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Bachmann 37 windscreens the easy way?


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To me, the alternatives for fitting the Shawplan etched windscreens to the Bachmann 37 seem either unsatisfactory (stick them over the top of the existing windscreen), or overly complex (cut the old windscreen area out and then try to get the etch to bed in properly and neatly). But I have perhaps found a third alternative.


It consists in cutting the grommets off the "backing" using special Xuron cutters designed for removing small parts from etches:



Mike Edge recommended them to me for removing the bonnet-side rainstrip from the fret on his NB 2700-series shunter. I thought if the cutters could do that then maybe they could do the 37 grommets too. Photos of results (and cutters) attached. The only rule is to keep the part that you want to use to the left of the cutters, and waste fret to their right (assuming you're right handed).


The final photo shows a work in progress. The cutters are so good that you can go back again and again clipping ever smaller pieces off (I've only hacked at those in the photo briefly once), and then file to finish. The grommets may well distort during cutting and filing, but they can easily be nudged back into shape again using an untouched etch as a template.


Attachment to the model is initially with satin varnish. This allows fine adjustments to be made during the drying process. Once set, if there are any places where the etch has lifted super glue can be slid underneath using a knife blade (as will need doing on the LHS in the photos).


True, the grommets might be slightly thick given that they now include the depth of the backing, but this is a small price to pay I feel.


Incidentally, I actually asked (new) Shawplan to produce just the grommets a few years ago, but he refused, saying that they wouldn't then be able to sell them to customers with Vitrains 37s as the (right) shape grommets would be wrong for that model!


I think I'm pretty happy with this, and it's made me think about restarting detailing 37406. I'd abandoned it in the face of the amount of work that needed to be done to make this dreadful model (Hello moderator!) presentable.


Some of the work on the front end is visible: 


Correct shape headcode panels are Shawplan reversed and thinned down, again fixed wirth varnish initially, and with plastic tubes to represent the lights.

Correct shape Replica (? - the Swindon people) headlight.

ETS socket on nose moved to correct position.

Lamp brackets by Vitrains.

Hornby class 60 buffers with dodgy surface removed.

Buffer beams extended at sides and then cut out for ETS fittings.

Much still to do at the front - replace MW socket, new screwlink coupling, ploughs - and I note from the photos getting the nose to fit properly!


Then it's the slog of the bogies, the fuel tanks, the roof grille.... 








Edited by Daddyman
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Nice work but you might want to just use the whole etching as it comes without the separate mounting as the real locos have an 'etching-shaped' surround to the windows, as have the 40s, as per the loco in the attached link...(it's more visible on some than on others, some of the locos have the surround so well blended in as to be invisible).






Nice work especially as it must have been an absolute nightmare filing the edges smooth without distorting the frames!



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Thanks for your interest. Very useful photo too. And yes, varied from prototype to prototype - and from end to end and side to side, as photos of 406 will show.


And you're right that one advantage of using the full etch rather than just the grommets is this. However, the windscreen on the real thing is set back, not proud - assuming you mean stick the whole etch on. That is virtually impossible to achieve. I'm not at all convinced by Shawplan's method for achieving that look.


As for nightmare, no, not at all - the sheers do all the work. Idea came to me in the night and had the frames shaped and attached within an hour this morning, thanks to a bout of flu.

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Hello folks. I need to pick your brains.


Today I'm looking at the bogies and the fire protection hatches (FPHs for short) and could do with hearing your thoughts. I'll start with the FPHs. On the real thing these are flush with the body side and look very little unlike the Bachmann ones, not least in terms of size. Looking at the attached photo of the model sitting on top of a photo of 416 at FW, it seems to me that neither the Bachmann FPH nor the Shawplan ones are right, though the latter is much finer (and, it should be pointed out, right for other classes AFAIK). It almost looks as if the real thing is oblong, not square, with the long axis going up-down. Question is, do I scrape off the Bachmann FPH and stick a Shawplan one on in its place? This would still be incorrectly proud, but less so than the Bachmann one, and I could get rid of that silly button in the middle, but it would be the wrong size and possibly shape. Also, the paint would need touching up, but then even on the usually immaculate 406, this area was often mucky.


