A Highland Miscellany

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Apr 11, 2020 4:07 pm

It seems I have been neglected this thread for a bit long; it took a while to find it!

I have still be busy modelling and posting on my public blog. My last post are a sensible prelude to the next few posts here as it looks at my thoughts and tips on signal building.

You can find this here https://highlandmiscellany.com/
Mark Tatlow

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany - Socially Distanced Challenge

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:37 pm

In response to the Society's Socially Distanced challenge, I have picked up the building of a batch of signals for some friends. The first of these is a NER two doll signal. This is destined for Benfieldside and is the up starter. This went missing over the years and we have not been able to source a photograph of John Wright's signal here. We have arrived at the conclusion that the bay signal (which does exist but is inoperative) would be best combined with this, hence the two doll signal.

I fancied a go at building what the NER described as heavy bracket signal and discovering from the NERA's relatively recent book on signals that the NER did mix signal designs across their regions I felt I had the excuse. I included the prototype details here viewtopic.php?f=89&t=6843&p=74128#p74128.

I started with the most difficult bit, the slotted posts. I construct my posts from brass section and file the tapers on. This is hard work as there is a fair amount of metal to remove but I think it creates both a more durable post but also one that is easier to solder the remaining elements to it. Once the basic posts for dolls were formed, I cut them to create the solid portions of the post that are above and below the slot. To each of these, I then filed a rebate on each side to take the slot plates which was formed of flat plate.

This is what it looks like once assembled and after the fitting of one of my lost wax McKenzie & Holland finials:

IMG_6035 (2).JPG


The difficult bit of a slotted post signal is getting the arm to affix to the spindle without gumming it all up in the slot. I do this by laminating a slip of brass on top of the ear that projects from the arm and is the point at which the operating rod attaches to the arm. I then extend it across the back of the arm by 3mm so that it projects slightly to the front of the post when the arm is inserted in the slot. I am liberal with the solder in attaching this but make sure that the rubbing faces are cleared of any excess.

IMG_6032 (2).JPG


I then wrap the arm in cigarette paper and insert it into the slot. After the spindle has been inserted, I touch the cigarette paper with light oil and allow it to soak through. Then I put a little flux on the laminated ear and apply the iron for a good time. The heat will transmit along the solder joint of this laminate and the liberal quantity of solder allows the solder to flash onto the joint of the spindle. The oil in the cigarette paper prevents the arm soldering itself to the inside of the slot.

IMG_6026 (2).JPG


The lamp support is a bit of a b*gger too as it has to span over and around the rod that operates the arm. A U shaped piece of scrap etch has to be used and the affixing of the lamp will have to follow the insertion of the operating rod (which I won't do until after painting. I this soldered a little spigot in the base of the lamp support - to go into the body of the whitemetal lamp and make the glue joint a little more certain.
Mark Tatlow

timlewis
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby timlewis » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:22 pm

Nice finials! Are they available to others?

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:33 pm

timlewis wrote:Nice finials! Are they available to others?


Yes, via my Miscellany Models site

https://miscellanymodels.com/
.
I am not too sure what the signalling arrangements were at Coldstream, but if you are showing interest in the McKenzie & Holland finials, you might want to look at the other signalling components. I am out of the lamps at the moment in 4mm.



Mark
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon Apr 13, 2020 11:31 am

I have also made a start on the second signal; which is a rather simpler single arm Midland home signal, modelled on this one at the Midland Railway Centre:

42923852990_f324cb8718_b.jpg


I don't know much about Midland signals but did manage to dig out the chapter in Midland Style. Looking through this, it transpires that the final era finial is not produced by MSE/Wizard so I thought it was worth having a bash at this with a couple of small etches of my own:

IMG_6098 (3).JPG


As you can see, these concertina through each other and then it was necessary to wrap a fine bit of wire around the middle. I touch of solder to this filled the gap between it and the inside of the cruciform to give the appearance of a solid plate here (which is what the finial was). I am rather chuffed with the end result even if it is somewhat difficult to photograph (mindful that this is 8mm high!):

IMG_6105 (2).JPG


The Midland's signals do have a few quirks in comparison to the others I have yet made; one of these is the use of a stirrup across the front of the arm, rather than relying on the spindle passing through the thickness of the post:

6097982480_6427ce6cf0_z (2).jpg
6097982480_6427ce6cf0_z (2).jpg (43.89 KiB) Viewed 1692 times


This in turn means that the blinder plate is attached to the arm and cranks around from the front of the signal, around the lamp and shields the rear of the lamp:

6094231984_64fb67ef11_b (2).jpg
6094231984_64fb67ef11_b (2).jpg (43.02 KiB) Viewed 1692 times


The etches for the arms from MSE/Wizard do allow for this, although it takes a bit of time to work out what is what:

IMG_6131 (2).JPG
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Apr 19, 2020 10:05 am

More progress has been made with the two doll NER bracket signal.

