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BCDR
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Hi All,

Had a big clear-out recently, where I sold most of the 4mm/OO stock and the HO stock at a local show where I had booked a stall for for the weekend. So onto the new layout, which will be On30, rolling stock first. It's a mixture of steam and diesel, and I decided that the first rolling stock build would be a diesel gopher using a 3D print shell and a Bachmann (US) donor chassis that was going spare as the old body does not fit the new chassis. I've yet to do a 3D print build, so I'll be learning as I go on this one (and given the issues so far it may well be the last one).

The shell is in nylon ("tough, flexible", I like the sound of that), with most of the surface print layers removed by a  process whereby the surface is "matt with a grainy feel". (Translation? Fuzzy. I don't like the sound of that). The print was done vertically (I didn't know that, live and learn), and the combination of surface treatment and vertical orientation of the layers has meant that the louver detail on the sides is not that great (I'm being very generous here). An afternoon with the grit family (they all turned up, 80, 150, 320 and 400, and it was a real PITA, 3 cuppa session) removed most of the louver details and doors. It's still visible under a certain light, but I've got plans for addressing that.

The body shell is designed to take the Bachmann GE 44 tonner diesel switcher (bo-bo ). Unfortunately the 3D print was designed for the old DC twin motor model, the new one that I have (single motor, DCC on board) has issues fitting into the shell. It's a bit longer and not so high as the old one. Removing a bit of material from inside the shell sorted out the fit, but the shallower design meant that the body sat on the rails with the KD trip arm banging against the rails. Not ideal. [Note to self, check what model was used for the chassis if buying a 3D print in the future. And ask for a photo of the actual print. No more guinea pig beta-testing].

Fitting inside the shell was resolved, but the screw holes through the fuel tank met air, not shell. The solution was 2 pieces of styrene cut to size that sit on the underside of the shell and raise it off the chassis so that the KDs are at the correct height, and there is now some material for the screws to go in. Next job is attaching those styrene strips to the nylon shell.  Now nylon is pretty inert when it comes to adhesives, and has a very low surface energy (no charge), and repels almost everything. It seems a 2-part CA (surface activator and CA) or a 2-part epoxy specifically designed for plastics are apparently what's required (both from Loctite). Not regular CA or epoxy, both of which involve the use of some pretty exotic surface treatments such as plasma or corona jets to generate a surface charge. I definitely don't have either of those bits of kit in the tool box. I have to cut a few holes in the body shell, so some experimentation on the removed bits with the 2 adhesives will be up next before I start gluing.

My impression re the 3D print so far - scratch building aid at best given the amount of work required. As I expected, not exactly ready for prime time. I've ordered a brass kit and a white metal kit to put me in a better mood. Bit of soldering should do the trick.

Pictures tell the story so far.

Nigel

Bachmann GE 44 tonner (the Great Northern little 'un) and 3D body shell (Frosty the big 'un, sort of a generic Baldwin/Hunslett cross). That roof is fixed, attaching the window glazing and cab details will be interesting. That roof may have to come off. May? Ha! Who am I kidding.




Bachmann 44 tonner chassis, DCC installed. The top of the fuel tank (the bit with the holes for the screws between the trucks/bogies) and those ledges above the trucks/bogies are where the body shell is supposed to rest.




Body shell on chassis - a "dear oh dear' moment, something is not right here! Front step platforms are on the rails, and the KD pin is hitting the rail (and it's higher than it should be anyway).




The solution? Styrene inserts to raise the body shell and provide some anchorage for the screws that go through the fuel tank. The inserts are L shaped, and an almost exact fit for the chassis.The pencil lines are where the fuel tank rests.




Much better. KD coupler  is at the correct height, the pin does not bang into the rail (which would mean a derailment at the first turnout)


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Good of you to take the time to describe the pros and cons of this material and 3D printing Nigel.  In closeup it does look quite porous but perhaps some rattle can primer and paint will smooth that out.

The steps struck a chord and I think I'd be tempted to replace then with styrene and brass strip suitably drilled and pinned.  That's just me though.

Are those 0 gauge Kadees?  I have some for my coaches (they will pass for buckeyes) and I'm quite impressed.

John

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Hi John,

I suspect filling primer will be necessary. This afternoon looks fair, so a light coat of regular primer just to see how much work there is. Even with #400 grit (used wet) the surface still feels like short flock. I am not optimistic that going to #800 or even #1000 will give a smooth surface and get rid of the striations. Looking at some photos of completed models shows a definite fluffiness to the painted finish.

I agree totally with your comment re the steps. Both front and aft steps and supports will be going, the prototypes I'm using as reference have slab fronts and backs with a hook and pin coupler. Rivet detail will be done using O-scale decals from Archer when the front is reasonably smooth and an appropriate coupler mount added (epoxy and pins or even screws). I suspect I'll be cutting new plates from brass and attaching them with epoxy and screws just to get a decent surface. The coupler currently on is a regular HO one, just not one from KD. Bachmann I think which is a big chunky affair.

Reading through the manufacturer's website it's clear that developers are expected to design items so it's printed as a whole, no sub-assemblies due to the (acknowledged) issues of gluing them together. Hence the cab roof not being a separate item. Not what we're used to in the brass and white metal world (or even resins), where the approach is to build the sub-assemblies and then combine them to give the final model. How you can effectively sand out the layer striations in a complex steam locomotive print with compound curves beats me. Sand-blasting? It's bad enough with the slab sided one I'm working on. It would have been better to leave the rivet detail off to give a decent flat surface to finish. Same goes for louvers (decals are available in O, making life a bit easier). The site also discusses glues, CA and epoxy are the only 2 that work, just not well enough to be used for anything that is subject to stress. Like pulling wagons or holding a chassis in place. "Ere, 'old on mate, that's wot I'm doin'".

If I'm being candid (and that will be something new :roll:) this may well be the first and last 3D print model that I'll do. This is rapidly turning into quite an exercise for the bodgitt and fixitt crew. "Not wot we expected guv. Down tools lads and 'ave a cuppa while we negotiate a better rate (or a better model)". Yes, yes, I cry it's in hand...

I really would like to hear from anybody working with 3D print models to see if they have the same issues, and if so how they were addressed. I'm glad I tried a model before going the whole hog and buying a printer.

Nigel


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Perhaps prime then go over the body with Turtle Wax paint restorer and repeat as necessary.  A lot of extra work compared to brass and plastic.  If your model isn't otherwise available, may be the way to go.

You may not be able to remove the roof without destroying it but it shouldn't be difficult to substitute plastic or brass, assuming you figure out a suitable fixing medium.

If your coupler is H0 and looks OK for 0 gauge, it must be chunky indeed.  Mind you the scale is 1/48 isn't it, somewhat smaller than 1/43.

You may want to raise a thread on this on RMWeb, I've always had a lot of help when I've had a question.  Maybe there's a NA forum that can help.

John

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Hi John,

I had a quick trawl on RM, I'm still a member so I'll leave a post. Two coats of Krylon grey primer this afternoon. I'll let the unadulterated pictures tell the story. Short flock indeed. In the spirit of Eric (Morecombe) and Ernie (Wise)  - "what do you think of it so far? (...Rubbish)". It's OK in (a very few) parts.

One more go with the grit family and then I'll call it a day. I hold no great hopes of any improvement. Brass kit arrived in the mail today. :doublethumb

Nigel

















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Looks like barnacles Nigel.  :It's a no no :brickwallPerhaps time to try another prototype.  :cool wink You could build this from plastic card.  There don't look to be any particularly difficult bits. 

John

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Hi Nigel

There is a French bloke on the O scale forum who is building superb detailed models using 3D.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/topic/superliner

The quality of his printer's work is excellent.

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Hi Max,

Inspirational. Close up shows the granular surface is still there, not so pronounced as mine. Wonder which orientation it was printed in? And what thermoplastic and definition?

I've looked at a lot of painted 3D print models. The orange peel paint finish is very common.

The higher definition plastics are approximately 125% more than nylon. Which means a $125 body shell. Brass etch is about $20 for a similar model. Highly detailed body for a steam locomotive in white metal is about $100. RTR On30 steam locomotive new is around $60-$120 (with DCC) depending on the model.

Light sand tonight to knock the highlights down, more primer (filling type), Repeat. Looks like it will be heavily weathered.

Nigel

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Hi All,

Finally got rid of 95% of the "orange peel" finish. Still a bit of crud around the window frames, No barnacles present (thank you John, excellent description). Wet and dry (#800, wet), grey primer, repeat for a total of 4 times. Stopped there as the rivet detail was getting a bit blurry.That makes a total of nearly 8 hours work in total, not including drying time. "When do I get the kitchen sink back then?" was an inducement to getting it done. Good job I'm paying myself, got enough for another one.

Took off the steps at the front and back, the riveted bars will go when the new coupler mounts go on. I'm looking for some On30 couplers that take pins and bars. Found some at the 3D print store, brass would be nicer.Bit more research. Please, let there be brass ones out there!

Next step - glue those chassis supports on, add ventilation grilles and louvers. On order, they should be here next week (grilles in brass, louvers in decals).

Pictures show the results of the extra effort. It will have a final rub-down prior to painting. Lesson from all of this? - It takes a lot of work to get the print striations so they are barely noticeable, and get rid of the flock finish. And yes John, it would be easier to build a shell from scratch using styrene or even brass. Faster and cheaper as well. And I have found a site with lots of diagrams and dimensions of the prototypes I would like on the layout. 

3D prints - love 'em or hate 'em.

Nigel








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Worth the effort, Nigel.  :thumbs

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You've done a great job Nigel, looks presentable now.

John

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Hi All,

Max, John, thanks for the comments. A lot more work that I expected. and it still needs another rub down prior to the final color coats. I'll be drilling some holes in the body once the primer hardens off in a few days. One for a decent radiator grill at the front, one on each side behind the front to allow all that hot air to escape.

Bit more progress tonight - glued the support inserts for the chassis to the inside of the frame. Went for the 2 part cyanoacrylate from Loctite after some experiments on a bit of nylon sheet (found in the spares box) and scraps of styrene sheet. Interesting stuff, the styrene, not the joint, failed when I tested one hour later. The Loctite kit is not an instantaneous bond, needs 30 seconds with pressure to cure. Those inserts seem to be there for the long haul, I probably don't need screws or pins.That said, braces and belts, braces and belts...

Nigel

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Watching this with interest Nigel.  CA does have a tendency to bond bl##dy well, particularly when I discover I've made a mistake and need to reposition the part.  :roll: There's a real possibility of destruction.

John

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What a difference, brilliant :thumbs

You've a lot more patience than me Nigel, I would have given up.
 

Ed

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Brossard wrote: Watching this with interest Nigel.  CA does have a tendency to bond bl##dy well, particularly when I discover I've made a mistake and need to reposition the part.  :roll: There's a real possibility of destruction.

John
Hi John,

Subjective impression only, but I think this CA is a lot stronger than regular CA. When I tried to pry it off this morning the body shell flexed. An acrylic 3D print would have shattered. It's expensive stuff, about 10 times more  than the CA we normally use for modeling, one part is an activator that presumably etches into and gets a charge on what is essentially polymeric paraffin wax, the other part seems to be industrial strength CA. I can see why it recommends gloves. (I masked and gowned up as usual when working with chemicals. And I didn't glue the kettle to the counter).

At least with the slow set (around 10 seconds, although it says pressure for 30 seconds) there is an opportunity to act on that "no, No, NO, that's not right" thought. First one I've used that actually works well on styrene. Nylon (Nylon 12 to be exact) is a new material for me.

Nigel
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Ed wrote: What a difference, brilliant :thumbs

You've a lot more patience than me Nigel, I would have given up.
 

Ed

Hi Ed,

Thanks. Not often I decide to throw the towel in. I was sorely tempted with this one to see whether it would fly (I was spraying it on the balcony). We're 14 stories up, that would have really tested the claims of "tough, flexible". There have been quite a few "oh, dear oh dear" and "well I never" moments so far. Along with "what did you just say?" from my wife. I expect there will be more (from both of us)..

