GWR Small Metro Tank (7) - Ready for Warley Exhibition!
GWR 2FS Metro Tank
Since the last instalment, the sub assemblies have been primed with Halfords No 8 Self Etch Primer, the footplate sprayed with Precision Paints Indian Red. Before the buffer beams and footplate top were brush painted the pre-turned spring cups were super-glued in place behind the valances (the bond made more secure with 24 hour epoxy), and the assembly sprayed with Humbrol Satin Varnish. This was the first issue - the varnish dried very matt.
The bunker assembly and Boiler/Tank/Cab assembly were all spray painted with Cherry Paints Pre 1928 GWR Green. This is when the problems really started!!
The Cherry Paints green was quite unlike the Precision Paints Pre 1928 Green that I'd used on my saddle tank, so the whole of these two sub-assemblies were soaked in IPA for an hour or two (which is a really good paint stripper), and an old electric toothbrush used to take the model back to bare metal. Once the sub-assemblies were scrubbed clean and dried off the painting process was repeated with the contents of a very old tin of PP Pre'28 green. Before I did the black-work on the smokebox, tank tops and cab roof these assemblies were lined with Fox transfers GWR lining, and the handrails scraped back to the bare steel. The whole lot was then given a spray of Humbrol Satin Varnish. Guess what, this also dried with a very matt finish!!
Not being one to give up lightly, once everything had dried for a day, another batch of Humbrol Satin Varnish was loaded into the airbrush and everything given another coat - annoyingly this too has dried matt!!! I think another type of satin varnish needs to be purchased !!!
The buffer housings were re-drilled 0.8mm to clear out any paint that had strayed inside before the steel buffer heads and shanks were fitted and secured with super-glue from the tail end (which protrudes behind the rear of the buffer beams). The dome and safety valve casing were attached to the boiler with epoxy as were the tank fillers and the tool boxes on the tank tops. The whistles were fitted in pre-drilled holes in the cab roof and secured with a spot of super glue inside the cab.
The sub-assemblies were bolted together, and attached to the chassis. A test run revealed that what was once a lovely runner now didn't budge!!!
After what seemed like hours of frustration, the fault was eventually found to be the motor wire - I'd used a body fixing bolt that was too long at the smokebox end, and had effectively cut through the wire in the end of the motor . An order was quickly placed with Nigel Lawton for a replacement motor, and was luckily fulfilled in a couple of days. With the replacement motor fitted, the whole thing was reassembled (this time with a much shorter bolt into the smokebox) - once again the damn thing didn't run, so a couple of days were spent trying to get back to the smooth runner that I had a few weeks ago. This entailed removing the gearbox to ensure that the quartering was still good - it was. Taking the gearbox apart and reassembling it all again - it seemed that there was a slight bind in there somewhere which the small NL Midi Motor couldn't quite get past. Once it was all put back together again, it was put on the end of a mini-drill to run it in for a bit before everything was made whole again.
So after a few traumatic days, I now have a second engine that runs very nicely on my test track. The images below show her as she is at the minute.
There are a few things still to do :
Coal in the bunker
Crew in the cab (it also need a back head but I doubt that I will get that made before next weekend)
Brake gear (again I'm not in hurry to fit that)
The cab sides could do with being lined, but they are pretty small and the curve around the cab opening has put me off trying that just yet as I suspect I need to do that freehand.
Ideally, I would want her to have a bit of a sheen, so one day I will either try re-varnishing her, or she will have to have a complete strip back to bare metal and the whole painting/lining process repeated with hopefully a successful protective varnish.
Am I satisfied with my efforts (despite the problems encountered)? Yes, I'm absolutely delighted!! I've proved to myself that I can build a working locomotive in 2mm Finescale, and that will give the confidence to try some of the other models that I want for my branch line. Having now built 2 engines one with an Association etched chassis and one with a milled brass chassis, there is no doubt in my mind that for the engines that I want (which are predominantly small) that a home made milled brass chassis is the way to go. The saddle tank weighs in at 43g (with the Farish cast tank and footplate), the Metro tank is 39g (with lead in the bunker and side tanks), and in this scale loco weight is key. Happily, she will pull my train of 4/6 wheeled coaches without any sign of slipping.