Crymlyn A Shop Techniques. Barry Railway F Class.

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by davey4270, 24 December 2020.

  1. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    101. A Start on the Barry Railway F Class.

    I’ve started this blog in the 100 series to differentiate from my CWM MAWR blog.

    Early days for this one, I’m making a start while Dai the Paint’s “studio” is closed for the holiday as it’s being used for festive purposes. It’s a Redcraft “kit” and if you can persuade Derek to sell you one you’ll get a set of etches with some turned brass and cast white metal fittings. It’s left to you to source the likes of buffers, handrail knobs, wire, motor, wheels & gears, couplings etc. This is not so easy these dark days devoid of open shops and shows!
    Anyway, to the build:
    The bearing holes in the frames were wider than the spare bearings in hand but I remembered the frames from my Mercian Peckett 1147 needed quite a bit of reaming to allow the supplied bearings to fit and as I only used 2 had some spare. I checked these and they were a perfect fit! Strangely I could only find 2 of the 4 spare but must have used 2 of them for its gearbox bearings. I fitted bearings through the 2 frames to align them then used a couple of bolts through various holes in the frames to clamp them together. The etch marks on the frame edges were then filed flush giving an identical pair of frames. There were no marks for the Slater’s horn blocks so I estimated their position on the safe side and using a piercing saw cut them out. The frames have etched underhung sprung leaf springs and as the frames are rather shallow, I’ve left them in place for the time being for strength. I intend to cut them and solder to the axle keeps later.
    The footplate has been similarly cleaned up along with the valances and buffer plank laminations. For some reason there are 4 valances supplied and the instructions suggest laminating them in pairs but I’ve never seen this with previous kits so will only use a single piece. The prototypes have the valance on the very outside of the footplate level with the edge of the buffer plank and early versions of the prototype have a straight valance without the downward curve to the bottom of the buffer plank. There is a mark on the etched valance to cut off if modelling the early version. The 2 buffer planks have been laminated together and cleaned up.
    This model is going to be somewhat bigger than CWM MAWR and is about 1” longer than a Collett pannier.
    If you’re wondering why I’ve chosen this somewhat ugly mother which looks like it’s been made up from spare parts, it’s ugliness is what’s attracted me.


    Last edited: 24 December 2020
  2. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    102 A Start on the Coupling Rods.

    I spent an hour or two this afternoon attempting to sort out the coupling rods.

    Derek of Redcraft kindly supplied a 7mm scale drawing of the prototype. There was also a drawing of the pannier rebuild but the saddle tank is in Barry Railway condition and the pannier is in GWR condition. Unfortunately I will be building a GWR version of the saddle tank before it was sold into industrial service. The drawing and pictures I have clearly show the joint in the coupling rods just in front of the centre wheel. Previously when I have made models with jointed rods, which is essential for working suspension, I have cheated and split the rods so that they pivot on the centre crank pin.


    The prototype pictures I have show a large brass bearing secured and probably adjusted by shims and a cotter pin. This is not represented on the model so I made up a set by drilling holes the same size as the coupling rod holes and soldering them in place before reaming out the holes to suit the Slater's bearings.

    The holes for the crank pin bearings are only half etched so some care was required to try to drill a pilot hole in the centre of the half etched hole. I did this by eye with one of Sue's needles in a pin chuck. I hope she doesn't read this! I opened the holes up carefully increasing the drill size up to 1.6mm which was the size of the half etched holes. The outer rod of a pair to be soldered together had the end of the rod where the hole is to attach the front part of the rod where the pivot is cut off and an inverted curve was filed to suit the profile of the front rod. 2 rods were soldered together by aligning the holes with cocktail sticks after some flux had been smeared between them. Hold the etches together with ladies aluminium hair grips and carry blobs of solder on the iron to the job. Capillary action will carry the solder between the rods and the hair grips can be moved around to suit. I have described this method with pictures in my previous blog on CWM MAWR. I then tinned the back of the bus brass bearing overlays, placed them over the cocktail stick protruding from the laminated rods, squared it up and soldered in place. I have mentioned previously that I like to leave the excess solder in place on the rods as it helps prevent delamination when reaming the rods to suit the Slater's bearings. The picture shows the rear pair of rods with their bearings reamed out for the Slater's bushes and one lamination of the front rods laid in position. The half etched hole on the front rod can be seen. The next job will be to work out how to pivot the rod.
    Last edited: 28 December 2020
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  3. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    103. Footplate, Buffer Planks & Valances.

