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Decision Point - getting something moving.


Lacathedrale
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Good afternoon all,

 

It's now been approximately 18mo since I joined the S-scale Society and I've very little to show for it other than one half finished P.O. wagon and three in progress SR-derivative wagons. I feel like I need to make a decisive leap in S-scale, or mark it up as a fun, but stillborn experiment.  I understand this is not a unique outcome for first-time joiners to the SSMRS and bears no reflection on the support, encouragement and comradery found there - but to quote Mike Tyson "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth".

 

2021 is the year that I am going to start building my Minories layout. Whether it is in N, TT, H0, 00 or G3, it is going to happen. I dearly wish that this could be in S-scale, but I feel like I am just too far behind the curve to do everything at once. I do not expect this to be a quick layout to build if executed in S, but what I do need to know that it is possible - and it seems that the major stumbling block - more of a yawning chasm - is when it comes to building locomotives.

 

I have built a couple of 2mmFS chassis with rigid axles, and I am prepared to learn the process of compensation - but torsion bars, CSB, etc. are all well beyond me currently. I need someone to TELL ME how to do something. I need a set of instructions, or a plan or drawings - just for the first one - to set me on the right track. Saying "There are lots of ways to achieve X" does not actually help me achieve X as I have no meaningful frame of reference particularly if I have to design the components myself. I need to get over this hump now, or never.

 

I do not think I can sustain an interest in the scale with nothing at all moving, so I humbly ask if there is anything at all that I can do to get something moving under its own power. If not, then I think my time with S has drawn to a close.

 

Edited by Lacathedrale
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Umm. What sort of motive power are you looking for? You can move the wheels out/put new wheels and axles in on something like a motor bogie, but if that’s not what you want to achieve, that’s not the best idea.

 

I once saw an S scale model of a “sort of” J69 (I.e. close approximation to one) using a Triang “Jinty” chassis block. We have S gauge Romford axles available, and with suitable bushes, it is a possibility. Also, the use of standard LMS 4’7.5” 15 spoke drivers means you get get something pretty close to the cast iron 15-spoke 4’ drivers of that particular prototype, but again, if this isn’t what you want, it won’t help.

 

To be honest, we essentially have 3 categories of member within the society:

1) Basically, S scale is it. No distractions, except possibly models in other scales to run on a local club layout.

2) Dabblers. Mostly modelling in other scales or indeed no other scales, but varying degrees of activity in S from reading about it to actively building some modellers.

3) Non-modellers, who happen to like S scale.

Obviously there is a lot of overlap there and it is a continuum, but you get the point: you don’t have to actively model in S to be a member of the society, or to have an interest in it. In fact, if you do actively model in it, you are in the minority!

 

Loco building is possibly the biggest stumbling block for most people, and in the 40 years since I first contacted the society, I still haven’t built a single engine myself. I have done all the various things required to build one, yes, certainly, in fact nearly everything required, just not on a sustained basis that resulted in a finished loco that was all my own work. Occasionally locos turn up for sale, usually from a deceased member, but these are often bought as keep-sakes for display rather than as working models on a layout, and of course unless there happens to have been someone modelling your chosen prototype, then this won’t help anyway.

 

To operate something like Minories with the intensity it demands means a minimum of three sets of coaches and 4 locos suitable for pulling them (or 3 and a station pilot). This can be varied to match your own interpretation of the Minories theme, but for the basic original three platform plan, this is the case. The pointwork can be compressed into a single unit involving a double slip, a single slip, a left hand trailing turnout and a “Y” all captured within a single board no more than 4’ long. This is a great scheme for someone with limited layout space: build that central unit now, add on extra boards for the platforms and a fiddle yard as and when, but concentrate on building those 3 takes of coaches and 4 locos until there is space to setup a layout. You can always add more locos (and coaches) later on. But in S scale, you have to really want to do this and be prepared for it to take some considerable time.

