Sunday, 20 May 2018

A Simplex for O9 - Driver on Duty

One of the fun things about building models that are not run-of-the-mill is that you are likely to find that there isn't a convenient driver figure to suit it. Therefore some creativity is required, and the O9 Simplex is no different.

Starting with a seated figure from a Preiser unpainted set (the man in a three piece suit from this set in painted form), I figured that his clothing could be altered with Miliput to resemble a boiler suit and that his arms and legs could be altered with some plastic surgery. The donor is a cheap Chinese copy useful for conversion parts. He's lost an arm and half a leg, the other arm of the seated figure being altered with one from my body bits box. The new foot on the pedal is a Preiser example, again from the bits box. 


Shortly after the picture was taken a hat swap took place... Whilst the original jaunty angled wide brim might have just looked OK in an estate railway context, I've gone for a workman style to cover any potential use of the loco. Again, this came from the donor figure, who now looks quite uncomfortable.

Having left the figure overnight to set I cracked open the Milliput and filled the gaps in the construction. Having sanded a few areas smooth I then added new collar detail using Typex to what used to be his waist jacket to give the effect of the overall's collar. I think once it is painted it will look OK, it is quite subtle and partly hidden by the light in this shot.

Whilst the Milliput was out I added a new knob to the controls where I had broken the original. I am now getting dangerously close to having to get back in the paintshop...

Colin

Thursday, 17 May 2018

A Simplex for O9 (Part 2)

Having established that my 3D printed Simplex could be mounted on a Kato chassis for O9 use, I carried out some work to make it a useable locomotive. To make the chassis a bit more secure I added lengths of 40 x 100 Evergreen strip to steady it, including two thickened up areas in opposite corners to take tiny screws to hold the chassis in place (Yes I'm aware the chassis looks a little on the wonk, it's on the snagging list!).


As can be seen at this stage I also removed the printed axleboxes and created my own further back towards the Kato chassis mounted on my support strips. This is a result of having studied some pictures of the RH&DR machine and noticing that it has the axleboxes set further in from the edge of the frames than 2ft machines.

Also visible in the shot above are the slots filed into the coupling castings to create a 6mm height to allow a MicroTrains coupler to be attached. The usual mounting height for these is 7mm but I have some designed for use on Trailer-on-Flatcar (TOFC) cars that are underslung and so have saved removing a lot of material.


Having the axleboxes set further in removes some of the slightly unbalanced look they had at the frame edges for a 9mm gauge machine and helps hide the overlong wheelbase of the chassis, even from the side view.


With work on the body pretty well complete, I started work on a driver figure created from a Prieser seated figure. I've also found some little bits and pieces to add to the running plate to help hide the motor unit under the radiator.

Colin

Monday, 14 May 2018

A Simplex for O9 (Part 1)

When David Malton (of Abbey Light Railway in O14 fame) released his 7mm scale Simplex print on Shapeways I was immediately tempted as I had achieved much better results than I had anticipated with my 009 Ruston print. I was keen to try something in 7mm scale, and O9 if at all possible.

On receipt of the print I treated it to a day in a bath of white spirit followed by a good scrub with warm soapy water. I then applied a coat of Halfords plastic primer and when dry rubbed this down with 1200 and 1500 grit wet and dry to start to fill the print lines. Another wash down and once dry I re-primed and smoothed back again. That got us to this stage (and yes, I knocked a knob off a lever):


Realising that the next coat of primer would probably be smooth enough I opted to carry out my planned modifications before another coat was applied. I then started to investigate whether it was possible to mount the body onto a Kato drive unit to make a working O9 loco (the print is designed for a Locos n Stuff drive unit for O14 or O16.5). I accepted at this stage that the wheelbase would be too long - 28mm vs the print's 24mm, but reasoned that the wheels would be far enough in not to be too noticeable.

Having shortened a Kato chassis almost as short as it would go at either end and removed much surplus material and detail, I then found I had to remove two 45 degree sections from the underside of the body to clear the motor housing. The phrase I used to describe this was that it was rather like I imagine Kendal Mint Cake Mining to be...


This work brought the ride height to 12.5mm at the top of the frame, which matches David's recent drawing from the Railway Modeller pretty well. It also looks OK from most angles, but it is a good job that I don't have an eye level viewing layout or the deception would be all too obvious!

More as the project progresses...

Colin

Sunday, 29 April 2018

The Toybox of Nostalgia

Over Easter I was asked by my parents if I minded them disposing of a couple of boxes of old toy cars from my childhood that they had in storage, and if I would mind having a look through first in case I wanted to keep anything.

I came home with these...


The green Matchbox shunter was always a favourite as we were were aware when I was little that it was rarer than the yellow versions. It has gone into my display case as a bit of nostalgia. I did consider bringing one of the three yellow examples home for future use but decided against it in the end, whilst they do offer some conversion potential I have plenty of other ideas that involve no die-cast butchery!

The skips are Matchbox and I justified stealing them from their skip lorry as it was a little damaged. They are a good moulding and pretty much 7mm scale (and of course the real thing vary in size).  The caravan, well, I had to keep that, it would have been on 'Shifting Sands' if the Cararama one didn't come to my attention at the time.

The forklift did not last the course. I suspected it might be a little bit too small for 7mm use and whilst posing it a Knightwing pallet proved that whilst the forks were OK, the figure dwarfed the seat and had no legroom. I seem to recall reading somewhere it was closer to 1:55 or 1:64 scale - it might have been Chris Ellis writing in 'Scale Model Trains' who identified it as such.


