7mm On Heather's Workbench - Multiple Maunsells

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Heather Kay, 1 December 2017.

  1. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    While I still have various other builds on, around and under the bench that ought to be taking my attention, sometimes I need to refresh my brain with something different. This time it's four Slater's Maunsell coaches, built in the 1930s, and running towards the end of the 1950s, or into the 1960s. The coaches have been given the etched brass bogie kits, and will run on S7 wheelsets.

    There are one or two questions that have arisen, chiefly regarding coupling options and interior finishes - oh, and whether or not to shift the lavatory windows to suit vehicles that were refurbished in the 1950s, let alone whether we should have a mix of Pullman and British Standard gangways…

    Anyway, as I've got a shed-load of bogies to get through, this is where I've made my start. As I like to build one kit most of the way to completion to familiarise myself with the construction and pitfalls, I've kicked things off with a six-compartment brake corridor composite.

    I haven't illustrated the component parts of the first set of bogies. I shall try to remember that for the next batch later on. Let's just say the etched kit is comprehensive and a mite fiddly.


    Realising I would have several sets of bolsters to assemble, which involves a folded etch channel and two hefty lost wax brass castings, I made myself an ad hoc jig to aid holding the bits together while applying heat to them.


    Due to the suspension pegs it's not possible to lay the assemblage flat on the deck, so I made up this set of brass sheet bits and bobs. I've stuck the channel in place so you can sort of see how it works. Two bits of scrap material are soldered to the jig, between which the channel sits. The scraps support the castings, which are also high enough that the cast crosspieces rest on the fire brick. The castings need a gentle fettle to be a tight fit in the channel. Tinned, and so assembled, with luck and the gas torch, things are joined.


    Always remembering to leave things for a while to cool off, this is the result. Making little jigs for things is a habit I need to get into.


    Meanwhile, some cursing and swearing later, the main bogie frames have been assembled. The basic outer frame first needs a lot of rivets pushed out. Then the horncheeks are folded down - half-etched fold line to the OUTSIDE, for a change - and soldered in place. Some filing to clean things up, and fumbled folding to make up the basic frame, it all remained reasonably square. I was surprised.

    After most of a day - being unfamiliar with the kit and its construction, I expected this - I have the various cross members to fit, and then a whole Fairisle sweater of brake rigging. I fully expect each pair of bogies to occupy me for most of two days. Oh, what fun!

    More soon. Must get some packing sorted out for a trip west for the day tomorrow.
    Last edited: 1 December 2017
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  2. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer


    I've built a few of these bogies over the years, the first ones were for my Continental: Doing the 'Continental' - Kitbuilding & Scratchbuilding. There might be some other ideas in there which'll appeal.

    There are some 'issues' with the Slater's Maunsell's in that you'll find some of the door details aren't in quite the right place - you'll notice that if you move the toilet windows or are doing the 'double vent' variety.

    The gangways are relatively simple to sort out; most have Pullman, only those used in off-region service would have BS gangways - this was Jenks' main cock-up in the article he did for MRJ. Recommended reading if you can find a copy. If you're doing one with BS gangways all the draft gear changes although the correct buffers are available from Slater's - the ones used on their Van 'B'. I like the CPL gangways for BS-equipped vehicles.

  3. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Thanks Steph. :thumbs:

    I'll take a stroll over to your thread later. As far as moving toilet windows about, well, I think the client will probably agree it doesn't need to be done - hopefully! The double vents, though, might be interesting for variety.

    Likewise with the gangways. I reckon it'll be Pullmans all the way, but we'll need to confirm the couplings before I get too far.
  4. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Ooh, one other quick thing: For the next batch of these I'm building I'd look at reinforcing the corners of the frame with some 'L' angle. I took off the ugly unprototypical corner webs after assembly and the odd corner unpopped, despite having a goodly blob of solder in there.

    Thought I'd better mention it now as I think it's pretty much impossible to make that change once the brakegear starts going in.

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  5. Threadmark: Bogie frames
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    After a couple of days' sabbatical from this, it's been slow progress. There are times, and this build is no exception, where I wonder why I agreed to take things on! The next stage is brake rigging, and if I'm brutally honest I'd rather do anything else right now!