I think I've talked myself into it.


On to the bogies. Now a certain Pugsley has written on here that in order to correct the ride height, both gear tower mounts and bogie frames need altering:



Is this other people's experience? With the greatest respect to Mr Pugsley, and doubting my own measurements more than his, I find that the side frames are in fact at the right height relative to the wheels. See the second two photos below. The photos are not totally convincing as I have to hold calipers single-handedly while operating the camera, but the experiment seems to be conclusive when done with two hands. I confess I've never heard of this mod before. I remember in mag years ago someone lifting the bogie frames on the early Bachmann 37 (the one with the porches, but also grommets!), but I thought that was a "cheat" to avoid working on the gear tower mounts.


Still on the bogies, in the past these have "drooped" on me, by which I mean that the loco naturally seems to "settle" with the front of the bogie higher than the rear. I've put this down to the weight concentration in the centre of the loco, and slop in the gear-tower-top-spigot-thingy (possibly induced by my interfering with the fixing area to reduce ride height). Has anyone else experienced this? Solutions? Plasticard shims to reduce front-to-rear play?


Finally, I have put a screw through the rear of the bogie to attach the frames to the body of the bogie. Thanks to Mike Knowles for this idea:


Mike did this to solve the common problem of Bachmann 37 bogies splitting at the back. However, I'm doing it so that I can remove the bogie rear and replace it with a more prototypical stretcher bar. I've never liked the look of these models when they're going round curves and the bogie rear shows. The front is equally bad, but may be hidden by the ploughs. If not, I can always put another screw in there and scratch build a stretcher bar.


Grateful in advance....



By the way, a good source of detailed photos is the restoration gallery for 37401 at Bo'ness.


It's perhaps less well known than this one:



Thanks also to people that haven't commented but have clicked "agree", etc.




Edited by Daddyman
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Been messing around with the bogies. Photos attached.


Detail Associates brake cylinders. I filed off the supplied backing plate as I think they sit slightly too proud. Then drilled the rear of the unit 0.6mm and the Bachmann bogie through the mounting holes for their cylinders and put piece of 0.6mm wire through from cylinder to bogie to aid orientation and ensure stayingputness. The wonky brake cylinder in the photo has since been shown the error of its ways - just a question of swivelling it on the wire.


Also been experimenting with the steps. Wasn't sure whether to use Bachmann or Vitrains steps, but was sure I was going to double them up. I kept the bottom half of one step and glued it to the back of another then drilled through the two Bachmann step mounting holes on the bogie frames, fitted 0.6mm wire to act as mounts and glued the steps on to the wire. Photos hopefully show all this. It's a bit spares-intensive and it might be better just to mount one set of steps further out using slightly longer wire mounts. Or yes, Pete, use yours!


Right chaps, I need to know the correct width of a 37 bogie. Anyone? When cutting the sideframes off the bogie the width of the saw blade removes an amount of plastic and, once the whole is tidied up and the frames refitted, the bogies will of necessity be narrower. But is it enough? I'm not so sure. I think the sideframes should be inboard of the tumblehome at its narrowest/lowest point? What do yous think? Can't get any further without you!











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Not much today, back to work after the flu and back to starved and looted brain, so couldn't face wrestling with the bogies tonight. Instead, did a bit on the bufferbeams and nose ends.


The snowploughs are Heljan, with the 3 parts separated as they're too wide for a 37. I then attached the centre piece of the plough to a plasticard bracket which sits behind the bufferbeam and puts the plough at the correct distance from the beam. This bracket is also drilled to take a piece of wire which passes through it horizontally and also runs through the pre-drilled side ploughs. In this way, both the distance from the centre and the alignment of the ploughs can be adjusted - the one on the right shows this, being too far from the centre as yet. As far as I can tell from photos this method gets the ploughs positioned correctly relative to the bufferbeam. But what a faff! Even describing it! Should have just got PH ones...


