Saturday, 10 March 2018

Klondike brake van in grey Primer

Klondike d.24 brake van in Halford's Acid 8 primer.

There's a rectangular recess to take a blackboard on this side of the van below the handrail which carried the name of the guard and the station of origin of the van which my wife says she'll contrive on her computer. The vans were numbered 1-19 and painted red oxide, the number in white appearing on the side ducket. I think it'll be an Aberfeldy van in the charge of either R. Bruce or W. Wallace.

Klondike van viewed from the step end.

Friday, 9 March 2018

HR d.24 Klondike brake van.

HR d.24 brake van c.1900

Though these vans seem to have plenty of room inside for packages and consignments of small goods the single 2ft 3ins wide door seems unnecessarily restrictive, a comparable design of similar length belonging to the neighbouring GNoSR has double doors which must have made goods handling far easier.

The interior of this van was probably much the same as that of the restored Highland Passenger Brake Van No.5. I did not build an interior however as I thought it lacked the interest provided by my previous G &SW brake van project.

The roof can be removed to fix the glazing in place, it is screwed to a cross-member which is located just below the top of the side wall, the fixing screw is concealed inside the holder for the lamp hole bung, between the chimney and the lamp top.

Lamp irons are replacement brass castings from Slaters and will support a lamp, one of which can be seen on the step-end of the van.  I made the couplings, both hooks and links myself, the wide shank of the hook fits nicely in the deep slot in the buffer beam. The safety chains, which went out of use, about 1901, hang from slimmed down hand rail knobs mounted either side of the draw plate.

Highland Railway Klondike brake van.

The sole-bars are inset a few inches below the van sides, not flush with them, a feature which shows up on photos but is not allowed for by the kit. Narrowing the gap between the sole-bars to the correct width creates another problem...the rocking axle won't rock! A good deal of judicious filing is necessary to reinstate this feature. The buffer beam needs to be redesigned altogether both to fit the narrower gap between the sole-bars and to conform to the prototype drawing.
I replaced the cast white metal springs provided with ones of my own design which I originally modelled and cast for Lochgorm's earlier Open Carriage Truck kit, this allows more clearance between the bottom of the sole-bar, on which the springs are mounted, and the axle bearing, some modification of the axle-box castings was also needed to fit them into the space available.

The rocking-axle end of the van.

There appears to be no sign of a vaccum cylinder beneath the van on the photos that exist which simplifies matters below the sole-bar. The corners of the axle trays are cut away to make space for the buffers and similarly a central cut-out allows for the coupling spring. The couplings have been chemically blackened, the hook and its spring are retained by a transverse pin. The main advantage of a sprung coupling being that it facilitates removal when the van is being painted.

Pete's next brake van project will feature a fully detailed interior complete with a watch this space!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

G & SW Brake Van in primer

G & SW brake van in Halford's Acid 8 Primer.

G & SW brake van from a Taff Vale/Dragon kit with improvements and interior detail.

The rather scrappy appearance of the finished brass model is much improved by a unifying coat of Halford's Acid 8 primer. The wheel treads have been masked off with Tamiya masking tape, the buffers and couplings have been removed and chemically blackened. The running gear and footboards, all below the solebars in fact, will be airbrushed matt black though the remainder of the model, including the interior, will be hand painted.

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!