I wanted a little project to do during that time between Christmas and the New Year, it had to be a small project as time would be an issue - it isn't fair to lock yourself away from the family for too long at this time of the year after all! But I wanted something I could look back on in these depressing first days back at work and think - 'I actually did achieve something during the holidays'.
I decided my long mothballed GT3 project would fit the bill, no major jobs, just lots of finishing touches to do, or so I thought.
The tender had been painted already, and glazed, it just needed the round grill painting and the pickups adding - this ought to be a nice little job to get me started. So day one of the project saw the pickups added to the outer axles of the tender and the drawbar coupling arrange sorted to allow current to be feed to the loco using the original Hornby drawbar and a custom built arrangement on the tender. Also the buffers were added to the tender, round sprung buffers have been used, GT3 had round buffers on the tender and oval on the loco.
The next day, and several days after that, were spent on the loco itself. The paint surface was still not right, so a little more time with fine wet and dry and a fibre glass brush was followed by a good wash and dry. In a break form the winter rain time was found to spray the loco body with the Halfords Rover Russet colour (probably not the right choice in hindsight). Once dry, the next day, Humbrol Metal Cote Silver was used to paint the window frames and the handrails. The interior of the cab was painted with a white acrylic, just to brighten it up before adding detail. the top grills got a coat of Chaos `black as did the steps on the front buffer beam.
The brake gear was laminated, from Ian MacDonalds etch, and the front bogie guards bent up and soldered. I also added a section across the from of the bogie frames to fill in the gap between the resin fake frames. These brass and plasticard parts where then primed and painted with a Matt black Halfords spray can. The headcode discs similarly primed but painted with the same white acrylic used for the cab interior. Them came the job of assembling these parts, added the front buffer beam assembly, the oval sprung buffers at the front, inserting the front grill and starting to build up the loco.
It is not finished yet, I still need to add the side grills, however I am not happy with the paint job of these, and it is easier to paint them before attaching to the loco. Also cab detailing and glazing is needed, transfers, lining and some more painting. Also, looking at these photos it is clear that a lot of the paint on the handrails has come off with handling and there is a bit of a droop in the front buffer beam area that needs to be sorted. I also have some fibre optics to add to illuminate the headcode disks.
My quick little project for Christmas, with the satisfaction of "finishing" something before going back to work has not really succeeded, but I have a least made some noticeable progress. Maybe it will not take me another 18 months before I get GT3 out again to work on. In fact I will probably take it up to our clubroom tomorrow to give it an outing on the test track - the clearance between the tender and cab is a little tight, so I want to see if it will go around curves and negotiate pointwork, I may need to readdress the loco/tender coupling arrangement.