Anyway, now all they need is painting, which can happen at the same time as the noses, both now having been fully detailed up, apart from jumpers.


As for bufferbeam fittings, these are (L to R): Heljan MW socket from their class 47, Bachmann 47 vac pipe, Bachmann screw coupling, the end only of the Bachmann 37's original MW socket, trimmed, inverted and drilled to take a .5mm plastic rod which will connect it to (I think) a Heljan 26 MW jumper which will sit on the nose end. Not ideal, and spares-intensive, but I don't know of any better looking MW jumpers. Air pipes will be Vitrains - again for want of something better - and ETS bits on the bufferbeam will be Shapeways, and the jumper on the nose the Bachmann original modified, or Hornby class 50, or possibly Craftsman - will need to compare them all.


I've held off doing the windscreen grommets at the number 1 end as I have a feeling that there's going to be an exciting development in this area next week...  


It occurred to me that it might be possible, before putting the grommets on, to tack the full Shawplan etch on and use it as a mask, then spray the border outside the etch and create a slight difference in levels with paint. This might create the seam-line Strathyre spoke of. Not sure, feels a bit hairbrained....




Edited by Daddyman
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Some nice work and like the simplified approach to the window surrounds although I am guessing it is not suitable if you intend to use Laserglaze?


Re the spraying round the etch approach, that would give you the step in the paint and would probably be subtle enough. Having said that with my own full etch 37's in front of me anything further than 6 inches you can't see the fact the etch is on top anyway.

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Many thanks for your comments. It's possible to use laserglaze, yes, with some slight tweaking of the Bachmann aperture. The annoying thing is that Bachmann have made the apertures more or less the right size and shape, as you'll know if you've ever laid a Shawplan etch over them.


But I don't think I'm going to use laserglaze, no. Two reasons. By the time I got in touch with Shawplan and the stuff arrives, I can have the windows done myself, cutting them from clear plastic sheet of some sort or other. I usually reckon 40 minutes to shape a brass template for one window - brass is much quicker and easier to file than plastic sheet.


Second reason, people speak highly of laserglaze so I'm sure there's some good to it, but on certain classes it doesn't seem to fit too well. On the couple of 47s I've seen it fitted to - one in a mag - it seems to sit proud. And with my own 26 I found that I needed to do as much fettling to the laserglaze panes as I would have to my own pane, but I was 6? 8? 9? quid worse off. On some models the window aperture tapers inwards into the interior of the model, and laserglaze doesn't seem to work as well in those cases as in others. However, perhaps the laserglaze for the 37 is a better fit. .. 


Anyway, long way from glazing yet: with the grommets I've simply solved one of the three major problems that have made me give up on Bachmann 37s in the past; that still leaves the hurdles of the bogies and fuel tanks. Plenty of opportunity for things to go up the spout yet...  


Re progress, put some undercoat on the ploughs and nose ends this evening. I never use primer on plastic. As I understand it, the only "priming" that's needed is (1) a tack coat to allow later coats of paint to grip to plastic, (2) something to help translucent topcoats such as yellow to gain coverage, and (3) something to show up any flaws. Matt white Humbrol serves all three purposes as far as I can see.


Also ordered Gibson wheelsets.

Edited by Daddyman
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Some progress on a bogie today - singular! About five hours' work here.


The first photo shows one of the brake asemblies shortened to clear the centre wheels on the narrowed bogies. The outer brake shoe bracket has a piece of wire drilled into it to fit it to a hole in the new stretcher beam. It replaces a spigot on the Bachmann brake gear which performs a similar function.


The final photo shows the stretcher beam and the 0.6mm brake rod which both improves the look of the ends and helps keep the bogie frame rigid after losing all that Bachmann plastic. The stretcher isn't actually prototypical shape, but the ends, which will be the only parts visible when the bogies swings out on curves, look right:


Really the brake gear should be attached outboard of the stretcher, but I think that would be going too far...


