P4 Starter Pack B: RCH 7 Plank Open

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Lord Colnago
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P4 Starter Pack B: RCH 7 Plank Open

Postby Lord Colnago » Thu May 26, 2016 3:10 pm

I have been asked by several members if I would consider doing another wagon tutorial. I said that I would and now seems a particularly opportune moment to begin the second one. Why opportune? Well, we have been discussing in Committee the possibility of putting a "beginners to P4" pack together and this idea is progressing nicely. So much so, that we hope to introduce it at Scaleforum, but don't take that as gospel, look out for any announcement.

So, what has this to do with a wagon tutorial. Well, we want to include a wagon kit and a suitable chassis or sub-frame kit within the pack of goodies. It seemed sensible to make one option the BR 16T Mineral wagon kit from Parkside coupled with the Rumney Models chassis for the same. In fact, the same combination as in my first tutorial, thus giving the beginner something to refer to whilst undertaking construction. We wanted to appeal to as many beginners as possible and so the other option we settled on was the RCH 7 plank Open kit from Parkside coupled with one of Craig Welsh's 9' wheelbase sub frames. This is therefore the subject of this tutorial, thus giving anyone selecting it the same facility as those choosing the other one.

This tutorial won't be as photo-heavy as the previous one and I don't intend to cover ground already covered in the same. There are significant differences in the method of construction from the Rumney chassis. One being, of course, that this is not a full chassis but more of a sub-frame, which inserts between the wagon solebars. It is designed for both kits and RTR wagons so it makes perfect sense to design it in this way. I have departed from the instructions here and there but I will say why I have done so, usually because I find my way easier. The idea of the beginners' pack is that the modeller can use as much of the original kit as possible, without the necessity of buying in other components. I have my favourite components, which I will use, but I will cover any necessary modification to the kit at the appropriate point.

That will do for the introduction. I don't think I've left anything out. Next time, we will make a start, from a slightly unusual point, but I'm sure you can wait until next time to find out what that is. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please ask.
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Serjt-Dave
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Serjt-Dave » Thu May 26, 2016 7:19 pm

Yep! I would go with that. I have all those bits to bang together to make some 16 tonners.

Looking forwards to it.

Thanks.

Dave

DaveHarris
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby DaveHarris » Thu May 26, 2016 10:41 pm

I think the 'beginners kit' is a good idea. M'Lord's descriptive efforts are excellent, please lets have more for beginners or those returning to modelling after many years away, and finding many changes. :)

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Lord Colnago
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Fri Jun 10, 2016 2:48 pm

First off, apologies for taking so long to continue this tutorial. Life, and cars in particular, have got in the way of modelling but I'm back up and running now.

I did say that I would be starting from an unusual point. I have found that, when building wooden open wagons that its much easier to paint the inside of the body while it is still in the flat. There isn't really very much to it, as you will see.

This first photo shows the parts after painting.

20160408_181144.jpg


I started off by just painting over the whole of the inside with a thin coat of Vallejo Light Grey, not as thin as a wash, but not a great deal thicker. We don't really need complete coverage, unless the plastic is a dark colour, as the final weathering will disguise things. After painting all the iron work, a wash of sepia shade, followed by another of black shade gives the result seen above. Note that the iron work at the door end has been left unpainted. This is to allow me to fit Masokits door hinges and bar. You don't need to go that far if you don't want to, its just my personal preference. If you don't want to go that far, just paint that iron work too.

The next two photos are for information only and show the paints and washes used for the body, followed by those used for the iron work.

20160408_181046.jpg


20160408_180933.jpg


In painting the iron work, I principally used the burnt umber, adding a small amount of each of the other two.

Next time, I'll cover the fitting of the afore-mentioned door hinges and bar, for those interested in such things.
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garethashenden
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby garethashenden » Fri Jun 10, 2016 3:07 pm

Did you prime the body first? I've had some problems with the Vallejo paints flaking off without primer, but that has been on metal kits so plastic may be better.

