Jump to content

Ian M's 7mm workbench - Back to the MACAW B.

Ian Major

Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, Ian Major said:



Part 2


To complete the loco I will (try to) make some lettering transfers. I have some Hannants Xtradecal (blank) for this. Obviously I will be trying test pieces first. Then satin varnish and finally glazing. 


Some photos of the painted loco.


The chassis has no paint on it. This was chemically blackened as per Martyn Welch's MRJ article. I did this at the time of construction. In the intervening years the black has tended towards a dark grey/brown.




We actually had a bit of sunshine. So I managed to bang off a few piccies in the garden before it rained on me.







Then the rain came and I had to rush indoors. Fortunately Jane and the wagons seems water proof.




I took this low level shot to show the condenser tucked up under the roof. It was a nightmare to fit. This is also the only view where the steam brake cylinder is visible under the cab floor. It also  reveals the heads of the screws that retain the tool box and the removable cab sides.


One thing I need to address. The buffer bodies have to be on raised plates since the main bufferbeams are below standard height (as they were on the prototype). The extra plate packs the buffers out which results in the Standard Slater's chain links being too short.   




I couldn't resist a sepia photo. The bufferbeam needs toning down!




So - now it is on to the next paint job. In the meantime Jane will return to the display case. 


I have scanned all my notes in, so will publish them here.








Very nice indeed, great stuff lan.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

First - thank you all for the likes. It is most appreciated.


Finally on "Jane" for now scans of my chicken scratchings which may or may not be of interest. They are intended to add on to Laurie's words. My notes on the buffer/beam are above.


I like to start my project with a basic history of my subject. It helps to keep my mind focused - the older I get the more it wanders!




Next my notes on the frames.




The cylinder assembly.




The valve gear...




The cab...






The boiler/smokebox...



Balance weights, brakes and front buffer beam lamp support...




On to the next loco in the pipeline.





  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Wantage No 5 is now back in the display case where she looks quite splendid. She will stay there until I get some transfers sorted out for her.


In the meantime I turned my attention to a model that has been hanging around my paint-shop for even longer than "Jane" - a London Road Models Johnson 3130 Class (LMS 2F).


I had taken some photos during the early part of the build some 20+ years ago.


The first shows it posed next to a pair of Eric Underhill locos (lovely kits). The tender is nearly complete. I converted the buffers to self contained to avoid clashing with the outside (false) frames.


I decided the loco frames would look very empty so I bought a set of inside valve gear from Laurie Griffin. Using the kit frame spacers there would not have been enough space to fit them so I made my own spacers that pushed the frames as far out as the FS wheels allowed. I also milled my own horn blocks to suit. The slide bars can be seen in the photo.




Then a couple of shots of the basic loco. The firebox/ash pan representation, along with springs and various other bits were etched on the same piece of NS as the frames. This gave a very 2D appearance to my eyes. So I chopped all these bits off leaving the frames as just that. The firebox/ash pan were then fabricated as a separate unit. Much better. The castings need a fair bit of fettling to get them to sit properly.






The next photo shows the main chassis components. Since the frames are very close to the wheels I turned some recessed inserts to hold the plunger pickups. There was not enough room for the heads of the insulated body to sit on the outside of the frame so these inserts allow the bodies to sit flush with the frame surface. 




Leaping on to the present day. I stripped the loco down to give it a clean. The next photo shows how the boiler assembly and the cab/footplate can be split for painting. The backhead, cab floor, and reversing lever are another sub unit.


I think this kit was blown up from a 4mm version because the underside of the boiler has a circular hole below the dome and a large cutout to cater for a motor and gearbox. I filled these in. There was no firebox front plate supplied, so I made one of these up.


I did not like the crude representation of rivets on the kits supplied smokebox wrapper so I made my own. The underside of the smokebox has a baseplate added with a captive nut for securing the boiler assembly to the footplate.




