Oswestry Works

Locomotive works diorama in 4mm

Month: December, 2014

Blowing the dust off 5726

5726 progress

It’s been 8 months since I did anything to 5726, it being the first locomotive that I’d attempted to detail.  It was turning into a bit of a test bed to try out techniques, some worked well, some didn’t and some need revisiting (again!).

It’s been a big help seeing the progress Tom Foster is making on his Panniers and we’ve both being taking inspiration from similar sources – PMP’s Albion Yard and George Dents excellent Detailing and Modifying RTR loco’s, both which have been invaluable to the beginner in detailing.  The push I needed to do some modelling again was reading James Wells post about his 57xx project, detailed and weathered to a high standard in a short space of time.  Cheers James!

The last time 5726 was out it was in quite a sorry state: hand rails removed; whistles removed and refitted a few times, still not happy with them; and lastly I’d started to remove the moulded pipework along the running plate with a view to replacing with brass and copper wire.  Today’s tasks have been to finish the handrails, redo the sandbox pull rods and replace the moulded pipework.   Jobs for 2015 are to have a go at 3D printing a new whistle/manifold/shield assembly, build the etched chassis and finally paint and weather.

Handrails – I’d started work on replacing the handrails back in April and would have finished that step today had I not run out of handrail knobs… the main tank handrail is finished, using AG 0.4mm brass wire and handrail knobs.  Now just the small tank grab rails and cab rails to finish.

Sandbox Pull Rods – Both Tom and James have fitted their RT sandbox etch in a more prototypical manner, which looks much better, so this was the first task to rectify.  Previously I’d had the pull rod fixed to the top of the sandbox lid, where in reality it should be attached just behind the lid to a short pivot.  I used AG 0.4mm handrail wire and soldered it to the end of the pull rod, then positioned into a small drill hole in the running plate.

Replacement Vacuum and Injector Overflow pipework – this was another task inspired by reading Iain Rice’s Etched Loco Construction and something also on the list for 7410.  It was surprisingly easy to remove the moulded pipe work with a flat tipped Xacto knife blade, working along the running plate.   Before starting out, as with trying to make my own injectors for 7410, I needed to understand what I was trying to recreate first.  To help with this I’d recently picked up a BR era copy of the Handbook for Railway Steam Locomotive Enginemen, which has descriptive colour coded diagrams of everything, just what I need for my non-mechanical brain!

Looking through the Pannier papers and at other photos, it looks as though the vacuum pipe runs the length of the left hand side – for these I used AG’s 0.7mm handrail wire. The slightly smaller diameter steam heating pipe runs the length of the right hand side, usually insulated in cloth cladding – 0.4mm handrail wire seemed about right for these.   For the small fastening clips I’ve folded over 1mm phosphor bronze strip and used 14BA washers for the pipework joins.

The injector overflows look like a slightly larger diameter pipe to the vacuum pipes – for those I used 20 SWG copper wire and 16BA washers for the joins.  I’m not 100% happy with them, the bends need to be a bit neater but I’ll see what they look like when painted.  Overall though, I’m happy and its been another good learning exercise!  Next update will be once the handrails are sorted and I’ve had a go at printing the whistle assembly, or part of it so I can still use the turned brass whistles.

Happy Christmas

Aberdovey from Ynyslas

Dear all, a quick note to say thank you and to wish a Happy Christmas to all the readers, followers and commentators of the Oswestry Works blog.  It’s a beautiful Christmas Day here in Mid Wales, we started the day with a drive out to the coast and a walk around the dunes at Ynyslas.  This really is a magnificent part of the world to be back in!  Here’s to a great 2015, Iechyd da!

B9 Creator first print

After a week or so of tinkering I’ve had my first successful print from the B9 Creator v1.2 HD.  This model is capable of 30 micron xy axis, though with quite a small build area at that resolution of 57.6 mm (2.67″) x 32.4 mm (1.28″) x 203.2 mm (8.0″).   By tilting your 3D model you can however print slightly larger objects.

Supports being added in the B9C software
In September I’d had Tebee’s Welshpool & Llanfair Beyer Peacock & Co 0-6-0T printed on a Statasys Objet Eden 260V, at 200 micron xy and 16 micron z.  I figured this print would set a bar to measure against once I’d got the B9 operational.  So far, with a little more tweaking I think the B9 comes out better with less striping and improved detail, the material is also much tougher.

Some jewellers on the B9 Creator forums have been having good results with a 1:1 mix of the B9 Red and Cherry resins, so that is the material I’ve started out with at 30 micron XY and Z.  Over Christmas I’ll be trying the same print with pure Cherry and Spot-HT.  It’s been quite a learning curve to get something productive, mainly because a UV filter hadn’t been removed from the projector assembly which meant to get anything to print I had to use much higher exposure times.  Thankfully B9C support were able to quickly identify the issue and from that point onwards I’ve been able to print using default settings.  I think I’ll try for longer settle times on the next print as I think these will help to reduce some traces of lines in the print where the resin has been curing as its still settling.


A steep learning curve…

The last few days I’ve been trying to get some test prints out of the B9 Creator I bought back in September.  To say its been a challenge is an understatement, however the support and help I’ve received from the B9 community has helped me progress from tomato soup to something physical.

The B9 Creator uses a DLP projector to cure a photopolymer (light initiated) resin.  The 3D print is sliced in the desired Z axis size, in my case 30 microns, each slice is then projected into the resin through a ‘window’ in the bottom of the resin vat.  The z axis build table steps up out of the resin as each layer is cured.  Once I’ve worked out how to calibrate properly and the optimum settings have been fathomed, it should be capable of some pretty mind blowing results.

However, at this point my first prints were a complete failure – nothing curing in the resin at all, nothing floating around.  Experimenting with higher exposure settings resulted in some layers appearing, but they’d detached themselves from the build table and were floating around in the vat.

After some more hair pulling I’d realised I’d calibrated the build table wrong, then retried with the higher exposure settings and voilà! Something was created, just visible on the base of the build table under the excess resin.   There are a number of post print steps that need to be carried out, removing the print from the build table, cleaning with 70% isopropanol, putting into an ultrasonic bath and curing in a UV oven.

Once I have some decent prints to share I’ll explain a little more of the process, in the mean time here is my catalogue of errors!

November activities

Erecting Shop test cuts

Erecting Shop test cuts

Quick update as I’ve not had a lot of time online lately – I’m in the process of moving back to Mid-Wales for a few months so things have been a little hectic of late.  Early in November I was able to spend a few days with Tim Horn getting some preliminary cuts of the works made.  Tim’s expertise in laser cutting is invaluable, his input really has transformed this project.

Here’s a few shaky captures on my phone, these are a few test cuts as Tim perfected the laser cutter configuration.  I’m hoping to be back again soon to get a dry run cut, without brickwork to see how everything will fit together, in particular the raised floor in the works, the traverser and the inspection pits.  In the mean time I’ll be using these test cuts to perfect how I’m going to paint and weather the interior.

The other bit of news is that I’ve finally constructed the B9 Creator which I had delivered in kit form back in October.  With the assistance of a mate we put it together in about 3 hours.  It’s a dream piece of kit, superbly engineered and well thought out.  It will be a little longer again before I have a test print to share, I’ve been slowly building up the additional equipment needed for post processing the prints.  In the next post I’ll be able to share some experiences on the build, calibration and hopefully by then, the first print.

B9 Creator v1.2

B9 Creator v1.2