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Railway Modelling Ramblings

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New 3d printer - Ender 5 Pro

My clever wife bought me a new 3D printer for Christmas (how did she guess what I wanted?)   I was a bit concerned because the box was shipped direct from China by FedEx via what appears to be a puddle at Cologne Airport. Creality customer service were very helpful and we decided it was worth trying to build it and just replace any bits if we found they had been damaged. In the end everything went together very easily ( about 30-45 minutes assembly to first print) and I managed t

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

Stour Valley Dream - End of the pier show

I've been working on the second of the two river bridges on my model of Clare. For most of the building I've been using the laser cutter to make the brick work but the centre pier of the bridge has two different shapes at the ends. The upstream end is rounded and the downstream end is shaped to a point. The curve is impossible to cut flat and then bend and the multiple corners on the pointed end would have a some nasty joints to hide. I thought I'd give it a go on the 3D printer.  

J17 - Cutting problems down to size

As I mentioned in my previous blog posting, the splashers on the J17 kit were designed to accommodate the most steam-rollerish of flanges, being almost 4mm in diameter larger than scale. Well I've managed to take them back off the foot-plate. file them down to size and refit them. They look to be about .5mm too large now but I'm ok with a little extra clearance for the springing.     Missing from the kit, but visible on the plans and photographs were the beading around the b

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in J17 Build

J17 - It's deja vu all over again

So there I was feeling quite chuffed that I'd managed to get the wheels on the J17 chassis. There is a video which includes it running on youtube.   Then I started work on the footplate, I got the buffer beam and valancing on quite nicely and then turned to the splashers. I felt quite good about the job I'd done until I put the footplate onto the chassis and realised that the kit had exactly the same issues as the previously built J20.     Now I don't exa

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in J17 Build

J17 - Progress of a PDK kit

For those who don't know what a J17 is, here is a picture.   They were a James Holden designed locomotive built for the GER between 1900 and 1903, a sort of half-way house between the lighter J15 and heavier J20.   As I hinted the J17 kit from PDK is also quite 'old school' by today's standards. The frames just had simple holes for the bearings, not even a half etched line as a nod that some people might spring or compensate their locomotives.   Progress today

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in J17 Build

J20 - Some missing bits

Having put the J20 together and painted it I spotted that I'd missed a couple of important bits off. The first were the front guard irons which were easily soldered onto the front of the chassis. The others were, it appears, completely missing from the kit, these were the two large lockers in the cab, one of which has the reverser mounted on it. The kit appears to not have parts for these at all and they are not mentioned in the instructions. Photographs of cab interiors are notoriously hard to

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in J20 build

Irish Interlude 2 - more Cavan and Leitrim coal wagons

I have been making some more coal wagons for a friend's Irish project. The first attempt were slightly too narrow because some idiot (me) got the dimension wrong on the 3D model. Having fixed that we now have a models of 3 different types of wagon and the beginnings of a coal train. The wagon chassis department is apparently working at peak capacity assembling etched underframes.   The 3 wagons are subtly different, one design has two doors in the middle while the other two have a pair

Stour Valley Dream - Progress in the goods yard

There has been a bit of progress on my model of Clare in Suffolk over the last few weeks. The goods yard area around the cattle dock is coming on and I've planted the shunting signal which protects the exit from the yard (just in front on the J15)     Looking the other way and the castle mount is coming on with the start of some walls on in. These have been molded in sculptamold and I've had a go at painting lots of 'dots' to represent the stonework which seems to be lots of

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in Stour Valley

J20 - now in black

Over the last couple of days I managed to get a coat of primer followed by a coat a Stratford's finest black. This was a heavy freight locomotive and getting towards the end of its life so I've got a fair bit of weathering to apply. On most of the prototype photographs it is almost impossible to see the BR insignia on the tender!  I've noticed I also need to paint the bolt ends on the brake-gear.     I'm very pleased with the way the different components came together.

Long time coming - J20

This one really has been a long time coming! The Crownline kit has a 'checked' date on the box of 1997. I've had it 'in progress' for almost five years and most of the last two it has been in the naughty box threatening to be drop kicked out of the window. I'd left it socially isolating in south Cambridgeshire with one of my friends so long he was probably going to start charging rent. It looks like it I last mentioned it on this blog almost two years ago. The kit came back home in a socially di

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in J20 build

Irish Interlude - a 3d printer Cavan and Leitrim coal wagon

So Phil asked 'Could your gadgetry print wagon bodies' and attached a photograph of a Cavan and Leitrim 3' gauge 4-plank coal wagon and a 2D drawing he'd made. Well I couldn't let that challenge go could I? Over the course of the festive season we have bounce various images and drawing back and forth as I hopefully got closer to the prototype. Photographs are somewhat elusive, I don't think many people who got to travel on the C&L bothered taking pictures of mundane old coal wagons. This one

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 3D print projects

16mm photo-plank - lathe completed

Work on the lathe continued, I had several more pieces to model up and a couple of changes to some of the first attempts at detail parts. The final CAD drawing looks quite attractive.     To those who think 3D printing is 'cheating' I think I should point out this was more of 'home kit production' as the lathe has almost 30 separate pieces. The parts almost filled the build plate on my Anycubic photon twice over and each print job took about 4 1/2 hours.   I got th

