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pete_mcfarlane

Scratchbuilt LBSC I4 Atlantic tank

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post-1187-0-15644400-1340404752_thumb.jpgProgress is still rather too slow for my liking. I've added various bits of detail - (guard irons, washout plugs, handrails) and the chassis is now ready for the wheels once it has been given a coat of paint.

 

The chimney and dome are only resting in holes drilled in the boiler. I think the dome is slightly on the high side, but I need to check against the drawing before taking a file to it!

Edited by pete_mcfarlane
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It is begining to take shape. I suppose the next part is the cab. will it be lift off for ease of cab detailing? Have you done the bogie as yet?

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It is begining to take shape. I suppose the next part is the cab. will it be lift off for ease of cab detailing? Have you done the bogie as yet?

Spot on - the cab is the next item I'm working on, and it will be a separate removable assembly. The bogie will follow once I've got the basic chassis working, and then I should be on the home straight (although I'm not looking forward to the bunker coal rails).

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A very brief update - the wheels and chassis are now painted and will be assembled at some point in the next week.

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I decided to have a go at painting the wheels before assembling them to the chassis. On my previous two locos with Gibson wheels I ended up painting them in situ, which wasn't the easiest thing to do.

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It's been six weeks since the last update, and not much had happened until today. I now have the shell of the cab finished - it still needs the clerestory and some beading. It was a surprisingly difficult to get right, and the curved section where the roof blends in to the sides are mostly solder rather than nickel silver.

 

These locos had their cabs cut down in Southern days to allow them to work over the Eastern section - some of them were allocated to Tunbridge Wells West in the 1930s.

 

Here's the current state of the loco.

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I will finish this, but maybe not in time for the deadline....

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It's been six weeks since the last update......

And nearly 4 years later, I've resurrected this project. When it was obvious that I'd miss the deadline work basically stopped and the project got put to one side, to be restarted 'soon'. And that's time has finally come. In the meantime I managed to move house, so it's taken a while to track down most of the bits (and I've still not found where I put the coupling rods or some of the castings). 

 

Anyway, over the last few days I've added quite a bit of detail. The hardest bit was the coal rails - these were held in place using various card formers whilst I soldered them (and occasionally my fingers).

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This is the current state of play - foorsteps (spares from a Finecast I3), boiler handrails, bunker steps and various other small details have been added. The boiler fittings, pipework and cab clerestory are the main bits left to do on the body. The chassis is much less advanced - it still runs, and needs coupling rods, a bogie and various detailing. But so far it's all been good fun (and a lot more fun than the whitemetal D3 I'm building at the same time).

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A few evenings work has seen a lot of detail added - mainly pipework and the Westinghouse pump and air tanks for the braking. Some of this was quite tricky to do, due to the boiler being a length of relatively thick brass tube. So soldering stuff to it, even with a 40W iron, wasn't easy. I now have a GW models rolling mill, so in theory any future locos could have nickel silver boilers.

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The Westinghouse pump is a rather nice turned brass job from Markits, and being brass it was a simple job to solder all the piping to it. For some reason Markits are the on;y people who do a pump of the right size for these larger Brighton engines and supplies seem to be a bit erratic (so I've stocked up...). 

 

I've also found most, but not all of the missing bits. So an order is going off the Alan Gibson in the morning which will include the missing con rods.

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Another progress update. 

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Most of the bodywork is done - just waiting on adding boiler fittings, lamp irons etc once I've got the chassis running an detailed. And at some point I'm going to have to stop chickening out of making the cab rood clerestory. 

 

Most of the recent work has been adding pipe work - I struggled to find a decent photo of the drivers side of 2033 (or any other I4) in 1930s condition, so I cheated and copied some details from the very similar I2 class (there's a fantastic photo in the Bradford Barton 'Southern Steam in works' album).

 

One interesting conundrum was the fitting of air brake pipes. The photos I cave of 2033 (and some other I4s) on the Eastleigh scrap line after withdrawal show no air brake pipes, only vacuum. I'd originally assumed this was because the pipes had been removed post withdrawal, but the photo of the I2 in the works also showed no air pipes, as did a handful of photos of I3s. The Bradley book makes no reference to this as far as I can tell, but it looks like some of the I4s lost their air brakes at some point in SR days. 

 

 

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I am looking forward to seeing the details added to this. Itwill look great.

 

It is a pain modelling the 1930's I often find earlier or later pictures of the loco I want but rarely spot the time period. Lots of educated guesses

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It is a pain modelling the 1930's I often find earlier or later pictures of the loco I want but rarely spot the time period. Lots of educated guesses

Especially the rear of locos - nobody ever seemed to want to 'waste' a shot on a tank engine running bunker first. 

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And a little more progress - most of the boiler fitting have been added, although I can't find the tank vents and safety valve (so will need to buy some more spares from SEF). I've also managed to solder these in place, which I'm quite pleased with. 

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On the minus side, I chickened out of fabricating the clerestory roof out of sheet, so it's formed from several laminations of thick plasticard, curved shape in the oven and laminated together. The chassis also being tweaked, so this loco is slowly easing toward completion. 

 

 

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I've finally got to the point where the body is ready for painting. Most of the work has been on the chassis, which is finally running smoothly without any binding of the coupling rods (after making another replacement set).Brake gear is from a Mainly Trains etch of various SR loco break gear, which includes several LBSC types. 

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The etched lamp irons are from RT models and make detailing LBSC locos a lot easier. The sharp-eyed will spot that the smokebox dart is missing, due to me breaking it when cleaning the loco up for painting with a wire wheel. I also noticed (after the first coat of etch primer) that I'd forgotten to make the shaped cylinder cover - this needs to be carved out of lump of plastic to get the rounded shape. 

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Looks good. Must be well chuffed with the results. I must say I do enjoy scratch building locos.

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I've finally finished the I4. I think I'm slightly too late to enter it in the competition, given that it closed in 2012. There the saying "if it looks right, it is right", which definitely doesn't apply to the I4 (or their I1 and 12 sisters). They are lovely looking locos, but pretty feeble things 

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Luckily the delay in finishing it meant that I'd a) bought an airbrush and b) bought a decent lining pen (a second hand one from Golden Arrow models). I'm still not perfect with either, but the result is way better than my previous two attempts at painting Maunsell lined green. But not yet at the point where I strip down and repaint those previous attempts. Paint if from Phoenix and the varnish is diluted Ronseal with some matting agent. . 

 

The boiler band lining is from the HMRS LNER sheet. I did struggle slightly, as none of the photos I have show the boiler lining, so I went on the position of the boiler bands in the weight drawing, which gives a slightly odd unbalanced effect. I also couldn't find a photo of the rear of 2033, so I'm not sure if it had a transfer number at the rear in this condition or a cast numberplate. I went for the latter, which is a custom job from Narrow Planet. 

 

So it's done. I reckon the front cab spectacles are 0.5 mm too big, and the clerestory roof may be a shade of a mm too high, but I'm pretty happy for a first attempt at scratchbuilding a loco in metal. After all, this is almost certainly the best 4mm scale model of an I4 ever to appear on RMweb..... 

 

 

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