Sunday 21 December 2014

Reply to Phil :-)

It seems that I can't post an image in a reply on Blogspot, so I'll have to do it as a separate post...

Phil said "If the wagon floors are plastic, bend the wires in to a U shape and push them through with a soldering iron. When you take the heat away, they are perfectly fixed in place."

Well, that was what I used to do :-)

Then I became a little tired of waving a hot soldering iron around in the close vicinity of a detailed and finished plastic or whitemetal wagon, or the up-down-up of trying to fix the two staples at the correct height to make it all work consistently. 

So I sat down and had a bit of a think, and fired up CorelDraw.  The result is this little set of etches that fold up into a bracket that takes the appropriate sized wires at a standardised height and spacing:

The whole sub-assembly is built up off the wagon, soldered together well away from anything that can be damaged, and with ease of working.  Then it can be glued/melted/screwed onto the wagon floor:

Epoxy resin is my preferred method of fitting, as it fills the grooves that I drew into the bottom for grip, and goes through the holes to form little "mushrooms" that lock it in place.

Jigs for the loop and mount spacing are etched into the side of the fret (you can see them in the top picture) so that the  bending of them from straight wire is consistent.

I forgot to write myself a reminder to mix proper epoxy though!



I can be so stupid at times.  Particularly first thing in the morning before having sufficient coffee...

Important lesson #237.

When doing a batch build of Sprat & Winkle couplings to fasten to a set of five LNWR wagons, pay very careful attention to the tubes in your box of Araldite.

Because if you are careful, you won't accidentally mix the five-minute resin with the 24 hour *resin*.  If I'd managed to mix the wrong resin with the wrong hardener, it wouldn't be as bad as this.  I'm sure that something would have stuck.  As it was, having left them like this upside down all day to set...

...then it wouldn't be the case that when I picked the first one up and turned it the right way up, the coupling fell off in a sticky mess!

Oh well, back to the mixing spoon and the workbench.

Happy Christmas!

Sunday 7 December 2014

Dileberate vandalism

That's what I felt like after adding an etched brass brake lever to this Ratio kit.

Not because it was difficult to make - in fact, nothing could have been simpler.  But the act of replacing the plastic version that had been provided in the kit, and had at some point lost the handle at the end showed me just how easy it was to do, and what an improvement in looks it gave.

That's why I'm musing whether a little "accident" shouldn't befall the currently intact one that is still on the other side of the wagon...

Probably not this time, but I do know that in all new builds of LNWR wagons, I'll be using these etched brass replacements.  It's a component from 51L, by the way, and well worth the pennies to keep a few in stock.  

Later tonight I may have chance to give it a little self-etch primer and later in the week a waft of colour and weathering...


Tuesday 2 December 2014

Rivet or weld?

In real life I can just about manage to wield a (pop) riveter with dexterity, but the last time that I tried my hand at welding, the results looked just like something that had recently passed through one of the local pigeons.  It didn't do much for the door of my Mini either, which fell off shortly afterwards...

Back with modelling, I've been a little more successful in completing the test builds of the 5522 LMS coach bogies.

I initially made up the riveted version, using it as the test bed to write the instructions for the kit.

Satisfied with that, I have just finished building the welded variant, which can be made from the same kit.  The basic differences are to not add a few rivets here, and to put in some welded ribs there...

I'm very pleased with both of the bogies.  I now need to cast a much larger stock of the axleboxes and bolsters, and think about how best to pack them.

Many thanks to Keith Norgrove for also doing a test build based on my first draft of the instructions, and making many useful suggestions on how to improve them.  Any errors or ambiguities that remain are entirely down to me.

Now to think about a test build of an underframe for them to sit beneath...