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Ian Major

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  • Location
    Far from my natural habitat.
  • Interests
    Gauge 0 GWR/WR loco construction plus the odd wooden ship model.

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  1. My word George. When you said to me at the last High Lane meeting that this project was coming on in leaps and bounds you weren't joking. It is looking fantastic. When I get the test track wiring completed (a few more weeks) I will get the chance to look at it in the flesh again. Ian.
  2. Time for an update. I have been working on the models - honest. I temporarily assembled the bogies and put them under the body to check for ride height. It looks a little low compared with some of my other wagons, but the kit includes packing washers to address this. Next was to make the bolster retaining brackets. For these I milled up some 2 x 2mm brass angle. This I cut to 5mm lengths, gave them some rivet detail and shaped the top corner. To help align these parts when soldering I milled up a dummy wooden bolster 6 x 7mm cross section. I had made a 40thou Plastikard floor which was scribed to represent the planking. The bolster brackets cut in to the floor. So when I fitted each pair I pushed the floor down on the brackets. This left a mark that showed me where to cut the slots for the brackets. The next photo shows some of the brackets solder in, with the dummy bolster holding some of the brackets in place ready for soldering. There is one of the stanchion holders pushed in to its hole to align the dummy bolster. When I had fitted the end pair of brackets, I took a photo of the end of the wagon, temporarily on its bogies, to see how the brackets looked. They appear a little bit well fed. The 2mm angle is approx. a scale 4 inches. I guess the prototype used 2.5 inch angle. If I get around to making a MACAW B I will use 1.5mm angle and reduce the bracket height to 4.5mm. I compared the following photo with the prototype picture in the previous entry. I completed fitting the brackets on one side and test fitted the false floor. Where I have wire along the top of the side curb rail it has a grove where the solder is drawn in to the joint. To fill this groove, I used 70 degree solder, which bonds with the higher melting point solder but fills any grooves nicely. Using high temp solder for this resulted in the solder being drawn into the lower side of the wire. I will dress this when the rest of the soldering is completed. Again, on any latter MACAWs I make, I may use 1mm half round brass wire for this lip. Now for the brackets on the other side. Edit. Forgot to mention that I made and fitted some reinforcing plates around the buffer holes as per the prototype photos that I have seen. I also added the clips for the laden bills(?) made from small rectangles of 0.5mm nickle silver, with a "U" shaped piece of 0.3mm brass wire. The other items were the brackets on the solebars behind the buffer beams that I also added. Ian.
  3. Marc has supplied a photo of the underside of a new(ish) PECO point. I have added a red arrow to show the quite well hidden factory fitted "gotcha link" which we cut to allow the switch rails to be bonded to their respective stock rails. Note the two frog exit rails are factory bonded together. Hope this is helpful. Ian.
  4. Interesting in deed. I have had a look at DCC Wiki on the use of PECO Unifrog points. (https://dccwiki.com/PECO_Unifrog) . It indicates that the points do not need modification for DCC but as I surmised suggests there is a risk of shorts across wheel flanges. In the entry they quote PECO, part of which I requote:- "As supplied, the turnout is wired completely “live”, except for the frog tip and wing rails, and can be used straight out of the packet without any further modification (and so behaves like an Insulfrog). The stock rails are wired to the closure rails at the factory, which in turn are connected to the corresponding frog rail. This means the turnout is completely live (except for the tip of the frog), no extra wiring required. If the turnout is being used as a switch to isolate a section of track then it is simple job to remove the wire that joins the centre rail and stock rail and it will work like a current Insulfrog. Peco provides a pair of pigtails to allow wiring the turnout to behave like an Electrofrog. (They have been spot welded onto the appropriate places.)" This states that the closure rail and corresponding stock rail are permanently wired together. However, the points in use definitely had a factory installed wire link between the closure rails, which makes me think these are not Unifrog points. Andrew, when we lift the last point I will photograph the underside and compare notes with you. We submitted our replies at the same time! Ian.
  5. Andrew, Interesting point you make. With Unifrog points, does this mean that there is now no requirement to bond the stock rails to the closure rail? Bonding is the recommendation for DCC. It was this bonding plus the new link that created the short. Without the bonding added and with the link in place, the frog and both closure/switch rails are connected together. I can see situations occurring where, for example, a Dapol wagon with its back to back that varies as it moves could short the open open switch rail to its stock rail. That at the very least would confuse the frog juicer! I think I will do more research on this. Ian.