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

16mm photo-plank - Can you form some kind of rudimentary lathe*

I've started making a lathe for my model workshop. Boy does it have a lot of pieces! I've still got the gearing on the drive end to do and the bracket which holds the top set of pulley wheels. I'm not slavishly copying this photograph but trying to make something which looks lathe-like.     The main bed of the lathe worked out to be too big to print on the Anycubic photon in a single piece so, as it was a relatively simple shape and could be sanded easily, I printed it on my

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

Stour Valley Dream - Castle mound (mk. 2)

Taking onboard the comments on the mound I added the best part of another couple of inches to the top. I also altered the shape to I hope better match the rather pointed shape of the original. I've added an initial layer of static grass and made a couple of trial little bits of wall from Sculptamold (I just wanted to see if I could make a wall with it, I need to get the shapes better)   I've got the goods shed bedded in a bit better (obviously still needs windows, capping stones etc. e

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in Stour Valley

16mm photo-plank - Keep warm by the stove and enjoy your vices

A few more printing projects over the last week. I found some nice pictures on the internet of the same sort of tortoise stove I'd seen at Thelkeld. The hardest bit to model up was the 'Celtic rope' design around the top, mind you I'm not sure drawing tortoises is my strong suite. The text around the top is tiny, the letters are .8mm tall and are have .25mm of relief. That they are visible once printed is nothing short of miraculous. I couldn't actually make out the text on the raw print and it

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

Stour Valley Dream - Castle mound

Clare station was built in the bailey of Clare Castle (you could do that kind of thing in 1865!) and the castle motte is still present behind the goods shed. I don't have the space to model the whole mound but need to try to make something that gives the right feeling. There needs to be a bit of forced perspective going on too which complicates things. This section of the aerial photograph gives some idea of the scale of the real thing. To those who have visited over the last few years it will b

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in Stour Valley

16mm photo-plank - Pillar Drill and test wall

As I mentioned in my last blog the next bit of workshop machinery I fancied trying to reproduce was a pillar drill. This proved to be quite a tricky bit of modeling just because there were so many features. I'd taken a photograph of this drill in the shed at Thelkeld.     It looked to me as if the drill was originally belt driven with a 'new' electric motor powering the original drive wheel at the bottom. There then seems to be a belt which takes the drive to the top of the

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

16mm photo-plank - Hammer Time and a load of rubbish

Over the past week I've managed a few more bits of 3D printing, pushing my 3D modeling skills and my Anycubic photon to the limit. The power hammer had lots of odd shapes to model up and my favourite feature, the large spring between the two parts of the hammer mechanism. I was astonished that the foot peddle which engages the clutch mechanism came out, this is only 1mmx.8mm in profile. I printed this in 4 pieces, the main frame casting, the two fly wheels and the main hammer mechanism.  This wa

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

Stour Valley Dream - lots of uncoupling

In case my 16mm musings made folks fear I'd been loosing interest in the P4 I wanted to show you that I used the last few days to make some more uncouplers for Alex Jackson couplings. I thought I'd put some pictures on here to show what I'd been up to.   The uncoupling magnets are made from two  3D printed parts with a plastruct tube insert, that gives a freer sliding movement that just making the 3D printed 'plunger' fit directly in the hole. The printer is not particularly well tuned

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit

16mm photo-plank - Completed blower and had buckets of fun

I printed out the parts for my forge blower. There was some spare space on the build platform so I printed a few extra tools at the same time. I deliberately put the parts on twice and in a couple of different orientations to see which came out best. Splitting the blower into two halves allowed the bottom sides to be sanded and form the join.   You can just make out the Alcoso No4 text on the parts and, while you can't read the text, the builder's plate has some relief on it which mak

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

16mm photo-plank - Every forge needs a blower

So I got the forge painted, like the original it is very black and difficult to photograph! If it was anything other than a forge I might have been tempted to pick out the lettering in paint but in reality it would never have been.   I did a quick google search for 'vintage belt drive forge blower UK' and found someone selling two on Ebay. I liked the note that said postage was not an option given the weight. Still they helpfully supplied a number of photographs and the key dimen

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

16mm photo-plank - forging a forge

I had modeled the forge up as 8 separate parts to allow me to position them on the Anycubic Photon to get the quickest prints. The resulting jobs filled the print bed twice and at a .04mm layer height it took about 5 hours to print out the parts. The results weren't too bad, there was a bit of warping on the largest part (the main base of the forge) but it was fairly easy to conceal as the worse bits are under the base and not visible.   The top came out very nicely and I don't think

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

16mm photo-plank - plans for a forge

In my previous posting I had found this picture of a rather nice cast forge.     Some more digging on the internet and I found some references to Keith - Blackman Ltd of Farringdon Avenue London, manufacturers of smith's hearths and forge blowers - purveyors  of complete installations for the smithy. I thought I'd try to model up something suitable for my workshop.     I've broken it down into a number of pieces so i can try and print the individual part

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

16mm photo-plank - more workbench details

I made some progress on the workbench today. I 3D printed a range of bolt heads to add to the timber to hold it all together. I just drilled tiny .7mm holes and stuck them in place. Good(ish) weather meant for a nice afternoon walk and I was able to find a bit of twig which I used to make a log on which to mount the anvil.     I've continued to make more tools for the bench, the range of difference size files and tongs is increasing nicely. From my pictures of old forges it

Fen End Pit

Fen End Pit in 16mm photo-plank

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