Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

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steve howe
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby steve howe » Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:01 pm

I had a similar problem, I cut a bit out of the 'link wire' (which doesn't really resemble a chain either!) and bent the end of the pipe up a couple of mil. then re-soldered the link. I wonder if fine twisted wire as a replacement might look better?

Merry Christmas :thumb

Steve

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sat Dec 26, 2020 2:26 pm

Perhaps you could copy the real one in this post above.
https://www.scalefour.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=81128#p80785
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Paul Willis
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:47 pm

Enigma wrote:I have found that the steam heat pipe on mine hangs to low and catches on point blades etc. I wondered about cutting out the 'link wire' and bending it up but reading what's been said about it representing a length of chain I'm not so sure now.


Thanks Paul. I haven't had the wheels in my chassis yet, so I don't know yet how the bottom of the pipe will sit. Checking with a steel rule, they are at about the level of the guard-irons, so they may be okay. It depends how much clearance the kit builds up with.

I am wary of trying to bend the pipes now they are in situ. They are remarkably tough, being castings. They may not bend that easily, and I'm more likely to pull one off. If the clearance issue is just a fraction of a millimetre, I may well look to file back the bottom of the pipe, to improve clearance.

One area where I have had to perform some surgery is here:

IMG_6906.JPG


When fitted, the rear of this casting didn't quite clear the end of the spacer in the chassis. The easiest way to deal with it, given that it will be hardly visible, was to nip a couple of millimetres off the end to allow the chassis to swing into place - it is located by a peg at the rear end of the body.

On the detailing side, a little more patching was required. The early locomotives don't have a whistle shield fitted. Whilst this is easy to remove, when it is unclipped, it leaves a mounting hole in the top of the firebox. This was filled with a sliver of plasticard strip, flooded in with Mek:

IMG_6835.JPG


Once it had a couple of days to set really, really solid, some careful work with a needle file smoothed it back, whilst still retaining the cladding strip:

IMG_6838.JPG


One more step on the detailing and the backdating completed.

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Fri Jan 01, 2021 8:56 pm

Onwards, toward completing the body works!

I think that I already mentioned elsewhere that I had made up a set of fire-iron hooks from nickel-silver strip. These are they, with little tags or tails for placing into pre-drilled holes in the bunker to secure them.

IMG_6939.JPG


I made them out of nickel-silver for strength, but it wasn't the easiest of games to furtle some suitable strip out of my scrap boxes to bend to shape.

Scrap boxes.JPG


So in a remarkable degree of pre-planning, I've included some lengths of plain strip, of various widths and in both full and half etched thickness on the edge of one of the pieces of etching that I've done recently. I've even put them in the correct box to find them next time.

The finished hooks look the part to me, and will only be loaded up (following some prototype photos rather than guessing and making it up as I go along) when the locomotive is finished and painted.

IMG_6940.JPG


IMG_6941.JPG


The other piece of work needed on the bunker is to make a replacement fill for the bunker. I already have the additional lamp-iron fitted in place:

IMG_6949.JPG


And needed to make something that would be less prominent than the original bunker cover when eventually covered in real coal. So I used the original as a template for a simple piece of plasticard. Curved corners to fit in tightly, and a small notch for the lamp iron.

IMG_6954.JPG


And then glued into place:

IMG_6961.JPG


Another couple of tasks ticked off...

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby steamraiser » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:28 pm

I would put less than a full bunker unless you want the space.
Leave the sides built up with a slope down to the middle behind the bunker coal door.
With the fireman on the left side the middle would go first with coal from the sides tumbling down followed by the right hand side behind the drive - assuming the fireman was right handed.

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Enigma » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:10 pm

I often use old staples to make fire iron hooks.

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Jan 02, 2021 10:18 am

steamraiser wrote:I would put less than a full bunker unless you want the space.
Leave the sides built up with a slope down to the middle behind the bunker coal door.
With the fireman on the left side the middle would go first with coal from the sides tumbling down followed by the right hand side behind the drive - assuming the fireman was right handed.


Hi Gordon,

I see exactly what you're saying, and that would be a good way to show a locomotive halfway through a turn. However, the limitations of the model mean that there would be quite a lot of work involved.

There is no bunker front or lower rear cab sheet. As you can see from this picture, the cab rear stops pretty much at the level of the top of the bunker.

IMG_6949.JPG


So if I took the level of the coal down much lower, I'd then need to start making the bunker front, and blending it in and so on. You could argue that the bunker front should be there anyway, but with the cab roof on, and a couple of crew inside, it's going to be so gloomy that you won't notice it anyway.

