Friday 19 February 2010

Now where was I?

After a rather busy couple of weeks with things both work, and non-work, I've a moment to catch up with progress.  At the start of February, I'd got to the stage where the cab interior was nearly completed and I simply had a few details to attach to the firebox back.

As with all of the kit that I've completed so far, the parts are beautifully prepared, and assembly is a joy.  This picture shows the etched regulator handle shaped and soldered to a length of straight brass wire.  This was prior to cleaning up, so fitted it looks a little neater.  But for comparison of the size, the object in the background is a fibreglass burnishing pencil...


A tip for anyone contemplating doing something similar.  Not only did I solder the join through the pivot over-length and then trim it back, but I left the whole of the length of the wire in place as a handle.  I drilled through the entire firebox back and soldered it in place from the rear.

I then snipped it flush and filed down the rear to remove the solder blob.  I then repeated it for the two pieces of wire that form the firebox door handles.  And this is the completed item.


A masterpiece in kit design and manufacture...  So that's it for the cab interior at the moment.  More on other areas later.  For now, I've got an Alan Gibson E4 kit to drool over.

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Too busy!

To write things up, that is!  There has been much modelling going at home, but not much spare time to write this blog up :-(

On the Pug, the cab is finished, and one day so will be my notes, and there has also been baseboard shaped activity as well, taking advantage of a quiet weekend.  More on that soon, but for the meantime here's a taster showing how I solved the "three hands" dilemma to solder the regulator through the firebox backhead...


And yes, those are a pair of Pug sideframes in the background.  More soon!

Monday 1 February 2010

That was tough!

A couple of hours more this evening working on the Pug.  All spent on the firebox build, and if I'm to do it properly, an intensive and painstaking job.

It started off by the curving and building of the firebox itself.  The tab and bend method works very well, helped by the half-etched lines that help form an even curve.  I started by tack-soldering the ends in place, and then filling the rest of the join around the entire edge with a fillet of solder.

After this can fixing the lost-wax brass castings of the steam turret and the safety valves.  The ends of the steam turret are drilled out slightly and some 0.5mm wire soldered in to represent the pipes.  They aren't quite even, but I had a heavy handed fitter in the shed at the time of the last bout of maintenance ;-)

The handwheels are so delicate that I really didn't want to flood them with solder, and I am already using two different grades to stop previous work falling apart - 188 degree and 147 degree on this.

I then had to switch to the 70 degree solder to start on the firebox back.  The gauge glasses are now in place and the holes drilled for the wire on which the firehole door handles and the regulator will be mounted.  The casting is only propped in place at the moment, and the gap around the edge won't be there when it is soldered in place.


And that's it for the moment.  I'm out of the country for work tomorrow, so it'll be the end of the week before I can pick up a soldering iron again.  And yes, soldering these sort of details is tough on the eyes and the fingers!

A start

Well, in Sunday I had some free time to make a start on the High Level Kits chassis kit for the Dapol Pug.

After five minutes the Dapol body was reduced to its constituent parts:

There is one typo in the instructions that confused me at the outset - it refers to unclipping the cab at the sides and FRONT of the cab, where a quick look at the model showed that the clip was at the REAR.  Simple to spot, so not exactly a deal-breaker.  The metal weight is the source of ballast for the original model, and the space where it sits will be occupied by a motor in future.  I'm going to have to be slightly cleverer to get more weight into my model.

One of the next steps is to remove the hideous cab shutter that formerly disguised the motor that intruded into the cab.  This was done by using a miniature drill with a burr in it to carve away the mass of the shutter, then finished off with a scalpel.  I managed to do it without breaking any parts of the cab, nor carving off the beading around the opening, but I made one slip when trimming the very last bit off.  I hadn't realised that I was so close to the back of the cab window and scratched it with the tip of the scalpel.  So that's a bit of disguising that needs doing in the weathering stage.  Ho hum...


It's a fantastic improvement to get rid of the shutter and to be able to look straight through the cab.

 After that, things went well, with the replacement cab floor fitted, some dummy front frames, and then onto the two coal bunkers that are in either side of the cab.  These are exquisite pieces of design, all folding up from a single piece of nickel silver.  They are finished off with some 0.4mm brass rod and etched handles for the injectors.  This shows just how small and delicate they are.

The piece of wire sticking out the front of the bunker is as yet unidentified.  It may be a handle for the coal-door, but it isn't clear yet.  Therefore I've left it overlength until its use is clear.  I don't want my fireman catching his shins on it.

And after three very satisfying hours, that is it :-)  More tonight if I get chance...