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30368's Workbench SR Loco's with a bit of LNER


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Hope this is not too pretentious, there are some very, very good loco modellers out there but rather than start a new topic each time I have a go at building a loco I've decided to put all future builds on here.

 

As I have said before, I don't in any way count myself as a "guru" just someone that wants to improve their skills as much as possible before it's all too late! I really like the way that the real experts on this site are only too happy to wade in and offer advice. That's the way our knowledge moves forward so thanks.

 

My view is that building a loco, coach, wagon or structures and scenery for a layout is to be encouraged. We do have some fabulous manufacturers supplying our hobby and, so it seems, new suppliers of rolling stock every month! All this is great but as many have said, you can't beat the satisfaction and reward of being able to say.. I built that!

 

I, like many I am sure, have found the hobby a really good distraction from our Covid-19 straitjacket and have built, and continue to build, loco's etc. My latest is a part finished Millholme Models series 1 Merchant Navy kit purchased from Hattons for not a lot of money. I have built one of these kits before, a series 3 loco but that was a long time ago so I thought it would be interesting to compare my apparant "skill level" now with that of, what, 10 years ago?? I hope it has improved.

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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I have, as mentioned, built original MNs before. In chronological order these are:

 

35030  a series three loco with the larger tender built over a long period which included many stops to bring up children. Finally finished about 10 years ago. It is a Millholme white metal kit.

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35009 built about 3-4 years ago from a PDK kit which I really enjoyed building. I chose 35009 because it kept its original cab until January 1953 when it was shopped and received the "wedge" cab and was painted green

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35030 has an open framed XT style motor with a single stage drive. It runs ok and pulls well enough. 35009 has a large can motor and a two stage Branchlines gearbox, it is very powerfull.

 

So what about the next original MN then? The body had been part constructed but contained a few errors. For eaxample it was not possible to fit the boiler backplate casting because the cab had been completed so there was no room to fit it!

The chassis frames had been fitted together and luckily checked out as square in my jig. Some parts were missing and the tender had been mostly completed but to a very late level of modification (I know one or two originals ran with cut down tenders) being cut down so that would need a lot of work more of which later.

 

So I started with the chassis and purchased Markits wheels and a Mashima can motor with two stage gearbox from Branchlines.

 

The motor and gearbox assembled with a wheelset ready for testing, pleased to say that after mesh adjustment ran very smoothly. All crankpins are locktighted (243).

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Motor and gearbox assembled in the chassis. Rather than paint the wheels I blackened them with Brass Black taking care NOT to flood the insulation on the insulated wheels. I had decided to return feed through the chassis and axles to simplify pick-up arrangements on a loc with complex brake gear. I could not use stud pickups owing to the various chassis cut outs on this kit. PS The motor/gearbox is mounted facing towards the bogie in fact I fitted it the other way around. It fits either way with such a large body space and no "under boiler" light to contend with.

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The kit has a cast stretcher to locate the valvegear slidebars and the mounting bracket for this can be seen just in front of the leading wheel. The cylinders are a single casing and this fits between the body "fairing". I decided to mount it onto an additional bracket that would provide fixture of the chassis to the body and location for the front bogie.

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I shall leave it there for now.

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

 

 

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To continue with the build.

 

The valve gear all assembled - As supplied in the kit, the coupling rods are double thinckness but the connecting rods are not so some scrap pieces of nickel silver were used to double these up too. The motion plate has been bolted, using two 14BA set screws, to the frame bracket refered to earlier. The slidebars were also bolted (again 14BA) to the motion plate. One other thing to note, the cylinder casting needs modifying to extend the piston rod gland. For this I used brass wheel bearings!

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The view from the top of the chassis showing the motion plate etc. Clearance between the connecting rod and coupling rod securing washers on leading wheelset are tight requiring filing down the washers and slightly putting a "set" in the con rod.

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Another view of the motion plate etc.

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Chassis undergoing initial running in on my patented test rig!

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Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

 

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Further update and completion of the chassis, more or less.

 

The Millholme breakgear qas missing from the kit with the exception of the brake hanger/block castings. They are a bit cumbersome and require careful handling. The rest of the brake gear is made from brass and NS scraps, including some parts left over from the PDK MN kit. Note that I had to add a filler plate to cover the frame motor cut-out designed for an open framed motor. I should add that some of the blocks are very worn!!