What was interesting to see in the box were a few Siku vehicles that although of a similar vintage to the Matchbox ones were far superior in detail. A childhood favourite was a Mercedes roadsweeper, but despite being close to 7mm scale I couldn't justify keeping it as it is quite big!

Colin

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Black and White Daze

As my (whisper it) 009 project 'The Old Quarry Line' draws to a conclusion I thought I would add a couple of picture here to mark the occasion. The project started with the Peco V-skips received as a gift and ironically they are one of the last things to be worked upon.

Using RTR wagons was part of the ethos adopted for this scheme, to use readily available bits and pieces to create the scene, something that is not always possible on O9 (or other 7mm scale combinations) as model shops and trade stands don't always have anything to offer.


I was also able to try 3D printed models for the first time in the shape of the 2A-Rail Ruston Hornsby, which has come out rather well.

I have covered the scenic aspects of the project on this blog as many scenic ideas translate between scales. I do rather like this view down the cutting at the back of the layout.


If you are wondering why these pictures are in black and white it is just because I liked the look of it, rather like an old model railway magazine!


Thought is now being given to what comes next. My dabble with 3D printing has rubbed off on my 7mm scale ideas with a few parts in stock for future projects...

Colin


Saturday, 14 April 2018

Only the Slim

What better way to spend an hour or so on a cold snowy day (in March) than slaving over a hot soldering iron? This is the second A1 Models kit which was received at the same time as 'Not DA1'. This uses a different version of the chassis frame with the wheelbase offset in the overall length. The consequence of this is that the cab is rather narrow and only for the slim.


It is worth saying that I have only tack-soldered the bonnet to the cab at this stage, it isn't quite on correctly...

Based on experience with the first kit I initially altered the chassis frame prior to building it. Rather than rely on the over-wide fold lines I cut the footplate and side frames into separate pieces and discarded the end sections completely. The frames were soldered to the foot plate about 1.5mm in from the edge, in my view this improves the look considerably. This will require the Tomytec chassis to be modified and mounted in a similar manner to the Meridian Models chassis adaptor.

The cab has a tiny bench seat, the part for this is too long on the etch but this was soon rectified:


The bufferbeams on the initial version of the chassis were made from 20 thou styrene with holes cut for MicroTrains couplers. These were reinforced behind with 60 x 125 thou styrene section. Further strips of this section can be seen superglued to the chassis inside the bonnet. These are mounted on either side of the opening in the chassis to both hold the upper part of the chassis in place and also help locate the bonnet on the chassis frame.


At this stage I nicknamed the loco 'Tiny' as it just seems so small for O9. However, it isn't really that small, at approx 6 x 3 ish scale feet is is very much Lister sized and I can think of at least a couple of small 15" gauge locos around this size that have been kept well out of the limelight!

I later found that my altered A1 Models underframe was actually a little warped when I tried to sit the bonnet and cab assembly on it (no doubt too much heat during assembly). After some thought I opted to rebuild it in 30 thou styrene with the brass sideframes added cosmetically. A few details were added to the brass body from the oddments box, Dapol Drewery shunter crankpins cut down as filler caps, a Chivers brake lever used as both handbrake and throttle in the cab and a switch from a Dapol railbus oddment. The exhaust is a length of brass tube.


Finally here is a comparison of the two locomotives in primer, the grille on the second loco is from an old A1 etch. Just visible are two holes on the bonnet top in which a plastic air horn locates, to be fitted after final painting.


Colin

Friday, 16 March 2018

DA1 Another Day

It was October that I last posted about this A1 Models etch to build something based on the ex-Bush Mill diesel 'DA1'. After that post there was a little adjustment work to my cab interior set-up to allow a small 1/48th figure to sit in there (I hesitate to say comfortably!)


As can be seen I raised the floor level and reducing the height of the checker plate. A piece cut from the cab interior of a Dapol Drewery shunter forms the control desk. Rather than create a seat over the gear tower as previously, I created it around it, once the driver is in place the deception isn't noticed.



Work on the 009 project then took over and the Tomytec chassis unit went on a diet to fit into an 009 Ruston Hornsby 3D print. After much thought about this project I was left wondering whether I could overcome what is the main issue to me, the underframe area. Having put this off for months, seeing the kit on sale at Narrow Gauge North and conversations about future O9 projects gave me a nudge to do something about it.

The idea is that this will be a locomotive under repair with no wheels and engine, so I have been able to put together a simple frame of 20thou styrene with a little re-enforcement from 40thou strip around the top of the frame. Making the whole underframe 2mm lower in height, the frames a lot narrower (15mm opposed to 20mm) and some shape to the buffer beams, has a dramatic effect.


Some further work added a 30 thou strip under the running plate, created a simple cab interior and added details on the bufferbeams, note the usual assortment of Dapol Drewery shunter and railbus parts!


I feel that in this form the model is much better balanced visually and I did wonder if I ought to make yet another version of the chassis to make it run again by getting a slimmed down Tomytec chassis underneath. This is possible without modifying the cut-out in the cab front, indeed there is allowance for the running plate to be another millimetre lower, the real loco is very low slung with the footplate about a foot from rail height.


The next job will be to apply a suitable paint job...

Colin