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A couple of things have led me to start the build of this Backwoods Miniatures kit, that I was surprised to find I have had in the drawer for eight years.

Gordon A's query regarding the loco's liveries led to some interesting information coming to light. Then all that wicked talk in the wishlist polls about a RTR version. Imagine it - I take the fruits of my blood, sweat and tears to our monthly EMGS area group meeting, only to find that everyone's got one. Time to start!

 

I'm a pretty confident modeller, within my own limitations, but I must admit this one scares me a little. The last loco I built with Walschaerts valve gear took about eight years, so I can't guarantee a weekly update, but hopefully committing the build to this forum will keep me on track....

 

We start with the chassis units, which are unusual in that the buffer beams and running plate act as spacers and are therefore structural parts of the chassis:

 

post-30882-0-68907200-1541935800_thumb.jpg

 

For once in my life I haven't gone for compensation, although I believe in it like a religion. I'm thinking that the articulated nature of the loco will give it all the current collection capability it needs. However it will still need to pass the jig axle test, where we make sure the coupling rods and the wheelbase are actually identical. You cannot take this for granted with kits, although I have high hopes with this one as the same maker's crane tank kit went together very smoothly.

 

 

post-30882-0-68907200-1541935800_thumb.jpg

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Next step is the cylinders. Each comes as a single etch, with a fold up front/back/base, and a half etched bit for the wrapper. The width of the wrapper is a little narrow and doesn't fully cover the ends, but solder makes the joint:

 

post-30882-0-24050800-1542537339_thumb.jpg

 

The instructions here are amended in biro to suggest a plasticard shim between cylinders and frames, so I suspect zero clearance between crankpins and crossheads was an issue as designed. I'll be checking this very carefully to make sure there's plenty of room before anything gets fixed in place.

 

Sadly I became a little Gung-ho at this point and didn't refer to a photo so I didn't realise that the top of the wrapper actually flares out slightly to finish on the outside of the footplate valance. Trying to rectify this made them wobbly and they seemed a little short anyway so I made a new set:

 

post-30882-0-98622000-1542537356_thumb.jpg

 

And here's a couple of comparisons between new and original wrappers, I think the new fit better, but my rivets are clearly too big and battleship sized compared to photo's of the real thing:

 

post-30882-0-98875900-1542537370_thumb.jpg

 

post-30882-0-57603000-1542537379_thumb.jpg

 

Despite this I'm happy enough with them and won't be trying again!

 

Gearbox next - the instructions are very clear about how to build the gearbox but say nothing about where to put it - that may sound daft but there are three ways round that they might fit, with two looking like they will fit within the body, so if anyone who's built one could enlighten me and save the trial and error that would be wonderful....

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The powertrains are the next step, and the etched Nickel gearboxes look very like those made by High Level, and the old 'Porter's Cap' brand that I believe the proprietors of High level and Backwoods produced together.

 

This photo shows the basic gearboxes assembled, nice and strong. Sadly it was taken shortly before the handcart to hell arrived.....

 

post-30882-0-74156400-1543059927_thumb.jpg

 

The little plastic gears are a very tight force fit onto the intermediate shafts and had to be eased slightly to get them on. Naturally I managed to over-ease a couple but was eventually able to fit them to the shafts with loctite. Sadly the first one I made up ran quite roughly and after some running in the gears looked like this:

 

post-30882-0-70441100-1543060043_thumb.jpg

 

That can't be good, right? I know these devices have been successfully built by others so there is certainly an element of incompetence there but it also makes me think of my Backwoods crane tank that sheared one of its gears after some years of use. certainly they are harder to put together than the lovely High Level ones we have become used to. Anyway....

 

A look at High Level's website suggests that the Lo-loader with a drive stretcher will fit very well and I'm sure, work perfectly. However I've decided to try a pair of the N20 motor/gearboxes as used successfully by Ruston in some of his recent models. This will save me about £35-£40 and liberate a couple of nice little Mashima 9/16 motors for future projects. Accordingly a pair of 300 rpm examples are now on the slow boat from China. These should give a top speed of approx 35mph which seems about right.

 

Meanwhile, proof of concept has been established with another example I bought a while back for a diesel shunter project. The final gears are some bevel ones from China - they have to be bored out to 3mm for the motor and 1/8" for the axle, and the axle one has to be thinned down, but it seems they will just fit:

 

post-30882-0-96642500-1543060381_thumb.jpg

 

The gear shows slightly under the frame but the wheel will completely hide this:

 

post-30882-0-16661100-1543060424_thumb.jpg

 

Next step will be wheels and rods so we are ready to go when the motors arrive.

