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Author Topic: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies  (Read 5074 times)

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Offline Ricardus Harfelde

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2016, 10:12:03 pm »

Very interesting stuff. I had  been tentatively playing around with a Union Mills 0-6-0 wheel set and doing a bit of hand filing to reduce the dimensions, but after reading the above I was inspired to get out the mini drill and reduce all the wheels down so thanks for posting this.

I did mine by gently clamping  the original UM axle into the chuck of a mini drill with the wheel attached. I reduced the flange depth from 0.7 to 0.5mm, took some material off the back of the wheel & took some off the front of the wheel to reduce the overall width from 2.3mm to 2.0mm. I guess I could have thinned them down a bit more, but wasn't feeling that brave

I'm pleased with the result, with the wheels running OK, looking a lot better & not standing out so much, however the real plus for me is the amount of extra space created. I'm trying to fit the wheels into scratchbuilt splashers & footplate and filing down the wheels has changed the situation from one of needing to carefully adjust  things to having acres of space available

Richard

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2016, 08:54:27 am »

Very interesting stuff. I had  been tentatively playing around with a Union Mills 0-6-0 wheel set and doing a bit of hand filing to reduce the dimensions, but after reading the above I was inspired to get out the mini drill and reduce all the wheels down so thanks for posting this.

I did mine by gently clamping  the original UM axle into the chuck of a mini drill with the wheel attached. I reduced the flange depth from 0.7 to 0.5mm, took some material off the back of the wheel & took some off the front of the wheel to reduce the overall width from 2.3mm to 2.0mm. I guess I could have thinned them down a bit more, but wasn't feeling that brave

I'm pleased with the result, with the wheels running OK, looking a lot better & not standing out so much, however the real plus for me is the amount of extra space created. I'm trying to fit the wheels into scratchbuilt splashers & footplate and filing down the wheels has changed the situation from one of needing to carefully adjust  things to having acres of space available

Richard

Just been looking at your Adams 395 (presumably these wheels are for that?) Very lovely indeed. I didn't narrow the wheels on the 2P as they are close to NEM standard already.  They are about the same width overall as current Farish, but look wider as they aren't blackened.  I have another set to do for a planned G5, and might see if I can thin those down a bit as it's quite a small engine and clearances could be tight.

Richard

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2016, 12:04:10 pm »
"Maridunian bearings" sound nice. Like proper engineering.  But do they work?  Short answer is yes, they appear to.  I stripped pretty much everything off the 2P frames, widened the axle slots a bit, then hunted round for something to fit above the axles to support them and the square bearing tubes.  I needed 1.2mm brass but had none.  In the end I used two strips of Code 40 rail soldered to the inside of the frames.  I have no idea how long-lasting nickel silver will be as a bearing surface, but this is only a prototype anyway.

I then cut four lengths of square brass tube 5.5mm long to fit between the frames.  This was fiddly, and if I do it again I'll make a simple cutting jig. The square tubes were cleaned up to remove burrs, then it was time for soldering.  The first one is critical as all the others rely on it for alignment.  I assembled it on a sheet of graph paper, with a long straight 1.5mm steel rod dropped into the axle slot, squared up, the square tube aligned and held in place with a knife tip, then soldered at both ends.  After that it gets easier: the second tube is pushed firmly against the steel rod which acts as a spacer to keep the two tubes parallel, then soldered.

Second axle: two steel rods, one through the first axle bearing, the other in the oversize slot for the second axle.  Slip the coupling rods over the ends of the steel rods to get the spacing right, then solder in the tubes for the second axle.  Place the chassis on a sheet of 400 grade wet and drive taped to a glass plate and gently rub until the bottom of the tubes are flush with the frames and there is no vertical movement in the axles. Finally cut a gap in the centre of the tubes on the driven axle to clear the drive gear. My 2P non-driven wheelset uses a diesel axle which has a boss in the middle for the drive gear, so I had to cut through the tubes on that axle as well, but normally that should not be needed.

