Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Brass Roofs

Himself is doing that thing he often does where he's progressing multiple projects at the same time.

As well as preparing 143 for painting and assembling the body of bowsider 20, he's also got around to cutting and bending the brass roofs for a couple of superbarns I built last year.

Nearest the camera is the latest observation car, 152, which is quite a complex job.

As well as making the sure the front edge of the roof followings the curvy profile of the carriage body he's also going to solder in the two window pillars made from brass, create a lip along the underside which will keep the top rail of the sides nice and straight and also add some depth to the underside to represent the ornate ceiling on these latest luxury carriages.


The one behind is rather more straightforward.

It's 120, the latest of the second series of third class saloons.

Most of the other details have been completed on this carriage, such as the interior and under floor detail.

Once the roof is fixed in place he'll be adding the finishing touches like the vac pipes and the handrails either side of the entrance doors before moving on to paint it.

152 will be heading back in my direction for the fitting of its exceptionally posh interior, the parts of which are already cast in resin.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Twenty Twenty

After my (assisted) efforts to construct a Worsley carriage body Himself has continued with another of the batch I have bought, which is an additional model of bowsider 20.

Our existing model, which is also a Worsley one, is finished in the two-tone red and ivory livery the carriage was turned out in back in 1988 - which was the original nominal year setting for Dduallt.

If my memory is correct, 20 was the only one of the bowsiders which escaped having all its beading stripped off in the 1970s, and so when the 'Mountain Prince' livery was introduced the ivory went in the panels aping the green and ivory livery so familiar from the revival era in the 1950s.

Now, of course, 20 wears the incredibly depressing pain dark green livery of the Col. Stephens era.

As such it will make a nice wee set for the layouts running with our model of 16 and van 2 (I still call it 10).

Saturday, 19 January 2019

In Bits

143 has moved into the paint shop (sort of).

The last detailing parts have been added to the main boiler unit and it's been split into the sub-assemblies readying for a coat of primer.

The issue with the two motor units running at different speeds has been resolved by exchanging the slower running one for a spare we had in stock.

Himself did manage to get the metal worm gear off the shaft with the application of brute strength, but it was damaged in the process, so he's ended up robbing one of the unbuilt kits for a nylon replacement and begun scouring the internet to find a source for another one of those.

The only one he's found is from a supplier in Germany who don't ship to the UK - has Brexit already happened? I think we should be told!

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Brass Master

I've been getting a masterclass in soldering carriage bodies together from Himself - it was long overdue.

I've obtained a selection of 'scratch aid' kits from Worsley Works for vehicles which we need to add to our stock, or update other models, and I thought the easiest one to start with might be the NWNGR 'Glasdstone Car'.

Well, the body might be rather simple, with no droplights or ventilator hoods to solder on, nor tricky tumblehomes to bend, but easy? Not really.

One of the issues, as I discovered, is that the etches are something like the 3D puzzles you got on the Krypton Factor (kids, ask your parents) on account of the fact they come with no instructions.

So it took a while to work out how it was intended to go together, in particular with the blocks which hold a nut to secure the floor to the body - we eventually realised they were supposed to go within the central glazed compartment.

I learned a number of useful wrinkles during the afternoon, like employing a good old bulldog clip to hold one piece down on the edge of a thick sheet of glass, which also makes an excellent surface for helping to ensure your body remains square and sits flat.

Another tip was to have a small piece of thin cardboard you can place between the model and your finger tips which acts as an excellent insulator when the brass heats up.

One of the most awkward aspects of these kits, especially this one with its exceptionally flimsy window pillars, is the need to butt join at the corners.

The idea was that I was supposed to do most of the soldering but, inevitably, it ended up with Himself taking over for jobs like these.

Still, we had a basic body shell at the end of the session.

Now it's up to me to do something about making up the interior.

Oh, and don't mention the bogies, especially to Himself. It's a bit of a sore point.

(But let the record show I was right!)

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

So Solid

I popped in to check in on Himself and get the low down on the Garratt test running session the other day.

He was in the process of swapping round motors on the power units to confirm his suspicions that one was running much slower (or faster) that the other, and that is was nothing to do with the chassis.

We do have some spare Mashima motors in stock - and does appear possible to order replacements online - the issue is more that having loctite'd the worm gear onto the shaft of the slow running motor he has yet to find a method of removing it so it can be transferred to a replacement.

So the search is on for a source of additional worm gears.

We'll get there, I'm sure....

I also noticed on the workbench the first signs of something happening towards our fifth Garratt, number 130.

The final batch of Backwoods Kits came with spoked wheels, rather than the solid ones that the real locomotives had, so Himself's plan for that is to fill the holes between the spokes with Millput.

But the time it's painted black and hidden behind the frames and those huge balance weights no one will know the difference.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Go Forth And Multiply

143 is a runner!

After muttering that he was struggling to get the motivation to head back to the workbench after six months enforced break, imaging my surprise when a video shot by Andy Strathie pinged into my inbox the other night showing our fourth Garratt galloping around the test track at the Greenock and District MRC HQ.

Himself tells me that he's not entirely happy with it yet.

The front power unit is running about 50% faster than the rear, which he is putting down to a variation in the motors rather than anything mechanical in the chassis department.

I recall that we had this happen on our K1 and ended up re-motoring it.

More fettling required with this one, I suspect.

Friday, 11 January 2019

Not Much To See

The early stages of a model are rarely spectacular.

So it is with the masters for Van 51.

I've cut the base piece for one side to which I will later add the beading detail on top.

This is going to be my third model of this van.

The first shows it in it's almost original condition with a covered entrance vestibule in place of the balcony, and finished in cherry red livery.

The second one is finished in the later engineers livery with the grey at the bottom and the yellow in a band around the windows.

Since then it reverted back to red livery, and now back to its very first livery of green, but this time with a third window in the bottom end.

I hope it'll be an interesting little project.