Scattergun 16mm scale SAR NGG16

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by mickoo, 25 April 2016.

  1. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer

    I had a rummage through my bookmarks and found these sources of small hardware which were listed in another forum. The German suppliers I remembered are in there.

    Miniature nuts & bolts & threaded rod

    On eof them looks as though it stocks the Scale Hardware parts from the US. Google translate helps a lot. :)

    Richard Spoors and mickoo like this.
  2. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Ok, rolling along now, time to assemble a few bits.

    First off to mark the face bolt holes, I could of measured and marked but decided that as I already had the CAD drawing printed out I'd use that.


    Simply cutting a hole in the paper and slipping over the face plate, it doesn't have to be accurate at this point, then the smoke box door flange part was laid over the top and tightened down, all I did before fully tightening was to line the paper disc up by eye with the brass disc.


    Placing the work on our handy backing piece it was a simple case of putting the punch in the prescribed places and tapping gently with a hammer.

    The backing piece is a piece of reasonably hard ply this stops the brass from deforming when being punched, it doesn't take much to bend brass sheet like this and the next ones I'll punch on a large piece of flat spare copper bar I have, just to be sure there's no deformation.


    Having punched the hole positions it's a simple job to drill out, I did break one bit in the process but managed to get it out and despite great care, two holes wandered a little, the broken bit one and the next door but one, this is now the bottom of the smoke box as these are under the front footplate and not really visible head on.

    The smoke box door flange plate and rear wrapper ring were soldered on and the whole assembly placed in the lathe and the smoke box door opening cut out.


    Smoke box front face and below smoke box rear face.


    Some of the hole chamfers have become partially blocked so will need a quick whizz with the pin vice and drill bit to get the chamfer back, mainly as a pond for the solder to sit in and flow, once all the fixings are in place the rear face will be cleaned up, not strictly necessary as you can't see behind here once it's all assembled.

    At the moment I've not decided on which scale bolts to get, so hedged my bets with 0.80 mm holes, they're easily opened out to 1.00 mm if i opt for that particular brand of fixing, not so easy going back the other way if I opt for the smaller brand.

    I still have to add the two small holes for the smoke box door hinge stubs and the door seal flange.

    Right, time to focus on the wrapper now.

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  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    After supper I looked at the smoke box front disc and thought it looked lonely so decided to make a start on the wrapper, no blow by blow images, but basically I stuck the printed CAD sheet onto the Nickle Silver blank, then punched 182 holes through onto the metal, removed the paper and then drilled 182 1.00 mm holes, followed by de-burring 182 holes, front and back :eek:

    Finally a quick rub with sand paper to clean it and into the rollers, I do have to say, it's a dashed sight easier rolling big bits like this than it is O scale parts, I pre rolled the joint edges with a backing piece of metal to prevent the flats you get at the start and finish and then just stuffed the rest into the rollers with no additional support.

    I'd made the wrapper just a fraction too long just in case my math was out, it wasn't and there's a small 0.50 mm overlap that needs trimming back. At this diameter the front face forms a small lip which will need trimming back to make it flush, or if I leave the extra length and make the wrapper a butt joint then it matches the front face diameter exactly. I've not yet decided which is the easiest option to pursue, either way I'm certain I'll get a perfectly matched pair, which is a nice place to be in at this stage.

    So here's what we have.


    Looks more like a camping stove like this, you can see that I haven't cut the large hole for the chimney or the steam pipes, two reasons, couldn't be bothered and more importantly, when you roll material with holes in then the material around the hole tends to deform and not have a uniform radius.
    The large holes cannot be drilled as the material is too thin and the bit will just dig in and destroy the work piece, so it'll probably be lots of little holes in a circle and pop the waste out and finish off with a file, not a problem as there's only three large holes like this to do.

    A more normal perspective.


    Does look nice I have to admit, I opted for a jointed wrapper so added the two rows of joint rivets along each side. At front top you can just see two rivets close together, this is the very top of the wrapper. The smoke box door flange looks good once you add the wrapper.

    From the rear.


    The wrapper ring is temporarily in place, it's only there to keep the right diameter and I still haven't decided on whether to do the tube plate or not, the thought of drilling all those holes kind of puts me off, but then there's only half of the ones I've just done on the wrapper and that didn't take long at all.
    I've still yet to work the jointing method between smoke box and boiler, normally you'd have two flat discs you bolt together, but if I have a tube plate then I'm going to have to have some sort of flange around the edge of either part and then push them together, I'll sleep on that aspect for a few days. Probably put the flange plate on the wrapper and drill holes where the rear fixings pop through and I've a seed of an idea that will make the flange plate a sort of bayonet twist and clip in fit into the boiler.

    Finally, just for giggles.


    It's big, very big, satisfyingly big :thumbs:

    For the records, brass front, wrapper rings and smoke box flange are 0.60 mm brass, wrapper is 0.375 mm Nickle Silver, so far it's reasonably strong and though the front face should really have been 0.80 mm thick it doesn't look too undersized at 0.60 mm. The extra thickness would of been nice for additional strength but so far not necessary.

    Right, time to think about ordering some scale fixings.

    Last edited: 22 May 2016
    7mmMick, unklian, Pugsley and 16 others like this.
  4. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Amazing what the web turns up if you look long and hard enough, of course the drawings showed everything I needed, but a photo explained it all so much better. Images showed that the spark arrester baffles were full size and filled almost all of the smoke box, on the originals there are doors or panels which can be removed to access the front tube plate and superheater, but other than that it's a solid wall.

    So wielding the tools I came up with this.


    The full back wall is clearly evident and there's a small ledge over the exhaust followed by a small skirt section at the front lower edge, it's fairly evident that even with the smoke box front off there's going to be limited sight line to the tube plate.

