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7mm Ilfracombe Goods kit build


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Welcome to my first ever loco kit build in 7mm. If I finish it, this will be my first successful loco kit in any scale!

 

I decided I wanted an elderly 060 tender engine for my light railway empire. Following discussions on my layout build "The Light" and requests for advice here and on the Gauge O Guild forum I chose the Laurie Griffin Ilfracombe Goods, a loco which saw service on several light railways including the EKR, KESR and S&M.

 

I won't try to repeat the instructions in the kit or make a complete step-by-step account because I am not the person to be showing others how build kits. Instead, I plan to show you the steps that I take, progress, disasters and issues, and perhaps others might learn new skills by seeing me learn them.

 

Thanks for reading

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Day 1

 

I decided to start with the tender. I thought that diving straight in to the loco chassis was a bit risky. Having set up my work area I had a read of the instructions and set about identifying the etched parts. Whereas the LG instructions include a parts identifier sheet for the loco, there wasn't one for the tender.

 

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I emailed Laurie and asked him to check my assumptions,  which he kindly did. I was a little unsure from the instructions as to why I had two pairs of chassis frames, which Laurie explained.

 

IMGP8804.jpg.2d3d3f6a0cb323658d605d11f33bd121.jpg

 

The plain pair are the inner ones which form the rolling chassis, the ones with the rivet detail are the outer ones (cosmetic on the model)

 

The first job was to tack the two inner frames together and drill out holes for the bearings and temporary frame spacers.

 

IMGP8805.jpg.0045a5b434e222fc39773601163b99a8.jpg

 

IMGP8806.jpg.4a7c82b4c232bfb38846f9ce101d4087.jpg

 

I have also opted for Slaters plunger pickups, so I marked and drilled the holes for them too. You can see them in this pic, above and to the left of the bearing holes. They were marked as advised by the helpful guys at Slaters, by putting a wheel in a bearing into position, and drawing a line on the frame inside and outside the tyre. I decided at this point that I would add the "optional" centre frame spacer and use it to strengthen the frame where the pick up hole is. 

 

IMGP8807.jpg.ccff446e39cc8ef7ede0ed8d9255e1bb.jpg

 

Just a word on these screw together temporary frame spacers. They are excellent, enabling a nice square set of frames while you check the position of the "proper" spacers and tack them into place. In the final picture you can also see one of the plunger pickup housing mouldings (bottom left)

 

The eagle eyed of you may notice a fault in the black plastic moulding on the centre wheel. I have checked with Slaters whether this was likely to cause me a problem and they have offered to replace the wheel.

 

IMGP8808.jpg.18f6a1a930a594c7bd7a1e21189bceb6.jpg

 

End of day 1, quite pleased

Edited by colin penfold
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Day 2

 

I soldered the "proper" chassis spacers into position and checked everything rolled OK. It didn't!. I double checked and found tow issues. Firstly, by putting one wheel on an axle and pushing it through from one bearing in turn, I established whether the bearing holes were perfectly lined up. They were a tiny bit out, but a little finger pressure on the chassis brought things back true. The other issue I suspected was the fit of the axles in the bearings. The chassis rolled OK on the dry run, probably because the bearings were able to turn in the frame. I took some time to file the axles until they were clean, bright and shiny. Having reassembled, all ran well.

 

Next on the instructions was the brake gear. I spent some time checking the cast parts and found two choices. One single piece moulding, the other a more detailed two-part option. I opted for the latter and cleaned them up and assembled them (dry for  now) I then decided that it would be better to leave assembly of the brakes until later in the build

 

IMGP8810.jpg.d2d616152d42b0340b13b8b51f518d3f.jpg

 

I prepared the pick up wires and had a dry run of assembling a plunger pickup.

 

IMGP8811.jpg.3b5bfd3f26088087bf63be1d63c90a20.jpg

 

All looked OK so I superglued the plastic housings into the holes in the frame and assembled the pickups. I spotted a risk of shorting on the chassis so I insulated the frame spacers with tape. Continuity was tested on a bit of track, testing continuity from the track to the far end of each pickup wire. All well.

 

IMGP8813.jpg.5acd7cacf59c619904a89abfc99fa555.jpg

 

IMGP8812.jpg.c03333346e652c91dce31dd06a5773f3.jpg

 

The last job today convinced me I need a more powerful soldering iron. I have been using a 40w and it has been very slow to heat the big parts.

 

The tender body sides are three parts. The main etch, a strengthening piece and a flare for the top. Todays job was to clean up the main sides and the inner bits and solder them together.

