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Building The 1947 Great Western TPO


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Time for the L22, I started with the sorting side, forming the tumblehome before adding the door bangers, toilet window frame and droplights to the door.  The latter were a bit odd as no etch was included (however there was a pair of surplus droplights on the L21 which came in handy)

 

With that side complete it was onto the corridor side.  I started by adding droplights to the two sliding doors (again this is the only coach in the rake on which they were not half etched).  This was followed by the handrails.   
 

I then formed the tumblehome , however by this point I was getting tired and made a silly mistake.  Yes I formed the tumblehome on the top rather than the bottom of the coach !  Fortunately brass can be straightened out for a second go.  At this point I called it a night, so will solder the doors in place tomorrow (along with the filler work on the last 2 coaches).

 

 It’s critical that all the filler is finished before putting the coaches away, as I just know I’d end up forgetting and only realising my mistake when spraying chocolate and 976AB803-6C22-400C-AB2C-B8081A27AFB4.jpeg.dd9d5ae665af2008816ba7411aa0a36b.jpegcream!

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The core of the L22 is now complete, along with a modified comet LMS 50ft chassis.  
 

the final roof will be next, before getting to work on the detailing (end steps and hinges along with the roof detail).  
 

I now need to find a cheap Hornby clerestory as a basis for the K17 full brake which will finish the rear of the rake.  Along with building the siphon.  

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The roof is now fitted to the L22, which just needs to be shortened to the correct length and fitted with vents.  
 

there is naturally a bit of a gap around the cutaway, which has already been flooded with gorilla superglue to fill as much as possible before I start with the filler.

 

The underframe will need some rework as I hadn’t notice the LMS trusses are much further apart than the GWR.

 

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With the actual TPOs now built, it’s time to add the coaches on the ends.  On one end will be a diagram O33 siphon from the Ian McDonald kit (which will be the focus of this post) on the other a K17 clerestory the basis for which is TBC.

First impression was that there is a lot of metal in the box, and it’s going to push my ability to the max.  It will also be a significantly longer build than the previous Hammond coaches.  The detailed instructions (comprising both text and photos) should really help deal with the complexity.

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On the first evenings worm I only managed adding the rivet detail and soldering the first 2 doors hinges (a fair number of which need rework due to solder not securing both parts.

FB2731D7-1E1C-4BC2-8A82-0E6755BAA766.jpeg.73e38e5b8acaf9219e87d5cdf85c37e3.jpegAB4F9516-EA19-482E-8B89-E2145C43F6DE.jpeg.a48762ed2afba27f87a650c4aa37ee51.jpegGreen 

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Before work this morning I finished off adding the hinges and door handles to the first side, I did find it a fair bit quicker this time.  While the soldering iron was out I corrected the loose hinges from last nights work.   Tonight hopefully I will get the other side finished, and be able to move onto a more interesting stage of construction.  

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another evenings work on the O33 spent on Zoom with diesel modelling friends to keep me sane while soldering hinges.

 

the second side is now done, this was by far the hardest bit of soldering I have done.  Getting the hinge assemblies  soldered on square was hard work, holding it in place while applying solder from behind.  A few will need straightening still, I’m hoping that they can be bent, although I have struggled so far to get the pliers to grip the part.

 

 

with that done the ends were fitted with the brackets, brilliant design here with an offset nut to secure the chassis which prevents it obstructing the couplings.  It was great switching back to the 6mm soldering iron bit after struggling with the 2mm.
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The final job for the evening was

tacking the internal spacers into position.  Again brilliant design here, with a half etched slot in the side and notch in the top for alignment. Good to see some real progress as it starts to look like a coach.

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The next step was to add the corridor connection brackets to the ends, while soldering these together I didn’t have any 0.3mm wire so enlarged the holes to accept 0.45mm.  Before soldering one end to each side.  I’ve struggled to get a decent image of this as the camera will only focus on one bracket (this was a second attempt at a photo taken later in the build).