 

As for construction, the series “For Loco Building Begin Here” in Model Railways magazine during 1975 is as good as you will get because it covers how to use the individual tools -  but ignore the chassis construction chapters later on, as it is rigid-frame and old-hat. For the chassis, plenty of articles on building a compensated chassis by Iain Rice, but I personally prefer no rigid axles. Or there are the Wild Swan books on loco building by Guy Williams and Geoff Holt, for example. Finally, Peter Wright’s book on model engineering is pretty useful, too: “Model Engineering: A Foundation Course“. ISBN: 978-1854861528. Easily available, and includes using machine tools. Want to build coaches? There is David Jenkinson, of course, but also Norman Pattenden in SSMRS Newsletters, 1984-1985 (only available to SSMRS members, of course, via the on-line members only area). Wagons? Chris Crofts in early MRJs (12-15), plus sundry books (WSP again) and articles by Geoff Kent.

 

S scale appeals to people who like S scale. Whether that appeal is vicarious (they enjoy reading about it), a nice little diversion, or full-fledged immersion in producing models is entirely up to those individuals. But that latter level of commitment does require, well, serious commitment and a degree of single-mindedness, as well as a degree of self-reliance and an acceptance that mistakes are the best teachers. I am not trying to put anyone off, but to get anything serious achieved in S does demand some dedication to the cause, and only the individual modeller can decide to make that commitment. Patience is definitely a virtue, or failing that, enlightened impatience.

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Good mornig Simon!

 

I have indeed managed to fit a Minories throat into 4' board (see the theory of general minories thread, here: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/60091-theory-of-general-minories/&do=findComment&comment=4539228). Working from the Maybank pattern I was expecting three-four full trains of coaching stock and locomotives. Using HV as a basis permits small, short trains as well as the 'cheap & heavy' workmen trains.

 

Either I'd like to buy a working chassis / loco with a broadly southern theme - or alternatively get some concrete guidance on the chassis for the part-built TerrierI have waiting in the wings. I'm going to update my Imperial Workbench thread with the idea for the Terrier there - but if there's any other solution - a tram loco running on a proprietary bogie/etc. ?

 

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How you compensate it is up to you, but in the past I have used London Road Models hornblock castings an axle bearings, so I simply cut a 6mm wide slot in the frames to a depth of 4mm above the axle centre line. I have then carefully aligned the first pair of hornblocks checking everything thing with a square, or alternatively you can put a length of axle in vertical drill, and place the chassis on the drill table with a scrap of smooth, level wood underneath, and have everything at right angles whilst soldering up the first hornblocks. This would also work with the old Mike Sherman style flex I has bearings and etched guides for them.

The rest of the axles are then set with reference to the first axle using the coupling rods and simple jigs, either the aluminium ones with tapered ends from LRM, or you can your own using concentric wire and tubes so that you have something small to fit into your crankpin holes, and something ⅛” diameter (or whatever) for the axle. You can use ⅛” tube, lined with 3/32” tube, with 1/16” wire inside, if that is the outside diameter of you crankpin bushes, and pop the rods on that. Just make them about 2” long so nowhere near the bearings when soldering. This is better than the tapered aluminium ends, as the rods don’t slide off!

As for 3 point compensation on a 6 wheel chassis, I go for something like this.

Front axle:

78E3F987-F3C1-41F8-9120-FE77545C8AE1.jpeg.6aee66a5633c64b60f64a2841c01baba.jpeg

 

Rear two axles, the same each side:

57A0A5F1-B0CC-47A1-8116-353F28D8C211.jpeg.5da615d084d8a7eb8000e3a526b66eff.jpeg

2887A8DB-B44A-4EEA-AD94-761447F76A7F.jpeg.ed4a10b7cbee73250da5c444d0a04e46.jpeg

 

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Stating the blindingly obvious but a scratchbuilt chassis doesn't come with 'a set of instructions'. The builder is required to design his own chassis which will more than likly be based on one of several design concepts eg compensation, individualy sprung, CSB's etc, etc. These variuos concepts have been written up in a number of books, articles and on-line threads as Simon previously stated.

 

I came to S Scale from 4mm and still use the same techniques and design concepts in S Scale as I did in 4mm. Sometimes I still use the same 4mm products. Bearing that in mind, one option may be to build a chassis based on a suitable 4mm chassis kit? Wizard Models produce a chassis kit for a 4mm scale Terrier, download the instruction sheet from Wizard's website then produce the same parts using a suitable Terrier drawing and follow the instructions to produce a running chassis.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Lacathedrale said:

I have built a couple of 2mmFS chassis with rigid axles, and I am prepared to learn the process of compensation - but torsion bars, CSB, etc. are all well beyond me currently. I need someone to TELL ME how to do something. I need a set of instructions, or a plan or drawings - just for the first one - to set me on the right track. Saying "There are lots of ways to achieve X" does not actually help me achieve X as I have no meaningful frame of reference particularly if I have to design the components myself. I need to get over this hump now, or never.

