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Freelance tender engine for the Hornby 0-4-0 Holden chassis


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After many months in development my outside cylinder and inside cylinder 0-4-0 tender engine bodies are available for sale from my Shapeways shop, together with a matching tender.

 

Thank you to everyone on RMweb who provided advice and feedback.

 

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The Shapeways pages have a little information about assembly and painting, and (with permission) I'm going to give some more detail here.

 

The Parts

 

These are the parts. In addition to the two 3D prints, you will need an outside cylinder Holden or Caledonian Pug chassis (for the outside cylinder variant) or one of the inside cylinder tank engines. For the tender you will also need 12mm wheels with pinpoint axles and the coupling of your choice.

 

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You must separate the body and the chassis of the donor locomotive.

 

Removing the body: Outside Cylinder

For the outside cylinder engine I do this by sliding thin plastic wedges (guitar picks are ideal) between the cylinders and the valve chests, then twisting them. It's best not to use screwdrivers or any other metal implements, because these are likely to damage the plastic.

 

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Removing the body: Inside Cylinder

 

To free the inside cylinder body from the chassis, undo the screw at the front. Removing the body reveals a metal block at the back that is also held in by a screw. Once the screw is removed, it is necessary to gently twist the block in order to get it out of the chassis.

 

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The Motor Retention Spring

 

The motor is held into the chassis by a wire spring and the ends of this spring are formed into little loops. These loops may well stick up (in some cases they stick down) and interfere with the body. So you must either bend them out of the way or snip them off with wire cutters.

 

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The rear coupling hook must also come out.

 

The tender is hollow, and it's worth adding weight by filling it with something. I've used plaster - not Plaster of Paris, but a stronger resin-impregnated plaster from a craft shop.

 

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Painting

 

The remarks here about painting apply to both the tender and the locomotive.

 

You can apply modellers' acrylic paint directly to the plastic. The plastic finish is rather grainy and you might want, before starting, to fill and sand the surface. But I find that the normal application of paint results in a reasonably smooth surface.

 

You will often hear that you should apply several thin coats of paint. And it's true. The first and second coats will look awful, but by the third or fourth coat you will start to get a nice even finish. If you try to apply a single coat of un-thinned paint then you risk getting a lumpy finish.

 

When I was ten years old I had never encountered modellers' acrylics, only enamels. Obtaining clean white spirit or turpentine required the help of adults, and storing several colours of thinned paint was beyond me. Also I didn't have the patience to apply multiple coats.

 

These days, with acrylics, it's much easier. You can mix the paint a little bit at a time with tap water (sometimes I add a tiny drop of washing up liquid). And if you're in a hurry you can apply a second coat after half an hour.

 

Painting in Progress

 

This picture shows a single coat each of green, grey and red. Some grey paint from the cab walls has splashed onto the floor and back-head. This doesn't matter - they will be painted black anyway. The grey on the funnel cap, dome and safety valve (a single coat) is a base for the gold paint which is coming later, because this doesn't cover the white plastic so well.

 

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After three coats it's starting to look better.

 

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Four coats of the colours is enough, and now I've added masking tape before applying black. Note that some paint will leak under the masking tape, but it should be possible to touch up afterwards.

 

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This was the penultimate coat of black. The dull gold colour on the exposed brass is from a "Molotov" acrylic pen. Later, I added gold acrylic paint unthinned from a paint pot. This kept its shine a little better.

 

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The cab roof is glued on with PVA wood glue, which works well on this porous plastic. The gloss finish is a protective coat of varnish from a spray can. The beading around the cab sides and windows has been picked out in gold.

 

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The lining is a home-made waterslide transfer (more on this later) which should be applied to the glossy finish.

 

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After applying the lining, I used masking tape (this is 6mm Revell tape) and the Molotov acrylic pen for painted boiler bands. Again, it was necessary to touch up the green paint after removing the masking tape. Alternatively, you could use waterslide transfers for boiler bands (see below).

 

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Finally, I sprayed on a coat of semi-gloss varnish to take away the shine. But since I wanted the exposed brass to remain shiny, I masked it with tape first.

 

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Lining Transfer

 

After trying several other techniques, I settled on using waterslide transfers for lining. Many model shops (online and real-world) sell paper for this, either transparent or with a white background.

 

The transparent paper will only work if your background colour is pale, which meant that for this dark green I used the white-background paper, which meant in turn that I needed to include a good match for the background colour.

