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Building a Modelex GWR 45xx





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#1 The Fatadder

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 10:25

Earlier in the year I purchased at Modelex kit for a GWR 45xx, part of my reasoning behind the change to modelling a steam branch was that I wanted to move away from the 'modern image' approach of a mass produced body with various bits of brass/steel glued on and start building the whole loco.

The kit had already been started with the chassis frames assembled, so the first job has been working out just what exactly has been done.
Having had a good read of the instructions it looks like the remaining chassis work involves building the cylinders, sorting out the compensation, finishing the break gear/detailing and finally fitting a motor and gearbox / wheels.

photo 1.JPG
photo 3.JPG

The first job was repairing the breakgear that had become damaged in the post, I fitted a single wheel to an axle and carefully adjusted the position of each break to match the wheel position. The front two axles both fitted in grooved bearings in the hornblocks, were both very free running (though there is a bit more lateral play in the bearings than I would have expected.) I am a little unsure how exactly these are then operated, though the instructions do mention soldering a piece of wire onto the side of the bearing which has not been done by the previous owner. Another question is would it be worth me removing the existing hornblocks and replacing with something with a more modern design?
photo 2.JPG
I think the priority is to get the compensation completed, followed by the cylinders & detailing before finally painting then finally fitting the gearbox (high level) and wheels (Sharmans). At which point I can finally start work on the interesting bit, building the body!


I also need to make a decision which loco I will be building it as. So far the only suitable photo on the Cheddar branch in my '47/'48 period I have found is of 4573, though I don't really have any details as to the exact features of that loco.
At the moment it is fitted with the later fully cast patten breaks (though they could be removed and refitted with the early patten if necessary, and I have yet to fit the balance weights to the wheels (given the kit comes with the early and late patten I would ideally like to use the etch for the latter on the wheels for my 5512 Bachmann/Gibson conversion)

Work is going to be slow, but the aim is to have the loco finished before I go to Toulouse in February next year...

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#2 Neal Ball

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 10:29

That will be an interesting project, good luck with that.

#3 The Fatadder

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 10:34

That will be an interesting project, good luck with that.

Thanks, I think I am going to need it!
This is my first attempt at a steam loco kit, and will be the first brass kit I've built that involves curved parts, along with the first etched chassis (although at least the hard work is done there.)
I do always think the best place to learn is to chuck yourself in at the deepend!

#4 Neal Ball

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 12:05

Never attempted a Brass loco, so it will be interesting to see how you get on. Not sure my skills would be up to the job!! (Plus whether I have the time of course!)

#5 Brinkly

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 12:48

Hi Rich,

What are you looking for Rich with regard to the loco?

Regards

Nick

#6 buffalo

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 13:39

Can you describe, or show us a photo of, the "early" brake hangers and the two types of balance weights? I've not come across any statement of when either of these were changed and the photos I've looked at seem inconclusive. A photo of 4540 (the first of lot 201, built in 1914-5, whereas your 4573 is the last but one of lot 226, built in November 1924) shows brake hangers that have a definite forward slope, i.e. the bottom is well in front of the top. Later photos of other examples from the thirties and forties all show the brake hangers to be almost vertical. However, in several cases these appear to be fabricated rather than cast.

The centre balance weights on 4540 are also deeper than later examples. The ends have a short squared-off part in line with the spokes, whereas later ones are pure crescent shapes with pointed ends. If this is the difference, then it looks like 4573 would have been built with the later type. Most photos from the thirties onwards show the pointed centre weight, but they vary as to whether rivets are visible or not. Whether this indicates a difference between cast and plate weights, I don't know.

Other things to be aware of include the height of the safety valve bonnet. All except the final 1928-9 batch were built with tall bonnets, though some may have had short ones fitted at a later date. Lot 226 was the first to be built with the final form of large bunker, and most had the curved and recessed guard around the top rear lamp bracket fitted in the thirties, though some survived well after this without it.