    I made a start on the footplate. I noticed that it was wider than the buffer planks and checking the dimensions on the drawing showed it to be a millimetre wider and the buffer planks a millimetre shorter. I removed 0.5mm from each side of the footplate and soldered a piece of scrap etch each side of the buffer plank. The footplate was about 1.5mm longer than the dimension in the drawing so this was removed from the rear as the fold up splashers aligned from the front. I will not yet fold up the splashes as suggested as this will not allow the footplate to lay flat when upside down. The valances were laid flat on the footplate and held in place with blutac while the buffer planks were positioned and tack soldered in place. Study of prototype pictures showed that the valances were at the very edge of the footplate and inline with the edge of the buffer planks, so these were also tacked in position. In some pictures there appears to be a slight overlap of the footplate at the front and rear but this is not very clear. I can always file it flush at some point if necessary. Once I was happy with all the positioning, the buffer planks and valances were securely soldered in place. The next job will be checked what width is required for the frame spacers and adjusting them to suit, then deciding their positions.

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  4. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    104 Barry F Class. Erecting the Frames.

    I had intended building this loco alongside CWM MAWR but didn’t have any frame spacers until the Minerva Engineering Company stepped in with some suitable brass strip. I had copied the dimensions and locations of CWM MAWR’s spacers as the 2 “spacers” supplied with this kit were more suitable for a Gauge 1 model. CWM MAWR’s frames allow approximately 0.5mm movement either side and this has proved satisfactory. Some trains of thought like the frames to be as close as possible to the wheels but I prefer to shim out too much side play as if there isn’t sufficient play major modifications will be needed. I took into account the thickness of the 2 rear bearing flanges, the 2 frames and 1mm for axle play. Taking this from the wheel back to back measurement will give you the width for the spacers, in this case 25.3mm.
    The instructions suggest soldering the 2 outer spacers “behind the half etched holes either end of the frames”. I’m not sure what is meant here as there’s only one half etched hole at one end and that’s for the brake hanger. The holes visible in the first picture are ones I made to hold the frames together when cutting out for the horn blocks.


    I must get myself a bigger piece of plate glass or stick to smaller prototypes! Unfortunately there’s no tab and slot locations for the spacers which certainly help hold everything in place. I held one side vertically with copious amounts of Blutac and soldered one of the end spacers in a similar position as CWM MAWR. Turn the frame side around and solder the other end spacer in position. Make a cup of coffee and admire your work then realise you’ve soldered them on the outside instead of the inside! The underhung springs are only etched on the outside. Doh! Anyway, unsolder and redo. I used a couple of old lolly pop sticks, used to hold the hot metal while soldering, to pack the spacers 2mm down from the frame tops. This mimics the Agenoria system and allow the footplate to rest on the 2 frames instead of the spacers. I only tack solder the spacers until they are all fitted and the frames are square.


