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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, after many years of only doing plastic kits, wagons, coaches, etc., I am biting the bullet and jumping into something more adventurous. I have always had a soft spot for GWR 4-4-0s, and have had an Airfix City class kit for many years, saving to be built when I could motorise it. A couple of years ago I bought a Branchlines kit for it, and with now finishing off a BR Mk1 BSK Southern Pride coach (just need to paint the roof, the seats, and do the transfers!), this is next on the kit list.

So I have the Airfix plastic kit, a Dapol kit for if I break something, the Branchlines kit, books for reference (Russell's GWR locos volumes; City of Truro a Railway Legend), and have just ordered a couple of tools that apparently make things easier (a reaming broach for 1/8" axles, and the small comet oo gauge chassis jig spacers).

I suspect that I will need some help on more than one occasion, so hopefully posting up here will assist!

I have ordered 3706 'Melbourne' numbers and nameplates as some additional motivation.


When completed, this will be alongside Cities of London, Bath, and Truro (all Bachmann rtr's).

Updates to come in weeks ahead. Wish me luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
QUOTE (sean hpw @ 29 Jan 2014, 19:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Simon,

I look forward to this project, I have 3 of the city kits, so I shall watch your progress with interest.

One point that comes to mind, does the Branchlines kit come with wheels? of dp you need to get hold of some? also, you might need to add some extra weight to the body of the loco, as the plastic is very light!

Who knows, with some luck, you might end up with two more citys!

Sean

Thanks Sean - I just opened the box (had been keeping it as a surprise
) and noticed that it has a Dapol kit inside it already, so I now have 3 of the kits - 2 x Dapol, 1 x Airfix. The pieces in the Airfix one are MUCH better quality moulding than the Dapol ones, so I will probably go with that and keep the Dapols for spare parts.

It comes with everything that you need bar paint. Wheels, motor, gearbox, detail kit, chassis, etc. The Dapol kit has some transfers but they are pretty ordinary, so I have ordered the nameplates / numbers for 3706 Melbourne from Mainly Trains, and some better quality HMRS transfers for the tender. Livery will be green / black. As much as I love the Indian red / lined green, I think for a first loco build I will be happy if I end up with a smart green loco with black frames


I enquired yesterday about getting Bulldog wheels to build a Bird instead of a City, but they are out of stock of the cheap ones, and 20 quid is a bit hard to justify at this point when I have everything to build 'Melbourne'.

Methinks if this goes well, I'll stump up for another one with Bulldog wheels and build a Bird. That one will be 'Chaffinch'


The pieces:



And here is the BSK that I have just finished - just needs transfers, which are also on the way. I have chosen to not do the door hinges - although that may change later I doubt it, they just seem a little overscale on the fret to me, and not worth the pain and suffering of trying to to paint match 40+ 1mm square pieces of brass into the right position without ending up with dobs of glue on the side of the coach. It is a Southern Pride model, and I love the printed sides, makes for a very simple build. Lima bogies, and interior kit plus some people to make it look a bit more real...

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
QUOTE (sean hpw @ 30 Jan 2014, 10:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Well, I wish you well with the build Simon, as I say, I shall be watching with baited breath, and please post plenty of pictures, I am going to see if I can bodge together a city using mostly bits I have left over from other projects, the Dapol kit and some creativity the main expence there will be the wheels, the lining, as you say, will be interesting to do I would like to see a Bird too


The BSK is nice, I like the people, one thought, would a Bachmann Bogie (Hattons) not have looked better when finished, also the NEM Pocket is invaluable, and the metal wheels improve the running no end, just my thoughts of course...

Sean

Thanks Sean. The Lima bogies that came with it are actually pretty good (I have a few Bachmann Mk1s to compare with - they are better but not hugely so) and include metal wheels, so it runs really well already. Yes the couplings are not the best though - I may order some of the Bachmann ones with my next Hattons order and make the change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
QUOTE (sean hpw @ 1 Feb 2014, 00:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I can see that coach looking excellent on the B4 type bogie in that colour she is in.

