Monday, June 05, 2006

42xx part II

Still no sign of the wheels I need for the chassis, and my boy keeps prompting me to "put another piece on my engine", so I've added a few more details.

First, I built the bunker and the back of the cab. The hardest part was the curve for the bunker overhang. I made the square bits from thick plasticard, then cut a rectangle of 10 thou and stuck it over the top to form the curve.

I decided this time I'd put grilles on the back window. Very important in real life, otherwise the coal ends up falling into the engine! I made these from a piece of multi-core wire, stripped and split into individual wires (very fine). Then I drilled holes above and below the window with a fine drill bit (0.35mm until I broke it, then .3mm, which I've since lost). The drill action was by hand, since as I mentioned before I don't have a drill. I poked the holes first with a sewing pin to get a headstart.

This was really painstaking work and not worth the result IMO. On the other hand, it would have been easier with a drill, and it would have been easier if I'd started off drilling from the cab side rather than the bunker side. There's an extra line of holes under the right-hand window where I changed plan half-way through and ended up drilling through higher up. You can't see them in the photo because everything's black, and hopefully I can cover them with coal eventually. It would have been easier still if I'd drilled the holes before sticking the cab back in position! Still, it's a nice detail now that I've done it. Must find out where I can buy a micro drill ...

I made two toolboxes to go inside the cab. I cut out the sides from 20 thou, and bent a single piece of 10 thou curved to form the top and front. The lock details were cut from 10 thou as on the 517.

My least favourite part: the firebox. For the 517 I made a rectangle and filed it, but that didn't get the slanted edges which I felt were important on this engine. So I cut out the front and back roughtly, then made two sides, carefully sloped. Finally, the top, slightly bent, and filed at the corners. All made from 60 thou plasticard. The shape is not far off, but I'm not happy with all the gaps. I'll probably fill them with milliput (or polyfilla) later on.

Smokebox door: same process as the one on the 517, just a bit bigger.

Next, on top of the tanks: a feed pipe, made perhaps slightly over-scale from blue plastic-coated wire, carefully bent to shape, and poked through holes drilled in the tank.

Finally, my favourite: tank filler caps. I'd not done these on the 517 as I thought them too fiddly, but having tried it I've changed my mind. Base cut roughtly to shape from 60 thou plasticard and filed to a rough oval; top cut from 20 thou; details on top cut from slivers of 10 thou. Very nice, I think! Now I have to decide whether to make some for the 517 as well.


A bit out-of-order, this post, but never mind.

Despite getting hold of a ready-made funnel from a 14xx, the on the 517 gave me a few problems. I made a nice collar for the funnel out of milliput, but needed to drill it for the screw. When I put the funnel on top, it sat too tall. So I tried to drill the hole wide enough for the funnel, but the rest of the saddle disintegrated. Time to start again.

Next, I noticed that the screw inside the funnel didn't really go far enough into the chassis (no idea why), so the funnel was loose even when the screw was tight. I didn't want to cut the funnel as (a) it's metal and I don't have the tools, and (b) there's a nice rim inside at the bottom which holds the screw. So instead, I made a small rectangle of plasticard, rolled it around the screw, and stuck it into the funnel.

This holds the screw tight just the right height above the bottom of the funnel so that it now fits on tightly. It took a couple of attempts to get the right width - at first the screw wouldn't reach the chassis, but now it's just the right height and fits on nice and tightly. A very satisfying bodge ;) Incidentally, the hand in the photo is my son's.

So finally I had to re-make the collar, so more milliput. This time I attached the body, funnel, and chassis together, and put the milliput around the base of the funnel. Ok, I can't now remove the funnel from the body, but that's no problem really, I should still be able to unscrew the chassis. I put a thin roll around, and pressed it down roughly.

But that didn't quite look right, so I smoothed it down with the bit on the end of a bic biro (to my mind the finest writing implement ever made, as well as the cheapest - I feel uncomfortable with anything else). Nothing like having the right tool for the job ;) Then I trimmed it slightly with a knife to make it nice and even. Very nice! This all happened in between the bits of painting; when I painted the black on the smokebox, the paint went on to the milliput really well. Job done!