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What's on your S Scale Workbench?


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1 hour ago, Regularity said:

Lovely stuff, Scott.

 

I have always struggled with 5 thou: which brand are you using?

 

I've used the Evergreen 5 thou which I've found OK.   I found the 5 thou Plastikard that Slaters sold was rubbish - I note they don't sell it any more. :-)

 

Jim.

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22 hours ago, Regularity said:

Lovely stuff, Scott.

 

I have always struggled with 5 thou: which brand are you using?

 

21 hours ago, flubrush said:

 

I've used the Evergreen 5 thou which I've found OK.   I found the 5 thou Plastikard that Slaters sold was rubbish - I note they don't sell it any more. :-)

 

Jim.

 

Hi Simon,

 

As with Jim, I also use Evergreen. Evergreen don't produce 5thou Microstrip so I cut strips to the required width from a sheet, which they do produce packs of. I also think using DL-Limonene helps when securing the strips as it is less aggressive than other solvents.

 

In S Scale, as well as 4mm, I believe it is quite common to use 10thou thick Microstrip to represent wagon iron work. In my opinion it doesn't look too bad when modelling an open wagon but on the side of a van, where the iron work can be a little narrower in width, it looks too thick and chunky.

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6 minutes ago, ScottW said:

 

Evergreen don't produce 5thou Microstrip so I cut strips to the required width from a sheet,

 

I cut strips of styrene using a balsa cutter like this :-

 

https://www.conrad.com/p/balsa-cutter-kavan-229458?insert=EG&awc=5769_1563300121_3ce44220456682a9337508d778f9499e&utm_source=affiliate_aw&utm_medium=global_aw&utm_campaign=global&utm_banner=global&WT.mc=affiliate_aw_global

 

I can get strips all the same width which can be important with narrow strips where slight variations can stick out like a sore thumb.   I was pointed in the direction of this tool by a friend who was an aeromodeller many years ago.

 

For very thin sheet like 5 thou or 10 thou,  I butt the sheet up flush with the edge of my cutting board and run the cutter down the side of the board.   This helps to stop the sheet buckling under the cutter.

 

Jim.

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1 hour ago, ScottW said:

I also think using DL-Limonene helps when securing the strips as it is less aggressive than other solvents.

I have recently purchased some of that, but haven’t yet used it.

I think that is where I have been going wrong in the past!

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2 hours ago, flubrush said:

 

I cut strips of styrene using a balsa cutter like this :-

 

 

No mod cons like that for me, I use a home made cutting jig:

 

Plastic_Cutting_Jig.JPG.5fe30b59af62529abde2520335f76cb8.JPG

 

I have glued a piece of 20thou thick Microstrip onto piece of 60thou Plasticard, which then acts as a back stop. I butt a piece of 5thou Plasticard sheet up against the back stop. A piece of thicker commercially produced Microstrip, the same width that I wish my strip of 5thou to be, is placed at each end of the back stop to which my rule is butted up against. Then simply cut a strip off. I'm sure you get the gist from the picture. :-)

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  • 3 weeks later...

A little progress to report on the Caley mineral wagon with the fitting of the brake gear. Like a lot of the early Scottish pre-grouping wagons this consisted of a single brake block acting on the one wheel. Here I have used Bill Bedford's Highland Railway brake gear etch which has been re-scaled for S and is available through the society. As the Highland Railways wagon brake gear was slightly different to that of the Caley the etches were modified by adapting the brake hanger and adding my own brake block . The brake hanger is a little on the short side and needs packing up with a little piece of 40thou thick Plasticard.

