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Warren Shepard 45XX O Gauge Prairie kit build.


ROSSPOP

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This project is another part of my lockdown efforts.

 

Warren Shepard`s small prairie kit was the only kit of this type available at the time of purchase and I`ve needed to replace the heavy whitemetal kit of the 45XX that I constructed back in 2009.

 

 I`ve never made this make of kit before and was encouraged in my research regarding the quality of his  lost wax castings supplied with each kit. I also studied P A D`s 2017 build of this very kit and was made aware of a few of the kit`s short Cummings ( tee! hee!).

 

The kit has a plethora of guidlines and diagramatical illustrations but no numbered written instructions to follow. Also this is not a tab and slot designed kit. So, if you are shy of soldering and possible anealing  as well as shy of riveting  this kit is probably not for you.

 

You are required to work a bit  to achieve a good build so I will see how things go.........................

 

I always start with the coupling rods and for this kit a set of jointed Premier Components are supplied. That saves a few hours work...

 

 

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The next job is to fabricate some sprung hornblocks and I chose from my broom cupboard a set  of Slaters old style nylon honblocks as I needed an adjustable axle ride height.

 

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Once these had been fettled up I used some metal blackening solution to save time later on together with the preparation and blackening of a set of Slaters wheels.

 

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I like to have very smooth backs of the wheel treads to  reduce the braking effect of plunger pickups.

 

 

Warrens chassis design is made from substantially thick brass etchings so I am using an 80watt bog standard Antex soldering iron with my all time favourite flux Baker`s Fluid which I have been using since the 1960`s.

 

But before that You will need to mark and drill the brake hanger positions and rear sandbox positions which are not pre etched. I also needed to use some measured scratchings to position the axle ride height as designed for this kit before I cut out the hornblock slots.

 

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Time spent here will save a lot of tears later on. I also marked and drilled out the plunger pickup positions which are best placed at the axle centreline position so as not to impede the wheel suspension movement.  I also fettled and soldered up the driving wheel springs so as not to melt the nylon hornblocks.

 

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Having mentioned the lack of tabs and slots , there are  two chassis stretchers that are so...... but the slots are etched in the wrong places....more on this easily rectified issue later.

 

Next is to fettle up and prepare all parts needed for the chassis assembly.

 

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The two cylinder block stretchers are designed to make the whole cylinder assembly completely removeable to which they are very useful parts  to keep things square during assembly and soldering up.  I needed to cut notches in two of the stretchers to accommodate the hornblock positions. The two stretchers with the incorrect slot positions were sorted out at this stage as they are both required to be the correct height for the two bogie trucks.

 

The front stretcher I was able to solder to the rear of the chassis block to which it does have corresponding slots and tabs and does not need to be soldered to the chassis sides. Slots have to be cut to accommodate the hornblocks and the brake hanger rod and the plunger pickup positions   to make it all removeable.

 

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If you see what I mean.....

 

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Eventually you can produce a very substantial solid chassis frame.....

 

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Here you can see where the original slots are too high in the chassis sides....

 

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It was easy to use this datum to match the height of the front stretcher....

 

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Once all that was sussed.... everything else was plain sailing....

 

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...with the exception of some crude springs to replace the originals that are far too strong for this application.  My easy method of jigging evrything in place for a trouble free chassis and motion.

 

And finally a wiz- popping free running basic chassis.....

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Next a pleasant evening putting together the two identical bogie trucks from Warrens brilliant quality castings...

 

 

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The back to finishing off the cylinder block mainframe...... requiring some riveting and metal bending....

 

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and  a wee bit of finger burning.....

 

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Knowing that I have a sweet running chassis I ventured on to perhaps the most challenging parts of the kit.

 

Warren has cunningly produced a printed riveting guide which you cut out and stick to the rear of the loco tank sides, rear, and front footplate and then apply the rivets using these guides.

Apparently the printed guides don`t match up to the etchings and I could`nt be arsed , so I used them to mark all rivets by hand and then rivet in the usual way.......