It's unfortunate that the physical properties of nylon 12 ( specifically it's low melt temperature around 180°C) are ideal for low cost 3D printing (that's a relative term, this one was $50), while it's chemical properties (it's pretty well inert) are not really suitable for a lot of the things we get up to in modeling. Sanding seems to generate a fluffy surface, probably due to the formation of fibers attached to the surface. Where's the electron microscope when I need it! Plus those printing layer striation issues. One interesting thing I noticed is that the striations are on a slight bias, and in a certain light they are still visible. Means the print was not absolutely vertical. One result is that he radiator detail is actually to one side (and not square). Plus the end of the hood is not quite vertical but slopes in. Ho hum.

Nigel 
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I haven't tried the two part CA.  My CA of choice is Zap A Gap medium.  It has served me well and still retains its bonding strength over time.  I have noticed the bottle I'm using has thickened up and takes quite a while to set.  It's probably well past its sell by date.

John

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Hi All,

This came in the mail this morning:









Bachmann On30, DCC on board, 3 smoke stacks (coal, oil, wood), 3 tender loads (coal, oil, wood), bag of coal for weathering, sundry other bits and pieces. $59.99 brand new, unopened (RSP $399). Which was $9.99 more than that diesel shell. Might just order another one with a steel cab. Although their 2-6-6-2 articulated looks tasty at $99.99 (RSP $460). Or even better a Baldwin 4-6-0 with sound at $119.99. Choices, choices.

Better get cracking the trackwork. Hold on aminute, I need a track plan first. Or do I? Maybe I should go organic and let it grow like the real ones did depending on demand and geography.

Nigel



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Brossard wrote: I haven't tried the two part CA.  My CA of choice is Zap A Gap medium.  It has served me well and still retains its bonding strength over time.  I have noticed the bottle I'm using has thickened up and takes quite a while to set.  It's probably well past its sell by date.

John
Hi John,

The number one enemy of CA is moisture . Best kept unopened in the 'fridge in the dark (as long as it's a frost-free 'fridge the relatively humidity is very low). After opening store at room temperature in air-tight container (with some blue silica gel crystals in the bottom) as any moisture inside the bottle will condense once you put it in the 'fridge, and will start polymerization. If it's gone thick it's polymerized and is less effective as a glue. Once it's opened it's shelf life is a few months.Time to get some more. Buy in small quantities unless you use it a lot, it's more cost effective than throwing away half a big bottle.. I like ZAP A Gap as well, great for bridging those gaps.

Nigel

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That's tasty, Nigel.  US$59.99 = ~ A$78.93  . . . plus postage (~A$25.00), still pretty good.

How does it run?  Bachmann stuff is usually pretty good when its new.

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Hi Max,

Smooth. It will be better with a decent sound decoder. Lots of spares available, plus Bachmann's outstanding warranty. Ordered the steel cab version. Inside frame. Same price. That will make 2 steam and 2 diesels on the roster, enough to get going.

Nigel

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Hi all,

Cut the whole for the radiator mesh. "Strong and flexible nylon". Took be the better part of an hour, 5 minutes drilling and 55 minutes filing. I'll remember that when I'm tempted to order another body shell. Mocked up with some screen repair mesh, white stuff that looks like cobwebs is hot melt adhesive. I'm waiting for some brass mesh to come. With that thick body shell it will be a fit inside the hole, not attached on the inside. Need to think about a protective bar frame on the outside as well. Given the working conditions they'll face, the crew will need a ventilation hatch in the roof of the cab. Job for tomorrow. Maybe.

Nigel


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Nice work Nigel.  I can a silk purse in the offing.

John

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Hi John

Thanks - one can only hope. Removed the buffer beam details tonight, resorted to the Surform planer and the big box cutter, along with some #80 grit paper, followed by some #100, Lots of key for the CA.. New buffer plates in brass tomorrow. Still looking for pin and link couplers in brass, so far only white metal (must be cosmetic) and "tough, flexible nylon". I may have to go with the later for the buffer mounts in the same material. At least it's tough enough for probably 100 wagons.

Nigel

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I think it's great fun to bring these things to a much better standard - bragging rights too.

You do have photos etc., don't you?

John

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Hi All,

A fun session last night and this afternoon - lots of butchery and hackery with the "big knife", aka the box cutter with the heavy-duty scalpel-sharp blades (as my thumb will attest to). This blade is about the only thing that cuts through the nylon ("hard, flexible", keep remembering that lad, next time you get tempted into another one). I tried the Dremel and a cut-off disc, that just melted its way through. Not enough precision.

So, this what got done:

Buffer beam detail gone front and back. Nice and fluffy after a going over with #100 grit, ideal for gluing on the new buffer beams (which will be in brass).
Hole in the cab roof to allow some sunshine in and heat out. Mocked up with a hatch from another kit to see how things will look.
Both doors removed. I will have to do something about the chassis that juts into the cab. I will be raiding the Lego box to make a cosmetic control box.

I like the look of it with the doors gone or simply opened into the cab - more dynamic. Needs some crew. Waiting on the grills and louvers.

Nigel

And we're away! Doors off and the precision surgical instrument.




Door posed half open.




'Ole in the roof. The nylon was half the thickness of the body and frame, the drill bits just kept melting the nylon and not going anywhere. The blade did 95% of the work, touched up with the big file.




Hopefully this is what it will look like when I'm done. The slding hatch is from a center cab On30 diesel shell in brass that I'll be using for the next build.A bit of rivet (as opposed to bolt) detail wouldn't come amiss either.




Trim on the front with what could be some more barnacles. Ready for the new plate in brass. "Hard, flexible, nylon". Rremember that lad,...




And a trim on the back. More barnacles in the making.

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Hi All,

So this morning I was looking at the body shell with the chassis in place, and thinking to myself "how on earth am I going to get my fingers inside the cab to do some detailing with the chassis in place, or from the underneath without it in place?". Hmm. Out with the big blade, off with the roof, problem solved. Need to move the light to the roof (headlight pointing back), but plenty of space to work with for the control cabinet. The floor even has a non-slip surface for the crew! (So do the walls, window frames and the underside of the roof. Ah well). H&S must have been around.

Designers of these shells need to keep access in mind. A few do, most don't. Windows are big in O scale, interiors need detailing as they're highly visible. It's a scratch building aid ("hard, flexible, nylon"), lad, remember that.

Drilling holes for the door handrails is going to be fun as well.

Nigel








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Hi All,

Back to the slaughter again. The louvers, ventilation grills and frames arrived yesterday, mix of 1:35 military (close enuff and nice detail) and 7mm diesel etches. Should be able to piece together something reasonable. More hackery and downright butchery with the big blade to the body today, and it's now nearly where I want it to be. I also extended the hood to the front buffer plate (bit more Hunslet-like) with some styrene sheet using the CA with activator from Loctite, that gives me some space for a decent sized speaker when this goes DCC sound. I now need to fabricate a radiator cover to go on the front, as well as a slightly deeper and thicker buffer plate. And something to go in front of those holes along the sides (brass and soldering up next). The intent is to have the innards visible. Along with a 6 cylinder diesel engine, torque converter, and gearbox.* I have a plan...(and next time I'll build the shell myself, less aggro all round). And I need to get to the Lego store (No.4 granddaughter was shocked when she overheard me say I needed some Lego bits for the trains. "Not mine!, not mine!" at 100 db can be quite persuasive. Not sure the mermaid princess set has what I want anyway).

Nigel

*Most narrow gauge diesel or petrol locomotives had either mechanical or hydraulic/mechanical transmissions for cost, maintenance and power output reasons. This one has a Bachmann 5 pole electric motor and not much else. Ah well, Bodgit and Fudgit will improvise as usual. I can already see the engine block and gearbox).






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Hi all,

I fabricated the side screens for the hood today, brass strip and diamond mesh, soldered-up, long piano-type hinge on top (brass rod). Just needs some lines scribed on the rods and some small plates and rivets on the frames for the hinges, plus a couple of handles at the bottom. I propped one on the side for the photo. This is what I was looking for, that could be a diesel engine lurking inside after an on-site addition of mesh doors to keep things cool. I'm tempted to fabricate an exhaust manifold and air cleaner. Or find an O-scale engine and strip it for parts.

The grills will get blacked before fixing to the hood. I have some rivet decals (transfers) for detailing that will be added after painting. Radiator cowling and grills tomorrow, as well as the louver panels and doors to go on the hood in front of the grills.

Nigel






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Very nice Nigel, taking shape.

John

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Hi John,

Thanks. I'd forgotten how much fun narrow gauge in O scale can be, lots of improvisation and make-do.

Nigel

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Hi All,

More progress on the body shell. The shell was extended almost to the front buffer beam, the front steps removed, a radiator box and grill fabricated from styrene strip, the buffer beams were beefed-up with styrene strip and lowered by around 2mm, and the louver doors soldered up. Just positioned for the moment, I'm waiting on some pin and rod coupler mounts for the buffer beams.

Nigel






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Hi All,

I decided on a break (well needed sez I) from the 3D diesel body shell bash while I wait for the pin and bar coupler pockets to arrive. A1 Models do some nice looking body shells for center and end cab On16.5 diesels, not expensive, and near enough in scale to On30 not to really make any noticeable difference.  I got the center cab one, looks like a cross between a Whitcomb and a Hudswell. It's a brass etch, fold and glue or solder, the intended donor mechanism is a Bachmann GE 70 tonner to which the brass is glued. I decided to scratch build a chassis/platform/buffer plates for the body, the left-over body shell can go on eebygum (where they seem to go for quite interesting prices) and solder the shell together. The 70 tonner models come with basic DCC now (the new model cost me $54), which for my purposes (forwards, backwards, lights) is sufficient until I get a sound decoder.

This was a straightforward construction, solder the front grille and radiator mesh to the front ends of the 2 hoods, fold the hoods and solder brass mesh over the hood side openings rather than the supplied doors, and fold and solder the cab together. The  hand rains were made from from brass rod.  The only thing of interest construction-wide is that most parts were tinned with the small iron, and then soldered in place using the big 'un. Nothing really exciting here (move along, move along), so 'nuff said.The chassis/footplate was scratch built using styrene sheet and bar after I did some measurements of the donor and brass body and drew up a template in CorelDraw, Again, a straightforward cut and glue. This model has taken a total of 2 evenings work so far, I need to do some exhaust stacks, and attach some air tanks from the spares (white metal, bit of weight). I am thinking about attaching the cab roof with neodymium magnets and steel bar to make access to the cab easier. Plus lights.

The body shell still awaits a final scrub and polish before painting. Plus some wivets on the body and NBW's on the end gussets and end buffers.The last picture shows the effect I'm looking for with the innards clearly visible through the mesh. I'll probably use a couple of Lego pieces and wire to give the impression of machinery and hoses. Photo's are useful, I can see a couple of places that need a bit more solder or filler before priming. I also need to take the small hammer to the body shell - this is a hard-working locomotive at the end of it's life that has received it's fair share of dents and knocks over the years. Found some nameplates in O scale - "Joan" it is.

I might get another kit from A1 Models, the smaller end cab one looks tasty.

Nigel










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Hi All,

Next steps were the "dinging and denting", "paint bubbling" and a couple of repairs where cab plates had rusted through. Whatever was handy for the first, the second was done using some solder applied in the likely places for bubbling and rust formation, the 2 repair plates with bubbling were soldered on each side of the cab. Bit of judicious bending of the hand rails also using a large pair of pliers. The idea is to give the "bubbling" a couple of coats of red oxide primer at the edges, and cover with peelable film when applying the final color.

I also redid the base plate, bit longer (to give 12" walkways at either end). Too windy to apply the red oxide at the moment, one of the joys of living 140 feet high. Waiting on the NBWs at the moment.

First time I've gone for a dented and rust bubble look on a model, the brass in this kit is thin, and easily dented and marked. Difficult to do with styrene sheet, that requires careful use of the heat gun or the tip of the soldering iron (I did a bit of experimenting this morning).

Ladders next plus some rudimentary handrails for the ends. And some internal radiators.

















Nigel


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Good to see the art of degeneration alive and kicking Nigel. This loco is going to look as old and worn as I feel some days.