    The instructions suggest that the inner 2 spacers can be fitted where you please. I marked the outer positions of the Slater’s horn blocks and tried to fit the spacers as evenly as possible. The rear spacer was fitted inline with the half etched representation of the ash pan front visible through one of the frame lightening holes and the front one just in front of the centre horn blocks and out of sight behind another of the frame holes. I’ll check everything is still square tomorrow and fully solder in the spacers.
    john lewsey, daifly and AdeMoore like this.
  5. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Davey , the best thing i ever done was buy myself a desk that has a glass top . Its flat so no problems with frames etc being level and handy for writing calculations down or sketching an idea in felt tip pen then wipe it off with IPA and a rag when finished . The only drawback is that you can't really hit things but i have a vice with an anvil mounted on top of a bookshelf next to the workbench so get physical there if i need to .
    Cheers Paul
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  6. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    105 Barry F Class. Aligning the Axles.

    I’ve never found the need for fancy frame and axle alignment jigs, matching the frames by clamping them together to clean up and setting up accurately on plate glass with a square has always been successful. The use of a simple axle jig to align the axles with the coupling rods is essential though!


    After leaving the frames overnight to settle I examined them for squareness, is there such a word? At first I was concerned that they didn’t sit flat on my piece of plate glass when upside down. Brushing minor palpitations aside I quickly spotted that the centre spacers protruded about 0.5mm out of the top of the frames. In tack soldering the centre spacers in position at the bottom of the frames I had not checked that the tops were level. A few minutes with a needle file solved this problem. Although if I’d taken more care fettling the spacers all would have been well.


    As previously mentioned the top hat bearings for the rear axle are of a somewhat larger diameter than those from previous kits so as to fit the larger etched holes and I was fortunate to have a spare pair. The larger ones measure 6.94mm while the smaller ones are 6.33mm, a significant difference. I’ve not noticed different sizes being sold but then again, I haven’t been looking. The picture shows the jig that I use, the axles with tapered ends fit through the bearings with a spring and washers pressing out against the sprung Slater’s horn blocks holding them tightly against the inside of the frames. No spring is fitted to the rear axle as it would push the top hat bearings out.


    The Slater’s horn blocks are assembled as per his instructions and a pair are fitted into the centre space in the frames. I mark each bearing with dots from a drill bit along with the corresponding horn block. This will allow you to disassemble and rebuild in future without mixing them up. I use 1,2,3 or 4 dots with 1 dot R/H leading, 2 dots L/H leading, 3 dots R/H centre etc. This picture is taken after soldering in position and I’ve used a blob of Blutac to hold the axle box in position as I’m fed up of it falling out!


    The picture shows how the jig is set up but without the spring on the centre axle. You need to ease the space for the horn blocks until the axles can be wiggled. There needs to be the slightest gap between the horn blocks and the frame so that they are exactly positioned by the coupling rods and not deflected by the frames. Make sure that you have them the correct way around because this will set the centre axle position to suit the individual rod. When you’re happy with the adjustment, place some flux behind the rear bearings and, holding them tight against the frames with aluminium hair clips, solder in position from the inside. The flux should draw the solder through the frames and form a silver ring between the outside of the frames and the top hat bearings. Allow to cool for a while and solder in the same fashion at the inside top of the horn block. Make sure the coupling rods are held tightly onto the tapered axles while doing all this! The axles may seem tight but this may be due to expansion and will free up after a few minutes. The trick to building 0-6-0’s is to assemble them as a pair of 0-4-0’s. When you are happy with the first pair of 0-4-0’s the front pair can be tackled. But before moving on 4 wheels need to be prepared and fettled to run smoothly.
  7. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    106 Coupling Rods and Horn Blocks.

    A change of mind with the coupling rods.

    The Slater’s wheels as supplied are a nice bright, shiny steel and if you’re lucky they will have no trace of rust. Only top express locomotives had their wheels polished so we need to tone them down somewhat. I like the effect of chemically blackened wheels as opposed to covering them with a coat of paint. This has the added bonus of wearing a shiny surface on the tyre where it is in contact with the rail when run. Unfortunately this seems to disappear after a while, perhaps the blacking chemical is still active? The steel tyres seem to have a film of something on them, perhaps this stops them rusting, which prevents the blacking from working effectively. Wipe this off with some IPA, thinners or whatever is to hand and apply the blacking solution with a cotton bud. Remember the plastic in the bud is recyclable! (There, I’ve done my bit for the planet)! Give the wheel a good scrub with an old toothbrush and some soap which will neutralise the acidic blacking solution.

