First steps in P4- now on my second loco

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Andy W
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Andy W » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:55 am

Yes good work Pete. My only thought would be to build the chassis first so you can check clearances as you progress.
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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:06 am

Andy W wrote:Yes good work Pete. My only thought would be to build the chassis first so you can check clearances as you progress.

I tend to build the body to a state of basic completion, and then start on the chassis. That said, given how most of this kit has fitted perfectly so far (and Chris Gibbons sold me the gearbox and motor to suit the loco) it wouldn't surprise me if I could built the thing in the order given in the instructions (body then chassis) and it all fitted together first time.

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David Thorpe
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby David Thorpe » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:10 pm

pete_mcfarlane wrote:it wouldn't surprise me if I could built the thing in the order given in the instructions (body then chassis) and it all fitted together first time.


Don't say things like that! (I never managed to get my High Level Kit to work though it was a different one from yours - one day I'll get back to it and have another go)

DT

Julian Roberts
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Julian Roberts » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:56 pm

Well Pete your optimism is well founded, the chassis does fit into the body perfectly. But I did build both in tandem in case there turned out to be any problems. I did file away a small ledge that is created by the footplate below the tanks inside to have maximum room for the chassis' P4 width but that may not have been entirely necessary..

I used with Chris' input a smaller motor and 108:1 gear and thus had room for a flywheel. This necessitated shortening the boiler inside a little but where it ends is still well hidden behind the tanks. I am pleased with the resulting running (on viewtopic.php?f=37&t=5273&start=125) but how different it is to the normal set up is probably very little.

I did fill the tanks with lead, and the bunker and boiler, and put some between the layers of cab floor. Weighs just shy of 300g. There is room for a layer of lead flashing inside the tanks still I think but it weighs enough already.
Last edited by Julian Roberts on Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Julian Roberts
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Julian Roberts » Wed Mar 22, 2017 9:59 pm

When you come onto the chassis, one thing that caught me out was that the rods are the same upside down as right way up. So it's even easier than normal to get into a muddle about which side is which if like me you make the rods in one convenient patch of time but only a few months later get the time to complete the job.

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Flymo748
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Flymo748 » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:36 pm

Julian Roberts wrote:When you come onto the chassis, one thing that caught me out was that the rods are the same upside down as right way up. So it's even easier than normal to get into a muddle about which side is which if like me you make the rods in one convenient patch of time but only a few months later get the time to complete the job.


This is where the use of a cocktail stick for blobbing, and a couple of contrasting pots of enamel or acrylic paint are invaluable.

sides.jpg
sides.jpg (170.13 KiB) Viewed 4795 times


In this case on my Y14 (J15, if you're being all modern about it) where the respective frame sides, hornblocks and coupling rods are blobbed either yellow or orange, as appropriate.

In this case, the rods have oil fillers on the bosses so the upside down shouldn't be an issue. But it would be simple to develop your own convention - say a blob of paint is always on the top face, never the bottom.

HTH
Flymo
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Julian Roberts
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Julian Roberts » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:44 pm

Quite so Flymo!
My convention is based on my two colours of permanent marker pens, blue and black. Blue goes on the right like the Tories (which isn't a moral or otherwise judgement!!)

In fact I'd just forgotten my convention as the colour on the rods had almost disappeared, but luckily I just happened to put them on the right way round, as I realised when I remembered! :roll:

David Knight
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby David Knight » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:08 pm

In my experience of HighLevel kits (two finished locos and several gearboxes) treat the instructions as a sacred text. That way your path to salvation, or a finished kit, will be sure. :ugeek:

(evangelical mode off)

Cheers,

David

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:33 pm

Thanks - some really useful advice there. I'd never thought of marking metal components in that way with paint or marker pen (in the past I've resorted to bits of masking tape with L + R on them, which doesn't work with small components).

allanferguson
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby allanferguson » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:46 pm

As a maritime man I've always marked components as Port (red) or Starboard (green). Axleboxes etc get one, two or three dots. It doesn't improve the quality of the build, but it does lessen the chances of confusion.

Allan F

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Flymo748
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Flymo748 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:58 pm

allanferguson wrote:As a maritime man I've always marked components as Port (red) or Starboard (green). Axleboxes etc get one, two or three dots. It doesn't improve the quality of the build, but it does lessen the chances of confusion.

