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I would say that poor instructions are much worse than no instructions. I had a very fine kit for a small loco in OO9, not significantly bigger than the average 2FS model, and the general instructions were OK but then spent half-a-page describing how to get the quartering right (it was only an 0-4-0 and I can quarter in my sleep), and finally finished with the instructions for fitting out the cab - fit pieces 27-39 approximately in numerical order - and that was that.

 

Apart from the fact that hand wheels were too large (which I solved by making my own), the cab fittings were exquisite but fortunately I experienced enough to realise that, at least soldering them in, there was only going to be one possible order of construction and it certainly bore little relationship to the part numbers. Because of the minuscule working space available, it took me quite a long while to work out what the order actually was, but I got there in the end.

 

The man who produced and sold the kit had put a test etch together (and it looked just as a good as mine) so he must have realised the problems but just glossed over it in the instructions. Even a simple instruction to follow a stated numerical order when assembling the cab details would have sufficed for anyone with reasonable experience. The simple result is that I know he sold a lot of kits, but I doubt whether I have seen as many as half a dozen actually made up and running. A great shame as the kit was well designed and etched, and the one or two minor misfits were easily corrected.

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I try and write my instructions with the less experienced modeller in mind, hopefully without being too patronising towards the more experienced. I also try to emphasise the areas which are slightly idiosyncratic.

 

Jim

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As a break from trying to increase my coaching stock, over the last couple of days I've been trying to progress my Buffalo Saddle Tank.  Primarily making the footplate, buffer beams and assembling those complete with the outside frames that I'd previously fretted out.

 

A piece of 0.010" nickel silver was cut for the footplate, and a pair of buffer beams fretted, filed and drilled from 0.018".  After a little measuring to establish how far in from the footplate edge the outside frames needed to be (so that the extended axles projected through them, and also so the outside cranks didn't catch on the frames).  I ended up with this ...

post-12089-0-78128700-1519247508_thumb.jpg

 

Before the rear buffer beam was fitted, I decided to mark out the cutout to accommodate the motor and wheels.  I then proceeded to fret out a hole for the motor/gearbox, and once happy with the size of said hole progressed onto cutting out further extensions to that hole for the wheels - in retrospect it might have been better to have fitted the rear buffer beam before all this cutting and filing for additional strength as I had to re-solder the outside frames towards the rear of the footplate.  However, after an hour or two ...

post-12089-0-73055300-1519248605_thumb.jpg

 

And when temporarily bolted to the chassis, I checked to make sure that no binding occurred.  The temporary nuts will be replaced as the body build progresses by having separate body components which will house the fixings - the saddle tank will have a threaded hole under the smokebox and the bunker will also be a separate component.  The plan is to have the footplate and cab front as a component that will be "trapped" by the saddle and bunker parts.

post-12089-0-30097800-1519247992_thumb.jpg

 

The next job will involve venturing out to the workshop to turn up some splasher front/tops (assuming that I have some brass bar out there of suitable diameter!)

 

Ian

Edited by Ian Smith
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I was advised (by I think Stewart Hine) that it was not a good idea to have the body attached to the mechanism by two bolts as there was the risk of distorting the chassis if the footplate was not dead true.  I've always used just one fixing point, usually in the smokebox.  Provided it's not too far forward, there is no problem of the rear of the body 'lifting', and a couple of pieces of styrene glued under the footplate on either side at the back keeps everything in line.

 

Jim

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I was advised (by I think Stewart Hine) that it was not a good idea to have the body attached to the mechanism by two bolts as there was the risk of distorting the chassis if the footplate was not dead true.  I've always used just one fixing point, usually in the smokebox.  Provided it's not too far forward, there is no problem of the rear of the body 'lifting', and a couple of pieces of styrene glued under the footplate on either side at the back keeps everything in line.

 

Jim

 

Jim,

Whilst I would agree whole-heartedly with that, with this build I would have to go some to distort this chassis with a couple of 12BA bolts screwed into the upper works - the chassis is a solid brass milled one! :-)

 

Ian

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I like to have everything nice and solid, especially with different people handling locos.

 

Tim

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More GWR Buffalo Saddle Tank progress...

