Saturday, 17 January 2015

HR 54 at CD0GG Running Day

HR 54 running today at Carlisle

It was a busy running day today on the CD0GG layout in Carlisle and the best I could manage was a picture of the engine in the sidings waiting with a train of a dozen coal empties and a guards van, which when her turn came on the layout she pulled effortlessly, running remarkably smoothly and taking the points, crossings and the odd irregularity in the track in her stride, I must say that I was very pleased. The coal wagons were built by Peter Whiteside from Kendal, a skilled modeller in a group which is remarkable for the number of talented model makers it has attracted to its membership. It was remarked that the next stage, painting that is, would spoil what was in fact a piece of sculpture in nickel silver... nevertheless the paint shop will indeed be the next stage and I hope fairly soon to carry the project through to a finish and that HR54 will emerge resplendent in the HR's green Drummond II livery.

Friday, 16 January 2015

New Bogie for Yankee Tank

New bogie posed in front of redundant one 

The original bogie, shown in the background above, was built from the etches in the Lochgorm Yankee Tank kit which began the Yankee Tank saga way back in March last year. Having long ago consigned the remainder of the kit etches to suffer the opprobrium of despatch to the recycling plant, I decided that the bogie should in its turn follow suit and be replaced by a better scratch built version with springing and with a more prototypical appearance...

The 0.7 n/s side frames are spaced 20mm apart, which necessitated using extended hornblocks which I made by soldering together two of Slaters' hornblocks, front to front and cutting off the protruding outer circular bearing. This produced a 6mm slotted hornblock which protruded 4mm beyond the frames. These run in cut-outs in the side frames and are prevented from rotating by slim vertical side strips, the extra unwanted slot in each hornblock was filled with a brass insert on top and finished with Milliput.

The compensating beams, outside the frames, are cut from 0.7 mm n/s and are mounted on 12BA screws threaded through the side frames. Although they are non-working there is a wire spring behind them bearing on the tops of the hornblocks. The cosmetic w/m springs behind the beams are castings that I made myself some time ago for my HR Wee Ben. There is no side play on the bogie, the pivot point of which is located some way behind its centre point which effectively allows the bogie to negotiate the 6ft radius curves of my test track in the studio without fouling the cylinders or drain cock operating rods.

Tomorrow HR54 goes to the Open Day in Carlisle for a run on the CD0GG layout where we'll see if she can negotiate that!

New bogie in position.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Yankee Tank construction complete

HR 54 complete and ready for the paint shop

Yankee Tank finished at last!

The paint shop is the next stage for HR54 and that means the garden workshop or shed as it's sometimes rudely referred to by a certain other member of the household. The engine will be finished in the unlined Drummond II livery in which she ran in the years after 1900. Note the tool box on top of the side tank which must have been necessary on the isolated Invergarry & Fort Augustus branch line. A traversing jack appears, possibly one of a pair carried on the footplate, in many photos of the Yankee Tanks...I must get round to making one. The crew are under consideration at the moment, they're at the design stage, in gestation and they'll not be ready for her trial run on the CD0GG club layout on Saturday in Carlisle, nevertheless I expect her to perform well as she has done on the test track here in the studio.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Cab Interior Yankee Tank

Yankee Tank cab interior

The boiler backhead can still be removed for detailing, which is now complete, and for painting at a later stage. The bunker has been filled with Milliput modelling putty along with a strip of lead which I like to distribute judiciously about the engine. More Milliput will be added to build up the coal level which will then be topped with real coal.

The vacuum ejector pipe can be seen entering the cab on the right hand side, below the window, where it makes a sharp left turn along the cab front plate, then left again over the backhead to loop and join the Gresham and Craven driver's brake valve, a very fine casting I acquired from Hobby Horse Developments. On the left, under the window, you can see the operating handle for the front sanding mechanism; to its right is the handle for the rod and crank blower control which is mounted on top of the backhead.

Cab Interior Yankee Tank.