 

 

 

 

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I definitely want to see the haulage capacity of this thing when it's done. With all of that huge boiler to be able to fill with lead, and TWO N20s it will be a beast. Hercules, on just 6 wheels and a single N20, at 320g, can haul 80 wagons that I know of, so with this thing who knows what weight you can get it up to and what it could haul.

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I put those bevel gears and an N20 in my 3D printed Y7 a few years back. If they fitted and worked between 3D printed 1.2mm thick frames in 00 you shouldn't have any clearance problems in brass and EM. The Y7 pulled a 16 ton mineral loaded with 600g of lead balanced on top.

 

A gear motor and bevel gears is my first choice for powering anything with space to fit such an arrangement these days. I did find a supplier of the bevel gears with a 3mm bore, which makes life easier. I managed to get the axle gear to 1/8" using tapered broaches and it still worked well in the end - that was before I'd bought my lathe.

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I put those bevel gears and an N20 in my 3D printed Y7 a few years back. If they fitted and worked between 3D printed 1.2mm thick frames in 00 you shouldn't have any clearance problems in brass and EM. The Y7 pulled a 16 ton mineral loaded with 600g of lead balanced on top.

 

A gear motor and bevel gears is my first choice for powering anything with space to fit such an arrangement these days. I did find a supplier of the bevel gears with a 3mm bore, which makes life easier. I managed to get the axle gear to 1/8" using tapered broaches and it still worked well in the end - that was before I'd bought my lathe.

I'm afraid I can't remember. Could somebody please tell me where the bevel gears come from?

I would like a link if possible.

Thanks,

                  Chris.

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For a UK supplier:

 

http://www.motionco.co.uk/pair-bevel-gears-mod16-bore-p-146.html

 

I've bought them from there before. Also several Chinese suppliers on eBay and I think I got some from gizmoszone who are Hong Kong based (online mail order) before. To be honest at under £2.50 a pair it's worth getting them from motionco as they'll turn up quicker. A search for 0.5 mod bevel gears or mitre gears ought to find a few more suppliers.

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For a UK supplier:

 

http://www.motionco.co.uk/pair-bevel-gears-mod16-bore-p-146.html

 

I've bought them from there before. Also several Chinese suppliers on eBay and I think I got some from gizmoszone who are Hong Kong based (online mail order) before. To be honest at under £2.50 a pair it's worth getting them from motionco as they'll turn up quicker. A search for 0.5 mod bevel gears or mitre gears ought to find a few more suppliers.

Thanks very much, I appreciate the link.

                                                C.

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Did you think to ask Chris Gibbons if he did a matching gear in his range?

 

Watching with interest.

 

Gordon A

I did but he uses a 2mm shaft and Backwoods use 1.5mm. After the hassle with this one I want a fit and forget solution this time!

 

 

I definitely want to see the haulage capacity of this thing when it's done. With all of that huge boiler to be able to fill with lead, and TWO N20s it will be a beast. Hercules, on just 6 wheels and a single N20, at 320g, can haul 80 wagons that I know of, so with this thing who knows what weight you can get it up to and what it could haul.

Shame my layout never sees more than 6-8 wagons coupled together - have to take it to someone else's layout for trials I think (If I get that far.....)

 

 

For a UK supplier:

 

http://www.motionco.co.uk/pair-bevel-gears-mod16-bore-p-146.html

 

I've bought them from there before. Also several Chinese suppliers on eBay and I think I got some from gizmoszone who are Hong Kong based (online mail order) before. To be honest at under £2.50 a pair it's worth getting them from motionco as they'll turn up quicker. A search for 0.5 mod bevel gears or mitre gears ought to find a few more suppliers.

I can't find the original supplier of mine but a search on ebay for plastic bevel gears should do the trick - These look much better than mine anyway,  I'm going to try some in the future - if they fit between 00 frames they must be smaller than mine, and therefore easier to cram in. Plus the 3mm bore needs much less drilling out. The only benefit with mine is they were really dirt cheap - £1.55 for 20, so you can afford to ruin a few, which I have..