The bearing slots were actually a bit tight for Farish axles so were gently eased out with a file. The result is a chassis that runs freely, sits level, and the axles are... er... still half a degree out of square with the frames.  Damn.  It's probably close enough for now but I will need another simple assembly jig, lining it up by eye on graph paper obviously isn't quite good enough.

Gears next: I don't think I will be able to go with spur gears between motor and worm.  I have lots of gears but they are all from Farish diesels, and rubbish.  I think the best I can do is refit the small J39 worm to the motor, and use a larger spur gear, properly supported on a shaft with minimal play, between the worm and the axle drive gear.  Thanks to the way I have mounted the motor I can make up the spur gear support and get it correctly meshed with the motor, then slide the support inside the chassis frames until the axle gear mesh is correct. That H section chassis is turning out to have all sorts of benefits.

I also have an idea for a simple jig to ensure perfect quartering on Poole wheels, a spin-off from my plan to drill out the plastic crankpins on the Black Five wheels and fit proper metal ones. But that is going to need a proper drill stand. One week until the next N gauge running session at the club: will my 2P make it? Watch this space...

Richard

Offline maridunian

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2016, 01:38:20 pm »
"Maridunian bearings" sound nice. Like proper engineering.  But do they work?  Short answer is yes, they appear to. 

Phew! I wonder if scratch builders have generic jigs available to them that ensure true right angles? I'm aware that the standard technique is to temporarily solder side frames together before drilling/cutting journals, but keeping those holes perfectly aligned when the chassis is later assembled remains a challenge. (Although being just half a degree out sounds pretty modest for many RTR models I've owned!)

Mike

Offline Ricardus Harfelde

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2016, 09:58:02 pm »

Just been looking at your Adams 395 (presumably these wheels are for that?)

Richard

Thanks yes they are for the Adams 395. I've also been doing a new nickel silver loco chassis for that, I didn't intend to, but used a wee bit too much force trying to straighten the white metal of the UM one with the result that I sort  of er wrecked it.. :-[

This involved drilling holes which I then formed into vertical slots by filing, as you say it's quite hard to get the sides straight & vertical and at the right distance apart . Mine were some way off this ideal, but it still seems to run fine, I guess it helped that the wheels weren't driven (with the drive of course being in the tender), whereas I guess you have to be rather more precise in cases like yours with driven wheels

Richard

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2016, 11:35:07 pm »
Short version: the 2P now runs well.

Long version:  it's a steep learning curve, when you try to scratchbuild your first chassis.  The hours that have gone into getting this poxy little heap to move under its own power are ridiculous.  Some of the things I have done since my last post:

Sorted out the gears.  The only spur gear I had that was the right size and tooth pitch was one half of a reduction spur gear from an American diesel.  I cut it in half with a scalpel, used cut down Farish diesel drive gears (split ones :)) as spacers and put the whole lot into a support made of brass box section, which fitted neatly into the H section frames allowing me to slide it back and worth until I got the gear mesh right and could solder it into place.



Redesigned the motor mountings.  The motor is now attached by screws fore and aft, which makes removal easy and allows the mounts to be shimmed for gear meshing purposes.  it also sits level which it didn't before, and I have reverted to the smaller J39 worm gear as the Poole worm would have put the motor too high for the body to fit back on, in conjunction with the larger spur gear.  Gears are now spot on, the loco is quiet and smooth in both directions.  Hurrah!

Sorted the wheels.  And what fun that was.  New crankpins - 1.5mm brass rod Araldited in place, coupling rods secured with washers formed from brass wire and soldered with Rizla papers between washer and conrod to stop me soldering the whole lot solid. I got some funny looks in the Co-Op when I asked the assistant which papers were the thinnest. "I'm not after them for smoking, they're for, er, something else."  The answer is the blue ones, and I now understand where the term "fag-paper clearances" comes from. New axle for the trailing wheelset, fractionally larger in diameter than the original to stop the wheels flapping around.  Quartered on my new optical quartering jig (see separate post).