 

I feel your frustration. While we are not in the same boat, as I have only just started out, I was just looking at the website of a well-know kit supplier before reading your post and thinking "but it doesn't tell me anything!". I also received a model wagon kit from elsewhere and the instructions, to my eye were - "Put it together and then these are the choices of how to decorate". :banghead:

Regarding S Scale is there nothing suitable to help online in the US that may help?

 

As an addition I've really liked @JimRead micro layouts where his locos are made from cardboard. Is this something that can be readily scaled down?

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Reading through this thread out of curiosity, I am not into S scale.  I have to confess to scratching my head since getting something moving and modelling in S scale seem contradictory based on what is being said by William.

 

I have made a few loco chassis in 00 and I would swear by Rice's Etched Chassis book for that.  Beam compensation as described by Rice, or Sharman, would be the way to go.

 

I tried CSB but gave up as it just too faffy.

 

If you want to go up a scale, why not 0 gauge?  Since Dapol got involved in 0 about 8 yrs ago, the affordability of the scale has been transformed.  Minerva has also produced excellent locos albeit all GWR.  I made the switch from 00 6 yrs ago and, boy, that was the best modelling decision I ever made.

 

Everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do so just trying to give another perspective.

 

John

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53 minutes ago, brossard said:

Reading through this thread out of curiosity, I am not into S scale.  I have to confess to scratching my head since getting something moving and modelling in S scale seem contradictory based on what is being said by William.

 

I have made a few loco chassis in 00 and I would swear by Rice's Etched Chassis book for that.  Beam compensation as described by Rice, or Sharman, would be the way to go.

Apart from not liking the idea of having a fixed axle, beam compensation (“torsion bar”) is the way I have gone.

I generally use PCB spacers instead of sheet metal, but other than that, the only difference between what I do and what most etched chassis kits do is that I have to cut and file things myself - and any mistakes (other than the reliability of a drawing) are my own fault!

 

The NASG uses track and wheel standards that work well, but which are not compatible with those in UK, even before we went to “P:64” in advance of 4mm scale. ;)

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A key point here is that if you are in a hurry, then open boxes and model in 00, using what is available ready made.

 

Nowt wrong with that, but the converse is that S scale, like 2mm FS, or indeed many subjects in any scale, is as much about enjoying the journey as reaching the destination.

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Hello all,

I just had an email from Jamie Vincent and thought I would answer it in the thread he pointed me at.

First of all measuring and resizing drawings using free software

The links below the vid will take you to the software.

 

Making locos from card and compensation, best explained by a pic.
chassis03.jpg.c8a2aaa13c8f4929ee12a08d4f71b9f6.jpg

 

Those are O Gauge bushes with some tube reducing to 1/8" and High Level horn blocks
I use 1/8" bushes from eBay now much easier.
I was told that a card chassis wouldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding and that card coupling hooks were just plain stupid
Errrrrrr! Another video:

 

The chassis in the video is the one in the pic.

 

I send out some PDF's making loco's,  track, points, controllers, wagons, coaches (some on the way to you Jamie) in exchange for a nice message, I ignore the one line phone speak demands, it does take lots of time to author all the stuff.

 

Cheers - Jim

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18 minutes ago, Regularity said:

Apart from not liking the idea of having a fixed axle, beam compensation (“torsion bar”) is the way I have gone.

I generally use PCB spacers instead of sheet metal, but other than that, the only difference between what I do and what most etched chassis kits do is that I have to cut and file things myself - and any mistakes (other than the reliability of a drawing) are my own fault!

 

The NASG uses track and wheel standards that work well, but which are not compatible with those in UK, even before we went to “P:64” in advance of 4mm scale. ;)

 

I never trusted myself to get a chassis perfect so beam compensation was the way to go for me.

