Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

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Tim V
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Tim V » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:36 am

Philip Hall wrote:I’m afraid I am one of those who secure the crankpin nuts on crankpins with a tiny touch of retainer. My belt and braces reasoning is that most of my engines go to new homes and I’d rather not have a customer coming back with an engine that has tied itself in knots because something has come loose over time.

Philip

That, in a nutshell, is the professional approach. You build them, you don't want them to come back. When they come back (for repair) that is un-remunerative time.

Personally, I try and build in the same way. Build once, build right (though I don't stick the crankpin nuts on!). My locos are expected to do quite large distances, I did a survey at the Peterborough show back in 2010. Some of the trains ran round the layout 36 times in the weekend, travelling 1,260ft, or just under a 1/4 of a real mile. They were expected to do this without failing. I did the survey in response to Roy Jackson's article 'Locomotives of Dunwich' MRJ 18 - which makes interesting reading.
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Enigma
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Enigma » Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:35 am

Even though my layouts are small, over the course of an exhibition weekend I'm sure that, with all the shunting involved, the locos cover quite a distance. 50% of this is forwards, 50% backwards, in and out of sidings. On a continuous run layout such as Tim's, locos hardly ever run in both directions and so the potential 'strain' on rods, valve gear etc. and their attachments might be far less than on a shunting plank. Branch termini obviously have bi-directional loco travel but would it be as intense as even a small heavily operated plank? I prefer to make sure that nothing will come adrift (it never has - as yet!) and always wear a strong leather belt and a good pair of military issue braces.

Hypothetically of course.

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Tim V
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Tim V » Tue Mar 23, 2021 3:59 pm

Remembering that over that 1/4 mile, one set of rods are loosening, one set are tightening!

I could say something about outside Walschaerts, perhaps another thread ...
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Paul Willis
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Tue Mar 23, 2021 6:28 pm

Tim V wrote:Remembering that over that 1/4 mile, one set of rods are loosening, one set are tightening!

I could say something about outside Walschaerts, perhaps another thread ...


Yes please! I'll have none of that horrible knitting anywhere near any locomotive that I'm building!

<shudders>
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Enigma
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Enigma » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:18 pm

Paul Willis wrote:
Tim V wrote:Remembering that over that 1/4 mile, one set of rods are loosening, one set are tightening!

I could say something about outside Walschaerts, perhaps another thread ...


Yes please! I'll have none of that horrible knitting anywhere near any locomotive that I'm building!

<shudders>
Paul

One good reason for modelling GWR/BR(W) :)

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Tim V
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Tim V » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:28 pm

I do model BR(W), the standards, ex LMS locos re-allocated ...
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Noel
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Noel » Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:35 pm

Not to mention WDs and the Stanier 8Fs actually built at Swindon...
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Noel

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Neil Smith
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Neil Smith » Tue Mar 23, 2021 9:57 pm

Or the 15xx....

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Will L
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Will L » Wed Mar 24, 2021 12:55 pm

So we have those who glue on their crank pin nuts and those that choose not to, and yes this is always going to be a mater of choice, but, while in the shower this morning, I do all my "best" thinking in the shower (others may demur), I remembered this post giving a reason for not wanted to lock them down.
Enigma wrote:In my experience there can be a problem in that the AG bushes are not always a close fit on the pin and if tightened, eccentricity can occur which could cause binding...
While yes we should all be aware of the concentric bush problem, this sort of implies that if you introduced a limp into a chassis by tightening down the crank pin nuts you'd do nothing about it? In my world at least I would work on the problem till I'd eliminated the limp, and by tightening down the nut, ensured I don't get a recurrence. Leaving it free to turn on the crank pin must surely leave it open to cause trouble in the future?

Actuality I suspect Pauls' (both G and W) methods as described are very little different from what I (DaveB or Tim) do, leaves proper clearance between rod the nuts so the don't bind and with the nut hard down on the bush as the glue is applies. The point at issue being, do you need the Glue? I just wouldn't want other's with less experience to believe leaving a bit of slack between the nut and the bush was a good idea.

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:03 am

Will L wrote:Actuality I suspect Pauls' (both G and W) methods as described are very little different from what I (DaveB or Tim) do, leaves proper clearance between rod the nuts so the don't bind and with the nut hard down on the bush as the glue is applies. The point at issue being, do you need the Glue? I just wouldn't want other's with less experience to believe leaving a bit of slack between the nut and the bush was a good idea.


That pretty much sums it up Will. *Always* leave the bush slightly longer than the thickness of the crankpin. Done up tightly, it shouldn't move, but why take the risk? That's my perspective.

There was a question as to what happens if you want to take the rods off again. Well, the simple answer is that's why you use nail varnish. It's strong enough to prevent accidental undoing (for whatever reason) and will sheer the join easily enough with a twist of a 14BA box spanner, or fine nosed pliers.

Anyway, a lively discussion :-)

Now back to the model...

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

Postby Paul Willis » Thu Mar 25, 2021 7:17 am

So, now the final run in to putting it all together...