I do admit I am mildly surprised at the running quality, as the Lima coaches (indeed the early Hornby ones too) have questionable running qualities, especially on point work.

One thought come to mind, (im not sure what you have in mind for your railway, so please excuse my ideas) is the Keen systems couplings, they are a cam system that hold the coaches corridor to corridor and expand around corners, they are very good in my oppinion, some people dont like them, but most of my coaches are being fitted out with them. just a thought to save the bogie swaping.

Sean

Thanks Sean, will check that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, a couple of books that have been recommended around the forum on building etched chassis locomotives are on the way, including "Etched Loco Construction" by Iain Rice; and a couple of DVDs on the same subject.

A pile of books on the City subject are now piled up on the sideboard! The transfers for the BSK should arrive any day, so then I can get that done and away. I want to finish the Bachmann split chassis Hall DCC conversion (which just needs a couple of screws drilling into the chassis, and liberal application of newly acquired liquid insulation (thanks Richard @ DCC Concepts) instead of the miles of electrical tape I used. Then nothing stands in the way! Except my own trepidation and lack of capability...
Ah well, only one way to learn!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Alright, the BSK is transferred and finished, and can go into the display cabinet (until the layout is operational!). The tiny screws to finish the Bachmann split chassis Hall DCC conversion have arrived (along with a couple of digital Cobalt point motor packs, so I can keep going on some of the track when I want a change).

Also arrived are a couple of really interesting DVDs (http://www.model-railway-dvd.co.uk/right_track1.php) that give me a bit more confidence. I have received the Iain Rice books too, and there is a huge amount of info in them.

Rather than keep going on the dining room table, we have moved the house around a bit so that I have some desk space that I can camp this on more permanently (hopefully not TOO permanently, but you know what I mean!) My wife is very supportive of my hobbies fortunately.
That desk re-organisation should be sorted by the weekend, and I have next week off work, so am planning on opening the scary etched packets Monday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, much easier to do images with a Gallery from Plus+ membership!



I'll take a pic of the BSK and post it. Not 100% happy with the waterslide transfers on a matt / satin background, but hey, it is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
QUOTE (kiwionrails @ 14 Feb 2014, 10:10) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Very nice working area you've got set up there Simon.
If my experience with the Branchlines Pug chassis kit was anything to go by, the CoT one should go together fairly smoothly.


Regards,

Cameron(Kiwionrails)

Thanks Cameron - the joys of Ikea...
I'm just happy that I have a space now that I can work on and leave the stuff there, not have to pack it all up constantly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·


Don't look too close, there are a few things that I'm not happy with... not least of which was a glue fingerprint inside a window
Grrr. Ah well... I've got some loctite glue remover, but not sure what it will do to the glazing...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, so construction has started - with the tender chassis.

And here is my first question (no doubt of many to come!)

As an assistant I am using a guide to building this Branchlines kit that was published in RM in July 2006. About the axles it comments to extend the axle tubes slightly for the front and rear axles, leaving the middle ones flush to the frames for greater sideplay.

This I have done, but was wondering how much I should allow them to extend. A photo will help:



The centre axle is 12.6mm end to end, so with a 14.5 b2b I have just under 1mm sideplay each side. At the moment I have the end axle at 14.3mm, so 0.1mm play, but was wondering what the consensus is for what I should allow there. And should I use a washer of some sort inside the wheel?
 

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QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 16 Feb 2014, 23:57) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** if I was building it for me, I'd allow perhaps 0.1mm at ends and n more than 0.5 on centre, but I do not know your track-work laying skills, radii or intentions for the drawbar design... so I'd follow the article as you have started to do, perhaps erring on the conservative side and leaving a little more.

Richard

Thanks Richard. Track will all be Peco 75. Minimum radius on the layout design is 700mm, however there is a single SL-E191 small radius point that will need to be negotiated, which is 610mm radius I believe. Draw bar design I have no idea at this stage.