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The Firemans side of the loco chassis assembled and painted. I still have to add sand pipes. Note the additional frame plates at the front of the chassis. These had large holes drilled in them to reduce overall weight on the first 10 locos.

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Drivers side, whoops! I've missed some of the brake hangers, that is where the coupling rod was I suspect! I might change my usual habit of painting loco's in a weathered condition and instead paint it as if it was ex works. We shall see.

1717546679_020(3).JPG.a33ddd3f2864c2171ee5743fbd765ab0.JPG

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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So having completed most of the chassis work I moved on to the body assembly starting at the cab end. The main body sections had already been assembled. I decided to remove the cast cab windows which seemed too small and besides I had some lovely cab window frets left over from my PDK MN so I filed the window apertures to the drawing and fitted the window frets. The roof details was mostly filed away and very thin aluminium sheet used to fabricate the roof detail. The aluminium sheet used are the cut offs from a downsized Venetian blind, really useful material!

The Original Bulleid Pacifics sheeting sections are very pronounced as are the rivets and set screws that kept it all together. The cab sides are no exception being made of a number of sections and removable covers. The white metal can be easily scored with a scriber and knife to reproduce the panels. There has been some discussion about reproducing revit/screw heads with White Metal kits (IN respect of a Q1 kit if I recall). You can drill holes in the body shell and insert wire to reproduce the rivet head but frankly life is too short! Besides many of the Bullieds sheeting was held together with set screws that pulled the sheet in creating a depression in the sheeting. Therefore I use a scriber to produce the rivet/bolt heads!

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All looks a bit rough at more than twice actual size!

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Next I moved on to the distinctive grate/ashpan area. Again I filed away all cast detail and then made much of the bracketing and dampers out of aluminium sheeting and thin wire. The operating levers are brass. All very fiddly (picture not very good I'm afraid) but worth the effort.

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In position.

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Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

 

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A slight diversion for a bit. A friend of mine (Dave Baker) from the Bentley Model Railway Group asked me to re-number and weather his Bachmann ex Midland 4F 0-6-0 to 44255 since this loco was allocated to Fort William shed on which the club layout "Kannotburn" is based.

44255 was an LMS built 4F with LH drive and other differences from the Midland version on which the excellent Bachmann model is based. To cut a long story short I managed to locate a Hornby LMS 4F body from Peter's Spares (Excellent service) and thought surely it should be an easy fit....how wrong can you be!

 

The Hornby body needed significant surgery to fit the massive Backmann motor assembly as well as new mounting points. Anyway, its worked and here is a quick picture story in case it is useful to others.

 

Hornby body in the foreground. The Bachmann model is quite excellent, the Hornby good.

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Having hacked away a lot of boiler a made a brass insert to fill the void.

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Lots of serious chopping! the brass insert in place and the two new mounting points fitted.

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A tight fit (as is the Bachmann body) but everything lines up.

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Suitably weathered - the tender should have a sliding cover over it but perhaps a step too far for this quicky! I couldnt find any drawings either. Also I must tone down some of the weathering.

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Not too bad though for a days work for the club.88425095_017(2).JPG.e1e6e52d10b6a2bd02190eeecf46d0b2.JPG

 

There it is, hope Dave likes it he has not seen it yet.

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

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Back to the Merchant Navy. Named after all those British and Allied shipping lines that had done so much to keep the supply of food, military materiel and military personnel flowing in WW2 across the Atlantic, in the Med to our ally the USSR and throughout the then British Empire. It was a huge effort by the men and women of the merchant marine and they deserved all the praise heaped upon them after the war.  Shame that if their ship was sunk and they survived they were no longer paid until they crewed another ship.

 

Anyway back to bashing the Millholme kit.

 

Injector pipework rather fiddly and difficult to exactly reproduce the prototype and allow the pony truck some movement. I have used soft brass on this side.

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And copper this side. Ally useful again for pipe brackets.

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Moving on to the body "roof" I have drilled out the five wash-out plug holes to 0.5mm and then countersunk with 1mm or so and then fixed 0.5mm wire plugs. The whistle and safety valves (have purchased some Markits MN safety valves, superb) since I will fit these afetr painting.

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I thought that the kit smoke deflectors supplied with the kit too thick so I made some from thin brass sheeting. Front curve of deflectors will be blended into curve of the footplate/buffer beam later.

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Lastly a picture of the cut down tender that came with the kit. This will need to be sheeted with the same thin brass sheeting to "unmodify" it but more of this later.

