Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Terry Bendall
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:28 am

Jon020 wrote:So yes I possibly went down a route that had a slimmer margin for success to begin with.


I think that is called learning by experience ( :) ) and there will be lots of members, me included, who have tried to do something in one particular way and then had to re-think. None of this of course distracts from your efforts to produce a finely detailed model that is as accurate as you can make it.

Terry Bendall

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:10 pm

Hi again Terry... yes, plenty of lessons being learnt on this one to be honest :? but it's getting there. With today being a washout bank holiday I thought I'd spend an hour or two on a recap and look again at the plastic steps supplied with the loco. Whilst they're the right size and proportion, they're beefed up to allow robustness in RTR manufacture (my guess only). So, with reference to my library of photos of 26038 I set about with files and sanding rods and whilst its still a little crude I think I need to be practical here and consider how far is far enough. In 7mm, its possible to get these constructed accurately... as it should be in 4mm... and I think if I had another set of the PH steps that were actually made to represent those for a class 26 then I think I'd have another go... but realistically this would be another cost to consider and are the plastic ones really that bad?
I think I ought to abide by my mantra that I've adopted "As finescale as is reasonably practicable" and focus on "reasonably" and live now with what I have. I might look at adding a little checkerplate to represent the step plates but I'll look closely at this first to see whether this is more than reasonable.
LR-IMG_8510-1.jpg

So.... this will have to do, and I apologise for the cruse close in photos that really show that a little cleaning up will be employed before any primer is applied. But I'll do the other one and this will be enough.
LR-keepcalm - AFSARP.jpg
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Thanks for reading and hope to be able to show more progress soon.

On another project, I've been working on a spare moulding for a Hornby Dublo 08... a friend runs a 3-rail powered layout with lots of stock - I think he's been collecting continuously for 30 years or so. His 08 took a tumble of the layout breaking the steps mouldings and buffers. The replacement body now has new buffers and most of the handrails transferred (although I'll take those off prior to final varnish). The bufferbeam is now painted red and cab roof grey; BR totems and D numbers acquired and I've been practising on some spare transfers on a GUV body - they have backing paper removed and then affixed using varnish ... once dry the front tissue is soaked off with water. First attempt was a bit rough; second one now has varnish drying - we'll see how that looks tomorrow. Another diversion project and hardly finescale, but a friend in need .......
Jon

mikeknowles
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby mikeknowles » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:29 pm

Hello Jon - oh dear!
The problems you've had with your steps make the issues I had with the 7mm variants (see my posts on page 1 of this thread) seem insignificant! it still puzzles me as to why the 4mm steps had solid sides only, whereas the 7mm ones had the holes in them. Sod's law of course that I was doing a 27 whereas you were doing a 26. Given that they are advertised as being for both 26 & 27's then really both options should have been included in the kit.
On the subject of the flimsiness of some of the parts, I have previously built the 4mm steps for the Class 37 from PHD. The two etched brackets which joined the lower step to the main assembly were so flimsy they moved if you blew on them! Sometimes you just have to accept some items have to be kept slightly overscale even if it is possible to make them 100% accurate.

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jim s-w
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby jim s-w » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:57 pm

The other thing is mike the class 37 steps are hopelessly out of proportion. Anyone can draw up the real thing then scale it down but the skill is to make that into a useable product. Sadly a lot of the PHD stuff I've seen have little or no consideration into the latter.

The tendancy when you start finescale modelling is to go to the nth degree on everything. We've all been there and done it (and had the feelings jon probably has over the last few days). Experience teaches us which bits we can simplify to get what is, to all intents and purposes, the same result.

Cheers

Jim

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:52 pm

mikeknowles wrote: it still puzzles me as to why the 4mm steps had solid sides only, whereas the 7mm ones had the holes in them. [...] Given that they are advertised as being for both 26 & 27's then really both options should have been included in the kit.
On the subject of the flimsiness of some of the parts, I have previously built the 4mm steps for the Class 37 from PHD. The two etched brackets which joined the lower step to the main assembly were so flimsy they moved if you blew on them! Sometimes you just have to accept some items have to be kept slightly overscale even if it is possible to make them 100% accurate.

