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Kitbuild Challenge entry - LNER F5 2-4-2T


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And now for something a bit different, a complete loco kit that is a 3D print. I'm no stranger to using printed parts in loco conversions, or for rolling stock, but this is the first time I've tried to motorize a printed chassis. Will it work? We shall see.

This is a kit for a LNER (ex GER) F5 2-4-2T loco, made by Shapeways and designed by CDC Design (aka L49 on RMweb). They also have kits for the F4 and F6 locos, as well as others I have yet to build. The material is WSF (sintered Nylon) which won't please everyone with its rough surface, but that can be dealt with as I will show later. FUD would look better, but would cost a lot more, and it's not an option in this case.

These are the three parts as they come.

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Note- these photos have been deliberately underexposed to reveal the details.

 

The parts fit together well.

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Add some wheels and it's nearly finished!

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Luckily I have lots of old Romford wheels that are the right size for this, although the pony wheels are temporary ones until I get the correct Gibson ones.

 

Before I got painting I needed to remove the destination board brackets, as the prototype I'm modelling didn't have them.

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You can see the layering effect on the smokebox door, removing this will also be a challenge.

 

And now onto the painting and smoothing process. I use black acrylic paint for this, and sand the model after each coat has dried. This will take some time.

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This is after the first coat has been sanded. I find Revell Tar black best for this, it seems to leave a smoother surface than other colours.

Edited by Nile
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This is the result of much painting and sanding, with gradually finer grades of paper.

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Most surfaces are now fairly smooth, apart from a few hard to reach areas.

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I've been painting the parts of the body that aren't black. The inside cab walls are aged white. Other bits have been painted brass, red or steel. The outside has had a coat of klear.

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Back on it's chassis, now with the correct pony wheels.

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Edited by Nile
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Onto the chassis. What was really needed here was some coupling rods. I was going to buy some from Gibson's but then I found some cheap Hornby ones at a show that I thought I could use. At 33mm long they are 1mm too short, but as the holes for the pins were far too big this wasn't a problem. By using some Romford crankpin bushes the correct wheelbase was achieved.

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The gaps around the bushes were filled with solder.

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A test fit using some Gibson crankpin screws (14BA) proves it works.

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So far the axles have just been sitting in the holes in the chassis. To fit proper bearings I lashed up this jig using LRM alignment axles and some Lego blocks to keep it level. Superglue gel was carefully applied around the bearings to secure them in place.

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After this had set I used a Mashima motor and LRM gears to test it, successfully. I've used some brass 14BA screws for crankpins.

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This is good to see.  I have been tempted by these ever since they were announced (and the people at CDC are really pleasant), but would not have known where to start in terms of motorising.  May I ask what motor (size/shaft) and gears (ratio/shaft) you have used?

 

In return, may I offer tip? For yellow metals, as on your backhead, washing with a dark brown ink will add shade and depth.  Games Workshop would be one easily available source.  

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Hi there, thanks for your interest. The motor seen above is a Mashima 1020 (1.5mm shaft), the London Road Models gears are 50:1. This was a temporary arrangement for testing purposes. The final setup will use a High Level gearbox with 54:1 gears and a different motor. Stay tuned to see how it turns out.

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I shall return to the chassis later, after I have dealt with the body.

The boiler handrails have been fitted, held in place with Alan Gibson shoulderless knobs. Livery will be BR lined black, I'm using HMRS transfers for the lining, mainly because I have several sheets of them already. First on are the corners.

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Followed by the straight lines between them.

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A problem with these transfers is that the corners and straights aren't a perfect match, a bit of fiddling is needed. One by the cab opening needs some more work.

Next on are some old Woodhead transfers. Not the easiest to use due to their age.

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This loco worked on the Maldon branch, making it fairly local to me.

 

Some more bits added to the boiler top, made from brass rod and a couple of handrail knobs. I don't know what they are but they are quite visible in photos.

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Cab handrails added, plus one at the front of the tank (out of shot).

