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Nick Mitchell

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  • Location
    Earby
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    2mm Finescale
    1950s ex-Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway / LMS Central Division

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  1. I have turned more of the fittings for Beatrice: Dome, Safety valves, Tank filler and Smokebox door. I just have the whistle still to make. The smokebox door isn't fixed in place yet, as it needs further decorating with hinge, straps and locking handles. I decided to solder, rather than glue the other fittings to the tank / smoke box. The chimney especially sticks out a long way, and might be vulnerable. Here are a few pictures of where I'm up to. The character of the locomotive is really starting to come through now. The real "Beatrice" passed her steam test after overhaul earlier this week, and was due to be undergoing running trials at Embsay during the last couple of days... maybe one day later this year they will be able to meet "in steam"?
  2. As a change from looking at photos taken in Gents toilets, I've been staring again at the enhanced exterior photo from a few posts ago. Tim - you suggested there might be a rack against the back wall of the room. Could this actually be a roll down security grille behind the windows? It would make sense in light of your comment that the location would not be very secure for a ticket office?
  3. The version of the Halcrow report I gave a link to makes reference to an Appendix B - existing drawings. A chap called William Perrin was given access to the content of this appendix by TFL in 2008, and has put low resolution copies of the drawings on-line here: https://northkingscross.typepad.co.uk/photos/york_road_tube_drawings/index.html It was a post of his on the Kings Cross Environment community website that led me to the Halcrow report. These probably won't give you any additional useful information, but they are there for completeness. It appears that one of the drawings in the appendix was used as the basis for the re-drawn version included in the body of the report. I fully expect to see the toilet cubicles correctly modelled now you know how they were arranged... there's a nice reference photo of the Gent's urinals half way down this page: http://www.abandonedstations.org.uk/York_Road_station.html
  4. The pre-feasibility study done in 2005 about potentially re-opening the station has a section on its original configuration. As well as a copy of the drawing you already have, there is also a good clear plan of the ground floor on page 9. The room in question is indeed a ticket office. You can download the report here: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/232988/response/579527/attach/3/Technical Pre feasibility Report revised april.pdf
  5. You certainly can find 2mm bogies on a double pivot like that. I have some Association Black 5 kits to build in the (hopefully not-too-distant!) future, which feature this arrangement. With Bob Jones behind the design, I have no worries about their eventual running qualities.
  6. Not sure what you mean by "fixed". I think you will always need some vertical and some sideways movement of the bogie. The way I have built loco bogies (3 so far, all from Nigel Hunt kits) uses a fixed stem as the pivot, with a spring-loaded washer pressing down on top of the bogie. The bogie has a slot, rather than a hole. Part 11 of my Jubilee video marathon (starting from about 10 minutes in) discusses in detail how this method works. Here are a few pictures of the most recent one one I've made while under construction - this time a Fowler 2-6-4 (Nigel's latest kit): The completed bogie, with a slot in the frame stretcher: On the left edge of the next picture, you can see the top of the bogie pivot, which has a 14BA nut embedded within it: Below are two turned pivots for this loco. The longer one is the bogie pivot. The other is the pony truck pivot (which is hidden from view in the picture above). The holes up the middle are clearance for 14BA bolts to pass through and engage in the nuts captive in the wider section at the top. Nigel sells a cast version of these pivots. In the case of the bogie pivot, a Farish old-style coupling spring (still available as spares) slides over the outside of the stem and provides down force. The pony truck on this particular loco is not sprung. It rotates around the outside of the turned pivot and is retained with a flanged bolt. I may have over-engineered this - a simpler solution would have been to have a 12BA stud as the pivot, but I prefer to have a smooth bearing surface rather than a something thin pivoting around a threaded section. This way also means the bolt can be done up tight. All these locos happily negotiate tight radius points (A6). The amount of movement required is actually quite small.