Allan F


There'll be a post along in a minute by a bloke* who says he's red/green colourblind...

Cheers
Flymo

* it's predominantly men who suffer from this...
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Will L
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Will L » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:16 pm

I like centre pop marks, 1=left, 2 =right, as they dont rub out. Thats enough for most things. On axle blocks do it on the side that faces down when assembled because they should always go in the same way up. If need be I pop one of corners on the inside face, but mostly I find no need to mark which axle is which as I keep the axle blocks captive in their respective horn block until they are on the axle and captive and after that I can usually tell which axle is which. The gear wheel and the washers on the axle are often enough to know which is which.

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:52 pm

Flymo748 wrote:There'll be a post along in a minute by a bloke* who says he's red/green colourblind...

Cheers
Flymo

* it's predominantly men who suffer from this...


Holds up hand.......

allanferguson
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby allanferguson » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:05 pm

Flymo748 wrote:
allanferguson wrote:As a maritime man I've always marked components as Port (red) or Starboard (green). Axleboxes etc get one, two or three dots. It doesn't improve the quality of the build, but it does lessen the chances of confusion.

Allan F


There'll be a post along in a minute by a bloke* who says he's red/green colourblind...

Cheers
Flymo

* it's predominantly men who suffer from this...


I'm not advocating it, just saying what I do!

Allan F

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Sat Apr 08, 2017 10:35 pm

Progress since the last update:

- Basic body is assembled, including replacement sprung Gibson buffers (with the bases filed to be oblong, as per the prototype).
- Chassis assembled. I'm going for option three of the four offering in the kit instructions. The rear two axles ride in a pair of rocking sub-frames, and the front axle uses hornblocks and a central pivot. This was all assembled in the Poppy's chassis jig. I used High-Level hornblocks, which went together quite easily. Note the marker on the rods to tell left and right- thanks for that useful tip.
DSC_0043.JPG

DSC_0048.JPG

Again, no major problems so far. and it's all pretty much as per the instructions. The next task is the mask up the chassis and paint it, since I'm using Gibson wheels and won't be able to take them off for painting.

Julian Roberts
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Julian Roberts » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:51 am

Great stuff Pete. Probably people will be interested to know how the Poppy jig works out longterm being nicely low tech and low budget compared with alternatives I think?

I departed from the instructions although basically following the same route as you. I put in hornblocks on axles 2&3 and modified the compensation subframes to act as beams, resting on them. This added considerably to the construction time as I had to think it out for myself though it works as intended.

So don't take my word for this but surely you can open the main chassis holes 2&3 into slots (it looks as though you have already enlarged the holes correctly) and thereby be able to drop out the wheels on their axles still on their subframes if you make the subframe axle (i.e. piece of wire) removable rather than soldering it to the chassis mainframes? My motor etc fits between the frames and thus the whole lot can slide down through them. The ends of the compensation wires I just folded down - not completely pukka but they are pretty much concealed by the brakes.

Interestingly I found that once the brakes are
attatched as per instructions the hornblocks no longer need an infuriatingly fiddly piece of wire to keep them from falling out, so they act as a kind of keeper plate. Before I realised that I got one of the ends of those pieces of wire accidentally finding its way into the spokes of a wheel causing it to jam when under test, luckily I didn't have it on full power and no damage was done.

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:32 am

Julian Roberts wrote:Great stuff Pete. Probably people will be interested to know how the Poppy jig works out longterm being nicely low tech and low budget compared with alternatives I think?

It's wood, so I'm guessing that it won't stand up to as much use as the more expensive metal alternatives, but I'm not a professional builder churning out hundreds of locos. Even then, if it does wear out then another one won't be massively expensive.

Since this is my first attempt at a compensated chassis I wasn't brave enough to depart from the instructions! But you've described a neat solution for how to make the wheels removable.

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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Julian Roberts » Sun Apr 09, 2017 2:47 pm

Absolutely right not departing from Chris' instructions especially on first build, but on any build in the case of Hi level probably, as others have said.

But there are no instructions on getting the wheels on, and I still find this the hardest bit, and the only bit of P4 that is definitely more demanding than other standards (given that one is going to put in compensation or whatever), in that there is a smaller window of what is OK or not OK on the back to back dimension. This 7th loco I have made was the first one where I properly managed to get the wheels with associated hornblocks and spacing washers to gauge and quartered in one hit, off the locomotive - i.e.without trying to do the process with the chassis (and the wheels already attached) getting in the way. I am speaking about Gibson wheels of course, where it's so desirable not to take them on and off the axles - other makes may be different.