    Are there any good online resources that show these type of bogies without coaches on top? My Google-fu is somewhat lacking, as all my searches seem to end up with images filled with Hornby RTR 4mm things! What I'd like to find is a simple overview type photo that shows roughly what the bogies look like inside the frames. You see, foolishly, I'm considering a dynamo pulley if I can manage it. Ideas about which end goes where, and any mods to the end frames for the dynamo belt, as Steph did for his bogies, would be very handy. Sadly, my only reference reference book (King's Southern Coaches) is not a great deal of help with underparts.

    Right, let's sort out the brake knitting. Deep breath!
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  6. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer


    I can't do much at the mo (I'm at work!), but don't limit yourself to Maunsell carriages. The Lynes 8' wheelbase bogie was used on all SECR and SR carriages from the Continental through to the last Bulleid stock built for BR in the '50s.

    Other than the Prestal cylinders fitted to some Bulleid stock and variations in brake carriage handbrake arrangements the layout was remarkably consistent.

    Info is out there; try the Bluebell website for the Bulleid coach rebuilds undertaken there. There was at least one which was a full lift with the body removed from the underframe...

    If you get really knotted I'll grab my info and see if I can sketch something out in CAD.

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  7. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Cheers Steph! Please don't go out of your way over this, though anything that adds to my sum of knowledge would be a help.

    I shall do some more furtling about and see what I can turn up.

    EDIT: Furtling turns up a previously invisible image in the book I said contained no images. Must look harder next time!

    Thoughts are also wondering how much of the handbrake linkages would be visible under a brake coach…
    Last edited: 5 December 2017
  8. DavidIS

    DavidIS New Member


    If you go to Flickr and search on 'Southern coach bogie' there are several good photos.

  9. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Ooh, thanks David. Will do. :thumbs:
  10. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I have a set of the original 1971 Mike King drawings of the Maunsell 1927-35 (and 1925-27) stock if of any use.
  11. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Hmm, interesting. I assume they may well be reproduced in his book - albeit in a rather fuzzy fashion?
  12. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer


    Yep; and that's as good as they get because of the way they're drawn, unfortunately.

    I think it was Ray Chorley who did some decent drawings of Maunsell stock in Model Railway Constructor. @Yorkshire Dave, d'you remember? We dug them out a year or two ago to see if Thanet stock was included (it wasn't).

  13. Threadmark: Brake shoes and hangers
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I keep telling myself "it's the journey". I'm not sure it helps.


    The brake shoes are moulded in two halves. The first stage is to glue the halves together. I elected to do it while half the shoes were still in the sprue, as it made it a bit easier to handle and align things. Once they're properly set, each shoe has a hanging link fitted, which must be free to swing, and the wire trimmed back flush.


    After some cursing and fiddling, this is as far as I've got today. Not a lot to show for it, frankly. I wish I could say I was enjoying these bogies, but I'm really not. It's not that they're hard work, it's just there's so much repetition and fiddling, plus filing and fettling. With the brake shoes fitted, and the yoke pull levers installed, I am contemplating further fittings to the yokes themselves, such as safety chains and so on. The wheelsets ought to be attacked with metal black, as it's not long before they will be fitted.

    There is something that bothers me a little about the Slater's approach. Some parts of these bogies are carefully thought out and represent the real thing well. Others go off a bit half cock, such as the distinctly flat yokes. The real ones are flat trapezoidal things, with a round bar rod and attachment at the centre. Equally, the yoke attachments to the levers should be a forked trunnions... I'm sure I could concoct something suitable, but the law of diminishing returns thunders over the horizon! What's the point, when most will be lost in the gloom? So, I shall raid my chain store and see if I have something suitable for the safety side of things, which is visible after all, make up the flat bar safety loop on the inner ends, and be happy.

    I must admit to a minor booboo. Before I was pointed to the detail photos, I made an assumption that the inner end beam of each bogie may have been cut out to clear the dynamo belt. I reasoned it wasn't always possible the same bogie would end up at the right end of an underframe. I was wrong. So, one of this current pair will migrate to the next coach I build!
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  14. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

    Aah. Oops - it's much easier to fit the brake shoes after the hangers are installed in the bogies frames. Sorry :(

    And the cut out in the frames for the dynamo belt is a little unpredictable; I've seen carriages where both have the cut-out and some where only the dynamo end has.

  15. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I'm not sure how. I was much happier fitting the hangers to the shoes in plain sight, and not fumbling around within the frames.

