Thursday, 2 January 2014

Ball Games

A most important consideration with a brass locomotive kit is to add as much extra weight as you can wherever you can.

In the case of Welsh Pony it means stuffing it into the empty space in the saddle tank and also filling the voids inside the firebox and the smokebox.

This was not as easy as it sounds, however, because they have both been soldered into position on the frame.

The only way to add weight was to drill a small hole and fill them with tiny metal balls - known to the model trade as liquid lead - but getting it in there was quite a challenge.

It proved impossible to pour it in and Himself resorted to dropping them in one by one with a pair of tweezers!

Getting the shot into the saddle tank was much more straightforward. It could be poured and fixed in place with a coating of glue.

It won't be as heavy as the old Langley white metal Englands but this should give Welsh Pony a bit more grunt than it would otherwise have.


  1. I do hope 'himself' didn't fix the liquid lead with PVA glue as MRJ has recently carried some horror stories about long-term expansion of the shot, due to the formation of lead acetate salts on the surface, that have split boilers, foreboxes and smokeboxes of etched loco kits made many years ago. Even rolled lead sheet secured with PVA has caused problems. Adrian

  2. I found a piece of brass tube with a inside diameter as small as possible to allow the balls to roll down and soldered a tinplate funnel to one end. I had to shake it.

    PVA and lead react as the previous post says.