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Falcon Brass SECR Wainwright H class in 4mm EM - On Members Workbenches. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Wed Jun 10th, 2015 12:08 am
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BCDR
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Falcon Brass SECR Wainwright H class 0-4-0


I’m in a modeling dead spot for the moment, having finished building all the freight stock kits to hand for the Great Northern and unable to start on the cupboard layout for the EM project until next weekend when I get down to the condo. JimF sent me a Falcon Brass kit of a SECR Wainwright H class 0-4-4 with EM gear, so I made a start on that today.

This is old school ancient brass from probably the late 1960’s or early 1970’s. One and a half sides of typewritten and cryptic instructions on the bodywork, nothing of any note on the chassis, and an assumption that the modeler has done several hundred kit builds prior. I wish. Encouraging statements abound such as “Take foot-plate valances and lightly tap out rivet detail with suitable point” and in the chassis section “Assemble up brake detail and boxes and rear pony truck.” The wivets are easily addressed; I’ve been puzzling over that rear pony truck for a few days now. Presumably when I’ve used all the parts from the etch for the frames and brakes what’s left will be the pony truck and the boxes. No holes for 1/8th inch axles for the pony truck, so the builder apparently is being left to their own resources. The new owners of Falcon Brass are not answering my emails, so off we go into the unknown.

The kit came with Mike Sharman wheels (nice, fine-scale) and 1/8th inch axles for EM, an Anchorage 5 pole motor (which I’ll use, it runs very smoothly), worm, gear and brass gearbox, and OO/EM spacers. There are some nice detail parts including a Westinghouse air pump in white metal and a brass Ramsbottom safety valve. No cab back-head, bunker front or interior details, as it looks like that is where the motor will sit. The frames are not etched for compensation with hornblocks.  I’m considering using High Level ones and the CSB springing system, and cutting the spaces out. Final decision not yet made, as this would be adding quality to "it was OK back in the day". The holes for the top hat bearings are woefully undersized and will probably require more work than fitting hornblocks. Can’t find the tapered broach, one on order from the UK today. Brossard John is lending me his Comet chassis jig thingy to get the frames parallel and level.

I’ve posted some photos to show why brass and nickel silver should not be stored  in a box (no fault of JimF, it’s how he received the kit). Preferably in air-tight bags and only handle the etches at the sides, do not use tape to keep etches together, and wipe with IPA after handling and before soldering. I'll probably pickle in dilute acid before soldering (the old trick of giving it a soak in tomato ketchup - citric acid). Dilute hydrochloric acid (muratic acid) is better. Only needs a few seconds.


First photo is of the brass etch components. Quite heavily tarnished.



 
Second photo is a detail showing what happens when fingerprints are not wiped from the brass. Organic acids in sweat attack the brass. The holes at the top of the front and back cab plates are for ventilation. Let's hope I don't plug them with solder. Otherwise a lot of drilling out.



 
Third photograph shows one of the pieces that require the rivet detail to be tapped out - it's the back of the smokebox front. These days that would a half-etch.



 
Fourth photo shows the frame etch. All parts are numbered. WOT, as the text does not say what is what. Any help on the truck assembly appreciated. Parts 3 are clearly boxes, parts 2 look like frame sides, am I missing an etch.....maybe if I cut the pieces out and play origami inspiration will strike. I'll have a look at the etch from SE Finecast.



 
Fifth photo shows the pre-rolled boiler. At least it has boiler bands. The dark rectangular areas at the top are where there was some sellotape. The adhesive also attacked the brass.



 
Sixth photo shows the Anchorage motor, gear and worm set. These motors were produced as replacements for Airfix 3-pole motors, and run as well as modern 5-pole can motors. That shaft is long enough for a small flywheel. Supposed to be a matched gear/worm. The gearbox (not shown) is a substantial etch to which the motor base is attached via 2 screws (seen lurking next to the brushes).


 

Seventh photo shows the detail bits that came with the kit. Note the Ramsbottom safety valve and the Westinghouse air pump fitted to some of the class. There is no rivet detail at the bottom of the chimney, I'll use rivet decals for this. Looks like 4 each side.



 
Eighth photo shows the Mike Sharman wheel set. Fine scale rims and flexible nylon centers (how flexible after all these years is questionable). They may need replacing, if so I’ll use Markits.



 
Ninth photo shows some of the etches after a polish with #800 wet and dry used wet with some washing-up liquid. Much better, I can now see the numbers.



 
Figure 10 shows part 38 – one of the parts that needs rivet detail adding. It's not a good idea, as punching heads that close will distort the brass. Reference to photographs show the row of rivets right next to the smok-ebox door.



 
I have a Metalsmith rivet embossing tool with dies for 4mm, 7mm and Scale 1 (10mm), the 4mm punch and anvil looks about right for those indentations in the back of the smokebox front. Much better than trying to use a suitable point (although I have old dart heads in the toolbox with rounded tips for this sort of work). I did some testing on some scrap brass to make sure the size and pressure was correct. This is a useful bit of gear, especially when scratch building and an etch is not available. It’s just about as low tech as you can get, it wouldn’t be out of place in a Victorian workshop. Punching a small hole through the head is preferable to not having enough rivet detail, and they are easily filled when priming and painting (prime from the back, prime and paint from the front).



 
I used a piece of styrene sheet taped to a piece of brass as the anvil, as the distance between the rivet heads and the edge is variable, not constant. I punched in the rivets (could have used a slightly thinner bit of styrene, but those holes will go with some filling primer from the inside), and tried a test fit of the smoke-box door casting. Not flat – the rivets underneath the hinges had to be removed with a file. Much better. Definitely not in the instructions. The half-etch for the rivet holes is not concentric with the smoke-box door or the edge of the casting. Pre-CAD and computerized etching masks. Not an issue, as I'm modeling to my usual standard of 3 feet and this ones a time filler. The door will be gone over with a fine copper brush prior to priming. Needs a smoke-box dart set as well. Should be one in the spares box.



To be continued….



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 Posted: Wed Jun 10th, 2015 02:58 pm
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Marty
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Fascinating stuff, I love watching these builds come together.
One day I might try something in N scale....

Keep it coming.

cheers
Marty



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 Posted: Wed Jun 10th, 2015 05:13 pm
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BCDR
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Hi Marty,

Thanks. Ancient brass kits have their problems, especially fit. The difference between a "drawn" and modern CAD version is chalk and cheese, and the etching is nowhere near as good as it today, especially frame details (lots of cusps from misalignment of the front and back masks). White metal kits are actually often better, especially the old ones where the molds were fresh and the detail good (and often used as the basis for a RTR plastic model). Hence the steep prices for old K kits.

This one is interesting as all the solder joints are butt joints, again something that wouldn't be done today. Some judicious angle might be called for (256° solder for one side, then 145° or even 100° solder for the attachment of the bodywork). At least it might be reasonably straight.

The build calls for strengthening plates to be soldered to the tank sides. This is quite thin brass, which was one way to minimize cusping during etching.

Nigel



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