 

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With that complete It was time to join together the two sides.  In order to do that I started by forming the floor.  My hold and fold was purchased for diesel modelling a long time ago and is nowhere near long enough for forming coach parts.   So despite the instructions saying otherwise I used it to form the fold in two parts.  This was bolted to the end/side assemblies before tacking in place.

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Maybe more later, but for now it’s time for Rugby with Bath up first before England Ireland at 3pm

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Rich, thank you for illustrating your build of the O33.  I have an O62 kit in my 'one day when I have the courage' pile.   Dare I say it, I am encouraged by the sight of your Siphon emerging from the fret.

 

Chris

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16 minutes ago, chrisf said:

Rich, thank you for illustrating your build of the O33.  I have an O62 kit in my 'one day when I have the courage' pile.   Dare I say it, I am encouraged by the sight of your Siphon emerging from the fret.

 

Chris

So far I would say it is incredibly well designed, difficult certainly, but only because of the number of small parts (and my lack of an RSU).  If Ian ends up doing anything else which is suitable for Brent I would definitely be ordering.   
Im sure your O62 will be an equal joy to build 

 

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After an afternoon of rugby (a lousy game followed by a good one) I’ve managed another hours work on the O33.

 

all of the partitions / ends have been fully soldered, with the floor kept bolted in place to keep things square.  After which I moved to the next time consuming task, the 22 handrails.  All have now been formed, again using the Bill Bedford jig.  The door grab handles requiring 2 extra folds.   This was followed by soldering the end handrails in position.  The sides will follow tomorrow afternoon

 

 

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I have taken the following excerpt from the October 1946 to May 1947 'Programme of Working of Coaches and Vans in Through Trains' document. It shews all the 'net fitted' L22 vans as possible for the Great Western TPO in this period. Apparently 801, 802, 803 (no nets) were built for the Cardiff-Crewe service:

 

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That’s the data (along with the 1948 document) that I am working on, mostly because I couldn’t justify the £120 price of the winter 1947 when it recently sold on eBay.  But on a quick scan through I had only found the Penzance Bristol (which also used 798-800) not the Cardiff - Crew.  Which confused me as I thought they maintained a spare for each service and this would mean that all L22 were in simultaneous use.

 

 

Back to the build, 

With the handrails completed it was onto the underframe, the base structure was tricky to form up (thanks to my too short hold and fold).  This is the first time I have had issues with the kit, although it’s my fault

for ignoring the instructions.  I tried to form the lower flange of the solebar using the same approach I take with Comet coaches.  The difference is the half etched section on this kit is far wider than Comet’s causing more deflection.  Lots of straightening was needed to resolve.   This was followed by adding the buffer beams, a dingham coupling to one end and the v hangers. 

 

 

I hadn’t noticed that the kit uses L section angle rather than etched brass for the main lengths of truss, fortunately I still had some left over from my siphon J build.  So this was formed up and soldered into position.  One side snapped and had to be repaired, a tricky job without melting the joint between the flat length and queen post while adding the inclined length.

 

this was followed by the cross pieces before moving onto the solebar detailing.   The steps were folded up and soldered into position, here it is important to read the whole of the instruction.  I didn’t and promptly fitted them upside down, so it took a lot longer to remove, open up the holes and refit.

 

Finally the vac pipe was formed and soldered on along with the steam heat pipe.  The latter requiring some fine soldering to add the pipe joints and valve.

 

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Lots more work this evening and it’s really starting to come together

 

battery boxes, electrical box and vac cylinders have been added to the under frame.  As have the bogie mounts, the bogies are going to have to wait as I need a set of MJT frames.  In the mean time I will use a set of 247 developments bogies will be used, not nearly as nice as the etched subframe that comes with the kit (which will eventually be retrofitted).

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with the underframe coming together nicely, I got the roof soldered into position.  
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so the remaining work: 

Lots of small etched parts need gluing in place

bogies (once some wheels arrive) 

finish the brake linkages to the vac cylinders

add the belt to the dyno

 

 

 

 

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Label clips, door brackets, end brackets and end door frame all glued into position.  The final parts for the brake gear have also been soldered on including the large brake leaver.  

