Exactoscale axleguard information wanted - maybe a catalogue from the early days

Discussion in 'Resources' started by Dog Star, 10 June 2019.

  1. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    To put this request into a historical context, one may consider that there are four phases of the history of the Exactoscale brand to date, being:-

    * Exactoscale under the ownership of Bernard Weller;
    * Exactoscale under the ownership of Len Newman / Andrew Jukes;
    * Exactoscale as a brand offered through C&L Finescale (in any of its incarnations);
    * Exactoscale as a brand subsequent to the removal of the brand from C&L Finescale.

    In the beginning Bernard Weller developed the FASS method of springing axleboxes where FASS stands for "Fixed Axlebox Suspension System"... where the axles move up/down within an axlebox which is fixed to the axleguard. Each wheel bearing was "sprung" by a cradle behind an axleguard, the design of cradle being dependent upon the prototype axleguard dimensions - hence FASS etchings carry a half-etch identifier with "AX9" identifying the axleguard prototype and "C9" identifying a cradle (the use of "9" is to signify a number). The range was sold as a sprung axleguard for a specific prototype where the packet contained the appropriate axleguard and the corresponding cradle.

    As there were more "axleguards" in the range than there were "cradles" then there was a concordance between axleguard etches and cradle etches - I need details of the concordance so that I can untangle and identify a box of raw etches, that is there is no packaging information and I shall have to rely on the half-etch "AX" / "C" markings to make sense of the jumble.

    I did have a single sheet of A4 paper, provided by Bernard Weller, which gave drawings of the axleguards (identified by prototype usage) and details of the corresponding AX / C numbers. I have lost the data and so I am asking WTers for their help with either a copy of that sheet or details of the C numbers that go with specific AX prototypes.

    I believe that Bernard Weller did produce a catalogue of items that he could supply... I have never seen that catalogue. If any WT has a copy of the Exactoscale catalogue from the Bernard Weller days then I shall be pleased to hear from them.

    thank you and regards, Graham
    Last edited: 16 June 2019
  2. ianlbsc

    ianlbsc Western Thunderer

    Hi Graham
    Nice to meet up today. Will look out the catalogue in the next 24 hours.
  3. daifly

    daifly Western Thunderer

    Hi Graham
    I thought I'd already sent you this but, just in case, here it is again.

    Attached Files:

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  4. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Dave (@daifly), no you had not, yes you have (now), thank you because this information is just what I was looking for as per original post.
  5. ianlbsc

    ianlbsc Western Thunderer

    Hi Graham
    I have older paper versions so some of this one is new to me also but the FASS stuff is the same.
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  6. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    The catalogue that Dave (@daifly) has posted here has enabled me to get to the point where there are just three out of fifteen "prototype" axleguards for which I do not know the AX code - or put another way, there are three AX codes for which I do not know the prototype.

    I can match these AX codes to the prototypes listed in the catalogue (page 33) ... AX1, AX2, AX4, AX5, AX6, AX7, AX8, AX9, AX10, AX11, AX13, AX14. I have yet to identify (confirm) the prototypes for AX3, AX12 and AX15.

    The catalogue (page 33) shows that there were fifteen different prototypes covered by the Exactoscale FASS range, I have been able to match twelve of those prototypes to actual samples of etchings (by using known AX codes). As yet I have not located etchings for these prototypes:-

    MR coach axleguards;
    LSWR wagon timber axleguards;
    NER early wagon axleguards.

    If anyone has examples of axleguards for those listed prototypes then I shall be pleased for confirmation that the AX codes are AX3, AX12 and AX15 respectively.

    As to the C codes for the bearing cradle, information on the range of cradles and how to match cradles to axleguards continues to elude me. Given that there are fifteen types of axleguard and, I think, probably five types of cradle then the concordance is not, clearly, one to one. Accurate matching of cradle to axleguard is crucial to obtaining the correct ride height for a wagon hence the search for information on the cradles.

    I suspect that the single A4 sheet of axleguard drawings and cradle drwings holds the key - can anyone help here?

    regards. Graham
  7. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Not sure if this is of any use but some time ago I bought the remaining stock Exactoscale wagon chassis's and suspension items etc. from a retailer, for my own wagon stock.
    In amongst this lot which are mainly later Exactoscale parts are 4 early etches as listed below :-

    CW052 LNWR wagon AX9 C1B
    CW045 MR wagon/van AX2 C1B fixed axle guard suspension
    CW046 MR carriage AX2 C1B
    CW044 RCH AX12 C1B

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  8. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Thank you Colin (@eastsidepilot) , whilst I had the CW044 and CW045 details I was missing the MR Coach at CW046.

    Please check your CW046 MR coach etches, I think that those ought to be AX3. I need the corresponding cradle number, C1 is not likely to be correct because CW046 is for use with 3'7"coach wheels whereas cradle C1 goes with 3'1" wagon wheels.

