Buck Jumping on Mass

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Will L
Posts: 1970
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:54 pm

Buck Jumping on Mass - The Build Phase

Postby Will L » Sat Jan 23, 2021 6:27 pm

Part 30 – Sandboxes to the for

A Respite from the plumbing

So as to have a little breather from the plumbing (there is still plenty to do) I’m going to turn my attention to the front sandboxes which, for both locos, sit on the footplate beside the smokebox which keeps the sand nice and warm and dry. The picture shows one on the J69, in the right place but not yet soldered down. Note that, on the J69, the footsteps are set directly below the sandbox which has a small handrail on the top. While on the J65, the handrail is fitted at the front edge of the tank, the footsteps are directly beneath there and the crew had to shuffle along the foot plate to replenish the sandbox.

Buck SB J69 placed.jpg
Buck SB J69 placed.jpg (126.24 KiB) Viewed 468 times

How things change

The sandboxes themselves show the evolution of the kits. Mr Rice did the J65 first and the sandboxes were white metal castings. Things then moved on. and for the J69 kit the sandbox had evolved into a fold up etched brass box. The next picture shows you most of the necessary bits for the J69 plus the white metal alternative. One J69 box has been assembled and one is still in the etch. Note that the top edge by the smokebox is cut away as the box fits tight against the smoke box saddle and under the smokebox as it curves out. The J65 white metal ones needed filing back slightly to achieve the same thing. In case anybody is wondering the sand feed pipe from under the footplate is modelled as part of the removable brake gear we put together a long ago in Part 6a.

Buck SB bits.jpg
Buck SB bits.jpg (106.94 KiB) Viewed 468 times


There is no doubt the white metal things aren’t a patch on the etched version. Although those who have had enough of fiddly soldering jobs are provided with the white metal version in the J69 kit. There being no choice in its case, the J65 got the white metal version but I really wasn’t satisfied with the featureless blob representing the sandbox filler lid, for reasons which should be clear from the photograph. The lathe owners amongst you would have doubtless quickly turned up solid brass replacements, but that course wasn’t open to me. However, I do own a Dremel power drill, and some small turnings are still within still my grasp. Although starting with a solid lump of brass rod of the right diameter would be asking rather a lot. The filler lid was made from a section of tube, with a brass rod up the middle and a small square of brass fret drilled and soldered over the rod to the top of the tube. A few minutes in the drill using a file made the square round, and produced a passable representation of the filler cap. They were so passable I rejected the brass rivets supplied for this job on the J69 (they were little better than the white metal blob) and made enough (4) to do for both.

There is also an operating crank/pull rod which connects the sandbox to the cab. The completed J69 Sandbox has been drilled to accept this. Also in the picture are a filler cap, a mystery ring of fuse wire which I will explain in a minute, and a sandbox handrail bent up to exactly the right length using Mr Bedford’s very handy wire bending jig.

Installation on the J65

The next photo shows a white metal box soldered to the J65 footplate, with the replacement box filler lid as well as the operating crank and pull rod from the cab. This last detail was mentioned in the kit instructions but I could find no parts provided for it. It was fabricated from a bit of spare etch, of the right width, and with an L shape at one end. Such things can commonly be found on etch sheets.

Buck SB J65 fitted.jpg
Buck SB J65 fitted.jpg (133.06 KiB) Viewed 468 times

On the J65 the operating crank is drilled for the pivot and again so a bit of rod can suggest the pivot between the crank and the pull rod. The crank should be angled forward (when the sand is off) and this angle was achieved just by a slight bend in the pull rod. The pull rod then follows the profile of the smokebox and the boiler before disappearing behind the tank, where, on the model, it was soldered off.

The fold up boxes for the J69

I did wonder if the etched box on the J69 may have been a bit of an afterthought for the kit designer. The top folds back on itself presumably to form a rebate into which the side will sit, but it wasn’t accurate enough to locate the sides, and the holes in its two parts (for the filler cap and the handrail) didn’t line up.

The whole thing proved a bit fiddly to put together. Folding up the box sides, it is unclear if the joint was side over end or end over side or neither, the rebate round the top didn’t help. When it came to aligning the bottom with the sides, so there is an even overlap round the three visible sides, you are on your own. None the less the result still looked better than the white metal variety.

My filler caps didn’t stand up enough from the box top so that mysterious ring of fuse wire spaces the filler cap from the top of the box. The hole for the rod onto which the operating crank was to be pivoted was drilled through both top and bottom of the box. That way the rod can be firmly soldered in at the bottom with no need to affix it at the top, which makes soldering on the operating crank without making a mess a lot easier. For the same reason, I fitted the handrail earlier while you can still get at the inside of the box with the soldering iron.

The operating crank and pull rod were provided for in the etch but were too fine to permit me to drill them to take the crank pivot, to say nothing of being a shape I didn’t agree represented what I was trying to achieve. Once again I went looking for L shaped etched brass scrap. I used a sliver of 0.9mm OD tube to make a rather more substantial pivot on the crank than I’d managed on the J56. In the end, I gave up on trying to represent the pivoted joint between crank and pull rod as all I was getting was amorphous blobs of solder which you couldn’t really see anyway.