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316591114.jpg

 

8.9mm diameter, just have to cut the collar back a lot to only leave the gear.

I guess that you get the chassis sorted before you fit the motor? Otherwise the chassis can't be checked for free running when fitting up the driving rods as you have no way of disengaging the drive. I always make a carrier for the crown wheel that features a grub screw so the wheels can be rotated by hand.

post-494-0-81340800-1543174025.jpg

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Yes, and it's only a 040t, so not much sorting really. And the chassis was printed in one lump, sand smooth, paint, insert bearings, insert wheels/gears, screw on motor, loctite gear to motor, wire up, add rods and tweak quartering of ungeared axle.

 

Your solution is better, by whatever you do the tea tends to cover the motor mounting screws so any maintenance would end up fairly destructive

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I tend to sit the gearmotor in a folded brass 'U', and hold it there with a couple of spots of 5 minute epoxy, which are easily cut out if I need to remove the motor. To be honest, and I know this will make people cringe, but I've always found meshing these gearmotors by eye perfectly satisfactory (with bevel gears).

 

Get some weight into the ends of the tanks, or you will have pick up problems on the leading and trailing axles (all the boiler weight coming over the middle axles.) 

 

Technobots sell black bevel gears at 45p each (about 12mm dia, also 2mm bore)

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Thanks chaps looking forward to trying the new motors. I must admit I normally do the quartering/fiddling part of the job with the powertrain in place. A small electric motor is so much more sensitive than your hand when it comes to finding tight spots in a chassis, because you hear the motor pitch going up and down. When it's right the motor tells you. I envisage soldering a cross member to the front of the gearbox, meshing by eye, and then a dab of lower melt solder to attach the cross member to the frames, but we'll see how it goes. Now, I can't put the valve gear off much longer..

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The wheels have been fitted, the coupling rods slightly eased and both chassis in 'push-along' mode are smooth and free of tight spots:

 

post-30882-0-29052800-1543510853_thumb.jpg

 

What you don't see in the photo is something that alarmed me when viewing from overhead:

 

post-30882-0-57224800-1543510890_thumb.jpg

 

See how narrow it looks, and the buffers are surely too close together - I've looked at Giles' superb version of the original GA drawings in Narrow Gauge & Industrial Railway Modelling Review #103, and the footplate appears to be about 8' wide, quite a common size. The footplates on the Backwoods kit are 29.5mm wide - a whopping 2.5mm too narrow by my calculations. Someone tell me I've got it wrong, please!

 

The trouble is, this manufacturer has got form, because the crane tank was to HO scale thanks to dodgy drawings in the RM - if RM got the Beyer Garratt drawings wrong too, and there's a suggestion they might have, then it's possible..... I mean it's not all HO scale because the wheelbase is right, but maybe some of it is !

 

Having said that I've seen some superb examples built, so maybe I'm wrong, or maybe it doesn't matter as much as I'm thinking. Answers on a postcard please....

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Please don't take this the wrong way, are you getting fixated about bits of this locomotive!!

Admittedly, my stuff is not as comprehensive as yours, but I think we share the same joy in the strange land of industrial modelling!

I really love my Backwoods Garrett, in fact my mate Mike is going to build a second one for me, payment for my G45 stuff going to his youngest James, umpteen years ago!

Having seen your idea for motors has stimulated his juices! He really didn't fancy building those gearboxes again!!!

Go On!!! build the beggar!!! I'm fascinated to see yours, 'cos I know the standard of your work and I can't wait to see what livery you paint it in!!!

Oh yes, Mike is getting one of the excellent RT Models Giesel Ejectors to fit on the second one!!!

                                                               Keep up the good work,

                                                                                                Chris.

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Buffers were usually 5’8½” apart, and 3’5½” from the rail head, but these are nominal. For a start, wheels get re-profiled and then wagon ride height will be affected by the load.

 

But yes, they do look to be too close together.

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5' 9 1/2" over buffer centres

8' across platform centres (overall width)
3' 5" from rail head.

According to the G.A.s

 

The inferemce maybe that the kit has an error in scale rather than 4mm - but it would bear further checking. Maths on the width indicates 3.725mm/ft

 

Best of luck!

Giles

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Thanks for the input. I'm definitely still building it and yes Chris, I really should stop worrying. Might move the buffers out a touch though.

Colour? They look so good in red, but my livery is green. I might be tempted though.

Edited by Barclay
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