 

IMGP8814.jpg.565abaf1a5b1d645c6fcfbdc09c7b912.jpg

 

I did this by fluxing all the parts on the sides to be joined and spreading a thin film of solder onto each part. I then laid them together and heated the inner piece until the solder melted and the two parts were joined

 

IMGP8815.jpg.a5c2d275fbe3eb3d0a95c7142a30893e.jpg

 

More about the flares on day 3......

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Day 3

 

First job today was to sort out the flare at  the top of the tender sides. LG talks about making an MDF former to shape the main side. I had a piece of wood that looked suitable already so I tested it on some scrap brass. It produced the right curve

 

IMGP8816.jpg.69d3c56eb1c05a36334bf75f2d8b7a14.jpg

 

IMGP8817.jpg.99c75d881e3dc875bd938aa95e4d057b.jpg

 

The bending of the main side and end panels was done on this piece of wood by clamping the subject between a piece of ply and the shaped former. Then push down on the exposed bit until it holds the shape of the wood beneath

 

IMGP8820.jpg.0c71050c3c22050e51ab869873b746ef.jpg

 

Having done all three bits I had a dummy assembly. Looks OK. The coal rails are not flared on the drawings, so I bent them gently back to the perpendicular

 

IMGP8822.jpg.3fb229bdb62b9ad3a0482158024f4f25.jpg

 

The flare pieces required a different approach. Firstly I had to learn annealing. This involves heating the pieces to a dull red and allowing them to cool gently. After this they are softer and easier to bend. I did this by resting my iron on each piece in turn. With the 40w iron it took a while!

 

IMGP8819.jpg.6bdf93ba803a0e84db9382721fe1e698.jpg

 

The next job was bending these. LG suggests laying them in a 90' angle and pushing down with a 6mm rod. I used this piece of wooden moulding as it has a suitable slot in it and enabled me to get a good pushing force

 

IMGP8824.jpg.0ef6c285e3924dc51f4e3bf51a93512c.jpg

 

et voila

 

IMGP8825.jpg.2da52e3aca3b2e50aea9b63cb9e6a9c0.jpg

 

Remainder of day 3 was soldering the sides and ends, flares, internal spacers and tank top into position. I went away from the instructions in one way, I kept the tank top removable. Please forgive my untidy soldering. First I tacked everything together to get it all square before filling in the seams. I also mated the chassis with the body and drilled the fixing holes for the 8BA supplied bolts and nuts

 

IMGP8827.jpg.0fbc0011d98fb3b9f2c79b3deffcd190.jpg

 

IMGP8830.jpg.a2ade3fceb291135734ca1fb14e735f2.jpg

 

IMGP8831.jpg.a719a41cb644bfe51118ac25b10472d7.jpg

 

I do end day 3 with a problem. I think the front bulkhead with the coal hole is too far forward. I'm having trouble finding good photos and the instructions are lacking on the layout of the tender but I thin the sandboxes are supposed to fit in front of this sheet and there's no room. It's also about 6mm in front of the supplied tank top, so either that's too short or I have put the bulkhead too far forward. Problem is, if I push it back it exposes the top of the screw and fixing bolt. The only other clue is a rivet line on the tender side which looks like it confirms where the bulkhead should sit. I think I am going to take it out and try it further back, see if I can drill a new front fixing hole to enable this. You will see how I get on in day 4.....

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7 hours ago, colin penfold said:

Day 2

 

I soldered the "proper" chassis spacers into position and checked everything rolled OK. It didn't!. I double checked and found tow issues. Firstly, by putting one wheel on an axle and pushing it through from one bearing in turn, I established whether the bearing holes were perfectly lined up. They were a tiny bit out, but a little finger pressure on the chassis brought things back true. The other issue I suspected was the fit of the axles in the bearings. The chassis rolled OK on the dry run, probably because the bearings were able to turn in the frame. I took some time to file the axles until they were clean, bright and shiny. Having reassembled, all ran well.

 

Next on the instructions was the brake gear. I spent some time checking the cast parts and found two choices. One single piece moulding, the other a more detailed two-part option. I opted for the latter and cleaned them up and assembled them (dry for  now) I then decided that it would be better to leave assembly of the brakes until later in the build

 

IMGP8810.jpg.d2d616152d42b0340b13b8b51f518d3f.jpg

 

I prepared the pick up wires and had a dry run of assembling a plunger pickup.