I have realised that to guarantee electrical isolation from the chassis I will need to use a washer between the centre wheels and the frame, otherwise the wheel rims will potentially contact the frame. I would assume that will remove at least 0.5mm per side from the sideplay, so with 12.6mm centre axle width currently, increased to 13.6mm, I will have 0.45mm sideplay each side for the centre axle, and if I leave the end axles at 14.3mm that will give me 0.1 each side for end axles.

Some quick arc / radius calculations on that gives me a minimum radius given zero movement on the rail of 701mm
I would assume that the wheels will also move on the rail, so my radii should be fine with that amount of movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
QUOTE (Maz066 @ 17 Feb 2014, 20:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>You are a braver man than I
Good luck and keep your cool. Will be worth it when finished

I tell you now, if I can do it after having built plastic kits with my only prior exposure to brass etched parts being detailing on coach kits then you can do it too...
I figured that I have been putting off stretching my modelling skills for too long, and I should quit talking about doing this and actually do it.

I have been working on the brake rods today, and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. Even if it is only the tender at this stage! I'm happy with how my soldering skills are coming along, and I am happy with the tools and equipment that I am using, which makes a huge difference - instead of having to make do with tools that are not ideal for the job, I have invested in a few of the things that will make my life easier for this. So far so good...

More pics to come later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
OK, so thoughts please.

This City is going to be built as 3706 Melbourne in the livery she would have worn just before she was withdrawn in 1929 - plain unlined Green with black frames, and the brass removed from the splashers. Not only because I have no desire to line her out at this point
but because I have already got the Bachmann Cities in both lined green/black and lined green/indian red.

Now at that stage of her life she would have been fitted with a 3500 gallon tender, not the 3000 gallon one that comes with the Airfix kit. At this stage I am now wondering whether to just go with the 3000 gallon body that came with her. If I wanted to do a 3500, what suggestions for replacing the tender body?
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
OK, so I had done the water scoop incorrectly. The Branchlines instructions for the tender have some poor diagrams on how it goes, and there is other information in the detailing info that I had missed...

After looking at various photos and diagrams I realised that I had fitted it much too high - it would have never reached a trough! So it came back out, and instead of using the spindly little extender that is provided I built a false floor from 1mm styrene and fixed the scoop to that.



It now sits where it should, and looks to a not too detailed and close inspection fairly close to what it should from the photos and diagrams! So that's a win so far.
 

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OK, it's been a busy day on the work bench...





The tender chassis is completed. Since taking the pictures I have given it a better clean, fibre-glass brushed the wheels and as much of the frame as I can get to.

The end axles have no washers (the axles tubes standing 1mm proud of the body giving the required clearance), the centre axle has 0.5mm styrene washers. The water scoop rod that runs along between the back of two of the wheels and the tender body has had a 0.13mm thick clear styrene piece cyano'ed to it to prevent the wheels shorting out to the tender body (the supplied wheels are plastic inserts, so the axles are dead, but the tyres get very close to the scoop rodding).

Next step will be to pop the wheels back off, trim the axles so they fit inside the plastic body, prime and paint the whole thing.

I am very happy with how the tender has come together. I think I will do the tender body next, and then move on to the locomotive after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Overnight I built the tender body, glued, filed and filled... Today I cleaned, primed and matt black sprayed the tender chassis.



The axles are now cut to length, and next step is to temporarily bring it together to see how it all fits.
 

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Hmmm. Matching them up shows that the chassis dimensions are slightly wrong compared with the tender sides:



Shy of major surgery I can't see that being changeable. If I centre it so the centre axle is right I think will look best...

On to detailing the tender.

EDIT: The drawings show that the axles are at 7'6" spacings in real life. The chassis is correct at 30mm spacings. The Airfix plastic sides are not at 29mm (7'3") spacing. The body is the correct length, just the axle spacings not quite right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
QUOTE (Richard Johnson @ 21 Feb 2014, 12:34) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>*** Very probably Dapol's "any plastic will do" approach - shrinkage can be significant if plastic choice isn't what the tool was designed for - that plus lack of temperature control of the tooling during production are much of the reason why Dapol kits are rarely as good as the original Airfix models made using the same tools.

Richard

This is an Airfix one. I've compared a Dapol one and it's the same...
 
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