Photo 2 shows the speedo drive. This is modelled on D6775's photos of 37075 - for which thanks again!The drive on the axle box is a 60 thou square drilled at  the rear to take a wire connecting it to the axlebox, and drilled again in the side to take 0.6 copper wire connecting it to the 2mm rod drilled into the bogies sideframe. When it exits the 2mm rod the cable goes down to 0.4mm copper.


I've re-used the Bachmann pipes from the brake cylinders.


Incidentally, I was getting nowhere trying to bond the bogie sideframes to the bogie body with superglue and in the end I used good old plastic magic - gives a lot of adjustment time and a strong enough bond so far, with quite a bit of wrenching around/dropping off the work table, etc.  


Steps are still in progress. Have put a 10thou backing plate on them as per D6775's pics again. However, this was towards the end of the 5 hours and in my fatigue I put them on wrong way round....


In other news, more yellow on the ploughs and nose ends, and starting to fill the interiors of the fuel tanks with the requisite shelves...







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Do you mean how much did I narrow the bogies by? I took nothing off the actual sideframes. The extra width comes off the baseplate. It now measure 23.5 mm inside the frames. Unaltered Bachmann is I think 25.5. I only guessed but this width looks right compared to the prototype photos in post #6 above.

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Thought I'd do a step-by-step on the second bogie.


First thing is to remove the brake rigging by pushing downwards with a file or something at the point shown. These sometimes have some glue but will move with a little persuasion:




Next step is to drill the bogies through the frame and the body (the bit that holds the wheels and gears, etc). I drill just behind where the bogie body dips down at front and back. This hole will take a 15mm 10BA screw, so the hole needs to be opened out accordingly:  



It is crucial that the drilling is done before anything else as it ensures that the alignment of the frame and body relative to one another is preserved during the next step, which is removing the front and rear of the bogie frame, and with them all the Bachmann locating clips:



The frames will then look like this:



Next thing is removing the tabs from front and rear of the body - these will get in the way of the new stretcher bars, and are unnecessary with Mike Knowles' screw technique.


Next I hold the frame and body in alignment using broaches, cocktail sticks, 2mm rod, 10BA screws, etc while dressing the outer ends of frame and body.



Now I'm ready to cut off the bogie sideframes. The saw blade must go hard up against the sideframes - lean it against them and use them as a guide - so as not to waste any plastic on the soon-to-be-separate central section. I know I'll be shaving 1mm off this, but it's better to start with a nice even playing field with no gouges.



With the sideframes now separate from the central section, I set about preparing the former for detailing: 


(1) dress the backs with a file; drill out from behind the three holes into which the step spigots locate - the steps then pop out

(2) cut the pipe runs where they meet the brake cylinders so that when the latter are removed the pipes may remain - mine didn't!

(3) the brake cylinders are best removed with a gentle twisting action in all planes, so that their spigots come out and leave a hole that can then be drilled 0.6mm for locating holes for the DA brake cylinders.



Final job (in the preparation stage at least) is to open out the holes in the frame base/centre piece where the brake rigging locates. The 2.5mm file in this photo is pointing to the hole that it has just opened out, and 2.5mm seems a good depth - too narrow and the brake rigging will push the sideframes out; the other holes in this view are untouched but will all need to be done at this stage rather than after the frames are on


Edited by Daddyman
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Also been thinking about the next nightmare - the sanding pipes, which are located in the cutaways at the outer end of each fuel tank:





I first made a sketch, as simply getting my head around the complex shape was a problem in itself:  



Next, I've translated that into modelling materials:



Will hopefully get to test this idea out at the weekend.

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Just been sticking the other bogie together tonight, and adding details. I actually tried something new while sticking the sideframes to the centre framework. I filed the centre piece further than I needed to - yes, by accident. To make up for that I superglued shims of plasticard to the places where the central frame contacts the sideframes. These shims of plasticard then become the part that contacts with the sideframes and being plasticard are much more glue-friendly than the plastic of the centre piece. The joint is much stronger.


