Following on from my previous post regarding the day Daniel and I spent in Princes Risborough working on valve gear, tonight I cleaned and degreased my eccentric cranks before having another go at attaching them to the ends of the crankpins. This time I used cyno rather than loctite and I appear to have had more success. So now I have all the valve gear attached and the rail motor runs with the rods all moving as they should, maybe not exactly as the prototype, but the best that can be arranged with this rather old white metal kit.
I think it would benefit from a bit of test track that is more than twice it's one length - it hardly starts before it has to stop again!
Most of it is original NuCast with the exception of the eccentric rods and cranks which have come from a Mallard Steam Railmotor kit. I picked up a part finished one with partial valve gear that I stole those items from before getting another complete etch of the valve gear that I will use to finish the Mallard kit. The NuCast eccentrics were too long and caused the valve gear to seize at the end of the stroke. This set works somewhat better, although there s still room for improvement.
As said before I am really pleased to see this finally moving, it was the first kit I ever tried to make and gave up on it as too hard a job. It has been on top of a kitchen cupboard for more than decade now, seeing the light of day once before when I tried and failed to put the valve gear together. In the time it has been up there it has suffered a bit, the sides have bowed, a buffer got broken, steps bent and broken and the brass strip trussing broke off the white metal body sides. Once I had the valve gear working I started on some body repairs, replacing the broken buffer with one I picked up from CooperCraft at ScaleForum. I've also straightened the sides somewhat. The roof is currently in a bath of model strip, I need to clean up the joint between the two panel and repaint it. Hopefully this time making a better job of both the joint and the paint finish - I think my standards of what is acceptable have gone up since I did this the first time.
The bogie guards need to be replaced and the white metal steps repaired or replaced with some more convincing ones, possibly made from some scrap etch. There are also no steps on the two ends, I might try to build some of those using the etching in the part built Mallard kit as a guide. The original kit just simply ignored the rather fine steps on the ends.
One thing that made the valve gear a whole lot easier was using brass lace pins and soldering it together rather than the rather bulky rivets the kit came with. This was a tip picked up from Tony Wright at a Missenden weekend many years ago and put into practice first with the Mallard etch and now with the NuCast etch, albeit with a couple of bits from the Mallard etch.
The running is not perfect, partly because the motor is not well retained so I suspect it suffers from not having a very good mesh on the worm, there is no etched gearbox, just a worm and gear on the rear drivers. The motor is only retained by some wire wrapped around it, I am going to have to come up with a better way of attaching it.
At least for now I feel I have overcome the hurdle that had stopped the progress on this one. It does feel good not to give up completely, although I know it will never be a finescale delight, at least it stands a chance of running. And might soon join the long line of models Daniel and I have built that need painting - there is no getting away from it, I shall have to break out the airbrush soon - maybe as a New Year's resolution to not only finish building things, but actually paint them as well. Mind you, after painting comes lining, I suspect I'll need to work up to that one!