The motion bracket is not supplied with the kit nor Laurie's castings (he covers a variety loco types). I did not have any photos to work from - when I was working on this the Web was in its early days. Eventually I paid the NRM a visit and photo'd the Midland Spinner.


These are some of the photos...








The top edge of the motion bracket is like a roller coaster. I had already made mine with a flat top edge. Oh well.


Next up I tried squeezing all the bits in between the frames. Notice the extra pair of brackets on the front of the frame. These are used to attached the body to the chassis. The original fixing position clashed with the added valve gear...





... and then I fitted the cranks and eccentrics to the axle - and let it fire up...




... and tried it with the boiler fitted. Some form of representation of the inside motion is definitely needed on this type of loco, even if it is none working!



Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 9
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks George.


Actually I have a confession to make. The "historic" photos are the ones with the clean workspace. Currently the workspace is more, shall we say, lived in! ;)



Edited by Ian Major
  • Funny 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

When I assembled the chassis I cut out the etched ashpan (it was featureless), and springs to allow horn guides to be fitted. I thought, back in the distant past, that I had created some replacement springs. If I had done then I don't know where I put them.


Digging in my parts box I found some reasonable "springs" that I had cut off another etched kit where I had used replacement cast springs. The etched springs supplied with the 2F were totally devoid of detail and I ditched them. Below are the spring etches that I used. I chopped them up and modified them so that they could be soldered to the underside of the keeper plates.





I tried one on the centre axle. It was a little long.




I shortened it and was happy with the result. All 6 were treated the same then chemically blackened. The next photo shows the same view with the springs fitted.




A couple of views with various bits just hanging to ensure it all still goes together. The smokebox door is not quite right sadly and for me gives the feel of a 3F rather than a 2F. The photos also show my homemade reversing lever is a bit too well  fed. I my defence I based its dimensions on a plan from a model railway magazine.


Actually this session revealed a slight problem. I had fitted some plastic sheet supports to stop the motor rocking back and forth. They fouled the bottom of the smoke box stopping it from sitting down properly and hence stopped the whole superstructure sitting properly on the frames. So the plastic supports were modified and all is now well.






A part that was not supplied in the kit was for the displacement lubricator. I scratched one and fitted it to the inside of  the left side cab sheet. I also added the cluster of rivets on the outside of the cab to correspond with the lubricator position. I produced a single feed type but the one on the "Spinner" at the NRM is a twin feed as per my photos below.







Hum a bit of solder removal needed there.


It was beginning to dawn on me that I need to do more work than I realized before painting this loco. 


The kit offering for the vacuum brake fixtures were a bit naff:-




... I had tried to create my own versions which do not satisfy me yet:-




...  work needed there.


Also, when taking the photos for the springs I noticed the holes in the bottom of the cab steps:-




... wot no injectors!


The kit did not supply anything for injectors but did include the holes for them.  :wacko:


I don't remember anything in the instructions for this area. I can't check the instructions because I have put them somewhere very secure. 


I need to produce a representation of two live steam injectors. I don't have any suitable photos in my books. On line there are plenty of photos and plans of exhaust steam injectors but the live steam versions seem to be a bit coy. I have found found photos of excellent representations by David LO Smith on RMWEB and DIKITRIKI on Western Thunder which will form the basis of my work (OK one should not make models of models).


A question. Were the pair of live steam injectors on the 2Fs handed? Or did they use the same casting on both sides with slightly different pipework on each side?


Either way, I am supposed to be attacking my painting backlog so I guess the 2F will find itself shunted back to the construction workshop for now. :rolleyes:





2F 020.jpg

  • Like 3
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...
Posted (edited)

Well the painting has hit the proverbial buffers for now.


First off my airbrush developed a leak. I noticed this doing a big spray job. My hand ended up covered in paint. Not good when handling a freshly painted model. The leak does not appear to be fixable so I am investing in a new one.


Second up my wife decided that our hall/stairwell/landing needed re plastering and decorating. We got some guys in to do the work. Result - plaster dust everywhere, including my workshop. This needed a very big cleanup job before even thinking about painting models.


