On Sunday I completed my Drewery Class 04 tram. I sanded down some of the filler applied previously and fitted some loop couplings to the buffer beams. I also made up some three-link couplings and fitted a protection plate to the front and rear cowcatchers.
The original Bachmann whistle was filed down And fitted onto the front of the cab. Later versions of these trams had double horns fitted.
I fitted hand rails to the cab using split pins, which was quite a fiddly job. The original placement of the hand rails on the brass cab sides did not appear to be correct, so I adjusted them by filling in the previous holes and drilling new ones.
The final task was to create a mounting for the chassis. To do this I used some long bolts and drilled pilot holes into the plastic supports that are glued into the body.
Finally I sent the 04 on a test run of Brewery Pit. The body is a little low, as it bottoms out in a a few places, so I’ll adjust the height and then send the loco off to the paint shop.
The final part of ‘Modelling at Speed’ will be uploaded when the paint job is completed.
Please follow the link below for video of the Class 04 conversion so far:
The Easter holiday was very productive as I have managed to get my radio control pick-up truck working. Here is a video of its first test run:
There was a few challenges. The first was trying to get the radio controller to communicate with the pick-up truck. The next challenge was a cog slipping in the servo. I also rebuilt the steering pivot as it kept slipping off at full lock.
All the electronics are hidden underneath the blue tarpaulin (which is made of tissue and PVA glue).
The charge seems to last quite some time. It also charges back up in about 15-20 minutes.
I am very pleased with this little pick-up truck and I am looking forward to building another one. Maybe I will build something for the brewery next time around.
There has been a lengthy delay in progress on my 1/76 scale radio control track (due to the house move), but the German video I posted a few days ago gave me the enthusiasm to continue.
Today I wired up the the truck and linked it up to the radio controller for the first time.
It is only going backwards and forward at the moment. I am yet to link up the steering servo to the front axle.
Here is the video:
Day 3 consisted of replacing the rather small buffers on the Bachmann Class 04 with the slightly larger versions used on the tram version. The donor for these buffers was a disused set of buffer beams from my Heljan Falcon (blink and you will miss it in the first few seconds of the video). I then added some brake pipes and hand rails. I firstly fitted the plastic versions that came with the Bachmann model, but decided they were horridly over sized. I decided to cut them off so I could replace them with wire versions instead.
I also fitted the small exhaust on the bonnet. The 1950s tram I am building has an exhaust pipe that is barely visible. As I have not seen any aerial shots of the bonnet I have made a guess as to what this might have looked like. A taller cylinder was attached to the exhaust in the later part of the 1950s, and I did find a pipe in my ‘bits box’ that matched this perfectly, but I forced myself to refrain and stick to my plan for a tram without a full chimney.
I also noticed that the Bachmann version of the 04 has a step either side of the bonnet front that doesn’t appear to be present on the earlier tram types. I cut this off and added hand rails.
I finished off by filling in some of the gaps with model putty.
More to come in day 4….
Following my last post about Leader, I discovered that the paint was not fully drying and the finish had warped while in storage.
It is difficult to find a paint stripper formulated to strip resin kits, they are normally designed for metal or plastic models. I sent a quick query to Howes of Oxford about their Model Strip and was advised to test the paint stripper on the underside of the body. I did not see any adverse effects, so I covered leader in the paste.
I left the model covered overnight and cleaned off the paste and paint with an old tooth brush.
I was very happy to see that most of the paint was removed. There was still some panel lines and crevices where paint remained so I decided to also try another paint stripper. My second attempt was with Phoenix Precision PS18 Superstrip and this stuff was quite amazing. I dipped my toothbrush in the liquid and on the first stroke of the brush, the remaining paint started coming off.
The picture below is the now fully stripped Leader body. There a couple of patches of paint that remain underneath. These are where glue was used to fix in the interior cabs. The next stage is a bit of degreasing before Leader’s return to the paint shop.
In this series of articles I will introduce the locomotives that I operate on Brewery Pit.
One of the main engines that see’s regular use is my J70 steam tram. The J70s were introduced to replace the ageing Y6s, and were famous for running on the Wisbech and Upwell Tramway in Cambridgshire. J70s and Y6s look very similar from the outside, but are quite different underneath the tram body. The fundamental difference is that J70s have six wheels (0-6-0), while the Y6s have four wheels (0-4-0). The side skirts are also formed in a slightly different way, with the J70s including moulded foot steps (Y6s have ladder-like steps) and a curved lower section to the skirt.