Did the chassis bearings again, this time with a long solid brass strip between the axles to ensure the correct spacing.  The first time I used the coupling rods to set the spacing, which is how chassis builders have been doing it for donkey's years.  The problem is that they all use nice new coupling rods, not knackered old Farish ones with oval crankpin holes. So my axle spacing was a tiny bit off.  I took the opportunity to square everything up so that the axles are now, finally, at right angles to the chassis. Photo shows the "Mk1" version.



The thing ran like a pig at first, but I have built it up to rather tighter clearances on axles and crankpins than most N gauge models so I wasn't expecting it to be perfect straight off.  After three hours running round my test oval, it's now really rather nice.  Not as good as the J27 - it has the same motor and gear ratio but much larger driving wheels, so slow speed running isn't as good - but it will happily pull three coaches and eight vans without a hint of slipping which is plenty for a 2P, and it's still getting sweeter the more it runs.  There's a slight wobble noticeable at low speed which I think is down to the driven axle having a bit of play in it, I might try tightening that up and see if it improves things. I also still have to sort the tender pickups, and do something about the half-finished body.  But as for the club N gauge running night on Wednesday - Cinderella WILL be going to the ball. I have even put together a typical train for a 2P - horsebox, cattle van, couple of coaches and a few 12 ton box vans.  I like my test trains to be realistic :)



I think I have learned more from this one little project than anything else I have done since I started modelling.  Like:

How to quarter wheels.
How to fit sensible sized bogie wheels to Farish bogies.
How to make your own crankpins and washers, and how to solder them without locking everything solid.
How to turn down old Farish wheels to a sensible flange size without needing a lathe.
How to reclaim old Farish wheels when you have wrecked the centres by pulling them apart to turn down the flanges.
And of course, the Maridunian bearings :)

Richard


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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2016, 01:37:18 am »
One final round of fiddling with the 2P for now - some Plastikard around the base of the smokebox, and a pair of tarty red solid-backed bogie wheels to replace the nice open-spoked ones it had before.  Eh?



Well, I decided it needed more pickups, and found these German wheels in my scrapbox.  They are only insulated on one side which means I could have bogie pickups.  Being me I did it the hard way - bogie wheels are earthed the opposite side from the loco chassis, which means I had to insulate the bogie from the chassis.  The tender picks up on the opposite side from the bogie, so five wheel pickup one side and four the other which should be enough.  It had stainless steel pickups which I suspect were a short-lived Farish experiment and desperately fragile, which is a polite way of saying that I broke them.  I didn't mind too much as they created horrendous drag on the wheels, but how to replace them?

Cunning plan - drill 0.6mm holes through the wheel insulation on one side, parallel with the axle, and press in 0.7mm brass wire to make electrical contact between the wheel rim and axle.  So the metal tender chassis is now live, connected to the loco chassis via the original metal drawbar, but with Farish motor brush springs slipped over the bolts to improve contact. They are perfect for this job.

Slow running is now excellent and I can live with the slight wobble, so that's enough fiddling for now. Without the drag of the old tender pickups I loaded it up to three coaches and 22 wagons before it slipped to a standstill, and there's still room for a bit more weight.  Off to the paint shop tomorrow, etch primer to stop the paint falling off the shiny brass bits, then a coat of satin black, followed by numbers and crests. I suppose i really ought to give it the full BR mixed traffic lining treatment, but I don't have any lining transfer sheets.  So maybe I'll just weather it heavily and hope no-one notices the lack of stripey stuff. It will probably end up as a Carlisle engine, they had a handful of them until 1960.

Richard

Online belstone

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2016, 02:30:37 pm »
Workshops are for work, not for messing about with toy trains.  In my defence (1) I was waiting for a customer who rang to say he would be half an hour late and (2) I can't do paint spraying in my cottage as it is so small that the smell would make it uninhabitable for a week.  Anyway, doing stuff at work means I get the chance to misuse automotive refinishing products.  Being your own boss has its advantages.

