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Author Topic: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects  (Read 101308 times)

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Offline RBTKraisee

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #960 on: July 18, 2020, 01:15:32 AM »
I note on one of your "for sale" models that you used custom etched name plates. Do you make them yourself?

Ross.
“The meek shall inherit the Earth. The rest of us are going to the stars” -Robert Heinlein

An Ex-Pat Brit:  Two decades living in Florida and still an unhealthy shade of "British Tourist White"

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #961 on: July 19, 2020, 06:43:23 PM »
I note on one of your "for sale" models that you used custom etched name plates. Do you make them yourself?

Not sure if you've crossed threads there - no customs - either factory produced ones, or if I renumber it's using plates from Fox Transfers.

Cheers,
Alan
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 11:48:55 PM by Dr Al, Reason: typo »
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #962 on: July 20, 2020, 12:25:29 AM »
It was interesting to note the (rather typical internet) response to the relatively recent Union Mills "City off Truro" - namely, almost universal swooning. I have to say, I wasn't hugely of that opinion seeing pictures of the model - probably one of UMs best in a while, lovely printing etc. But to me it didn't look right, and it wasn't immediately obvious why...

....until I obtained one at a reasonable price!

The two key issues are
- ride height of the loco - it sits too high
- the tender wheels are just far too small, almost laughably so - this is really accentuated by the size of the GW tender, being much longer than any other UM tender (which all use the same wheels).

This gives the look with which those who own one will know:



For me, this wants improvement significantly. The first is to rework the tender. The UM wheels need to be removed, and an ideal replacement are Peco Collett wheels. These even fit on the UM axles, so can be an almost direct swap. Some care is needed with clearances on the middle set, but with the smaller UM motor now used, this is generally ok. Small amounts of the motor mount base behind the central wheels need removed to clear the wheels, which are 2mm greater in diameter than the originals.

This does then mean that the tender will sit 1mm high if not then adjusted. This requires some filing down of the mount at front and back mounts - UM also clearly made a boob with this tender, as there's a washer spacing up the front end! This was dropped, as the front end could be adjusted appropriately (by filing about 0.7-0.8mm instead of the 1mm). Doing all this maintains the footplate and buffer height, which was correct for the tender from the start. Comparing to a similar Dapol tender shows the wheelset improvement, and also that the Dapol tender actually rides high (known - only Ixion ever got this right).



This then gave a datum to reduce the ride height of the loco - by matching it's buffer height to that of its own tender. This was done by filing down the points where the drivers run - probably by around 0.5mm. Also, the tension on the front bogie spring was reduced and a bit filed off the top of its pivot point.

Final improvements for now were to paint the wheel rims, shorten the pickup wire from the loco and lastly to file off the moulding lines on the coupler's pocket end which cause it to sit pointing upwards - something that's poor on many UM models - this is not a good standard moulding.



Overall, these improve the model a lot I think - is notable the drop if looking at the relative position of the steps at the cab between loco and tender, as well as the reduced gap above the front bogie. Of course, there's more that needs done in terms of detailing and the simplistic paintwork, but those are jobs for further down the line.

Lockdown tally of projects complete: 11 (Black 5, 6202 LMS, Fowler 4P, Std 4MT, Rebuilt Patriot, Std 5MT 73099, Bulleid 34089, NGS Gresley, J27, Un-rebuilt Patriot, EM2, UM CoTruro upgrade)
New lockdown projects currently started: 4 ( J52 resto, A2/2 resto, 87006, 87015 )
Existing projects progressing under lockdown: 3 (46202, Ivatt 4, Garratt)

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #963 on: July 20, 2020, 10:00:32 AM »
That does indeed look markedly better. Most of us are just grateful to have a representation of CoT and would not have the knowledge/skill to be able to do such a mod.

Online maridunian

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #964 on: July 20, 2020, 10:59:40 AM »
Perhaps a small manufacturer like UM might be open to incorporating these minor mods into a future batch?

Mike
My layout: Mwynwr Tryciau Colliery, the Many Tricks Mine.

My 3D Modelshop:Maridunian's Models

Online longbow

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #965 on: July 20, 2020, 11:18:13 AM »
That would be great, but compromises such as using a standard tender wheel are probably part of what keeps their prices down.

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #966 on: July 20, 2020, 12:55:35 PM »
Perhaps a small manufacturer like UM might be open to incorporating these minor mods into a future batch?

I can see no fundamental reason why the loco ride height need be wrong - there's still all the right clearances (plenty) when dropped down.

The tender wheels are more involved to some extent - the clearance between the middle set and motor is very tight (on older motored UMs this requires significant remedial work to overcome), so I could see why they wouldn't want to approach it.