  6. George/Mark, We have one more turnout to address. It would be worthwhile to photograph the underside to show to others the problem we hit. For the benefit of those not present, the gotcha occurred on the newer PECO turnouts. They are manufactured with a link between the closure rails, so when the closure rails were bonded to the stock rails the short was produced. This link is separate to the wire that connects the various parts of the crossing (frog) to the outside world. The link does not exist on the older PECO turnouts hence they did not short. Ian.
  7. Time to start brass bashing. I detached and cleaned up the basic parts. Next, I used my Hold and Fold to bend the end curb rails back and forth until they fractured. I did the same for parts that would have made the upper part of the channel on the side curb rails. The side curb rails were folded up. The ends and edges needed tidying up. This is the point where I usually think “what have I done”! Perhaps I should call this thread “How to ruin a perfectly good kit”. I decided to try making a small mock up from some scrap brass. I used a length of 0.7mm rod to represent the bulb shape and a piece of 40thou Plastikard to represent the floor. I temporarily mounted it on the kits buffer beam, photographed it and compared it with a detail view taken from the Ongar photo. Looks reasonable. So, I added the 0.7mm rod to the actual model. I used wooden pegs to hold most of the length of wire but used metal grips where I was spot soldering. The square section steel block was held in the position shown to stop the rod from rolling over the top of the curb rail. The rod was soldered using 188 degree solder. A check was done with buffer beam in place to see that all was well. When the bolster brackets are fitted I will run some low melt solder along the top edges and sand it to the final shape. I have only formed four rivets around the coupling area rather than the six indicated by the etch since the prototype end views that I have seen match this. Around the buffers I have not formed the rivets since I intend to make some overlays with the rivet detail on. In parallel I worked my way through the stanchion brackets drilling them out. To hold them whilst doing this I went high tech. One part was a lollypop stick with a hole drilled in it. The other was half a wooden peg with the slot enlarged where its spring used to sit to clear the body of the bracket. The next photo shows this contraption in use. The peg does not press on the hollow part of the bracket so wont crush it. Ian.
  8. Whilst the Fruit Van is crawling through my paint shop it is time to start the MACAW H. I treated myself to a Connoisseur kit at the Leigh Show. After seeing Raymond Whalley’s build of MACAW B (see here) I fancied building one. When I got it home, I realised that I had acquired the MACAW H, which is a shorter version of the MACAW B. Hey, ho. A slight change of plan! First thing was to look in my copy of Atkins, Beard and Tourret (hereafter referred to as ABT). From ABT I gleaned the following. The MACAW H were built under two diagrams from 1927 to 1943 when they were recoded BOGIE BOLSTER A. They were 35ft over headstocks, 20-ton (later 25 ton) rail and timber wagons. Dia J25 Built 1927 to 1936. Typical Tare 14-3. Total 285. They had end curb rails, DC brakes with off centre brake lever and intermediate shaft on separate V-hangars. A diagram is on page 207, Fig 178. Photo on page 206, plate 243 show No 107361, built L1189 in 1937 with disc wheels. On page 206, plate 244 shows No 107285 with spoked wheels. Dia J30 Built 1940 to 1941. Typical Tare 14-6. Total 20. No end curb rails. Rachet lever brakes. A diagram is on p213 Fig 186. Dated April 1941. A photo on p214 Plate 255 shows No 32728 with disc wheels. The MACAW H and MACAW B wagons made during the second war had no end curb rails. Cost reduction/reduce amount of steel required? Make them easily end loadable? The kit. Now it gets interesting. The kit instructions say it makes a Dia J30 wagon. However, the kit has pin down brake levers and end curb rails, which makes it a hybrid of the two diagrams. I could see my piercing saw waving at me from its hook! I looked at doing a Dia J25. This would involve making DC brakes (no problem) but it would make the rivet pattern on the solebar overlays completely wrong. I opted to do the Dia J30 and remove the end curb rails. Resources on the Web. As usual I looked at Paul Bartlett’s collection. <link>. There are many photos of bolster wagons. Quite a few show them converted as crane match trucks/runners or modified for private use eg at steelworks. Another site I used was “UK Preserved Railway Stock List” link. <link> . It doesn’t appear to have any of its own photos but does point to plenty. I did found quite a few errors in its text. Some