I have used brass square section for the post and dolls, which means that there is a lot of hard filing to do (I don't have access to a milling machine). I reckon there was the better part of a day consumed with the post/dolls for this and the MR signal I am doing. It is hard work and there is a significant pile of brass dust to prove the point!

Thereafter, it gets a bit more fun as the brackets go on (in this case I used an MSE etch, although I have actually done my own for this and a number of other NER heavy brackets).

IMG_6038 (2).JPG
Brackets in place


And then, with the previously prefabricated dolls and landing timbers, it starts to look like a signal.

IMG_6062 (2).JPG
Dolls now in


Even at this stage, there is still a lot of building to do as there are handrails, the main ladder, steps and ladders to the dolls, the operating mechanism transferring the movement to the dolls all to do. In respect of the latter(I used rocking cams in this case - you can just see the use of some handrail knobs as the bearings in the photos below, the cams will be fitted after painting.

IMG_6176 (2).JPG
In primer (front)


Slightly peculiarly, the NER built their landings in front of the arms whereas all the other signals I have yet built have these in the rear (excepting gantries, which can be either or both!). This view shows this most clearly.

IMG_6179 (2).JPG
In primer (above)


The main ladder is not visible in the views as I have made this detachable because it is much easier to spray paint these (and better, it is not easy to get a thin coat of paint by brush application and it thickens up the fine detail of a ladder too much.

IMG_6186 (2).JPG
In primer (rear)


The grey primer is pretty cruel to modelling efforts but on the whole, I am pretty chuffed with this!
Mark Tatlow

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steamraiser
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby steamraiser » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:16 pm

Very nice Mark.

John Palmer
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby John Palmer » Sun Apr 19, 2020 6:14 pm

Very impressed with the method for making the Midland pinnacles. That ring of wire filled with solder as the basis for the circular 'plate' in the middle of the casting has worked a treat! I can't quite make out whether you designed a notch into the profile of the pinnacle to locate the wire ring, as I bet it would be difficult to get the ring into the right position otherwise.

Now can you come up with a way to reproduce accurately the globular cage to be found in Stevens' pinnacles for the North British? So far I can't think of anything better than an adaptation of Peter Squibb's method of making GWR pinnacles, but it wouldn't be easy.

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Sun Apr 19, 2020 7:21 pm

John Palmer wrote:Very impressed with the method for making the Midland pinnacles. That ring of wire filled with solder as the basis for the circular 'plate' in the middle of the casting has worked a treat! I can't quite make out whether you designed a notch into the profile of the pinnacle to locate the wire ring, as I bet it would be difficult to get the ring into the right position otherwise.

Now can you come up with a way to reproduce accurately the globular cage to be found in Stevens' pinnacles for the North British? So far I can't think of anything better than an adaptation of Peter Squibb's method of making GWR pinnacles, but it wouldn't be easy.


Hi John

Yes, there was a little notch in the etches to locate the wire. Actually, it was not deep enough but to have made it much deeper would have weakened the etch. Therefore, I deepened it slightly once the two parts were interlocked and soldered together.

I sprayed this signal today and the finished article really looks the part.

I would have thought the way to do a hollow ball finial is to get Modulu to print it in resin and then use this as a sacrificial master and cast them in brass?


Mark
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby DougN » Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:16 am

Mark that signal looks great. I just wish I could drop over and have a really good look at it! :thumb

Signals are down my list of things to do at the moment. But I hope in the dim distant time I will be able to produce something near what you have done!
Doug
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Terry Bendall » Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:59 am

Mark Tatlow wrote:I have used brass square section for the post and dolls, which means that there is a lot of hard filing to do (I don't have access to a milling machine). I reckon there was the better part of a day consumed with the post/dolls for this and the MR signal I am doing. It is hard work and there is a significant pile of brass dust to prove the point!