 

An hour or two out in a very chilly workshop (I didn't think I'd be out there long so neglected to put the heater on!), and I have some embryonic splashers ...

post-12089-0-41387400-1519339158_thumb.jpg

 

To make "splasher discs", a piece of brass bar was mounted in the lathe chuck and the outside diameter turned down to 10.5mm.  A hand graver was then used to start a large blind shallow hole in the faced-off end, into which a small boring tool would fit.  The hole was then enlarged so that it projected 0.075" into the end of the bar, and gave a wall (splasher top) around 0.008" thick.  A parting off tool was then used to separate the "splasher disc" from the end of the bar so that the "splasher disc" was some 0.090" thick.

 

The splashers themselves were then cut from the splasher disc (2 from each disc), an arc line being marked across the disc and a fret saw with an 8/0 blade used to separate the arc and produce a complete splasher.  A few careful rubs on an emery board neatens up the cut and makes sure the upright of the splasher sits perpendicular to the footplate.

 

The image below shows the first two splashers plonked temporarily on the footplate ...

post-12089-0-58966400-1519339147_thumb.jpg

 

Once soldered in place, I will file/sand the back edge of the splashers a little as I have made them very slightly too wide (on purpose I should add - better too wide than too narrow!).

 

Ian

Edited by Ian Smith
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After a week in not-so-sunny Somerset, a little more progress on the Buffalo ...

 

The 6 splashers have all been cut from the "splasher discs" that I turned up, and with the help of half a wooden clothes peg and a cocktail stick have been soldered into position on the footplate.  Rather surprisingly, I didn't need to resort to any industrial language as an aid in fitting them (or perhaps I'm just getting a little more patient in my old age).

post-12089-0-70454400-1520456093_thumb.jpg

 

The springs that sit outside the splashers on top of the footplate are from my custom etch, and are a 3 layer affair in a little frame to keep them all aligned while they are soldered together.  Hopefully, I will be able to solder them in place without disturbing the splashers or de-laminating the little devils!

post-12089-0-98949300-1520456106_thumb.jpg

 

A paper cab front has also been drawn up in CAD, printed and cut out, and tried in position before I use it as a pattern when fretting/filing metal.  If it gets a bit warmer in the next couple of days, I'll get out in the workshop and turn up the buffers and shanks in steel and the buffer housings in brass.

 

I've still got to add the upper cab step, and file bit of a cut-out in the edge of the footplate just above those steps.

 

Ian

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I had not really thought about making them available to anyone else - I think that they can all be made up into decent models but as one would probably expect as a first attempt at designing a kit of parts there are some minor issues which would need to be resolved before asking others to part with their hard-earned (and I haven't tried to paint them yet!).  In reality, I wouldn't really want to go to the expense of correcting the artwork and getting a new photo tool done once I have the models I wanted, perhaps somewhat selfish I know.  If others feel that they would like a copy of the etch with the odd issue however, I don't know whether they can order directly from PPD as they hold the photo tool.

 

Ian

 

Ian,

 

Well, I'd certainly like a set of these etches please! (We've spoken at shows about these coach etches before, if you recall.) Just perfect for my 2mm Cambrian 1920s-era project.  

 

Minor artwork issues aside, I think as a 2mm modeller I can deal with any corrections I may have to make in assembling them. And also, I can read your posts on here to see what the pitfalls might be, if needs-be.

 

Please PM me if you can offer me a set, and let me know the price. Or if you prefer, I could contact PPD myself and order a set direct.

Edited by Phil Copleston

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[...]

 

The springs that sit outside the splashers on top of the footplate are from my custom etch, and are a 3 layer affair in a little frame to keep them all aligned while they are soldered together.  Hopefully, I will be able to solder them in place without disturbing the splashers or de-laminating the little devils!

[...]

 

Ian, what's preventing you in using low melt solder (70°) and a temperature controlled soldering iron at this stage?

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Ian,

 

Well, I'd certainly like a set of these etches please! (We've spoken at shows about these coach etches before, if you recall.) Just perfect for my 2mm Cambrian 1920s-era project.  

 

Minor artwork issues aside, I think as a 2mm modeller I can deal with any corrections I may have to make in assembling them. And also, I can read your posts on here to see what the pitfalls might be, if needs-be.

 

Please PM me if you can offer me a set, and let me know the price. Or if you prefer, I could contact PPD myself and order a set direct.

Phil,

I have PM'd you.

 

Ian, what's preventing you in using low melt solder (70°) and a temperature controlled soldering iron at this stage?

 

Valentin,

If I decide to fit the springs early on in the build I will almost certainly use a low melting point solder (something I regularly do when attaching parts to things that are already assembled, especially when I'm worried that my ham-fistedness will cause it all to revert to component parts).  I do however need to check my livery register just to ensure that the springs and the splasher fronts are the same colour - if they're not then I will have to add the springs after painting.

