Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Joy's Valve Gear for an LNWR Precursor Tank

Joy's indirect valve gear module.

The removable valve gear unit seen here is built from a set of nickle silver castings produced by LGM. The mechanism is non-working or cosmetic, it does not include a crank axle nor the connecting rod big-ends, though the front parts of the connecting rods, which attached to the piston sliders, are present as the swing links and their dependant linkages are attached to them below the radius block. Only the "front end", that is the parts of the valve gear that can be seen below the boiler, has been modelled. The jointed, pivoted and sliding parts of the valve gear do indeed move, they're not soldered solid, so it's as near working as possible and everything moves in an appropriate manner if you tweak the connecting rods. I think with what I've learned making this model I might be able to build an actual working set for a future project. Laurie's instructions are helpful though I found the best guide to building Joy's valve gear was Geoff Holt in "Locomotive Modelling" Part 1.
The centre frame member, which protrudes to the rear of the motion plate, provides a third point of support to the crank axle in the prototype. In the model the inverted "U" shaped cut-out provides clearance for the front axle.

It's a busy place between the frames under the boiler and rather murky too!

If you peer carefully under the boiler you'll find that quite a lot of the valve gear is in evidence, in addition the anchor link and its supporting stirrup are visible below the frames, behind the front brakes and below the sand boxes. The brackets which carry the transverse shaft, on which the anchor link is mounted, are attached to the lower slide bars, these are out of site though they have been situated and designed so as not to foul the bogie wheels on corners.

Joy's Indirect Valve Gear in situ.

Joy's indirect valve gear adds another layer of complexity to an already fiddly business by the inclusion of rocking levers, seen here between the curved radius rods and the valve spindles.

The red electrical wire that can be seen is a pick-up wire, which is struggling to find a way through the valve gear to its connection on the front bogie.

Friday, 19 January 2018

G&SWR Brake Van Inside and Out.

G & SWR Drummond Brake Van Interior

Apart from the brake hand wheel, which is in the post from LGM, the interior fittings are complete though I plan to add a few more small items, a sweeping brush and possibly a few of the guard's personal items, later at the painting stage. The stove is a brass casting from Slaters, the stove pipe is threaded 10BA to take the screw in the chimney above which holds the roof in place. The brake mechanism in the left hand corner is a w/m casting from Invertrain's "Heroes of the Footplate" range ; everything else in the van interior I made myself.
There are no photos extant of G & SWR brake van interiors, in fact interior details of pre-grouping brake vans are in short supply in general. However I was helped by a drawing of a Caledonian Railway 6-wheel brake van which showed some of the interior fittings, the rest is a reconstruction based on probability. There is not much room left in the interior when all the fittings are in place so I presume that these vans were not used for carrying small consignments of freight nor even parcels as there just isn't room.

It's a busy place under the van

The brake rigging seen here is built from the etches in the kit though the manner in which the central supports are mounted is of my own devising. The replacement self contained buffers simplify matters beneath the van, which the transverse piano wire arrangement of the kit might have complicated unnecessarily, leaving plenty of room for the coupling hook spring seen in the foreground.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

G&SWR Brake Van construction complete.

G & SWR 16T Drummond brake van, construction complete.

I still have a few details to add to the interior of the van and I'll post some photos soon of this and of the busy underside too. The solebar needs a number plate, which I'll draw myself and print on the ink-jet and the inner compartment or guard's house will be glazed at a later stage. The roof is held in place by a screw mounted in the chimney which locates into the threaded pipe of the stove below. In the doorways you can see evidence of yellow-grey Milliput which has been used to fill the uprights which inexplicably narrow above the safety bars. As I made the uprights from hollow section metal, filing them to shape removed one side and revealed the hollow inside, hence the filler. The lower footboard has been thickened to a more realistic thickness and the centre footboard support has been strengthened with a wire soldered behind it.

The buffers are from my spares box and are internally sprung which I prefer to the piano-wire system supplied with the kit. Couplings are made by myself from 1.25 mm n/s for the hook and 0.8 n/s wire for the links, making my own ensures that I can arrange a shank to match the slot in the buffer beam and sidestep any problem that may arise due to the incompatibility of the coupling hook casting and the buffer beam slot. I've arranged that the couplings are sprung with a stiff spring, though I'm no great believer in sprung couplings, the main benefit being that they can be easily removed at the painting stage. I've already blackened the couplings and buffer rams with Birchwood Casey brass black and intend to keep up the momentum and spray the van with Acid 8 etching primer in the shed as soon as the weather improves in the far NW.

You can just glimpse the guard in this picture leaning out of the van on the side of the brake wheel, he's from the "Heroes of the Footplate" range now produced by Invertrain though I've changed his cap to something suitable for a G & SWR guard. The tail lamps, of which you can see only one of the three in position, are from the same source.

