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Handrails and radiator

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There is still quite a bit of detailing to add to the engine casing.


Starting with the engine top cover which was made by first laminating together a half-etched top and [51] and [50] followed by a bottom spacer [52] that is slightly smaller all round. Before assembly, these parts were all rolled on the mat to impart on them a gentle curve. This assembly was then soldered to the top of the engine casing. There is no reference mark for its position but the drawing with the kit and photographs of the preserved loco indicate that it is set slightly rearward on the engine compartment.




The handrails on the front, either side of the radiator casing were added from 0.4mm wire in the same way as for the cab handrails. Remembering to keep the half-etched recess for the front free of solder.




The main handrails are 0.5mm wire and are stood off from the engine casing by supplied brass pillars. These pillars are drilled through, but need to be opened out with a small five sided broach to enable the 0.5mm wire to pass through. The holes on the casing side also need enlarging to take these pillars. Sadly the quality control of these pillars was found to be poor, as 3 out of the 10 supplied had holes broken through. I could see no way of correcting these other than filing a vee in place of the hole and hoping they do not distort the wire too much.




There are 2 handrails either side with a break between the engine casing and the fuel tank. I added these as complete units rather than trying to thread through the pillars after they are mounted. This keeps the pillars orientated correctly while soldering in place, again best done from inside the casing. Of course those 3 duff ones didn't help.




The rivets on the casing front were punched out. Then the radiator [31], its surround [32] and slats [33] were removed from the fret. The holes in the radiator slats need a slight tease with a broach to allow a 0.4mm wire to pass easily through especially if the aim is to have the slats slanted. They were moveable on the prototype.




The radiator was assembled by first soldering the surround to the face of the radiator. The slats were then added one at a time tack soldering them into their etched grooves on the radiator while keeping them threaded on the 0.4mm wire. When this had been done, applying a liberal amount of flux and reheating the panel was sufficient to solder the assembly solid. Be very careful if heating from the back of the radiator as the surround in particular can shift, does it show? :D




Of course it was not helped when soldering the completed radiator into the hole in the casing front I had one of those rather senile moments and soldered it in with the slats horizontal! A stupid mistake that meant having to apply far too much heat to get it to drop out again, followed by a thorough clean and re-assembly. :(




The final step was to fit the casing front into the half-etched recess in the engine casing.





The camera has just pointed out that slipped slat and so I will have to add that to my list of tidy-ups.


Once again I have left lamp brackets and the like until later when there is less likelihood of catching them on everything. But otherwise that completes the superstructure.



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Thanks Jamie, no problem with chaff, as it at least says there is someone out there. I also welcome critcal comments and pointing out faults/errors, as sometimes one can look at something too close for too long and simply become blind to it.


The camera can sometimes be very cruel blowing up things out of all proportion to their actual size. but it is sometimes useful as I had not noticed the scratch on the cab roof, and a few other bits of stray solder that will require attacking with the scrapers.

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Guest stuartp


Thanks Kenton for such a detailed blow-by-blow account. I've got one of these to do (there was one at Dumfries so it's just about on my patch) but I haven't got any further than admiring the etches so far ! It's been useful finding out where the tricky bits might be.

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there was one at Dumfries so it's just about on my patch

you are in luck - there were three (D2731, D2738, D2761) all in 1966.

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Guest Max Stafford


I've done a couple of white metal kits now Kenton and now comfortably solder up brass frames and associated parts. I would like to do a couple of these little shunters. Do you think one of these kits would be within my current skills range? I ask because it looks just a little fiddly in places. :)



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Hi Dave


I am often asked that question and it regularly comes up on RMWeb.


I have to warn at first, and it applies to all brass kits not just this or the JE kits in particular. Brass kit construction requires a different approach than white metal kits, the technique and the materials used are different. However, the confidence required is the same.


The JE kits are rarely suggested as first loco kits - the reason for that is, I think, the fact that they do not employ slot and tab design, and some of the parts are a bit obscure in the way they go together. The instructions, whilst far better than some, make many assumptions that you have other resources of information on the prototype, previous kit building experience and often lack the detail drawing just when you need it - and no exploded views.


However, I actually think that is not the full picture. The kits do come with the detailed CAD drawings (actual scale size), the parts nearly always are an absolutely perfect fit, requiring little or no further work. The instructions are detailed enough to make a reasonable attempt and, when asked, Michael Edge always seems happy to offer help and advice. Unlike some kit suppliers, he will have built it so has first hand knowledge. (even if his construction style is different to some - to quote his instructions: "The loco kits are designed to be built more in the manner of a full size loco than the usual modelling techniques"). When comparing value, the kits almost appear to be cheap by comparison to some of the, IMO, scratch aids sold at inflated prices by others, or what may be called the high end marketed kits. The range of kits is very good and still increasing, and where else do you get good shunter kits these days?


Fiddly, yes there are parts that are a bit mind blowing - almost microscopic, but often you don't have to put them on (as seen on the next blog page) but that is the nature of all kits including the good plastic ones.


I have built quite a few JE kits and this will certainly not be the last one. (I have another Sentinel and Taurus to do and will certainly get the other NBL at some point)


So why not go for it? Just don't rush it.

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