My model is made from a Silver Fox resin kit that was bought for my birthday in September 2006. I opened up the side windows using a knife and added hand rails. I decided that I wanted my steam tram to include a boiler, and I just happened to have a Dapol plastic pug kit lying around (many railway modellers do, for some reason). I cut up the boiler and mounted it onto a piece of plasticard and added some hand wheels to either end. The boiler isn’t accurate as it has a saddle water tank, but I didn’t really care at the time (and still don’t).
I wanted to represent an engine running between 1948 and 1950, so I purchased as many books as possible and looked at the photos of the various steam trams and settled on No. 68217, which was one of the last steam trams to run on the line.
I weathered the boiler using weather powders and sealed it with a matt varnish.
The tram was painted with a now discontinued shade of brown from Tamiya’s acrylic range (I think it was Tamiya, I can find out if anyone really needs to know).
The final weathering job shown in the pictures is not accurate to how the model now looks, as it was repainted to better fit in with my Y6 later on.
You cannot obtain a 0-6-0 chassis which would fit such a small loco, so there is little choice but to install and 0-4-0 power bogie. I was a little excited at the time I bought the kit and urgently insisted a black beetle motor bogie be sent out to me ASAP. Unfortunately, the wheelbase (distance between each wheel) of the bogie was quite wide, now I know that this is a skirted loco and little of the wheels is seen, but when it is seen it looked weird.
The motor bogie was converted to DCC control and was a poor runner and it was eventually replaced with better black beetle bogie with spoked wheels (a nice touch), a shorter wheelbase and 27:1 gearing (meaning it can travel much slower than my previous 15:1 version).
My J70 is currently waiting to have a DCC ‘stay-alive’ capacitor to be installed, but more on that some other time.
We now return to the development of my Golden Arrow resin and white metal kit of the pioneering Bulleid Leader (click here for part 1).
Leader’s bogies are gigantic, just massive. Leader looks like the monster truck of UK locomotives. These bogies are cast in white metal and have a very nice finish. They are also nice and weighty. While reading how to install the recommended DS10 motor I mis-interpreted the instructions and installed a separate DS10 motor into each bogie. In hindsight this wasn’t such a bad idea, as leader is now a real brute on the rails.
I followed the wheeling convention of some of Heljan’s diesels and put bearings around the front and rear axles on each bogie and left the middle wheel floating. This helps prevent the massive wheels from causing derailments.
I installed two Lenz silver decoders (one on each bogie) and programmed each to the same ID. Trial runs showed strong running qualities, but I did need to shave away some of the higher sections of the bogies to allow Leader to get around the tight corners on Brewery Pit. Having duel motors and picking up current from both bogies means that when Leader de-rails it has a propensity to continue to drive on with the derailed bogie, so one needs to be careful.
Leader often ran with all it’s vents and doors open, so I cut through the resin cast and opened up all the doors and vents. I also made some vent flaps out of plasticard. I then added hand rails and door knobs. Please note that most people fit the the vertical cab rails on the front of Leader in the wrong position. Most models have them mounted on the very front of the cab, but the prototype has them fitted to the sides and they bend around to the front. In my opinion this makes a big difference to the look of the loco. These hand rails were made from guitar string.
I also added lamp irons and a whistle. The flush glazing was hand cut from thick transparent plastic.
I then painted Leader with the softest silver-grey shade I could find. I used a Halfords car spray and I was very pleased with the results. I felt like I had sprayed the paint on a bit thick in places, so I decided to fix the paint with a satin gloss coat – fatal mistake!
The paint never fully dried and always retained a slight tackiness. I keep my models in a metal box surrounded by foam and I was concerned that the foam might mark the paint so I wrapped Leader with a thin bit of plastic wrapping. I then discovered that the paint was still slowly moving and the paint had formed moulding lines with the patterning of the plastic wrapping. I quickly sprung into action and scrubbed away the tacky areas of paint. My model of one of my favourite engines was sullied.
So at this stage these pictures are all I have of Leader in it’s (almost) final stage. A real shame.
The story continues…