I have a trio of carriages gradually making their way through my workshop. I decided on a quickie job.


I have a Wayoh kit for GWR 9ft bogies. Their brass carcasses were fine - spot on scale 9ft wheelbase. The castings for the frame details have a scale wheelbase of 8ft 9ins. When they are put together, It is very obvious the axleboxes don't line up with the wheels.


Time to make some replacements. My short job had become a long one.


I produced a design for the replacement sides using Inkscape then cut the parts out on my Silhouette cutter using 10thou plastic sheet.


The following photo shows my Mk 1 version fitted to a Wayoh carcase. Included is one of the Wayoh castings in front of the brass side that it is supposed to fit. 




The next photo shows the kit of parts produced on the cutter.




The frame side is actually made up of 4 layers (I added the fourth after I took the photo). I fixed these together in pairs. The inner layers have holes showing where
the rivet detail goes. When the pair had hardened I used my rivet punch to push through these holes in to the outer layer.

The next photo shows an inner layer peppered with the 0.5mm rivet holes cut by the Silhouette. Some had a bit of chad to be pushed out, most were clear.




... to be continued ...

Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

... continued ...


Next shows the two pairs before being glued together.




Rather than build all the parts in plastic I intend to make molds and cast them in whitemetal. From my previous casting sessions I found the parts shrank between 2 and 3.5% when cooling. I guess the Wayoh master was made spot on scale and then the casting shrank to the size that I observed.


Using Inkscape I added improvements (?) to the design and scaled up the design by 2.8%. A fresh set of parts were cut and the Mk 2 version produced , along with a spring.

I have started making a Mk 1 master for the bolster.




Before making any more parts I need to validate the size of the master by producing a mold and do some test casts. Of course I am running short of material to make the molds. So until I get fresh supplies it is back to the MACAW B!



Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Ian Major said:



I have a Wayoh kit for GWR 9ft bogies. Their brass carcasses were fine - spot on scale 9ft wheelbase. The castings for the frame details have a scale wheelbase of 8ft 9ins. When they are put together, It is very obvious the axleboxes don't line up with the wheels.



FWIW the Wayoh BR1 bogies I used on my Westdale GUV showed a similar discrepancy.  I like your solution to the problem though.


  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Thanks Ray.


Actually I have fitted a block on the rear of the frame. The idea is that the cast frame sides can then be screwed to a transverse piece of brass as per David Jenkinson.  This would totally replace the Wayoh parts.


I also have the option of placing  a piece of wood in the mold as a core piece. It would fill in the area that creates the attachment block leaving the rear of the cast frame flat. The casting would then fit as  a cosmetic cover on the Wayoh carcass.


I have not decided which way to jump on this yet.  I will have to see how the molds and castings turn out first.






Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On with the MACAW B. This is where I had got up to.




I wanted to make a floor from 40thou plastic sheet then fit the bolster retaining brackets using the floor as a guide. I got a heavy duty blade for my Silhouette cutter (genuine part etc). There was/is a software fault that adds a spurious cut on each run. The pandemic got in the way of progressing this so I got bogged down and distracted by this problem.


Approach two was to use the standard blade up to its maximum depth to deeply score the 40thou then fracture it along the cut lines.

This worked well. So well in fact I cut out two and set one aside for a second "B".


At this stage I had not folded the ends up. I wanted to make sure the floor fitted before doing so because once the floor goes in with the ends up, it will be very difficult to get it back out if it ain't right.


Progress then rattled along. Construction followed the approach that I took with the "H". Once I was happy with the floor and brackets I folded up the ends and secured them as shown in the next photo. 


The "B" is stood between two other wagons to check its ride height and alignment. The plastic floor is placed next to it. The open is a useful part of the Ian Major Wagon Works. Here it is in use as a test vehicle. If I had taken a high level view you would have seen it is loaded with prepared chains, stanchions and other bits waiting to be fitted. It normally sits on a length of track above my workbench. The "H" sits with it holding long items such truss bars. This keeps the parts together, free from damage and generally brightens the place up.




