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Tweaking a Wainwright D Class


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  • RMweb Gold

I'm going to document the process of making some simple tweaks on my beautiful new Rails/Dapol Wainwright D Class here. I'm not going to do anything very clever compared to most of the projects in this forum but this seems the best place to post about it.

 

The plan is to get the running plates of tender and loco to line up, install sound and replace the coal load. Those last two are related and will involve taking a Dremel to my brand new expensive loco... :scare:

 

First step: Set the tender running plate height.

 

I measured the difference as about 1.25mm and this discrepancy can be easily adjusted by adding some spacers between the tender body and the chassis. The running plate is part of the body assembly in the Dapol model and the valances (valences?) overhang the chassis so raising it up a fraction will align the running plates without exposing any gaps.

 

I made some spacers by laminating 10 thou and 40 thou white Plastikard to give exactly 1.25mm:

IMG_20210621_203619r.jpg.2874506a404fdb60afa64a181183654c.jpg

 

Result: The running plate is now too high! Confusing but, OK, I'll have to this by trial and error.

 

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You may find you have a wire trapped between the loco chassis and body under the cab, raising the rear end of the loco slightly. The wires bunched together on top of the motor don't help either, they can be moved to the sides.

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  • RMweb Gold
1 minute ago, Nile said:

You may find you have a wire trapped between the loco chassis and body under the cab, raising the rear end of the loco slightly. The wires bunched together on top of the motor don't help either, they can be moved to the sides.

 

Yes, good point, I will check.

 

If that is the problem then judging from owner's photo it seems to be a very common one...

 

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

Taking the body off the loco was... interesting.

 

The "Driving wheel replacement" sheet shows that one of the screws under the cab is longer than the other, holding the keeper plate in place and fixing the chassis to the body. A diagram shows it in Red. Unfortunately, it shows the wrong screw! Since bodies are often a bit sticky to get off I did a lot of "gentle persuading" before I realised that there must still be something holding it and tried the other screw. It's OK, though, I think there is no permanent damage other than a few scratches that will not be seen.

 

Just as @Nile said, a bunch of wires on top:

IMG_20210624_144311r.jpg.e534fbb7a30b67c34356f80f0d7b49e6.jpg

 

Here are the wires under the footplate. The white wire might be affecting the fit but it's very thin.

IMG_20210624_144422r.jpg.f04f2e0d9403afc2ad49e8e583cc0d91.jpg

 

More to follow...

 

Edited by Harlequin
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  • RMweb Gold

Diversion into the sound side of the project for a moment:

 

Sound tests:

 

The sound is much clearer and there's less distortion when the bodyshell is off.

 

Therefore I am going to carve a huge hole in the top of the tank and replace the supplied plastic coal load with a coal-load-come-speaker-grille.

 

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It seems curious that the height difference between loco and tender on various photos of the D class vary so much.

 

On mine the difference seems quite slight in comparison to others.

 

I am unsure if it improved matters by me tightening up the two screws under the cab which were noticeably loose. 

A Youtuber's D class also had this issue.

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On 24/06/2021 at 19:30, Harlequin said:

Diversion into the sound side of the project for a moment:

 

Sound tests:

 

The sound is much clearer and there's less distortion when the bodyshell is off.

 

Therefore I am going to carve a huge hole in the top of the tank and replace the supplied plastic coal load with a coal-load-come-speaker-grille.

 

Phil—did you order the Rails sound upgrade or use a decoder from another source? What type speaker did you install in the tender? Sound should be better with the tender shell in place as it helps amplify it.

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  • RMweb Gold
8 minutes ago, Cofga said:

Phil—did you order the Rails sound upgrade or use a decoder from another source? What type speaker did you install in the tender? Sound should be better with the tender shell in place as it helps amplify it.

 

Hi, I got the YouChoos project on a Zimo MX658N18 and the speaker is a Zimo Dumbo 40*20*9mm. I had to file down the ends slightly to get it into the speaker well. it's a tight fit but I think that's a good thing.

 

You should be able to hear from the video above that the sound is much clearer with the body shell off. I think it muffles the sound and since the Zimo speaker has it's own large, specially designed enclosure I want to hear that as directly as possible.

 

Spoiler alert: I have already cut a hole in the top of the tank! Photos soon...

 

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  • RMweb Gold

My SR Sunshine black has not arrived yet.
Has anyone checked buffer heights to ascertain if it’s the loco or the tender heights that are incorrect? 

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  • RMweb Gold
On 25/06/2021 at 12:56, rprodgers said:

It seems curious that the height difference between loco and tender on various photos of the D class vary so much.

 

On mine the difference seems quite slight in comparison to others.

 

I am unsure if it improved matters by me tightening up the two screws under the cab which were noticeably loose. 

A Youtuber's D class also had this issue.

 

You might be right that some of the alignment problem is down to the screw under the cab not being as tight as it could be. That should be the first thing everyone checks because it's very simple to try.

 

It might not always work because the wires under the footplate could be trapped and there does still seem to be some misalignment on my model even after having the loco body off, adjusting the wires and refitting everything tightly.

 

4 hours ago, Graham_Muz said:

My SR Sunshine black has not arrived yet.
Has anyone checked buffer heights to ascertain if it’s the loco or the tender heights that are incorrect? 

 

At the moment I can't check the alignment or measure the tender buffer height properly because it's being worked on.

 

The loco buffers are ~13.5mm above rail. That's 3ft 4.5in to scale, which seems OK, I think?