It just needs the dynamo bent soldering on and the rain strips glueing in position.  I did prep the first for fitting this evening but looking at the clock being past 11 I figured it safer to wait until tomorrow and attempt with fresh eyes!

 

The TPO has to run with the nets facing the viewing side of the layout (as that is the side of the track where the collection/drop off equipment was located).  So only one side of the siphon will be seen.  That means ensuring it was the right side, so I unsoldered the Dingham and moved to the other end to ensure the side with the vac pipe would be visible.

I also put together the bellows, the first time I’ve assembled one (instead of buying ready made).  Makes me want to make my own going forward for other coaches to save some money!   In the mean time this coach needs its corridors in the retracted position.
 

 

 

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The rainstrips have now been glued into position (the instructions advised against soldering without an RSU.)  I have also added the belt to the dyno 

I’ve temporarily put it on a set of what I think are Bachmann bogies (I still can’t remember what I bought them for). 

So the build is now ready for paint, and attention can turn back to the TPOs and make a start on the detailing the underframes 
 

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Fascinating topic and fascinating to see the rake coming together. It’s going to be great to see this running through Brent.

 

Will it be Castle hauled? There’s going to be a fair bit of weight there...

 

Good luck with the project, I look forward to seeing it’s continued development.

 

Regards, Neal.

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29 minutes ago, Neal Ball said:

Fascinating topic and fascinating to see the rake coming together. It’s going to be great to see this running through Brent.

 

Will it be Castle hauled? There’s going to be a fair bit of weight there...

 

Good luck with the project, I look forward to seeing it’s continued development.

 

Regards, Neal.

It will have a Castle and eventually a Bulldog on the front, though the latter will not be added until I have a second Bulldog as given the weight of the train I dont fancy making the King or Castle have to shift the weight of another loco as well.   My Hornby 4-6-0s have no issue shifting a rake of 8 brass sided Centenaries, but this is going to be a fair bit heavier.

 

Very much looking forward to getting a coat of paint on them in the new year.  Hopefully I will have managed to sort out the K17 first, I have some ideas as to a potential solution but need to find a cheap Hornby clerestory to have a play with first.   My current plan is to draw up a set of sides to cut in 10 thou on the Silhouette cutter.  Fill all of the windows with plasticard blanks, cut the new doors, then add a new skin comprising a layer of 10 thou and a 2nd 10 thou layer for the beading.   If that fails option B is to try and get Worsley Works to do the sides...   I really want to get the K17 built before the spring so that I can paint the whole rake in one go. 

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10 minutes ago, The Fatadder said:

It will have a Castle and eventually a Bulldog on the front, though the latter will not be added until I have a second Bulldog as given the weight of the train I dont fancy making the King or Castle have to shift the weight of another loco as well.   My Hornby 4-6-0s have no issue shifting a rake of 8 brass sided Centenaries, but this is going to be a fair bit heavier.

 

Very much looking forward to getting a coat of paint on them in the new year.  Hopefully I will have managed to sort out the K17 first, I have some ideas as to a potential solution but need to find a cheap Hornby clerestory to have a play with first.   My current plan is to draw up a set of sides to cut in 10 thou on the Silhouette cutter.  Fill all of the windows with plasticard blanks, cut the new doors, then add a new skin comprising a layer of 10 thou and a 2nd 10 thou layer for the beading.   If that fails option B is to try and get Worsley Works to do the sides...   I really want to get the K17 built before the spring so that I can paint the whole rake in one go. 


Cutting out in Plasticard seems quite onerous, I’d try the Worsley option first!

 

Will the Bulldogs be SE Finecast? That’s going to be good as a double header.

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21 minutes ago, Neal Ball said:


Cutting out in Plasticard seems quite onerous, I’d try the Worsley option first!

 

Will the Bulldogs be SE Finecast? That’s going to be good as a double header.