    The cheese head crank pin screws protrude from the rear of the wheels and need to be countersunk. A 2.5mm drill bit is a fraction wider than the head and this hole allows the screw head to fit in without deflection which could tilt the crank pin slightly. Carefully drill by hand with a pin chuck applying little pressure so that the drill can centre itself in the hole. Let the tool do the work and don’t force it! I started with a 1.5mm bit then 2.0mm bit finishing with the 2.5 bit. You only need to drill in the thickness of the screw head which is about 1.5mm. I then screw the crank pin fully home to make the thread, then unscrew about half way. Place a small blob of thread lock on the thread and screw fully home. Allow to set for an hour. Using this method, the crank pins can be removed if necessary but using superglue you’ll have little chance. The 2 wheel sets were assembled and the rods fitted.
    I had second thoughts on pivoting the leading coupling rods as my plan to fit another layer behind the leading rod pivot would have caught on the centre wheel boss. I decided to add a third layer to the existing rear coupling rods to form the fork. This pushes the position of the leading pivot outwards easily clearing the wheel boss. I cleaned up the extra rod etches, reamed out the bearing holes to the same size and abusing my tools used the reamer through one bearing hole, my 2.5mm drill bit through the other bearing hole all held in a vice. Plenty of flux between the etches and solder together. Allaying my fears, it actually worked and no tools were injured in the making of this blog! A safer bet might have been to make the holes in the new etch slightly larger so that the existing conrod holes were still the bearing surfaces. Anyway, my reamer went easily through the holes so no harm done. Phew!

    The centre bearing, this picture is from my previous post, needs to be about about 0.4mm higher than the leading and trailing axles to prevent the locomotive from rocking on it. The model has a longish wheel base and on uneven track this will give plenty of movement on the centre axle allowing the leading wheels to stay in contact with the rail.

    The bearing can now rise well above the centre line if necessary but will be kept in contact with the rail by highly compressed springs giving improved traction and electrical pick up. Note that this picture is upside down.
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  8. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    107 Jointed Coupling Rods.

    This is my first attempt at jointed coupling rods as all my previous 0-6-0 kits have had the rods pivoting on the centre crank pin. If I could have assembled this kit that way, I would have but the design of the kit would have meant major modifications. As I’ve mentioned earlier, I added a third lamination to the rods which provided a fork on one side of each pivot with etches 1 and 3 retaining their circular pivot plate on one side and etch 2 keeping its plate on the other side. The unrequired parts of the etches being removed. The marks for the pivots were half etched and offering a larger hole than I would like. I marked each centre as accurately as I could and reamed the holes up to the 1.2mm brass rod intended to use as a pivot. I did find some 1.5mm rod which was very close to the size of the half etched holes and decided to leave it at the smaller size keeping the 1.5mm as suitable for a repair if necessary.
    I painted the inside faces of the pivot plates with metal black which should prevent too much solder spread locking everything up and pushed the brass rod a few millimetres through the back. The slightest smear of flux on the protruding rod and pushed it back in flush with the back of the rod. An atomic sized particle of solder was picked up with the soldering iron and applied to the back of the rod making the joint. The rods still pivoted and the wire at the front was snipped off and both sides filed flush. There will only be the slightest movement at the pivot when the wheels move up and down in the suspension and this will only be fractions of a millimetre but rigid rods will stop the suspension from working. There is no play at the pivot other than swivelling so the rods can now be used to align the leading horn blocks.
    I’m wondering whether to put a spot of solder on the outside face of the pivot, advice gentleman please?

  9. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    108. The Leading Wheel set.

    After assembling the jointed coupling rods it was time to dig out my axle jigs again.

