As a change from the painting, yesterday I decided to stop dithering and see if I could get the tram engine actually moving under its own power...
I had already glued in place some gapped copperclad board and given it a coating of solder to ensure that the subsequent work took well to it. This is the preparation underneath the chassis, and also shows the amount of space that I have to work with.
As a reminder, the gearbox is one of the slimline High Level models which is articulated so that it fits underneath the boiler. It is the 1:108 ratio (I think!) to ensure that the tram can creep along at an appropriately slow pace. You can also see the guitar strings in place from the CSB suspension arrangement.
These are the pickups themselves. Made by twisting phosphor bronze wire (in straight packs from Eileen's Emporium, rather than battle with coils of the stuff) around a 2mm wagon axle with a slot cut in the end. Inspiration from Morgan Gilbert in the thread here (look a third of the way down...)
And these are them in place. The gearbox limited the amount of space that I had available for one pair, but there is still enough flexibility for them to cope with the suspension movement. As the tram wears skirts, I didn't have to worry about the ends of the wires being visible next to the tyres.
This is it completed. You can see how low in the chassis the motor and gearbox sit. It's on my short test board. I hooked up a pentroller to it, turned on the juice, and off it went :-)
It can do with a little lubrication, and some gentle running in to aid smoothness and reduce motor noise, but it runs!
In this final shot it can just be seen through the door and window when the body is fitted. This will be covered by the boiler.
Although this works successfully, I'm still not confident or happy with fitting sprung pickups (and this method is the best that I've tried so far) so I'm fairly certain that the next new-build locomotive that I start will be a split-chassis one.