Nick

#7 craigwelsh

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 18:18

Im guessing the piece of wire would be soldered onto the bearings to stop them rotating and would slot up through those tabs that are provided on the front two axles.

I'd suggest getting the compensation beams fitted above the bearings and wheel it up with its rods and see how it runs. If its looking a bit dodgy then possibly stop back to the frames and put new hornblocks in. Tbh it shouldn't have that slop anyway but better to see if its currently working before modifying.

With the fixed rear axle you can't drop the wheelset out which isn't a design I particularly like.

#8 The Fatadder

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 20:15

I've taken a couple of photos, unfortunately I think my main camera's battery has fried as after a full charge it lasted the best part of five seconds before deciding it needed a new charge. As such Ive had to resort to using the iphone for photos.

This etch has the two types of balance weights,
photo 1.JPG

This etch contains the early break, (described in the instructions as a double hanger type), whereas the cast type are fitted
photo 2.JPG
photo 3.JPG

#9 The Fatadder

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 20:21

Im guessing the piece of wire would be soldered onto the bearings to stop them rotating and would slot up through those tabs that are provided on the front two axles.

I'd suggest getting the compensation beams fitted above the bearings and wheel it up with its rods and see how it runs. If its looking a bit dodgy then possibly stop back to the frames and put new hornblocks in. Tbh it shouldn't have that slop anyway but better to see if its currently working before modifying.

With the fixed rear axle you can't drop the wheelset out which isn't a design I particularly like.


Cheers Craig, Just got to work out what the compensation beam looks like! I've been having issues identifying it from the instructions.
Would it be worth painting behind the driven axle prior to adding the compensated axles and test it so that the fixed axle will not need removing later?

I can see your logic with wanting a rear axle you can drop,
are there any pitfalls to be aware of going down this route? something I will keep in mind once I start the Collett Goods chassis.

#10 buffalo

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 21:04

Thanks for posting the photos, Rich. First, brake hangers. The majority of photos from the thirties and forties show the double hanger type (I called them "fabricated" earlier). They are simply two flat pieces cut from plate with the shoe sandwiched between them. I've found an example of the cast type from 1962 and a couple more that might be this type from as early as the twenties, so it looks like you could use either unless you have a good photo of 4573. I mentioned the 1914 example on 4540; looking at that again it may even be an early cast type.

The balance weights on the left of your photo look right for all of the photos I've seen from the twenties to the early sixties. The large centre weight spans six spokes and the smaller ones four. The ones on the right of your photo don't match any photo that I can find. The centre ones are fine for the lot 201 (1914-5 builds) but the small ones look like they would only span three spokes whereas those on the photo of 4540 are the same size as the 'later' type. Maybe these were used on the early (1906-10) builds?

Nick

#11 The Fatadder

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 21:41

Cheers for that
In light of that information I will go with the right hand balance weights, and use them as a template to cut some plasticard weights for the other loco

Break wise I will stick with those that are on the model, and use the fabricated type that are still on the etch to replace the oo ones on the Bachmann model.

Think I have also made progress identifying the compensation beam, I can see how that sits above the axles. Is that all there is to it?

#12 buffalo

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Posted 06 November 2011 - 22:18

...In light of that information I will go with the right hand balance weights...

I hope you mean left hand?

Nick

#13 The Fatadder

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 07:08

Indeed I do!

#14 Portchullin Tatty

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 19:38

Another question is would it be worth me removing the existing hornblocks and replacing with something with a more modern design?


Rich,

I find the hardest part of building locos is to get the spacing of the axles to exactly match the spacings of the coupling rods.

If this has been done for you and is good, I would not alter it; especially simply to go for a more modern solution. Do that on your next model!!

I was told that the chassis was a "runner" so it should be OK. If I were you, before you get too carried away with the next bits, assemble the wheels, coupling rods and mount a motor (it is really good to have one that has a grub screw final gear, so that you can unmount it again - the "+" range of highlevels or a portescap do for eaxmple). Assuming that it is a smooth runner, I would definately leave the hornblocks alone.

