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Chuffer Davies

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  1. With the J52 ready for painting I have been able to move on to the next project which is the test build of my prototype J2 etches designed earlier this year. With regards the prototype the J2 is not that dissimilar to the J1, the main difference being that the J1 had slide valves whereas the J2 had piston valves with tail rods fitted to both the valves and the cylinders. The piston valves caused the centre line of the boiler to be raised, and the tail rods required the front of the footplate to be extended forwards to bring the end of the tail rods behind the buffers. The rear of the J2's footplate was also extended backwards compared to the J1 but the rest of the frames and the footplate were the same on both the J1 and J2. I have therefore been able to lift 50% of the CAD artwork for the J2 directly from the J1's which hopefully will reduce the risk of errors. So far I have assembled the frames (chassis) including the modified High Level gearbox for the M-I-T drive system. One minor design error has surfaced (easily rectified) with regards failing to provide a clearance slot in the ashpan's sides for the CSB pillars but otherwise all seems well. I am pleased to say that the horn block spacing and wheel quartering has proved to be spot on. I have the luxury of owning an Avonside chassis jig and given the number of models I need to build for Clayton I consider it to have been a sound investment. The chassis follows my standard build approach: CSB suspension and American pickup (loco chassis live to the nearside). I can't power up the chassis to test it out until I have built the tender's frames but I have made sufficient of these chassis to be confident that this one will work with a minimum of additional tweaking. Here are some pictures of the frames as a reference for anyone building one of these models in the future as it is the intention to add the J2 to the LRM range of kits in due course. I have just started the test build of the superstructure and will provide an update when I've either successfully built the superstructure or have hit a point in the build where I can't go any further because I've made a major blunder somewhere along the line. Fingers crossed..... Regards, Frank
  2. Hi Mike, What an unusual and quirky prototype. I believe that the NZ track gauge is 3' 6" so what track gauge are you working to in model form? Regards, Frank
  3. Hi Micheal/Tony, Yep that’s precisely my experience as well. Very strange that the axles seem to be machined consistently too short. A spacing washer on one side seems to do the trick. Frank
  4. Apologies for being a bit late in posting this but I've been waiting for a colleague to track down the following photo. The wire fencing on Hungerford was a real labour of love and took several weeks, if not months, to install because there is over 40ft of it. It was built using a combination of Peco fence posts, 5amp fuse wire for the staples and E Z Line elastic filament. The posts were first drilled and then staples were made by twisting fuse wire with a hook (made made from 0.4mm brass wire) to form a miniature screw eye. The staples was then glued into the post and when the glue was dry the backs of the posts were filed flat before painting. The posts were then planted, a board at a time, before 7 runs of E Z Line was threaded through the staples. Good lighting and magnifying spec's were critical for successful threading of the E Z Line. Whilst we were very pleased with the look of the finished product, particularly the way the wire mimics the contours of the land. Unfortunately it has proved problematic more recently because the E Z Line has started to perish and has had to be replaced in places.
  5. The other questions I would ask are: 1. How big is the layout that this model is destined to run on and therefore how heavy a train is it required to haul? 2. How much height and width is there in the firebox? it may be that a motor can be installed vertically in the firebox with a vertical worm driving either the 3rd or more likely the 4th axle. The HL 13/20 coreless motor coupled with a Roadrunner Compact box will romp away with a 50 wagon or 12 coach train. Frank
  6. Hi David, yes my understanding is that the plan to launch this as a commercial kit is still very much alive. I don’t think it is my place to announce who is planning to launch it but I know they monitor this thread so they may choose to comment themselves. shouldn’t be too long now. Frank
  7. Hi Mike, This usually occurs when the original picture was taken on a mobile phone which was held upside down (yes they really do have a top and bottom). The way to correct this is to edit the picture on your PC and to re-save it to reset the orientation. Then you can edit your post on RMWeb and replace the photos. How do I know? Yep I've been there too. Frank
  8. Hi Tom, I can't take the credit for the crispness of my etches other than the selection of the company to use. I am happy to recommend the services of PPD Ltd who can take the credit for the quality of the metalwork. They are not the cheapest but the quality is always good. As to the amount of time I can spend modelling, that is down to the rewards of a well earned retirement, on going Covid isolating and a supportive wife. Frank