  7. I missed out on the 309s. I went up to Essex university in October '94, not long after they'd gone. Ironically, I'd occasionally glimpse one of the survivors round South Manchester when I was travelling home by train for holidays. The layout really captures the atmosphere of St Botolph's as I remember it from the late 90s / early 00s, and evokes happy memories. For me, the class 312s hold the fondest memories. When I was commuting into London from Wivenhoe, on the way home I'd try and time it so that I could catch the 12 car set at Liverpool Street that was diagrammed through to Clacton at that time. More often than not, I would sit in the dark on the fold-down seat inside the luggage cage in the brake coach. Nice and quiet so I could work on my PhD thesis until the battery of my laptop ran out...
  8. I know Richard has done some lovely 3D CAD artwork for potential manufacture of fittings, but making things is something I really enjoy. Some I know would decry this as wasting my time, but we all derive pleasure form different things. Anyway, I had a go at making a chimney, to see if I could come close to Richard's renderings on page 1 of this thread. A little time was spent last night with a half-round file to make the curved bottom in a length of 4mm diameter brass rod, then onto the lathe to centre drill the hole up the middle before gluing in (with Loctite 603 retainer) a length of 1.5mm axle steel to act as a mandrel. This morning once the loctite had gone off, I spent a happy hour or so with gravers and files forming the shape by hand. I don't think it has come out too badly. Don't tell Tony Wright, but the hole only goes half way down! The dome with its safety valves and whistle, and the tank filler are next on the list of things to make.
  9. I have fitted the wheels into the chassis. Because I had already fitted the footplate support brackets and brake hangers (to facilitate painting and lining the frames prior to installing the wheels) I was unable to employ the 2mm Association quartering jig that I would normally use. To press the wheels home, I couldn't touch the centres and ruin my transfers, so I turned some pieces of tube to push against the wheel rims. They needed to be just longer than the crank pins. The wheels were quartered by eye when they were partially inserted in the muffs, then fully pressed home in the vice. For the picture below, I have temporarily removed the etched spacers I use (which came with the quartering tool) for ensuring equal gaps between the chassis and wheel backs. I will confess that I did have a bit of a disaster. In a moment of incompetence, I installed one of the centre drivers on the rear axle. Removing it was ridiculously difficult, and I ended up bending the frame a bit. Also, the bearing became detached form the frame. Fortunately I managed to make repairs without damaging the lining on the frames... Once the wheels were on I could fit the brake gear. If you recall, the shoes are from the kit, and the hangers cannibalised from another kit, as the originals were too fragile. The operating cranks are included in the kit. As well as the brakes, you can see in the photo below how I have temporarily fitted the motor (secured with blu-tak) for testing. The kit provides prototypical stretcher bars. As supplied they are two layers, with half-etched recesses to accommodate the pull rods. To make them split-frame, I used a single layer of the etch and soldered on a layer of thin PCB before gapping the etched part with a razor saw. I oriented the parts with the half-etched recesses on the bottom side, this just gave enough clearance for the pull rods (0.3mm nickel silver rod) to pass the axle muffs. The right hand pull rod had to be cranked round the gear on the rear axle. In the photo below, the stretcher bars are quite wonky, but this is not visible when the chassis is the right way up. They had to fit between the brake hangers, and this is just how they ended up. From low down at the front, the stretcher bar is visible and looks good. In the past I have only ever used wire with a cut in the middle to represent the stretchers. The fact that this kit has such fine details is pushing me to go the extra mile with little things like this. The coupling rods caused a bit of head scratching. In the instructions, mention is made of the rods on the main etch only being suitable for the first produced 16" loco, subsequent production having the knuckle joint on the other side of the centre crank pin. The 4mm kit has a supplementary etch with alternate rods, but I do not have a 2mm version of that. After laminating the 2 layers of the coupling rods, I decided to file off the raised detail in the centre of the rods. Original and filed-down rods are shown below for comparison: I then found some half-etched overlays spare from another kit (a Bob Jones Jinty chassis I believe) and soldered these on the other way round. In the photo below, the top rod is original, with the modifies one below. The separate overlay for the other rod is in the top right corner. As you can see, it is much more "chunky", and needed carefully filing down to match the rods once it had been soldered in place. I needed to fiddle about elongating a couple of the holes on the left hand rod to get the chassis to run acceptably. This is probably a consequence of having mangled the frame. I also soldered Association crankpin cap washers to the rear of the coupling rod bosses to space them slightly further away from the wheels and stop them either catching on the centre balance weights or scratching off the transfers. I made a short video showing how it now runs on DC before I fit the electonics. I need to remove the motor again and paint the break gear before that happens though.