 

Caley1.JPG.4cea42a3131a2e298efde053703144cd.JPG

 

Caley2.JPG.2a3c685d1a593716311ee4efcc050854.JPG

 

On the prototype the buffers were not a standard Caledonian design which resulted in the headstocks needing to be slightly thinner than usual. To represent this I have used 60thou thick Evergreen Microstrip for the headstocks where as normally I would use 80thou. The buffers are 4mm scale, which I believe may have originally been produced by Romford. You can still buy them from Markits but I bought mine from the late Richard Hollingworth at Parkside. They are over scale for 4mm but about right for S. Not truly prototypical in shape but after painting and viewed from a couple of feet away they look okay.  The W-irons on this particular wagon were re-scaled MJT etches bought from the S-Scale Society, but sadly no longer available. Again, wheels and coupling hook castings were purchased through the S Scale Society.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Continuing with the brake gear theme I have made progress on the private trader wagon. This particular wagon is a Bent Colliery Coal Co. wagon which is believed to have been reconstructed from an older dumb buffer wagon c1904. In it's original condition the wagon would have carried the typical Scottish style brake gear but on it's reconstruction Morton style brakes were fitted. Here I have used a brake gear etch provided by the S Scale Society, it is designed to fit on the society's 1907 RCH wagon kit but can be bought separately as a stand alone etch. The etch comes in a number of layers which are easily aligned together by the use of locating holes on the etch. Because the WB on my private traders wagon was smaller than that of an 1907 RCH wagon I had to cut down each layer of etch. To ensure the brake hangers were correctly spaced apart I marked on a piece of wood the wagons WB.

 

Bent2.JPG.6d374b89e97d4574b42721cfe3432ae1.JPG

 

Here is the etch all soldered up. To ensure the brake hangers remained correctly spaced once removed from the etched frame I soldered a scrap piece of brass along the top of the hangers. This scrap piece of brass also helps when gluing the hangers to the floor of the wagon.

 

Bent3.JPG.5d7ccf9248a5ebceaf652c848f5209fc.JPG

 

Next I fitted the V hangers to the solebar of the wagon. A piece of Microstrip is glued to the solebar to help add a bit of strength to the inner V hanger. Unlike the Caley wagon, which used MJT W irons, these W irons are a new addition to the S Scale Society's stores. They were designed by a fellow society member and are based on the W irons used on Scottish wagons. Being slightly narrower than the RCH W iron they are more in common with those used on pre-grouping wagons.

 

Bent1.JPG.bd39e5381492bbd3558276388558dcf0.JPG

 

And this is how it looks when completed.

 

Bent4.JPG.6597c685ec65b7e08dbdf37031905ff9.JPG

 

Self contained buffers were also fitted during the wagons reconstruction. The closest thing I could find that looks like the originals were Slaters 4mm scale Dean/Churchward/Armstrong locomotive buffers. Although designed for a 4mm locomotive they look about right on an S Scale wagon; possibly a little on the large side but a compromise I am happy to live with.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The wife and I have been away for a few weeks with the dogs. Sadly the weather was a bit of a washout and we didn't get out as much as we would have liked. Being prepared for such occasions I had with me a few basic tools and some pieces of plastic to keep me occupied. Manned with only a few tools I kept things simple and began working on some NBR 3 plank open wagons.

 

When scratchbuilding a wagon my preference is to begin with the base. The base is probably the least bit interesting part of a wagon so I like to get it out the way early.

 

1916896428_3Plank_1.jpg.625a5016790273baa588ccb8848080bb.jpg

 

The headstock is 80thou thick Microstrip with the solebars being made up from two layers of 40thou thick Microstrip. A single layer of 40thou Microstrip could be used but the thicker width gives more meat for the spring castings and brake pivot to be glued to.

 

1260886066_3Plank_2.jpg.17d22b67b159d04077b209028477e189.jpg

 

I like to add as much detail as I can to the sides and ends before making up the body. I find it easier adding the detail with the sides flat on the cutting mat. The bolt heads are represented by slicing slithers off the end of a piece of 20thou plastic rod. Plastruct plastic rod is best for producing bolt heads this way as it is more pliable than other makes like Slaters. Slaters 20thou plastic rod is quite brittle and has a tendency to fracture when sliced.