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There's plenty of room inside for weight, I've stuck a few sheets of lead inside the tanks.

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Hi Neil, I've a quick question. Your chassis is in WSF is going to be much less brittle than FUD, but is it stiff enough not to flex too much? I'm wondering about doing something like that myself for a project I have.

 

Cheers

 

Jason

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Jason, on its own the chassis will flex a little, if you try hard enough. Once screwed to the body it feels quite stiff.

 

Mick, I expect it would be up to the task. It's worth asking for the chassis to be made available separately.

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Back to the chassis, which has been painted black. I've fitted a High Level RoadRunner+ 54:1 gearbox with a Mitsumi motor (from John Isherwood at cctrans). The bit of wood under it is a temporary measure while checking it fits.

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It just fits inside the body without needing to shorten the drive shafts.

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Starting to wire things up. These will be shortened when finished.

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Wiper pick-ups fitted on the insulated wheel side. These are made from 0.35mm phosphor bronze wire soldered to a piece of PCB strip. This is glued into a recess on the underside.

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For the other side using the chassis is not an option. So instead I'm using the gearbox for one axle, and an extra bearing on the other axle to conduct the current. I've soldered a wire to this bearing and a wire to the gearbox frame.

 

With the wiring tidied up this is the final installation.

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To hold the motor in place I've used a piece of dense yellow foam (packing from a Dapol box) glued to the chassis. Some tinned copper wire wrapped around the motor holds it down, while allowing it to be removed.

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The body has received a coat of matt varnish.

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It will get another coat after it's been weathered.

 

A numberplate was made using Woodhead transfers and some 20thou plastic card.

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Now trimmed and glued to the smokebox door. The handles are Gibson shoulderless handrail knobs, the pipes on the buffer beam are from Romford.

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There are two more at the rear.

Edited by Nile
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Back to the chassis, and the brake rigging which being outside the wheels is quite visible. The downside of a nylon chassis is that you can't solder anything to it. The upside, in this case, is that the brake gear included is quite strong and can be used to support the rigging.

I drilled holes in the bottom of the brake hangers and threaded 0.5mm brass rod through the front ones. This was bent into a rectangle around the wheels and through a rear support made with leftovers from a Branchlines etch. Another piece of rod was threaded through the other brake hangers. This is all held together with superglue gel. Hopefully these photos will make all that clear.

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Then I added the sandpipes. The front ones fit into holes I drilled in the sandboxes. The rear ones are a single piece that sits in notches I cut in the chassis, I think the rear sandboxes are somewhere in the cab.

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An overall view of the chassis with all the new bits painted black. I've also found a flywheel.

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Body and chassis reunited, for a while. It's not finished yet.

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I've managed to do a few small things to the model. First was to add some sort of spring to the outer wheels to encourage them to stay on the rails. I've used some 0.35mm phosphor bronze rod fixed to the end of the chassis.

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Next, the couplings. I've already glued brass coupling hooks into the buffer beams so it can work with 3-link couplings. For maximum usefulness I've added NEM362 sockets, glued to the chassis. These are modified Bachmann items, with the flexible attachment thing at the rear removed.

The rear one fitted nicely between the frames, secured with superglue gel.

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The one at the front needed some extra support from some pieces of wood, either side of the axle spring wire.

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With a Kadee fitted it seems to work.

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Nearly there. I've applied some light weathering and then a final coat of matt varnish. This can just about be seen in the photos.

When it came to glaze the cab windows I had a bit of luck. It turns out that the chads produced by an ordinary paper hole punch are just the right size. So I used it on some clear plastic card to make the windows.

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Just about visible in some photos is the handbrake column, so I've made one. Nothing fancy here, just some bits of brass soldered together.

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Painted black and glued into a hole in the cab floor. The crew are Bachmann figures with a bit of weathering.

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There are lumps of real coal in the bunker, glued in place with diluted PVA.

Edited by Nile
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