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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:18 pm

Hi Gareth,

No, no primer on this one but I use Vallejo grey primer on most other models, whether plastic or metal and have had no problems. I wanted a sort of transparent, very light coating on this one. It was a bit of an experiment to see how things would pan out and seems to have worked well. The model was completed a few weeks ago and shows no signs of any paint coming off. That may well be because everything, including weathering powders, were all sealed in with matt varnish.
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Knuckles » Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:58 pm

I prime almost everything as standard.

Looking forward to another tutorial. The idea of a beginners kit sounds good. Sign me up. :thumb:

After obliterating one (2 now! See me thread) of Bachmann's RTR chassis this seems good timing.
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby kelly » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:25 am

Sounds a good idea to me (the pack that is as well as the tutorial of course). Being new to P4, I'm going to be picking up a similar wagon chassis at some point soon to have something for gauging when building track (I guess a bogie would work as well in this respect, but a complete wagon is probably more useful in the long run).
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Lord Colnago
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:18 pm

I thought it would be a good idea to take the chance to post before the AGM completely takes over my thoughts. As promised, I am going to deal with the fitting of a Masokits door hinge and bar. This could be regarded as gilding the lily in a beginners' tutorial and there is nothing to stop you fitting the one supplied in the kit if you so desire. Having said that, there really isn't anything difficult in fitting these and they do add to the look of the finished wagon.

The first thing to do is to remove the jig from the fret and very carefully fold it into a U shape. The instructions recommend re-inforcing the folds with solder and given that you will use it at least 8 times, (that's how many sets of hinges you get from the fret) I would suggest that it is a good thing to do so. Then, fold up the D shaped tabs on the fret. the photo below shows these jobs once completed, to give you a better idea of what I mean.

20160410_200601.jpg


Now place the jig into the fret so that one hinge strip is lying within it. Then take a length of 0.4mm. wire and thread it through the D shaped tabs and the holes in the jig. Cut the hinge at the end nearest to the holes in the jig. Again, the photo below shows what I mean.

20160410_202014.jpg


Now fold the cut end of the hinge around the wire. The instructions recommend the use of a stout pair of tweezers for this, I supplemented this by using a small square-ended file to help push the hinge over and around the wire as I felt I got a tighter fit by doing so. As long as you achieve the desired result, use whatever works for you. I needed three hinges for this wagon, (most usually need three) so repeat twice more. Remove the wire and the jig, cut the other end of the hinges from the fret and you should have something that looks like this.

20160410_202828.jpg


There are two types of side hinges. Straight top and cranked top. Check which one you need, and then cut off the one you don't want from the side hinge fret. These come with both types etched onto the end of each one, so, as I say, lop off the one you don't want. I found it quite easy to glue the side hinges on first, contrary to the instructions. These recommend fitting both the side and door hinges, together with the bar, all at the same time. Good luck with that! The only thing you really have to look out for when doing it my way is that the hinge bar will be level when everything goes together. I found that it was remarkably easy to do this by eye, but you could put the bar in place and use that to align things if need be. I use epoxy rapid for this and once set, the bar can be threaded through the side hinges and the hinges then threaded onto the bar. The door hinges can then be positioned and epoxied in place. Once everything has set, a touch with the soldering iron, and I do mean a touch, where the hinge bar passes through the side hinges will secure the bar in place. The next two photos show views inside the wagon and across the end of the door end, to illustrate how the finished article should look.

20160410_210313.jpg


20160410_210419.jpg


Next time, we'll get into the chassis, so see you either at or after the AGM.
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:39 pm

These chassis are really a sub-chassis, designed to fit either into any suitable wagon kit or RTR wagon. As such, there is a jigging system designed to help you fit it into the wagon of your choice. In essence, you fold up a couple of stops on the bottom of one of the solebars on the sub-chassis, align the kit solebars against these stops and drill into the kit solebar for the outer brake gear V hanger, spring stop and brake lever guard fixing point. All of this drilling is, of course, done using etched holes in the solebar for alignment. This is better explained in the instructions but I have now built two of these chassis kits and encountered problems at this stage on both occasions. I just couldn't get the holes drilled in the right place, which sounds odd given that its all jigged up, but there you are! The problem is that you can't see the solebar as you drill into it when the chassis is on top of it and if the alignment is out, the holes will be in the wrong place. I tried using double-sided tape to hold things but with limited success. I have now evolved a system which works for me and which I will explain in case you have similar problems.