Well done. I particularly like the use of solder to create rust blisters on the brasswork shell, besides lots of distressed thinware.

Bill

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Something authentic about this model with its dents and rust. I like it.
Marty

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Hi Bill, Marty,

Thanks. First effort at bashing (literally) a brass locomotive. Tough decision when you've spent a few hours building it. Good excuse for poor soldering and not keeping things square in the build though (as if :roll:).. Authenticity is the aim, hopefully we'll get something closer than an "as built". This one has been in a derailment, hence the bent hoods.Gave up on bending the frame though. Put a slight curve in the body shell though.

One thing I've noticed looking at an awful lot of photo's of steam and diesel locomotives that are worked hard in industrial settings far from the manufacturer is they don't get the "major overhaul and repaint" of mainline locomotives every 5-odd years. More like 10-20 years, if ever (although that said, BR WR ran some interesting peel jobs on their Warships and Westerns in the 1960's). Paint blisters, quick welds to repair rust holes with bits of plate, dents left alone as they still ran, paintwork well faded and always grimy (they still ran), bent frames (they still ran)). The large flat surfaces found in diesels IMO cry out for a few dents and hollows. Preservation societies and model manufacturers have a lot to answer for.

Nigel

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Hi All,

Spent an hour thinking about the coupling requirements. Where these diesels will be working there will be stock with different coupler heights, so some sort of coupler block with adjustable levels on the beams will be required. Hmm. Time for a think and a cuppa or two along with some digestives for the neurons.

So: Four KD coupler gear boxes suitably trimmed and glued together vertically (I have a box full of the gear boxes left over from installing whisker couplers on stock already equipped with boxes), 2 of, a suitable hole made in the end beams using fine saws, and the coupler block glued in place after a bit of fettling. Hole drilled through the footplate locating with the hole in the gear boxes for a 2-56 nylon or SS steel screw, job done! SS screws allow for easy removal with a magnet.

The work hasn't been tidied up yet, this is just to show the idea in practice. This buffer block will allow me to use pins and bars or pins and chain links (lower 2 or 3 holes, prototypical for the layout when I'm playing at home), as well as good 'ole KDs for shows and the like (highest hole if my measurements are correct).

I'll clean-up after the glue has completely set and out-gassed.

Nigel

One end.


T'other end.


Highest level


And...Next to highest level

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Smart idea Nigel.  well done .

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Hi Reg,

Thanks. Case of necessity, commercial offerings were either out of scale or costa gotta. The KD gearboxes are essentially freebies.

Nigel

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Hi All,

A "one step forward, 2 steps backward" day. Working on the 3D print model this morning I noticed that the 2 styrene pieces that keep the donor Bachmann chassis in place seemed a bit loose. These had been glued in place with a CA formulated for "difficult plastics" with a surface keying agent to help things along. Worked fine on the styrene (the thin film of CA is still there), but not on the nylon of the 3D print. So a gentle pry on the other bits of styrene used in the bash gave exactly the same result. I now have a naked shell, and a pile of styrene bits.

Not often I throw the towel in, but this has gone beyond the pale. It's now in the trash bin sans cab, which I can use in something (I think, derelict rusting cab in the weeds?). I don't know whether anybody else has run into this problem, but it seems to me that modifications/additions to a nylon 3D print are going to be temporary at best if using CA (or any other adhesive for that matter, due to the slippery and inert nature of nylon), and will probably require screws or NBW to keep things in place. Makes me wonder how window plastic will attach. Probably not is the answer.

That now orphaned Bachmann Bo-Bo mechanism will have a styrene or more likely a brass body.

One of life's little "well I never" moments. An interesting experience that will definitely not be repeated.

Nigel




.

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 All,

Time to move forward. I did a "boxy" end cab/center cab body shell design in CorelDraw last night, along with a footplate, to go on the Bachmann 40 tonner chassis, which was orphaned after the issues with the nylon 3D print body shell detailed previously. An hour to spare, so the following is the result using white styrene sheet and bar, and some O-scale diamond tread styrene sheet that I found in the roundtoit box. Tools were nothing more complicated than the large box cutter (Stanley knife), steel ruler and square, plus the Mk 1 eyeball. The footplate is a laminate of 3 layers, with the grain of the styrene sheet in different dimensions to minimize warping (cut one, turn sheet 90°, cut second, turn 90° again, cut third). I'll be adding a couple of "wood" buffer blocks to shunt the buffered wagons, along with a few NBWs. Multi-position Kadee coupler as previously described.

Nigel










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Hi All,

I found an hour last night to do some styrene cutting and gluing, plus some butchery on a couple of Dapol Kitmaster Drewry diesel kits (useful for odds and ends), the end result is shown below. Some center window panels and detail bits and pieces to do (wood buffer blocks, screen guard for the radiator, exhaust, air cleaner, hand rails, steps, rudimentary cab interior), the bare bones are there finally. About 75% less expensive than a 3D print shell, and a lot less work! Meets my 3-foot rule (as in looks OK from...). This is definitely not fine-scale modeling, but fine for my purposes, and it uses that orphan Bo-Bo chassis. I have another Bo-Bo chassis from an Atlas S2, so maybe another one will be in the works. Bit bigger of course.

Nigel

 






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Hi All,

More progress on the Bachmann 40 tonner bash. Window dividers added front and rear in the cab, exhaust and muffler (silencer) fabricated, air cleaner fabricated, a start made on hiding the mechanism inside the cab, and I found a pair of "torpedo" air tanks in the spares box (scale 8" in diameter). Upside down until I decide exactly where they are going.These would have been normally mounted on the hood roof (and named after torpedo boats, where the torpedoes were stored on the deck). Use was made of Lego :small:bits and pieces here and there. Useful things, strong, lightweight, easy to work with and square.

The eagle eyed will note 2 small holes, one in front of the radiator, one behind the cab, in the footplate. These are for the pin part of the pin and link couplers.

I'm slowly \getting there. With 2 RTR steamers ready to roll and 2 diesel locomotives reaching completion, I'd better start thinking about rolling stock and the layout design. And a couple of acres of corrugated iron siding for the buildings.

Nigel










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Hi All,

Quick half hour this evening, busy weekend coming up so no chance of modeling. Dumb buffers prepared and attached (suitably distressed, pain to cut, 3.2m thick, scale 6"), air tanks added (CA for plastics and metal) and a new tin roof (brass actually, scribed and bent to shape, easier to solder rain strips and the roof vent rather than use styrene). Plus a bucket to kick around.

Almost there, details, details...

Nigel






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Hi Nigel, just reading your trials and tribulations with glueing 3D stuff and wondered if anyone has tried this product ?
                  
                       https://notaglue.com


 I used something similar to glue up a crack in a flimsy clear plastic hair dryer hood for Mother dear after she cracked it.  Tried other glues etc but they all just cracked as it flexed but used one of these UV pens with glue and it welded it up great and so far its lasted over a year even with Mothers 'gentle' handling  :roll:     Just wondering  if anyone else has given it a try  ?   Ok not cheap but might do the job 

Cheers

 Matt

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Hi Matt,

New one for me, sounds interesting. UV activated plastic filler. I shall order some and test. Thanks for the info.

Nigel

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Hi All,

I asked Bondic whether it would work with either Nylon 6 or 12. They don't know (not sure that they knew what it was, but you never know until you ask). 10/10 for a prompt response though. Reading the blurb more fully this really looks like very similar to UV activated dental filler, and it has to accessible to the light. I hesitated to ask whether it was short or long UV...

Given I've moved on from 3D print bodyshells (once bitten,,,) I'll save the money ($15 a shot + $9 refills).

Nigel

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Hi All,

Detailing afternoon. Cab roof (in brass, bent to shape after a bit of judicious scribing on the inside, rain gutters and hatch from bits of scrap brass and N/S), hand rails (0.02" P/B wire, I used Bill Bedford's hand rail bending jig), steps and instrument panel (ex Dapol Drewry), some NBWs here and there. Not quite done, I'll fabricate the radiator guard when I get some large mesh. Which is getting like hen's teeth to find. Musn't forget the horns, the lights and windshield wipers. Door handles. And  the crew. eebygum here we come.

Nigel








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Hi All,

Nice afternoon, the sun was shining, so I gave the body shell and roof 2 coats of primer. I'll give it a coat of clear acrylic in a few days, and then do some fine rivets and seams, followed by another coat of acrylic and the the final coat. The various detail bits and pieces are proving difficult to source. Either way too expensive or too big, being scaled for full size O scale. I shall have to look at S-scale (1:64), HO, or Shapeways (Oh no!). Or make my own. I like that idea best, no real cost except my time, and everyday is Saturday. My electric screwdriver makes a decent low RPM lathe, so a couple of horns from styrene rod should be easy (famous last words).

Anyway, the almost end result is shown. Looking at it I think I may up the shell a mm or so to give a tad more exposure to the bogies/trucks and the fuel tank (for which I need a filler pipe).

Meets my 6-foot rule. Bit rough around the edges, but it'll get weathered after the rivets and seams, plus a few more details such as tool boxes and chains on the footplate will hide the joins.To give some sense of scale, it's 125 mm long by 65mm high at the cab roof (around 5" x 2.5"). I costed out the time and money spent on this compared to the 3D body shell print. Time: Half of what I spent on the 3D shell. Cost: Around $3.60 compared to nearly $35 with postage. Most of the materials came from the styrene and brass off-cut box. Plus 4 bits of Lego, that's where the big bucks went. The other expense was in blades for the knife and glue, and the bit of solder for the roof. Cheap modeling, and I'm happy with the end result. It's based on a variety of prototypes, so pretty much a generic model.

I'll be starting another thread on the actual layout, this one I'll keep for kit bashing and scratch building.

Nigel








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Meets my 6-foot rule.


must be a wide baseboard then :lol:

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Hi Ron, 
Thanks. The 6 foot is the other end of the layout. I just take my glasses off when it's in front of me.  And dim the lights. Looks even better.

Nigel

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Hi All,

K&S brass mesh is turning out to be very elusive, so I used 2 layers of large square mesh (around 3.5mm) and some thin brass sheet for the frame. The idea of a mesh screen in front of the radiator screen is to prevent damage from large branches, track debris, bricks, beer bottles, etc. End result shown below. Good 'nuff. Vallejo matt paints I think rather then rattle cans. These screens would have been fabricated on site from whatever was around - old steel bar and rusty fencing mesh usually. Why break with protocol practice? Needs a few dents though. I dipped it in my blackening solution - rusty brown was the result (not bad, but I'd better get some fresh as I recon it's cream crackered). I'll scrub that off with kitchen cleanser cream before painting. I have 2 stays to fabricate to keep it in the upright position (P/B wire bent to shape in a V). Those pips on top of the radiator cowl look to be the right place, Note the fine-scale weld seams on the frame and crud collecting at the bottom ( :hmm).

Off to the local craft store in a bit to see if they have some angels with trumpets in the Christmas stuff (horns with postage are coming to round $5 each) and something that I can bash into lights.

Nigel





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Hi Nigel.

It's looking good.  :thumbs

I found that wall board screws make good trumpets, as they have smooth, flared heads.

I filled the cross slots (Phillips), and ground the threads off.

Just a thought.

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Hi Max,

Thanks. I think I know the ones you mean, coarse thread, hard plastic, hollow core, used for screwing into sheet rock. I shall investigate. If I put a screw partially in I should be able to cut the head off and put it in the drill for filing..

More progress, supports soldered to the frame, holes drilled in the body. it's a friction fit at the bottom,, the top stays are decoration only. The photo shows the back, tack soldered in place. Plenty of space to drop the coupling pin in behind the screen using a pair of tweezers. A couple of drilled through NBWs will go on top of the radiator shroud for the stays to go in.

For those interested a photo of the fine-tip soldering pencil. Feedback temperature regulation, ideal for fine work. $12 from Amazon, and it's been going for over a year know.

Nigel









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The ones I have are made from steel.

I'll see if I have any left, and take a photo.

Cheers

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I found one loose in my screw collection.  :lol:





I don't know what they are called, but I've put the thread in the drill and then used a file to shape the shaft.