First came painting the chassis and the inside motion:

IMG_7620.JPG


The coupling rods are done in Humbrol metalcote gunmetal, ready for polishing and a little weathering later. See the colour of the prototype, photographed when it was the centrepiece atthe Warley show a couple of years ago. The effect really does change if you are at an angle,or fully side-on with maximum reflected light:

48xx Detail  (17).JPG


What would I do without an ample supply of cocktail sticks? They are used for everything from placing tiny amounts of superglue, to holding parts in place, to acting as impromptu paint stands:

IMG_7619.JPG


Then when the basic colours were down, out came the weathering powders and washes:

IMG_7661.JPG


Before applying them, the chassis also had a light dry-brushing with metalcote to bring out the detail and give a start to that slightly oily sheen:

IMG_7658.JPG


And completing the ensemble, the removable brakegear (that brilliant design feature of Chris's kits) with a spot of rust from the tyres spread onto the brakeshoes:

IMG_7659.JPG


So, just a few more bits to do and it's into the Erecting Shop.

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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Apr 10, 2021 6:09 am

I forgot to mention that whilst I had the paints out for the chassis, I also painted up the backhead and other cab details provided in the Mainly Trains detailing kit:

48xx backhead painted (1).JPG


Whilst they are nicely detailed castings, I was intrigued to find that the layout of the backhead didn't quite match the photos of the prototype that I had:

48xx prototype  (6).jpg


48xx prototype  (14).jpg


Now, whether that is a case of the preserved locomotive having a different boiler to the original build, or the craftsman's approach of just making it fit in, I don't know:

48xx backhead painted (2).JPG


However, it gives a good impression, and almost all of this will be lost in the gloom of the cab when the roof is on anyway...

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Fri Apr 16, 2021 6:01 am

So with the work on the body out of the way for the meantime, and the painting of the chassis done, it was back to the engineering elements, and one of the critical stages, which I always fear I'm going to get wrong - fitting the wheels to the chassis.

For this, as always, I use a GW Quartering tool. For me, it seems to Just Work (tm) and is my best shot at getting the wheels on square and quartered in a single shot. My goal for this locomotive was to put the wheels on once, and once only. Added to the fact that they are a really nice set of Ultrascales, I didn't want to make any mistakes.

The first issue that I found is that having fitted the crankpin bushes at an earlier stage (because the wheels were loose, and it was easier to press them into the wheels) I found that they don't fit in the alignment holes in the GW press. So the first thing that I had to do was to take them out again, by carefully pulling them with fine pliers - I didn't want to grip them too had and squeeze them oval.

The second glitch was that the supplied 14BA steel bolts for the crankpins were too long for the depth of the slots in the GW press. So making sure that I didn't cut them *too* short, it was out with the snips and cut them roughly to length. I'll trim them to exact length and finish the ends off when I'm done with final assembly.

So after those two minor points of discovery, it was wheels into the press, and onto the chassis. And in a tribute to the quality of both the GW press and the Ultrascale wheels, they all went on easily and square. By easily, I don't mean loosely, but with no problems. So I now have a rolling chassis:

48xx wheel fitting (1).JPG


48xx wheel fitting (2).JPG


And with the body loosely placed on it, I was really pleased that it looks the part:

48xx wheel fitting (3).JPG


48xx wheel fitting (4).JPG


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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Philip Hall » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:19 am

Those axles don’t look like they are the original Ultrascale ones, Paul, or they would be flush with the wheel face. No matter though, easy enough to fill.

Looking good

Philip

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Tim V
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Tim V » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:23 am

Doesn't that depend on how the GW press is set up? It has adjustable stubs - for different length axles.
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby bécasse » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:25 am

Tool boxes?

A few 48/14xx locos had tool boxes in the position, centred on the splashers, where Airfix modelled them (for a good reason) on the right-hand side only, although I have never been able to discern any pattern in which locos they were (and, indeed, they may well have changed over time as tool boxes were removed during overhaul). Otherwise, and always* on the left-hand side, the tool boxes were mounted further forward, roughly ranged forward when compared with the splashers behind them. Oddly, Peto makes no mention of these variations.

* There is always one exception that proves a rule, not a 48/14xx but similar non-auto-fitted 5811 had the tool box centred on the splashers on the left hand side when built.

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Noel » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:50 am

bécasse wrote:* There is always one exception that proves a rule, not a 48/14xx but similar non-auto-fitted 5811 had the tool box centred on the splashers on the left hand side when built.


The one on the RHS [looking forward on the loco] was mounted further forward sometimes, for no obvious reason, but the one on the LHS [if present] was usually mounted further forward to clear a pair of lamp irons for spare lamps fitted in front of the steps. 4851 also had a toolbox central to the splasher on the LHS in the 1930s ["shirtbutton" monogram era, so presumably as built] ; in that case the lamp irons for spare lamps were in front of the toolbox, alongside the smokebox.
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Paul Willis
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:12 pm

Thanks for all the thoughts on tool boxes. There really does seem to have been a mixture of dates and practices.