    Once again another pair of horn blocks was prepared as previously described. The slots for the horn blocks were eased so that when they were aligned with the coupling rods they were fractionally clear of the frames at the sides. All this was previously described, the only difference was fitting the coupling rods over the 3 tapered axles which was quite a fiddle.

    After soldering the front horn blocks in place, another wheel set was prepared and the coupling rods refitted to the 3 crank pins. This is always an apprehensive moment but the wheels all rotated freely with no hint of any binding and no easing of the coupling rod bearing holes necessary. In fact when both coupling rods are to one side of the wheels their weight moves the chassis forward half a turn.
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  10. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    109. A Start on the Splashers.

    The outsides of the splashers were folded up by placing the footplate upside down on top of my vice with the jaws open wide enough to support the footplate just in front and behind each fold up piece.

    I pressed the side of a 6” steel rule against each piece pushing it to roughly 90’. I then held the rule against each splasher side through the footplate and tweaked it to 90’. I checked one of the splasher overlays against the fold up side and this was fractionally larger meaning that the splasher tops would sit on top of the fold up sides and the joint would then be covered by the overlay.

    Next I cleaned up one of the half etched splasher tops and formed it by carefully rolling it between a small tube and a piece of kitchen roll with many folds. I gently filed the underneath of the footplate where each splasher top would pass through from the square etched edge to an angle matching the alignment of the splasher and fitted a splasher top. A bit of a fiddle but the first solder tack was made underneath the footplate on the outside of the excess splasher top. This held it in place and I could press the splasher top against the fold up side and solder along the join. Once I fitted the opposite splasher I placed the footplate upside down on a firm surface and pressing a short piece of lollipop stick across the footplate in the centre of the upside down splasher and pressed down to level the tops which sloped upwards slightly at the inside. I heated and remade each joint at the front and back of each splasher, not the side, and this set the tops square. I did the rear splashers first as they will be partly hidden under the front of the cab and this would help disguise any problem with their assembly. Fortunately it all went well and the process was repeated with the other 4 splashers.
  11. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    110. A Start on the Cab.

    After adding the overlays to the front of the splashers it was time to make a start on the cab.

    Fitting the splasher overlays was a relatively easy job done by tinning the back of each overlay, applying flux to the splasher front, aligning them, holding in place with aluminium hair clips then applying heat from my 40w soldering iron inside the splasher. That sounds a mouthful but it only needs a second or two, just enough to melt the solder in the seam between the top of the splasher and the fold up side does the trick. There is enough heat to melt the solder on the overlay. The slight overlap of the overlays needs to be filled flush with the top of the splashers but cover the footplate with masking tape just in front and behind each splasher to prevent marking the footplate.

    A trial fit of the cab components once again gave me palpitations as the rear of the cab overlapped the rear buffer plank by about 2mm! Horrified as I had removed a millimetre from the front and rear of the footplate to match the drawing I quickly used it to recheck the model. The buffer planks and splashers lined up perfectly as did the cab sides when re aligned to the drawing and the problem was traced to the location slots for the cab front being 2mm or so too close to the rear. Phew!
    The overlays for the cab front window frames were cleaned up while still attached to the etch. I painted the outer surfaces with Carr’s metal black for brass which stops the spread of solder and tinned the rears. Remove them from the fret and finish cleaning up. Doing as much as possible while they are still attached to the fret minimises damage.

    Apply flux around the front of the window cut-outs on the cab front, align and hold with aluminium hair clips. Solder one corner on each etch, remove the hair clips and check alignment. When happy complete the soldering. Clean up any overlapping around the inside of the window frames. The half etched rivets at the front edges were raised and the component cleaned up. The location tabs near the outer edge of the bottom will be removed and the cut-outs for the splashers will need some fettling. The firebox wrapper will eventually fit in the half etched inverted horse shoe shape.

