Monday, 12 November 2018

On The Rails

There's been a significant development on the bunker on the rear power unit of 143.


Himself has fitted the rails around the top edge which keep the coal in when it's piled high.

On a Double Fairlie things like these are known as 'greedy boards', is there an equivalent for a Garratt?

143 is the only one of the WHR fleet to have rails on the bunker and they're quite a distinctive feature.

I think it's important to make these wee adaptations, wherever reasonable, to make a more accurate model.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Getting Cranky

The good news is that the 14BA tap has arrived in the post.

The bad news - for Himself - is that it means he's run out of excuses for not tackling the motion on the power units of 143, our latest Backwoods NGG16 build.


They've now been fitted onto the axles on the front unit and the coupling rods secured in place.

If you're wondering why the leading axle has a plastic collar on it and the others don't, allow me to explain.

The second generation NGG16 kits came with plastic bushes to help attach the cranks onto the axles, so they could be glued in place rather that soldered.

Himself decided that this was rather a good idea for the front axle because that also carries the plastic gears, which are vulnerable to damage from the heat when you solder the crank on.

He tells me that it is 'much easier' to protect the plastic wheel centres on the other two axles, which is why he has opted to solder them.

Readers may make up their on minds on exactly what degree of understatement has been used in the words ' much easier'....

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Filling In The Boxes

I've had another productive session on 120.


All the various bits which I include on the underframes of the superbarns have been added.

The big box on the right hand side is the diesel-fuel heater and the smaller box opposite it is the fuel tank.

Himself will add the vacuum brake pipe which runs all along the side of the underframe when I hand it over to him to fit the brass roof.

The next thing I'll be doing is turning it over and gluing in all the seat and table sets which I've already cast in resin.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Rear Of The Year

I'm probably showing my age by referencing that annual contest so beloved of the tabloid newspapers.

Does it still exist? (Somehow I doubt it.)

Anyway, that's a roundabout way of introducing a post on the progress with 143.

Himself has begun on the bodywork on the rear power unit.


This is a picture of the inner former all folded up and in position.

There have been some modifications made.

The tank has been shortened at the front by 2.5mm and the mounting modified to represent the current tanks on this engine.

Second picture shows it with the overlays fitted with to represent the welded tank and the rear cut outs have been lengthened a little big at as well.

This shows the current state of progress on the whole locomotive.


The rails around the top of the coal bunker still need to be fabricated and fitted.

The good news is that the 14BA tap has finally arrived so Himself will be moving onto the motion soon.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

The Tricky Bit

I bit the bullet and got on with my least favourite part of a carriage build yesterday - adding the truss rods.


I've never been as comfortable working with brass as I am with styrene and having to bend angles doesn't help matters.

I find I have to mark the shape out on paper first as a template to measure it against, and even then it takes many attempts to get it right with the angle either too much or too little until eventually I get it right.

This time is was relatively painless and now I can get on with adding all the boxes and things which also hang underneath the carriage.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Skirting The Issue

Spending a hour at the workbench feels like a bit of an achievement after rather too long away.

I've fitted the skirt around the bottom of the chassis of 120.


Of course it's not really a skirt in real life, it's the big, solid underframe that the body sits on, but that's all part of the illusion of making a model.

This is a lot easier if you get exactly the right size of styrene strip to begin with, which is what I've done in this case.

On previous carriages in the series I've run out of this stuff and had to cut long pieces from a big sheet.

Not only do you have to ensure that they are completely straight and the same width all along, but I've also found that when you make the cut it leaves a slight angle on the edges so that when you glue it in place it sometimes develops a lean inwards or outwards.

Using the proper stuff generally avoids this issue and saves a lot of hassle, although with the price of a packet of strips now hitting £6 it's getting quite pricey.

I found a very old, empty packet at the bottom of my stash last night - probably dating back around 25 years - and it still had a price label on it showing less than £1.50.

A 300% percent increase!

I wonder how this compares to overall cost of living over that period?

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Copy Cat

I'm afraid to say I've had one of those periods where not a lot has moved on the project on my workbench - Superbarn 120.

My intention is to start work on the underside of the chassis first and to remind myself what needs to go under there and where I've borrowed one of the fleet of other Superbarn carriages as a guide.


Hopefully its presence might spur me into action.