Files and filing will be covered in the next part of my articles on Starting from Scratch. A new file will work wonders and there is a view that new files should be used on brass and then when they get worn use them on steel. I am not sure of the theory behind this, if there is any, but it works.

Given that most posts taper on all four sides, holding the metal to mill it is not very easy and filing can be almost as quick especially with a sharp file.

Very nice work Mark.

Terry Bendall

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Martin M » Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:09 pm

Mark keep up the good work it give me something to read in my lunch break.....

Martin Marrison

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby martinm » Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:09 pm

I have used brass square section for the post and dolls, which means that there is a lot of hard filing to do (I don't have access to a milling machine). I reckon there was the better part of a day consumed with the post/dolls for this and the MR signal I am doing. It is hard work and there is a significant pile of brass dust to prove the point!


Or perhaps you could use these etched signal posts?
viewtopic.php?f=40&t=6868&p=73881&hilit=Etched+signal+post#p73881

Martin

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue May 05, 2020 6:51 pm

Reverting back to the Midland signal, this is now pretty much complete.

I have bought a new light box for taking photographs in. Whilst I am still getting to grips with it, when it works it does produce much improved pictures of models. These almost look like an images of a 3D model on a computer screen.

IMG_6192 (2).JPG

IMG_6191 (2).JPG


Being only a single arm signal, these are relatively easy to make. There are two small complications; one being the odd arrangement of blinders - which are affixed to the arm, not the spindle, and crank around the back of the lamp. This is a part provided in the MSE etch, so once you understand how it works, it is quite simple. The other completion is the way that the arm is mounted - instead of having a spindle that runs through the post, there is a bracket that is affixed to the front of the post and envelops the arm and supports it in front of the arm. This was formed of a small length of flat with a hole to take the spindle - this was then secured to the etched bracket (visible in the pictures above) provided in the etch once the signal was painted.

This is where I am with the signal; just the final bit of touching in of the paint is required and the linking up to the servo.

IMG_6267 (2).JPG

IMG_6266 (3).JPG


The Midland were a bit odd in their choice of colours for their signals. The posts were "primrose yellow" but quickly dirtied to something akin to cotswold stone is what the book says, so this does at something a little different.
Mark Tatlow

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Tue May 05, 2020 6:52 pm

martinm wrote:
I have used brass square section for the post and dolls, which means that there is a lot of hard filing to do (I don't have access to a milling machine). I reckon there was the better part of a day consumed with the post/dolls for this and the MR signal I am doing. It is hard work and there is a significant pile of brass dust to prove the point!


Or perhaps you could use these etched signal posts?
viewtopic.php?f=40&t=6868&p=73881&hilit=Etched+signal+post#p73881

Martin


Bit naarrrgh on etched posts in 4mm. I feel you need the meat to mount the arm spindles. In 7mm, they are the way forward as there really is a lot of filing in 7mm!
Mark Tatlow

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Noel » Tue May 05, 2020 7:52 pm

I agree most lines used blue glass, which, with a yellowish oil lamp shining through it produced a bluish green. Being used to GWR or BR WR signals, which followed this pattern, I was very struck on a trip from Derby to Nottingham circa 1968 by the signals, which showed a bright apple green, very noticeable after dark; the memory has stuck with me since. I don't know, but assume that this was because the Midland used a green glass?
Regards
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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Wed May 13, 2020 1:06 pm

Hmmmm……..

A signal imitating a Fresian cow was not the effect I was after…………..

IMG_6324 (3).JPG


Halfords etch primer is obviously that etchy!……………..

The completion of my challenge entry will be a little bit longer!
Mark Tatlow

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Steve Carter » Wed May 13, 2020 1:27 pm

Mark Tatlow wrote:Hmmmm……..

A signal imitating a Fresian cow was not the effect I was after…………..

IMG_6324 (3).JPG

Halfords etch primer is obviously that etchy!……………..

The completion of my challenge entry will be a little bit longer!



Desert army camouflage?
Steve Carter

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Flymo748 » Wed May 13, 2020 9:27 pm

Steve Carter wrote:
Mark Tatlow wrote:Hmmmm……..

A signal imitating a Fresian cow was not the effect I was after…………..

IMG_6324 (3).JPG

Halfords etch primer is obviously that etchy!……………..

The completion of my challenge entry will be a little bit longer!



Desert army camouflage?


Mark's been trying that salt-crystal weathering thing...