So I degreased the 2P body and wafted on a couple of coats of grey etch primer (Autotek) followed by four very light coats of Wurth Satin Gloss Black lacquer, both applied with a rattle can.  The body has come out nicely and I now wish I had spent more time filling the various gaps and scars first.  I hadn't expected the paint to look this good.

I also had a play with my new Chinese airbrush kit, two airbrushes and a compressor for 65 all in.  The airbrush I tried is a bit rubbish, with very little control over paint volume or fan pattern.  But I set about an old Minitrix Gresley coach, using Compucolor BR Maroon for the body and Humbrol Matt Grey for the roof, both thinned with synthetic enamel thinners from a five litre tin (very steady hand needed).  The Compucolor must be about 30 years old.  It was rubbish when I bought it (which is why I never used it) and is still rubbish now. It has all the covering power of skimmed milk and took six coats to stop the primer showing through the edges of the panelling. It has a slightly pink hue and is still tacky after two hours on a warm day.  The Humbrol gave a lovely finish, but I found it was setting solid in the airbrush faster than I could spray it on. Still, that coach has been in bits awaiting paint for at least two years now...


Online belstone

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2016, 08:08:15 am »


2P is now all finished bar some weathering, or at least as finished as it ever will be.  It's a typical old-school N gauge loco i.e. it is wrong in every single major dimension and completely lacking in detail.  Despite that I think it looks a bit like a 2P, Cabside numbering is a bit small, I had two sizes to choose from and should have looked at a photo first.  But never mind, the 2P has done its job as a testbed for my chassis design, and probably won't see a lot of use now. When I have recovered from this one I will build another chassis (probably for a G5 tank as I have suitable wheels) using the lessons I have learned, and see if I can make that one run without wobbling.

And does anyone know if Gresley coaches were ever painted fuschia pink in BR days?  I was hoping my "maroon" paint would darken as it dried, but it hasn't :(


Offline maridunian

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2016, 09:07:14 am »
It's a typical old-school N gauge loco i.e. it is wrong in every single major dimension and completely lacking in detail.

But it looks magnificent and you can be proud of building a unique model from junk and ingenuity!

And does anyone know if Gresley coaches were ever painted fuschia pink in BR days?  I was hoping my "maroon" paint would darken as it dried, but it hasn't :(

Maybe not, but everything (especially red) fades over the years. A matt finish plus a little grime would make it entirely plausible. Can't quite tell what colour this one was ... and plenty of shades of maroon to be found amongst this lot too!

Mike

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2016, 08:45:53 pm »
This weekend I have mostly been... refurbishing wagons.  I like wagons, freight trains are much more interesting than passenger trains.  So I have lots of wagons, but most of them were half-finished and I had three different types of coupling fitted.  So I have gone through the lot, fitting Microtrains knuckle couplers throughout (until I get my own design  coupler working properly), painting, lettering and weathering.  I'm now up to 26 usable vehicles.



A mixture of recent Farish, Peco RTR, a few Peco kits, Parkwood bodies on Peco chassis, a Dapol hopper, an ancient Minitrix brake van and an even more ancient Peco "Long Tube" - one of the first ever RTR N gauge wagons back in 1967.  I've hacked most of the underframe off that one to disguise the fact that Peco used a whisky wagon chassis (air brakes, multi-link suspension etc) but it now looks a bit bare without any brakes at all.

In the paint shop at the moment - another boring steel-ended 5-plank wagon (Parkwood), a steel-bodied "Medfit" (Parkwood), gunpowder van (Dapol), pig iron wagon (Peco), another Minitrix brake van and the pride of the fleet, a Parkwood "Warwell" bogie wagon which should really have something military as a load. I also have a few more wagons (plain ordinary opens, box vans and another three brake vans which is three more than I need) but I have now run out of couplers.