This picture shows the solebar in place against the stops and held in place by double-sided tape.

20160406_194611.jpg


This one shows what happens if, when the assembly is turned over and drilled, something moves and you are unaware of it!

20160406_200537.jpg


So, what do you do now? Well, firstly, I opened up the holes to 1mm. and glued some 1mm. plastic rod into them. Allow the solvent to go off and then cut off the excess rod, (you don't need as much rod as shown, that's just to show up better in the photo) and file smooth. The process is shown in these two photos.

20160331_214759.jpg


20160402_183125.jpg


I derived the following solution to the problem but first, you need to fold up the basic chassis and then form the spring stops which is a simple folding exercise. The following three photos show the spring stop before folding, after the first fold and finally, after the last fold.

20160406_210025.jpg


20160406_210121.jpg


20160406_210203.jpg


You will now have the four spring stops folded up and these can be used to rest the sub-chassis on the underside of the solebars. Now pass a length of wire through the inner V hangers, ensuring that it is long enough to enable you to fit the outer V hanger in place on either side. Note that there is no soldering involved at this stage. Now place the outer V hanger onto the wire, hold it in place against the solebar and, using the holes etched into it, drill through the solebars. Repeat the process for the other side. I found that it was easy enough, after removing the Vs and the aligning wire, to hold the door spring in place and drill through that into each solebar. This is best done before shaping the spring. A very similar process is used to drill for the brake lever guards. This is what you end up with.

20160413_220852.jpg


The outer Vs and the wire pins can now be fitted to secure the sub-chassis in place, if you prefer, although I waited until after I had fitted the brake gear before doing do, to avoid heat from the soldering iron distorting the plastic body.

Next time I'll cover the brake gear, until then, if you have any qustions, please ask.
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Winander
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Winander » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:48 pm

John,

Couldn't you just fold up the spring stops and leave the chassis unfolded. Or is the objective of your method to drill from the outside face of the solebar rather than the inside?

Not my period, but I find just reading about "how stuff is done" educational, thanks for posting it.

regards
Richard

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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:40 pm

Hi Richard,

Your suggestion is, in essence, what the instructions suggest, but in order to drill through the chassis in the flat, you have to turn it over, leaving the solebar moulding underneath. I am almost 100% certain that I'm doing something wrong, I'm just not sure what! I had to develop my own method to get around the problem and offer it in case it helps anyone else. I hope that a little discussion on here might get to the bottom of the problem, which is what its all about really.

Hope that's useful and glad you find it all intersting.

John.
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:42 am

Next up comes the brake gear. I had thought that I had photographed everything as I went along but if I did, I can't find it anywhere now! The only solution was to get another fret out and build the relevant components again. At least I'll get another wagon out of it in the end.

First off then, here is the brake gear straight off the fret.

20160714_194235.jpg


The first job is to tidy up the fret a little and then drill out the holes in the brake shoes, using a 0.4mm. drill. Only 24 holes to drill. I managed to break just the one drill in the process. Quite good for me!

20160714_200210.jpg


Some wagons had wooden packing between the brake gear push rods,some didn't, and on some, it just fell out over time. Check your prototype. On the original build, I went for the no packing option but, given this second chance, I thought it better to cover the folding up of the packing and if your prototype doesn't have it then you can ignore this bit. All folds are on the outside for this and I figure this is the best sequence, so this next photo shows the first fold.

20160714_200514.jpg


You won't be surprised to discover that the next photo shows the second, and final fold.

20160714_201340.jpg


Next, the inner brake shoes are folded back onto the outer shoes, like so. Again, folds to the outside.