Anyway there is loads of advice here. I don't know if you have already referred to Allan Goodwillie's series starting at
viewtopic.php?f=39&t=666&hilit=west+of+scotland+starters

I also had a lot of help on this subject last summer in this thread though there is quite a lot to get through

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=4911&p=46168&hilit=wheel+spacing+washers#p46168

Anyway it looks as though you are doing great, and I have only seen by looking at your pictures what the point is of having that inside dummy motion - it is visible through the hole in the frames. 'Fraid I left it off on my build.

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:50 pm

I've been following that series with interest - I've rather liked those Wemyss Barclays ever since I saw an article on one in the RM in about 1985. It sticks in my mind as it was the second or third issue of RM my 9 year old self bought.

I'd not seen the thread on wheel though, so thanks for the link. I've got one of the inevitable GW wheel presses to help with the wheels, which I've finally got the hang of so my most recent OO loco. I worked out the need for packing of there's a wheel boss the hard way, and the purchase of a micrometer took all the guess work of working out how many axle washers I needed. Hopefully I wont mess this loco up....

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Colin Parks
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Colin Parks » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:10 pm

Hi Pete,

The chassis is looking good. Looking forward to seeing the loco up and running. I might have missed it, but do you have a P4 layout?

All the best,

Colin

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:01 pm

Colin,

Not yet. That will come later, once I have a loco or two to run on it.

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Colin Parks
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Colin Parks » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:40 pm

pete_mcfarlane wrote:Colin,

Not yet. That will come later, once I have a loco or two to run on it.


The opposite of my situation then Pete!

Colin

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:04 pm

A lot more progress since the last update, although I spent a few weeks not doing anything thanks to other commitments (mostly building a 1970s nightclub toilet for an AmDram production of 'Stags and hens', as you do...).

The body is mostly done, bar a few minor details like the sandbox operating rods, which I'll fit later once the chassis is complete. The chassis itself has been painted and the wheels and motor fitted. As I'm being awkward and fitting a flywheel, a small section had to be removed from the front of the boiler to allow it to fit. The motor moves under power and the various compensation bits have managed to avoid being gunged up with paint.

I've had a couple of learnings along the way:

- There are a lot of small etched bits inside other etched bits which needed removing an saving for later. These ended up in a bag, which works for me on simpler kits, but a lot of time was spent on this one sifting through the bag and trying to identify them later on. I also managed to lose the safety valve lever (so will need to make another one). Next time I'll tape them to a a bit of card and write the number next to them.

- As well as having issues with the flimsiness of the half etched cab, I ended up with a few dents in the half etched side tanks. The white stuff you can see is the filler. Once primed painted and smoothed down it should all be OK. Again this is a failing on my part and not one of the kit.

So here at the photos. Next step is the coupling rods.
DSC_0004.JPG
DSC_0003.JPG
DSC_0002.JPG

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pete_mcfarlane
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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby pete_mcfarlane » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:05 pm

Another quick update. The body is largely done, and the chassis is currently waiting for the cylinder assembly to be painted prior to final assembly. (that's the thing at the back, covered in masking tape). The loco is going to be black, with cream/off-white lining, as a fictitious industrial example.
DSC_0002_6.JPG

As before I had no major problems, although the cylinders did need some careful adjustment to get them running properly, although this may be down to my hamfisted assembly more than the kit itself. I did like they way they included a built in jig to ensure that everything was square, another piece of good design.

I did deviate from the instructions in one area, as they suggested superglueing the rear part of the crosshead assembly. I didn't fancy this much (I tried and struggled to get a strong enough join) so in the end I carefully soldered them on (with much greasing of bits I didn't want soldered together). The removable brake gear with pickups attached is also being painted, but for some reason I neglected to take a photo of that.

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Re: First steps in P4- moving on to my first P4 loco

Postby Knuckles » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:14 pm

Looking good so far. Did you hand paint the chassis? I have never sprayed one for fear of gumming it up so I usually brush paint it black with enamel....then because it lacks primer later on it rubs off. Can't win!

Don't want to disturb set up though so it seems a fine compromise.

Been quietly watching this thread and progress is encouraging. :)

Must try that Poppy jig...
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