photos linked from this list: No 107328. Dia 25, L1189. At Winchcombe, Glouc and War Rly. Excellent photo taken from above from a passing train. Useful for MACAW B as well. Self-contained buffers. Spoked wheels. End curb rails. DC brakes centrally mounted. <Link> The bolsters are missing so all the brackets on the inside of the curb rails used to secure the bolsters can be seen. These are not modelled in the kit. It also shows the position of the various sheet(?) hooks and eyes for the stanchion chain attachment, although some are missing. Worth noting is that it is hump backed so that as it is loaded it flattens out. My Russell GWR Carriage Appendix 1 has photos of carriage frames prior to the bodies being fitted showing the same characteristic. Number Unknown. Actually a MACAW B(?) at Chipping Ongar Rly. Appears to be Dia J28. Good photo showing end profile of the side curb rail with no end curb rail fitted and exposed floor. The end bolster retaining bracket can be seen, with what appears to be a substandard bolster in place. <Link> This is interesting because the kit produces curb rails as channel whereas the full-size wagons have “bulb” shaped curb rails. Worth a look! Renderosity Web site sells a 3D virtual reality model of MACAW B No 70335 by "DryJack". Although this is “virtual” it looks a very accurate rendition including views of the underside. It also has images of a class 37 and other items! <link> Useful images The smugmug site has loads of interesting photos (and some not so interesting ones). I did a search for “Gloucester+Warwickshire+Railway” and got these <link> . Included are photos of some interesting wagons stored in Hunting Butts tunnel. Put the names of other heritage railways in the search field and get loads more. I have no connection with any of these sites. Ian.
  9. Before I launch in to the MACAW, a further thought on the Slater's axleboxes. I said earlier that I could not see any of the supplied boxes that looked like the open type. Recently I saw Pete Hutch’s rendition of a Slater’s BR Lowfit on the G0G forum which has open front axleboxes fitted. It finally dawned on me that each open front axlebox is made from TWO parts (not mentioned in the instructions). In the photo below part A is stuck on the front of part B to get what Pete produced. The detail on part A is on the side facing away from the camera. Obvious really – when someone points it out. Ian.
  10. Beautiful work. It looks like a displacement lubricator to me. Ian.
  11. Hendie, That is fabulous work. The carriage has real presence. I love the door and grab handles. When I first saw the latter I thought you were designing taps for the lavatories! I noted your comment about picking up your project after a lengthy break. I tend to have the same problem which is why I write logs on web sites such as this, which keeps the info all nice, tidy and safeish. After a break I reread my blog and off we go. If anyone else finds them interesting then that is a bonus. A bit selfish I suppose. Keep up the good work! Ian. (PS. Hum, I tried to flag your entry with a "like" and a "craftsmanship" but it only allows one or the other. Sorry if it has produced an odd effect at your end.).
  12. George, I have a few making their way through the paint shop at the moment. I will bring one that is finished to the next High Lane meeting. I am also working on the modified Connoisseur MACAW H but keeping it under wraps for now in case it turns in to a disaster. I can pretend it didn't happen then! Because of the modifications the supplied bolsters will be too short. So I will be making molds to make fresh ones. At the same time I will remake the molds for the brake cylinders to see if I can get a better dome on them - then you can have some. Ian.
  13. George, Excellent work. I like the photos - they give me a clearer view of what you are aiming for. Ian.
  14. A quick update. The Fruit Van has moved in to the paint shop. I decided that it was time to actually do some painting. The van is partly done but the GWR Open has popped off the end of the pipeline. The lettering is left over Parkside with some characters hand painted. Here are some photos. It scrubbed up fairly well. The Tare should have been nearer to 5-16. Doh! I have still got to varnish it. Looking at the photos I may stipple some rust mix on the corner plates. Never satisfied...... On the construction front I have started on a Connoisseur MACAW H. I intended it to be a quick job but I can't leave anything unmodified so I will keep it under wraps for now in case it turns in to a complete disaster. Ian.
  15. My word it is developing rapidly. This is something to look forward to. I hope Mark's attire does not become de rigueur at High Lane. My knees would frighten the horses. Ian.
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