 

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Job done in one evening.........

 

 

And now.... the real build begins..........

 

 

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I felt the front footplate needed annealing to get that curved bend...... it was a b%$$£r to flatten out aferwards....

 

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...despite a few dents for added realism I just about got away with it.......... this time....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 8
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36 Comments


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  • RMweb Gold

Today I got on and tackled those difficult areas of the kit, at least, difficult to me. Namely , making bends in thick gauge brass with minimal tools.

The tank sides have bends at both their extremities which need to locate in pre-etched grooves on the footplate etch....not an easy task without any pre-etched references on the parts supplied. All these had to be worked out by eye and hand...

 

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Then there was the mighty job of fabricating the bunker with all it`s compound curves etc.  Warren has suplied some cast top corners but I found that it was easier to reduce these down a fair bit  .

 

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...............a lot of fiddling and fettling required here , so plenty of patience req`d

 

 

 

 

After a lot of work fitting the tank sides as squarely as I could  everything seem to work out and I`m pleased and relieved this part of the construction has been achieved.................

 

 

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there still needs some tidying up to do and probably some Milliput work later on before painting.   But everything ,so far , is looking square and I hav`nt lost many rivets during assembly...

 

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The last really worrying job will be rolling the boiler......... after that is done it should be an enjoyable jog adding all the detailing.....

 

 

 

 

  • Like 2
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Sorry if I missed it, but how is the nylon hornguide attached to the inside face of the frame?

 

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  • RMweb Gold
8 hours ago, Miss Prism said:

Sorry if I missed it, but how is the nylon hornguide attached to the inside face of the frame?

 

 I umm`d and ah`d about it ( there is good flat surface areas to play with) and did a test with the nylon sprue first and used a fresh quality super glue, same as I did in P4 days. ( frames and hornblocks cleaned with industrial Meths first)  An obvious choice would have been a two part epoxy but that is slow and messy and so yesterday...  and I`m not totally sure about epoxy and nylon over time whereas I`ve got 40 year old albeit 4mm locos with these hornblocks stilll ok using thooper glue.... so on a `cheerie ` note I should be RIP if these fail   :wubclear:

 

JOhn

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Watching with interest John.

 

Warrens kits are pretty good for the most part, I have only built one of his, the Dean Goods which also required some fettling. That said, I have found his castings to be of very good quality and for the cost they provide a good range to begin with, especially some which include the tender in the price.

 

Like you I would also choose the Premier Components coupling rods for my models, they just seem to have a nice "beefy" feel to them and just work !

 

As an aside I was fortunate enough to buy a part built Mitchell kit from a friend last year and am backdating it to the 44xx version, order in place with Premier for the frames....eagerly awaited.

 

Keep up the excellent build.

 

Grahame

 

  

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  • RMweb Gold

So, a methodical progress is being made.............

 

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As you can see I`m not an advocate for polishing the rivets away at the end of each session and if you use plenty of heat and all those products that are bad for you you end up with very light solder stains. Very please with the bunker as I find them sometimes very awkward beasts. The window bars were a bit of a challenge.

 

 

 

Some nice etchwork design will create a detailed cab interior with much close work with an 80watt iron and good old fashioned leaded solder with plenty of heat.

 

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A very pleasant evening in the shed filing the beading into a half round profile makes a lot of difference.

 

I did get it very wrong when  soldered in place the two cab inner side panels and forgot to fit the flooring in place first.... so as you can see I had to cut the flooring in half and graft the two pieces back in place............. wotter !!                

 

 

 

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  • Like 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
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Nice work so far John, lots of curves to get correct and you have managed to use the etches to get them to look right.

 

Good recovery with the floor too.

 

G

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks Graham,

 

 

Was`nt too sure about this kit when I first checked it over but I have rather enjoyed the challenging work.

 

And the good news this evening is that I have competed all the finger cramping bending of parts.  So from here on in it will be plain sailing.....