So I'll go for a moderately coaled look, and see what impression it gives.

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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:38 pm

Following my comment to DougN about extracting digit, and getting on with finishing some projects, I should crack on with the story.

The next stage that I completed was the filling in of the gap beneath the boiler where the RTR chassis block had previously sat. Whilst for much of the bodywork modifications, I'd been following the Iain Rice/MRJ #1 set of instructions, this was a stage that is part of the High Level build sequence. It's part of the "preparing the body" section. I'd left it until now because of the various other bits of associated butchery going on around it.

The instructions suggest plasticard. Whilst I could have done this, to do it properly would have meant trial and error, and mucking about with hot water to thermoform a curve to make sure that it held, and so on.

It was a lot easier and quicker (and this is where the advantage of having the right tool for the job comes in) to just look for a bit of scrap brass and pull out the GW rolling bars.

I don't know exactly what thickness of brass I used. It seems around 20 thou, but the precise dimension didn't matter. You'll see from the picture below that it's a scrap offcut - there's a big hole in one side of it! Fortunately, it was more than ample for my needs. I rolled it slightly over-tight (over-small? over-narrow?) to start with, thinking that it would be easier to tease out to the correct final fit with my fingers:

IMG_6963.JPG


I measured the length necessary, and the width (leaving a bit over as spare) and trimmed it to size with a piercing saw. It was then pushed into place, and held with a couple of good blobs of epoxy resin out of sight at either end, and a run of superglue along the seam where the brass joined the plastic:

IMG_6964.JPG


When that had firmly dried, I used needle files to smooth the two together. I have skipped adding a sort length of boiler band on the new section. I feel that I would have probably made it more obvious rather than less, so I've left the continuation of the moulded one to be imagined by the viewer as it disappears into the gloom underneath:

IMG_6965.JPG


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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:29 am

The next stage of working on the body is to add detail to the buffers front and rear.

Iain Rice mentions this in his article, but so briefly that I almost missed it: "A further detail was to file flats atop the buffer shanks, and cement on scraps of microstrip to represent the steps. Well, looking at various pictures of the prototype, I felt that I wanted to give a better representation than just a square of microstrip. This is how the model starts with no detailing:

IMG_7015.JPG


The first thing that I did was to go through my scrap box of etches, looking for something which had chequerplate on it. I was fortunate to find these bits, which are off a coach etch of some origin.

IMG_7016.JPG


I then referred to the GA diagram in MRJ to measure and determine the size of the steps. Inconveniently, they weren't dimensioned, so it was out with the digital caliper and the calculator.

IMG_7018.JPG


It turned out that they are 5.4" square. Presumably a number that is of ritual significance in the hallowed portals of Swindon. So I set the jaws of my digital calipers to the appropriate gap at the tip, and scribed the size of these onto the brass:

IMG_7019.JPG


IMG_7026.JPG


Fiddly to do, but soon cut to size, and safely stored in my trust Patum Peperium pot.

IMG_7027.JPG


IMG_7028.JPG


From here, it was a simple task to use a square needle file to complete flats on the top of the buffers for them to be glued to:

IMG_7030.JPG


And this is the finished result, on the front and the back buffers:

IMG_7031.JPG


IMG_7035.JPG


However, that's not quite the end of the story of the steps. Having measured these up, and thinking that they could come in useful in the future, I quickly tacked them on to the side of an etch that I was doing (GER lamp irons, if anyone is interested in those - details at the 5522 website) and came up with this:

IMG_7189.JPG


So if anyone out there is doing a similar 48xx body upgrade, drop me a message and I'll stick a set of four in the post to you. I'm not going to need them in the near future.

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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Enigma » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:21 pm

I think I used a section of throat pastile tube (or similar) for my boiler section. Happened to be just the right diameter.

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:27 pm

Another piece of moulded detail that came off my locomotive during the mammoth carving session was the representation of the steam lance cock-tap at the front of the smokebox. Not only did it get in the way of carving off the smokebox door, but it was a bit of a misshapen blob anyway.

The prototype locomotive has quite a refined looking fitment. Almost like a garden tap in its looks:

48xx prototype  (17).jpg


In the Mainly Trains detailing kit, there is just a reference by Iain Rice to using a short length of 0.7mm brass wire. Having looked at the photos, I thought that this could end up looking a bit "bare".