 

IMGP8811.jpg.3b5bfd3f26088087bf63be1d63c90a20.jpg

 

All looked OK so I superglued the plastic housings into the holes in the frame and assembled the pickups. I spotted a risk of shorting on the chassis so I insulated the frame spacers with tape. Continuity was tested on a bit of track, testing continuity from the track to the far end of each pickup wire. All well.

 

IMGP8813.jpg.5acd7cacf59c619904a89abfc99fa555.jpg

 

IMGP8812.jpg.c03333346e652c91dce31dd06a5773f3.jpg

 

The last job today convinced me I need a more powerful soldering iron. I have been using a 40w and it has been very slow to heat the big parts.

 

The tender body sides are three parts. The main etch, a strengthening piece and a flare for the top. Todays job was to clean up the main sides and the inner bits and solder them together.

 

IMGP8814.jpg.565abaf1a5b1d645c6fcfbdc09c7b912.jpg

 

I did this by fluxing all the parts on the sides to be joined and spreading a thin film of solder onto each part. I then laid them together and heated the inner piece until the solder melted and the two parts were joined

 

IMGP8815.jpg.a5c2d275fbe3eb3d0a95c7142a30893e.jpg

 

More about the flares on day 3......

Just a couple of observations.

What type of solder are you using? 155degree is fine for non electrical work and will be a doddle for your 40 watt iron. 

The golden rule of soldering: cleanliness IS godliness.  Try a fibreglass brush immediately before applying solder.

Slater's pick ups work best with a really fine braided wire. This allows them to dance. Scrap IT cables can be a good source with grey or brown being easier to disguise later. On all my recent builds I have used heatshrink to insulate my soldering.

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1 hour ago, doilum said:

 

What type of solder are you using? 155degree is fine for non electrical work and will be a doddle for your 40 watt iron. 

 

 

Thanks for the useful tips. The genral solder I use is some flux cored Altai stuff I have a big roll of. I think its probably a 180. I generally find it OK and I have some 145' stuff I reserve for adding details on stuff where the main construction was done with the Altai so it doesn't deconstruct.

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I have heard back from the very patient Laurie Griffin about the coal door bulkhead and he has confirmed my suspicion that it needs to move back, so that will be the first job of the next session.

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The rust on the slaters wheels is imported from Derbyshire. They came out of the packets like that.

 

In saying that I must congratulate Slaters. I was unaware they had difficulty at their factory when I emailed them about faults on two of these wheels. I would have waited until they were properly back on their feet. Having said that, they reacted positively despite their troubles and the replacements arrived today. Thanks Slaters

Edited by colin penfold
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Day 4 a short but successful session.

 

I have de-soldered the coal hole bulkhead, moved the front fixing screw as far aft as the chassis member would allow, and rebuilt everything to line up with the  rivets on the outside of the tender. It now fits correctly and looks right. Soldering experts look away now. I promise I will do plenty of cleaning of excess solder in due course …..

 

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IMGP8836.jpg.2d86d9833cd921c17a2f1c25237dfcf8.jpg

 

 

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Enjoying the build Colin following with interest, my soldering on my Jane build started out like that but a fibreglass Pen and lashings of flux made things better. But I need a better iron to!

looks like the kit does capture the look rather well of the prototype.

 Cheers 

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Colin, if you can get a chisel tip for your iron, you will find even that will give better heat transfer than the current one. Nice to see something a little more esoteric being built!

 

Regards,

 

Craig W

 

 

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Not a day as such but a few short bursts of activity over a few days

 

I prepared the floor and the lower side elements for soldering. The small piece is the 4 steps still attached to a piece of etch

 

IMGP8837.jpg.49a9b303bc5b1e9f31f2b66c35dec7b1.jpg

 

And here it is all soldered up. I managed to bend all the coal rails annoyingly, so decided to leave them like it until I had finished working on the tender.

 

IMGP8838.jpg.b0cfd794933ae365aeb2dc7b474bd0b0.jpg

 

IMGP8839.jpg.eef003327eaa4c642b285753cd364954.jpg

 

I then spent some time (and a couple of emails to Laurie) working out the positions and arrangements of the small detail items including tool boxes, filler cover, brake standard, sand boxes, axle boxes and springs. The small tap next to the tool boxes enable the fireman to attach a hose to dampen the coal to keep the dust down. The next picture shows all bar the brake cylinder in position. More of that anon. The tool box I think should be one full width one rather than two smaller ones, but I'm not too worried. At this stage I have also done a good de-grease and clean, filed and sanded off some excess solder and used a small amount of filler on a couple of gaps

 

IMGP8840.jpg.21326d5f3ef762d029ae299d03dcac6f.jpg

 

IMGP8841.jpg.284d62286f0cf2ebe7dbcfffa6bc6698.jpg

 

IMGP8842.jpg.864002c23457ab69913784584a787972.jpg

 

I have also cleaned the wheels and axles up using a fibreglass pen, files and a dremel. Before and after shots of wheels.