 

I have scratch built a chassis (for a LMS Flatiron) and it came out well I thought.  It was to replace a whitemetal monstrosity that came with the kit.  I never did finish the loco, sigh.

 

P1010002-001.JPG.54cdd26b12e95a5ca9a492f55d97c7fa.JPG

 

John

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3 hours ago, Lacathedrale said:

- there are many options. I have so much choice that I don't know what is simplest - I assumed CSB but I see Simon is using torsion bars instead.

 

 

Until you actually start on a chassis you are unlikly to ever find the simplest solution. There is no 'one size fits all'. What works for one person may not necessary work for another. Just because Simon prefers to use compensation (torsion bars) doesn't mean that it will work for you. I know a number of  modellers that swear by CSB's, on the other hand I know others who don't get on with CSB's and prefer compensation.

 

My first S Scale locomotive incorporated simple beam compensation acting on the middle and leading axles with the rear axle fixed. I have subsequently built a locomotive incoporating CSB's but I'm now swaying towards full compensation as per Simon's locomotive.

 

If you feel a CSB chassis looks relatively simple to produce then do it. If it doesn't work out then try compensation. Only then will you find the simplist solution that suits you.

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4 minutes ago, ScottW said:

I have subsequently built a locomotive incoporating CSB's but I'm now swaying towards full compensation as per Simon's locomotive.

I always felt that this was the best way (having built one chassis with a fixed rear axle) but this was confirmed for me by finding out that this is what Trevor Nunn does. In fact, he did it for me on the DX goods chassis in the photos (although I had actually cut the frames).

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For the sake of three point beam compensation, then could you please tell me how to determine the pivot height in relation to the axles? I assume that the pivot point should be equidistant between axles (or hornblocks on perpendicular), and that with the beams horizontal, the axles are level!

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On 11/08/2021 at 02:01, Lacathedrale said:

Good afternoon all,

 

It's now been approximately 18mo since I joined the S-scale Society and I've very little to show for it other than one half finished P.O. wagon and three in progress SR-derivative wagons. I feel like I need to make a decisive leap in S-scale, or mark it up as a fun, but stillborn experiment.  I understand this is not a unique outcome for first-time joiners to the SSMRS and bears no reflection on the support, encouragement and comradery found there - but to quote Mike Tyson "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth".

 

2021 is the year that I am going to start building my Minories layout. Whether it is in N, TT, H0, 00 or G3, it is going to happen. I dearly wish that this could be in S-scale, but I feel like I am just too far behind the curve to do everything at once. I do not expect this to be a quick layout to build if executed in S, but what I do need to know that it is possible - and it seems that the major stumbling block - more of a yawning chasm - is when it comes to building locomotives.

 

I have built a couple of 2mmFS chassis with rigid axles, and I am prepared to learn the process of compensation - but torsion bars, CSB, etc. are all well beyond me currently. I need someone to TELL ME how to do something. I need a set of instructions, or a plan or drawings - just for the first one - to set me on the right track. Saying "There are lots of ways to achieve X" does not actually help me achieve X as I have no meaningful frame of reference particularly if I have to design the components myself. I need to get over this hump now, or never.

 

I do not think I can sustain an interest in the scale with nothing at all moving, so I humbly ask if there is anything at all that I can do to get something moving under its own power. If not, then I think my time with S has drawn to a close.

 

 

On 11/08/2021 at 03:01, Regularity said:

Umm. What sort of motive power are you looking for? You can move the wheels out/put new wheels and axles in on something like a motor bogie, but if that’s not what you want to achieve, that’s not the best idea.

 

I once saw an S scale model of a “sort of” J69 (I.e. close approximation to one) using a Triang “Jinty” chassis block. We have S gauge Romford axles available, and with suitable bushes, it is a possibility. Also, the use of standard LMS 4’7.5” 15 spoke drivers means you get get something pretty close to the cast iron 15-spoke 4’ drivers of that particular prototype, but again, if this isn’t what you want, it won’t help.

 

To be honest, we essentially have 3 categories of member within the society:

1) Basically, S scale is it. No distractions, except possibly models in other scales to run on a local club layout.

2) Dabblers. Mostly modelling in other scales or indeed no other scales, but varying degrees of activity in S from reading about it to actively building some modellers.

3) Non-modellers, who happen to like S scale.