 

Warren has produced a very nice cast firebox which is a tad too wide between the cab window edges so I have done some heavy fettling to reduce the idiosyncrasy...

 

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There was some serious filing and fettling to the cab front panel to remove the  raised etched  fierbox  location from the original construction method.  I added some `wibbets`  for good measure..... 

 

 

I rolled the boiler fret a few days back and a little fettling was needed to match it all up to make the complete boiler...

 

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Just many hours of pleasurable detailing to do and then back on the chassis......

 

 

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Edited by ROSSPOP
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  • RMweb Gold

The  Battle of The Boiler and Backside was tackled these last few days.  There are a few errors on my part but she`s now looking like a loco.DSC05653.JPG.ad592f0794b45ddab34ef4f6e7d3e21b.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The next couple of days I shall tackle  a removable roof with some added rivet work.............................................

 

 

  • Like 2
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bgman

Posted (edited)

Mmmm...shiny things !

 

Coming along nicely John, may I ask if you've got a method to make the roof removable ?

 

G

Edited by bgman
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  • RMweb Gold
6 minutes ago, bgman said:

Mmmm...shiny things !

 

Coming along nicely John, may I ask if you've got a method to make the roof removable ?

 

G

 

I wish I did have a method Graham..... It will be very much on how I feel on the day but probably some kind of friction hold.  I suspect those angled roof supports over the sides will have to be removed as they seem a little too high to me......

 

John

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4 minutes ago, ROSSPOP said:

I suspect those angled roof supports over the sides will have to be removed

 

I think you're right about that John, if not the roof is going to sit proud which would detract from the overall looks,  I have seen some fine sprung wire used to good effect, soldered underneath the roof at each corner, giving a good friction fit. An off the top of my head thought as I'm typing, how about the methods used by Dapol using small neodymium magnets discretely placed ?

 

I'm sure you will crack it.

 

G

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Small magnets would be an elegant solution, but you have to glue them in place. Even a fast touch with a soldering iron kills their magnetism. 

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  • RMweb Gold
15 minutes ago, bgman said:

 

I think you're right about that John, if not the roof is going to sit proud which would detract from the overall looks,  I have seen some fine sprung wire used to good effect, soldered underneath the roof at each corner, giving a good friction fit. An off the top of my head thought as I'm typing, how about the methods used by Dapol using small neodymium magnets discretely placed ?

 

I'm sure you will crack it.

 

G

 

2 minutes ago, Dave John said:

Small magnets would be an elegant solution, but you have to glue them in place. Even a fast touch with a soldering iron kills their magnetism. 

 

Thankyou both...that`s  this evenings www. search planned....... but I won`t be looking to China !!

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  • RMweb Gold
8 minutes ago, ROSSPOP said:

 

 

Thankyou both...that`s  this evenings www. search planned....... but I won`t be looking to China !!

 

The power of the internet. Just purchased 5 x 8mm x 2mm neodymium magnets from Guy`s magnets.............£2.85 and free postage............. Elegance it will be.

 

John

 

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  • RMweb Gold

I seemed to  get a bit ham fisted wit the roof this afternoon . The front and rear cab profiles were not level and I had to resort to all sorts to get the roof sides to remain level with the top of the cab door beading.............................

 

.......................... any way it is done and held in place with sticky black sealant....

 

 

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I had to raise the back of the roof  by adding some height to the top of the rear panel

 

 

 

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Surprisingly the roof sliding door etch  is far too small to use so I will fabricate a replacement tomorrow.................

 

 

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I think I`ve got away with the bodge..........................

 

 

 

 

 

  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
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Well done that man !

 

Hands up all those who have done such a thing but not willing to admit it in public.  I know I have and to be honest it grates at the time, but, when painted you can generally get away with minor irregularities and unless you "go public" then I defy most modellers to even notice.

 

Warrens kits are overall pretty good but like some others there is sometimes a need to do a leetle beet of of fettling.