 

This is the latest version of the the lining transfer image, suitable for both the inside- and outside-cylinder engines (and the tender):

 

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You need to have basic knowledge of image manipulation (I use the GIMP) and you should:

 

  1. Replace the red with the best match you can achieve for the colour of your locomotive.
  2. Change the lining to the colours of your choice.
  3. Add locomotive names and numbers or railway names as appropriate.
  4. Print the image at a resolution of 20 pixels per mm (otherwise it will be the wrong size). Use the best colour settings that your software and printer offer: telling the printer that it is printing on glossy photo paper will probably help.

 

It's a good idea to print multiple copies on one sheet, to provide some spares and to avoid wasting the paper.

 

At all times you should follow the instructions that came with your transfer paper. These will probably tell you to let the paper dry after printing, then spray on varnish.

You should cut the transfers out leaving a coloured border (but no white) around the lining. Nevertheless, after applying the transfers there may well be a white fringe, which must be touched up with paint (which is why you need the best colour match you can achieve).

 

The three strips are intended to be used as boiler bands. You must cut them to length yourself if you use them.

 

Selecting a colour match

 

To choose a suitable green for the outside cylinder engine, I printed grids of candidate greens (example below - the numbers are red, green and blue values) and then selected the one that seemed to be the best match to the painted engine. It's hard to make this selection, because changes in lighting conditions will make you change your mind. It helps if you put a blob of your colour on each square, but it's still difficult because the paint will have a different texture, and will thus look different in different lighting conditions.

 

When printing a grid of candidate colours, you should use glossy photo paper and the same software/printer settings that you will later use for the transfer.

 

How to make the grid of colours is outside the scope of this very long post, but if you contact me I can give you a hand (whether or not you're using it for one of my products). And if enough people contact me then I'll put details in a separate post.

 

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Painting the locomotive black is of course much simpler - you don't have to hunt for a colour match. Next I'm going to try an overall black with a coloured boiler and coloured panels within the lining. This should work even if the colour match isn't good.
 

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Edited by TangoOscarMike
Updated with new inside-cylinder engine & improved lining.
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  • 2 weeks later...
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Received a package from Shapeways last night and couldn’t resist popping a chassis and some wheels on. I’m still amazed at how quickly it all went together and I’m looking forward to painting it! It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous little loco so far. 

57B8E2A5-6050-497D-91FA-1BDFC2337EA5.jpeg

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On 11/01/2020 at 12:32, Watto1990 said:

Received a package from Shapeways last night and couldn’t resist popping a chassis and some wheels on. I’m still amazed at how quickly it all went together and I’m looking forward to painting it! It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous little loco so far. 

 

Thanks Watto, I'm glad you like it. Let me know if you want help with the lining, when the time comes.

 

Meanwhile, I've added a crew (two of the venerable Dapoi figures) to mine.

 

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You might find that the paint adheres better if you use a primer first. If you use a microfiller primer, that will deal with at least some of the surface roughness.

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6 minutes ago, truffy said:

You might find that the paint adheres better if you use a primer first. If you use a microfiller primer, that will deal with at least some of the surface roughness.

 

I haven't found adhesion to be a problem with white-strong-and-flexible plastic, but I certainly agree that a primer would allow you to get a much smoother finish.

 

I am considering making a version of this with the funnel, dome and other details removed. This would make it possible to really work at the surface finish with filler/primer and sandpaper. I could produce the details as a separate set of components in higher-resolution plastic.

 

But this plan is a long way down on my to-do-list!

 

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18 hours ago, LNWR18901910 said:

I say - have you thought about putting handrails on either side of the locomotive boiler? It'll make the locos look nice.

 

I have thought about it, and there's no doubt that handrails are first on the list of missing details that could be added.

 

I've chosen Shapeways "White Versatile" plastic (formerly known as "White Strong and Flexible") in order to keep costs down (although, in all honesty, it doesn't keep them down as much as I'd like).

 

But fine details cannot be printed in this plastic (I think that my cab controls, whistle and coupling hooks are right at the limit of what can be achieved), and if I tried to include handrails, they would be chunky and ugly. So with this particular plastic they're better left off.

 

I think (I hope!) that an entry-level modeller ought to be able to get a decent result just by the careful application of paint. But for somebody a little more ambitious, adding handrails ought to be achievable. So I'm happy with this current situation.