  10. Just a quick update on the wheels. In the end I decided to have a go with some home-made transfers to see how they would turn out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained... I used Fox transfer paper, and sprayed an area gloss green to match the wheels. Then I used a bow-pen compass to draw the red circles. Getting a nice result with such tiny circles proved very difficult indeed. In the end I drew over a hundred to get 8-10 I was reasonably happy with. There was no way I could draw a black line neatly inside the red line with the compasses (I did try), so I brushed the centres in as neatly as I could. I couldn't cut neat circles around the red lines, but the green background disguises any crudeness fairly effectively. In between each stage, there was a couple of days waiting time for the paint to harden. The photo below is very cruel - you can detect the edges of the transfers (which I hope will disappear under varnish), but I think I have managed to get them reasonably well centred. To the naked eye they look OK. While I had the airbrush out, I masked off the frames and sprayed the boiler bottom green. I experimented by adding some lime green into the dark green, and am pleased with how it has turned out. On some photos of the prototype, the wheels appear a slightly darker, less yellow, shade. It could be a trick of the light, or a feature different cleaning materials being used for the wheels and the upper-works. Maybe "colliery grot" would have been a more sensible choice of livery?
  11. Sometimes in model making you take one step forward and 2 steps back. Recently I took so many steps back so quickly that I nearly fell over. Somehow I managed to kill a decoder (I think there was a short between motor terminals when under power, but I'll never be certain). Yes, it was a precious CT decoder made from pure unobtanium (unless you are prepared to pay €20 to have one posted form Austria). In taking things to bits to extract the lifeless corpse of said decoder, I managed to stop the motor from working. The wheels have somehow ended up out of quarter too, but that is another story... all told, it was one of those days I wish I'd stayed in bed! The motor is the subject of this post, and is one of the Farish-like 7mm coreless ones which were available fleetingly for very low prices on eBay a few years ago. How I wish I'd bought more of them, with currently available equivalents being 10 times the price (though still only half the price of the decoder... grrr...). I soon worked out what the problem was - one of the wires had broken inside its plastic sleeving. Typically, the break was exactly at the point the wire emerges from the motor casing. Given what I'd paid for it, the obvious thing to do would be to bin the motor and replace it... but living so close to the Yorkshire border, I thought I'd pull it to bits and see if i could replace the broken wire. Here are a few pictures of what is on the inside of these motors in case anyone is curious. After prising off the end, this is the view down the case. The little bead on the end of the commutator rubs against the plastic end cap. Sliding out the coil reveals the fixed magnet that it spins around. You can also see the brass bearing that the shaft runs in. The coil itself is a thing of beauty: The plastic end cap contains the brushes, which are soldered to the terminal wires. Here I have cut off the broken red wire. The plastic sleeve is pretty well secured with glue (presumably some sort of epoxy?), but the wire inside it is very fragile. The Achilles Heel of the design, really. On the inside, the glue covers the soldered joint. In the photo below I have removed the brush for the red wire, carved away the glue, and drilled through the hole. What is left is the brush for the black wire unmolested... for now. As well as being held by the glue, you can see the brush is located in a slot in the plastic moulding. Obviously the brush is very delicate. Somehow I managed to extract it without mangling it. This was achieved by gently prising it upwards from underneath next to the plastic slot with a very small watchmakers screwdriver. I attempted to measure the thickness of the metal with my digital spanner and got 1 thou. Soldering wires onto decoder pads for stay-alive has been good training for soldering the replacement wire onto the brush spring. Since taking the picture below, I have trimmed the excess wire. The wire I used is decoder wire. I save all the bits that get cut off when I'm installing decoders for occasions such as this. I had trouble getting the brush to go back in its slot in the plastic, and was in danger of crushing it. In the end, I used a scalpel to open out the slot a bit, then after fitting the brush, touched it with a soldering iron to try and melt it secure. It looks a bit messy, but seems to have done the trick. I put a blob of epoxy over the end of the wire, and once it had set reassembled the motor. The trickiest part was getting the commutator between the brushes without bending them out of shape - and holding it there with the case was slid on. The orientation of the end cap is important, so that the brush contacts and the magnetic field are in alignment. The cap itself has markings, but the metal case does not. What I should have done is mark the case before I removed the end cap. Trial and error established the correct orientation and the motor once again ran sweetly... and intermittently. Of course, with all the handling, the black wire has now broken in exactly the same place. It was inevitable that it would, and far better now. I would have probably replaced it anyway, but the option of laziness has been removed. With the second one, the brush went back into its slot much more easily. I'm now waiting for the second lot of epoxy to harden before it all goes back together yet again. This time I did mark the outer case. The postman has just been, but nothing from Austria today - only bills. I wonder what the pioneers of 2mm modelling who had to knit their own motors from cobwebs would think of this?
