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


    *double wibble*

    Time for a dunk in the ultrasonic cleaner to get the gunk out. I don’t remember the cross braces being such a pig to fold up. I have sore fingers and several quid in the swear box. Worse is to come, of course. Hornblocks, suspension and the brake rigging.

    Wagonman, Pencarrow, dibateg and 6 others like this.
  2. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    You have done it again!

    Yesterday just a frame, today a frame with bolster, transoms and A-frames! Where is the jig? How does the jig help?

    As you so often say to new members, "we like photos".

    regards, Graham
    BrushType4 likes this.
  3. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    The jig helps when I pick up a piece that’s still scalding hot from soldering operations!

    I promise to document better the next time. There is one more set to build, but bear in mind I hope to delay the inevitable as long as reasonably possible. These really are a chore.
    Wagonman and Dog Star like this.
  4. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Yes but think, by the time you get to next Christmas you've saved enough for those extra bottles of wine :D

    Keep at it mate, looking good.

    john lewsey likes this.
  5. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    We haven’t drunk the wine we got for Christmas just gone. I don’t enjoy the stuff any more, as it tends to bring out the maudlin in me. I have enough trouble dealing with that as it is!


    Not one of my more successful days. The failed airbrush repair recounted elsewhere rather upset me. Anyway, The bogies see the brake lever castings and levers installed, plus the outer spring bump stops. The brake shoes have been glued together and their hangers fitted. I guess it’ll be getting the beggars into the bogie frames tomorrow.
  6. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    Brake hangers installed. Note how I’ve left the outer rods extended inside the A-frames. This is to make it just a bit easier to fix the yoke safety chains in place. I don’t bother with the inner yoke chains - they’re invisible under normal circumstances.

    I have also spent a few minutes tidying up the bearing faces of the horn guides so the brass blocks are a smooth sliding fit.

    More plastic bits next, for the moulded leaf springs.
  7. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    This is the plastic moulding for the bogie springs and axleboxes. Ten little pegs are also provided, bottom right. We only need eight, but Slater's correctly assume at least one will be needed to feed the carpet monster.


    The pegs go into holes at the top of each hornguide. A drop of superglue holds them. Each hole needs carefully opening with a taper broach to lose the etch cusp and let the peg fit without being forced in place.

    The leaf spring mouldings have a pair of holes on the reverse to accept the end of each peg. I find the holes need drilling with a 1.1mm bit just for a nice fit. A drop of MEK holds the springs in place, held at the correct offset from the bogie side frames.


    Next, to try and finagle the yokes into place with the shoes, helped a bit by temporarily fitting a wheelset. The yokes went in well enough, but then I wanted to fix the brake shoe hangers at the correct place in relation to the wheel tread. It all went to pieces from there. One brake shoe parted company from its hanger. I lost my temper with it, and as it’s Friday afternoon I’ve given up for the week.

    I’ll clear the bench for the weekend, and have another look at things on Monday. The first thing will be to attempt repairs on the shoe - not simple, since the hanger pivot has pulled through the plastic. Strong words and sensible glue will be required, but equally some way to ensure the shoe sits at the correct angle to the wheel.

    You can see why I lost my temper with it.
  8. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Back at the bench again. First job: try to fix the broken brake shoe.


    The problem had been the brass wire acting as a pivot for the hanger had pulled through the plastic. First, I attempted to repair what I had using superglue and baking soda. While it gave enough material to drill out the broken hole, it also successfully filled the slot where the hanger fitted. Even carefully trying to create a slot with a razor saw proved a waste of time. In the end, I selected one of the "spare" hangers intended for the plastic bogies. I managed to cut the slot and drill the hole, and you can see the result on the right. Happy with that, it was back to where it all went base over apex on Friday and I could make progress again.


    Despite having constructed two pairs of these bogies before, I haven’t really learned from my mistakes. This time, I thought it might be worth ignoring the instruction sequence and installed a wheelset properly so it helped arrange the dangly bits in about the right places while I worked. Top hat bearings are fitted to the machined blocks and held in place with a drop of cyano. Being ever so careful not to - PING! Damn. Good job I have spares of the tiny phosphor bronze springs! The safest method I’ve found of installing the springs is to slide the bearing on the hornguide, then gently hold it in place sufficient to let the spring sit on the retaining pegs on the bogie and bearing. A drop of cyano at the bearing end of the spring is enough to persuade it not to bounce off into orbit.


    Once that’s done, the bearings-plus-springs can be handled a little more casually. You have to fit the bearings to each wheelset, then attempt to align things to drop the whole caboodle into the hornguide. Some deft soldering is done to fix the hornguide tie bars in place, and one wheelset is installed, ready for the brakes to be arranged.


