Monday 21 June 2010


I had last week as holiday from work, and other than getting a lot more modelling done, we had the opportunity to just chill out and do things.  On Friday Anne and I went into London to spend the day going around galleries.

To Tate Britain first, and then on to the National Gallery.  I was, as usual, completely entranced with the Turners, and not just because "Rain, Steam and Speed" includes a Green With Rivets train.

It's because Turner is such an inspiration on how an impression of substance, colour and movement can be created with just a few strokes of a brush.  When it comes to scenic works on a model railway, I definitely want to try and be inspired to create the depth and emotion in the scenery that he does on canvas.  Hmmm.... I wonder if I should try art classes before painting my backscene.


Friday 18 June 2010


Well, I couldn't get enough heat from a soldering iron into the gear wheel from my soldering iron.  It's only a 50W iron, and even cranked up to full, the heatsink of the brass gear was too great to stop it getting any hotter than uncomfortably warm.

So it was out with the Dremel, and the careful use of the slitting disc...  I had to make a series of cuts to first of all get the gearbox out, then to extract the gear wheel itself.  There wasn't enough room to cut it immediately in the middle and slide the axles out.

This picture shows the four parts that the axle wound up in!

From here, it was easy to use a gear puller to get the gear off the axle.  It was then cleaned up, and re-mounted on an axle stolen from my other Pug kit.  I must get some spares from Alan Gibson when I next see him at a show...


Monday 14 June 2010


Or, to put it another way, does anyone know and effective method of removing Loctite 601?

In a burst of enthusiasm (okay, free time) on Friday and today, I finished off the Pug mechanically. This has not been without its trials and tribulations... In particular, it's only after assembling the whole thing that I found that there wasn't enough running clearance for the connecting rods to oscillate as needed between the original slidebars. Cue careful use of a dremel.

But the problem that I now have is this. Having followed the instructions to the letter, I tested everything out, and fixed the final drive gear on the driven axle with a tiny smear of superglue. This done, and suitably cured, I set it running on my rolling road.

After five minutes, the gentle whirr of the motor continues, but the rotation of the wheels stops. The gear wheel has slipped on the axle. It could actually be moved easily from side to side within the gear box.

So this time I reached for the Loctite 601, and intended to leave it to set firmly overnight. However, to avoid getting 601 where it wasn't needed, and knowing that it sets slowly, I applied some to the gear wheel with it in the middle of the gearbox and well away from anything else. I then intended to slide the gear wheel sideways until it meshed with the drive gear. You can tell what happened next...

Instant bonding. How come 601 never works this way with wheels? Whether it was because the axle was warm, I don't know, but what should have been fifteen minutes of adjustment room was changed into instantly setting solid with the gearwheel in the wrong place.

I've tried a little physical persuasion and it hasn't budged. The alternative to loosening the glue is to dismantle most of the chassis - not something I'm pleased with contemplating.

Can anyone suggest a non-destructive way of freeing off Loctite 601?


Tuesday 8 June 2010


It's been a while since I was able to find the time for some modelling, but I have been getting things ready for a final assembly session on the Pug.  To say that I'm slightly nervous about the clearances of the coupling rods behind the crossheads is rather an understatement...

I've found that during building this kit, being organised has always been essential.  Witness the case of the missing brake hanger as an example.

So when it came down to taking the Pug apart for painting I didn't want to mess up all of the neatly and precisely matched components that I had prepared earlier.  During previous stages each bearing, axle and what had been washed with a code of coloured dots to indicate their position in the chassis.   Also critical was getting the correct thickness of  washers behind each wheel, as there is not a huge amount of space to fit the clearances to the connecting rods in, and free play must be kept to an absolute minimum.

I then used the back of an old business card to mark out the respective positions of all of the components. The picture below illustrates:

Of course, the knack now is to not knock them on the floor!