Then cut to length.

Sorry about the depth of field.  I used my iPhone.  :oops:

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Hi Max,

Steel flat head Philips wood screw with plain shank. I see what you mean. Neat. Usually have a few boxes around. Looks like a #6 or #8 will work. A Robertson head might be easier to drill out to a hole.

Nigel

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Yes.  It's got a real bugle head to it, Nigel.

I tried to drill out the cross slot, but the steel is so hard that it broke the cutting edges of my drill.

I ended up filling it and painting it black.

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Hi All,

Nice afternoon again, so a bit of painting and decoration after the detailing yesterday (handles for the doors of the grey one along with some drilled-out NBWs on the radiator shroud for the grill stanchions). I'll do door handles for the now rust brown one over the weekend. The red oxide primer is close enough to rust so that it can be revealed after gently sanding down the final top color. Two coats of oxide primer just in case. Engine exhausts for the brown one were prepped from decreasing diameter styrene tubes, I'm waiting for the glue to finish outgassing before tapping for screws. It will need a few days even although the glued up section is only an inch or so. Otherwise the plastic will be too soft (although self tappers would be fine). I'll attach after painting.

I shall experiment with Max's approach with smooth shank steel screws once we're over Thanksgiving. Definitely cheaper than plastic or brass O scale horns (which are a bit too big anyway). It also looks like I'll be making the windscreen wipers from scratch as well. That could be interesting.

These 2 locomotives are almost done, nothing much left but the final detailing and painting. I'm a lot happier with the scratch built one, as well as the brass kit one, compared to the 3D shell, so I will continue along the same pathway for future locomotives. I like the cost as well. I've deliberately refrained from using off-the-shelf parts except the chassis, might as well continue to be cheap and cheerful. Fits in with the layout coming up - one step removed from derelict but still running. I've a couple of candidate chassis' for some O scale bashes over the winter, should keep me busy.

Last photo is the view from the spray booth (placed on it's usual position on top of the balcony table). The leaves are past their best, but still a great view.

Nigel










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Wow Nigel, you nailed it, that really is a great view from your spray booth. Who needs television eh?

Bill

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What a beautiful place, Nigel.  :cool:

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Hi Bill, Max,

One of the joys of being 14 floors up and in a heavily wooded urban environment. Technically we live in a Northern Virginia deciduous forest. The wall on this side of the apartment is glass - 36x8 feet, so we don't need to go outside to enjoy the view. Plus being able to get outside and spray in the middle of November compensates for the lack of a basement or shed.

Nigel

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Hi All,

A date with the Dremel this afternoon - I tried Max's method of making horns. Starting material was some brass flat head Phillips wood screws - #6 x 1.5". These have a nice smooth shank that minimizes thread removal (around 7.5mm was removed in this case). For those in metric land  this is a M3.5 screw. I used a series of small carbide bits (round/conical/cylindrical) to take out the cross-head to approximately the slope of the exterior of the head, after first screwing them into a block of wood. All eyeball "measurements" of course. I then put the screw in the Dremel pointy end first and reduced the diameter of the shank and thread with files (flat and curved) so that it was smooth (ish). Final finish with some #800 wet and dry. They're around 15-16mm long after cutting off with the pliers. Precision work this is definitely not, but they do look the part, and they will meet the "6-foot" standard. Thanks to Max for the tip.

I used brass as they will be soldered to mounts on the roof of the two cabs - one horn pointing forwards, the other backwards. Forty five minutes work for the 4, cost $2.60 for 4 screws (compared with around $5 each for some rough brass castings). I was thinking as I was doing it, this would have been 5 minutes set-up and 15 minutes work with a lathe and some brass rod stock. Might just have enough room in my daughter's garage for a small hobby lathe/mill. Something to ponder as On30 modeling needs a lot more lathe/mill work than HO/OO or O.

Bilingual labeling down here - English and Spanish.

Pictures below.

Nigel













 

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Very neat Nigel.

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Brass.  I never thought of that.  :lol:

They will do the job.

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Very inventive Nigel - good result!
Brass screws seem a bit more expensive over your side. I wonder why?

Shaun.

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Hi All,

Thanks for the comments.

Brass is expensive. $1.39 for a packet of 2 was a lot cheaper than castings, and my time us free. It's only with the long screws that there is that long, smooth shank. Much cheaper by the box of 50, but I don't need that many. Steel ones are a lot cheaper still ($1.39 for a packet of 8) and easier to work with as well. I tried a couple of #6 1.5" steel screws before deciding on brass. Would have been better with a lathe and rod, but they will be fine from 6 feet away.

Nigel

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Hi All,

Another detailing hour this afternoon. Horns attached, exhausts made for the red 'un (which I don't like, brass will be better and more durable than the styrene tubes I used), 1mm height added to the body of the grey 'un. Needs some rails on the red 'un at the ends. Waiting on some rivet decals/transfers, coat of shiny acrylic to stick the rivets on, then onto the final coats of paint and some weathering.

Have to start planning the next one.I have a general idea about using a Bachmann 2-6-2 chassis (ex GWR Mogul) to make a 4-6-4 Forney, I have to see what bits I will need for the body (domes, chimney).

Nigel












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Wow Nigel, you're really getting these locos together!  Great stuff.

John

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Hi John,

Thanks, the important thing is that I'm having some fun and along the way getting into areas that RTR normally keeps people away from. Being limited for space is actually focusing what I do (and can't do!). Amazing what you can do in a 3' x 2' work space.

Nigel

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Hi All,

Today saw both a coat of red oxide on the chassis of the red 'un, and both models given a coat of gloss acrylic in preparation for the rivet decals. No photos - it's just paint drying. I can supply if there is sufficient interest.

Change of plans regarding lighting. I was going to use the Bachmann LEDs as supplied, but they have an awful orange glimmer. So I bit the bullet, and I have 2 Soundtraxx Tsunami TSU 1000 decoders coming with 6 cylinder diesel switcher sound suites. Full function decoders, not the limited function Econami ones. I'll wire in some decent white LEDs. It also means I can get rid of the current boards/decoders and make some space for speakers. The decoders were $64 each. Scoooorrr!!!

Nigel

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The exhaust stacks on the red ‘un look of too great a diameter to me... and does it have two engines, that is, does it need two exhausts? I think the grey ‘un’s exhaust looks much better. Nothing to base this opinion on other than my gut.
Keep it coming, 

Marty

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Hi Marty,

Blame Blodgit and Fudgit, those good-for nothing maintenance layabouts. They have a tendency to make repairs with what comes handy, in this case some 8" diameter drain pipe. Unlike the rest of the clunker there are at least no dents or rust. Yet. That lack of back pressure makes those 2 big V8 diesels  run...interestingly.

It's only a tad out of scale (the ones on the grey 'un are 6" diameter, and are a bit under scale). .Matches those horns that would pass as fog horn, ship, for the use of. Blodgit and Fudgit recon they'll help get the sound out when those decoders arrive. "What about all that mesh" I say. "Cobblers" they reply, " everybody knows sound rises. Just listen to the exhaust. Plus they add a bit of weight". And they're somewhat reluctant to tackle the copious amounts of solder and nuts and bolts holding them in place.

And that leads me onto a "paint drying moment photo!". The exhausts got chopped since the last post, so they actually look better than those previous dreadnought smokestacks. Give it 24 hours and I can start decaling the rivets. And add some door handles. Which I completely forgot about.

On a serious note, the proportions of this model meet no known prototype. It was designed to fit a particular chassis, the Bachmann 70 tonner. The exhausts could have been placed at the front (I could have simply turned the hoods 180°), I chose to put them at the back. In hindsight a good decision as the hoods could do with being a bit longer. I had contemplated making one long hood from the 2 short hoods,and making a new cab. I have reviewed many photo's of small diesels at work in far-off places to get a sense of proportions, the diameter of the exhausts is actually not out of place. I have seen bigger. Plus photo's of oil barrels being used for the same function. And this is On30, the land of the critters...where anything goes, and there is always a prototype for it.

Nigel






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BCDR wrote: . And this is On30, the land of the critters...where anything goes, and there is always a prototype for it.

Nigel



That sentence says it all ..... :mutley    and if one cannot find a prototype photo in the Internet,etc, doesn't mean that one doesn't exist in the real world....  Rule #1 applies.

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Hi Ron,

Thanks. I came across some recently with what were at least 12" square exhausts. And all sense of proportion goes out of the window if a large spark arrestor gets plonked on top.This one is a bit of "try it and see modeling", hence the bashing around of a perfectly good brass etching, so no real concerns about slavish adherence to any given prototype. Same for the grey 'un. I actually liked the Dreadnought style smokestacks, but had to reduce them in height  for clearance issues. This is supposed to be a diesel mechanical (or hydraulic), so those drive wheels should all be cranked or have cardan shaft drives. And they're too small anyway. And should really be 2' gauge, not 2'6". Compromises, compromises...

Nigel

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Ah, Blodgit and Fudgit... should have known. Used ‘em myself quite a bit, innovative lads... and cheap. As long as you are having fun, that’s all that counts. 
Marty

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Hi All,

Couple of coats of "chalky autumn wheat" to give a sun-bleached yellow color, and a gentle rub down of parts of the old red 'un with #800 wet and dry to reveal the red undercoat ("rust"). The windscreen wiper etch came yesterday, as did the sound decoders. Powder weathering (light) to come on both. Then the only thing left will be some lights. Which I may have to do myself as I haven't found anything suitable.

The brass shell of the center cab one was attached to the frame with styrene blocks and 2-56 screws (one at each end and one each side in the cab). Plus some CA.

Nigel








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Very nice, Nigel.  :thumbs

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Hi All,

Max - thanks.

Not much progress this week, windscreen wipers added, and glazing for the windows, plus a start on weathering with the protective grill on the gray 'un. (Perhaps another name as they're both chalky yellow! End-cab and Center-cab it is from now on). I also played around a bit with some Valejo rust and black to get a "bronzy/black" for the coupler mounts. More rust and a touch of oily black are required I think. Work in progress, serious weathering later next week as I'm battling an article deadline and the mini-lathe just arrived. Plus I need to make a start on wiring the decoders and speakers. And lamps. Close-ups are cruel.

Nigel








 






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Have to say what a superbly ( and humorous ) written thread that compliments the superbly built models.

Can't wait for more.

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Hi All,

Allan, thankee kindly, much appreciated.

Slow week on the modeling front so far, but I did manage to add a couple of radiator caps (couple of screws with the bit slots filled with solder, then filed flat, no expense spared as usual), and get a bit of rustification in over the weekend on the center-cab model prior to an attack with the weathering powders. Better make some masks for the swept areas of the windscreens before I do that. The rustogoblins have well and truly had a field day. I used a combination of "rust" and "rusty red" weathering fluids and a box of Q-tips. Those bogie/truck sides need some oily black and grease on them as well. I'm currently debating whether to add a couple of air filter inlets on the hoods now that I have the micro lathe up and running.

Box 'o scenery came in the mail today, so no excuses, I'll have to get on with the layout. Currently in stock are 3 baseboards, total length 10 feet by 1 foot wide. Narrow is good, less of that expensive scenery to have to deal with.

Nigel









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VBG Nigel  :pathead

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Hi Ron,

VBG - Venous blood gas? (For those not familiar, very big grin - text precursor of Mr. Smiley the emoticon). Thanks.

Onto the electrickery and DCC pokery.

The original DCC boards are on eebygum at the moment along with the body shells, so I need something to put the decoder, stay-alive and speakers on. Blodgit and Fudgit recon a shelf from some of the scrap lying around would do the job, who am I to argue with these precision master craftsmen after their masterful job on the exhaust stacks?

Strips of styrene were cut and glued, various holes drilled, rattle can for 2 coats of matt black, as usual no expense spared (or time wasted). The 44 ton chassis had the PCB board/decoder attached with holes for plastic inserts, they will get filled with 2-part epoxy, and holes drilled and tapped for some 2-56 nylon bolts. The 70 tone chassis has some convenient pegs and holes, although I might just drill out the existing holes and tap for -2-56 nylon bolts. Just to be on the safe side.