  9. Hello to all, It amazes me how quickly time passes and it is now 5 months since I last posted to my blog. I tend to spend an average of 3 hours every day designing or building models and so in 5 months I must have spent several hundred hours modelling, yet I have little to show for it compared to the likes of someone like Tony Wright who can turn a model around in significantly less than 100 hours. The first update I would like to provide concerns the Mogul. The EM wheel sets have now arrived from Ultrascale and I have been able to complete the build of the M-I-T chassis. The model is not complete but I have been able to carry out a proper test run and haulage test to see whether I have actually delivered what I set out to achieve. I am really pleased with the result. The model runs smoothly and quietly, is highly controllable across the speed range, and has far better haulage capacity than the out of the box model. On test the loco hauled 28 kit built wagons up a 1:50 gradient on a 4' 6" radius without slipping and 40 wagons up the 1:100 gradient. On the flat it hauled 50 wagons which was all I had available at club today. The model now needs weathering, lamps, fire irons and crew and it will then be ready for revenue earning service on Hungerford. Whether we ever actually get any more exhibition invites for Hungerford is an unknown but I live in hope, otherwise creating this model will have been for the enjoyment and challenge only. The other significant project I have been progressing since my last post in March is a J52 for our Clayton project. The history surrounding this project has been strange indeed. I first thought about building a J52 when I became aware that there was an etched kit sold under the Walsworth Models brand. Soon after purchasing this my good friend Geoff Tiffany told me that he'd built one of these kits and had experienced all sorts of issues with the dimensions especially the shape of the saddle and the length of the bunker. An examination of the kit confirmed what he'd told me which meant I would have to make the same corrections to mine. I then researched which J52's had been allocated to Bradford shed and discovered that the main one had been one of 15 locomotives built for the GNR in 1896 by Neilson & Co. These were based on Stirling's standard goods engine frame design with the leaf springs above the footplate. In addition both the front and rear buffer beams had 9 inch wooden extensions. The Walsworth kit did not include either of these features so further modifications would be required. With further modifications to allow the cab to be removed for painting and the installation of crew, it was evident that hardly any of the original kit would be used and so the decision was taken to retire the kit and draw up a new set of etches specifically suited to modelling the Neilson variant. I also decided that this would be a bespoke EM gauge kit for Clayton (for me really) so that I could avoid the additional research and effort required to design and test build a generic kit (in any of the popular 4mm/ft gauges), that could be used to build a wider range of J52 variants as necessary for a commercial kit. The model is still not quite finished as I'm awaiting a couple of replacement Gibson wheels and some castings from London Road Models, but its nearly there. The basic features of the model are, split frame and CSB suspension. A High Level 1320 motor sits vertically in the firebox and whilst the gearbox frame is included in the chassis's etch the gears are from a High Level Road Runner Compact+ gearbox. The bunker, saddle/boiler and smokebox are filled with lead to maximise haulage. Another couple of weeks finishing off the detailing and this will then (hopefully) be off for painting. My next job will be to test build a J2 using the etches I designed last year. Thanks for reading, Frank
  10. Rather than using cigarette paper, once you have completely removed all the original solder then isolate the joint with aluminium foil. I always use this when soldering up the hinge on articulated coupling rods and it works every time for me. Frank
  11. Today I was at long last able to carry out the long awaited haulage test of my LNER Q2. Those who are regular readers of WW will remember that after a disappointing haulage test prior to the start of the Covid epidemic the decision was taken to relocate its motor into the tender so that additional lead ballast could be placed in the firebox and boiler. The haulage test was delayed due to the sports hall in which our clubrooms are housed being closed by Bradford Council during the various Covid lockdowns. We only got back into the building for the first time a couple of months ago and since then we have been completing some re-programming of the bespoke digital control system before the layout could again be operated. I am delighted to be able to report that the test was successful. A train of 29 assorted wagons was hauled without issue up the 1:50 gradient on the 54" radius embankment. Next time I will add additional wagons to find out how many it will haul before it loses traction but this will be an academic test as there is nowhere to store a longer train on the layout. I recorded the event on the attached video. It is apparent that the driver must have had the regulator fully open because the train is moving at a significant (and probably non-prototypical) rate of knots.