I really need to stop acquiring wagons.  I don't think there are any major gaps in the fleet now, but I would still like a Southern box van (very distinctive and turned up everywhere in BR days), a 13 ton hopper wagon (not available RTR or kit but easy enough to scratchbuild), a couple of grey unfitted vans, maybe a fruit van or two, and I'm a bit light on long wheelbase and bogie vehicles (plate wagon, bogie bolster "C"), a couple of ex private owner 7-planks wouldn't go amiss, especially one with the remains of the original livery still visible, and maybe another container wagon, and a "Lowfit" carrying a new Ferguson tractor, and...

My name is Richard, and I have a wagon addiction problem.


Online belstone

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2016, 10:44:46 pm »
Wagon week continues, now up to 35 and I have started adding loads to a few.  Crushed stone, coal, timber and a couple of giant gears, possibly for an excavator. 



There's a reason for all this.  Last week I badgered the other two N gauge modellers at the club into getting the club layout out of storage and having a massive running session tomorrow evening.  It then occurred to me that I didn't have a lot of stock that was fit to run  :-[

If anyone from Norfolk is reading this and wants to come along tomorrow, we (Diss MRC) are at Shelfanger village hall, 6.30 - 9 pm tomorrow and every Wednesday.  Newcomers very welcome (well, they made me welcome) and we don't bite, much. Bring stock. I think we might need it.

Richard

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2016, 12:35:09 am »
You are not alone Richard, I have 400 with another 15 to build - shall we form wagons anonymous?  :laugh:

Regards,

Alex

Online belstone

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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2016, 01:40:05 am »
I managed to bodge a Micro Trains knuckle coupler onto my ancient NBL Type 2 (Class 29) ahead of tomorrow's N gauge trainfest - this involved taking the chassis apart, so I thought I had better check it still ran.  So I got out the test oval, and somehow a simple loco test turned into a haulage trial when I should really have been off to bed.  Three coaches, a horsebox and 33 wagons on 9 inch curves. The Class 29 had no trouble - Langley cast body on Atlas chassis, four axle drive and plenty of weight.  The Dapol Class 26 surprised me by slipping slightly in a couple of places, I thought it would be at least as good as the 29 which doesn't have traction tyres.

K1, 4F and 94xx Pannier wouldn't even get the train moving, no real surprises there. They all have old style Farish motors which take up a lot of body space but don't weigh much.  The J27 managed to get things rolling (just) but slipped to a standstill half way round.  Short of casting the boiler fittings in gold I can't think of any way to get more weight into that one.  Farish 2MT did the same as the J27, the J39 just managed an entire circuit but wasn't happy about it.  The big surprise?  The 2P.  Lots and lots of wheelslip but it kept going and that makes it the third most powerful loco I own, and the most powerful steam loco.  And it's a 4-4-0.  Haulage trials - one more way to get some fun out of your model railway.

Richard


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Re: Belstone's Scratchbodge Studies
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2016, 10:28:53 pm »
Club running night was fun.  My hastily assembled wagons mostly behaved themselves, no derailments but a couple of them have the couplers mounted a bit high, and I had to swap a few around to stop them uncoupling themselves.



The 2P got a chance to show what it could do in a nice Peak District setting.  Unfortunately the wobble is far more noticeable on a layout with scenery than on my test oval, so it was soon "retired".



By now we had two goods trains running of around 30 wagons each, so I came up with a bright idea - why not combine the two?  One of the members has a Union Mills G2 which will pull anything, so we stuck that on the front and entertained everyone with a 60 wagon train.  The Micro Trains couplers held up, but the Rapidos were a bit temperamental with that kind of load.  More wagon swapping and we managed two complete circuits without anything breaking. I'm rather enjoying being a member of a club, I don't get to play with trains this length at home.

Meanwhile the first of my Chinese motors (10 x 15 flat cans, quantity 20) have arrived by some miracle of international postage.  From initial playing around it looks as though one of these will replace a Poole Farish motor very easily indeed, so my Pannier is now in bits while I make up some simple mounting brackets. Then I can see whether these motors are any better than the price (37 pence each) suggests,

Richard

 

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