Attached photo of the DA brake cylinders with 0.6 wire drilled into the rear to allow reliable attachment to the sideframes.



Yellowing of the ploughs and noses and tinkering with the fuel tanks is ongoing...

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Some photos of progress. The first one shows something I was messing about on last night while bits on 406 were drying/setting. It's a bogie which will go under 37405, and is made from a Bachmann Deltic. This seems to me to be an easier way to get this type of bogie than using a Hornby 50, which presents the problem of a step to be removed, and some detail which is a bit too flush. However, the main beam on the Bachmann Deltic bogie is too shallow, so I added a 20 thou strip to the top of this, and then removed all the detail on the surface of the beam - steps, moulded brake cylinders and the trianglular mounting thingies. The brake cylinders I've replaced with the usual Detail Associates part 2801, and the steps temporarily with Vitrains. The triangular thingies will be added from etched components, which a small supplier was kind enough to give me to test before he releases them on the market. Not sure if I'm allowed to name the supplier yet, but suffice to say everything on the fret is very nice. 



Otherwise, nameplate troubles. I thought I'd lost a (Shawplan) nameplate for 406 and so ordered a set from Fox as I was ordering paint anyway. However, comparison of the Shawplan (top) with the Fox shows the latter to be too small, and comparison with the prototype shows Shawplan to be right:


So the Fox ones will be going back - and hopefully will be withdrawn from sale to save someone else the same hassle. 



Another little job was removing Bachmann's raised rim around the fan grille aperture. The photo shows maksing tape used to protect the surrounding rivets during the operation. A Shawplan etch will go on here, but only at the last minute - I've dented too many of them handling locos. post-708-0-13456300-1390512055.jpg


Shapeways ETS bit arrived today. First impression is that they're very nice. Will paint them tomorrow, which will make them easier to see - impossible to photograph in their current clear plastic.


Finally, a picture of how it's all adding up.


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ETH fittings designed by PH Designs, 3-D printed by Shapeways:



Horns - A1 I think, from years ago. Flattened on the bottom at the point where the wire goes in to allow drilling (makes soldered joint stronger). Tail of one shortened to approximate to uneven lengths of 37 horns.




Axleboxes sprayed matt white for colour density and then EWS maroon - all but one of them, which was yellow on 406. Precision EWS red gives a nice glossy surface from which later applications of weathering colour can be wiped off.



More messing around with 405's ex-Deltic/50 bogie. The "small supplier" I alluded to is PH Designs, and Pete's triangular thingy can be seen attached here. Fiddly, so didn't have the strength to do the other one on this side, let alone the other 6!



Things coming together:



Going to need a 6Y15 I suppose:



Full repaint here, matt white first for colour density and for the base coat on which to start weathering the wooden deck, then Humbrol 100 mixed with white to represent the faded RF red. Another coat needed where masking not perfect (lower edge of bodyside). Then blue corners, black patches all over the place, and fingers crossed that someone does some transfers....


A 6Y15 and a 405 - last 37-hauled train I ever saw on the WHL, near Corrour (Sept '06?). 


Edited by Daddyman
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This just gets better and better ! - do like the ETH fittings - on my shopping list.  Mr Fox is going to be upset for sure, when you advise him about his version of the 406 plates. I've found this in the past also, with some other plates - especially keeping in mind the premium price he now charges for them - wearing a mask comes to mind !  

Great modelling, keep the photos coming - t'will be a beast once complete



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Yes, Mr Fox doesn't take criticism well....  But eveything from him always arrrives the next day, so not all bad.


Re Shapeways, here's the link. Bear in mind that the price is in Euros. Also bear in mind that they told me on 15th Jan that my items would be dispatched on 23rd Jan, but they in fact arrived on 23rd Jan.




Edited by Daddyman
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