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  1. If you chemically black the rods they will resist soldering very well. Tim
  2. iPhone X, Ian. They are always edited using the phone software. The optical and digital zoom is amazing. Tim
  3. The mud hole doors have been made by chain drilling five oval holes with a 0.5mm diameter drill on the shoulders of the firebox. The covers were made up from a squeezed bit of brass rod. The cut off squeezed pieces were pushed into the holes and a small piece of multi core solder placed over the top of each. The back of the firebox was slowly brought up to heat with a blow torch with a splash of acid flux to help the flow. After knocking the corners off with a file and polishing, the mud hole doors finish off the firebox sides. She’s looking awfully empty on top. Tim
  4. Haven’t used plain eyesight for 20 years in loco building. I use surgical telescopes (loupes) at 2.8 magnification with co-axial LED lighting. They are very high quality but there are loads of cheaper versions out there - some are quite good. I can see with my reading glasses, but not do fine model making; I have only needed them for the last five years (I’m 64). My left eye had a retinal operation and lens replacement last January which means that vertical lines are sometimes a bit wonky. So I think twice, cut once & keep checking. I also use my photos to check how things are looking - hence these posts. Tim
  5. There are little steps on the buffer stops which are quite conspicuous and give them a bit of mass. Putting the buffer steps on was easier than expected. The step and stock were tinned and then the two held together with titanium tweezers. Quick flash with iron and hey presto! The two small steps have subsequently been cured of droopiness btw. Tim
  6. Valour now has the washout the plugs on one side of the firebox and some oval holes for the mud hole doors. I have also represented an inspection hatch on the reversing gear with a bit of filing. The front buffers were turned from some 15A plug brass (off an old Hornby Dublo controller that my son found). They were parted off with a slitting file and the drill shank reversed and ‘up the hole’. That way they do not fly off into outer space. The same drill shank was used to help align the buffer stocks in the beam, whilst soldering into place. Drill shanks will not accept normal soft solder. The buffers were turned, oversize, from steel and then filed top and bottom to make oval, using the slot in the collet as a guide (a pin chuck would also serve). Remember to use a safe edged file! The over-thick top & bottom of the buffer heads were reduced by using abrasive points in the mini drill. Finally finished off with some micro mesh polishing cloth. Tim
  7. Might be useful shot down to 2mm scale on 8thou NS, Michael. Although I slightly shudder to say it, it might be better to 1/148 rather than 1/152, bearing in mind where these replacements may be used. Chris Higgs is working on a complete etch to re-chassis the Dapol A3s & A4s, but a valve gear replacement on its own might be useful. Tim
  8. Considering much of that valve gear is hewn from the raw metal, Tony, I think it’s very good. However I agree that the proportions are challenging (they were on the P2). I think the increased angle on the radius rod might be due to it sitting too high at the front end , i.e. the combination lever is a tad too tall / long. Everything gets very claustrophobic behind the valve guides on Gresley valve gear. So much better to see than flimsy etches tho’. Tim
  9. Those round pin plugs are useful sources of brass, such as the buffer shanks on this loco. The plug was off an old Hornby Dublo controller that my son found in a sale. Tim
  10. Does 60070 have a spelling mistake in its name “Gladiat*or? Tim
  11. I’ll probably aim for an excellent coronal seal and let nature take its course, Jim. Not worth getting the Portland cement out for. Tim
  12. More progress on Valour, although maybe not immediately obvious from the previous overall shots. Steps on the engine & tender, water filler details on the tender and 22 x 0.3/0.5mm diameter holes in the boiler for washout plugs, handrail stanchions & mud hole doors. I had one drill ‘separate’ (as endodontists call it) - maybe you can spot where? The boiler barrel was wrapped in some micro mesh abrasive cloth to hold it in the vice for drilling and avoid any marks from the jaws. The TC drills are very sharp but need coolant (Rocol RTD - visible over the cross mark). The tender top is now soldered on, but with it tightly in place, I needed to make a bit more room for the brass stay alive, with some modification to the coal cover. Maybe buffers next. Tim
  13. The GC water scoop tenders had a cute little ships wheel to help raise & lower the scoop. This tender etch doesn’t have any included, but I was fortunately given one from a Michael Edge etch for a standard tender by Simon. It’s a beautiful little etch, but there is no hole in the middle. Drilling this out free hand would have ended up with S shaped spokes or the carpet monster claiming another object, so I soldered it to a piece of brass to support it whilst drilling the 0.3 mm diameter hole. In order to give it sufficient strength I think it needs the rod to go through the housing which was made from a piece of brass, again drilled 0.3mm and soldered on to the tender top. The wheel will be removable for the time being, whilst the engine and tender are being handled extensively during construction. Tim
  14. Isn’t it amazing where technology is taking us? The wagon body looks very well indeed, but with the cruel enlargements the brake laver and roof ends show the limitations of the printing technology. Easily solved with a few strokes of a file or an after market etch. Tim
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