Wiring next. I don't seem to have any 8 pin (as opposed to 8 socket) wiring harnesses around, so it's a direct wire job for the decoder unless I use the mini block terminal I have going spare. Must find the heat sinks to clip on the wires to the decoder if I go the hard-wired route (big metal clothes pegs with flattened ends). I got rid of the electrical noise bits on the 70 ton chassis (the 44 ton didn't have any), not necessary with a decoder and they can mess up BEMF control.

Nigel


44 ton at the back, 70 ton at the front.


Plastic shelves cut, drilled and painted.


In place on the 70 ton.


In place on the 44 ton.



Holes where the clips went in, to be filled with epoxy and drilled/tapped for 2-56 nylon bolts.

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ahh VBG  I thought it meant     very blurry good !    which it IS by the way Nigel      :doublethumb
Cheers

 Matt

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Hi Matt,

Thanks. There are alternates for VBG, but having worked with three Australians for 13 years they never came up (venous gas levels excluded), so I'm pretty sure Ron was using the polite one. I could be wrong...

Nigel

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BCDR wrote: Hi Matt,

Thanks. There are alternates for VBG, but having worked with three Australians for 13 years they never came up (venous gas levels excluded), so I'm pretty sure Ron was using the polite one. I could be wrong...

Nigel

In Oz, VBG usually means

very bloody good 
:mutley

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Great job with the locos Nigel.  A silk purse indeed.  Is sound envisioned?  I think in 0 gauge it really does enhance things.

John

Last edited on Fri Dec 22nd, 2017 05:50 am by Brossard

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Hi all,

Ron, VBG, never came up, although most of the time it was technobabble, not 'strine, so live and learn.

John, Thanks. Turned out a lot better than I expected. Sound is very much in the plans. I have Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders (full function loco control, 6 aux functions) with GE caterpillar diesel sound suites with the usual 50 choices of horns for both, next job on the list once the shelves are in.

Filled two holes on the 44 ton chassis with 2-part epoxy this morning, drill and tap tomorrow when it's cured. No photos, unless somebody really wants to look at epoxy curing. Sold the two body shells,  pcb boards and decoders as well on eebuygum, so the overall cost is reduced.

Having got back into scratch building and bashing, I really fancy having a go at converting a UK Bachmann 2-6-0 GWR prairie I have going spare (OO)into a 2-6-4 On30 Forney. This was a locomotive with an articulated bunker/tender that was designed to go around tight curves on the New York and Chicago elevated railways, and which were subsequently used in many industrial settings, including my modeling topic. Most were 2-4-4, but there were some 2-6-4 designs. More on that in the new year.

Nigel

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BCDR wrote: Hi all,

Ron, VBG, never came up, although most of the time it was technobabble, not 'strine, so live and learn.

John, Thanks. Turned out a lot better than I expected. Sound is very much in the plans. I have Soundtraxx Tsunami decoders (full function loco control, 6 aux functions) with GE caterpillar diesel sound suites with the usual 50 choices of horns for both, next job on the list once the shelves are in.

Filled two holes on the 44 ton chassis with 2-part epoxy this morning, drill and tap tomorrow when it's cured. No photos, unless somebody really wants to look at epoxy curing. Sold the two body shells,  pcb boards and decoders as well on eebuygum, so the overall cost is reduced.

Having got back into scratch building and bashing, I really fancy having a go at converting a UK Bachmann 2-6-0 GWR prairie I have going spare (OO)into a 2-6-4 On30 Forney. This was a locomotive with an articulated bunker/tender that was designed to go around tight curves on the New York and Chicago elevated railways, and which were subsequently used in many industrial settings, including my modeling topic. Most were 2-4-4, but there were some 2-6-4 designs. More on that in the new year.



Nigel

How dare you abuse a GWR loco, Nigel !  :twisted:


Allan.

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Hi Allan,

Without shedding a tear. Just like Churchward in fact. Quite apt that a narrow gauge chassis lives on as a narrow gauge locomotive. It's been a test bed over the years for my evaluations of sound systems and speaker location, the body us held together with CA, styrene glue, screws, bits of string, brown paper, sealing wax, blue tack... and no market for it here and too expensive on postage to sell in the UK. Now if only I could do something with that Hornby 14xxx model. Apart from bin it.

Nigel

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Hi All,

I finally made a start on installing the electronics into the locomotives. I started with the center cab, double hood one, as this requires a bit more work with respect to the speakers.

I'm using a Soundtraxx Tsunami 2, #TSU-1100 with 16 bit sound for GE diesels. This is a 1 amp, 6-function sound decoder with a ton of options - see below. Not sure I need ditch or Mars lights, but you never know. The important thing is that it has sound files for dual Caterpillar diesels and a single Cummins diesel. I'll use the dual Caperpillars for this one. On sale for $64, so not bad. The online manual is very readable.




The decoder comes "bare wires", shown below with the included capacitor (220 µF, not sure how far that will get it without power, probably an inch or two, this is more to supply power on dirty track so the decoder doesn't cut out), conventional practice is to hard wire the decoder directly to the pickups and motor.

 I


I generally use a modular approach to decoder installation, where the decoder and speaker(s) can be removed separately and independently. In this case I used Microtronics 2 and 4-pin ribbon connectors, rated at 1 amp, The connectors are handed, convenient white dots on the coupling and a white stripe on one wire, and I used colored heat shrink tubing just to make sure the wiring was correct (black/red pickups, grey/orange to motor). The wiring will be coiled and held together with Kapton tape before installation. I used a large, flat ended metal clothes peg as a heat sink to protect the decoder when soldering. The end result is shown below.




The "heat sink". Indispensable when soldering wires connected to sensitive electronic components. This is a metal clothes peg with the ends flattened in the vice. I get these from Lee Valley in Canada in bags of 25. Made in Italy, so they or something similar should be available throughout Europe. Very effective, lots of mass, the wire from the soldering gets hot, to the decoder it's cool. Also useful as "third hands" for tinning wires, etc., when laid on their side.



 
Close-up of the wires from the decoder below. Back to front: Black, grey, orange, red. Held together with Kapton tape, less messy than electrical tape, and easier to see what's being held together.

I I


I used transparent heat shrink to protect the ends of any unused wires (lights for the moment, and the spare FXs), bent over and of slightly different lengths to make sure there are no shorts. Definitely no wiggle room here.  Again, easier to see what's going on.




The chassis has the corresponding female plug connected to the left and right side pickups and the motor. Color coded heat shrink as for the decoder.




I'm using two 8 ohm speakers, wired in series to give 16 ohms and a maximum of 0.5W per speaker, as recommended by Soundtraxx.




These are connected to the decoder amplifier outputs using the 2-pin connectors.




The connections to the capacitor were protected using transparent heat shrink, along with some Kapton tape to minimize stress on the soldered joints



It was a pleasant 60 minute job last night. Next up will be the end cab locomotive, that one will be getting a single mega-bass speaker in the cab.

Nigel




 

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Awesome stuff! Models look superb and although I do not understand the wiring side of it that also looks very impressive!

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Hi John,

Thanks.

The wiring is actually pretty simple, Soundtraxx did all the hard work, I just connected the wires - pickups from chassis to decoder, power from decoder to motor, decoder to capacitor, decoder to speakers (wired in series), spare leads for lights, TV, fridge, beer cooler...

Although this is O narrow gauge, the locomotive is only around 6" long, so it will get a bit crowded. It helps to keep it modular and the wiring color coded. That way the decoder and speakers can be removed without the hassle of undoing hard wiring.

Nigel

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Hi all,

So checked the chassis in DC, it worked fine, reconnected the decoder and wires, stuffed the chassis and electronics into the body, plonked it on the test track, fired up the NCE system, and...nothing. A dear me, well I never moment ("What did you just say? Good job the grandchildren are not here" says my wife). Oh no, not a dead parrot. Not quite, the diesels are now chattering away quietly in stereo. Now the horns work, then the bell. Then it goes forwards and backwards. Turns out the capacitor has to charge up, then current is allowed to go to the motor and the full range of sounds.

Nigel

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Hi All,

Almost the last post of the scratch/bash builds of the two yellow diesels. I had to rethink the speakers in the center cab, running 2 at 0.5w didn't give enough sound (the decoder only has a 1w output amplifier, so even at full output the speakers were only getting 0.5w each), so I switched to just one. Much better. I also had to use a smaller speaker in the end cab, the mega bass was too big to fit, and it was a 2w model. Sounds fine.

Apart from these minor adjustments, I now have 2 On30 diesel critters pretty much ready to go. I'll deal with the lights later on when I have sourced/made them. Excellent slow running, at speed step 1 (out of 128) they both ran at just under a scale 2 mph (12" in 1' 05", 1:48 scale) with no jerkiness. Running both with DC and a blanking circuit was jerky at around the minimum voltage (3.5v-4v) with a scale speed of around 4 mph. They both have small motors, and no flywheels. A situation where DCC really scores over DC (where pulse width modulation is normally a compromise, and my DC powerpack is a full bells and whistles model).

Quick You Tube video of the end cab diesel (sound on my Nikon is not that great, not too bad though):

https://youtu.be/yjRaqIBoHvI

Next up in this "how not to do it" series - a Bachmann GWR 2-6-2 Prairie chassis into a Forney 2-6-4 or maybe even a 2-4-4 (technically a 4-6-2 or 4-4-2 as they ran bunker first). Sort of a silk purse into a pigs ear build. Those 2 shop ruffians Blodgit and Fudgit are rubbing their mitts with glee, never before has there been this much scope to show their talents (or singular lack thereof). I ordered some black styrene sheet especially for the impending (some might say imploding) build. Seemed appropriate. Much effort, time, and as usual on this penny-pinching line as little money as possible, will undoubtedly be spent on this masterpiece, accompanied as usual by a few "well I never" and "would you just look at that" moments. The chassis worked fine this morning, that will probably change once they put their plates on it.

Nigel

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You gotta be happy with that, Nigel.  :thumbs

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Hi Max,

Right chuffed in fact. It was quite enjoyable after the disappointment of that 3D nylon body shell. Those little Bachmann chassis run very nicely with the Soundtraxx decoders. Much better than the ones that came with the donor locomotives in fact (which I believe are reduced function decoders supplied by Soundtraxx).

I have a few OO/HO models doing nothing that are candidates for conversion, so this topic could go on for some time.

Some lessons learned (in this case forgotten, it's 10 years since I last did O-scale narrow gauge): On30/On16.5 locomotives have pretty much the same space limitations as HO/OO locomotives. Big speakers require big holes to go in. OK for tenders, not so good for diesel hoods/steam boilers. Big speakers also need big amplifiers. I will be adjusting the dimensions of the next critter to accommodate the above, and will be switching to a 2w output decoder. Having built some rolling stock it would be nice to have a layout to run them on - green cutting mat and a foot of HO track gets boring (backwards/forwards...). That will be the subject of a separate topic.

Nigel

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Hi All,

Next up is a Forney steam locomotive. These small steamers were the invention of Mathias N. Forney, and as patented in 1866 were 0-4-4T engines, with the back truck/bogie carrying the tender/bunker. They were intended to run forwards/backwards, hence the truck/bogie under the tender/bunker, and were used extensively in the elevated railroads of Chicago and New York before electrification. Built by many companies (Baldwin and Porter for example), they were useful in narrow gauge settings because of their light weight and ability to take on sharp curves with their flangeless second driver wheels. I found an example of a 2-6-4T Forney with a gauge of 3'6", close enough for me and in the correct industrial setting. I'm waiting copyright permission before posting a photo of the 2-6-4T engine, so in the meantime a picture of the Bachmann On30 model, which is a 0-4-4T, no longer available, and fetching silly prices on eebygum. Just imagine 2 more divers for the moment.



The B&ER in England had a similar broad gauge design running in the 1850's - the Pearson 4-2-4, built in 1853-4, flangeless driving wheel diameter 8'10"-9'0", and designed to run in either direction. Bogies at either end, and for a while the holder of the world speed at 81.8 mph (down Wellington bank, where else). Wonder who borrowed the idea from who?