20160714_201643.jpg


Now the complete unit is folded back on itself. Once again, all folds are on the outside of the half etch line and this will give the correct spacing once all folds are completed. The first fold simply brings the two halves back on themselves, but don't fully fold it all the way just yet. Like this.

20160714_201806.jpg


Now make the two short folds at the other end of the base and then complete the first fold as shown in the next photo. You could, of course, make these folds in reverse order, its just personal preference. Do what suits you best.

20160714_202028.jpg


Now insert small lengths of 0.4mm. wire into the top two holes in each of the brake shoes, in order to align everything whilst you solder up the unit. Leave the bottom holes clear and if any solder should get into them, run the drill through them again. This is what it looks like prior to soldering.

20160714_203610.jpg


Once all is soldered, cut back and tidy up the wire pegs to represent bolts and you will probably have to smooth off the faces of the brake shoes as well. When complete, it looks like this.

20160714_204243.jpg


The last job for now involves the folding up and attachment of the safety loops. First, fold back the brakets on the base, which take the ends of the safety loops, then fold each safety loop into a U shape, put it in place, inserting the ends through the holes in the brackets, and solder in place. I found that I had to open up the holes in the brackets a little to allow the loop ends to enter. This photo shows how it all should look before attaching the loops.

20160714_204557.jpg


And this one shows the completed job.

20160714_205615.jpg


I think the next installment will probably involve the fitting of the rest of the brake gear but, before that, I will have to progress the new wagon to that stage so that I'm in a position to illustrate what I'm up to. Till then.
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David Knight
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby David Knight » Sat Jul 16, 2016 1:44 pm

John,

Have you ever considered a tapered reamer or broach to open up the holes on the frets? I've found the process much faster and less nerve racking than drilling.

Cheers,

David

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Lord Colnago
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Sat Jul 16, 2016 2:08 pm

Hi David,

Yes, I do use tapered reamers to open out holes, as you say, it does help keep the drills intact. I should have made it clearer that there is only a half etched mark on the brake shoes so the drills have to come out of hiding! All part of the fun. I suppose I should clarify that I used a reamer to open out the holes in the safety loop brackets.
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:14 pm

Its now time to finish things off.

First of all, the other set of brake gear needs to be installed, constructed as already shown. This next photo shows the other set in place, as well as the brake cross shaft, on which can be seen the tumblers. It is important that the "slots" in the end of the brake push rods are clear of solder in order that the tumblers can sit in place correctly. The tumblers are a simple fold over etch, soldered together and, unless you are very lucky, you will need to clear the pivot hole to allow the 0.5mm. wire representing the brake shaft to pass through. Check that the ends fit into the afore-mentioned slots as they can be a little tight, even if the slots are clear. If so, a gentle rub with a fine file will usually take enough off to rectify things.

20160721_190401 (2).jpg


I should mention the slots on the chassis, which are used to locate the brake shoe assemblies. On one side there are two sets. I can't find mention of why this is so in the instructions so assumed, as the model is to P4 standards, that the outer pair are the ones to use. You can see these slots in the following photo, just!

20160721_190510 (1).jpg


The chassis can now be fixed permanently in order to proceed with the brake levers and lever guards. But first, the outer V hangers need fixing in place. Remember, this method of fixing them is one I have devised as I had problems doing them as per the instructions. If you were able to get them done by following the instructions, then you can skip this bit. With the chassis fixed in place, I hang the Vs on the brake shaft wire and align them so that I can drill through the four holes in them and into the solebars. This photo shows the situation after this has been done.

20160721_205601 (2).jpg


Next up, the wires are pushed through the Vs and into the holes in the chassis. I place a little 5 minute epoxy on the ends to secure the wire pins but I only solder the Vs to the brake shaft. I find this is sufficient to keep everything in place.

20160721_210718 (1).jpg


This photo gives a view along the chassis showing the Vs in place.