 

301122449_3Plank_3.jpg.4319e301b208055ab8bb288ac74f5d6e.jpg 

Once the basic body is made-up I install two lengths of thick Microstrip that are just a fraction longer than the inner width of the wagon. They are not glued in place, just held there by the pressure exerted on them by the wagon sides. As the solvent starts to dry it starts pulling on the sides of the wagon causing them to bow inwards. These two strips force the sides out and helps prevents them from bowing inwards as the solvent sets. I will keep them in place till the time comes to paint the wagon.

 

2043214228_3Plank_4.jpg.91a00fdfcbabed7fa8c0c0a3838e36f4.jpg

 

Still got some detail to add but it's beginning to look like a wagon.

 

2098472293_3Plank_5.jpg.0154a6ffdd08dfac4ea8dfb6a4cea269.jpg

 

Home time tomorrow. Due the miserable weather I managed to make good progress on a few wagons consisting of a drop side wagon and three fixed side wagons. I think my two dogs would have preferred better weather and a little less progress. ;)

 

89786772_3Plank_6.jpg.92814e1d0f43649b58e88ae393fa3e18.jpg

Edited by ScottW
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Scott,

 

These bodies are looking good.  Maybe an article in the Gazette is called for to show people that scratchbuilding wagons is probably as easy as building a kit. :-)

 

Jim.

Edited by flubrush
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Thanks, Jim.

 

With the use of microstrip, scratchbuilding a wagon IS just as easy as building a kit. The downside is it does take a little longer but the bonus is you can build something a little bit different, not to mention the immense satisfaction you get from building something from scratch.

 

Years ago Simon de Souza wrote a two part article in the magazine Model Railways Illustrated. If they can find a copy I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone thinking of having a go.

 

 

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On 07/09/2019 at 08:07, ScottW said:

Thanks, Jim.

 

With the use of microstrip, scratchbuilding a wagon IS just as easy as building a kit. The downside is it does take a little longer but the bonus is you can build something a little bit different, not to mention the immense satisfaction you get from building something from scratch.

 

Years ago Simon de Souza wrote a two part article in the magazine Model Railways Illustrated. If they can find a copy I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone thinking of having a go.

 

 

Do you happen to know which MORILL issues that was, I'd like to have a look?

Nice work with the wagons, I'm tempted ny S, I think boiler fittings are one thing that makes me hesitate. (That and natural indecision!).

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2 hours ago, johnarcher said:

Do you happen to know which MORILL issues that was, I'd like to have a look?

Nice work with the wagons, I'm tempted ny S, I think boiler fittings are one thing that makes me hesitate. (That and natural indecision!).

 

Vol. 2 issues 3 & 4. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone wanting to have a go at scratchbuilding their own wagons. It was this article that got me started. Over the years I have tweaked the techniques to suit my own style of building but they are basically the same.

 

When I started in S Scale there were a number of things I was hesitant about. The thing that stops us from having a go is the fear of failure, We keep telling ourselves that we can’t do it and so we don’t, because that’s the easy route to take. Over the years, especially back in the early days, I had many false starts and for a while I flicked back and fourth between 4mm and S. One day I took a long hard look at my modelling as I felt I wasn’t achieving anything except half made kits. I decided then that I was going to make a serious go at S Scale. All the things I was hesitant about I would have a go at. If I failed, and I did, I would pick myself up, learn from my mistakes and have another go. Yes it can be disheartening when we fail but nothing beats the satisfaction you get when you have reached your goal.

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12 hours ago, ScottW said:

 

Vol. 2 issues 3 & 4. I can’t recommend it enough to anyone wanting to have a go at scratchbuilding their own wagons. It was this article that got me started. Over the years I have tweaked the techniques to suit my own style of building but they are basically the same.