    The cab rear window protection bars were fitted in the same way as the cab front window frames but this time after tack soldering the etch I checked the bars were vertical with a small square before fully soldering. A rather strange, to me anyway, etch is provided for the bunker access doors. The etch fits perfectly around the coal shovelling hole and the rather sparse instructions suggest “ensure the half etched line is central to the door surround”. I’m sure conditions on the footplate would become quite “interesting” if the doors burst open with a full bunked of coal! This is my first Barry locomotive and perhaps someone out there can advise me if this layout is correct? Still, most of it will be hidden underneath a bunker full of coal. The coal shovelling access hole still needs to be removed. There are still a few scraps of solder to be cleaned up although I won’t bother to clean up lower down where the coal will be.
  12. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    111. The cab side beading.

    2 types of beading are supplied, 2 longer lengths and 4 shorter lengths. The rather meagre instructions make no mention of which type goes where but the short ones were far too short to go from the bottom of the cab doorway all the way around the cut out and back to the floor so I used the long ones which were almost half as long again. The components continue with the pictures:


    A cab side before raising rivets. The kit designer has thoughtfully put a half etched brace across the lower cab doorway for strength and alignment but unfortunately this has to be removed to fit the beading!


    I had to ease the slot in the rather delicate beading with a half round file and taper the edge of the cab doorway to make it fit. I tacked the beading to the bottom of the doorway front and applying flux on the beading slot bent it forwards over the bottom of the cab cut out. The vertical run was then straight and could be soldered from the inside. A thin silver line showed on the outside joint. The beading was then bent vertical allowing the horizontal part to sit straight. It was then a matter of repeating the process around the cut out holding the beading tightly against the cut out with old lolly pop sticks while soldering.
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  13. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    112. The Bunker.

    This sounds like a horror story and it could be.


    The rather vague instructions suggest adding the beading to the cab sides and bunker without describing which bits go where. I was fortunate in having a few rear 3/4 views of an F class locos but each had a slightly different arrangement. I don’t have a rear view of the locomotive I intend this model to represent, 726, but the side view looks like the arrangement I’ve chosen. The bunker rear has half etched lines on the upper inside to help form the curve, this is a good idea but leads to a three penny bit effect. I suppose I’m showing my age now so perhaps with inflation and decimalisation we should say a 50p effect! Anyway, I filled the etched grooves with solder and shaped it to match the curve on the rear cab sides. I did this by approximating where the curve started and placing it in a vice with its jaws slightly open. Bend the plate slightly and move up a millimetre and bend slightly again. This takes few attempts but you’ll get there in the end.


    Tack solder at the bottom corner and align carefully the other bottom corner and tack solder again. When you are happy that it is all square, tack solder the top corners. Double check and solder the seam. The cab is merely resting on the footplate for the picture.
    There is a small piece with a half etch groove, that has no identification or mention in the instructions, but seems a perfect fit for the upper bunker extension. Note that the groove is offset! This was soldered at the 2 top corner edges and, when happy with the alignment, the horizontal seam along the top of the shaped bunker rear was flooded with solder as was the inside of the 50p curve to the side sheet.
    Much filing and cleaning up ensued and brass rod will be added to the etched grooves to represent the beading. The cab rear spectacle sheet is not fixed but added for effect. One of the etched beading strips will be added to the upper cab rears and around the top of the bunker. The rear spectacle sheet appears to be recessed slightly.


    What it will hopefully look like. Note that this specimen has vacuum brake pipes!
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  14. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    113. The Bunker Beading.