So what chassis is going into the build? A Bachmann GWR 2-6-2 Prairie of course. Taken from my DCC test bed locomotive, the body of which was much abused, and held together with CA, epoxy, PVA, string, a five pound note, and a few additional screws here and there. It seemed apt to me that what was a narrow gauge chassis in OO should end up as a narrow gauge chassis in On30.

The chassis runs quite well for an early Bachmann Branchline Locomotive (it must date from around the year 2000). It has a 5-pole motor but straight armatures, which meant clagging at low speeds under DC and some resultant jerkiness as the armatures rotated and stopped momentarily as they passed the magnets. No flywheel to help things move along either. A DCC decoder resolves that issue. Body work (primarily the cab and bunker/tender) is being designed in CorelDraw, it will be printed and used to cut out the styrene pieces. The boiler will come from a section of plastic plumbing pipe or copper pipe (I haven't decided yet), and I have some white metal castings in the spares drawer for the chimney and domes. Either that or a RTR body shell from Bachmann with all the bells and whistles (literally). I need a long wheelbase truck for the bunker/tender as well.

Lots of hackery and butchery are in the plans of course (Blodgit and Fudgit the shop mechanics are as happy as Larry), but one of the challenges is going to be elongation and widening of the chassis, it's MAZAC/ZAMAC, and I don't solder that alloy (a witches brew of a flux that generates fluorine gas is required, that took the smiles off their faces). Brass or styrene sheet and drill and tap for 2-56 machine screws should work.There may well be side tanks as I have a couple going spare in 3D printed acrylic.



 



That's it for the moment, updates as they happen.

Nigel

Edit: It's a 3-pole motor. No wonder it's rough on DC!











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Hi Nigel,

Thank you very much for sharing your previous freelance pair, including the videos. I enjoyed the build very much, so am looking forward to the Prairie giving birth to an interesting Forney. I know you'll do it justice.

Thanks to a YouTube diversion, starting with your yellow diesel, I ended up with two superb On30 layouts with skillful detailed modelling. Slater Creek features a bogie tank loco and also one with ingenious looking vertical connecting rods and shaft drive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLz9L8XeYIc

The attraction of On30 has struck me as being a great way to incorporate much more detail.

Will you keep the 3 pole motor even with DCC?

Best,

Bill




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Hi Bill,

Thanks. No reason to change the motor, it works fine even although it's an older design. Even under DC. Just goes better under DCC when crawling along at walking pace (plus sound, lights and the ability to have 2 or more locomotives on the same track). Being made in 2000 makes it among the younger of my locomotive stable, the oldest is probably late 1960's-early 1970's. I draw the line at old open frame motors with a 4-5 amp draw current though. Those get replaced with a modern DCC can motor.

On30 does have the advantage of a bit more space to do some detailing.

Nigel

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Hi All,

I got permission to show the picture below. This is a 0-6-4T Forney, built by Porter in 1911, and in use up to 1951 by the Godchaux Sugar Company on their 3'6" narrow gauge system in Louisiana. I was going to use a 2-6-4T arrangement, but what's a pony here or there (or a foot in gauge!). Helps keep the dimensions smaller as well.

The usual assorted clutter on the boiler (sand domes, sand pipes, electricity cables, steam dome, lights steam turbine electricity generator, bell, injectors), and on the other side there would have been an air pump and air reservoir tank for the brakes.

I also found a dimensional diagram for a 0-4-4T Forney built by Baldwin, which will be useful for the boiler, cab and bunker build. Some Archbar trucks (bogies) came today, so no excuses. The boiler diameter was 46", 1:48 scale means a diameter of 0.96". I found some brass pipe joiners in the plumbing section of the local DIY store this morning of almost the same diameter. The driving wheel diameter was 42", 1:48 scale means 0.875", the Bachmann drivers are 0.8", close enough for me. The pistons will require some work. More on that topic shortly.

Blodgit and Fudgit need to get cracking, as they clearly will be stretched to the limits of their incompetence with this one. Less of the procrastination, more of the fabrication.

Nigel



The photograph above is of Godchaux Sugar Company's 0-6-4T #7 Forney, and is reproduced from HawkinsRails.net with the kind permission of Ralph Hawkins, Webmaster.

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Hi All,

The question of pistons, gauge and scale (my perennial bugbear) arose early in the build this evening. Which is making me really think about the suitability of a UK donor chassis for the Forney bash. So...

OO trains have a 4mm scale body but run on HO track (16.5mm, nominal 14.5mm back-to-back, although most manufacturers err on the side of caution and use 14-14.3mm). This is an issue if the body dimensions are adhered to. In the case of the 45xx the width over the cylinders was 8' 9.25" (35.08mm in 4mm scale). The width on this model is a scale 9.015' (36.06mm). Why slightly wider than it should be? There is a very practical reason for this - read on. This however means that the cross head guides and cross head/rods have to be angled in towards the wheels because of the narrow gauge wheelbase. In this case by 1.7mm either side. Have a look at the photo to see what I mean.



The amount of room available to bring the pistons in (which will mean removing a section of the saddle where the screw is) is for all intents and purposes zero due to the height of the pins holding the rod on the leading wheels (2.4mm, visible next to the motion bracket on the LHS of the photo below) , and the lateral play in the front wheels (1.15 mm). No wonder Bachmann had to make the cylinder width a bit more than the prototype.



There is enough meat on the center axle to widen the back-to-back by around 0.5mm, not nearly enough.This was definitely a "well I never, would you believe it?" moment. Now I could just bin those pisitons, and replace with some round ones with rectangular valve chests, but they would still stick out like sore thumbs. Same goes for longer pins and spacer washers on the central wheel.

The back-up plan for this chassis was a 6-coupled diesel mechanical with jack-shaft, so it looks like that will be the project for this chassis. I'll be looking for a Bachmann US 0-6-0 chassis, my NBHS should have some at fire-sale prices. If not it's eebygum.

Nigel

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Hi All,

After a bit of a think I decided i could live with the geometry of the rods. I weighed the boiler in brass  - ouch! Too much for that small motor. Onto Plan B - PVC tube. 1" diameter, 1/8" walls, internal diameter 3/4", so a tad over-scale compared to the prototype, but not much (0.958" versus 1", 46" versus 48" diameter ). This tubing is rigid, and rated for 480 psi - more than any regular steam engine. Cut to length, slot for the motor, and ready for the smoke box cladding, front, and back-head detailing (not that there was very much). I tried a test fit with a 3D print diesel cab, seems OK. See below. Interested passer-by got into the pictures. The black styrene sheet came today, so this week's project looks like the cab, bunker and frame extension.

Nigel






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Hi All,

Something different while I wait for some items for the Forney build to come. In this class, a Bachmann class 20 diesel into a narrow gauge Bo-Bo heavyweight. The inspiration for this came from the Queensland Railway's diesel hydraulics that were converted to 2' gauge for the sugar cane industry in Australia. My intended layout needs at least one substantial diesel for hauling heavy loads, this fits the bill. I have an ESU sound decoder with the class 20, that will need re-blowing to a Hymec or similar. This actually a PITA, as the decoder will have to go to the UK to have this done. Last time I did this I was going to get dinged import duty and taxes on the value of the decoder (£120), not the re-blow (£15). Might actually easier just to get an ESU select and a generic diesel hydraulic.

First photo's show the body and and chassis of the class 20. I got rid of the Bachmann attempt at a DCC board several years ago, it was rewired with an 8-pin socket and wiring for lights. I only needed the body frame, as the body shell is not tall or wide enough. Five minutes with the fine saw solved that.





Next photo's show the footplate. This was made using 2 pieces of styrene, the first one plain, the other foot-plate tread.






I'll be starting the body this week using the black styrene sheet after some drawing in CorelDraw for the shapes.

Nigel

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Hi All,

One of those "hold on a minute, lad" moments. I assembled the foot plate using white styrene sheet and Humbrol cement (the stuff in the yellow bottle). Something was worrying me about this. This morning I consulted my modeling notes, there it was, Humbrol cement doesn't go that well with white styrene and Bachmann green plastic (as used for body shells). And so came another "well I never, would you believe it!" moment when it popped away from the Bachmann frame with a light touch of the cutting blade. Plus another one of those moments when I realized I'd made it too narrow (scale 7 feet instead of 9 feet).

So today we have footplate version II in black styrene, [Question: How do you see pencil lines on black styrene? You don't, use a white pencil or gel pen.]. I did the end beams while I was at it. Reinforced to handle the coupler pull. There is another pair of side beams to do, along with some steps front and rear. I'll let the cement harden before adding those. Tamiya heavy duty cement was used.

Nigel






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Is there some difference between white and black styrene other than the colour then Nigel ?

Ed

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Hi Ed,

Apart from not requiring undercoat when painting dark railway colors? Yes, it's formulated to be a lot more stable to UV light than the white styrene variety, and supposedly does not go brittle, shrink or deform after a year or so. Subjective observations, but it appears a tad softer, and is easier to cut/snap and bend. Glues up nicely, especially with the Tamiya cement. First try with the material, I'm very pleased so far. Downside is that it only comes in sheets, no rod, angle, I-beam, tubes.

Nigel

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Interesting.

All the sheets I have just happen to be black, but your quite right as all the angle, bar and tube I've got are white.

Anyway, back to your critters etc.


Ed


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Hi All,

Back to the critters it is.

A second footplate was cut and glued down, some spacing strips added to the underside of the chassis to raise the height over the wheels ("sky" above the bogies/trucks is a prominent feature of the prototype, difficult with a gear tower model), and exterior buffer plates added. These were reinforced with some plastic engineering blocks I had handy to provide something for the coupler gear to pull against. This will be a surface mount with 2 levels.

The exterior plate and interior plate will provide the space for the access steps. I also levered off those Bachmann plastic covers on the "box" amidships, more on that later.

Some material needs removing from the underside of the MAZAC/ZAMAC chassis, that means taking the the bogie/trucks and gear towers out. The prototype has a Voith transmission and a transfer gearbox positioned in the middle, although most of that would be hidden by the fuel tanks. There are also cardan shafts to the inner driving wheels, and secondary shafts to the out wheels in the bogies.  The brakes are already gone after the conversion to EM, the class 20 archbar needs beefing up a bit, and a representation of the cardan shaft made. The sand boxes need to disappear as well. Looks like a job for those stalwarts of the shop, Blodgit and Fudgit (motto: "by 'eck we can do it, and at no cost", overtime and ale excepted).

If I get permission I'll post a picture of the class. Lots of variation ( location of the fuel tanks, sand boxes, cab design, steps, lights...), so plenty of modeling license.

Nigel

Second footplate added and spacing blocks.


Buffer plate in position, the space is where the steps go. The small cut-out on the inner plate is for a flare in the steps at the bottom.


Reinforcing strips in place to elevate the footplate from the chassis.


"Sky" above the bogies/trucks. Needs more. A job for the big file


Bottom half in place on the chassis. It's long for a critter - almost 9.5". I had to compress a bit compared to the prototype dimensions, faithfully modeling that would mean scratch building a chassis (and running on On2 24" gauge track).



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Evening All (well it's evening here),

Bit of hackery (with the hacksaw) and an attack with the big red file removed the blob uerneath as well as some metal above the wheels. Anymore and the chassis will start to get a bit fragile. Goodenuff, painted black and with some underbody details it'll do. I'll even it up with some styene strip.

Nigel






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Hi All,

I made a start on the modifications to the bogies/trucks today. The frames on the original are quite basic, the Bachmann ones are just not right. Bit of a compromise on the length and height, but it's the spirit I'm after, not a faithful reproduction. The cosmetic frames were cut from styrene sheet.  Pictures tel the story.

The original  Bachmann Class 20 bogie/truck, minus most of the brake gear.


The stripped down bogie/truck. The bottom part was removed, along with the strut that runs to the gear cover plate.



The replacement cosmetic frame glued in place with CA (consulted the notebook, CA works with styrene sheet, styrene adhesive does not).


Finally some brass reinforcing bar was added to the ends, which are in my experience the weak points of the design, This is the internal end.


And this is the external end that had the NEM 362 pocket on. Reinforcing bars are essential here as the cross bar is not connected..