    Well, it worked for me, if it was fiddly.

    Note that I am tending to be a tad negative about some of the build, mainly because I'm annoyed it's taking me so long. Once I've done a set, and feel happy I know how it all goes together, I hope I can knock out a pair in a couple of days - rather than a whole week!
  16. Threadmark: Wheels fitted
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    Wheels! At last!

    If you've had the fortune to build earlier versions of these bogies, you will have found small etched horseshoe-shaped parts referred to as "hornblock guides". Their function, from what I can tell, is to allow machined brass hornblocks to fit between the axleguards and provide a peg for the springs to fit on. Well, you don't need them any more. New machined brass hornblocks are in the kit, with a small peg already in place, and which fit neatly between the axleguards with only a gentle pass of a fine file to remove cusps here and there. The hornblocks guides don't come anywhere near fitting the new hornblocks. I know this because I tried, then realised I didn't need them.

    Of course, the instructions - at least, this booklet from this particular kit - still refers to the older setup. I shall report if other sets of instructions have been updated.

    Anyway, even without springs, these bogies run really sweetly. That improved my overall mood with this build so far. I think the next thing ought to be a nice bath in some blackening fluid (not me, the bogies, obviously) followed by fitting the brake yokes and rods. I have some suitable chain which will come in handy for the safety gear.
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  17. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    The saga continues. I made safety loops for the inner ends from scrap etch. There's just enough of the thinnest scrap left from the kit to do it nicely. The last major soldering has been done with the cast J-hangers fitted. The centre hangers are handed, and apparently should have cross bars, but as there's nothing in the instructions aside from a passing reference, and I can't see anything obvious in photos, I'm opting to leave things out.

    Now to fit plastic bits for springs and axleboxes.
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  18. Threadmark: Holes and springs
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I think I'm going slightly mad



    The leaf springs and axleboxes are moulded styrene. The idea is a pair of plastic pegs are pushed through holes at the top of the axleguards, glued in place, then the spring mouldings are glued to them. This ensures the correct spacing from the bogie side frames. Happily, Slater's mould spare pegs, in case one heads for the carpet monster.


    The pegs fitted. I ran a taper broach through each hole, just to clear the etch cusp.


    I cleared each moulded hole on the springs with a 1.1mm drill, just to make sure the springs would pop over the pegs easily. The idea is each leaf spring meets the top of the J-hanger castings, but in practice, there's one corner where they don't. This was common to both bogies, so it wasn't just me being ham-fisted. It is possible to gently bring the casting over to the spring, but then it looks bent. I think I would have been much happier with the whole J-hanger and leaf spring thing being a single cast brass item. Hopefully, plenty of grunge will hide the small gap.


    Making good on my threat to add safety chains, albeit only in the outer yokes. The yokes have etched holes, so I made a kind of split pin affair onto which a link of the chain was looped, then soldered into the yoke and cleaned up. The chain will, happily, hook onto the brake hanger wires inside the frames, and will be held by a drop of cyanoacrylate later.


    Oh, that rigging! Everything is floppy, so you're juggling soot until you reach a certain point where it all comes together. I've temporarily refitted wheels to align the brake blocks and ensure the rest sort of sits in the right place while a quick dab of solder holds the wire pins in the main lever.


    The other end done. I'm having a rest before doing it all over again with the second bogie!

    Once the blocks are aligned properly, the whole shebang still runs really sweetly. If building to finescale, I suspect some adjustment of the bearing cups might be required to centre the axles and cut sideways sloppiness, but the new hornblocks setup means everything seems to be centred from the get-go. That's nice.

    Deep breath, and on to the other bogie. Then, perhaps, getting them into a chemical bath, or perhaps it's me that needs the bath? Oh, I don't know any more! Cue Freddie*!

    *Follow the U-choob link at the start of this post to understand. :confused: :cool: :thumbs:
  19. Mr Grumpy

    Mr Grumpy Western Thunderer

    Hi Heather ,
    That bogie looks very nice!
    I havejust bought 6 packs of the sprung W irons for my tankers, and the instructions state not to use the horse shoe etches....thank goodness!!
  20. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    I suspect I may have an older version of the kit, then.


    Apartment from the cosmetic axleboxes, these are done. Thinking about their bath now. Then a nice long lie down in a darkened room. ;)
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