 

That said I think its looking fine so far John and also pleased to see you've chosen a workable solution with the magnets ( when they arrive ) .

 

G

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  • RMweb Gold

I`m back to suffering for my hobby. Those damn magnifying visors disorient my visual capabilities with a soldering iron.

 

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Slow progress with adding some extra detailing of my own.   

 

I used some shim phosphor bronze to add some cladding around the boiler and firebox.

 

I`ve managed with some trickery to make the cab shutters actually work.

 

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I`m waiting for a different safety valve so I will probably return to the chassis this week...

  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
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Can I suggest that the next time you visit the opticians you get some x3 whatever your prescription is, I saw the the recommendation on the Scaleforum site and it makes a big difference, it takes some getting used to and they are a lot lighter than an optovisor.

 

 

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  • RMweb Gold

This afternoon she took her first steps on an umbilical power cord having been weighted with lead in the front boiler and bunker rear.

 

 

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This is the first time I have fitted an MSC JH  40.1 motor and single stage gearbox.

 

 

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Quite a substantial unit for a small loco.

 

 

 

She still needs some final  centre wheel spring adjustment but she seems very smooth using pure DC power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ROSSPOP
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YEY ! 

 

Good progress and nice smooth and quite running John.

 

Do you like the motor and gearbox ?

 

G

 

p.s. I don't recognise that as a GWR bark ! :o

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  • RMweb Gold

Must be something amiss with your hearing then Graham !!

 

I`m relatively confident at getting a good performance from those fold up single stage gearboxes, but this JH Motor is even better ( and large and powerful ) there is some noise but it is getting quieter since I`ve run it in gently for 5 mins so far. It`s such good quality that the whole thing over runs when power is suddenly stopped.    The whole unit is untethered  between the frames at the moment but there is absolutely no lifting or movement under power. I always find that by using pure DC power any binding or stiffness in motion becomes very apparent. The whole unit has been running sweetly from the outset.  Never used one before (£56 so good value I think) and the motor only draws a steady 0.4 amps  so I`m happy about the Zimo MX645.

 

I`d certainly invest in another.

 

John

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That's really useful to know about MSC's running qualities, I've seen their website and they look to be a good product, especially at those prices. Ideal for the type of layout I intend to use my loco's on.

 

I also use the Zimo's in mine with no issues.

 

Thank you John

 

G

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  • RMweb Gold

Lots of extra work needed for completing the chassis.

 

Some of the turned brass  parts for the cylinder block are overscale and unusable. The kit does not provide a complete set of parts.  Fortunately Peter Roles (PRComponents) produces appropriate 45XX parts and these have been utilised.

 

 

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I want to produce a 1930`s rendition so this has required sourcing some double hanger brake gear. LGMiniatures have run out of their specific lost wax version so I have had to use whitemetal parts from Springside castings.

 

 

 

 

I have used some odds and sods to reproduce earlier sandboxes.

 

 

 

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Springside components have enabled me to fit their plastic brake shoes which are a loose fit between the double hangers, so very handy for preventing  electrical shorting when I get to the decoder fitting stage. 

 

The kit does not provide any brake pull rods so these I will fabricate this evening.

 

Dastardly  Sciatica has hampered my progress this week......

 

 

However, things are looking more Loco like now and I`m pleased with my choice of kit for this project

 

 

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Edited by ROSSPOP
  • Like 3
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Sorry to hear about your sciatica John but you've certainly managed to get the locomotive to an advanced stage, looking very good.

 

G

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  • RMweb Gold

Thanks Graham

Damaged my Lumbar spine when I was 23 and spent 4 weeks in a plaster back slab. Always looked after my back  ....so why did I lift and carry a large bag of potatoes to the car and not use my fold up trolley that I always carry in the boot????  

 

This is the only loco kit Graham that I have made entirely standing up !!!  ( had to get flight stockings as I`ve inherited Mother`s varicose veins...but only in one leg !!)  getting dangerously close to 70 that`s probably to blame......

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