Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

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Flymo748
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:19 am

dcockling wrote:
Flymo748 wrote:<whistles innocently> No...

This has been in progress for a little while. It's also my entry for the 2013 CHEAG Spot-on-ish Challenge.

<Rolf> Can you guess what it is yet? </Rolf>


Hi Paul,

GER Little Sharpie 2-4-0?

I'm afraid not, although I do have a PeterK kit of one of those to build when I fancy a challenge.

However this is something quite, quite different. Now that the tender hornblocks have turned up, progress on completing the back half of it will hopefully be fairly rapid. The cutouts in the tender frames in the kit were too large to accept the usual High Level 2mm hornblocks that I had in stock. An emergency order to Branchlines sorted that out with some MJT ones, although I wasn't that impressed with them. They needed a great deal of fettling and filing in order to make them run smoothly. Indeed, I was somewhat surprised by the design of them that made the running surface of the bearing guide "bulge" when it was assembled. It may be that I simply had an under-etched set of parts, but it was initially quite confusing why a problem introduced itself part-way through construction.

Anyway, I hope to make the most of the New Year modelling period as it's needed to be substantially complete by the second week of January for the next CHEAG meeting :-)

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
www.5522models.co.uk

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Flymo748
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Flymo748 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:40 am

ICollett wrote:A fairly close examination suggests that the Bill Bedford 1907 RCH W Irons are a good match for the LMS D1897 Goods Van - Any comments? Do I need to see the optician again? I can't locate an LMS specific W Iron etch at Eileen's Emporium. It appears that removing the plastic W Irons will also require a good chunk taking out of rear side of the sole bar, otherwise there will be a gap between axlebox and W Iron you can get a bus through.


I am not aware of an LMS specific w-iron in the Bill Bedford range, so I don't think that you need that optician's appointment just yet. The RCH version will almost certainly be sufficiently close that any differences will be imperceptible at normal viewing distances in 4mm.

And yes, carving substantial chunks out of the backs of solebars is pretty normal activity for using either compensated or sprung etched brass w-irons. So there's nothing worrying in what you have found, or in what you are intending to do. If you feel that you've hit specific problems, post a picture and a question or two, and I'm sure that you'll receive some helpful advice.

ICollett wrote:I think I shall have fun with these W Irons, all does not seem as straight forward as some of the Digest Sheets and Scalefour News articles might suggest.... more anon.

Now I'm intigued... In what way are they not straightforward?

I don't recall a Digest on Bill Bedford w-irons. There is the review and set of instructional notes in SN 135, which I must say pretty much match my personal experiences. I'm also a big convert to springing of wagons for future builds and rebuilds.

I look forward to finding the reason for your teaser... :-)

Cheers
Flymo
Beware of Trains - occasional modelling in progress!
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billbedford
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby billbedford » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:16 am

ICollett wrote:A fairly close examination suggests that the Bill Bedford 1907 RCH W Irons are a good match for the LMS D1897 Goods Van - Any comments? Do I need to see the optician again? I can't locate an LMS specific W Iron etch at Eileen's Emporium.


The RCH w-irons were the de facto standard for all the post grouping companies -- until BR.

It appears that removing the plastic W Irons will also require a good chunk taking out of rear side of the sole bar, otherwise there will be a gap between axlebox and W Iron you can get a bus through.


That's what you get when manufacturer tries to reproduce a half inch thick channel with a millimetre thick plastic moulding. Maybe it would be less work if you went straight to an etched underframe.
Bill Bedford
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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:55 am

billbedford wrote:That's what you get when manufacturer tries to reproduce a half inch thick channel with a millimetre thick plastic moulding. Maybe it would be less work if you went straight to an etched underframe.


Acknowledged, but quite a leap in cost per wagon. A single underframe etch (excluding axle-box and spring castings) is about the same price of two complete polystyrene wagon kits without wheels or four plastic underframe kits.

That's without factoring in the skill level required to tackle an etched brass chassis where inexperienced construction is likely to result in a wagon that proceeds along the track with all the grace of a drunken duck.

The etched W Iron, either sprung or rocking, appears to be a transition/compromise between the physical limitations of polystyrene and the cost and construction requirements of a full etched brass vehicle.