 

But I am considering other possibilities:

  1. I could make a more detailed model, and print it in a higher resolution plastic. If I think that Shapeways is too expensive, then there are of course alternatives.
  2. I could produce a "White Versatile" version with details (buffers, coupling hooks, funnel, dome etc) removed. To accompany this, I could produce a set of fine detailed parts (including handrails) in a higher resolution plastic.

Cheers

Tom

 

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10 minutes ago, TangoOscarMike said:

 

I have thought about it, and there's no doubt that handrails are first on the list of missing details that could be added.

 

I've chosen Shapeways "White Versatile" plastic (formerly known as "White Strong and Flexible") in order to keep costs down (although, in all honesty, it doesn't keep them down as much as I'd like).

 

But fine details cannot be printed in this plastic (I think that my cab controls, whistle and coupling hooks are right at the limit of what can be achieved), and if I tried to include handrails, they would be chunky and ugly. So with this particular plastic they're better left off.

 

I think (I hope!) that an entry-level modeller ought to be able to get a decent result just by the careful application of paint. But for somebody a little more ambitious, adding handrails ought to be achievable. So I'm happy with this current situation.

 

But I am considering other possibilities:

  1. I could make a more detailed model, and print it in a higher resolution plastic. If I think that Shapeways is too expensive, then there are of course alternatives.
  2. I could produce a "White Versatile" version with details (buffers, coupling hooks, funnel, dome etc) removed. To accompany this, I could produce a set of fine detailed parts (including handrails) in a higher resolution plastic.

Cheers

Tom

 

Look at some vintage O Gauge models and use wire and handrail knobs to attach them by arranging them as a simplified version of it.

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On 24/01/2020 at 21:35, LNWR18901910 said:

Look at some vintage O Gauge models and use wire and handrail knobs to attach them by arranging them as a simplified version of it.

 

Yup.

 

Also, I've been thinking of buying brass handrail knobs, or somebody else's 3D prints, or getting my own design printed. I also have a cunning plan involving jewellery beads (but it might turn out to be not all that cunning).

 

One way or another I'll do this on the next locomotive that I make for myself, but not for the next one that I paint, because this is going to be my test print for the inside-cylinder body (and I want to keep it simple).

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4 hours ago, TangoOscarMike said:

 

Yup.

 

Also, I've been thinking of buying brass handrail knobs, or somebody else's 3D prints, or getting my own design printed. I also have a cunning plan involving jewellery beads (but it might turn out to be not all that cunning).

 

One way or another I'll do this on the next locomotive that I make for myself, but not for the next one that I paint, because this is going to be my test print for the inside-cylinder body (and I want to keep it simple).

Of course, provided that they're in scale and reminiscent of the original models from the 1920s.

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  • 3 months later...

 

On 31/08/2020 at 19:11, SECR323 said:

Finished mine in Furness Railway Indian Red. Still need to add lining and the builders plate

 

Thank you for posting pictures! I'm glad to see a superior coupling type in use - did it just plug into the tender with no fuss?

 

If you choose to go down the waterslide transfer route (for lining etc.), I'd be happy to help you get a printed colour match for the Indian red.

 

Cheers

Tom

 

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The two versions  of this locomotive possess such high visual appeal, I am thinking   Hornby should be thinking of tool up such an 0-4-0  tender loco to add to  their basic range

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1 minute ago, Pandora said:

The two versions  of this locomotive possess such high visual appeal, I am thinking   Hornby should be thinking of tool up such an 0-4-0  tender loco to add to  their basic range

Thank you!

 

I'd be delighted if Hornby did that. I'd also be happy to contribute to their design - this isn't my livelihood.

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  • 1 month later...
On 04/09/2020 at 14:05, TangoOscarMike said:

 

 

Thank you for posting pictures! I'm glad to see a superior coupling type in use - did it just plug into the tender with no fuss?

 

If you choose to go down the waterslide transfer route (for lining etc.), I'd be happy to help you get a printed colour match for the Indian red.

 

Cheers

Tom

 

Yes it plugged in fine! I was thinking of using Fox transfers for the lettering and black trim tape for the lining

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53 minutes ago, SECR323 said:

Yes it plugged in fine! I was thinking of using Fox transfers for the lettering and black trim tape for the lining

Good!

 

I haven't tried Fox transfers, but I expect that they will give a better result than my convoluted home-printed approach!

 

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