 

IMGP8843.jpg.e8112dae7f8a7629a0abe075d122804c.jpg

 

IMGP8844.jpg.0b9d6a7c32489ac242f412345b715773.jpg

 

This is about as far as I intend to go with the tender at present. The sprung buffers, vac pipe and coupling are too vulnerable in my opinion so I will do them at the end with the brake gear, and will also sort out the mechanical and electrical joining of tender and loco.

 

There are two outstanding jobs on the tender I could do with some help on:

 

Firstly the brake cylinder, which photos show is fitted on the front right of the tender, between the steps and the front axle box. It's the right hand casting in the photo above and is shown in position on the loco here

 

steps.jpg.c0465fa047a9782da5a4cbe4dfc662c4.jpg

 

I initially thought the shaft that comes out of the cylinder should be visible in the view, but it looks to me like the steps are actually attached to an additional piece of metal parallel to the frames leaving a gap behind where the shaft would be hidden. Anyone have detailed knowledge of this? Opinions? I think I might remake the steps this side accordingly based on this photo.

 

Secondly, photos I have found show some small oval grab handles (?) on the tender which are not in the kit. They look oval with a square section on top. Here is the back of a class member's tender. Cruel close up follows.

 

2017667524_tendgrabs.jpg.c6e6c507092b8a86514d89b7826ad012.jpg

 

handle.jpg.09a2e794d937d7ee904fd562bc848cdc.jpg

 

Does anybody know for sure what these are, and if so, whether there is a 7mm scale source of them?

 

Anyhow. Thanks for staying with me. Apart from those two unresolved things, that's the end of work on the tender for now. I will move onto the loco next time......

Edited by colin penfold
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So the mystery is solved thanks to Michael. Subsequent searches have discovered that Finnney 7 sell an etch with them on, and Laurie Griffin sells a very nice pack of cast ones. How do I know this? Because there is a pack of them in with the loco components and it has sufficient for the tender too! Problem solved, doh :(

Glad I started reading the loco instructions this morning and familiarising myself with the parts.....

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A quick update.

 

I have spent some more time on the tender chassis. This was because the middle wheels were a bit "sticky." In retrospect, and on checking, the issue is that the three axles were not perfectly level, to the extent that the weight of the tender wasn't properly sitting on the middle axle. The cause (I believe) is partly the kit, and partly my lack of equipment. The chassis needed the six holes opening out to accommodate the bearings. I think it's a lot to ask to successfully ream out the holes without moving them slightly. You'd probably think it was easy if you have a pillar drill and a method of clamping the job under it. I have a pillar for my Dremel but not for my big drill, so I had to do it by hand and that's why I ended up with a problem. I have now solved it by opening the holes out further and slightly oval(!) until I was able to get the six level.

 

I was frankly very worried about how this would pan out on the loco, where things are much more critical. Luckily, the bearing holes are much nearer to the size of the bearings, to the extent that a little light filing of the outside of the bearings and a light tap with the hammer allowed the bearings to be fitted into the frames without drilling

 

IMGP8845.jpg.47e981c9909710dbd7cf510e5bf5fac3.jpg

 

IMGP8847.jpg.cea6e1344d91b22ff689167b5081da7c.jpg

 

You will notice I have marked out the frame for holes for the plunger pickups. I drilled the ones for the central axle but the outer ones will actually coincide with the holes for the temporary frame spacers. You can see the one bottom left showing that it's close enough to where it needs to be. I have decided that the avoidance of extra holes in the frame, and re-using those holes avoiding the need for filling, is worth it. The only downside is that I can't drill them before assembling the chassis.  I have now got a 3.8mm drill bit to enable these holes to be done without the need for drilling small and opening with a file, which will make it easier when I attack the assembled chassis!

 

I found a good way to clean up the axles, by clamping my drill into the workmate and using it as a lathe. You can see one of the axles in the drill, and the others all nice and shiny....