    Safety chains are optional. You can see the arrangement, with a 0.5mm diameter copper wire "eyebolt" to attach it to the yoke. I’ve already mentioned I only fit these to the outer yokes because things aren’t so visible on the inner ones.


    After some fiddling, each yoke is fitted into its relevant brake shoes, and a small piece of 0.5mm brass wire is used to attach the rod end to the lever. I’ve realised it makes much more sense to solder the levers solid. They don’t need to be movable, to be honest, even though it’s fun for about five minutes to gently tug the levers to pull the brakes on and off. I fitted the inner yokes first, then the outer ones once I’d fitted their chains you saw just now. A very quick dab of solder fixes the brake shoe hangers in the right place in relation to the wheels. Cyano would be adequate, and safer, to do this job.


    The final act is to carefully encourage the loose end of each safety chain over the extended hanger rods and fix them with a drop of cyano. The plastic axleboxes and the side steps will be fitted later.

    Now to repeat the whole process on the other bogie. I should have it done before the evening meal.
  9. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer


    Today's view from my workbench. It’s about 20cm where it’s drifted. I don’t think we have any more due, so it’s just waiting for the thaw. Billy-puss isn’t too impressed. Cold stuff deeper than his legs! He did insist, but didn’t stop out for long.


    Since we have a fairly well-stocked larder and freezer(s), I don’t plan on heading anywhere until most of the white stuff has melted. Staying inside, in the warm, accompanied by a nice hot soldering iron, I finished all the hot work on these blighters. The J-hanger castings fought me, but I won in the end. Step board brackets were a breeze. Soldering around plastic parts... :confused:

    Both have now had an ultrasonic bath (tap water with a dash of Viakal) to clear flux residues. When they’re dry, I’ll do a bit of chemical blackening, glue the axleboxes on, and wait on my replacement airbrush so I can begin to think about painting things again.

    One more brake third to build, one more pair of these bogie kits. Mad that I am, I’m contemplating making a proper start on the latter, just to get the perishing things out of the way! Wish me luck.
    john lewsey, 3 LINK, dibateg and 7 others like this.
  10. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Great decision.

    Photos and please describe the jig that you have used - still not sure what the jig does for the resulting bogie so I hope to understand at the third time of viewing.

    regards, Graham
    Last edited: 9 February 2021
    Heather Kay likes this.
  11. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    The jig is really simple, and only used for one operation. I’ll cover it, I promise.


    Here’s one of the newly-finished bogies under the brake third. The bend in the footstep is due to a mild mismatch in height between the end supports, plus the step fractured at the thinnest point while cleaning it up. Still, I expect the real thing twisted occasionally, being grown on trees and all.

    I have resolved to tackle the next and final pair, with as much documentation of the process as I can manage. Watch this space.
  12. Threadmark: A link to a bogie construction thread
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    You know already, but in case you missed it I’ve started a thread on building the Slater's etched brass bogie kits over in the Workshop section.

    The idea is not to clutter this thread, but also to leave a standalone thread that may prove of use to other builders.

    Coach construction will resume in due course.
  13. Threadmark: Considering interiors
    Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Thoughts are beginning to turn to sorting out the interiors of the coaches. I have a cunning plan I’m keen to tryout.

    I have thoroughly confused myself today, trying to pin down what sort of things were going on inside Maunsell coaches by the 1960s. I assume the interior panel work would have pretty much remained as built, but I can’t believe seating would have survived some three decades in service without being recovered at some point.

    The Southern Railway Email Group web site has some useful colour photos of the Maunsells preserved on the - I think - the Bluebell Railway. The vehicles are preserved in Southern Railway livery, and appear to have had interiors restored to match the original build. The interior shots of first and third class compartments are down the page linked here.

    As it happens, I found a Flickr album of various seating moquette swatches. Some are suitable for early SR and BR (SR), and you will find the Bluebell Railway moquettes in the set. My question, though, is which of the numerous patterns is most likely to have been used when refurbishing these coaches after the Second World War?

    I’m sure one of you Southern fans will be able to advise. Ta.
  14. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Hi Heather. Interior finishes and seat moquette patterns are indeed an absolute nightmare to research. It would seem that so many enthusiasts specialising in, writing accounts, publishing books etc., on the subject of rolling stock, have gone to great lengths detailing every single feature and peculiar design quirk of the exteriors - but never seem to pay any more than scant attention to interior finishes - if at all, that is!

    I have spent thirty plus years trying to find out what fabrics were used, and when, for my own illustration work, usually with little success.

    What I can be fairly sure of though, is that seat moquette was generally regarded to have a useful working life of up to twelve years. As far as British Railways were concerned, that meant at least twenty odd years before replacement?!