At this stage, the construction diverges from the "H" since I am fitting DC brakes to the "B". Big Jim supplies three pairs of "V" hangers in the kit. The short and medium height pairs are used for DC brakes with a Hayward slack adjuster.


The medium pair support a short rod along the lateral centre line. These I fitted in line with the inner queen posts.


The short "V"s I attached to the inside of the solebars 24mm from the centre line. They hold a full width cross shaft that requires an extra "V" that is not symmetrically placed. It also has one leg near(?) vertical. I used one of the kit supplied small "V"s as a guide - then it was out with the brass sheet, piercing saw and Swiss files.


As can be seen from the next photo I have not yet fitted the inner truss rods. They would block access to the DC brake location.




An interesting comparison to this photo is one that I took of the "H" at this stage of construction. There are a few variations in the way the two kits are designed eg the bogie mountings.




Next up is the "B" on its bogies. The "V"s are clearly visible and I believe the DC gubbins that will be strung between them will be very visible. 




So -what to represent? The following is an annotated detail from a photo of 107291. 




The arrows show the following:-


"a" identifies the short "V"s.

"b" is the lever and ratchet. (The lever pulls the brakes on and then knocks the pawl off the ratchet to release the brakes). 
They sit to the far side of the longitudinal centre line.

"c" is the Hayward slack adjuster which is in line with the ratchet. The two are joined by a "Y" shaped rod. Just visible
is the double lever that sits at the centre of the wagon. This has the pull rods to the bogies "e".

"d" is the spring that pulls the adjuster back when the brakes are released.


I think it is worth modelling all of these.


The only kit item that I will use here is the double lever. The ratchet/lever supplied in the kit are lovely pieces of work but are the wrong type. They would be good for a MINK or OPEN. So rather than modify them they will go in to my parts box for another project.


Time to fire up the piercing saw again! 


I started with the adjuster. Using various photos from my books and others on line, I did a design using Inkscape. To work out the dimensions I used the kit parts along with a good dose of guestimation. A print of this design was attached to a double layer of brass using sticky both sides tape ready to cut the adjuster parts out.




I hope to have the brake components finished in the next few days - but who knows what will happen? :rolleyes:



  • Like 5
  • Informative/Useful 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Ian Major changed the title to Ian M's 7mm workbench - Back to the MACAW B.

I cut out the parts required from spare bits of the kit etch.




I assembled these in the "V"s. It was a good job that I had not added the inner truss rods for now. The brake was rather a fiddly task which would have been impossible with them in place.




The return spring I represented with 0.5mm nickle silver wire in a short length of brass tube. One end was attached to the adjuster the other end was held by a tapered length of 1.5 x 1.5mm brass angle. 




I felt that I should have filed more off the "Y" shaped link, it looks a bit overfed. Looking at the unit fully assembled I realized the "Y" was sitting about 0.5mm high. I feared attempts to correct this would result in destruction. Oh well. Life?


I tried it on the bogies to check clearance.



That is the under carriage almost complete. Time to finish off the superstructure. If it is sunny tomorrow I will try to get 
better photos.



  • Like 7
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the likes guys. They are most appreciated.


Well the sun came out for a time but disappeared behind a big black cloud before I could get set up with my camera. I went ahead anyway.


I have realigned some of the DC brake parts so here is a couple of fairly reasonable photos.






Working on the superstructure...


First up was adding brackets around the four corners as per Raymond Walley's approach. I cut 6mm wide strips of 0.45mm brass, embossed it then cut to size. The next photos with the B posed next to the H show them fitted  - revealing an issue.


Side view. All fine:-




End view. Hum. Ignore the fact the B is cock eyed on its bogie. I subsequently sorted that:-




What a full sized one looks like:-




I did some measuring. I found the headstock on the B is 1mm narrower than the H (as supplied in the two kits). The body of the B is about 0.3mm wider than the H, which is probably down to me not getting the fold lines tight enough - despite deeply scoring the etched fold lines. The body widths on my B and H are within a scale inch of that shown on the official diagram.