I'm coming to the conclusion that sprung W Irons may be 'the next step' in my journey. First priority is to get something built, so if that's a standard kit built square with bearings and 18.83mm gauge wheels then that appears the most practical option. After all it seems to be satisfactory to drop 18.83mm gauge wheelsets into unsprung Bachmann locomotives!

Terry Bendall
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:15 am

ICollett wrote:That's without factoring in the skill level required to tackle an etched brass chassis where inexperienced construction is likely to result in a wagon that proceeds along the track with all the grace of a drunken duck.


Yes it may do Ian, but a plastic kit can still be assembled incorrectly.

ICollett wrote:First priority is to get something built, so if that's a standard kit built square with bearings and 18.83mm gauge wheels then that appears the most practical option.


I totally agree. If you have not yet done so, you could also fit rocking W irons to a R-T-R wagon or van just to try that and knowing that the wagon itself will be square. You may however have to do some surgery on the floor to get the ride hight correct and perehaps also remove some material from the inside of the W irons to give clearance for the wider wheels.

billbedford wrote:Maybe it would be less work if you went straight to an etched underframe.


Maybe, but it might depend on the prototype and the type of etched undrframe. My view is learn to walk before you run.

Terry Bendall

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Flymo748
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:45 am

ICollett wrote:The etched W Iron, either sprung or rocking, appears to be a transition/compromise between the physical limitations of polystyrene and the cost and construction requirements of a full etched brass vehicle.

I'm coming to the conclusion that sprung W Irons may be 'the next step' in my journey. First priority is to get something built, so if that's a standard kit built square with bearings and 18.83mm gauge wheels then that appears the most practical option. After all it seems to be satisfactory to drop 18.83mm gauge wheelsets into unsprung Bachmann locomotives!


That's a good observation, and an extremely practical approach. I'm certain that taking small steps at a time will take you to where you want to be in the long run.

Happy New Year, and all the very best with your modelling in 2014.

Cheers
Flymo
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billbedford
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby billbedford » Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:01 pm

ICollett wrote:Acknowledged, but quite a leap in cost per wagon. A single underframe etch (excluding axle-box and spring castings) is about the same price of two complete polystyrene wagon kits without wheels or four plastic underframe kits.

That's without factoring in the skill level required to tackle an etched brass chassis where inexperienced construction is likely to result in a wagon that proceeds along the track with all the grace of a drunken duck.


I suggest it will take almost as much skill to make a good model out of a cheap plastic kit as it does to build an etched wagon underframe. If you are thinking about soldering skills in this context, then it is as well to remember that practice soldering can be done without using a model, while hacking a plastic solebar can not.
Bill Bedford
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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:10 pm

Fair point - and a soldered joint can be undone while a solvent welded joint cannot. Is it possible to use low melting point solder for brass etch? I can't particularly see why not as long as a suitable flux was used?

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Will L
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Will L » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:02 am

ICollett wrote:Fair point - and a soldered joint can be undone while a solvent welded joint cannot. Is it possible to use low melting point solder for brass etch? I can't particularly see why not as long as a suitable flux was used?


70 degree doesn't really take well on brass, you have to tin it with ordinary solder first, 100 degree low melt works does work on brass.

Question is why bother? The low melts don't give as good a joint as standard solder, and the usual reason for using low melt, the danger of melting the object your trying to solder, doesn't apply to brass. For relativity big bits of brass using a lower melting point standard solder (145) has advantages, but for small sections of brass, the sort of thing you meet on a wagon under frame, standard 188 degree solder or even 221 degree are just as easy to use and give a stronger joint. As a good rule of thumb, the higher the melting point the stronger the joint.

Will

billbedford
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby billbedford » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:32 am

ICollett wrote:Fair point - and a soldered joint can be undone while a solvent welded joint cannot. Is it possible to use low melting point solder for brass etch? I can't particularly see why not as long as a suitable flux was used?

If you approach a job thinking about how to undo it you are half-way to failing. Most well designed etched kits will have positive locations for most components. Where this is not possible, e.g. with overlays you should be using small clamps (aka wooden clothes pegs) to position and hold the pieces in place while soldering.
Bill Bedford
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Natalie Graham

Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Natalie Graham » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:16 pm

ICollett wrote: Is it possible to use low melting point solder for brass etch? I can't particularly see why not as long as a suitable flux was used?


