...

    WEB 7mm 4F 6.jpg
    Chassis then weathered while con rods were cleaned with cellulose thinners but left tarnished...
    WEB 7mm 4F 7.jpg
    Last edited: 2 October 2019
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  4. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    NMRS-Models L009 LMS standard round head sprung buffers and MS040 pair of lost-wax loco vac pipes came today and were duly soldered in place.

    WEB 7mm 4F 8.jpg

    After soldering back yet another bodged fitting that had fallen off, etching primer was applied and left to do its job....
    WEB 7mm 4F 9.jpg
  5. Focalplane

    Focalplane Western Thunderer

    My 4F has steam heating pipes as some were used as station pilots, keeping coaches warm, etc.

    A question, Larry - did you apply the Acid 8 etch to the tyre sides with decanted primer and a brush? I only have spray cans of the stuff.
  6. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Yes, I spayed some Acid 8 in a spraycan lid and quickly brushed it on.

    My 4F is the sole London Midland motive power on the Ruthin branch and so if I ever invoke 'Rule 1' and fib that passenger services still ran in the later 1950's, it will need steam pipes. It isn't too late to fit them. :)
  7. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    I have a couple of these and the one thing that offends my eye is the scale 2" thick footplate material :eek:

    I have yet to dream up a sane way to reduce the appearance of the outer edge of said steel plate to something approaching scale footplate thickness.
  8. Jinty

    Jinty Western Thunderer

    You are doing a wonderful job of that San Cheng 4F, it's going to look the business once it's done.

    One thing to watch out for on these early San Cheng offerings (And some later ones for that matter) is the nylon type bush that sits between the wheel boss and the steel axle. I've come across a few that have started to sip in their quartering. Easy enough to move them back, but equally easy for them to slip again. I've had the problem on a 4F and two 08's. The back to back can be a bit of a lottery as well.

    It's worth checking to make sure of good running.

    David ;)
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  9. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Thanks David. I cleaned the wheels without con-rods and so any propensity to slip would have occurred. Only the leading pair had moved slightly and were re-set once the rods were back on. I am maybe lucky.

    I could have gone for an inexpensive plastic 'Jinty' as representative of the LMS at Corwen, but I can't say I have ever seen photos of them on the Ruthin branch. The 4F is ideal.

    My Large Prairie bought on impulse because of the one at Llangollen is to be disposed of. It is not a signature loco of the Dee Valley route and looks a big big for my layout. Apart from the 4F, I aim to stick with small engines.
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  10. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Finished. It was sprayed two light coats of Halfords Satin Black. Stop at this stage if a clean loco is wanted. When dry, a coat of Halfords Matt black followed. The smokebox, cab roof (note additional rain strip above cab cut-out from plastikard) and Tender top was sprayed with my own matt black through the spraygun to give a contrast between body black and the parts that got cheap black. All insignia was HMRS Transfers, the smokebox plate being medium size from the 4mm scale sheet. Indistinct rectangular builders plates representing Armstrong Whitworth went on the splashers...

    WEB 7mm 4F 10.jpg

    A 3,500 gallon plate cannot be seen from this angle but I haven't an LMS Tender left in the spares box. I still have a stash of plates from friend Ralph Jackson. A couple more photos appear on the Corwen layout thread...
    WEB 7mm 4F 11.jpg
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  11. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    Finally, I found this image of mine floating around the internet, as they do, and so have put it here. It is RH drive version and is the only 4F I bothered to photograph. Taken from Lees Station in 1960 or 61. Of note is the single slip. Some locations had a double slip at the end of sidings to prevent runaways and rough-shunts entering the main running lines. The Oldham Branch went into decline as soon as the street tram arrived in 1902. It could not compete with 9 tram/bus stops between Oldham market place and Lees, nevertheless the passenger service lingered on until 1955.
    WEB 4F @ Lees.jpg
    Last edited: 13 October 2019
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  12. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I think that is a double slip - when you peer through the grime. :)

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  13. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    It is indeed. :thumbs:
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