Friday, 5 January 2018

G & SWR Brake Van More Progress

G & SW Railway 16T Drummond Brake Van interior

The interior furnishings of the brake van are in place now so the superstructure is almost complete. The stove is screwed in place from beneath and I plan to put a screw down the chimney and into the stove pipe to fix the roof in place. In the corner is a locker complete with hinges and a lock which sits between the inner wall and the guard's lookout seat. The brake mechanism and inside brake wheel take up the near corner of the van as seen in this view, though not yet in place I have castings for this that I made for a CR van. A high desk in the corner opposite the locker completes the furnishing. There is ample scope for more incidental details, a sweeping brush, a bucket of coal, a lamp and maybe the guard's log book and pencil and of course the guard himself.

Interior details of safety bar and locker. 

In this view you can see that the safety bar across the open veranda is in fact an articulated hasp and staple arrangement, the workings of which are not apparent from outside. A top rail needs to be added to the van interior to complete the inner structure.
There's not much space inside now that the van is furnished for parcels or small consignments of goods and I'm not sure that these vans carried them, if they did they'd have to be small!

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

G & SWR Brake Van Progress

G & SWR Drummond Brake Van interior. 

I've completed the bracing structure on all the interior walls of the van now though the panelled doors are still under construction. The bracing struts are made from 2mm square hollow section brass and there are a lot of them. The floor of the guard's "house" is not part of the kit though the verandah floors are included. I made the inner floor from an etched wagon floor that I had left over from a previous project, this slides into place under the bottom of the inner bracing struts and is supported from below on spacers so it's on the same plane as the verandah floors.  I'll illustrate the underside of the van at a later stage to clarify this.

The doors are not glazed and I have no information on their inner surfaces so I'm panelling them in much the same way as the front. I've made a writing desk for one corner and a locker with a hinged lid for the opposite one. Lookout seats are under construction and the brake mechanism and handwheel will fit into a third corner; the fourth, being of restricted width because of the offset brake end door will remain empty. The kit itself is fairly compliant, it's not fighting back despite not being designed with an interior in mind, though the wheels caught on the underside of the superstructure when I tried them in place today. I cut out slots to ease the problem which would have been an easier task at an earlier stage before I'd half assembled the van.

In a gesture of generosity towards myself, in a moment of levity brought on by the approach of Christmas, I purchased from Andy Copp at Lochgorm Kits a set of etches and castings to build a HR d.24 brake van... so watch this space for details of the build in the New Year.

Interior detailing work in progress, desk and lookout seat in place.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

G & SWR 16ton Drummond Brake Van.

G & SWR 16ton Brake Van from a Taff Vale/Dragon Models /Celtic Connection kit

I took these pictures on my new iPhone tonight to show the model taking on a three dimensional presence at last as I've been working in the flat on the components for the last few weeks. The kit is not really designed with an interior in mind, it provides no help so, as an interior is my main concern with this model, I've been finding it hard work. The van is a single-skin affair so the internal bracing struts are a feature of the model not only inside the guard's "house" but also on the verandahs where all the edges have had 2mm square brass section added, in a similar manner to the real thing, to give solidity to the structure. The inner partitions are likewise braced with square section as can be seen best in the upper photo. I have no specific G & SWR reference for a guards van interior so I'm basing the detail on what seems most likely, using other similar verandah-both-ends vans as exemplars.
I'm going to complete the basic structure of the van now, sides, interior partitions and floor and then add the rest of the interior to include the lookout-seat, brake mechanism, stove, locker and desk.
I've sourced some cast brass lamp irons from Slaters, these are not shown on the drawing but are clearly to be seen on the only photo I have of the van. This photo was supplied by the G & SWR Society and shows the vehicle in LMS days; I have no photo of it in earlier pre-grouping guise, only the drawing that came with the instructions.

Interior detail beginning to take shape.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Cambrian Machinery Wagon

Cambrian Railways 10 Ton Machinery Wagon.

This wagon, called a "Roll Wagon", in the Dragon Models catalogue was built some time ago and stood neglected, though not alone, in the sidings of despond until this week when I decided it was high time I cleared some of the backlog and did some painting. The etched wagon plate that came with the kit had a number but no lettering to identify it as a Cambrian Railways wagon, so I made one myself.

The most difficult part of this task was drawing the letters to conform to the oval shape of the plate and it was only on my second attempt that I achieved a reasonable result. I could not find an example of a preserved Cambrian wagon plate so I took the etched one supplied on trust and used it as a guide.

The wagon cries out for a load and I'm thinking about this now. I bought a Fordson F tractor from Universal Hobbies with this wagon in mind but it's not one of their best models. I have a Duncan Models kit for a Portable Steam Engine in the cupboard which would make a much better load though it would be a far more time consuming project.

M & G N Roll Wagon with portable boiler load c.1920

The above photo is copyright of the National Railway Museum & SSPL... here's a link to more photos on their site...