Soldering doesn't become harder the higher the melting point of the solder. ;) In fact the low melt solders are probably more difficult to use than ordinary soft solder. They are more akin to metallic hot glue than solder. Soldering brass with normal soft solder is really quite straightforward. The biggest single obstacle to overcome is the unfounded fear that it will be difficult. The basic principle is simple, get the parts in the right place, apply the flux, heat the joint, apply the solder, let it cool and move on to the next one. After that it is only a matter of practice. An etched wagon kit would be an ideal introduction.

As to the comment about it being likely to end up running like a drunken duck, one piece of excellent advice I read many years ago wuth regard to building rolling stock was don't try and get the first one perfect. It is more important to get it finished and have the encouragement of having completed something rather than the frustration of trying to aim for perfection. Once finished you can evaluate it and resolve not to make the same mistakes on the next one and you can revisit the early ones to improve them once your skills have developed

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Noel
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Noel » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:32 pm

Natalie has just beaten me to it with her post. I support what she says. Experience only comes with time and practice. It is a given for all but the most gifted that one day, however careful you are now, you will look back at your current work with the benefit of many years experience and think "Oh dear ...". Don't be afraid to experiment, or even to fail - it's how humans learn. If you are concerned about soldering, then seek advice and teaching from courses, demos at shows, members of your local area group if you have one. If you don't have the confidence to start on a wagon kit, then get scrap brass etch or similar [sometimes available at shows] if you can and practice ...

Noel
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David B
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby David B » Thu Jan 02, 2014 12:40 pm

I would add to Natalie's basics - cleanliness. Do make sure the parts you are going to solder are clean.

I think that, with practice, you will find soldering very satisfying and wondering why you didn't get stuck in to it before. You will also be surprised at how little solder you actually need to make a good joint - anything you have to clean up later think of as excess.

Natalie Graham

Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Natalie Graham » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:05 pm

Noel wrote:then get scrap brass etch or similar [sometimes available at shows] if you can and practice ...


Or even, dare I say it, scratch-build something out of brass sheet, (or better still nickel silver sheet as it doesn't conduct heat as rapidly as brass so the heat stays in the joint you are soldering and doesn't spread so rapidly to the ones you did earlier) The great advantage of cutting out your own bits (that sounds painful :D ) is that if you lose or damage a bit putting the thing together you can make another one.

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sat Jan 18, 2014 2:34 am

Many thanks for all the positive suggestions. I haven't been completely idle, but I'm awaiting the arrival of a vital tool from Brassmasters http://www.brassmasters.co.uk/axle_gauges.htm meanwhile I have been studying my Christmas present, the Atkins, Beard and Tourret tome on GWR Goods Wagons. Slightly disappointed that there are no Siphons appearing, yes I realise they were classed as coaching stock, but the BLOATERS are in there and look very similar to Siphons. Does someone sell authentic Bloater perfume? The strongest railway memory I recall from my early childhood is the strong smell of (fresh?) fish that lingered in the station, that and being scared half to death by a huge black loco spouting steam and smoke from every orifice.

Somewhere I know I have a copy of MRJ #5 with the six wheel Siphon, diagram O1 I believe, but can I find it - of course not. Very distressed to hear from SWMBO that she has 'cleared out' some 'old magazines'. Tried to explain that MRJ #5 isn't so much a magazine as a family heirloom.

A 7'3" x 1' shelf, almost level, has been erected in the office and several lengths of Peco set-track purloined from my son to run my collection of intended ScaleFour loco's up and down prior to the Ultrascale wheel swap - best make sure they work as Mr Bachmann intended before doing anything drastic to them. Plus fun and games fitting Romford screw link couplings to the Jinty - of course immediately behind the buffer beam is the ideal place to put the main body screws, however, it's a right pain in the neck when there's only 2mm space available to fit a 10mm shank from the hook. So there's no spring on the hook - let's hope the superglue holds.

A little trip out to Syston to visit ArcEuroTrade, very handy for bits and pieces such as 0.3mm drill bits and parallel clamps. Lovely little milling machines and lathes, but I was amazed at how tiny they are. Perhaps if the Premium Bond Fairy stops at our house, but for the time being it's knives, saws and files, positively Medieval.

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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby billbedford » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:17 am

Natalie Graham wrote:
Noel wrote:then get scrap brass etch or similar [sometimes available at shows] if you can and practice ...


