Archive for January, 2016

Unfinished projects

Posted on January 17, 2016. Filed under: Project progress |

Here’s one from 2001 that’s still unfinished. Why is it taking so long?

My beautiful picture       An early tender attempt

This was my first soldering project, based on a Brassmasters kit. I found the compensation instructions difficult to follow, I didn’t know what to do about the tender tank overlays, and I had little prototype information.

Later, in 2004, I took it apart and made a fresh start.

44695 Tender 2 160116       New scratch underframe

I modelled some nice detail, but the design was flawed. The Brassmasters tender was in three parts: tank body, underframe and inside chassis. I was now trying to make the tank body and underframe as a single unit. Unfortunately, the tank body and some other vital parts were destroyed beyond use in the previous dismantling, and I didn’t know what to do next.

Having decided to model Black five 44722 paired with a Stanier part welded tender, I bought the tender add-on kit in 2005. This came with flat etched tender side overlays, which needed bending to form the turn-in along the top. The project lay dormant until this year, by which time I’d made, or part-made, four more tenders. One of them, the second Caley Coaches kit I assembled, involved a new scratch body to increase the height, as well as rounded corners. This gave me the motivation to return to 44722’s tender.

44695 Tender 3 160117       One final push in 2016?

The key to project success for me is having the experience to know what to do under trying circumstances, and having the right tools and knowing how to use them. A vee block and rubber mallet increased my metal forming capabilities substantially.

This time I’m going to finish 44722’s tender. I hope.

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December progress

Posted on January 1, 2016. Filed under: Monthly progress |

If 2015 was the Year of the Tree, then 2016 is the Year of the Train.

Kyle of Sutherland began 2015 as a typical work-in-progress, but metamorphosed into a fully-fledged scenic model with over 50 trees by the time it went to Scotland in September. But this was at the expense of stock building.

In the last three months of 2015 I switched to rolling stock: the HR TPO, then more detailing of the Dunalastair IV and its tender (see Gallery for the latest), and in December I started a new loco, Pickersgill 54495 of Helmsdale. I first increased the height of its kit tender, which involved rather more new parts and modifications to kit parts than I expected. After solving most of the tricky 4-4-0 loco design problems on the Dunalastair IV, my first objective with 54495 is simply to get the footplate/cab/boiler geometry and construction right. The cab shell was first carefully tacked to the assembled footplate (see “Project progress: A new loco kit”) to form an accurate base on which to test the loosely assembled boiler unit.

54495 Scratch 2 151231      Pickersgill mock-up with card height gauges

The smokebox is about a quarter of a millimetre too high, but it’s only temporarily tacked together. When unsoldered I’ll trim the height, add rivets to the smokebox front and, being sure of the position of the upper frames, I can add more rivets to the wrapper and general details before re-soldering.

With help from the Devon Finescale Modellers Group, there is enough rolling stock, but not locos, to make a 10-train, exhibition sequence. Fortunately, I enjoy loco building. Let’s hope I continue to do so during the coming months as I try and complete 54495 as well as return to Black Five, 44722, whose tender I started way back in 2001 as my first soldering project, and later dismantled because it wasn’t good enough.

Happy New Year!

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    The epic struggle to build a model railway exhibition layout at 4mm to the foot


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