  12. It was only the 1219 unit that used a Faulhaber motor because Portescap didn’t have the 1219 in their range. The 1616 and 1624 motors were both Portescap as were all the gearboxes. As stated elsewhere I think Kean was/were involved in commissioning the range. Frank
  13. Hi Chris, do you have an update on the J50 chassis please? Frank
  14. Hi Chris, this is good news indeed. Here’s wishing you a smooth and hassle free restart. Best wishes, Frank
  15. Hi Tony, Can I go dibs on the scratch built J50 please? Cheers, Frank
  16. Can I ask for clarification please? Do you mean cast or do you mean 3D printed in plastic? It looks in the drawing like this is all going to be printed. Thanks Frank
  17. Hi Denbridge, I've successfully ordered the motor mounting screws I needed from Branchlines today. Many thanks for putting me straight about Branchlines still trading. Frank
  18. Hi, does anybody know where I can buy replacement M1.6 motor mounting screws? Last time I bought any it was from Branchlines but I don’t think they are trading any more. Regards, Frank
  19. Hi Jim, the trick is to tin the brass with your usual solder (145 deg?) first and then use low melt to solder the white metal to the tinned brass (or n/silver)… Good luck! Frank
  20. Hi Michael, you beat me to it! Sorry Tony but whilst I accept that it is your belief that there are all sorts of construction techniques that make installation of DCC chips in frames problematic, this is not my experience in almost all situations. All my tender loco’s for Clayton use American pickup and are DCC chipped without any problems whatsoever. I do not attempt to isolate the superstructure from the live chassis either. Similarly my tank loco’s are split frame and chipped. The only immediate problem I could see with converting Roy’s loco’s might be the space issue but the latest generation of chips are small and may fit between the EM frames. The rule for installing chips in loco’s is simple, don’t allow an unshielded chip, or the wires between the motor and chip, to touch any metal part of the locomotive and all will be well. The only situation where converting a loco to DCC is difficult is where the motor’s brush housing is shorted directly to a live frame. This is true of many commercially built split frame loco’s and the early Hornby Dublo and Triang models. I doubt converting the Retford layout to DCC would be that difficult either. It is far harder to go the other way and convert a DCC layout to Analogue. The cost of chipping all the loco’s on the other hand…….. Frank
  21. Hi Wayne, There was a definite difference between the plywood sleeper based track and the points. Probably about 0.2mm. I overcame this by gluing some thin strips of plastic card under the last three sleepers on the point bases to bring them up to the same height as the crossing. I had thought there was a similar difference between the points and the EMGS track with the Peco track being the lower. I also packed the Peco track in the same way therefore. Perhaps this was incorrect but everything seems to align okay. More fun was getting the plain track to align vertically with the points which had previously been vertically aligned to the crossing. In these circumstances I terminated the plain track with a few ply sleepers and C&L chairs so that the transition was in the plain track well before the rail joint. Fun and Games...... Given this was a 'fun' project to produce a test track, I neither stained the ply sleepers or blackened the cast frog although the track tops of the frog were indeed polished with fine grit wet and dry. I'll probably be taking this test track to exhibitions when I am next invited to demonstrate (usually loco building) so I thought it best to leave the track in its original state so that visitors can see it in its intermediate stage prior to staining and ballasting. Congratulations on an excellent product Wayne. If I'd been patient I could have saved myself the effort of building the crossing and waited for you to produce yours instead, but as I had all the materials I needed in my spares box I thought I'd crack on with building my own. I'll be interested to see how your crossing sleepers knit in with your point sleepers? It was all a bit of a bodge on my test track and probably doesn't adhere to prototype practice. Regards, Frank
  22. After an enjoyable couple of weeks carpentry and track building I was today able to test run my new test track. The starting point was an old pine shelf that had been stored in my garage for 20 odd years doing nothing. I had been looking for an excuse to build one of Wayne's new points and a test track shelf seemed like an ideal opportunity to try one. In the end I settled on a track plan incorporating three of the British Finescale B7 points augmented with a hand built 1:7 diamond crossing constructed from C&L laser cut sleepers and 3 bolt chairs. The plain track is from the EMGS (Peco). Track centres are 50mm apart. Other than some minor challenges resolving the height differences in the 3 different track systems employed, everything else was straight forward. The points took me a leisurely hour a piece to make, the diamond crossing somewhat longer. I now have a vastly superior test track than the 2ft length of plain track I have used for the last 30 years. A minor observation for others intending to build these points, I would recommend supergluing the check rails in place otherwise there is a risk that they will slide out of position during an over zealous track cleaning session. Regards, Frank
  23. The J2's CAD file is with PPD and I expect the version 1 metal back with me any day now. ;-) Meanwhile that nice Mr Redrup has provided me with all the necessary castings and a tender to complete the build - if I've got the design correct that is? I have also prepared artwork for a J52, one of those built by Neilson & Co with wooden buffer beam extensions front and back and leaf springs above the wheels rather than the usual underslung springs. In researching I discovered that the J52's frames were identical to those designed by Stirling for the J7 which I've previously modelled. I have been able to reuse a considerable amount of the J7's artwork saving me significant time and effort. It would appear that the GW were not unique in exploiting standardisation. The artwork for the J52 is three weeks behind that of the J2 and so it will be a while before I can expect the metal back from PPD. I think I've got enough to keep me going for a while yet. Frank
  24. Hi Clem, I agree with regards your motor and gearbox combination but it’s setting up the hornguides to match the coupling rods accurately which ultimately determines whether the chassis limps or glides along the track. You appear to be a passed master at setting them up. I got back into the club rooms yesterday for the first time in 62 weeks, it all felt a bit of a time warp. Everything was just where it had been left last time we worked on the layout albeit now under an amount of dust. So yesterday I spent most of the day having a clean around and reminding myself where I’d got up to with testing the wiring. As to LSGC it shares the same floor space in the club room as Clayton so is currently stored along with Hungerford in a side room. I hope the council won’t feel the need to shut the building again now that this blessed Indian variant is starting to take hold on Bradford.
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