As ever the first week of the month is crazy busy at work, leaving not a lot of time for any modelling once I get home.
However over the past few nights I have managed to do a little work, progress on the Bird is now fully on hold pending Spring and warmer weather to allow for painting. (it will be green, but I have yet to confirm the tender branding, with a fair few photos showing Bulldogs/Birds with G W R that is looking the likely choice.
This lead to a revisit of the workbench to find something else to work on. The first two candidates (finishing my Finney 2251 and rebuilding the chassis of my Mitchell 73xx to OO) were both blocked due to a lack of wheels I need to buy some Markets for them, but the funds are not there right now… I was about to start work on the chassis build for my Saint, when I spotted the remaining parts for the chassis under my Manor. So its about time I got on with finishing it off.
Of course the first thing to do when picking up an in progress project several months after last working on it is to identify what is required.
- Add the handrail to the body, it needs holes drilling for the handrail knobs, forming the handrail and gluing into place. The plan is to solder the handrail to the knobs to help hold it in place. I cant do a great deal on this as I will need some shorter handrail knobs for the firebox, the problem
- Solder up the con rods (at present the rolling chassis just uses one part of the rods
- Add the crosshead / rod assembly
- Fit brake gear
- Fit balance weights to the wheels, this will probably be done at the painting stage when the wheels are removed for the final time.
- Paint the chassis
- Eventually it will also need a motor / gearbox fitting, though again cost constraints have pushed that to the right.
The work so far has focused around the con rods and cross head. The first job was to find the missing crosshead (which from memory was the reason work stopped in the first place), with that found and fettled to fit the cylinders attention could turn to the con rods. (As an aside, I am getting very disappointed with the quality of the Comet crosshead casting, with lots of flash to remove along with a rod that is anything but straight.)
The con rods had the overlays soldered into position, test fitting each side onto the model before moving onto the next. The lead crankpin was shortened enough to clear the slide bars, before another rolling test with the cylinders fitted to confirm clearances. A thinned down Markits crankpin nut secured it in place, but clearances are still very tight. I am thinking about opening up the con rod and screwing the nut into the rod to add another half mm or so each side.
Finally was the cross head / rod assembly, again soldering up the two layers and attaching to the crosshead with a brasspin. The hole at the hole at the driving wheel end was bored out to accept a crank pin nut through it, before reassembling (with a spacer fitted to keep the driven rod away from the lead crank pin). The process was then repeated for the other side.
Next up will be fitting the brake gear, before stripping the whole thing down to paint the chassis. This time I want to try and make the brake gear removable as I have found it a real pain getting access to fit pickups on my 4700/County due to brake gear getting in the way! While the loco is not getting a motor yet, it will eventually and I don't want to make my life difficult!