Hi Mike, I fully agree with the sentiment despite the steps being the other way around ;) but yes, I know what you mean :D
Thanks for the comments :thumb

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:56 pm

jim s-w wrote:The other thing is mike the class 37 steps are hopelessly out of proportion. Anyone can draw up the real thing then scale it down but the skill is to make that into a useable product. Sadly a lot of the PHD stuff I've seen have little or no consideration into the latter.

The tendancy when you start finescale modelling is to go to the nth degree on everything. We've all been there and done it (and had the feelings jon probably has over the last few days). Experience teaches us which bits we can simplify to get what is, to all intents and purposes, the same result.

Cheers

Jim

Cheers Jim, yup, there are times when I start to question my sanity... well, quite a few times actually. I suppose the thing here is that the steps and the detail they afford should be achievable and we've come to expect many good scale etch parts over the last few years although I accept that some suppliers are more capable than others at providing a good scale, robust and well engineered product than others ... and that it's not cost that necessarily designates a good product. For the model now as it stands, I will complete the other two plastic steps' refinements and live with these; I can concentrate on more details in an area that will draw attention ;)

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:27 pm

I've thinned the other steps and grabbed a couple of shots to illustrate the improvement possible tackling the issue this way. The sides and each step need thinning as the material at the rear is thicker than at the front. This photo shows a before, and after with material removed.
LR-IMG_8527-1.jpg

As is probably obvious, I've added some checkerplate to the foot surfaces... robbing the spares box for parts that were not ahem intended for a class 26, or even a sulzer. ;)

Once both steps were thinned and checkerplate pieces added, the steps were assembled to the bogie frames... here showing that one has lost a brake cylinder piston (OK, a piece of wire)... which I added a new one too after taking the photo.
LR-IMG_8529-1.jpg


And finally a clue as to what the donor pieces were robber from. I almost had enough for all the steps, but the other bogie's steps are currently without the lower checkerplate on the bottom step... but that will hardly be evident I'm sure.
LR-IMG_8530-1.jpg


Thanks for sticking with me on this :thumb

Terry Bendall
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Terry Bendall » Wed Sep 02, 2015 7:10 am

Jon020 wrote:And finally a clue as to what the donor pieces were robber from


The framing from etched parts is an invaluable source of small piece of metal for detailing and scratch built components. I have a fairly large box of such bits which gets added to every time that I use some etched components or build an etched kit and which I am unlikely every to use up. Never throw anything away. :D

Terry Bendall

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Thu Sep 03, 2015 7:48 pm

Hi Terry, yes you're quite right, I do use a lot of the etch fret for various scratch building items... although here I used the items that were retained in the fret... that's now devoid of its products. I'll have to stop by Brian's stand at Scaleforum and stock up again.

Whilst plans for this evening were put on hold, I thought I'd just try a reassembly to see if everything sat ok. I think it's looking ok, although I really must put the cosmetic primary springs in...something I keep forgetting about. Overall, I think the "sit" looks good.

LR-IMG_8556-1.jpg


Now to look at those tanks and see what can be done there.

Glad its all back on track :thumb

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Mike Garwood » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:39 pm

Gotta be fair, I'd let that run on my layout...if I had one, wonderful work.

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iak
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby iak » Sat Sep 05, 2015 10:21 am

Permission to drool please. ..
Wibble :thumb
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Sun Dec 06, 2015 6:48 pm