One other thing, don't get the break blocks too close the wheels, as you will be at risk of short circuits if opposing sides happen to touch at the same time.

#15 kada33

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 21:45

Earlier in the year I purchased at Modelex kit for a GWR 45xx, part of my reasoning behind the change to modelling a steam branch was that I wanted to move away from the 'modern image' approach of a mass produced body with various bits of brass/steel glued on and start building the whole loco.

The kit had already been started with the chassis frames assembled, so the first job has been working out just what exactly has been done.
Having had a good read of the instructions it looks like the remaining chassis work involves building the cylinders, sorting out the compensation, finishing the break gear/detailing and finally fitting a motor and gearbox / wheels.

photo 1.JPG
photo 3.JPG

The first job was repairing the breakgear that had become damaged in the post, I fitted a single wheel to an axle and carefully adjusted the position of each break to match the wheel position. The front two axles both fitted in grooved bearings in the hornblocks, were both very free running (though there is a bit more lateral play in the bearings than I would have expected.) I am a little unsure how exactly these are then operated, though the instructions do mention soldering a piece of wire onto the side of the bearing which has not been done by the previous owner. Another question is would it be worth me removing the existing hornblocks and replacing with something with a more modern design?
photo 2.JPG
I think the priority is to get the compensation completed, followed by the cylinders & detailing before finally painting then finally fitting the gearbox (high level) and wheels (Sharmans). At which point I can finally start work on the interesting bit, building the body!


I also need to make a decision which loco I will be building it as. So far the only suitable photo on the Cheddar branch in my '47/'48 period I have found is of 4573, though I don't really have any details as to the exact features of that loco.
At the moment it is fitted with the later fully cast patten breaks (though they could be removed and refitted with the early patten if necessary, and I have yet to fit the balance weights to the wheels (given the kit comes with the early and late patten I would ideally like to use the etch for the latter on the wheels for my 5512 Bachmann/Gibson conversion)

Work is going to be slow, but the aim is to have the loco finished before I go to Toulouse in February next year...


Hi Rich

I've just picked up on this thread, so can I ask were you found the photo of 4573 on the Cheddar Branch.
I bought the same Loco in 'O' Gauge from Telford this Sept and am looking for ref. photos.

Dave

#16 The Fatadder

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 22:01

The photo is in Steaming Through Cheddar with an E140 B Set in Choc / Cream. Cant remember the exact caption details.
If I remember rightly its the only straight tank photo I have found so far on the branch in my period

#17 kada33

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Posted 07 November 2011 - 22:13

The photo is in Steaming Through Cheddar with an E140 B Set in Choc / Cream. Cant remember the exact caption details.
If I remember rightly its the only straight tank photo I have found so far on the branch in my period


Thanks for the reply, there is a 9 page article of 4555 in the Great Western Journal N.16 Autumn 1995, there are photos of 4560,64,66 as well, plus a centre spread of the GA drawing for the 4555-74 series plus two section drawings on the following page. If you need any further info. just ask.

Dave

#18 The Fatadder

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 09:37

Another question re the compensation,

I have now modified the bearings with a flat bottom and added the control wire to ensure they only move up and down as per the instructions. I have also cut a length of rod that makes up the compensation beam and test fitted it below the rotating cross beam that is soldered to the chassis.

Once I put the beam in place (correct size rod as per instructions), it looks to me that there is no movement in the axles, with both forced to be as low in the hornblocks as possible.

Any thoughts (or better yet a decent sized photo showing how this all goes together on a flexichas chassis)
I guess the logical solution is to go down to a smaller diameter of rod, though I cant understand why the instructions would say to use something too big and hence expect that I am trying to fit it wrong....