Obviously there is a lot of overlap there and it is a continuum, but you get the point: you don’t have to actively model in S to be a member of the society, or to have an interest in it. In fact, if you do actively model in it, you are in the minority!

 

Loco building is possibly the biggest stumbling block for most people, and in the 40 years since I first contacted the society, I still haven’t built a single engine myself. I have done all the various things required to build one, yes, certainly, in fact nearly everything required, just not on a sustained basis that resulted in a finished loco that was all my own work. Occasionally locos turn up for sale, usually from a deceased member, but these are often bought as keep-sakes for display rather than as working models on a layout, and of course unless there happens to have been someone modelling your chosen prototype, then this won’t help anyway.

 

To operate something like Minories with the intensity it demands means a minimum of three sets of coaches and 4 locos suitable for pulling them (or 3 and a station pilot). This can be varied to match your own interpretation of the Minories theme, but for the basic original three platform plan, this is the case. The pointwork can be compressed into a single unit involving a double slip, a single slip, a left hand trailing turnout and a “Y” all captured within a single board no more than 4’ long. This is a great scheme for someone with limited layout space: build that central unit now, add on extra boards for the platforms and a fiddle yard as and when, but concentrate on building those 3 takes of coaches and 4 locos until there is space to setup a layout. You can always add more locos (and coaches) later on. But in S scale, you have to really want to do this and be prepared for it to take some considerable time.

 

As for construction, the series “For Loco Building Begin Here” in Model Railways magazine during 1975 is as good as you will get because it covers how to use the individual tools -  but ignore the chassis construction chapters later on, as it is rigid-frame and old-hat. For the chassis, plenty of articles on building a compensated chassis by Iain Rice, but I personally prefer no rigid axles. Or there are the Wild Swan books on loco building by Guy Williams and Geoff Holt, for example. Finally, Peter Wright’s book on model engineering is pretty useful, too: “Model Engineering: A Foundation Course“. ISBN: 978-1854861528. Easily available, and includes using machine tools. Want to build coaches? There is David Jenkinson, of course, but also Norman Pattenden in SSMRS Newsletters, 1984-1985 (only available to SSMRS members, of course, via the on-line members only area). Wagons? Chris Crofts in early MRJs (12-15), plus sundry books (WSP again) and articles by Geoff Kent.

 

S scale appeals to people who like S scale. Whether that appeal is vicarious (they enjoy reading about it), a nice little diversion, or full-fledged immersion in producing models is entirely up to those individuals. But that latter level of commitment does require, well, serious commitment and a degree of single-mindedness, as well as a degree of self-reliance and an acceptance that mistakes are the best teachers. I am not trying to put anyone off, but to get anything serious achieved in S does demand some dedication to the cause, and only the individual modeller can decide to make that commitment. Patience is definitely a virtue, or failing that, enlightened impatience.

As @Regularity knows, I've been a member of the SSMRS (it was still the SGMRS when I joined) for nearly 40 years and have never built an S scale model yet. I joined originally because I was planning a model of the Southwold Railway in 7mm scale. S scale components, not least compensiated W-irons and wheelsets, seemed to be useful in that context (they were - I made a point and a wagon chassis but when Pete Kazer built his Blythburgh layout I realised I couldn't match that so I gave up).

 

I think I am in category 4 - not mentioned above - which is that I model in other scales but the S Scale mob are a really good bunch and I enjoy being part of that.

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My S Scale Sty membership has just lapsed [stony-broke pensioneeer]   But I only have  a couple of bits of stock to show for my efforts in S scale.

 

Regarding Minories?

 

Iain Rice drew up a Minories theme [based on a south London commuter idea] which had but one platform [two faces] and a small goods yard [ essential services, house coal, etc] for when trains of coaches coming & going got too boring.  Not quite as many locos  or stock required compared to the conventional Minories, perhaps?

 

Steve Rabone modelled in S, and I admired how he looked for alternative methods of acquiring power.....using Hornby tender drives, re-gauged...It got  ''something running'' after all.

I reckon a simple bit of motive power ought to get juices flowing? 

So simple, maybe a Sentinel or something similar? 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Lacathedrale said:

For the sake of three point beam compensation, then could you please tell me how to determine the pivot height in relation to the axles? I assume that the pivot point should be equidistant between axles (or hornblocks on perpendicular), and that with the beams horizontal, the axles are level!