My modelling progress has been quite lackluster since scaleforum, but slowly I'm beginning to pick up some momentum again; a number of distractions have got in my way but some recent discussions and research have proven beneficial and hopefully further work on the loco body will see this step nearing completion. One aspect I'd been contemplating (although not mandatory) was that of some highland line headlights. In reality these were, I understand, robbed from Morris Minors; I'd been pointed towards cararama products, especially on 1:43rd for 7mm models, but I was having trouble locating anything British Leyland like for 4mm scale... until I re-read an old RMWeb thread (the old forum) suggesting VW Beetle headlights. A browse of e-bay etc found these as seperate (or releasable) items with cars at about the £3 to £4 mark each :o - not giving up, I found a set of 6 beetles which I managed to bid for a very good price :D
Some measurements were made on several prototype photos and scaled against the model; photos suggested that the lights' positioning should be vertically between the upper clip for the lower discs and the rear marker lights; horizontally, they should be about 7mm entered on the nose centreline... which I marked on the body and applied some pilot holes.
LRs-IMG_1100-1.jpg
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LRs-IMG_1789-1.jpg
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The holes were drilled out with progressively larger drills - to the max of 2mm, and then opened out further with files - eventually to just over 3mm diameter - to give a loose fit for the lamp surrounds - these would become tight once the loco was painted but could be eased a little (with some gentle fettling) to give a snug fit later.
The following photos show the lamps pushed in - with some blue tack in behind the holes to allow them to sit properly on this test-fit
LRs-IMG_1089-1.jpg
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- and then with the lamps removed and sat ahead of the loco body, with the donor VW alongside.
LRs-IMG_1098-1.jpg
LRs-IMG_1098-1.jpg (247.11 KiB) Viewed 7750 times

I need to do the other end, but I'll follow exactly the same process, and maybe rob a green Beetle this time ;)
Hopefully, within a week or so, I might have some new cab roof vents to trial fit - to address the fact that Heljan put them too far inboard :( leaving just one other thing to do on this project's body... then I'll hope that'll be it.

Then there's the underframe tanks - that'll keep be busy into 2016 ;)

Thanks for reading ....
Jon

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iak
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby iak » Mon Dec 07, 2015 3:14 pm

Singular excellence Jon :thumb
Your commitment to refining your beasties is enlightening and informative.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
Robert Fripp


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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:22 pm

Just a brief update to show that I've not been idle, just busy with work and other aspects of life! The body has received some new cab roof vents thanks to Alan Buttler (Modelu) and this is now parked for the rest of the work to complete. Attention has mostly been on the underframe tanks - plenty of work there - to thin them down ... reshape and improve the detail. I'll do a proper write up, but here's a couple of shots for now as a little tease.
Battery boxes are still being worked and water tanks now fitted to the central moulding will have their brackets, gauges etc now added (once I've deduced how to do these ;)
LR-IMG_1406-1.jpg

LR-IMG_1404-1.jpg

Full write up to follow

Best wishes
Jon

Jeremy Good
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jeremy Good » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:00 pm

Jon

Looking good!

The roof vents look like an interesting addition to correct that error. Are they likely to be available from Modelu as a general purchase item rather than just a commission?

The changes to the tanks look like they improve the mounting to the body and allow for some of the pipework that runs into the loco "body". Does this work still leave room for a sound speaker in the tanks?

Jeremy

David Knight
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby David Knight » Thu Jan 28, 2016 12:09 am

Jon,

Fascinating stuff! :thumb . Would it be possible at some point to show the improved version alongside a 'stock' Heljan body so we can see and appreciate the extent of the changes you have made?

Cheers,

David

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iak
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby iak » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:06 am

WOW! 8-)
Seriously tasty, that vent is a revelation.
Wee things like that seem so trivial and yet make such an impact.
Modelu would be well advised to consider releasing this and other such tasty morsels.
Whooosh :thumb
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it....

Perfection is impossible.
But I may choose to serve perfection....
Robert Fripp


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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:56 pm

David Knight wrote:Jon,

Fascinating stuff! :thumb . Would it be possible at some point to show the improved version alongside a 'stock' Heljan body so we can see and appreciate the extent of the changes you have made?

Cheers,

David

Hi David,
Yes I will provide a before/after comparison at some point although I'd possibly leave this until later in the project when its all coming together. I bought two at the time, one for my youngest son, and his still sits on his display track in his bedroom. I will also list all the changes undertaken, much as I did for my deltic a wee while ago ... that looked like this https://flic.kr/p/aWNu8c

Jeremy Good wrote:Jon

Looking good!

The roof vents look like an interesting addition to correct that error. Are they likely to be available from Modelu as a general purchase item rather than just a commission?

