I had hoped to have moved a lot further with No.184 but, unfortunately, have made a very elementary mistake! I knew that one of the problems with 00-gauge is that it is, in fact, a narrow gauge, with implications for fitting the boiler, etc., between the wheels. I think this had lulled me into a false sense of security with the outer dimensions, but these do become rather important in the case of an outside-framed locomotive with outside cranks! I 'got away with it' on my earlier scratch-built 'Queen' locomotive, because it didn't have these features.
My 'Queen' locomotive in photographic grey, showing excessive clearance outside 00-gauge wheels
My silly mistake was not to allow for the thickness of the metal, when folding the footplate structure. I had marked it out for 7 ft (28 mm) width but, of course, the 10 thou brass sheet is, itself, 0.25 mm thick, which, doubled-up both sides, is another 1/2mm, plus a bit because the fold isn't quite 'tight'. Once the cosmetic outer sides were added, I'd run out of clearance for the outside cranks on 32 mm extended axles (which actually measured at only 31.7mm). Fortunately, my rectangular footplate is simple to re-make to a nominal 26 mm, between the fold lines, but I mention this, in the hope it might save others who may be tempted to follow my very basic approach to model-making.
Another poor aspect of the design was that the large cut-out in the footplate, to accommodate the driving wheels, had weakened the structure very markedly. With my 'Queen' model, there were large areas of flat plate both in front of and behind the single drivers and these provided firm platforms on which to place the cab and smokebox. My solution for No.184 was to design the raised firebox such that it includes strengthening lugs, passing between the drivers to the outside frames. Once fixed to the front of the cab, which is itself soldered to the insides of the rear wheel splasher faces, the 'rear end' of the engine became much more rigid.
Underside view (temporary fixings with 'Blu-Tack')
With these 'improvements', the main components of the engine body have fitted together quite well and the overall dimensions lie close to my initial drawing, as shown in the photo below, where I have super-imposed the drawing. There is still a lot of rather 'fiddly' construction to do, including fitting the tops of the splashers and the splasher 'boxes' inside the cab. After that, the tasks change, as it becomes a matter of adding all the components, such as springs, axle boxes, and boiler fittings. Only then will the 'character' of this particular locomotive become apparent.
Photo of current stage of model, with drawing super-imposed
One pleasing event is that I think I have found a paint to represent 'Wolverhampton' green. I have been scouring the shelves of various suppliers and recently spotted 20 ml jars of 'Rust-oleum' 'Painter's Touch' enamel in my local 'Homebase' store. Conveniently, this paint is packaged in clear jars, which enabled me to judge that their 'Dark Green' colour had the bluish-green shade that I was looking for.
I've not tried using this paint yet but I'm looking forward to seeing the effect on my model.
I expect to take a break from modelling over the Christmas period so wish all members of
RMWeb a Happy Christmas, with the hope that Santa proves to be a railway fan