    There seemed to be almost infinite variations on the bunkers. They had been extended upwards with coal rails early in their careers with the GWR sheeting inside the coal rails. Some appear to have some of the coal rails removed with just the sheeting but this is not very clear in the pictures. I don’t have a rear view of 726 but it has the 3 bands of beading clearly visible on the sides so I went for the 3 bands around the rear as well. A set of coal rails is provided with the kit but to fit these with the sheeting looked beyond my capabilities so I just added 0.5mm brass wire to the etched grooves. I took the first wire down from the cab roof, curved to the rear in the lower slot and bent around the rear corner. The same piece was then soldered across the back of the bunker and on the opposite side. I liked the idea of a one piece wire band to strengthen the bunker. Unfortunately I didn’t allow for expansion etc and the R/H corner pulled down as it cooled, refusing all attempts to stay in place as it was now too short. I’ll cut a small piece out on the corner and replace. The centre band went in ok, just taking care to butt up the join with the vertical beading on the cab side. I used the supplied beading strip, which has an etched location groove, on the top to give some strength and it was easier to fit. As this was a flat strip and the beading is round, it needs to be filled to match.
    The upright beading at the cab rear appears in pictures to be on the inside as well as the outside with the rear cab sheet recessed slightly.
    The picture shows progress so far but some more tidying up is required.

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  15. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    114. Fitting the Cab.


    As I mentioned in the last post, I wasn’t happy with the L/H corner lower beading. It had cooled, contracted and pulled itself out of position. No amount of attention from a hot soldering iron could persuade it otherwise so it had to go. I filed two notches in the beading as close as possible to the bunker and flicked it off with a hot soldering iron. I bent up a replacement piece from 0.5mm brass wire and soldered it in place. The sharper folded angle looked much better than the R/H side so I replaced that one as well. You can make out the replacement piece in the picture which shows that a bit more attention is required. I’ll probably do this with filler as solder will dislodge the replacement corner beading. The bunker rear underneath the lower beading will also need a bit of filler.
    Some filler is also required on the beading next to the cab rear sheet. I had to use more 0.5mm wire here instead of the half etched beading strip used on the bunker top as it didn’t align with the bunker side beading.


    I squared up the cab and tack soldered it at each corner to the footplate. There is virtually zero overhang of the footplate at the sides and rear of the cab on the prototype so I replicated this. Maybe there was some logic in this as the crew had to use the cab steps and not precariously climb around the cab. The picture shows in the front inside R/H corner the slot in the footplate where the cab front was supposed to locate. If this had been used the bunker rear would have overhung the rear buffer plank by 2 millimetres.
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  16. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    115. The Brake Hangers.


    As supplied there are 3 components to each hanger. Doing a quick check, the brake pull rods don’t quite align with the axle centre spacings and the etched holes for the top pivots are in slightly different positions in relation to the wheels. They might have aligned with the axle centres in the frames as supplied but as I had to move the centre horn blocks to the rear because when aligning with the coupling rods they were about 1mm back from the marks. Anyway that’s a job for another day. The picture shows one set of hangers/brake blocks and a couple of links although I have as yet no idea as to how these are assembled.


    The assembled hangers with pilot holes drilled through the pivot holes.
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  17. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    116. A Start on the Boiler.

    The instructions said to take the rolled boiler and solder the seam...............


    The FLAT boiler etching was dispatched to the Minerva Engineering Co. Ltd. to have the plates rolled and the boiler/firebox formed. The firebox front former and one of the boiler formers were also dispatched and a superb service with a quick turnaround resulted in the COMPLETED boiler/firebox arriving at the Crymlyn A Shop erecting sheds. Upon minor fettling it was discovered that the smoke box front plate had an etched location ring for the boiler. This was too small and the circular boiler former was the same size. The designer must have forgotten to allow for the thickness of the boiler tube. There is a similar “keyhole” shaped etching in the cab front to align the firebox and this is ok. This picture shows a boiler former laid over the etched guide.


    This picture shows the former near to the etched guide on the front plate.
    The solution was to solder the former in position where it will slip inside the boiler tube and act as an alignment guide.

    IMG_2729 (1).jpg

    A similar problem will arise with the tank formers. As you can see in the picture the base of the tank curls under the boiler. One has to wonder how on Earth the tank would be lifted off for maintenance on the prototype!