 

Its not particularly onerous as I just draw it up in CAD and then press "print" and get a kit of parts out of the cutting machine.  Whereas with brass I would want to recess the sides properly.  If the idea works it would also offer up a simple solution to upgrading the standard Hornby clerestory to have beading (drawing up the beading as an overlay).  Using Lemoniene as a solvent it can then be glued onto the body.   I am currently watching 3 batches of clerestories at the moment on ebay, so fingers crossed will be able to source one of them at a price I am happy to pay.  I guess as a result of the high prices of new items these days, these rubbish old coaches with their plastic wheels are commanding a much higher price than I think they are worth.  The biggest issue I have is that my CAD laptop's screen will not switch on, while I cant find the disks for my 2006 edition of Autocad that I would need to install it on the newer machine (and my only monitor uses display port which is not compatible with the laptop...

 

As for the Bulldogs, I am rather torn.  Nightingale was purchased second hand and appears to be of scratch built construction (along with a significant amount of additional detail from me).  The issue with it is that I cant remove the wheels without damaging them and dont really fancy buying a new set.  Of course the fact that I am saving £20 on a DCC decoder + a further £60 odd for a High Level gearbox and Mashima motor, made the unpowered option much more appealing.  I have done exactly the same with my Manor (although that will eventually get powered).

 

 I want to build a Finney curved frame Bulldog eventually, but a more likely next step (assuming Bachmann dont beat me to it) is to reboiler my Bachmann dukedog.   In the meantime, the Dukedog is a pretty suitable stand in.

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2 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

Tender drive?

Unfortunately not an option as in an ideal world I’d have gone for a large motor in the tender driving a gearbox in the loco to allow maximum weight.  But the tender chassis is solid brass.  The loco will get powered eventually.... 
 

I really dislike getting kits to run well, (a bit of an issue when I love making kits).  Until Brent is much more complete I have a good excuse to put it off...

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Back to the TPO, the L22 has been sat awaiting final finishing while I worked on the O33.

 

it now has been fitted with roof vents and had another coat of filler on the cutaway section of roof.  I think it still needs one more coat of filler before I can add the roof ribs and prep the body for watch priming 

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I had a spare pack of comet underframe castings, the vac cylinders and dyno having been used on the O33.  So the spare battery boxes have been fitted to the L18.  I now need to work out how detailed I will go on the chassis, the current thoughts being adding the comet v hangers, add cast vac cylinders  and dyno, flat etch cross pieces between the queen posts, and a representation of the brake linkage.   The solebar will need fitting with the appropriate steps

 

the L22 needs the trusses removed and completely replaced.  I think I can use the spare queen posts from the O33 kit to ensure the spacing is correct along with scrap etch for the rest.  But all this mag end up taking some time.  Typically the drawings in Russell don’t include the underframes which doesn’t help!

 

There were rumours a couple of years back that the ex 247 TPO kits had ended up in the Stevenson range, does anyone know if that is the case?  Would be good to confirm if there is a reliable source for the missing L25

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I wasn’t happy with the LMS trusses on the Comet underframe I used under the L22, so this evening I rebuilt it. The uprights and v hanger are modified from the DC brake parts left over from my O33 build, then fitted with flat section for the trusses (not accurate but it conforms to the standard of the rest of my comet builds.)  battery boxes were Frogmore etched while the rest of the castings (and the inner V hanger) are Comet.  Once I find my other Airfix 7ft bogie this will be the first coach to be ‘complete’

I still need 3 pairs of Airfix bogies to finish the other 3 coaches, but unfortunately they seem hard to come by these days. (Certainly without approaching the price of the Comet or 247 bogies).
 I wish I could get the bogies from the latest Hornby coaches as a spare as they are by far the best option.


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While the coach was on the bench I finished off cleaning up the cutaway and added the roof ribs.

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2 hours ago, The Fatadder said:

I still need 3 pairs of Airfix bogies to finish the other 3 coaches, but unfortunately they seem hard to come by these days.

Cheap Airfix B Sets pop up quite often, including on Hattons pre-owned pages. I've bought a few (and a few Bachmann Colletts) just for the bogies.

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