The brackets add nearly another 1mm to the width of the body which highlights the discrepancy, particularly when looking at the vertical lines of rivets.


I put the B away, turned my back on it, tried to convince myself it was OK really. It didn't work.


I will remove the brackets - it won't be easy - and make replacements out of much thinner brass. Hopefully that will make the error less obvious. This will have to wait for Tuesday now. 



  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I extracted all the dimensions from the MACAW diagrams in my book. I put these in to a spreadsheet and got it to calculate the scale dimensions.


The result:


When I looked at the detail I was annoyed with myself. When I had added the solebars I noticed the bogie supports would not fit between them whilst still being in line with the headstocks. I didn't stop to investigate where the error was at this stage. I reduced the bogie support widths to match the headstock. Later I found the cross trussing was also about 1mm too wide. It would have been simpler at the early stage to replace the headstocks with a wider pair. It would have avoided all of the later agro.


Soooo - moving on ...


I removed the corner plates and the buffer backing plates.




Then the question was - do I take the whole headstock off and replace it or try to extend it in situ? I decided on the latter.


I made a bending jig and created 4 "stapples" out of 0.7mm brass rod. These were soldered on to the ends of the headstocks. The rod was deliberately too big in diameter so that when it was dressed back the rod was squared up.




Then I made replacement plates. The corners were made from thinner material. I also started on making the sheet hooks out of 0.5mm brass wire. Three are made and fitted to one end - only another 23 to go.


I fitted the buffers and couplings temporarily to one end to see how the ensemble would look. A bit of cleaning is required after today's efforts.




A composite picture for comparison. Left shows the platework as was, middle is the platework now, right is the real thing.

Still not perfect but I am much happier.




Actually I quite liked the photo that the middle detail came from. So out of pure vanity I decided to add it here. You may notice the "Bramhall Carriage and Wagon Works" internal user open has bits of discarded MACAW clogged in to it.




Next up is finishing the hooks and the remainder of the soldering followed by gluing on the whitemetal details. Note to self - I must order up some lettering transfers.



Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 4
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick update.


The construction work on the "B" is now finished. I added the kit supplied DC brake levers. I modified the corner stanchion sockets to merge (ish) with the corner plates as per Raymond Walley.  I also trimmed the plastic floor to be a better fit. I cut it in to three pieces with the joins hidden by the middle two bolsters - without doing this it would not go in. Fitting a plastic floor in the "H" was easy by comparison since it has no end raves.


When the weather improves I will break out the painting equipment.


A couple of photos.









  • Like 11
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi lan, Really nice work on the wagons buddy, very nice...


PS, we get together on Sundays at 1400hrs till 1700hrs at Marks in the garden, there is only the 4 of us, so why not bring the wagons along for a run ?...

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Thanks George. It will be good to give them a run and make sure they stay on the track. Hopefully I can come round next Sunday (2nd). The "B" is stripped back down for cleaning and painting. Maybe I can get a basic paint job done before then.


In the middle of the painting sessions I have started on the second "B". I cast enough bolsters and turned enough stanchions for three MACAWs. I also have the parts that I replaced with scratch versions eg the brake components. The main job will be scratch building the platework.


I bought a pair of Connoisseur GWR freight wagon bogies for the second "B". I assumed they would be identical to the bogies supplied with the MACAW kits. In fact their construction is different. 


On the MACAW kit versions, the side frames have to be soldered or glued together.


In the bogie kit the sides are held to the central bolster by lengths of 1.6mm dia rod. The only gluing required was to hold the brass bearings in place.    
There was virtually no cleaning up to be done on the castings, just drilling out the holes.


Jim's instructions say to fit 10mm lengths of rod held in place with Araldite to fix each side in place. I decided to pein over the end of each rod to make a rivet head. These can simply be held in place using Threadlock. These pins can then be knocked out at any time if removing the wheelsets is required.