So not having a suitable bit of scrap lost-wax casting or similar that would be a proper representation, I decided to do something that would look a little more substantial. I started off but soldering an Alan Gibson handrail knob onto a length of brass wire:

IMG_7489.JPG


It doesn't really matter whether it is the short, medium or long variant, and the next thing to do was to cut off the stem of the knob. Gentlemen are allowed to say "ouch!" at this point. This left the ball part behind, to represent the valve part of the steam cock:

IMG_7491.JPG


The final stages were to drill a small hole in the front of the smokebox at an appropriate height - just below halfway, around the line of the bottom hinge is correct for the prototype. Then, the excess length of wire was snipped off from one side of the knob, to leave a small stub that represents the end of the tap. A longer length of wire was on the other side, which was glued firmly into place. I think that it's a reasonable representation, all in all.

IMG_7495.JPG


I'm now coming toward the end of the body modifications for the moment, so the next post will be a wrap up of what has been done, and what remains to be done.

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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:23 pm

Paul Willis wrote:I'm now coming toward the end of the body modifications for the moment, so the next post will be a wrap up of what has been done, and what remains to be done.

Cheers
Paul


Well, it's been six weeks since I wrote that! I must admire the dedication of people that DaveH and TonyW who keep us fully entertained with regular updates. It's not that modelling hasn't been going on, it's just that I am easily distra....

So, when I started out with the MRJ article by Iain RIce for detailing the body, and the Mainly Trains detailing kit, I jotted down (because, as you can see, I can be forgetful) a list of the things that I was carving off my 48xx. It was just jotted down on the edge of the instructions.

48xx changed parts.JPG


From that list, there are a couple of changes that I'll make. After the very informative discussion here, the "cab pipe" will be reinstated, although I'll be looking to the pictures of the early locomotives to see the most common routing, rather than just replacing the moulded Airfix run.

Also, I hadn't marked the cab doors as not being replaced. I intend to leave them open <ahem> to give a better view into the cab.

Everything else on the list has been dealt with, and replacement/additional parts added from either the MT kit, or bits of scrap. So this is the current state of the body now, from either side:

48xx detailed body (1).JPG


48xx detailed body (2).JPG


The additional parts were primed in Comet two-part self-etch primer. However, the whole model itself is rather dusty, having sat in the open on top of my workbench for the last few weeks. It will get a good scrub before painting.

Now back to the final steps on the chassis...

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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:53 am

So, when I returned to finish off the chassis, it was back to "engineering" again. Chris's instructions for High Level kits are usually spot-on, so it's normally a case of just "build as instructed". In this case, there were a couple of "gotchas" that caught me out, so I'll mention those so you are alert to them.

The first was a tricksy one about the English language. It's about making up the pivots for the compensation beams - there are some excellent, etched compensation beams in this kit.

The instructions say: "To fit the compensation beams, cut 2 lengths of 1.6mm O.D tube so they fit snugly between the frames...". So I did:

IMG_7499.JPG


I checked one of them for length...

IMG_7500.JPG


And wondered what to do with the other. <scratches head> Then the penny dropped. The sentence would have been better phrased as "To fit the compensation beams, cut a length of 1.6mm O.D tube to fit snugly between the frame and cut it into two pieces..."

IMG_7502.JPG


A case of an error on my part by following and not thinking! Oh well, the spare length of tube went in the spares box, and there was plenty in the kit anyway to make such a mistake and not be disrupted by it.

On the Serjt-Dave scale of things, I think that this definitely counts as at least a "half-Twit" error!

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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Winander » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:50 pm

Paul,

I don't think anyone would argue that your first action followed the instructions - faced with your dilemma, I doubt I would have twigged what it meant..
Richard Hodgson

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:13 am

The second "gotcha" about the compensation arrangements came into view when I then tried to put the "pivot tubes" in place.

Again, it's down to me reading the instructions in a slightly different way, and making life difficult for myself.

The two pivot tubes each have a very nicely etched "arm" soldered to them. This bears on the rear of the axleboxes for the rear driving and carrying wheel. Again, an elegant solution for wheels of differing diameters. However, the problem came when fitting the wire that runs across the chassis that the tubes pivot on. The instructions say:

"...open out the pivot beam wire hole 'R' in the frames to 0.6mm diameter (You'll need to remove the spacer/[rear] sandbox assembly to gain access).

Except that when the stage of making up the spacer/sandbox assembly happened, I had soldered the spacer in place! The reason for this is that when (a page earlier), it sais "...the whole [sandbox/spacer] assembly should be fixed in place using a 14BA nut and bolt", I hadn't realised why. I just thought that fixed meant fixed, so to avoid the fiddling, I'd use a quick spot of solder...