20160721_213335 (1).jpg


This is as good a time as any to make up and fix the brake lever guards in place. I can do no better than refer you to the instructions for this. Just make sure you make the first fold in the right place and everything else will follow. I only depart from the instructions when it comes to fixing them in position. There is a "pin" etched on to the lever guard itself, which is designed to go into a drilled hole in the solebar. There is also a half-etched hole at the top of the guard, which should be drilled out and used as a jig to drill a hole into the solebar, to further fix it in position. I just used the "pin" and I didn't use any adhesive. The bottom of the lever guard is secured to the W-Iron by a tiny amount of solder and I found that this is more than enough, unless you intend to pull the thing about!

So to the levers. A half-etched jig is provided to assist you in shaping these. Could I find where I'd put it? In my case, it hardly mattered, as the last time I used it, I still managed to fold the hand grip at the end the wrong way around! Given my ineptitude, I decided I would go my own way with these. It is something that I have been asked about when demonstrating, so an illustration here probably won't go amiss. First off then, here is a photo showing the levers, both before and after the boss at the shaft end has been folded over, soldered together, tidied up and reamed out for the brake shaft.

20160724_131841 (1).jpg


The shape of these levers varied considerably. The main differences can be seen on wagons with wooden solebars and those with steel channel ones, but there are plenty of differences within those categories. As always, check your prototype. Essentially, they are shaped to clear the axlebox and then bent back to pass through the lever guard. Anyway, the first thing to do in this case is to make a very slight bend at the pivot end to just guide the lever past the front of the axlebox. This bend is hardly noticeable so don't get carried away. Then, make a bend towards the wagon just after the axlebox. Think about whether the lever would clear the axlebox it it were applied for real. If it will, you are probably in the right place and certainly not far off. It should look like this.

20160724_132156 (1).jpg


The next bend is made in line with where the lever would sit in the guard when the brakes are off. You just need to be in the right ball park for this as things can be tweaked if necessary. Again, it should look like this this.

20160724_132344 (1).jpg


Place the lever on the brake shaft after passing it through the lever guard. Note or mark the point where the bend away from the wagon on the far side of the lever guard begins. Remove the lever and make this bend so that it looks something like this. Apologies for the fact that the lever is photographed in reverse in some of these pictures. Remember that the boss will be on the inside and then things should be clearer. Just keeping you on your toes, you know!

20160724_132432 (1).jpg


Next, bend the lever back into line with the solebar, making the bend in line with the one you made after clearing the axlebox so that a straight line along the lever would pass along the remainder of the lever. A photo says it better than I can.

20160724_132537 (2).jpg


The last two bends at the end of the lever are simple enough. I think they relate to clearance for the shunter's hand but I'm about to be told if I'm wrong!

20160724_132726 (1).jpg


Now, panic not if your lever looks something like this.

20160724_132919 (1).jpg


This is a rather extreme example of what can happen during the bending process but its a simple matter of tweaking to get it looking the way it should, like so.

20160724_133148 (2).jpg


Well, that's about it, but before you reach for your keyboards to castigate me, there is one final job. These wagons had independent either side brakes as they had bottom doors, so the central part of the brake shaft needs removing. I always leave it to the end as it maintains the strength of the unit and makes soldering anything to the shaft much easier. Actually, there is another job. Cut the excess brake shaft wire on the outside of the lever and file the ends to represent the substantial boss present on the prototype.

If I haven't covered something here, it is most likely because it was covered in the first tutorial as some things are common to most wagon types. If there is anything you would like to see or know more about then, as always, feel free to ask. I have been asked to do yet another tutorial on something a little more advanced. I have something in mind, so watch this space.
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charles davidson
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby charles davidson » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:01 pm

Could I venture to suggest that the axle box/spring units shown in the photo in the last post need a little attention? The hangers at the end of the springs represent those used with (usually) 9" steel solebars. The upper part of the spring hangers can be filed down to represent the alternative hangers used with 12" wood solebars.

Thanks very much for the words and photos re the Craig Welsh chassis - I've had them in stock for years but couldn't quite figure out the finer points of the brake gear construction

Regards

Charles Davidson

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Lord Colnago
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:18 pm

Good spot Charles. As Captain Mainwaring would have said, I was wondering who would spot that!