Cheers
Flymo
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www.5522models.co.uk

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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Wed May 13, 2020 9:38 pm

Flymo748 wrote:
Mark's been trying that salt-crystal weathering thing...

Cheers
Flymo


It happened in my ultrasonic bath that I think I set the temperature a bit warm (40 C) that softened the acrylic paint.

Won't be doing it again!
Mark Tatlow

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Flymo748 » Thu May 14, 2020 5:23 am

Mark Tatlow wrote:
Flymo748 wrote:
Mark's been trying that salt-crystal weathering thing...

Cheers
Flymo


It happened in my ultrasonic bath that I think I set the temperature a bit warm (40 C) that softened the acrylic paint.

Won't be doing it again!


I had a bit of an ultrasonic bath disaster on my 48xx a couple of days ago so I feel your pain!

I'm still catching up with writing episodes of the the build sequence of that (busy couple of days with work this week) and it will probably be a while before that little set-back and learning point appears. But it will - I have no shame, if it will help others avoid doing the same thing...

Cheers
Flymo
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Terry Bendall
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Terry Bendall » Thu May 14, 2020 7:46 am

Flymo748 wrote:I have no shame, if it will help others avoid doing the same thing...


Never any shame - the sensible person learns from their mistakes and others can as well. :) I have made enough in my time. :(

Terry Bendall

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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Andy W » Thu May 14, 2020 8:51 am

The definition of a fool is a man (because it’s usually a man!) who trips over the same stone twice. I know!

But tripping is the best way to learn.
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Mark Tatlow
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Mark Tatlow » Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:25 pm

I was one of the first to declare my intent to enter the Lockdown Challenge (note the better names guys......) with the intent to build a Caledonian Grampian 12 wheeler coach. The eagle eyed of you will have noted that there hasn't been any posts on it.

I did start it; well actually take a long hard look at the contents and I hit a snag before I even picked up the soldering iron! It was this.

IMG_6678 (2).JPG


This is the design for the 6 wheeled bogie. It is conceived to articulate itself between the first and second axles and has a spine that secures these together. I spent a fair amount of time looking at this getting less and less convinced that it was a sensible idea! It was thus not a particularly difficult idea to ditch these - easy I thought, I can merge some Bill Bedford sprung bogies with the side pieces from the Caley Coaches kit. However, the Caledonian's bogies were 12ft, which is not a size in the Bill Bedford range.

Ultimately, I have had to deal with this by designing my own bogie. Fortunately, these are a form of pressed steel Fox Patent bogie, so the work that Justin Newitt and I had completed on the 8 wheel bogie could be partially piggy backed. There are different issues with a 12 wheel bogie in 4mm, notably getting the bolster spring in. It needs to be much narrower than the 8 wheeled equivalents because they have to sit inside the wheels.

So, this is progress with the Grampian so far!

Caley Bogie (2).jpg
Caley Bogie (2).jpg (180.52 KiB) Viewed 231 times
Mark Tatlow

Paul Cram
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Re: A Highland Miscellany

Postby Paul Cram » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:54 am

Mark Tatlow wrote:I was one of the first to declare my intent to enter the Lockdown Challenge (note the better names guys......) with the intent to build a Caledonian Grampian 12 wheeler coach. The eagle eyed of you will have noted that there hasn't been any posts on it.

I did start it; well actually take a long hard look at the contents and I hit a snag before I even picked up the soldering iron! It was this.

IMG_6678 (2).JPG

This is the design for the 6 wheeled bogie. It is conceived to articulate itself between the first and second axles and has a spine that secures these together. I spent a fair amount of time looking at this getting less and less convinced that it was a sensible idea! It was thus not a particularly difficult idea to ditch these - easy I thought, I can merge some Bill Bedford sprung bogies with the side pieces from the Caley Coaches kit. However, the Caledonian's bogies were 12ft, which is not a size in the Bill Bedford range.

Ultimately, I have had to deal with this by designing my own bogie. Fortunately, these are a form of pressed steel Fox Patent bogie, so the work that Justin Newitt and I had completed on the 8 wheel bogie could be partially piggy backed. There are different issues with a 12 wheel bogie in 4mm, notably getting the bolster spring in. It needs to be much narrower than the 8 wheeled equivalents because they have to sit inside the wheels.

So, this is progress with the Grampian so far!

Caley Bogie (2).jpg


Are you missing a half etch line on the side of the bogie at the bottom right? I presume that this would fold up.


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