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Building a Type 27 Wickham

Chris Heighton

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I decided it was time to start a new project, but unfortunately I don't have much free time at the minute to spend on kit building at the moment (I'm too busy maintaining real railways).  I found these kits on the N Brass Locos website a while back, and thought it would make a nice build to tinker away with during the odd free hour around night shifts.  The kits arrived during the week, and I settled down to make a start on the trailer vehicle to get a feel for the build process, and also because the SPUD has yet to arrive for the trolley.


Here I go with the first day's build:



These are the kits I bought: the Type 27 Wickham trolley, and matching trailer.  They came packaged in these nice little plastic boxes, which provide protection as well as handy storage trays.



the parts for the trailer laid out; the etched parts are very fine and exquisitely moulded.  Also supplied are a set of 4mm wheelsets, which can be used "as is" for narrow gauge, or can be modified if you want to make it standard gauge.



Out with the hold-and-fold!  The frame sides are folded up first, then offered up to the end channels, and fit neatly into etched slots with little to no play.



The chassis is coming together well at this point and I decide now would be a good time to test for squareness.



After tacking together the corners, I ensure everything is sqaure before soldering up everything solidly.



Bearings in, after reaming out the holes slightly to accept them.  This stage could be made easier if the bearing holder are fitted before the frames are soldered up, as it would give you a bit more room to work with.



Brew Up!



The modified wheelsets.  Each is cut in half, then has the needlepoint bearing filed off.  A scrap of tissue is glued to the outside end of the axle to provide electrical insulation from the brass overlay, which is glued over the top.


So far, so good.  This looks like it's going to be a good little kit, although I may yet regret saying that, looking at some of the fine pieces to come!



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Today's work started with a test fitting of the wheels to the chassis, to check for smooth running.  Despite my initial misgivings about the lightness of the chassis and my own cack-handedness when it comes to building, the trolley rolled along nicely, with all wheels in contact with the track and turning freely.




Next came the deck, which folds up out of one piece of brass.  There are some very tight folds on this, and the instructions recommend placing some packing insdie the folds to keep them square; I managed to get away using my Hold-and-Fold, and a little pursuasion in my vise.  Just stopping for a brew when...



...Along comes the postman with the final part of the kit: one 26mm wheelbase SPUD.  I can now make a start on the type 27 proper, just as soon as I finish the trailer.



At the end of the afternoon, the deck is complete, with the framing overlays...overlaid, and the whole thing given a good wash down and once over with the fibre pencil.


No progress report tomorrow (Sunday), as I'm at work, pulling parts of the Durham Coast line to bits.





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Just a short update today.  Progress on the trailer is almost complete, and I am going to make a start on converting the SPUD just as soon as I track down a length of spring steel to modify the pickups with.



First job of the day was to add the axlebox overlays to the bearings.  Although not strictly necessary (they will be completely hidden by the wheels), they do help with the wheel spacing, and I'll know they are there!



The brake gear is very, very fine, and would only take a couple of knocks to destroy it.  To strengthen it and extend it all the way up to the underside of the deck, I soldered a length of brass wire to the back of each brake shoe, running up behind the brake hangers.



Finally for today, the deck is attached to the chassis, soldering it to the transverse members.  The wheels were checked for free running, given a drop of oil to ensure free running, and the retaining washers glued into place.


The model will actually run on my test track, but due to the lightness of it, and my own less-than-perfect construction skills, the wheels can stick a little.  Adding a bit of weight to the underside of the deck, either with liquid lead or a few pennies, should solve the problem.



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Hi Chris,


It certainly looks the part, I intend to have a P/Way store and siding and I think one of these little Wickham trolley/trailer combo would certainly fit the bill.


Keep the updates coming.





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I made a start on the SPUD today:



I've never worked with a SPUD before, so I took my time with the strip-down.  after undoing a single screw on the keeper plate, to plate is prised off with a flat blade, allowing the axles to be removed.



Strip-down complete.  The wheels were removed from the axles by placing the wheel on top of my vise, then gently tapping the axle out.  Once the wheels were off, the gear was given a similar treatment.



The new axles (supplied with the kit free of charge if you wish to motorise it), were 2mm in diameter for their entire length.  The centres of the wheels were drilled out to 1.9mm to provide an interference fit.  The centrs of the axles were given a quick roughening with a file to give the gears something to grip to: once they are adjusted and run in, I will put a spot of cyanoacrylate on them to hold them firm.  The wheels were then gently pressed back on - a small hammer and a softwood surface helps ensure a good, clean fit, then the back-to-backs checked and adjusted as necessary.



Et Voila!  One 7mm/ft SPUD!  I connected the little thing up to a pair of long leads and a 9 volt battery for testing purposes, and it runs nicely, even managing to just about make it over a set of Peco turnouts without dropping off.  No doubt this situation will improve once there is a bit of weight on top of it.


I've managed to find some old steel guitar strings (Cheers Bro!) that I can strip down and use to aextend the contacct out to the new gauge.  More on that next time.



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