One down, three to go. Then the brake levers and shoes. maybe some cosmetic coil springs as well. Plus those cosmetic cardan shafts.

Nigel

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Hooly dooly ... I love watching you do this strip down and rebuild from scratch process. I always learn something new too. Keep it coming.

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Marty wrote: Hooly dooly ... I love watching you do this strip down and rebuild from scratch process. I always learn something new too. Keep it coming.
Yep, I'll second that emotion and I reckon your notebook must contain a mine of useful snippets Nigel.

Essential reading here for all modelers.

Bill

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Hi Marty, Bill,

Thanks. You are way too generous with your comments, this is pure bodge and fettle on the cheap. Compromise and compression, make-do or do without, and minimal expense.

On to today's episode. I finished cutting and attaching the rest of the cosmetic sides (as usual none of them are identical, but look OK from 6 feet - this is O scale remember). The brake shoes will need to be somewhere between HO and S-scale (1:64), choices with RTR are limited (read zero) for 1:64, HO are too small, so it looks like I'll be making my own, along with the springs and assorted hangers. One of the drawbacks of using a smaller-scale chassis.

Looking at the innards of the bogies/trucks, I was struck by the state of the lubrication - starting to get a bit thick and discolored. Time for a clean-up and service. I removed as much of the old grease as possible (toothpicks and lint-free shop cloths work well), and while I was at it checked the gears for any splits/cracks/missing teeth. All good, so some fresh grease was applied, and the frames reunited with the gearboxes. Test fit to see what they looked like in the body shell. To my eye they certainly change the visual impression, even although they really are too small.

Bit of a break from the running gear coming up - the body shell. The prototype is a lot longer than the Bachmann chassis will accommodate, so some compression will be called for.

I now have 2 bogies/trucks with the beefed-up and simplified frames. Bigger axle covers would be useful, I have some adeas about how to address that.


End view showing the reinforcing brass bars on the coupler ends.


The state of the grease. Starting to discolor and get thick. The last lubrication was 5 years ago. Hmm.


Clean-up time. Also an opportunity to check the state of the pickups and the back of the wheels, as well as the bearings.

Fresh lubricant generously applied.


I use this for gear-sets and bearings, it's plastic compatible and doesn't cause swelling.


Quick check to see what they look like attached to the chassis.


Nigel




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Hi All,

A bit more progress today on the diesel body shell. The hood pieces were cut out and the hood put together with some white styrene angle inside, and the bits for the cab front, back and sides cut out. Final trim tomorrow, plus some scribe lines for the doors, and then the cab will be put together. Big windows are on the back, these locomotives run backwards, often double headed. Come to think of it, just like the class 20 still does.

I found a model of this on the web over the weekend in 3/4" to the foot scale (around 30" long, garden railway size, battery powered and radio controlled), I almost took up knitting until I realized the modeler had made just as many compromises as I have.in the build. Blodgit and Fudgit disappeared, probably drowning their sorrows.They'll turn up soon enough. That made me feel much better. My build uses a chassis that would be gathering dust, waste not...

I found some laser-cut louvers and doors online last week, they arrived in the mail today, peel and stick (the same company also does a peel and stick diesel center cab body for an On30 chassis, I couldn't resist, more of that later, that one will use an Atlas-Roco S2 diesel chassis that is also going spare).

More details on the Forney came at the end of the last week, specifically a scale diagram of the Godchaux #7 in the early 1950's, in addition to a photo I had not seen. The diagram and photo were in a magazine from 1995 (Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette), great read, not one company advertising in the magazine had a website, call or write. Plus 90% of them are no longer in business. I need a smaller diameter boiler, the perspex tube for that came today, limiting factor is the diameter of the Bachmann motor. The Bachmann chassis is not that far out regarding the wheel diameter and wheelbase, although I will need more air under the boiler. Busy, busy.

Nigel






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Hi All,

More bodywork construction today - cab assembled (after a false start, I put the window units in upside down last night :oops: :oops: :oops:, after the "well I never" moment this afternoon they came out with the assistance of a sharp blade, thankfully I didn't have to redo the windows), the cab was attached to the hood, and the wells for the steps at either end cut. I'll need a bit of filler for the joins on the sides following the upside down interlude. I went over the bodywork with some #800 wet and dry, hence it's grey color. Some filler in the gaps and then the steps are up next. Bit more final trimming on the windows, then it's onto the interior of the cab, the external detailing and a paint job.









Nigel

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Hi All,

Some more progress on the B-B diesel.

1. Steps added (styrene sheet).
2. Side ventilated panels added ("peel and stick" from Mount Blue Models, laser cut ply, cut down 2mm in height to fit).
3. Front grill added (brass mesh, double layer).
4. Top ventilation grill (fabricated from brass strip and styrene) and bottom louvers (n/s etch, meant for a Sentinel) added.
5. Top and side access panels added (styrene sheet and rod "hinge" for the top).
6. Chimney added (one of those nice plastic engineering blocks and some styrene tube).
7. Curved edges to roof added (styrene 1/4 round rod) and some interior reinforcing to keep shape (roof is just lodged on, it will be permanently fixed after a bit of cab detailing and windows).
8. Light coat of matt black (Krylon spray can paint and primer, goes on wood, plastic, metal).

Found some O scale horns of a suitable size at a show I went to over the weekend (Lionel, need drilling out). Sand hoppers next, then some railings, door knobs, levers), and a fuel tank and filler.Plus rewiring for DCC sound.

Nothing complicated on any of this, so I'll let the pictures tell the story. The hood is not sitting flat due to a trapped wire.

















Nigel

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Hi All,

I found a Bachmann 2-6-0 (Mogul) On30 locomotive along with 3 On30 coaches (passenger cars) with lighting at a show this last weekend, going for a song. The seller admitted defeat in trying to convert the locomotive to DCC. Not a good sign. Missing one axle and wheels on one passenger car, a few loose and broken bits on the body shell, and just as money was about to change hands he mentioned that he had drilled some holes in the tender for the planned speaker and decoder. "Whoa there" sez moi, pulling my money back. So after a bit of haggling and "how about throwing in that box of O scale windows and doors?" down went the price even more. The set came in a big box along with some HO snap track and a DC powerpack and controller. This is still a current model (and still DC), so spare bits are not an issue (including the running chassis and the body shell). I recon it's a first run, so getting on for 20 years old. From the lack of wear on wheels very little running time, probably around the Christmas tree once a year.

First job was to get the body shell off. Not clear in the instructions or parts diagram, but after a bit of poking around it's just a tab at the front and the back (which is where I think the previous owner gave up). So off with the shell. The good news it is not a split chassis, there is a decent sized can motor and flywheel. First job was a complete strip down of the chassis, a check of all the gears, and a good clean and lube, and it runs like a dream. However, what was masquerading as a circuit board was interesting and would have probably stopped the previous owner from going forward with the conversion if he had in fact got the body shell off. The "circuit board" collects power from the wheels and delivers it to the motor, and also powers the front light through 2 spring contacts attached to the underside of the boiler shell. No constant lighting resistors and 3v lamps, this is plain vanilla track voltage through a 12v lamp.

I'm giving it some thought, use the "circuit board" as a contact strip, or just gut it and replace with a decoder? Using the board means the decoder and speaker in the tender (and a mess of wiring in the boiler), decoder in the boiler means just 2 speaker wires to the tender. Space is tight, but I'm leaning towards binning the board and springs and rewiring from scratch. There just may be enough space for a sugar cube speaker under the chimney, as well as a mega-bass in the tender. Need to take some measurements, and metal will need to come off the chassis which ever way I go.

I wasn't going to post any of this, so no start picture of the locomotive, but it may be of interest to those contemplating a DC to DCC conversion.

Pictures below.

Nigel

Photo from the box. Nice small narrow gauge mogul. .


Makers plate says "Rogers, 1910", which is probably  incorrect, as Rogers were taken over by ALCO in 1905


Running chassis after a clean and lube.


The "circuit board". Spring tabs to the motor terminals. 2-pin connector to the wheel pickups. Flywheel underneath.


Spring contacts to the front lamp which contact the "circuit board" board when the shell is in place.

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Hi All,

Too cold today to spray paint the B-B diesel with a second coat of black, so a bit more work on the On30 2-6-0.

After much measurement and checking decoder sizes, I decided to put the decoder in the tender, along with a mega bass speaker, and to hopefully put a sugar cube speaker in the boiler. That gives me enough room for a 2 amp decoder with a 2 watt sound amplifier. So out with the Dremel and the big files to do some metal removal. I'll need to have the red/black wires going from the pickups to the tender, orange and grey back to the motor, front headlight wiring (2 wires) and speaker wiring (2 wires) from the tender to the lights and speaker. Plus connectors so the tender can be separated from the engine. The last two sets of wires only need to carry around 150 mA (if that, but that's the aux output on most decoders, and a 2 W amplifier running at full output at 12 V is around 170 mA, so 50-75% max volume should be fine). The plan is to use a big dome stack with spark arrestor instead of the small cylindrical one supplied, and to open up the hole in the boiler top (Blodgit and Fudgit's philosophy of sound rising. "Only makes sense, guv! Big 'oles, more noise!" "Think of the neighbors" I say. "They're deaf". Lost cause these two).

Nigel

Front end. I removed the "circuit board", cut the support pegs off with a cutting disc in the Dremel, and tidied up with the file, I cut a piece off the board to provide some decent sized soldering pads for the orange/grey wires, I'll need to drill a couple of holes top to bottom for continuity. I should have some Vero board in the spares that's already drilled and tinned, if I find it I'll use that instead.


Back end. I reduced the height with the big file, and cut a groove with the Dremel and a grinding disc.I should be able to ru the wires down the back and underneath the cab floor.

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Hi All,

Some more progress on the 2-6-0 Rogers mogul over the weekend.

1. More metal removal to allow wiring to and from the tender (complete strip down of the chassis).
2. New spark-arrestor chimney sourced (balloon type). This came as a spare with the 4-4-0 I got last year.
3. Hole previously drilled in tender coal board (presumably for the DCC wiring until theprevious owner decided it was not DCC-doable) filled and painted. I also plated the large holes in the tender floor that the previous owner had cut for the speaker, I like my sound to go up through the coal (after a few holes are drilled of course).
4. New coal heap configured to give some more space inside the tender for the decoder/speaker. The "coal" was around 7.5mm thick. Found the coal to go on the tender bunker. Although I also found a bag of some Javis "coal" that looks just as good as the real stuff. Anything would be better than Bachmann's idea of coal. Wet mouse droppings.
5. Two tool boxes made from those nice plastic engineering blocks and some styrene rod and strip, and installed on the tender top as per the prototype..
6. Rear light (pewter by the feel and weight) sourced and added. Support box made from one of those blocks, and grained to look like wood using the needle saw. Holes drilled for the light source. I'll probably use fiber optic cable with the light inside the tender.
7. Brake cylinder and air tank (both brass) sourced and fixed underneath. The angle is deliberate. Need to source a 3-way valve. Forget about the pipes, rods, and levers, not enough space unless I replace the two bogies (trucks) and ran it on 60" curves..
8. Holes drilled underneath the curved sections of the tender front (which in real life housed the water feed valve rods) for the wiring (power in, DCC, lights and speaker wiring out).

Need to source a UK-style brake stand with the arm and handle on the top. I found a diagram of a Rogers tender around 1899, it had those tool boxes and the brake standard, not a brake wheel. Space is really tight underneath, so just an impression of the brake gear.

Those plastic blocks really take the effort out of making 90° edges, and glue up nicely.

Pictures show the progress.

Nigel






















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Hi All,

While the glue was setting/out-gassing on the Rogers Mogul I made the sand bins for the narrow gauge Class 94 diesel look-alike*. Plastic bricks, 1mm styrene sheet, 3 bins on each side and 2 on the back - all driving wheels get sand pipes. Back ones are already glued in place, side ones just placed for the photo. Recon I should name the locomotive "Bassett" .