Or even, dare I say it, scratch-build something out of brass sheet, (or better still nickel silver sheet as it doesn't conduct heat as rapidly as brass so the heat stays in the joint you are soldering and doesn't spread so rapidly to the ones you did earlier) The great advantage of cutting out your own bits (that sounds painful :D ) is that if you lose or damage a bit putting the thing together you can make another one.


Actually, if folk practice their soldering by building 'sculptures' out of scrap metal, then they tend not to have a feeling that they 'must' get everything right the first time. The lack of self-imposed pressure generally helps in building confidence in their ability to acquire new skills.
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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:57 pm

Just to get the record straight, I do enjoy soldering quite a lot, and while it wouldn't win any prizes it's something I have done with reasonable success. I realise the question about Low Melt Solder probably made me sound like a bit of a numpty, but it was an honest question in case it provided an advantage I wasn't aware of. It doesn't, so that's that.

I can't say I enjoy folding etched brass that much, but that's another matter and something I shall just have to practice. Folding Bill's 'W' Irons seems as good a place to start as any.

Honestly, my main reason for baulking at the idea of a full etched underframe, for the time being at least, is quite simply the cost. Agreed it's not completely prohibitive, and from what I know of the high unit cost of small run manufacture then the prices are probably eye wateringly close to the actual manufacture cost. However, I found Mr Rice's comments in Scalefour News 185 to be rather prescient on the matter, and having formulated a possible compromise solution I'll report further should my cunning plan succeed... or pass on my findings as a warning to others if the opposite is the case.

Natalie - in case you're following this thread, I do hope the roof is now okay after a spell of calmer weather.

Natalie Graham

Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Natalie Graham » Sat Jan 18, 2014 7:47 pm

ICollett wrote:Natalie - in case you're following this thread, I do hope the roof is now okay after a spell of calmer weather.


Sadly the roof is no more. I am in the process of building a new end wall at a point where I wanted an internal partition anyway then I can put in a short length of new roof back to where the old one is still good and then rebuild the rest of it in the summer when there's more hours of daylight and hopefully less bad weather.

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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Terry Bendall » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:44 am

ICollett wrote:I can't say I enjoy folding etched brass that much, but that's another matter


I have not built many etched kits although the are quite a lot in the cupboard waiting to be done. One thing I have found very useful when I do want to fold along a line is the Hold and Fold tool available from Eileen's Emproium, and probably other sources as well. Not cheap of course but it will last a lifetime. I went for the largest one on the basis that I can then fold smaller things.

The alternative is to get two pieces of bright mild steel angle, about 30mm x 300mm x 5mm thick, or the imperial equivilent and clamp these in a vice with the part to be folded between them. I also find that using a steel rule along the part to be folded helps to apply the pressure more evenly. Such material is available from those companies that supply model engineers. Maidstone Engineering www.maidstone-engineering.co.uk is one such source.

Terry Bendall

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sun Jan 19, 2014 5:41 pm

I also find that using a steel rule along the part to be folded helps to apply the pressure more evenly.


I usually have a 12" steel rule on top of the piece, sometimes clamped to the table to leave both hands free, a cutting mat under the piece, and a 6" steel rule slid underneath the part to fold (or bigger if the piece needs it). I've just got myself some more clamps - set of three, 4", 3" and 2" for just under £10, which I thought was quite good as I've seen single clamps for nearly that price. A second set would be handy to give a pair of each. I shall have to negotiate with the vendor if I can't have three 3" for the same price?

f14fba84-866f-4875-b811-299b50deae9b_387x236.jpg
Set of Parallel Clamps, 4",3" and 2"
f14fba84-866f-4875-b811-299b50deae9b_387x236.jpg (16.64 KiB) Viewed 7151 times


Also picked up an interesting little spring vice for £5 to hold onto fiddly little bits, although horizontally the vice has only about 1mm depth (4mm on the stepped jaws), it holds up to 5mm at the ends before the pin gets in the way. The screw takes a 4mm Allan Key. Probably no practical use for bending except for the extremely tiny (loco steps?), but would hold a small piece for filing or cutting.

e1faa0af-488b-45b6-a0df-81f3528dd4bf_162x135.jpg
Small spring vice
e1faa0af-488b-45b6-a0df-81f3528dd4bf_162x135.jpg (7.33 KiB) Viewed 7151 times

Terry Bendall
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:41 am

ICollett wrote:I usually have a 12" steel rule on top of the piece, sometimes clamped to the table to leave both hands free, a cutting mat under the piece, and a 6" steel rule slid underneath the part to fold


This is a useful technique but the rule may bend as the part is folded, especially on longer pieces, or those that are on the thick side. A piece of steel angle will be much less likely to bend.