The hand brake is mounted to the left of the coal hole and the rear sanding mechanism operating handle is to the right of it. The constraints imposed on the cab width by modelling in Finescale have left an uncomfortably cramped cab with little room for the crew who will have to be carefully designed to fit. Though the large cab roof suggests a spacious cab, this is not the case, it's minute!
A metal plate to fit the floor has been inserted into the cab to which wooden planking will later be added.

Yankee Tank Backhead

This disembodied view should clarify the arrangement of the backhead fittings and its associated plumbing. The fine quality of the cast brass fittings from Hobby Horse Developments can readily be appreciated in this view. In my last post I left the vacuum ejector protruding into the cab at very much a "loose end", joining it to the driver's brake valve seemed the best and most plausible solution to the problem, I hope you'll agree.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Yankee Tank January 1

HR54 Yankee Tank approaching completion 

January 1st seems an apt day for a progress posting on my Yankee Tank project, the saga of which began back in February.... it's almost complete, just a few details and I'm there....however I'm much tempted to replace the front bogie with a new sprung or compensated one. At the moment the engine is staggering along with the bogie I built from the parts in the "Lochgorm" kit that was the starting point of the project. The bogie was the first thing I constructed before I began to jettison the offending parts of the kit to the extent that the engine became a scratch building project. I think the bogie will probably join its fellow miscreant components in the scrap yard and be replaced by one based on the principles expounded by Geoff Holt.

HR54 Rear of cab with coal rails and mesh over windows

In 1901, along with several other changes, coal rails were added to HR14 to increase the coal capacity of the bunker and the engine was renumbered HR54. A protective wire mesh cover was put over the rear windows and in addition, as the rails overtopped the windows slightly, wooden boards were placed in the bunker against the mesh to further protect the windows from damage from the heightened coal load.    

HR54 showing work on the cab interior in progress.

Cab and backhead details are generic though the reverser and brake standard are in the right place as can be confirmed by glimpses of them in photos of the engine. Some guidance for cab details can be gleaned from Eddie Bellas' article in "Steam Railway" of May 1984 in which he says that "injectors were mounted on the boiler backhead". He prefaces this with... "steam feeds for the various auxiliaries were taken from a large steam fountain inside the cab". Though I've modelled the injectors, I'm floored by the fountain! Control rods, such as the whistle operating rod and the sandbox operating rod, that protrude through the cab front plate have, or will be given, suitable hand wheels or operating  handles inside the cab.

The vacuum ejector pipe enters the cab on the right hand side and remains at the moment just a loose end, I'm not sure what to do with it?

The water fillers on the tank tops are cast at home from my own master patterns and are available to fellow Yankee Tank builders on request.

Chassis showing cylinder drain cock mechanism.

The cylinder drain cock operating rod leads back to a small lever mounted on a rod below the motion plate, the rod leads across to its opposite number on the r.h.s. Between the frames, protruding through the motion plate, are the valve rods/spindles, which are all the inside motion that I've modelled. Now that I've moved the motor/gearbox onto the front axle this is no longer available to mount the eccentrics on. You could say that I've sacrificed some of the inside motion for a flywheel and improved running characteristics.

Unfinished... but nevertheless it's a busy place under the cab.

A curved balance pipe sits in front of the brake cylinder and joins the side tanks, it only just clears the rear wheel flanges with the aid of a cut-out. In front of the cylinder there is a vertical support for a horizontal cross rod on which is mounted the brake operating elbow, still in its roughed out state. The brake pull rods will be attached to this elbow. I cannot see the horizontal cross rod on the Bellas drawing, nor can I fathom the drawing at all in the area below the cab, so I've followed the details in the GA drawing of a "Loch" class engine in Tatlow. Despite Bellas' assurances that his drawing was taken from an original Dubbs drawing of 1891, its detail of linkages beneath the cab seems implausible.

The cast w/m springs are from my own patterns and castings.

Superstructure and chassis united in harmony.