The spring hangers on the prototype that I based it on, and the LNER Cattle wagon I'm working on now, have a type I haven't come across before. A kind of hybrid between the earlier solid type and the later one common to steel solebar wagons, as you said. The best way I can describe it is like a flattened T shape. As far as I know, no one does the type used, so I accepted the compromise. I hesitated to flatten the top of the casting out as after carrying out my usual modifications, they tend to be a little fragile.

If anyone does know if this T shaped type is out there, perhaps they could let me know. I'm not over familiar with these earlier wagons and a bit of extra knowledge never goes amiss.
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andrewnummelin
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby andrewnummelin » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:09 am

Another excellent thread - I'm always finding something to learn and targets to aim at.

In the spirit of getting things all right, I wonder if you have made a common mistake with the brake gear. I believe most wagons had the brake push rods perpendicular to the wheel treads, so not parallel to the solebars. Of course not obvious from most viewing angles.

1786.jpg


I doubt if anyone in my life time will develop design/manufacturing techniques and modelling skills to make proper brakeblocks with the lug round the back of the flange..... I hate my lack of skills meaning that I always have to have daylight between blocks and flanges when looking side on if I want the wagon, or whatever, to actually run.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

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Lord Colnago
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:47 am

Hi Andrew,

If, as I think, you are referring to the 1:20 angle that the brake gear is set at, you are quite right. There is a jig included on the fret to allow you to replicate this. Unfortunately, I was in too much of a rush at the time I fixed the tumblers and cross shaft in place and simply forgot to set the angle. I made a rod for my own back in doing so as I had to tweak and file the brake shoes in order to get the wheels rolling! More haste, less speed, I suppose. Quite literally in this case!

Thanks for your kind words and I'm glad you found the thread useful.

John.
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Will L
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Will L » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:46 am

andrewnummelin wrote:..... I hate my lack of skills meaning that I always have to have daylight between blocks and flanges when looking side on if I want the wagon, or whatever, to actually run.


Brake blocks close to wheel treads. I've pondered that one as I too, mostly concerning loco's which I think look worse than wagons when there is too much space between.

I don't think its lack of skill, nor is it just that the physics of friction is against us (on the real thing a brake block just touching the wheel tread didn't mater much, for us it means real resistance to rolling), but also if you include any form of suspension, you need all the pivot joint between the brake block and the rigging to work too.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Guy Rixon » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:59 am

It would be perfectly feasible to print brake blocks with lugs and with accurately formed/positioned holes so that they could be pinned to brass hangers and push-rods. Whether anybody would want to use these is unclear. Apart from the clearance and drag issues, it would be like assembling valve gear without the grace of being able to unsolder.

Exactoscale's Mk1 FASS allowed the blocks to move with the suspension - the blocks were attached to the spring carriers. Presumably, the bottom of the brake hanger was rigid with the block and the upper end was unattached. But I think this was mainly aimed at clasp brakes.

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Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Knuckles » Fri Jul 29, 2016 7:37 pm

Just thought of an idea for good ol' bodge job. What about having the brake blocks positioned further away as most of us do but instead make some Rizza paper pad covers, paint em and have them a Rizzla distance too. Maybe this will give the visual proximity without the friction....or maybe it is a good ol' bodge idea worth avoiding?

Likely the latter but I may give it a try on my next wagon build.

Note-I intend to comment on this thread properly but haven't been following it yet so later after much reading will be better. Is looking great so far though.
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Lord Colnago
Posts: 249
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:42 pm

Re: A wagon tutorial - 2

Postby Lord Colnago » Mon Aug 01, 2016 2:14 pm

Referring back to Charles Davidson's posting of 28th July, I stumbled upon some spring castings, with the correct pattern spring hangers. Especially annoying as I didn't know that I had them! They are by 51L, available through Wizard Models, reference code, UC002. They come as a pack of 12. Now I need to stock up on some and then, hopefully, remember that I have them!

John.
The second best priest


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