From the period (i.e. not in preservation and therefore potentially b*ggared about with) photographs that I've been using as reference for this project, I can see the following:

RHS, centred on splasher:

- 4863, on 7 April 1939
- unidentified, in 1949

LHS, centred on splasher:

- 4800, at Swindon in 1932
- 4806, circa 1934
- 4843, 1934
- 4861. on 15 August 1937
- 4817, on 16 May 1937
- 1413, circa 1947
- 4851 (shirtbutton livery) - as mentioned by Noel

4851-exeter.jpg


I'd say that (not counting precisely the non-centred ones) that the photos show that in the pre-WW2 period the toolboxes were centred on the splasher on roughly 33% for the RHS and 50% on the LHS. Of course, any other random sample of photos mean that these percentages would vary, so in no way am I suggesting that these numbers are gospel.

I do feel that the more fundamental thing if going for an absolutely 100% representation is the size of the toolboxes themselves. Regardless of position, the Arirfix mouldings appear to be malnourished compared to the prototype. They really should have a millimetre or two of heft in all three dimensions.

That said, as I've said before, this is very much a side-project, an amusement, for me, and I'm aiming for a good representation after an reasonable effort rather than 100% accuracy to the last fraction. YToyTrainMV...

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Paul
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Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sat Apr 17, 2021 10:02 pm

I mentioned a couple of posts ago that in order to use the GW wheel press to quarter the wheels, I had to remove the Ultrascale crankpin bushes. Whilst they were off the locomotive, I realised that it was a good time to blacken them. That was preferable to try and do it in situ.

First of all the potions: all from Carrs, surface cleanser, metal black, and neutralising rinse.

48xx Crankpin blackening (1).JPG


Each in a separate one of my indispensable Poundshop metal egg cups. I don't know what I'd do without these. Whether it's for holding paint, solvents, solder balls, assorted etched parts, they are so useful.

And after the process, the finished results.

48xx Crankpin blackening (2).JPG


These parts really do live a charmed life. Since setting them out to dry, I caught that piece of tissue three times, spraying some or all of the components over the workbench and carpet. Thankfully, much grovelling to the Carpet God (blessed be his knees) found them all on each occasion. Faced with the prospect of being no less clumsy in future, I've now put them safely in a clipped box, inside another sealed box. Let's see them escape from there!

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Paul
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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Noel » Sun Apr 18, 2021 10:24 am

Paul Willis wrote:I've now put them safely in a clipped box, inside another sealed box. Let's see them escape from there!


Don't worry, they will just take the box with them... :D
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Noel

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Re: Airfix 48xx with High Level Kits chassis

Postby Paul Willis » Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:31 am

A lengthier post for the next stage on the build...

The original method of fixing the body to the chassis of the Airfix model was a combination of tongue/bolt. The tongue is mounted inside the rear buffer beam. The replacement High Level chassis uses the same arrangement, with a slot etched into the rear chassis spacer. No problems there.

The other fixing was at the front of the Airfix body. This used a long bolt that extended down through the chimney, and into the chassis block underneath. So not only has the chassis block been junked (or rather, sold on eBay, reaching almost as much in cash as I paid for the secondhand locomotive) but there is a replacement lost wax brass casting for the chimney. So I needed some form of new mounting to the new chassis.

Looking back to the photos of the early stages of the chassis build, there was a tab etched in the front spacer. This was subsequently bent up, and holds the compensation beam for the front axle:

48xx beam tab.jpg


However, the hole in the front spacer left behind looked perfect to use for a bolt going upwards, into a new mounting on the body. To help, there is even a convenient space under the smokebox on the body, where the bolt from the chimney came down through, to make a suitable mounting place.

48xx body mounting (3).JPG


The first stage was to find a bit of scrap to make a mounting plate. Naturally, I'd kept all of the useful bits of nickel silver from the kit (the usual scrap boxes being as useful as ever) and I fished out the piece containing the OO and EM spacers:

Scrap materials boxes.JPG


48xx body mounting (1).JPG


One of the spacers was cut out and trimmed to size:

48xx body mounting (2).JPG


I then needed a suitable nut soldered to it. And strongly, as I didn't want loads of trouble if it subsequently became unattached and difficult to fix in future. So I pulled out the Carrs Solder Mask, and comprehensively coated the thread of the bolt I was using to locate the nut before soldering it all together:

48xx body mounting (5).JPG


48xx body mounting (4).JPG


The plate was then fixed into the underneath of the smokebox by first melting it gently into location with my soldering iron, then making sure that it stayed fixed by applying thick superglue around the edges. As the false boiler bottom didn't come as far forward under the smokebox as where the bolt was going, there was plenty of clearance for the bolt:

48xx body mounting (7).JPG


48xx body mounting (8).JPG


And finally, the finished fastening. Neat, strong, and completely unobtrusive. I'm quite pleased about how well this worked:

48xx body mounting (6).JPG


Cheers
Paul
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