The changes to the tanks look like they improve the mounting to the body and allow for some of the pipework that runs into the loco "body". Does this work still leave room for a sound speaker in the tanks?

Jeremy

Hi Jeremy
Thanks. I'm not sure about the vents being available - but I'll ask Alan as I don't know how this works.
The tanks could be made to fit a speaker, but in this case I've been looking carefully at what I needed to do for finescale and, to be honest, with the strengthening and reshaping, I've not hollowed it out for a speaker. I could have done it differently, but I was exploring possibilities and possibly next time I could do it differently, but it's useful to remove the side pieces and work on the details separately with all the detail that has to go in... although sourcing info for some of the details is proving tricky - detali shots of the fittings around the battery box is fine, but around the boiler tank is tricky as the existing 26s are now all air brake fitted and the compressors/tanks sit where the water tank sat :( So that's proving challenging... but I'll get there somehow.
Here's a selection of in-progress shots of the tanks - showing the bracing and wire pins added to allow reassembly after thinning down. The reprofiling of the ends is also visible.
class 26 cab tanks.jpg


iak wrote:WOW! 8-)
Seriously tasty, that vent is a revelation.
Wee things like that seem so trivial and yet make such an impact.
Modelu would be well advised to consider releasing this and other such tasty morsels.
Whooosh :thumb

Thanks Ian, yes they're very fine 3-D prints; Alan's work is marvellous. I consider myself lucky to have contacted Alan about this.... and then of course there is Brian's new etched grills (radiator as well as roof fan) - which I have a set of and these will be added at the appropriate stage, but this might be later on as I need to paint the inside of the radiator housings first.

Thanks for the comments... I'll keep trying to do my best ;)

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:03 pm

... and just to follow up on the above, here's a couple of photos of those lovely vents; I posted these images on facebook and forgot to add them here too. Sorry about that.
class 26 cab vents2.jpg

Jon

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Will L
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Will L » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:04 pm

Just like I've always thought these diesels are just boring featureless boxes on wheels aren't they.

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:50 pm

Will L wrote:Just like I've always thought these diesels are just boring featureless boxes on wheels aren't they.

Of course they are Will... they're just old featureless blue boxes, but they have the staring role in my bouts of railway nostalgia ;) ... and that's why I love 'em

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:55 pm

I was asked for a comparison shot of progress achieved. I undertook a brief reassembly this evening in order to check the clearances for the reshaped soulbar lifting brackets (that are being beefed up but need to set-in a little). That's why they're not shown here. I took a few photos to see if it was beginning to look ok - and check that the bogies - ploughs had enough clearance - yes .... just! But the ploughs will need a fettle!
Anyway - the photos show a little comparison of the project so far.
LR-IMG_1417-1.jpg

LR-IMG_1422-1.jpg

... and a final solo shot which is beginning to get the baby sulzer feel
LR-IMG_1440-1.jpg


I will provide a complete write up of all of this (promise)... as I've some time coming up when I can't do any modelling (visitors!) so I'll sue my time to catch up on how I achieved this.
Thanks for taking the time to read this... and please provide any comments, especially if you spot something that I've missed. :thumb

Jon

David Knight
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby David Knight » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:12 am

Thank you Jon, that was just the sort of thing I had in mind. Goodness, you have been a busy one :thumb :thumb . My period is a good deal earlier but there's much food for thought here and inspiration.

Cheers,

David

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Mike Garwood
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Mike Garwood » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:10 pm

Jon020 wrote:... and a final solo shot which is beginning to get the baby sulzer feel
Jon


Any more of a 'feeling' and my study will be filled with diesel fumes! Stunning...

Mike

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Jonathan Hughes
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Re: Heljan Class 26 Superdetailing project

Postby Jonathan Hughes » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:12 pm

David Knight wrote:Thank you Jon, that was just the sort of thing I had in mind. Goodness, you have been a busy one :thumb :thumb . My period is a good deal earlier but there's much food for thought here and inspiration.

Cheers,

David

Thanks David,
yes, it's been quite a project and still plenty to do


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