If the instructions had just said "...because you'll need to remove this later.", all would have been clear! No big deal really, and this is how I got around it.

I found a suitably sized, and long, drill to attack the two holes in the frames at an angle:

IMG_7504.JPG


Holding a drill in a pin vice would have been at too steep an angle, and made life more difficult. I did this on both sides, and then was able to fit a length of the pivot wire in place by cutting it only slightly over-length to the width of the frames, and wiggling it, and the pivot tubes, into place, using the couple of millimetres of free space behind the sandboxes. This is how it ended up.

IMG_7505.JPG


Rather than get a soldering iron in there (basically, I couldn't), I fixed the pivot wire in place in the frames with a spot of thick superglue applied on the end of a cocktail stick. In that way, I avoided gumming everything up solid.

Despite the self-induced difficulty, it still came together in a very neat and functional arrangement, as can be seen here.

IMG_7510.JPG


The one thing that I haven't done is test the overall ride-height by fitting the wheels. The instructions suggest doing this, and adjusting the beam as necessary. I don't want to do this - I'm trusting to the accuracy of Chris's design - because I have a lovely set of Ultrascales for this locomotive, and I don't want to be taking them on and off axles more than I have to,

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Paul


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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Captain Kernow » Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:49 am

That's looking very good, Paul.

For what it's worth, my experience of Chris's stuff is that you can trust it to do what it says on the tin, so your ride height should be fine!
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Fri Mar 05, 2021 6:54 am

Thanks Tim - I'm confident of this as well. Trust the process (unless I have accidently prepared a set of Castle wheels...)

The next section in the instructions is one of the major reasons why I've been dawdling with this kit and avoiding finishing it off. It's the section on the brakegear, and for a mall 0-4-2T, it runs to nearly two closely typed pages. Intimidating or what?

However, as you would expect with one of Chris's kits, if you take your time and work through it methodically, there are no issues, and it all goes together beautifully. A couple of observations that I will make.

It starts the section by explaining that the brakegear is fully removeable - which is brilliant - and that you shouldn't solder anything until instructed to do so. This is to prevent you soldering bits into the chassis and not being able to take them off! However, looking at a couple of parts, like the brake gear levers, I couldn't see any reason why you wouldn't solder them together for strength, but it doesn't tell you to do so. So I did anyway, and the world didn't end! Otherwise, follow Chris's instructions.

It's in the middle of this section that there are the instructions to test fit the wheels and adjust the ride height. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm trusting the (superb) design of the kit and skipping that process until painting is complete. Obviously that wouldn't be a problem if you are building/testing the chassis using something like Romfords, even on P4 axles.

You do need to pay careful attention to the exploded diagrams of the parts, as is really true from the outset. I should have said this earlier on - separate the diagrams from the written instructions, so you can be reading one, and have the pictures showing it alongside. That's particularly true at this stage when you have lots of different parts and wires with holes of different sizes, and all dangling around loose until soldered together.

Just an aesthetic comment - when you have made the main brake pull-rod running down the centre of the locomotive - admire it. It's a thing of beauty. Or is that just me?

One last point on this stage is that the final instructions in the section are to make up and ft the sandbox pipes and fit them into the pre-drilled holes (the ones that I broke a couple of drills making, a few stages ago). I have decided to postpone this stage until I have completed almost all the assembly, and then I will glue them in place. A simple reason - whilst doing the final assembly, I don't want to keep knocking/bending/stabbing myself with them.

I'll finish with a picture of what the brakegear looks like underneath the cab. It really is rather special, and well worth the effort.

IMG_7528.JPG


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Paul
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Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Mar 06, 2021 9:22 am

The final words in the section of the instructions on brakegear were "...paint the sub-assemblies, ready for the final assembly sequence.".

And so it was time for a new toy to be wielded in anger for the first time...

IMG_7550.JPG


I've known of grit guns (or "airbrushes firing stuff") for a long time, and wondered about their merits. I think that it was Mark Tatlow who acquired one a year or two ago and spoke of its merits. So a few months ago, I decided to invest a few quid and try one out. In fact, I think that it was about forty quid for the kit shown here. What you got was:

- the grit gun body
- a sealed cup with a screw-on lid. This is essential to stop you tipping the grit everywhere
- a couple of connectors and a bench hook. I use my normal airbrush compressor with this, although I haven't played around with it enough to discover the optimum air pressure yet
- a small jar of abrasive material or "air eraser compound" as it is termed.
- an air hose, for attaching to whatever propulsion
- and a brief set of instructions.