#19 Mike G

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 10:52

Hi
You need to bend this rod so that the flexible bearings are on the same level as your fixed bearing. Tweak and test...or if you have a pair of pliers with a 90 degree twist in them, solder the rod in place and them bend away until the level is achieved. There may be a more scientific way but that's how I've made my compo beams.

Should have mentioned you'll need to put the axles through to do this.

Mike

Edited by Mike G, 12 November 2011 - 10:55 .


#20 buffalo

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 11:12

It's difficult to tell from your photos, but are you sure the compensation beam should be below its pivot? I may be wrong, but it looks more like it should be above. Either way, as Mike said, you'll probably need to bend the beam a little to get everything at the right height.

Nick

#21 The Fatadder

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 11:32

Thanks chaps
I hadn't realised about the bends in the beam

Have double checked the instructions and it definitely goes on underneath the pivot.
So I guess it needs a slight upward bend to get a beam profile that is something like the below that is keeping the max hight of the bearings at the same hight as the fixed bearing?

Next question, it looks like the axles/bearings are just going to fall to their lowest possible position, and then when they hit a bump will raise up
before falling back down, with the beam acting as a limitation on that movement (and forcing the other axle down while the first has lifted up)

What I dont understand is that the 2 compensated axles natural position is lower than the rear (fixed) axle, which surely defeats the point? Again am I missing something here? I cant really see how running will be improved as a result as it sounds the axles are only going to have upward movement, and the rest of the time will be in the wrong place!

I think that for my next chassis I will attempt the CSB route, given that I can at least understand what is going on mechanically, even if the implementation sounds much more complicated!

Edited by The Fatadder, 12 November 2011 - 11:58 .


#22 The Fatadder

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 21:37

After reaching the limit of work on the Bachmann 5512 chassis, its back to work on 4573.

I think I have finally worked out the compensation, the beam has been soldered into position (its slightly out off true but appears to work). At the same time I soldered the control wires onto the bearings, and filed the bottoms flat to allow the full movement range.

Once that was finished and the parts were cleaned up, the two lead axles were fitted with wheels and are now fitted to the model awaiting testing.

Next job is going to be buying a motor / gearbox combination (will get onto High Level after my CIMA exams are over next week), and I can finally do a spot of testing. (Oh and really must buy another 1/8 axle so that I can fit the driven wheel!)

#23 craigwelsh

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Posted 15 November 2011 - 22:18

What I dont understand is that the 2 compensated axles natural position is lower than the rear (fixed) axle, which surely defeats the point? Again am I missing something here? I cant really see how running will be improved as a result as it sounds the axles are only going to have upward movement, and the rest of the time will be in the wrong place!

I assume you worked out after that the two compensated axles shouldn't be lower than the fixed one or the loco wont sit level hence why you need to tweak the beam?

The idea is that an axle cannot rise up because the beam constrains it. It can only rise when the other axle is able to drop into a hole. Therefore the wheels always end up on the rail at all times and the loco body should remain level as the axles see-saw around the pivot being dead central between the two axles. Full compensation is much better than the fixed driven axle as the body will stay level laterally, with the fixed axle the loco can roll towards a dip. Obviously the prototype did this in come circumstances but generally it looks silly.

When you get it fully wheeled up stick up some photos and also check its all sitting level with the buffers at the right height.

#24 The Fatadder

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 11:24

Will be a while until I can test it with buffers... Need to build the body first (and the Bachmann body won't fit on without modification so thats not an option for testing)

Im starting to think that ordering a pair of comet b-set coaches to use for a bit of soldering revision might be an idea before cracking on with 4573s body. The soldering yesterday was a little messy......

#25 ozzyo

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 13:35

Will be a while until I can test it with buffers...



You don't need the buffers to check that it's level all you need is a surface gauge and something flat. Or failing that a good steel rule and the kitchen worktop. I use the axles on their own and two parallels as in these photos of a 44xx build

115.JPG
116.JPG

HTH

OzzyO.







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