Change of plan…
I have just tested the Class 13’s ability to manoeuvre around short radius curves and over point work (which it manages wonderfully). I think this is mostly due to the large buffers I have used (preventing buffer lock). However, the master unit (with the motor) sounds like it is straining to pull the rather weighty slave unit. It would be a shame if the engine cannot pull a long train in the future because of my decision to remove one of the motors, so I have just reinstalled the motor into the slave unit.
My layout is DCC so this will mean a further modification to the front of the slave unit chassis (to accept a second decoder). For engines with two motors I use two decoders programmed to the same address. This takes the strain off an individual decoder and also allows each motor to be fine tuned separately.
The pick-ups on the Bachmann class 08 are a tad primitive. They are set up on the top surface of each wheel. When the model is brand new this is not too much of a problem. Unfortunately, as time cracks on, the pick-ups collect all the dust and dirt from the wheels until they no longer carry any volts to the motor. They can be cleaned up, but you need to take the wheels out.
As I was already deconstructing the 08s I decided to cut away all the pick-ups and install a new arrangement based on methods I have seen used on RMweb. I superglued two pieces of copper-cladding to the chassis plate and soldered together some new pick-ups from fine copper strip.
So far I am very pleased with this modification. Once I have wired the loco to pick up off all 12 wheels, it will become a very difficult loco to stall.
Today involved resolving errors in painting-judgement from the day before (with a can of black spray paint). The error was mixing far too light a shade of grey to paint the rock faces. Not only did I paint it too light, but also over far too much of the diorama.
So this morning all of yesterdays work was erased and I started again using a much darker grey, with the aim of gradually bringing the cliff face up to the desired colour. I also decided to have a go at adding some colour to the skyline, while also providing a white base for the vegetation straddling the top of the cliffs.
All painting was undertaken with artist’s acrylics, as they tend to be much cheaper than hobby paints for this scale of work. I used ‘Neutral Grey’ (from the graduate acrylics range) to create a base for the cliff faces; and ‘Burnt Umber’ (from the Galeria range) as a base for vegetated areas.
This is the very early stages of painting so expect these areas to look very different as I progress.
I even managed to construct the wooden narrow-gauge platform today, which I am surprised I managed to fit in. I always planned to have a wooden platform extending over the quarry face for the narrow gauge engines to run tippers over, and I knew that I would have to tackle the super structure for this before I could start fixing down the trackwork.
I originally planned to construct the platform out of wood, but soon realised that it was incredibly difficult to cut wooden strips to appear as planks. I then discovered someone selling copper-clad strips (for track making) and realised that this would do the job nicely.
I cut up standard(ish) sized strips and soldered the group of planks together using three long support beams. Having test fitted the platform for alignment I have retired for the evening.
The next thing to do is find a nice design for the legs on the platform.