  12. Courage suitably plucked, I've had a go at the edge lining on the frames, using a compass bow pen to off-set the lines. Below are some very cruel close-up views of the left and right sides. The red lines look a little thick, but viewed with the naked eye they're barely visible. I couldn't continue the line across the brake shaft bearing, and it looks a little wobbly where I've touched it in... but it will end up behind the cab steps. Off-setting along the bottom edge, there are also gaps where the spring hangers are. These gaps will be covered by the wheels, so I have left them alone. While I had the red paint out, I brush-painted the inside of the frames. While I had the black paint out, I painted the wheel rims. Here are three of them placed in the frames for effect. The lining on the frames looks very subtle in this context, and I'm pleased with it. The wheels should also have a red-lined black circle on the axle ends. I'm not sure how or whether I'll be able to tackle this. With the crank pins in place, using the compass won't take me all the way round the circle. Making some transfers would be one way, but aligning them centrally would be difficult. Having them off-centre would look worse than leaving them plain green. I've made only a little progress on the body. I managed to solder a false back into the smokebox to fill in the gaps mentioned in an earlier post. The buffers and the firebox sides have been fitted, and I've started drilling holes in the tank for the handrails etc.
  13. If you want a use for guitar strings in 2mm, try a shock absorbing wagon from the time before the springs were covered over in the mid '50s... This one has springs made from brass wound steel bottom E string. The vac pipe for comparison doesn't look like a spring(!)
  14. I usually use 0.45mm copper wire. I leave mine plain rather than winding wire round to represent the ribbing. If you have access to the 2mm Magazine archive, you really ought to read Pete Wright's article "The Skirl O'The Pipes" in the August 1992 issue. Below is a wagon with the first vacuum pipe I ever made - exactly according to Pete's "recipe". (Ignore the horribly applied transfers on the wagon sides - I was young and didn't know what I was doing)
  15. I Haven't made much progress with the Hunslet recently as I have been busy with other things (mostly work). While I had my airbrush out to paint the Coal Tank (as described here) I took the opportunity to prime and paint the frames. To get ready for this, all the soldering jobs on the frames have been completed - buffer beam brackets added, Simpson springs fitted, brake hangers fitted. I made a decision to leave off the sand boxes for now, as I thought they would interfere with lining the edge of the frames. As with the Coal Tank, I primed the frames with etching primer, then cast about for a suitable paint for the top coat. A purplish brown is called for. I had an old tin of Humbrol paint No 107 which isn't in the current listings. From what was spilled round the top of the tin, it looked about the right colour and gloss. When I sprayed it, however, it was much paler and matt. I intend to make an attempt at lining the frames, so really wanted a gloss surface. In the end, I mixed up a shade which I think looks about right from gloss paints I had. I used 6 drops of Tan, 6 drops of Red, 2 drops of black and 1 drop of blue. These were mixed together with approximately the same amount of white spirit for spraying. I masked the bearings inside and out with small blobs of Blu-Tak, and used Tamiya tape to cover the Simpson springs. I didn't worry about getting overspray on the underside of the boiler, or on the inside of the frames. The inside of the frames and the balance weight will be brush painted bright red eventually. This is where I'm up to: I'm now plucking up the courage to attack the lining before I can fit the wheels... There will be a black edge with a thin red line.
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