 

Yes, the pivot needs to be equidistant between the two axles.  The height of the pivot (assuming you are talking about the system in the picture I posted) is determined by the dia of the beam (resting on the top of the axles) and dia of the pivot sleeve.  A bit of math will tell you where the hole needs to be drilled.  If you get it slightly wrong, no worries, the beam can be bent slightly to adjust.

 

Here are the frames:

 

P1010007.JPG.e01144dbd7f32a3faa03a70da2375e1a.JPG

 

Laboriously cut from sheet brass.  High Level hornblocks, really nice.  The pivot hole is visible midway between the hornblock cutouts.  If you are drilling for brakes and pivot, best to temporarily solder the frames together.

 

John

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Hello all,

 

Don't despair help is at hand :-)

MaltbyWithY7etc_640.jpg.1de37b180e937636fbbd64fb632c672d.jpg


The loco is a Y7, chassis from card, Hornby wheels with every other spoke cut out, body from card, couplings hooks from card, 3 links from florists iron wire, motor from China £2.20, 40:1 Romford gear, total cost c.£35.

The wagon drawings from the GANSG archive, card - W Irons, brake gear, paper - springs & strapping, bolt heads and rivets - Seccotine + Talcum powder.  I do have to buy the wheels - so c. £10 per wagon.

 

Close up they look what they are from a distance who can tell? I lost count years ago of the people that come up at shows and say were did you get that kit!

 

Code 100 rail glued to 1.5mm card sleepers and using 7mm NG track spikes.

 

Slurry tank from 1910

SlurryTank06.jpg.d591bb53d06591ce467f44d0723dd46f.jpg


Painted to look like its contents, from the GANSG archive

 

All this could be easily scaled down to S.

 

In exchange for a nice message I can send anyone interested.......

These PDF's they are all 0 Gauge but the techniques will work in 00, S & larger scales.
1/. How to make an 0-4-0 side tank loco from card. A Y8 cost £30.
2/. How to make wagons from card. Average cost £12.
3/. How to make a DC controller using just 3 semiconductors. These instructions assume that you can solder but know nothing about electronics. Buying all the components about £23.
4/. How to make your own points, this assumes that you have never used a file or a soldering iron. A whole micro layouts worth of track and points can easily be made for the cost of one commercially made point and to your own radii.

 

I ignore one line phone speak demands, it does take a lot of time to author these.

 

Cheers - Jim

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2 hours ago, St Enodoc said:

 

I think I am in category 4 - not mentioned above - which is that I model in other scales but the S Scale mob are a really good bunch and I enjoy being part of that.

Yes. I suppose I should have “People who don’t model in S” for the third category, but that’s a really nice thing to say about us, so you are forgiven for being in category 4!

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A 10’ wheelbase bogie in 4mm scale is a gnat’s chuff off 8’6” wheelbase in S (it’s about ⅜” short).

So, take one 4mm scale BRCW Bo-B0 diesel, fit longer axles and larger wheels, and you can produce a Derby type 2 Bo-Bo by adding a 3D printed or card cut out body.

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Hi all,

 

One way to get some gen on how to do S is, if you're a member, to come along to the Autumn meeting in October and chat to those who know.  Invitations are in the forthcoming Gazette.

 

If anyone wants a Gibson Jinty kit I have an unmade one available.

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@Lacathedrale The height of your pivot will depend on the material you are using. For a simple beam compensated system with fixed axle the compensating beam is commonly made from 1/16" rod and the pivot beam from 1/16" ID tube. To determine the centre point of your pivot you need to measure up from the wheel centre line the distance equal to half the axle diameter+the diameter of the compensating beam+half the diameter of the tube used for the pivot beam.

 

Positioning the pivot equidistant between two axles is probably the most common and simplist way to build a compensated chassis. Although you can, depending on which two axles you are positioning the beam over, position the pivot closer to either the leading or trailing axle which then puts more weight on the axle. It is believed that this gives better running but I must admit I haven't tried it. I have built a locomotive that incorportated beam compensation, the rear axle is fixed with the pivot postioned equidistant between the leading and centre axle and it runs perfectly well.

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