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    Essex, UK

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  1. Hi a well scribed line should guide a blade if it is fine enough. Can I ask what size blades you are using? I would use 5/0 for thin metal like this. You'll be lucky to get it dead straight though so allow a small extra amount for waste, so it can be draw filed until straight. However for cutting out the basic frame blanks and any other fairly long straight cut I usually score with the scriber until it just shows through to the other side, then score the other side several times too. At this point you can put it in a smooth jawed vice and use a steel ruler to bend it back and forth until it breaks.
  2. Hi the motor looks like a DS10, which were decent but pretty speedy. The gearbox looks like the one Gibson used to make. The 2 halves bolt together trapping the bearings for the worm shaft. Inside is a fairly fine pitch worm and gear, not sure if different ratios were available - I would say mine's about 50:1. I have a couple but haven't used them. They run OK on test though. As a recent Dock Authority botherer I'm interested to see the results !
  3. Hi if you are going to the trouble of making a new roof, can I suggest you use 10 thou brass? Annealed first on the hob it rolls to shape very easily but the real value is doing the rainstrips - just tin some brass wire, bend it to shape, and solder in place, making sure the iron only touches the strip to avoid blobs on the roof. When it's firmly soldered in place the solder will have filled the undercut, then you just file the top surface flat with a fine file, and clean it all up with a fibreglass brush.
  4. This week the cab and short hood have been persuaded to play nicely and the whole lot soldered back together in a straight line. The roof panel is a very hefty chunk of brass and my 60W iron was having none of it. I ended up supergluing it back on, so I hope it holds. The fibreglass brush was plied energetically on the roof to smooth the solder blob, and the one radiator grille frame that I had was re-attached together with a section of grille taken from an A1 Models etch. A matching frame has been made for the other side but doesn't yet have rivets as the brass is much too thick to use the rivet tool, so I haven't installed it yet, while I ponder the options. I've just read an article on upgrading a GP7 in Railroad Model Craftsman and the new radiator grilles installed by the modeller allow you to see through the loco. Can anyone tell me if this is possible on a GP35 if the radiator slats are open, as it's something I would like to incorporate on this if it's appropriate? The new motor came from China in record time. It is a black 5 pole can approximately equal in size and shape to a Mashima 1833. A flywheel was ordered from Branchlines, which also came very quickly, so today a brass cradle has been soldered up for the motor, with a piece of rubber sheet at the bottom to deaden vibration. It bolts to the loco so the original motor could easily be re-instated in the future if required. I don't have a US layout (yet) so for testing a length of Peco Streamline was laid on my EM gauge layout and energised with jumper wires. Running? Superb I am pleased to report, although the flywheel doesn't make a lot of difference despite its size - I think there is a lot of friction in the drivetrain. No, still not quite as good as the Atlas/Kato RS-1 but most acceptable.
  5. Branchlines are old-school (no website) but you can call them, or in your case, probably email, on [email protected] They are very helpful - I ordered a flywheel this week and got it in 2 days. I got their products leaflet too - the 04 chassis kit with jackshaft, rods, and spacers is £19.50.
  6. Some loco's just breed - you collect some parts together and before you know it you have enough bits to make three. Rude not to, I suppose.
  7. A1 models make etched snowploughs for diesels, along with various etched grilles etc.
  8. I'm not familiar with the Comet gearbox. If it has metal gears my advice would be to drench the gears in Brasso and run it each way for 5 mins. This is always worth doing with Romford style gears, or Branchlines which appear to mostly use them. Gears that have a slight hesitation or twitch can start running really nicely. Obviously afterwards clean thoroughly and lubricate. If the gears are plastic this can't be done, but then it shouldn't be necessary. High Level always seem to work first time.
  9. Short update - it's back in one piece and actually works ! Foolishly I have ignored the most basic piece of advice when problem solving, which is to only alter one variable at a time. Thus it has new hornblocks, but I also oiled the motor bearings, which might have provided a temporary cure for the motor end float issue which remains very possible I think. Much testing to follow, but for now it feels like a weight has been lifted, and I've even started finishing the body.
  10. So, back on the superstructure, there are some things to resolve: The cab is only joined to the body at the roof, and it's not straight at the moment. I also have concerns about the nose - I don' think it's completely straight either, not fully vertical in other words. The roof hatch is loose at one end. On the roof there's a blob of solder I don't like. It's not thick but could do with being removed. I did consider Cannon and Co. fans and they are very good, but I've decided to stick with these - I have more or less decided to keep the loco reasonably original - if I was to start smothering it with aftermarket parts then I think it will lose something. The radiator grilles and what lies behind them (shutters?) are missing, although I do have a frame in the box. The handrails, of course, need straightening and some of the stanchions re-soldering. In terms of improvements the cast steps aren't great either, and I'm starting to covet the etched ones made by Cannon and Co. I think they at least would be a simple and worthwhile addition. But first, a much needed clean. An overnight soak in white vinegar followed by a scrub with an old toothbrush and cream cleaner has things looking much nicer.... Meanwhile, a Mabuchi can motor that once worked the door mirror of my old Mercedes was temporarily installed, wedged into place, and with a Pentroller providing the power, the performance was very decent, enough to make me think I can get away with keeping the rest of the powertrain. An even bigger can motor has been ordered from China, 5 pole skew wound, with double shafts, and room for a large flywheel. Fingers crossed that my £2.71 will prove to be money well spent !
  11. EM loco's don't need to be compensated, but it will improve current collection. I suspect the comet bits will work easier than the DJH, especially if you are using the Comet Chassis. A new set of EM axles from Markits will fit older Romford wheels just fine. If you keep one side of the loco live it does give you the option of having the other side of the tender live and then you don't need any pickups! If you have the tender wheels in a simple sub-chassis that is isolated from the rest of the tender with a thin sheet of plasticard then the main body of it will be electrically dead and they can be coupled together easily.
  12. Under test the motor ran quite roughly and I suspected a broken wire in the armature, but some fiddling, including the brush connections, suddenly had it running smoothly, so perhaps there was a conductivity issue somewhere in the brush/spring assembly. The transmission is a gear tower to the rear truck, which has a layshaft with steel worm gears to each axle. An underfloor shaft with universal joints connects the 2nd truck, which has the same layshaft/worm arrangement. Very nicely engineered and none of it looked like it had ever been used. It was also completely dry of lubrication and perfectly clean. Quite stiff though. Today everything has been stripped down and Brasso applied to the gears before powering them up with a rubber wheel mounted in a Dremel. I always run in metal gears with Brasso and it does pay dividends. After thorough cleaning it was all re-assembled and lubricated with a light oil. A length of neoprene tube has been used to connect the motor to the transmission, and it runs ! It's quite smooth but not very controllable at low speed. I think the old motor doesn't help, it draws a lot of current. I don't know how much, my multimeter only goes up to 250mA, and it barely runs off-load on that. 2 options have been suggested - pop in a can motor, easily done, I've got one I can try. The other is to 'supercharge' the motor with Neodymium magnets, which apparently makes a huge difference. I might try both, I certainly can't leave it as it is because while that Powermaster can deliver the current, I don't think the electronic handheld controllers I use on my layout will cope with it at all well, and I do want to use it for switching on a small layout. It might never be as smooth as my Atlas/Kato RS1 but it does need to deliver - its days as a shelf-queen are over !
  13. I've been using some of these drivers on a loco recently. I've had some issues with it so they have been on and off dozens of times, gripped between my sweaty fingers, and they are still clean and shiny. The appearance is noticeably better than the old Nickel Tyres too so I say full marks to Mark for making the switch!
  14. At this stage I'm willing to try anything! I have several spares.
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