 

 

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

Working on improving the sound and the coal load:

 

I formed insect mesh to the shape I wanted before cutting the hole in the tender that will allow the sound out.

IMG_20210626_120026r.jpg.96d4e06d51bac6a5a07bdf239376fcd1.jpgIMG_20210626_120053r.jpg.3f591a0e4947c294cd5432a598402632.jpg

 

The idea is that the fireman has raked the coal up to the front. It's important to remember that the coal will be a contour on top of the mesh, so I try to make the mesh smaller.

 

Knowing what the mesh would cover, I cut out a simple rectangle with a milling bit in the Dremel:

IMG_20210626_121906r.jpg.ac5889ec7d350d159a97ab29ea889af9.jpg

 

The plastic of the tank surface is surprisingly thick - maybe to create a more solid sound box.

 

After cleaning up, I glued the mesh in place using Copydex:

IMG_20210626_180645r.jpg.1a0a419efb58b0cdc400fe80ddcee6e5.jpg

 

Copydex is great in this situation because it's not permanent - the mesh and the coal load can be removed if needed leaving the tender completely unmarked (apart from the huge hole I've cut in it...). Small mistakes can easily be rubbed off and the rubber texture allows things to move slightly without rattling or buzzing as the sound passes through it.

 

When the glue had set enough I started adding the coal, smaller grade around the edges and bigger lumps on top:

IMG_20210626_194216r.jpg.1c9a970638f198c458a549935f35707c.jpg

 

The technique is to dab copydex onto the mesh without blocking the holes, then pour coal on, leave to set, pour off the excess, see where the mesh is visible, dab on more copydex and do the same again until the mesh has disappeared. You can see I've still got some gaps to fill in the photo above.

 

I'm not sure I've got this quite right yet but let's see how it turns out. (It'll be better than the plastic coal load supplied with the model!)

 

Edited by Harlequin
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Phil—I used that method in the tender of a brass N&W J Class 4-8-4 and it does put out great sound. One tip, paint the wire screen black before applying the coal. That way any thin spots won’t be as noticeable, and you do need thin spots to let the sound out. I wonder whether that larger version of the Dumbo was pressing against the top or sides of the tender and creating the distortion. In my Mogul I used the smaller Dumbo which was  a much easier fit and it still puts out a lot of sound—Larry (AKA The DCC Guy)

Edited by Cofga
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On 26/06/2021 at 15:50, Graham_Muz said:

My SR Sunshine black has not arrived yet.
Has anyone checked buffer heights to ascertain if it’s the loco or the tender heights that are incorrect? 

 

On mine the buffers were correct and the same. It was the back of the loco that was higher than the front causing the error.

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

On mine I think the back of the loco may have been higher but I didn't take note of the tightness of the fixing screws before I undid them. That's definitely the prime suspect, though.

Now it's back together there was still a misalignment problem so I inserted 15thou plastikard spacers in the tender to raise it very slightly.

Tender buffers are now 13.75 mm above rail, 3ft 5.25in to scale.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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  • RMweb Gold

With the rear fixing screws on the loco fully tight does the loco / tender coupling still work ok? 

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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

Here's the coal load finished (for now anyway):

IMG_20210627_115409r.jpg.14ecb454918ce064bf1fa3160dde8e43.jpg

 

It took a few iterations to get the coverage of the mesh right and to pick off lumps that looked silly.

I also glued a backing piece behind the "coal hole" to stop pieces dropping through into the chassis and added some coal coming out of the hole.

 

(Have you noticed the brass padlocks on the tool lockers in this and other people's photos? Wonderful little details!)

 

Looking underneath:

IMG_20210627_115458r.jpg.d359a6afd9d90305d89fa33914ee809a.jpg

 

Gaps in the coal allow the sound through but you can't see the gaps, or the mesh, from above.

 

Profile:

IMG_20210627_172846r.jpg.b8594e835acf62288e9a28aca1e70dc2.jpg

 

While I had the loco body off I fixed a small bit of reflective foil (Kitkat wrapper) behind the firebox LEDs (original idea from YouChoos) to help make the glow a bit brighter:

IMG_20210627_172919r.jpg.09b9b6d06fec4e6f9da2c9aa44203eb9.jpg

 

The sounds are now very clear with no distortion. I will try to upload a video of her running with sound (and properly synced chuffs) in the next few days.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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  • RMweb Gold
Posted (edited)

Well, for better or worse, here's a video I've cobbled together:

 

Apologies for the dodgy focus. I'm trying to control it manually to prevent focus-hunting - but not getting it quite right yet!

 

You can see that I managed to get the chuffs synced with the wheel motion very nicely after a bit of trial and error.

 

Edited by Harlequin
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6 hours ago, Harlequin said:

Well, for better or worse, here's a video I've cobbled together:

 

Apologies for the dodgy focus. I'm trying to control it manually to prevent focus-hunting - but not getting it quite right yet!

 

You can see that I managed to get the chuffs synced with the wheel motion very nicely after a bit of trial and error.

 

It appears you managed to get the tender and engine almost at the same height, did you raise the tender shell or lower the loco by manipulating the wires and tightening the screws?

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  • RMweb Gold
9 minutes ago, Cofga said:

It appears you managed to get the tender and engine almost at the same height, did you raise the tender shell or lower the loco by manipulating the wires and tightening the screws?

 

Both. But to be honest I'm not sure that the screw under the cab is gripping the body properly. It started to feel a bit "treacly" when I tightened it up.

 

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