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Dusting off the Duke - return of an old project

GWMark

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I've recently made myself a promise not to start any new projects until I finish some of the part built, stalled projects. We will see how long that one lasts, but by way of a start on this new resolution I got my Mallard Models GWR Duke out of its box and have done a little work on it over the last week.

 

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Although it may not look like it has progressed much, there has been a fair bit of fettling going on. I removed the pickups I had put on before, they were a little fragile and prone to get caught and short on the body. It now has much neater pickups made by winding some springy wire around a small diameter rod to create a spring. It means the pickups are very much shorter and less prone to getting in the way or moving around and creating shorts. The rear wheels have the pickups mounted on the underside of the frames, the front drivers on the top surface of the frames. They still need a little adjustment, and I managed to bend one so have a short again at the moment, but I think they will work out better than before.

 

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I have also put some work into the balance, with lead added where possible and making the tender bear down on the loco to help move the balance aft. There is still some room in the firebox for some more lead, but I want to get some sheet lead to cut to profile rather than using the lead shot. I should be able to add about 5mm thickness of lead against the cab bulkhead - inside the firebox. Also by the time there is a white metal crew on the footplate I should have more weight to bring the balance back.

 

The dome and safety valve went on, the former being a large white metal lump that had an adverse effect on the previously mentioned balance. The cab roof was rolled and soldered on tonight, along with the ribs underneath and progress has been made on the tender with the addition of the axle boxes and some white metal castings since the loco last graced these pages. I have also put the steps in place, although I managed to melt part of one of the etched steps (middle tread overlays) with the RSU when I removed the probe before taking my foot of the peddle - actually I sneezed so it was not entirely my fault. There is still need for a considerable amount of cleaning up to remove some of the excess solder. Also the fall plate has been put in place and the ride height of the tender and loco is now much better.

 

I also found I am missing the tender tank vents, hopefully I'll be able to pick some up at Railex this weekend.

 

I've started to make up the cranks ready for the fitting of the rods, but I want to get the thing balanced better before I put the rods in place. Drive is to the rear axle via one of Chris Gibbon's very neat gearboxes. this means I can keep all the cab detail whilst keeping the gearbox between the frames and nothings shows below the frames. The motor is a Mashima 1020 mounted vertically in the firebox - not sure if this will ever be up to pulling much of a load - we shall see.

 

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Still lots of little jobs to do, making up the last of the cranks, tank vents, smokebox dart, lance cock, more cab detailing, handrails, buffers, lamp irons, sand boxes, the list seems to go on forever and all that is before any thought of painting, transfers etc. Although my new resolution may not include painting as I might well go for a batch painting session or save up the models to take to Missenden and do the painting there under the expert's eyes!

 

[Edit - addition of the two later photos to illustrate what I was trying to describe]

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Looking good Mark, I know what you mean about finishing projects before starting anymore!

See you at Railex.

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Were the chimney and dome placed that far forward on a Duke?

:-( No, they were not.

 

I can see what I have done, about 3 years (or more) ago when I attached the boiler and smokebox I have put them the wrong way around. So the chimney should be towards the rear of the smokebox and the dome on the first boiler band ahead of the firebox.

 

Thanks for pointing this out - I don't understand how it missed it, it is so obvious when I look back at the drawings.

 

That has rather put this project back, I'll have to see about removing the boiler/smokebox, disassembling them and putting them back the other way around. That does not sound like an easy job. I get the feeling my resolve to finish things before moving on might just have taken a knock!

 

Ah well, best to have found out now and it can be added to another of the "lessons to be learnt" about this model model lark.

 

[Edit: addition of second option below]

 

I guess another option might be to unsolder the smokebox wrapper, turn it around and resolver it. That would move the chimney back and get the rivet lines sloping the right way. Then I would "just" have to remove the dome, fill the hole in the boiler, put a new boiler band in. Remove part of the rear boiler band and resolver the dome in place on the right band. The dome was put on with low melt, so should come off reasonably easily. Filling the hole might be a little tricky to make look good. Hopefully the smokebox wrapper can be remove without too much fuss, but this was 145 solder, so will not be as easy.

 

Um, which way to go?

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....Thanks for pointing this out - I don't understand how it missed it, it is so obvious when I look back at the drawings.....

Every silver lining has a cloud....

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I think that reversing the smoke box wrapper should not be too difficult - I sometimes use wads of wet tissue to keep adjacent parts from melting while re-soldering inidividual areas.  The backward stance of the chimney is such a characteristic feature of Dukes that it is one you cannot ignore! (even though I find it slightly ugly!)

 

Domes on Dean engines seem to move around quite a lot but, sadly, not on Dukes (as far as I know), where the back ring is the standard place.  Your dome looks like white metal so is presumably low-temp soldered, which should make removal easier.  As you say, filling the mounting hole will be the biggest problem.  On the other hand, this error is much less likely to be 'noticed' than the chimney, so could come under the term 'modeller's licence'

 

Thank you for the detail photos.  Your pic of the outside frames encourage me to re-build my model of GWR No.184, since I have never been happy with the frames as I have built them!

 

Mike

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Hi Mark,

 

Hmm, you've prompted me to look out my unfinished Duke, purchased from Howes of Oxford when they resided in Broad Street ( that dates me !).

May I ask which High Level gearbox you've installed please.

Always good to see one of these locos, looking forward to your progress.

 

Grahame

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Hi Mark, Hmm, you've prompted me to look out my unfinished Duke, purchased from Howes of Oxford when they resided in Broad Street ( that dates me !). May I ask which High Level gearbox you've installed please. Always good to see one of these locos, looking forward to your progress. Grahame

Hi Grahame,

the gearbox I used was a loadhauler+. It fits very neatly between the frames and gives just the reach to get the motor into the front of the firebox. I just hope I can resolve the results of my stupidity without have to take the whole thing apart.

Mark

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Thanks Mark always useful to know how others tackle these areas. Much appreciated.

 

G

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