 

Ian

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A little more progress on the Buffalo Saddle Tank ...

 

The buffers have been turned up, although each buffer housing needs to have a small square of 0.004" soldered to the buffer beam end before they can be fitted to the buffer beams.  The housings will be soldered to a patch of 0.004" and a square area around them cut out rather than trying to fiddle small 2mm squares into place!

post-12089-0-54429000-1520959725_thumb.jpgpost-12089-0-66798100-1520959750_thumb.jpg

 

A start has been made on the cab.  The basic shape being cut and filed from 0.008", with skrawked verticals on the inside of the corners so that it could be bent to a half cab front and sides unit.  Indeed the skrawker was used to cut the whole basic shape out - skrawked half way through then the metal carefully bent back and forth until it snapped away from the main sheet, the edges being made good with emery boards and files, thus preserving my dwindling stocks of fret saw blades :-)

post-12089-0-11748900-1520959872_thumb.jpg

 

Strips of 0.004" were then soldered into the cab side cut outs, and filed and sanded back to leave a beading proud of the flat cab side sheets.  Tails of the 0.004" strips being left protruding at the bottom of the cut-outs onto which the cab handrails will be soldered later in construction.

post-12089-0-21049300-1520959945_thumb.jpg

 

To allow the saddle tank assembly to be a bolt on component later, a 12BA clearance sized hole was drilled in the cab front and saddle tank rear former, and a 12BA nut soldered in place within the tank.  A couple of shots showing the cab and saddle tank temporarily attached.

post-12089-0-23297000-1520959890_thumb.jpg

post-12089-0-48573500-1520959912_thumb.jpg

 

 

Finally, a couple of shots of the tank cab assembly plonked in place on the footplate - she's starting to look a little bit more like an engine now - the chimney (turned in phosphor bronze) is similarly just plonked on for effect.

post-12089-0-27196500-1520959977_thumb.jpg

post-12089-0-37636300-1520959994_thumb.jpg

 

Hopefully, in the next couple of days I'll get the springs attached to the outside faces of the splashers and the cab front soldered in place on the footplate.  And all being well the buffers will go on squarely too!

 

Ian

 

 

 

Edited by Ian Smith
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Beautifully modelled so far Ian, look forward to your next instalment.

 

Regards

 

Grahame

 

p.s. a skrawker is a definite must in the workshop, so many uses.

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That's exquisite, Ian. Not sure I have seen a Buffalo in 2FS before. Can't be many around.

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Hi Ian, how did you create the rivet detail on the saddle tank?

It looks superbly fine and regular.

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Such neat work Ian. One could believe it was 7mm

 

Don

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That's exquisite, Ian. Not sure I have seen a Buffalo in 2FS before. Can't be many around.

Thank you Mikkel.

 

I've never seen one, so I think mine will be the first :-)

 

Hi Ian, how did you create the rivet detail on the saddle tank?

It looks superbly fine and regular.

Thank you Argos.

 

The rivets were impressed on a home-made rivet press/punch.  I had to make one specifically for this project!

post-12089-0-73171800-1521017688_thumb.jpg

 

The riveter is mounted in the lathe headstock chuck (obviously power removed from lathe!).  The vertical slide was attached to the cross slide to hold the sheet to be riveted, and each rivet embossed as the cross slide is advanced - using the graduations to ensure an even spacing (I think the spacing I chose was 0.020").

post-12089-0-56462900-1521017701_thumb.jpg

 

Ian

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post-15858-0-22062900-1521019858_thumb.jpg

That's exquisite, Ian. Not sure I have seen a Buffalo in 2FS before. Can't be many around.

 

I had a go at the side tank version. Unfortunately it lacks any finesse and doesn't compare to Ian's version!

 

The sister, saddle tank version reached footplate stage but stalled when I saw that Ian had upped the game by adding rive detail. That, in itself, is impressive. From my perspective the ability to then apply that detail completely squarely to the tank former and retain all registers neat and true is little short of phenomenal.

 

Andrew

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attachicon.gifIMG_20170822_230842.jpg

 

I had a go at the side tank version. Unfortunately it lacks any finesse and doesn't compare to Ian's version!

 

The sister, saddle tank version reached footplate stage but stalled when I saw that Ian had upped the game by adding rive detail. That, in itself, is impressive. From my perspective the ability to then apply that detail completely squarely to the tank former and retain all registers neat and true is little short of phenomenal.