 

1026542122_006(2).JPG.2b9d9a7fe390d9831173d3bd2cd70bbe.JPG

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

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Smoke deflectors are now fitted and a start made on the elctrical conduits to supply the electric marker lamps.

 

Coming along nicely - beading soldered to the leading edge of the deflectors.

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Close up.

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Just make out the conduits in this snap.

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Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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Nothing much to report today - all work focused on the front end electric lighting etc.

 

Just thinking about my next build and I have a number of choices including A2/3, A1/1, Urie S15, Urie N15, W 2-6-4T, M7, SECR 01 0-6-0, WC/BB, exGCR B9 ??

 

I'm thinking an LNER Pacific perhaps?

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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Have been busy in the spray booth. Masking, for once, went well.

The works painters have been busy touching up on one or two spots! When the paint is propery dry - a day or two - and lining completed I will start to polish the surface with Pledge floor polish.

1614401314_002(2).JPG.ec34060d76f73c759200a9e135c9e278.JPG

 

I can't really show you the other side because the ashpan casting and smoke deflectors fell off! A few little handling problems during spray booth time!

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I have decided to build the Crownlines (now PDK) A1/1 "Great Northern" next and have ordered a big Mashima, two stage gearbox and Markits wheels from Branchlines.

 

Chris from HighLevel Kits then 'phoned returning my call, and so I ordered one of his highflier gearboxes, as I used in the K2/2 build, and one of his coreless motors which I have never used before. This lot will be used to build the A2/3 "Sun Castle". I already have a set of Markits drivers from the Merchant Navy (fitted with Bulleid wheel covers) that I can re-use after I have skimmed the flanges.

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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Lining completed on the loco. Decided to model 35003 "Royal Mail" as a small tribute to our local postwoman and postman that have done such a great job in recient months, indeed to all our postmen and women.

 

Markings will blend in when I polish the bodysides.

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Still a fair bit to do.

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Have a few minor repairs to do at the front and finish buffer beam.

1661404021_007(2).JPG.af1facbd87fc69589185f398d443d853.JPG

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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35003 waiting for its nameplates etc and some Markits sprung buffers so that I can complete the buffer beam. I just chacked back on how much I paid for the part finished kit and it was not very much at all. I will now have to retrofit the tender with its high sided "raves" so that it is in period.

 

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1118897321_004(2).JPG.274814043d5aefcdaf9100cef87f9161.JPG

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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Now to the tender and retrofitting the original (nearly) side sheets and raves. I used the excellent series of drawings in R J Harvey's "Locomotives in Detail Bulleid 4-6-2 Merchant Navy Class" - recommended. From this I was able to measure and mark out a thick paper template for the tender sides making additional allowances for curvature.

The tender together with the paper template and the 5 thou brass sheet for the tender sides.

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The template profile marked onto the brass sheet which needs careful handling to avoid dents etc. Come to think of it the original tender bodies were made of thin steel sheet and deformed quite quickly so choose how far you wish to take the "prototype look".

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The sheet cuts very easily with very sharp snips or scissors, I used the latter. Gentle filing to finish and remove all burrs! Final picture shows completed tender side sheets. Bending to profile is next so much cursing likely!

656703099_004(2).JPG.9901b08f9274601a4ee77006afe52ac9.JPG

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

 

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Good morning,

 

Started bending the two tender side sheets. I use a short piece of dowel and odd tools (drill bits, scriber etc) of a circular type to bend the sheet. I took it very slowly dividing the tender side into three area. The bottom closes to the side frames, this has a gentle tumblehome. Then the mid section which also has a similar tumblehome and then quite a pronounced curve into the coal space. Lastly the roof over the tender footplate. It was tricky but not too bad. I am quite happy with the results.

 

One side done.

1826871195_002(2).JPG.ed33d7e4b7fd643d2685b10bbbeb4f0c.JPG

 

Both completed.

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They fit quite well. The previous owner has located the tender front divider (tool boxes etc) too far back but I shall leave this simply because if I try to remove it I might as well build a new tender!

1829839885_004(2).JPG.7389464fbb52cfd742eef07eeefb5084.JPG

 

Kind regards and happy bending,

 

Richard B

 

 

 

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Two halves of tender side sheets now qlued (Delux Roket, soldering would have been really difficult with a large white metal "heat sink" beneath the brass sheet) and the two halves soldered together on the tender roof since this protrudes beyond the whitemetal.

 

One side on.