The first photo shows three bogies.


On the right is one taken from the completed "B" showing the sides soldered to the central part. It cannot be easily split. I will have to mask the wheelsets before painting.


The middle one is a complete bogie of the pinned type. Note also the different top mounting arrangement.


On the left is one with a pin knocked out to release the side frame. The side frame has a bifurcated block which fits over the narrow end of the central bolster. The pin is lying next to the side frame (I have put the bearings in the box at the back for now). The ends of the axles are filed from 5.5mm down to 4.5mm (as per Jim's suggestions) to allow the sides to fit correctly.




The second photo shows the two complete bogies with the mounting block fitted. The pivots are 6BA bolts which I will replace with a  a pair that I will turn in brass. I don't like threaded portions of bolts being used as pivots!


Behind the bogies in both photos are parts cut from 6x2mm channel. These are the solebars, bufferbeams and central spacers in preparation.




The bogie kit does supply some brakeshoes which are easy to fit but impossible to see. I have left them off.


All in all these are very nice bogies.


Now for more platework and painting. 



Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had my second jab and I think I am over the side effects, so have started working on the second "B" in earnest . I have also painted the first "B" in "works grey" AKA Halford's primer. It is reassembled (less the plastic flooring) ready for a trip to Mark's garden railway tomorrow. The purpose is to make sure the thing stays on the rails.


A couple of photos of the primed beast. The first a general view. Some of the second "B's" platework acting as a load.




The grey really highlights the DC mechanism. I couldn't resist a shot of it.




Unfortunately the close up shows some of the sheet hooks have been knocked out of line - easily fixed. It also shows the kit supplied split pins for the rings are too large - much bigger than those supplied with the "H". Pity. I will have to live with that.


I am looking forward to tomorrow's trip. It will be nice to see some friendly (socially distanced) faces.





  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

The MACAWs plus other wagons, including my LORIOT, got a run at Mark's today.


My favourite shot of the day. A Class 31 (not mine sadly), my engineering train wagons plus Mark's brake drifting through the countryside.




The engineers' train arriving at Helensburgh ...




... and the engineers' train being dragged back to its siding by a Class 08.




The MACAWs behaved impeccably.





  • Like 9
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks George. It was a good session.


I am still cogitating on which DCC controller to get. Then perhaps I should make a shunting plank on which to shuffle about.


Once I am happy with the pannier's performance I will add the detail parts, number plates etc. In the meantime it is living in my display case where it looks huge against "Jane".



  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 5 weeks later...

I'm still breathing.


Firstly, my thanks for the likes and the support from "the Poynton Crew". In particular I must thank Dave (Daifly) who, via PM, drew my attention to a clear 1930s photo of a loaded MACAW B on EBAY (the photo that is, not the MACAW). The subsequent discussion between us was very informative. 


I have a had a few things on the go recently. These include many Zoom sessions with the family. My eldest grandson (11 years) loves to set quizzes with Kahoot then fire them at us in one of the Zoom sessions. He decided to make it easy on me by setting a quiz on the Ffestiniog Railway.

I failed miserably.:wacko:


Well I took the plunge and bought myself a Minerva pannier tank and here it is:




I will get some plates for it. It also needs an ashpan fabricating and generally toned down. There were a few minor issues. When I took the photo, I thought a spider had decided to decorate the smokebox door. This actually turned out to be glue strings from the manufacturing process. There were others around the chassis. All were easily dealt with.


I am going to give it a good run to make sure all is well before mucking it about.


I have also joined MERG which will help me make a DCC controller for the loco - then a shunting layout and then ...


Meanwhile, the second "B" is progressing.


I made up the frames from 6 x 2mm brass channel. I had some spare 6 x 3mm channel which I used for internal cross bracing. The latter will support the inner queen posts. I made a crude wooden jig to keep it all in line, straight and square whilst I soldered it up.


The solebar overlays were those displaced from the "B" kit by the others I had made to suit the DC brake layout.