    This picture with the former moved shows that the lower inside of the tank should be vertical from the 3 to 9 o’clock position down. I think the solution will be to cut the formers to the correct profile but I’ll tackle that bridge when I get there.
    One has to wonder if a test build was made?


    For the firebox to locate in the cab front the footplate between the centre and rear splashers needed to be widened by about 1mm so that the firebox sides can sit between the footplate. It now sits in place comfortably with the smoke box front plate supporting the front of the boiler. Some minor fettling is still required as well as removing the rear corners of the firebox where they sit behind the splashers. The locomotive has quite a long tank which ends half way along the second panel from the cab front.


    I also cut out the centre of the firebox front former to allow the addition of ballast. I like to add lead strip which I glue to the bottom of the boiler. This is the perfect position as weight is needed over the leading two sprung axles to keep the springs compressed. Ideally I try to balance my models over the centre axle which greatly improves all aspects of performance.
    Last edited: 10 February 2021
  18. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    117. Fitting the Boiler. Part 1.

    My arrangement with the smoke box front plate worked well and a small amount of fettling got the firebox rear to fit in the etched groves in the cab front. I had thought about soldering everything together at this stage but I’ve found that having a removable boiler/tank assembly makes painting so much easier, that I decided to have a go at it. I cut out a paper template the size of the inside of the etched guide on the cab front and glued it to a piece of brass. Carefully cut and file the brass to shape and trial fit it inside the located firebox. I’ve got it to a slightly loose fit and tomorrow’s job will be to drill 2 holes through both plates so that they and be secured with 12 BA screws and nuts through the cab front. I’ll pack them apart by about a millimetre and then solder the new former inside the rear of the located firebox. Hopefully this will hold it in the correct shape to clip straight in at a later date. I’ll work out a similar plan to attach the bottom of the smoke box to the footplate. There are dummy pieces of the front frames to fit either side of the smoke box and these will have to be taken into account.
    The picture shows everything held in place with a rubber band for an impression of the model.

    AJC and daifly like this.
  19. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    118. Fitting the Boiler. Part 2.


    Two 6BA nuts were soldered to the footplate to hold the chassis in place. I know the screws should be soldered down through the footplate in case they work loose but have you tried tightening nuts in the confined spaces underneath the chassis?
    I also soldered a piece of scrap brass across the frame spacers to stop the spacer being distorted upwards when the screws are tightened. File this level to the tops of the frames.


    A former for the firebox rear was fabricated to hold the rear of the firebox to shape. It was made slightly smaller than the etched guide on the cab front. I tacked it in place with solder and drilled 2 small holes so that it could be bolted in place with 12BA screws. 2 nuts were then soldered over the holes. I coat the threads of the screws with Carr’s metal black for brass as this stops solder from taking on the treated surfaces. The firebox former was then removed and screwed back in place with some card to pack it about 1mm from the cab front. I refitted the boiler/firebox into its etched guide and soldered it to the former.


    The picture shows the rear of the firebox wrapper protruding slightly from the former. This can now be pulled into the etched guide on the cab front by the screws. The firebox former rigidity holding it to shape.
  20. davey4270

    davey4270 Western Thunderer

    119. Fitting the Boiler Part 3.

    Some final fettling of the firebox was necessary to clear the rear wheels and as the lower sides were rather too flexible some stiffening was required. The etched boiler/firebox sheet is 0.45 brass half etched leaving only the boiler bands and washout plugs at that thickness. As the boiler and top 3/4 of the firebox are curved, there is sufficient rigidity but the lower firebox sides are very flexible and tend to curve in away from the footplate. I overcame this by soldering 2 stiffeners cut from some brass angle I had left over from an earlier kit. Hopefully, this now completes work on the firebox end as it drops straight into place and clicks into the etched guide on the cab front.
    Next job will be to build up the smoke box saddle.

    simond and daifly like this.