I need to adjust the spacing as the length of the body is compressed to fit the Bachmann class 20 chassis. Body is not on straight either (not glued in place yet, no panic). Sanding not yet completed. The side rails will be fun. Handles on the doors first though. The sand bins are an interesting detail on this narrow gauge locomotive. Technically the prototype class was a narrow gauge to an even narrower gauge conversion. Lots of variants in the conversions, so plenty of leeway for a bit of what-if, and this is On30 anyway.

The ESU Loksound 8-socket wiring harnesses came today, so I can make a start rewiring the motor and the decoder on the Bachmann class 20 chassis. The original was one of those DCC-unfriendly models that had a plug but almost no room for a decoder and no allowance for a speaker. The On30 body has plenty of room for both, hence those big grills at the front and top for a decent sized speaker.

Nigel

* I have 3 "bashes" on the go at the moment, I am still waiting for some materials for the Forney look-alike, which is on the back-burner.





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Superb work, very inspiring.

Loved the photo of the view from your balcony. The scenery in Virginia is absolutely stunning. :)

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Hi Dan,

Thanks. Everything on hold until we get the kitchen back to rights after the flood. I should be able to make a start next week on finishing up the work in progress.
Nigel

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Hi Nigel,

Sorry to hear you've had flood damage and I hope life is not too bad right now. All the best with drying out and redecorating.

Bill

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Hi All,

Hi Bill, thanks. Finally, a chance to do a bit of modeling! (as opposed to making big holes in the walls and listening to the drone of the fans and dehumidifiers, along with planning a remodeling of the kitchen as the current dishwasher, fridge-freezer and kitchen cabinets are toast).

I managed to get a couple of small jobs done this evening, nice big spark-arresting smoke stack on the mogul, which still needs some mesh on the top. And time for a bit of critical evaluation. That whistle looks like it should be replaced by something that looks like a whistle, and that steam turbine generator should probably be replaced with a decent brass one, with some pipes from and to the steam dome. For those wondering about the dome nearest the smoke stack, it's for sand, the idea being that the boiler heat kept the sand dry and flowing through the valves to the wheels. New sand valves? I also tried out the lights in the clerestory coaches that came with the mogul - I will definitely need light bars. Pathetic doesn't do them justice. I like the ones from Rapido, small lithium battery with a reed switch that is activated by a magnetic wand from the outside. No wiring required.

I also added all those sand boxes on the diesel footplate. The diesel prototype I'm basing the model on has one sand box per axle, 3 on each side and a pair on the back of the cab (just visible in the photo, which is where I had got to before being rudely interrupted by a hot water supply pipe under 80 psi to the heat exchanger/fan unit bursting). I also made a start on the fuel tank for the diesel, (lottsa Lego), more on that when the glue drys and I can put a radius on the bottom edges. DCC wiring and hand rails next while I wait for the brass bits and pieces to come..

An enjoyable hour.

Nigel






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 All,

Not enough time today for the wiring (which looks to be at least a couple of hours fiddling), so instead some quick bits and pieces.

First up was the tender. The toolboxes and rear light were painted with matt black acrylic, and some coal added to the rebuilt bunker and over the original Bachmann mouse droppings. This is Javis "coal", to my eye it has a better look than that of anthracite chips, which are very shiny. I see there a few places I missed, I'll add a bit more "coal" when the first layer has dried. The glue was PVA white glue /water/99% IPA (50:25:25 by volume) with a few drops of matt black acrylic. I'll finish off with some real coal dust and black/grey weathering powder (real coal at $25,000 a ton is something I'm going really easy on, although the Javis material is probably more expensive than that!).

Next up was the mesh screen for the smoke stack. I found a scrap of used fine brass mesh in the "brass spares" drawer, trimmed to size and fixed to the top with plastic friendly CA. I ground up a small piece of Javis  "coal" and dabbed a paint-loaded brush into the dust, which was then used to paint the dome of the smoke stack in a circular motion. This will provide the surface "bubbles" for the yet to come rust streaks to run down from.

Last job was the diesel fuel tank. LEGO bricks with a skin of black styrene sheet (essentially scraps from previous work) were the materials used. A representation of the hydraulic gear box and cardan shafts to the inner axles was another convenient LEGO piece. The fuel tank is absolutely square in 3 dimensions. Radii were made on the bottom edge with the big fine file and 800 grit wet and dry. It's now ready to paint once the outside temperature gets above 55°F. I might have to take a bit off the bogie frame and/or the shaft depending on what the ruling track radius is. I'm leaning towards attaching the fuel tank to the chassis with some screws after drilling and tapping. There is enough space on the chassis to drill through into the fuel tank, and I have some nylon 2-56 machine screws around somewhere. Fuel filler! Nearly forgot.

Nigel
















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Hi All,

Couple of hours today, started on the railings (40 thou' P/B wire from Tichy Train Group), and finished off and attached the fuel tank (bathroom silicone sealant instead of the planned 2-56 bolts, good bond yet easy to separate in case of repairs). The railings need a bit of fettling before final fixing, with that the external body is almost complete. Needs some couplers to haul the freight stock around, as well as some sand lines to the wheels from the boxes. Plus a few areas of the body around the stairwells need a bit of attention. I have a plan for the couplers (involving more Lego, what else?).

I also made a start on a flat car, wood planks thanks to Starbucks stirrers, wood grain courtesy of the blunt hacksaw blade, chassis and trucks from Bachmann, 26" diameter ribbed wheels from Kadee.The chassis is meant for a freight car, it's an easy job to use them for flatcars. I'll be building a few of these for various jobs around the layout (traveling crane, molasses tanker, sugar cane transporters, sugar bags, rum barrels). Much cheaper to buy the chassis and wheels and add the wood planks rather than buy a RTR flatcar, especially as I don't need the stakes, just the pockets.(around $25 each for the scratch build versus $50 or more for the RTR models, and the scratch version is longer, another bonus).

Nigel









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Hi All,

Some more work on the big diesel:

Chassis: I wired the chassis for DCC operation, an  8-pin socket and wiring harness to the pick-ups and motor, and an ESU Loksound V4 decoder with a large speaker to the socket. The rectangular speaker sits directly underneath the big grill at the end of the hood. I tested the running and sound, runs fine and is very noisy (the speaker not the chassis). I've covered this wiring approach in previous posts with other chassis. I keep the wire lengths as is, that way there is room to work on the various components if necessary without cutting. Bit messy underneath, small price to pay for accessibility.

Body: Two multilevel coupler pockets were made from a quantity of spare Kadee pockets (5 pockets per end), and slots made in the front and back beams with a razor saw. The coupler pockets were inserted and glued up. The plan called for a couple of bits of right-angle LEGO with one coupler pocket/height, I scrapped that idea as the stock will have various coupler heights..I covered how to make this functional multi-height couoler earlier in this topic when I did the 2 yellow diesels.

Horns. I found 2 Lionel O-scale horns at the local train show recently (2 for a $1.00, not bad), drilled a couple of holes in the roof, spot of styrene glue and they're in!

Paint: Today was the first day it got above rattle can spraying temperature outside in almost a month, so 3 coats of matt black paint (primer and top coat in one) while the sun shone this afternoon. It may yet get stripy beams in either yellow or black, chevrons if the mood takes me.

Nearing the end on this one, just a few more details to add, tidy-up the wiring, some light weathering, headlights and a rotating mars light on the roof.. Famous last words. X hours spent on the chassis and body means 5X on the details. Where's that list???

The foliage is from IKEA, less than $5 gets a large quantity of artificial greenery that is ideal for plants, ground cover, bushes, etc. Michaels, my local arts and crafts store, has some interesting artificial foliage that passes muster as sugar cane stalks after harvest.

Now If I can convince my wife that a couple of weeks in in the Caribbean  is just what we need after the winter. Sand, sun, some tempting cuisine, sugar cane plantations, mills, rum distilleries, old railway history.

Next couple of weeks will be on the actual layout.

Nigel













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Nice work, Nigel.  :thumbs

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Those locos look very splendid. Hope the wiring of the layout goes smoothly

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Wow, your paint shop does splendid work Nigel, a talented crew there, while the lighting gives an atmospheric patina to the bodywork. I thought at first it was classic two tone!
Hearty congratulations  :doublethumb

Bill

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Hi Nigel great result there, It looks fantastic !  I've followed the build from the beginning but I just did a quick flick through of the photos for this one from the start. Seeing what you started with  makes the finished loco even more impressive !   :thumbs.   Looking foward to progress on the other builds  :)
Cheers

Matt

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Hi all,

Thanks for the comments. I'm happy with the result, at least that Class 20 lives on in another guise. Total cost of the materials was $20 excluding the Class 20 and the decoder/ speaker. Shame it is way too big for the home layout. There are some modular meets coming up so it should get a run out. Fun build though. I have to finish the Rogers mogul, bash the Forney from the Bachmann prairie, and there is one more small B-B diesel to do using an Atlas-Roco chassis. The body kit I got for that is problematic as it is way too fragile for my mitts, so it looks like another bash in styrene and LEGO.

Brendan - layout wiring? DCC, so two bus wires and track leads, no electric switch motors, no signals, no blocks or power sectors. Often live frogs with no wiring as well. KISS is the motto of the BCDR railroad. I'm more concerned about track and turnouts, building of. More on that later in the yet to come layout topic.

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Hi All,

I made a start on wiring the On30 2-6-0 Rogers Mogul for DCC this afternoon. Wired the motor and the pick-up wires from the wheels to the 8-pin socket harness, plus the white and blue wires for the front headlight, test-fitted them all in the grooves at the back of the chassis where they will go to the tender, looking good, on a roll here, test-fitted the body shell, and....crack. "Well I never", or words to that effect. The saddle between the cylinders decided that it had had enough and broke into two pieces as I was pressing down on the shell to get it to click in the small ratchet on the chassis..Plastic this old gets brittle (I recon this model was made in the mid-1990's to at best the early 2000's) and needs to be treated gently, definitely not so flexible as new. I think a bit of selective metal removal from the chassis to make a slightly looser fit for the body shell is called for.

The spare cylinders/saddle at the Bachmann spares store is $13.20 + postage (which will bring it to around $18.00, more than I paid for the locomotive), so I used some CA to stick the two pieces together, and had a cup of tea. After the CA was set I used a small piece of new plastic and more CA to reinforce the repair. Slightly thicker than the original and more "meat" to the saddle, but now a much tighter (and better) fit in the wheel sub-chassis. Phew! Panic over. If it goes again I'll use brass sheet.

Nigel


Before...


After...


ZeldaTheSwordsman
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Augh, breakages like that are supremely annoying.

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Yep, snug is good! Excellent recovery Nigel  :thumbs
Bill

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Hi Brendan, Bill

Thanks, I thought for a minute I might be looking at an inside -cylinder narrow gauge locomotive (rare, but not unheard of, Manning Wardle did a few). The repair works, little if any shear force.
Nigel

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Hi All,

A couple of small project I have been putting off are some wagons for moving cut sugar cane around. m
Many small sugar cane operations used small wagons with metal or wood ends and moved the cut canes around by piling them across the bed of the wagon so they hing down at the sides. I'll be doing a few of those, as well as some that will have a "Rugga" curved chassis (from my )n14 days).

First up are some flat tops using essentially bits and pieces and spares.

I used 4 coal wagons left over from the OO modeling days, 3 Mainline (those old CWS coal wagons) and 1 Dapol, so the tops were removed and binned. The hand-brake was cut off and trimmed up a bit. The wheels were removed, and replaced with some HO 33" diameter ribbed back wheels lying around from HO freight car kit builds. These have a diameter of 16" in 1:48 (American O scale). A wooden sub-frame (HO wood ties/sleepers) was glued to the top of the underframe using CA, and wooden flat tops glued on using wood craft strips cut to an appropriate length. The ends were made from coffee/tea stirrers (ex Starbucks, and yes I do need 4 to stir that large cup of tea) and attached using CA.. I just need to add some KD couplers, and stain the wood deck light grey. Then it's on to the metal ends (bent rail was commonly used, I have lots of code 75 doing nothing.

That will be about it for this week, I'll be traveling and in the UK from Wednesday on, so perhaps a chance to get a few more OO coal wagons, although shows near where I will be (Banbury) are a bit far away.

Nigel











                 

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