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Both sides on - solder will be cleaned up later. Blackout sliding sheet added too.

 

333891735_008(2).JPG.1a149178a4b73e2289960a07aeb1174f.JPG

 

kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

 

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Progress with tender. It looks ok but will always be a compromise I guess. Much work to do on the chassis regarding side spring hangers, long hangers have been filed away and so will have to be restored. A little bit of reverse engineering!

1772303237_001(2).JPG.8a214fd7633716473443332d0a22f682.JPG

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

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So, the restoration of the long spring hangers to the tender.....

Each of the twelve hanger brackets made from scrap N/S with brass wire for the hanger. To say the least fiddly!

1191592736_001(2).JPG.9cbc44c7824dc6efff5ccd33dd94c70f.JPG

 

Looks a bit "wobbly" in the picture but its all very square.  I just want to mention the very good Markits sprung buffers. They are probably a tiny bit oversize but not enough to worry about once the paint is on them. The quality is really first class.

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

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The tender is now complete and is ready for its etched primer. I don't think its too bad an effort given the circumstances, essentially I did not wan't to build a new tender but adapt what was included in the kit. I suspect that the workload was about the same anyway.

 

Speaking of saving time, I used a Hornby MN tender underframe brake gear spare (Peters Spares) and adapted this since the wheelbase was for the longer tender. Had some problems with the white metal footsteps and tender ladders they are very easy to break! I's sure you will spot the replacement "bits".

1997383967_007(2).JPG.0a96c540f8c14fdab6a81031bd166a1e.JPG

 

518872843_002(2).JPG.7a5ca138b85f15640f79c6d9c4b6a359.JPG

 

1864231791_005(2).JPG.ed9534f91c65e5968a91de83a32cf287.JPG

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

 

 

 

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Almost complete -

 

In primer

534147767_002(2).JPG.775ab487a8872fb21b4b5d9a08e2e763.JPG

 

532202489_009(3).JPG.03d3fd93e337ad9114028d13e7e86bb5.JPG

 

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Just coal to add then light weathering followed by some floor polish! I'm pleased with the result and it is a fine runner.

 

Moving on to A2/3 next utilising High Level gearbox and one of Chris's coreless motors.

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

005 (2).JPG

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On 12/06/2020 at 10:58, 30368 said:

Good morning,

 

Started bending the two tender side sheets. I use a short piece of dowel and odd tools (drill bits, scriber etc) of a circular type to bend the sheet. I took it very slowly dividing the tender side into three area. The bottom closes to the side frames, this has a gentle tumblehome. Then the mid section which also has a similar tumblehome and then quite a pronounced curve into the coal space. Lastly the roof over the tender footplate. It was tricky but not too bad. I am quite happy with the results.

 

One side done.

1826871195_002(2).JPG.ed33d7e4b7fd643d2685b10bbbeb4f0c.JPG

 

Both completed.

1690724297_003(2).JPG.bcb706b5222088f203db2eef3b76cc85.JPG

 

They fit quite well. The previous owner has located the tender front divider (tool boxes etc) too far back but I shall leave this simply because if I try to remove it I might as well build a new tender!

1829839885_004(2).JPG.7389464fbb52cfd742eef07eeefb5084.JPG

 

Kind regards and happy bending,

 

Richard B

 

 

 

Richard,

 

What was Millholme’s solution to the tender or was the 010” sheet a modification?

 

Whatever the answer, it is beautiful.

 

Cheers

 

 

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Hi Jack,

 

I think the Millholme kit was the correct type ("Streamlined") for the first series MNs. The previous owner of the kit had modified the kit by cutting away the fairing in front of the cylinders on the loco and removing the streamined fairing and high "raves" to create a cut down tender that was fitted to the re-built MNs but also found its way onto one or two original MNs. So...the brass sheeting was all my work to restore the tender to its streamlined state. I used a template developed from a scale drawing and then marked out the two panels and cut/filed to size.

 

Many thanks for the comments and stay safe,

 

Richard

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A final few snapshots of 35003 before moving on to 60523.

 

Both tender and loco have been lightly weathered with powder and then "washed" with floor polish and finaly polished using cotton buds.

 

2097703293_006(2).JPG.fea588d89f85d1e2d7cd12ba3fec16b7.JPG

304317835_005(2).JPG.3ac5cc40cae36c039e13cc6f737c21c4.JPG

 

Loco now boxed and stored for that day when I have a layout!

 

Kind regards,

 

Richard B

 

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