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline BramptonBranch

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #967 on: July 23, 2020, 07:38:35 PM »
I like many have followed Alans building skills keenly and I know we are all impressed.
The EM2 electric that was one of his lockdown projects was for me. In the flesh the model is even better than photographs can portray. Compareable to any RTR?  No I think better.
My one issue is how can he have so much skill to produce models like this.
Alan its just not fair!!!!

A big public thank you

Andy

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #968 on: July 23, 2020, 07:46:22 PM »
I like many have followed Alans building skills keenly and I know we are all impressed.
The EM2 electric that was one of his lockdown projects was for me. In the flesh the model is even better than photographs can portray. Compareable to any RTR?  No I think better.
My one issue is how can he have so much skill to produce models like this.
Alan its just not fair!!!!

A big public thank you

Andy

Glad all received ok and meets with your approval. Apologies for the slower than ideally intended build, but this lockdown nonsense threw everything up in the air (and frankly continues to do so - is why @Newportnobby 's repairs aren't fully done yet also).

Best,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #969 on: July 24, 2020, 10:26:02 AM »
@Dr Al No hurry, Alan :no:
Thanks for tempting me with the lovely black Manor - I came extremely close to snaffling it.

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #970 on: August 06, 2020, 12:25:39 AM »
After clearing the decks at work, concentration has rather returned to some projects. Still working from home (will this madness ever end?), I'm still calling these lockdown projects.

After re-wheeling City of Truro, I've quickly done another couple - a D16 and the B12 that featured in this thread some pages back. I think the larger wheels help emphasis the small nature of the GER tender (which is still over-scale, but the best any manufacturer has done).

The D16 after conversion - after carefully going over the drive it works a lot better than it did in stock form also - these larger wheels definitely ride pointwork better.



The comparison with unconverted B12:



To actually achieve this requires some daring and some extensive reworking - the central wheels are the problem - they clash with the motor can. There is only one route to getting round this - grinding the clash areas of the motor can. I also fit washers to the central axle to restrict sideplay as much as possible. Finally, painting the ground areas of the motor, or wrapping in Kapton tape prevents any glancing short. The upwards play of this wheelset is also restricted (though I always do this on all UM to improve ride), and the motor mount between the middle and rear wheels needs clearance filing out of the lower parts. The ride height finally needs adjusted by filing the horizontal interface surfaces down by 1mm (the wheels are 2mm larger in diameter). Some minor clearance is filed internally on the tender body for the front/rear wheels.



I never got a picture of the completed B12, but can add one later if folks are interested.

Another project that I've pottered with for a few weeks is something quite different. Mostly I work on things that can fit into my era of the BR steam/diesel transistion or more modern. But occasionally something rare, odd or just unique comes along.

In this case it's a very rare old kit of the Highland Railway X class 0-6-4T. I obtained this in a bag of bits, lightly started (tickled with some light solder and glue, but not much) and complete. I'm not sure the origin (Graham Hughes?) but it's rare:



The gluing.....left much to be desired...:



The soldering was pretty dire also, but not damaged any cosmetic areas:



All this was quickly pulled apart, and cleaned up to return to original kit form:



Low melt solder in hand, it was quickly built back up, given how few parts make up the basic assembly. The kitbuilders friend (the Farish GP tank chassis, of which I always try to have a few of) fits nicely, though the back end needs a lot of cutting back, to clear the bogie (more later).





At this point, something slightly odd occurred to me - namely that this kit I'd never built before looked a little familiar. Looking through the drawer of "I'll need to do something with that" solved this - I found that I had a forgotton identical model, all built and thickly painted (terribly!) on an original 3 pole chassis - which was so bad I'd thought it barely worth too much effort when it came to me. Having started building one, I took the second one out of slumber, stripped it to find that the castings were actually in excellent condition (likely shielded by the massively thick paint that obscured so much detail). Thus, from having one rare kit, to having two. The second's only major blemish is that it's missing the front steps which have been hacked off. They are generic enough that there'll be a N Brass substitute I'm sure.





Finally, the first steps on fitting the rear bogie have been looked at. The kit bogie has the wrong wheelbase and position, to cope with making the fitting of RTR chassis reasonably easy. Looking to improve the accuracy, I've taken a lot more off the rear of the RTR chassis, and think I've settled on using a Peco Jubilee bogie, with new Farish wheels. This has had the drawbar removed and the hole enlarged and slotted, as well as having much of the area near the main chassis removed for clearance.







Coming together - one will be LMS black and one LMS Crimson I've decided.

Lockdown tally of projects complete: 11 (Black 5, 6202 LMS, Fowler 4P, Std 4MT, Rebuilt Patriot, Std 5MT 73099, Bulleid 34089, NGS Gresley, J27, Un-rebuilt Patriot, EM2, UM CoTruro upgrade)
New lockdown projects currently started: 6 ( J52 resto, A2/2 resto, 87006, 87015, HR X class x2 )
Existing projects progressing under lockdown: 3 (46202, Ivatt 4, Garratt)

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #971 on: August 06, 2020, 08:48:10 PM »
Further, after a bit of shuffling round parts, and acquisition of some new (and a public thanks again to @w greatbatch for the tender drives) I now have the parts to re-tender both the newly acquired A2/2 as well as my original model 60502.