IMG_7554.JPG


This should have all fitted in the neat plastic box that you can see in the first picture. Unfortunately, mine arrived with a broken hinge, so I've decanted the whole thing into a suitably sized Really Useful Box (what did we do before these?).

First impressions were that it was robust kit, and seems to work well. The "airbrush" is single action, but that is more than sufficient to control the flow of grit.

The "grit" itself was a lot, lot finer than I expected. If you knock the jar over - and I have now become paranoid about that - it will go *everywhere*. It's almost like an aluminium flour in consistency. The instructions tell you to keep this dry, and I can see why. It would set very effectively if it became damp or wet.

The final thing in the kit was a safety mask. Yes, I know. In the present situation we hardly need introducing to these things. It was both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good that the supplier thinks of and provides this. It's bad that it's really poor quality:

IMG_7551.JPG


It's the sort of thing that I'd use for DIY twenty years ago. I've recently bought new chemical/dust filters for my Drager 3300 mask, and I'll be using that with the grit gun in future.

The other thing to solve is where to use the grit gun. Whilst it's a lovely morning as I look out of the study window now, recently it's been horrible, and I certainly didn't want to cart my compressor, extension leads, etc, outside. A spray booth wouldn't work, as the grit would still go everywhere, not behaving like paint overspray fumes. I've heard of people converting clear plastic boxes to have arm-holes through, and that containing the material, like proper shot-blasting cabinets used by engineering works and garages. That might be something for the future.

However, as this was an experiment, I used an old, see-through plastic bag of a suitable size:

IMG_7553.JPG


I put model chassis, grit gun, and two hands inside and closed it as best I could. It wasn't too bad at containing everything. Next time, I'll check more carefully and find a bag that doesn't have a small hole in the far end... To be honest, I only found that out when I was cleaning up and looked to tip the used grit out of the bag.

So what were the results? Actually, very pleasing:

IMG_7555.JPG


IMG_7558.JPG


IMG_7559.JPG


You can see that the nickel silver has taken on a satin appearance, as have the lost wax castings to a lesser degree. The surface remains smooth and looked suitable to take primer or paint. The grit gun was controllable, although through a slightly opaque bag, it was difficult at times to see exactly what was happening.

It was easy to avoid the bearings, and they certainly didn't gum up with grit. That was one of my major fears, and had it happened I suspect it would be a case of a good scrub under the tap and a blast in the ultrasonic bath. It goes without saying that I really wouldn't recommend doing this with any sort of gearbox/motor in place.

The second picture shows a "squiggle" above the middle axle. This was me experimenting with how fine a line could be blasted, and what the effect was. As you can see, if you can see what you're doing (see earlier comments about bag!) then you can achieve quite a degree of precision.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this. I'll be using it on all of my brass (and probably whitemetal, after a suitable trial) kits in future. I need to solve the "delivery" issues, but that won't be difficult. For the moment, I've rescued a slightly better plastic bag!

The chassis blasting used very little of the grit supplied. I did wonder how much I would get through, but it seems very economical, and it will be a few models before I have used all that supplied. Replacement supplies seem cheap and plentiful on eBay, as this sort of tool is mainly aimed at glass engravers, etc as hobbyists.

All in all, if you're building a number of etched kits, I'd recommend it as a good, if non-essential, addition to your toolkit.

Cheers
Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Le Corbusier » Sun Mar 07, 2021 3:41 pm

Paul,

I have one of these which I had a play with a few weeks ago. What pressure did you put through yours? When I used mine I found that it had a tendency to block and I kept on having to clean the nozzel out :? any thoughts?

Tim
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sun Mar 07, 2021 6:19 pm

Le Corbusier wrote:Paul,

I have one of these which I had a play with a few weeks ago. What pressure did you put through yours? When I used mine I found that it had a tendency to block and I kept on having to clean the nozzel out :? any thoughts?


Hi Tim,

No, no thoughts. But that state of play is nothing unusual for me. So I'm afraid that I can't remember exactly what pressure I set the compressor at.

Mine is a German model, a "Wiltec" and came with some abbreviated instructions. They suggest an air pressure of 2 to 2.8 Bar. So it was probably in that range, and I suspect towards the top end. I'm not one for half measures.

Next time that I get it out to play, I'll make some notes. Once I find an optimum setting, I'll end up writing the setting on my compressor, like I have here:

Airbrush Compressor.JPG


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

DougN
Posts: 1082
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:57 am

Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby DougN » Mon Mar 08, 2021 2:26 am

Paul I just wish the compressor I have came with a pressure gauge and regulator. Anyhow I have managed to use it for painting!
Doug
Still not doing enough modelling


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