Terry Bendall

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Will L
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Will L » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:36 am

Terry Bendall wrote:
ICollett wrote:I usually have a 12" steel rule on top of the piece, sometimes clamped to the table to leave both hands free, a cutting mat under the piece, and a 6" steel rule slid underneath the part to fold


This is a useful technique but the rule may bend as the part is folded, especially on longer pieces, or those that are on the thick side. A piece of steel angle will be much less likely to bend.

Terry Bendall


I can't say I've ever had that problem Terry, as the ruler has a fair bit of my weight leaning on it. Perhaps it's practice as I've done a fair number of coach sides over the years. Full technique here on a previous thread.

Experience suggest there is little problem doing short folds. I have some flat nosed pliers which do the job without difficulty.

Will

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:33 am

A piece of steel angle will be much less likely to bend.


I take it you're referring to the top steel rule? I'm not disagreeing but any steel angle I've had access to has radius corners, I would have reservations about using anything that didn't have a sharp straight edge to it, hence a steel rule fits the bill. Since most folds I've done are less than 4" or so with a G clamp about 1" in from either end then I don't see a lot of opportunity for the ruler to bend. I haven't attacked anything like a coach side, but I would imagine adding more clamps would provide the required rigidity and keep the work piece in place.

A tool I'd like to add to my box is a couple of these Angle Squares

M0038.gif
Angle Square
M0038.gif (7.71 KiB) Viewed 7000 times


But at £6 each they're a bit pricey - might be worth it though and a lot squarer than the wood offcuts I usually use to square up van and wagon corners.

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ICollett
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby ICollett » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:27 am

Hurrah, the axle alignment jig has arrived from Brassmasters following a cheque lost in post fiasco from the GPO. So now the wagon works can open for production at last, at least once I've got my backlog of outstanding reports finished.

Still having little joy in paring/filing back the Ratio and Coopercraft solebars to take off the etched W irons, the back wall of the solebar is so close to the line of the plastic W iron that I'm finding myself tearing through. One alternative I'm going to try is 3mmx1mm brass channel from Eileen's Emporium - dimensions are correct for GWR 9"x3" solebar and the 0.3mm thickness matches well with the plastic mouldings on the buffer beams. Soldering the etched W irons between two brass solebars with a cross beam of 3mm square tube will hopefully produce a strong chassis and a suitable base to attach etched brake gear, V hangars etc.

One snag is the spring stops, I have bent some up from 1mm strip using a former filed from a piece of rail, hopefully they won't look overscale, or be too delicate for practical use. Any clever ideas from the scratchbuilders?

My Yorkshire roots mean I will try to recover springs and axleboxes from the plastic kit, we shall see how successful that will be. Barring that it's on to Dart Castings for parts - but at least that allows me to use grease axleboxes if I wish.

Of course there will be no rivet detail on the brass channel solebars, for the time being at least. The question arises as to how noticeable that is after painting, weathering and at normal viewing distance, "not very" seem probably the answer. Get the etched brake gear components soldered on first and everything fettled, maybe then decide about adding some superglue microdots or if I'm feeling flash some Archers rivet/bolt head decals. These are quite fascinating, 3D raised rivet head and other details printed in resin onto decal sheets, you can see the method on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aptnvFeEqio and they're available in the UK from DCC Supplies http://www.dccsupplies.com/shop/index.php?cPath=272_579_583.

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Dave K
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Re: Starting From Scratch - SGW meets Inglenook

Postby Dave K » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:53 am

ICollett wrote:Still having little joy in paring/filing back the Ratio and Coopercraft solebars to take off the etched W irons, the back wall of the solebar is so close to the line of the plastic W iron that I'm finding myself tearing through. One alternative I'm going to try is 3mmx1mm brass channel from Eileen's Emporium


You could use etched solebars. Southwark Bridge Models do a combined etched solebar/brake etch for GW 10' wagons which allows you make up any version of Dean Churchward brake or Morgan Design do a range of etched compensated underframes to which you can get etched solebars. However, if you don't want to go that far, Evergreen do 3 x 1 plastic channel.

I've used all 3 but currently prefer the etched solebars as you get spring stops etc as well.


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