Oswestry Works

Locomotive works diorama in 4mm

Tag: handrails

Happy New Year

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Happy New Year! What a wet and windy start it is here in Mid Wales.  Thankfully we’ve been making the most of the good weather in the last days of 2014, spending Monday at Llangollen for a first trip on the new extension to Corwen.  It was a beautiful clear blue sky day, very cold but the mulled wine and mince pies served en-route helped!  It’s also the first time I’ve seen 5199 in steam after seeing her in the works earlier in the year, paired up with a set of crimson and cream stock.   This was the perfect day to experience the line, the sun warming the south facing hillsides and the lee sides in hard frost.

I spent New Years Eve with friends in Rhayader and our last outing of the year was to walk part of the Mid Wales line north towards the remains of the Wye bridge and Marteg Halt.  I’ve only seen the track bed from the road before so it was interesting to see what was left of the line, if anything.  The biggest surprise was what I think is remains of a concrete distant signal post, about a mile north of Rhayader.  Some cast iron kissing/crossing gates were a few yards further up the line, along with a few piles of bricks from a demolished plate layers hut in the undergrowth.  Before we turned back we took a look at the remains of the old Wye bridge, the concrete stanchions still standing tall either side the river.

Today I’ve finished the replacement pipework on 5726.  For the injector overflow pipe I’ve used slightly smaller washers, reamed out to fit the copper wire as I think they look a little more to scale than my previous effort.  For the steam heating pipework I fancied having a go at creating the effect of cloth cladding so I’ve experimented with some surgical tape.  Micropore has a fibrous texture and I think might be just about fine enough to look something like the real thing.

The handrails have also been completed, using Markits short 1.6mm knobs, not Alan Gibson as I’d originally thought.  Final job now is the whistles and shield before painting finally!

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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.