 

Andrew

 

Andrew,

Both of your engines look very smart to me!   Please don't let anything that I'm doing stop you!!  After riveting the tank and being pretty happy with the outcome, I decided I would try the same on the footplate outside frames albeit in slightly thicker material (tank is 0.005" brass, and I think the frames were 0.006" or 0.008" nickel silver).  If I'm honest I think that the rivets on the tank look better.  Had the rivets not come out very well I would probably have tried using the Archer's Rivet transfers though.

 

Ian

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I think that a GW Models riveting press would achieve a similar result, although given the very tight spacing of the "rivets" it might be necessary to either modify the anvil (or make one specially for the task), neither of which would be difficult.

 

I use my press to mark out as well, thus ensuring that the rivet lines (and any holes for handrail supports, etc) are accurately placed. A certain amount of preplanning is essential, especially for something like a saddle tank that is going to be rolled, and I use 5mm squared paper for the purpose with each 5mm square representing 1mm square on the model.

 

I would add, though, that the result does look absolutely exquisite, especially for such a small scale.

Edited by bécasse

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attachicon.gifIMG_20170822_230842.jpg

 

 

I had a go at the side tank version. Unfortunately it lacks any finesse and doesn't compare to Ian's version!

 

The sister, saddle tank version reached footplate stage but stalled when I saw that Ian had upped the game by adding rive detail. That, in itself, is impressive. From my perspective the ability to then apply that detail completely squarely to the tank former and retain all registers neat and true is little short of phenomenal.

 

Andrew

A Buffalo with side tanks! Very interesting in itself. Quite an elegant design, really.

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I've been experimenting with a Trumpeter riveting tool.  Aeromodellers use these to make indented rivets but it's very effective at producing raised rivets in thin brass but it does have a tendency to coil the metal

 

rivetmaker1.jpg

 

However, those rivets on the Buffalo are quite special. I'm not sure the Trumpeter tool would achieve the same result.

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A little more progress on the Buffalo...

 

post-12089-0-38206100-1521544097_thumb.jpgpost-12089-0-32594200-1521544113_thumb.jpg

 

The cab has been soldered in place on the footplate and the roof added - this has a length of 5 amp fuse wire soldered in place along the back edge to represent the upstand (or angle) that was there.  The cab handrails are fine guitar string (as they will be left as polished steel).  The upper cab step was folded up from a strip of 0.004" nickel silver and sweated in place on the outside frame below the cab entrance.

 

The lamp sockets (rather than lamp irons) were filed up from some 1mm square brass rod that I'd thinned to about 0.030" square.  A flat projection being filed to represent the fixing plate extending from the rear which was bolted to the footplate above the buffer beam.  The vacuum pipes are simply represented with lengths of phosphor bronze wire, although the pipes running below the footplate along the outside frames are 0.3mm brass wire as that was straight to start with.

 

The buffer housings shown in the previous instalment were soldered to a piece of 0.004" nickel silver sheet, and then the sheet cut out and filed around the buffer housings to represent the square bases of the buffer housings (after the buffer shank hole was made good).  The buffer head/shank was inserted into the housing and into the holes previously drilled in the buffer beam to maintain alignment as the whole was soldered in place.

 

Beneath the saddle tank, a piece of 0.020" brass has been cut out and folded up to form the lower part of the smokebox (and provide a location for the front body-to-chassis fixing bolt).  I will be adding some plastic sheet to the underside of the motor back towards the cab to represent the bottom of the boiler and to hide motor and part of the worm.  Further pieces of nickel sheet still need to be cut and fitted to represent the firebox sides and to hide the gearbox.

 

DG couplings have been soldered to the underside of the buffer beams, and finally the etched springs have been super-glued to the outer face of the splashers.

 

post-12089-0-81830700-1521544123_thumb.jpgpost-12089-0-05778500-1521544135_thumb.jpg

 

The next steps will be to form the cab floor and bunker assembly and to progress the saddle tank assembly which will include turning up the filler, dome and safety valve casings, and to form the front components of the smokebox.

 

Tonight I'll take her over to the Midland Area Group meeting where she can stretch her legs on St. Ruth rather than running back and forth along my 18" long test track.

 

Ian

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Brilliant workmanship.

 

I’m very envious of your scratch building but it has inspired me to try... soonish!

 

Duncan

Edited by drduncan

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