Progress continues on the class 22, albeit rather more slowly now that the days are longer and I'm often out and about enjoying the nice weather for more of the evening.
This posting is rather an interim update to say that "I'm still here" rather than a blow by blow account of particular bits of the model, mainly because I don't think that I've done much that is really 'finished' since last time. No photos either, because the appearance really hasn't changed noticeably.
Attention has now shifted to the chassis and plenty of challenges seem to be presenting themselves in that department...
I've added some body fixings - these are 'L' shaped brackets soldered to the cab bulkheads plus some bits of plasticard of a rather complex 'I' shape that fit between the beams that stick out of the end of the Atlas chassis block and also form a floor for the cabs. A bolt can be inserted from underneath to hold everything together... maybe...
I was hoping to avoid doing any metalwork on the chassis block, but it was not to be. The MP15 fuel tanks are too wide for a British loco. Removing the plastic moulding reduces the width, but the casting underneath is still too wide, so I had to dismantle the chassis and take a file to it. My original plan was simply to file the casting to the shape of the class 22 water tank... which I did. Once everything was back together I noticed a problem - the MP15 tank is not positioned centrally between the bogies, but offset towards the bonnet (hood?) end of the loco. I'm going to need to make an overlay for this or use the one from the kit... but the split frame construction means that I'll need to figure out some good insulation if I opt for a nickel silver tank. So another job not finished.
The bogies (trucks?) have caused some head-scratching. I was (and probably still am) in two minds about how to tackle these. One option is to use the Worsley Works etched overlays, but it turns out that these are out of stock, so I'm going to need to wait a few weeks before getting my hands on these. The other option is to modify the MP15 trucks to look like class 22 bogies. The two actually have a lot in common so it may not be as daft as it sounds, but the Atlas trucks are made of a very springy plastic that seems to be difficult to persuade things to stick to. Anyway, whichever option I use in the end, a lot of detail needs to be removed from the Atlas trucks, so I've attacked them with files and burrs but kept the axleboxes and leaf springs for the time being.
I don't yet know how the Worsley overlays will go together, but I'm expecting a few challenges at the ends of the bogies. The class 22 has some very prominent sandboxes that seem to be part of a quite obvious cross-member that goes right across the front (and back) of the bogie.
Couplings are another challenge. The class 22 bogies stop a long way short of the buffer beams so the answer is not 100% obvious.. Sharp eyed readers may have spotted a DG tacked on in one of the photos in the previous posting. This was stuck temporarily to the underside of the cab floor as an experiment. Some tests propelling wagons through a crossover proved this to be a bad idea - even a loco as short as the class 22 is too long for this dodge... although Atlas get away with it but their buckeye couplings are sprung and can move from side to side.
Attaching things to the ends of the Atlas trucks also turns out to be tricky because Atlas didn't intend anything to be attached here. The latest experiment involves a 'U' shaped plasticard overlay superglued to the side and ends of the inner frame of the truck. Onto this I've stuck a fabricated plasticard crossmember (and integral sandboxes) and an 8mm long 'tongue' onto which a DG has been stuck. Further experiments with the wagon and crossover have proved this to be a better way to mount the coupling.
Until I've decided on how to do the sideframes the whole crossmember idea may neeed to change. Another job not finished.
One final problem - having attached the crossmember and coupling to the bogie, I can't now get access to fit the screw that holds the body on. Doh! ... Re-think tme
At least the wheels are back from Gordon and re-fitted to the loco. It runs very nicely, so at least there is some positive news to report.