    CW044 is RCH wagon, using axleguard AX1 and cradle C1 or C1B.

    Like you, we bought the entire stocks of FASS parts from Len Newman when Exactoscale was transferred to C&L Finescale. At the last weigh-in there ware etchings totalling more than ten Kgs., plus innumerable castings.
    Last edited: 19 June 2019
  9. ianlbsc

    ianlbsc Western Thunderer

    Hi Graham
    I have found a few 4mm scale FASS packets. The identifying numbers may help so here goes:
    CW013 LBSC Wagon (etch AX7) has c4B cradle when the brake extension was drawn and earlier ones had c4 cradle with a note to 'trim the cradle' which I remember having to do about 20 years ago involving trimming about 1mm off each end until it slid easily between the folded wings of the w-iron itself.
    CW015 LNWR Wagon (etch AX9) has C1 cradles supplied.
    CW008 MR Wagon and van (etch AX2) has C1 cradle supplied.
    CW014 GCR Carriage Truck 3'7" wheels (etch AX8) has C4Bm cradle supplied

    CW054 Brake Cradle Standard 9" axleguard spacing 3'1" wheels has C1B cradle in the packet which was to upgrade earlier axlegaurds to enable the brakes to move with the wheel.
    CW055 Brake Cradle Standard 9" axleguard spacing 3'7" wheels has C4Bm cradle in the packet which was to upgrade earlier axlegaurds to enable the brakes to move with the wheel.

    I also have a couple of the conversion sets
    CW023 MR 6 wheel carriage 21' wheelbase (etch conv8) supplied with C1 cradles
    CW040 MR12T van 10' wheelbase eg slaters kit (etch conv 20) supplied with cradle C1.

    I also have a two and a half A4 instruction sheet 'Exactoscale Brake Blocks' 4mm and 7mm issue No.1 09.09.96.
    I haven't yet found the FASS manual that I remember buying all those years ago. I'll keep looking!
    Dog Star likes this.
  10. S7BcSR

    S7BcSR Western Thunderer


    Just noted this thread and not sure if I can add anything to your needs but I have 2 different copies of Section 9 of the Exactoscale Manual on Fixed Axleguard Suspension, one dated September 1993 and one dated November 1995 plus two or three interim notes dated June 1994, December 1997 and an undated one entitled 'Interim notes on 4mm and 7mm Brake Gear Assembly'.

    If there is anything from these I can help with please let me know.

    There is one table that might help referring to the cradles:
    - C1 - 13mm Goods (RCH 12t wagon 1904 / MR Wagon and Van / BR 16T mineral / LNWR wagon
    - C3 - 13mm Goods (BR 20T mineral wagon, plate type)
    - C4 - 15mm Passenger (MR Carriage)
    - C5 - 14mm Passenger (SER Birdcage / GCR carriage truck)
    - C6 - 11mm Passenger (LBSC wagon, early type)

    There is no C2 in this table and Goods/Passenger notation refers to wheel size. I can see nowhere in these documents any reference to what the AX codes equate to.

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  11. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Thank you for this information Rob (@S7BcSR), the details do add to the picture with regard to which cradles to use with the MR Carriage and LNWR items. However, there is now a conflict creeping in... I have packed samples of LBSC wagon and GCR CCT with the "Exactoscale" address as Chelmsford so packed by Len Newman, both of those packs contain cradles marked C4B (I believe that the'B' suffix means that the original design has been amended to provide location tabs for brake hangers).

    To date I have not found any samples of C2 or C6 in the etch jungle on the folding table.

    I shall be pleased to read a copy of the brake gear assembly note.

    regards, Graham
    Last edited: 21 January 2021
  12. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    I miss read the etch ( wrong glasses :rolleyes::D ) the RCH etch has AX1 R .

    The etch in the CW046 ag is identical to the MR wagon so possibly wrongly packed ?

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  13. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    I have not seen any cradle with the suffix "R", I suggest that your RCH pack has AX1B - some of the etching is a tad hit-and-miss when comes to the lettering of the cradles. As to the MR wagon and MR coach having the same cradle, seems from what Rob has written that there is a possibility of packing errors in the latter days.
  14. ianlbsc

    ianlbsc Western Thunderer

    I have now found my section 9.3 Fixed Axleguard Suspension also dated Nov 1995. Do you want a scan of it? 14 sides of A4.
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  15. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Please scan and post the first page.

    What might help me is to know if there is a page of drawings of individual axleguards.

    thank you, Graham
  16. ianlbsc

    ianlbsc Western Thunderer

    No, no specific diagram, just one generic to show the various parts.
  17. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Thank you Ian, maybe posting the document here is the best thing so that all can have access.

    regards, Graham