    Another thing that I can positively reassure you, is that both BR Southern Region, and the Eastern (at least) still continued to re-order the original fabric designs (presumably on the basis of a "repairs and renewals" budget?) from the earlier companies! New fabrics tended to be initially reserved for nice, shiny, modern, capital expenditure projects?!

    I fancy everything got a bit bonkers, where almost anything went, from the middle sixties onwards!

    There are recorded instances where, during a particularly desperate shortage of material, some Southern, 4SUB units were upholstered in the classic London Transport bus moquette!

    "Hold tight", "Any more fares please" and all that!

    Be that, as it may, it is probably safe to say that pre (that absolutely awful, all consuming, all-over grey, corporate image) "Trojan" design, the "Chain link" and "Octopus" patterns were the most commonly applied.

    On the Southern Region, "Candy Cane" (red version for smoking and green for non-smoking compartments) was used widely, and lasted into the blue era - albeit in a rather grim and extremely grimy state!

    Hope this helps a bit?


    P.S. Was hoping to upload a couple of images, but encountered a problem. Will try again in the morning!
  15. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Heather , interiors aghhhh . I have spent tooooo long trying to find colours of seats and panelling on some LNWR coaches recently but finally settled on what seemed to be a consensus then when you place the roof on you can hardly see anything anyway and i haven't fitted the glazing yet . Why do we bother ??
    Cheers Paul
  16. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    It does, Peter, it does. I am now very tempted by the preserved coach patterns, which are suitably bold and will actually be noticeable through the windows on the coach.

    I think it’s because we can. I want to try and move on from simply painting the seats red or green. ;)
    Mike Garwood, Peter Insole and AJC like this.
  17. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Heather, so pleased to be of assistance. Now having built you up, I hope I don't let you down again?!

    We had a go at printing some fabrics for Love Lane stock, but experienced problems with clarity when reducing the patterns down to 7mm scale.

    The previously mentioned BR., "Octopus" (below) was much too fine, lacking sufficient definition:

    BR sprig-octopus scan201a REVISED 3b.jpg BR sprig-octopus scan229b.jpg

    The second image is a double repeat of the pattern, showing actual sizes. It was traced for artwork from an original sample in my collection, and drawn with the colours beefed and brightened up quite a bit.

    Too much as it happened!

    I was in the process of doing the same thing (again tracing and simplifying from a genuine sample) with "Chain Link", in the hope that the bolder design might work a bit better?

    BR Chainlink print zpoint 426 b.jpg

    I was perhaps a little more determined than the good folks there, who were evidently not so convinced that the effort was worth pursuing, so the idea ended up being put out to grass!

    Measurements can be provided from an original sample of the BR., 1951, "Cartwheel", first class fabric. Incidentally, the quite substantial piece was used by the Bluebell for copying during the restoration of the vehicle shown in your link, and there is a bit of a story attached to procurement of the said item, but I fear that in telling, there may be a risk of embarrassing an utterly honourable individual, as well as becoming yet another thread bomb?!

    Do persist with your ideas though.

    It is always worth having a go!


    Attached Files:

  18. LarryG

    LarryG Western Thunderer

    I use broad brush stokes when patterning GWR seats. When seen through windows of 4mm scale coaches, it is effective because anything finer is a waste of effort. I got the ideas from preserved coaches after filtering out the 'duds'.

    Having rode in pre-group, big-four and BR coaches, all I can remember is the seat colours and patterns just did not register! Yet for some reason I have clear memories of moquette pattern seating or plain brown leather seating in buses.
    Peter Insole likes this.
  19. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Peter, if I may, I’m going to snaffle the basic dimensions from your illustrations there. That’ll save me a bit of head scratching trying to recreate the tiled pattern to fit the Slater's seating.

    Like Larry says, perhaps a broad brush approach rather than dedicated scale representation is the way to attack this.
  20. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    I shamefully and completely forgot to mention the solution discovered by Bob, one of our own, and much respected Love Lane geniuses!

    He used acrylic paints, using the same distinctive colour ways as the required pattern, but applied it by flicking wet off a stiff brush to obtain a fine and slightly irregular, textured patination effect.

    I am happy to say that it worked superbly on the Quint-art set!

    Way back, when I was working in the commercial studios I frequently used a special "spatter cap" on my airbrush that produced a very controllable, variably fine to coarse, speckled finish! I still have the fitting somewhere amongst all the detritus of my past lives, and it would probably be perfect for the task - if only I knew where to find it?

    Pencarrow's wonderful concreting, only with nice, warm and cosy looking colours instead of the cool, stony ones should be an inspiration.

    Personally, while I still hanker for absolute accuracy, and always live in hope that someone will find a way to conquer, I have to remind myself that "appearance" should always be the ultimate goal!