The floor pan was cut from 0.25mm NS sheet in three parts. The joins were arranged to lie on top of the cross bracing.


The sides were made from 6 x 0.25mm strip with 0.8mm dia wire soldered along the top edge to represent the bulb profile.


The vertical bracing/bolster supports were made from 2 x 2mm brass angle. In the photo below, the end ones have been left off until after the frame and floor pan are soldered together.


The four 1mm holes along the centre line of the floor are pilots for the bogie support fixings. These will be enlarged once I decide exactly how I am going to attach the fixings.




The plastic piece in the background is the representation of the floor planking. For some reason, one end of it is completely out of square. How I managed that I don't know. I will cut that end off and splice on a new piece with the join under the end bolster.


I soldered the frame and the floor together. Amazingly they fitted together perfectly.


Next to try the ride height (and for a bit of fun) I put the assembly on to the bogies and their supports. Even with the spacer that Jim supplies with the bogie kit, the ride is about 2mm too low. This is fine by me. It gives me room to add a thick plate on the underside of the floor at each end. These can be drilled and tapped to take fixing studs for the bogie mountings.




Starting to look the part.




Next job will be to make the bogie mountings - and order bits for the DCC controller.:o :D



  • Like 4
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Thank you for the likes. They are very encouraging and help me to make progress.


I started on the bogie mountings. The bogie kit supplies a mounting that sits fore and aft. There is no advice in the instructions on how to attach it to the wagon body. The mounting has clearance holes for 6BA nuts/bolts.

A spacer the same shape is supplied to help raise the wagon to the correct ride height. The question was how to screw a 6BA in to the thin metal of the floor. There would not be enough "meat" to take a 6BA thread.


Looking in my stock of metal I found 1.6mm thick NS strip. I had bought this for a project though I can't remember for the life of me what it was. I cut two rounded corner lozenge shapes the same size as the mountings. 




I drilled them with 2 off 1mm holes to match those in the floor. 




These were then soldered to the under side of the floor using the 1mm holes to line them up. At this point I had decided to use 8BA studding or bolts to attach the mountings. I drilled out the 4 holes to 1.8mm then tapped them 8BA as shown in the next photo. The thickness of material gives several turns of 8BA thread so it is secure.


The cylinder of steel is a simple turning with a hole bored down the centre to give a sliding fit for the tap. The cylinder holds the tap vertical to the hole giving the best chance of getting a good thread. It also stops any side to side movement which would risk breaking the tap.




The next photo shows the cylinder alongside the tap. Nothing complicated and it was not my idea, I got it from a Stan Bray model engineering book. 




I then tried fitting the mounting. My original plan was to use studding soldered in to the tapped hole with nuts holding the mounting in place. However, it was a right faff trying to tighten the nuts within the recesses in the mountings. Tightening also tended to knock the mountings out of line. So I opted for pan head bolts. At the moment the bolts stick proud of the topside of the floor. 

When I have set the ride height (the more packing needed the longer the bolts) I will shorten them to be a flush fit then secure it all with thread lock - but not until I have fitted the trusses and brakes.




Another job to complete was the false floor. I wasn't happy with the one end. So I cut it back to where the first bolster would be and knocked up a design for a fresh end bit using Inkscape. This I threw at my Silhouette cutter which promptly split the blade's end cap. I will document these trials and tribulations else where. Suffice to say, I have now fixed it and cut out the fresh end.


With that done I was then in a position to solder on the remaining bolster support brackets using the false floor as a guide (not in place when soldering obviously  :)).




The join between the two false floor parts coincides with plank edges.




Belt and braces! The join also sits under the end bolster rather nicely.




Next is fitting sheet hooks, the trussing and the brake rigging.


Meanwhile, my MERG bits and pieces have arrived so I will be alternating between this project and soldering components on to blank PCBs. And people wonder why I walk in circles around the village talking to myself.



Edited by Ian Major
  • Like 4
  • Craftsmanship/clever 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...