My original intention was to move from having the wheels turning with coupling rods attached to adding the outside cylinders, associated gubbins, and connecting rods. However, heavy-handed me might have tweaked the geometry of that when adding further detail to the chassis so decided to add detail before the motion.
This starts life as a short length of 6mm OD brass tube - luckily to hand, with thickness of tube reduced on the inside via a countersink bit. 2 discs of brass were cut/filed for the ends, drilled for the pipes, strung on a length of 5mm wire for the pipes separated by a spacer brass tube, then soldered into the tube. Riveted bands were made from 4 thou brass sheet with the rivets embossed using a needle in a pin vice and High Level CSB jig to space them consistently. The “bands” were cut with scissors and soldered onto the tube.
The tank was then fitted via a small section of wire between it and the rear spacer and the pipes bent up and soldered out of sight on the chassis. It sits just beneath and behind the rear buffer beam so it’s rather in the way of an AJ coupling, time will tell if it remains in place!
I wanted to make the brakes removable so that the wheels/gearbox/motor could be removed. The starting point was the addition of 0.6mm OD tubes to the chassis for the 4 brake levers and 0.5mm for the pivot bar beneath the cab. An overlay was made for the brake pivot bracket, rivetted, and soldered in place. Brake levers were made from thick N/S fret material doubled over at the bottom per the prototype with 0.3mm wire sandwiched in a groove between them, fettled to shape, then 0.4mm soldered at the top. Temporary brake blocks were fashioned from plasticard (final blocks yet to be made, and may be 3D printed as the shape of latter blocks fitted was rather complex), and attached via double-sided tape for fitting (they didn’t remain attached for too long!).
Pivots were made from fret material, drilled 3 times and wire fitted back and front to 2 of the holes, and the pivots fitted into the rear tube. The link rods to the pivot at the rear were part of the etch – for the period being modelled, such rods actually had 10 adjusting holes but I didn’t have any rods on brake etches to match that and I’ll never be able to create 10 neat holes, so I will live with rods from an earlier period. Rods connecting the front and rear pairs of blocks were not supplied with the etch so had to be manufactured. 0.5mm tubes were cut for the cross bars, everything threaded together, inserted in the tubes on the chassis and soldered together.
These were made as an integral part of the removable brake assembly by soldering the lower end behind a brake block just in case the pipe was the possible source of a short if it was bent against a wheel. As with the brake levers, the sandpipes fit into a 0.6mm OD brass tube soldered across the chassis.
Firebox bottom and ashpan
Now this little item has really grown like Topsy, the finished item never being envisaged at the outset - not even when the first parts of it were soldered together! The firebox area was always planned being one part N/S sheet (to provide some depth away from the ashpan) overlaid with a .5mm sheet of brass with rivets embossed. On this occasion the rivets were freehand with a needle and a rule acting as straight edge and for (fairly) even spacing attempting to replicate the prototype pattern but not the number of rivets . The ashpan curved under at the bottom and I wanted to create the impression of this but was not sure how much of a curve I’d get before it restricted removal of the gearbox/motor. So the N/S sheet was cut overlength, curved to the envisaged diameter, and soldered to the firebox section, repeated for the other side, and the 2 sides soldered to a cross piece shaped accordingly for a trial fit. However, it turned out that there would be little of the curve left for clearance and it was going to look rather disappointing in appearance.
Thinking cap on. What if it weren’t cut for the gearbox, but was made as a removable unit that was fitted after the wheels were in place? But how to fit it as the gearbox precluded any fitting towards the front? There was the spacer that housed the bogie pivot. So, a further section of N/S was cut to fit between the 2 sides to make an integral unit (nothing too pretty underneath now but it will never be seen in service) and a bracket was made from a frame spacer reduced very slightly in width, cut to avoid the bogie pivot, soldered in place, and a 12ba bolt soldered to the spacer to secure it. The overlaid riveted bands on the ashpan were replaced as they looked a bit crude, rivets again marked using the CSB jig :
The final addition to the firebox/ashpan assembly will be sections of brass soldered to the inside which will prevent the CSB wire from escaping.
Cast items were bought at a show from Alan Gibson. They more or less looked like the springs needed but turned out to be way too wide. However, a quick snip with cutters to remove the centre area, a rough file to the remaining outer parts, some high degree solder, then more filing and we have the first of our four springs. Mightn’t look too pretty in its naked state but that isn’t a concern – some solder would later be removed to reveal leaf springs (at one end only).
Positioning them correctly on the chassis took up a lot more time than expected involving having to shape the outer legs in several directions to solder them to the inside of the chassis, each taking a few goes to get the height, lateral position, and distance between splasher and boiler correct – and possibly because of a combination of metal and mental fatigue there were some casualties in the process. However, they’re all fitted, again not looking too pretty with little uniformity to the shape of the legs, but only a glimpse of the upper outer ends will be seen ultimately, and these areas appear fine. After some tweaking on the chassis (and tidying up behind) a cosmetic overlay was re-introduced to the top centre of each the springs, and we have the following chassis :
All that remains now is the injectors, pick-ups, outside cylinders and motion, and some detailing around the cylinders - and that temporary frame spacer fitted at the front finally removed - but I’ll do some work on the footplate module before that.
P.S. I have to say this lockdown is great for relaxing in the garden, in sunshine, writing up these notes this afternoon. The selotape securing the brake blocks gave up the ghost in the heat shortly after the photoshoot!