It had run with the original Pro-models resin top, cast from a modified Farish unit. This was far from ideal, but I never changed it at the time as nothing better was out there (pre-A1, A2 from Farish). The Farish A1 tender is much much better, with the narrower, non-corridor style, as can be seen with a direct comparison:





The underframe is far superior, with brake gear, disc wheels. The only tender body I could get without rivetting was that from Tornado, so this has had to go through what is now becoming a familiar conversion - backdating the coal and water internal space to drop the rearmost plating area down, and extend the coal space, as well as represent the clearance for the water scoop. This is all done in plasticard and scrap sprue - and I detailed this back on a blue A1 a number of pages back for anyone interested in the full details.



The final model looks better - the mismatch in BR green is fairly striking here, and emphasised via lighting (in natural light is far less stark) - the original tender was as bad. I may need to flat the new tender down a little, but I'm loathed to repaint - possibly a dust of weathering may be advantageous here too.



This will now also become a super-power, with both chassis motorised. This still needs fully testing out.

Lockdown tally of projects complete: 11 (Black 5, 6202 LMS, Fowler 4P, Std 4MT, Rebuilt Patriot, Std 5MT 73099, Bulleid 34089, NGS Gresley, J27, Un-rebuilt Patriot, EM2, UM CoTruro upgrade)
New lockdown projects currently started: 7 ( J52 resto, A2/2 resto, 87006, 87015, HR X class x2, 60502 new tender)
Existing projects progressing under lockdown: 3 (46202, Ivatt 4, Garratt)

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline east anglian

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #972 on: August 06, 2020, 10:48:44 PM »
Hi   Allan,   very    nice   model,   I   am   just    putting   the   finishing   touches   to    mine   which   is   60506   built   from   a    modified  FOXHUNTER  kit   hope   it   looks   as   good   as   yours    when   I   get   it   finished,    I   will   try   to   post    a   photo  if   I   can   

Offline Dr Al

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #973 on: August 07, 2020, 05:46:26 PM »
On another thread, there was chat around where folks pick up modern donor locos, and imperfects to strip, rebuild, detail etc etc.

I received a perfect example of this today - this being a UM City of Truro. Yes, I already have one, but this was too cheap to miss, and also outlines perfectly the kind of (junky) model I snap up. It also shows how terribly some folk treat their models - this can barely be a year old.

It's had crude attempt to modify the paint scheme:



And god only knows what was being attempted on the tender. Fortunately, this looks to have not gone down too much into the metal in most areas.


Underneath, and someone has splatted paint on all the screws - again god only knows why, they can't be seen on track. Various paint splats too on the wheels.


Mechanically and.....NO! The curse of the "mad-oiler" strikes again - all completely unnecessary and will need completely cleaning out. This is simply not necessary with phosphor bronze bearing-ed motor and white nylon gearing. Indeed, it will badly inhibit pickup, accentuate wear and generally cause little fundamental benefit.


Oil and paint....:


All this will need cleaning out before it'll be let anywhere near my trackwork.

But!

This is a perfect donor to superdetail. The attacks that have been previously made on it mean there's no fear of ultimately stripping it down and dunking the bodies in acetone, followed by giving the superdetail treatment as well as the tender wheel upgrade. I can then look at doing my other, possibly as a different 'City' instead of Truro.

I realise there's some sneak peaks of the other projects there too!

Lockdown tally of projects complete: 11 (Black 5, 6202 LMS, Fowler 4P, Std 4MT, Rebuilt Patriot, Std 5MT 73099, Bulleid 34089, NGS Gresley, J27, Un-rebuilt Patriot, EM2, UM CoTruro upgrade)
New lockdown projects currently started: 7 ( J52 resto, A2/2 resto, 87006, 87015, HR X class x2, 60502 new tender)
Existing projects progressing under lockdown: 3 (46202, Ivatt 4, Garratt)

Cheers,
Alan
Quote from: Roy L S
If Dr Al is online he may be able to provide a more comprehensive answer.

“We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.” – Dr. Carl Sagan

Offline Doc Pye

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Re: Dr Al's workbench - Lockdown projects
« Reply #974 on: August 07, 2020, 07:54:22 PM »
Looks like a good project Alan. Will you be removing all the molded on pipe work and replacing with brass? I want to do the same thing to my recent UM Truro...so watching with baited breath. I would try the wheel change you did earlier but although I am good at cosmetic work like detailing I don't like to go near the motors...as that movie line from Dirty Harry goes 'A man needs to know his limitations.'  ;)

 

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