 

When I started in S Scale there were a number of things I was hesitant about. The thing that stops us from having a go is the fear of failure, We keep telling ourselves that we can’t do it and so we don’t, because that’s the easy route to take. Over the years, especially back in the early days, I had many false starts and for a while I flicked back and fourth between 4mm and S. One day I took a long hard look at my modelling as I felt I wasn’t achieving anything except half made kits. I decided then that I was going to make a serious go at S Scale. All the things I was hesitant about I would have a go at. If I failed, and I did, I would pick myself up, learn from my mistakes and have another go. Yes it can be disheartening when we fail but nothing beats the satisfaction you get when you have reached your goal.

Thank you, I'll see if I can get hold of those issues.

The thing with boiler fittings is not so much not having a go, but feeling that one really needs a lathe. I'm quite happy to use a lathe, have done in the past, but nowadays I couldn't afford to buy one, and would have nowhere to put it if I could.

I appreciate the words of encouragement though.

 

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1 hour ago, johnarcher said:

 

The thing with boiler fittings is not so much not having a go, but feeling that one really needs a lathe. I'm quite happy to use a lathe, have done in the past, but nowadays I couldn't afford to buy one, and would have nowhere to put it if I could.

 

 

John,

 

Nowadays,  another solution is to use a 3D printer to do the boiler fittings and you can either use the 3D prints on the model,  or use it as a master for lost wax casting.   I know that a 3D printer can be as expensive as a small lathe so maybe not for you to do it yourself.  But find somebody who can do a print for you.  In the SSMRS,  that could be me. :-)   I've already done prints of a Y7 chimney for some members and Caledonian chimneys and domes for myself.  So if you can find a good drawing of what you ewant I can print it in S scale.   3D printing can be a godsend for S scale since modellers building locomotives usually only want one or two of any particular fitting,  which can mean a lot of expense if you want one or two made or cast.

 

Jim.

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4 hours ago, flubrush said:

 

John,

 

Nowadays,  another solution is to use a 3D printer to do the boiler fittings and you can either use the 3D prints on the model,  or use it as a master for lost wax casting.   I know that a 3D printer can be as expensive as a small lathe so maybe not for you to do it yourself.  But find somebody who can do a print for you.  In the SSMRS,  that could be me. :-)   I've already done prints of a Y7 chimney for some members and Caledonian chimneys and domes for myself.  So if you can find a good drawing of what you ewant I can print it in S scale.   3D printing can be a godsend for S scale since modellers building locomotives usually only want one or two of any particular fitting,  which can mean a lot of expense if you want one or two made or cast.

 

Jim.

Thank you, I certainly couldn't think of doing the printing myself (not just the cost of the printer, but also being too much of an aged Luddite to get to grips with the necessary CAD or other software).

I'll bear your kind offer in mind, if I do try this (and you are incre\asing the temptation by removing that hurdle), I will certainly be in touch.

 

Thanks again

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

As stated in my last post, work commitments have been getting in the way of any progress. The only modelling I can be guilty of lately is of the check book variety. A few weeks a go this little beauty arrived on my doorstep. It was built for me by a friend and fellow member of the S Scale Society.

 

262_6.jpg.5c7e986af5abf0dc87ee640d26de19fe.jpg

 

Laid down by the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway in 1866, but subsequently completed by the North British Railway, the prototype survived well into the 1900's. The locomotive is believed to have been made out of reclaimed material and originally carried flat sided pannier tanks with a flat top that met above the boiler. Being rebuilt by Matthew Holmes in 1888 a new boiler was fitted topped with a saddle tank identical to those fitted to the Neilson pugs (LNER class Y9). The original weatherboard cab was also replaced with an overall cab similar to those fitted to the Drummond 4-4-0T's. With it's large 5' 0" driving wheels the locomotive worked passenger trains around the Glasgow area until it's withdrawal in 1907.

 

The drawing used in the models construction was provided by Euan Cameron who also very kindly gave permission for me to post a copy of his colour drawing of the locomotive.

 

262_rbd_GA_livery.jpg.25416acad3b6f01f43f70ba3d9ef05c1.jpg

 

 

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