 

IMGP8848.jpg.f91b1d3ec24e3657f1bc5f016202a356.jpg

 

I have decided to order an upgrade from Laurie. When I started to review the instructions for the loco I saw that the coupling rods are etched in layers which needed sweating together. I didn't feel confident of doing a perfect job so I have ordered a set of cast coupling rods which will look better and avoid a potential cause of bad running if I didn't get the etched ones spot on. While I wait for a delivery I have sorted the tender lamp brackets, including the KESR adaptation of the bottom right one to a "standard" type iron.

 

IMGP8849.jpg.11e9c5afa299aeaa9047874957f3d0e6.jpg

 

IMGP8850.jpg.4c88877219cb0cef5407dc5d9179bc06.jpg

 

OK, I'm off the test the glued joints now by filing the front faces of those brackets to remove those lines that show up in the cruel close ups!  More anon.

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I have spent some time today looking at the motor position in preparation for a visit to digitrains to choose a DCC Chip and speaker.

 

I was a bit annoyed to discover that the drawing supplied with the kit is 1/32 scale rather than 1/43 , which meant that my initial plan to have the motor in the firebox will not work. I'm going with this configuration which looks workable and the gearbox incursion into the boiler will be disguised by the splashers

 

IMGP8853.jpg.2e658522762cdc5ea36ad344fdcd4ab3.jpg

 

IMGP8854.jpg.8b0105a188fb54ad880fa71753f46d96.jpg

 

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IMGP8856.jpg.7a3a299098594de063f20f5600436cbd.jpg

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Those of you kind enough to read my layout topic will know that I have returned to the Ilfracombe goods build. Today was a gentle start. I have spent some time fettling the loco chassis which is still on its temporary screw-in spacers until I'm happy. I also fitted the crank pins to the driving wheels. I have a bit of uncertainty over the coupling rods which I have emailed Laurie Griffin about. If the nuts on the crankpins are fully tightened the coupling rods don't revolve. If they are not fully tightened, they fall off!  Also, Laurie supplies finer crankpin bearings to use in lieu of the  Slaters ones but they have two shims. I'm almost convinced that one is just flash and needs filing off (photo below) but I will await Laurie's response. Some has already flaked off.

 

20191117_122455.jpg.7b9d73d3eb2af9153e02c8652c8795e3.jpg

 

Just a short session today. Early tea whilst watching England prior to going to see Jimmy Carr at the Theatre Royal.

 

More tomorrow hopefully.

 

Edited by colin penfold
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Colin, these bearings look as though they have not been finished off correctly! They should be 'top hat' shaped with a hollow bearing tube and a flange that fits against the wheel.

The length of the 'bearing' part is usually suitable for etched rods but, if you are using cast rods from Laurie, the bosses may be a tad too thick for the bearings which is why the nut , when tightened, locks the rods up. If it is only a matter of a few thou then you could try filing the rear of the rod/ boss to make it thinner and give you a running clearance. If the bearing is way too short you could try contacting Slaters who can supply extra long bearings.

 

Hope this helps

Regards

Sandy

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Hi Sandy. That helps a lot thank you. I had got a reply from Laurie which confirmed that is flash on the bearings which I have now filed to top hat shape.

 

I will pay careful attention to the thickness of the cast rods as I move forward. One conundrum I have is the two cosmetic bolt heads on the rod which are close to the bearing and washer. I worry whether they are in fact preventing the assembly from sitting flat. As they are virtually invisible once all is assembled I might sacrifice them for a better "sit"

8 minutes ago, Sandy Harper said:

Colin, these bearings look as though they have not been finished off correctly! They should be 'top hat' shaped with a hollow bearing tube and a flange that fits against the wheel.

The length of the 'bearing' part is usually suitable for etched rods but, if you are using cast rods from Laurie, the bosses may be a tad too thick for the bearings which is why the nut , when tightened, locks the rods up. If it is only a matter of a few thou then you could try filing the rear of the rod/ boss to make it thinner and give you a running clearance. If the bearing is way too short you could try contacting Slaters who can supply extra long bearings.

 

Hope this helps

Regards

Sandy

 

Hi Sandy. That helps a lot thank you. I had got a reply from Laurie which confirmed that is flash on the bearings which I have now filed to top hat shape.

 

I will pay careful attention to the thickness of the cast rods as I move forward. One conundrum I have is the two cosmetic bolt heads on the rod which are close to the bearing and washer. I worry whether they are in fact preventing the assembly from sitting flat. As they are virtually invisible once all is assembled I might sacrifice them for a better "sit"

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