Installation on the J69

As the final picture shows, on the J69 the tanks are larger and come further down the foot plate so, on the side with the Westinghouse pump, things starts to get a bit crowded. On the J65, the footplate had an etch hole which located a pip on the bottom of white metal boxes. On the J69 you are on your own as far as locating the sandboxes was concerned, and I had to have a couple of goes until I was happy that I’d got them in the right place. I also had to be careful to leave just enough room so the removable boiler stayed removable. Once this was done I found that I could only get the smokebox saddle to sit flat on the footplate by bolting it down. Fortunately something I had made provision for, but that I hadn’t done when I took the photo.

Buck SB J69 fitted.jpg
Buck SB J69 fitted.jpg (138.12 KiB) Viewed 468 times

What the photo also shows is that when I replaced the missing handrail knob (see the last picture in part 29) I chose one that was the wrong size. I will need to do something about that

On the other side of the smokebox the kit also has provision for a mechanical lubricator, nicely cast in brass, which goes on the footplate directly behind the sandbox. Even more crowding and another six holes to be drilled I thought. That was until a check on the pictures in Yeadon Volume 48 showed that J69s were not so fitted, while the J68’s, which you can also build from this kit, were. The J68s were the last Buckjumpers built. Very similar to the final J69s but with a higher cab roof from the start, much larger cab windows, and mechanical lubrication, apparently. Time to wipe sweat from brow and move on.

Lastly, you will note that the tank filler caps are yet to be fitted. Here in lies a significant tail which has yet be told, but I think we’ll have a go at the cabs next.

HC 51003

User avatar
Will L
Posts: 1970
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 3:54 pm

Buck Jumping on Mass - The Build Phase

Postby Will L » Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:50 pm

Part 31 – Cab fittings, starting with the roof.

The design of both J65 and J69 kits includes a fairly complete cab interior. We fitted the floors way back in part 12 and left them at that. Now is the time to complete the job. We’ll start with the cab roofs and work our way in from there.

Putting a lid on it

Anybody who has been awake over the last few years should have realised that I have had cab roofs fitted to both locos for a long time and a version of this photo appeared back in part 17.

Buck roofs.jpg
Buck roofs.jpg (59.36 KiB) Viewed 280 times

To facilitate painting the cab interior once completed, a removable cab roof is a must have, and it fits in with my general philosophy of constructing the models as a series of sub assemblies that clip together at the end. The photo does show there are some difficulties one needs to be aware of. The J69 roof to the left is clearly well seated, while the J56 to the right is less so. In truth the slight gap between cab and roof at the edges is because the roof hasn’t been pushed down as well as it could be, and in any event, it would not be so obvious from a normal viewing distance. It is taking photos showing the models several times larger than real life that can be problematic. They repeatedly show things that you would have wished to have done better, or that haven’t been fitted properly. Clearly taking such photos is a real aid to good modelling but can be a bit sole destroying at times. Anyway back to removable cab roofs.

Framing the problem

I started with 1.25mm Outside Diameter tube from which I cut 4 bits 5mm long. The 4 sections of tube were fitted in the corners of the cab about 1.5mm down from the top, thus forming sockets into which the removable roof will clip. This picture of the J69 shows the sockets in place.

Buck RCR J69 sockets.jpg
Buck RCR J69 sockets.jpg (94.72 KiB) Viewed 281 times

0.7mm wire is a good fit down the inside of this tube. Two pieces of this wire were bent up to the roof profile with the ends turned down so they fitted into the sockets either side of the cab front and back sheets and the wire followed the profile of the roof line. Straight pieces of the same wire were soldered between, and close to the ends of, these profile pieces. This gave a removable frame that will slide in and out of the sockets and follows the edges of the cab sheets, as in this picture of the J56.

Buck RCR J56 frame.jpg
Buck RCR J56 frame.jpg (96.29 KiB) Viewed 281 times

Rolling my own

The next trick was to roll the cab roof to the correct profile. I’m with the lady cigar makers of Havana and roll things like this against my thigh, using in this case a round Xacto (about ½ inch) craft knife handle. Both the roof and the frame need to be a reasonable match to the roof profile, but perfection isn’t necessary. If anything the roof should be rolled a touch too much so it must straighten a touch when pushed firmly against the edges of the cab sheets. With the frame in place and the roof held firmly in the correct position with the right overhangs front and back, the two were tack soldered together at the centre points of all 4 sides. This is one of those jobs where three hands would be useful, and I had more than one go before I was happy. It sets the curvature of the roof which can now be removed and the rest of the solder joints between the roof and the frame were run, making sure not to allow any movement between the two.

Finishing the job

Both kits come with a battening square detail to add to the roof tops. I’m not totally convinced the roofs were ever like this, certainly in latter days a single rains strip over the cab doors was the order of the day. However I can’t find any photo evidence that the GER didn’t make them like this, and, as I like the look, I went with it. You can see the result in the first photo.

There is also an issue with knowing which way round the roofs should go on. They will fit the wrong way round but not perfectly, so there is a need to remember which way is which. This photo shows the pointers soldered to the underside of the roofs to remind me which way is which. You will also notice that, on the basis of experience, the J69 frames was done slightly differently than on the J65.

Buck RCR inside both.jpg
Buck RCR inside both.jpg (102.9 KiB) Viewed 281 times

Interiors next up

The last picture this time is of both locos with there lids on. You will notice that there is rather more in the J56 cab than there is in the J69. So next time we’ll move on to completing the cab interiors using the J69 as our example.

Bucks both lids on.jpg
Bucks both lids on.jpg (80.46 KiB) Viewed 281 times


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