    There's a few more details to add, such as the access plates on the rear wall, they sort of clip into fixings on the rear wall and some fixing angles, much of this will be near invisible when the front cinder guard and supporting structure go in, but give the right light and angle you'll be able to see through the cinder guard so something has to go in there.

    The two holes are for the main steam pipes from the super heater header, they pass through this wall and then kick down and out of the lower sides of the smoke box wrapper.

    The wrapper has been trimmed back and soldered solid with a small bridging strap, this will all be covered by the smoke box lower protection plate, basically a sacrificial plate that covers the floor and up the sides to meet the ledge over the exhaust.

    Front view with smoke box face plate fitted, from this angle there's no sight line to the tube plate.


    Lower angle and probably about as low as you'll be able to get, again virtually no sight line to the tube plate, except maybe the extreme base so I'll add that as a light blocker and I don't think any of the tubes will be visible either way.


    Of course this view won't normally be accessible as there's a great big water tank in front of it, but you'll certainly be able to see the steam pipes and other items on the spark arrester baffles, especially if the spark grills are made removable.

    I do need to cut the chimney hole quite soon, as I need a sight line down into the smoke box to line up the blast pipe hole and thus position this whole sub assembly into the correct location.

  5. jamiepage

    jamiepage Western Thunderer

    Superb stuff.
  6. Dog Star

    Dog Star Western Thunderer

    Apart from the smoke tubes... where are the wash out plugs relative to the bottom of the front tube plate? A couple of nice chunks of square / hex "brass" amongst the bottom row of tubes may well be visible.
  7. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Well Mr Pat and his cat delivered some scale fixings this morning, sadly only the rivets arrived, but it has allowed some progress to be made.

    First off the smoke box interior, the liner is attached to the baffle rear and table, apparently that's what that flat bit above the blast pipe and supporting the blower (coming in due course...once I've worked out how to make the blessed thing) assembly is called.


    This allows the whole assembly to be worked on in relative comfort and is a nice tight fit when installed. Also attached (double sided tape for the moment) is the middle access door, there's another each side to go and some more fixings on the middle one to do, it's just there for a visual reference at the moment.

    Next up the smoke box support plate work.


    One each side and riveted into place, not yet though, just double sided tape on one for a visual reference and alignment checks, once I'm happy each one is square and all the angles are correct, then they'll be soldered into place, rivets passed through the holes and the rear studs ground off.

    Externally the front ring rivets are in, as are the wrapper joint ones, there's a backing plate to go inside the wrapper joint ones in due course.

    Unfortunately CMB didn't quite send the correct number of rivet packets so the rear ring is not done, I'm about eight short, which is not a too much of a problem as I still need to add the flange to the boiler and then drill that so the rivets can pass through both pieces for strength. The flange will have notches cut into it so that with a twisting motion of the smoke box it will snag some appropriate lugs and lock into position.

    Interior positioned inside the smoke box.


    If the table plate looks warped that because it is :mad:

    Not sure how that has happened and I've tried to twist it level with quite some force but it hasn't budged yet, I'm going to sleep on it for a few days and see what it looks like once everything is done and then see if it's really worth worrying about.

    Smoke box front attached.


    The table plate warp isn't so bad once the front goes on, but it's still there though. In reality you won't notice it once the cinder guard goes on as that'll virtually make the rear edge invisible, just when you take the cinder guard off it'll be noticed.

    Finally an oblique view.


    The sharp eyed among you will have noticed that the smoke box support plate should have a bleeding big square hole in it, to allow the steam pipe to pass through to the underside of the engine. Well I did make one with a hole in it, square it wasn't, nor pretty so that presented a bit of a problem, cutting straight isn't my strong point. The two free standing holes are for a handrail to be bent up and fitted.

    Looking at the 1:1 engines there's two basic types of outside steam pipe, the older type exit the wrapper and then sweep back along the smoke box and drop down behind the support plate work, the more modern engines exit out of the wrapper and pass straight down through the plate work ala 'Gorilla stance' style.

    I haven't yet decided on the exact batch to model so reasoned that I'd be better off not having the hole to begin with, fortunately whilst looking through SAR images I spotted several of the engines, probably most at one time, have a nice big cover over the Gorilla style pipes. The style of cover varies, some are clearly factory, some are very clearly home brewed but either way it means I can go with solid support plate work and not risk another visit from C't'ain cock up and his merry crew ;)
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  8. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    If you build 87 or one of the other 1930s built members of the class you don't need square holes in the smokebox saddle. They also give you much more scope for rivets. Nicer round top front tank as well.
    ngg16 3.jpg

    For others who haven't studied these locos, a comparison of one of the 1950s built locos (sorry about fuzzy photo and the confused people in the way)-
    ngg16 6.jpg

    I looked at this shot and thought the NGG16 looked like the back end of a bus, with apologies to the historic bus collectors amongst WTers.
    ngg16 2.jpg
    But out on the line they don't look too bad.
    ngg16 5.jpg

    These photos were taken on a couple of wet days in September 2011. I have to admit I am not really a fan of these locos. I do like Garratts and have been known to travel a long way to see them. I was surprised at the lack of traction up some of the hills on this trip, it was wet but the wheel slipping was excessive. Probably not that surprising with less than 7 tons on the driving axles. It may not be apparent online how controversial the Puffing Billy rebuild has been/is as it won't really fit in with how the railway operates but is a sop to the South African expat staff. The problem is that the Puffing Billy timetables are set up for train lengths of maximum capacity for an Na class 2-6-2T, single or double headed, and the G class Garratt is equivalent to more than twice an Na class so can replace two Na locos on the long trains while the NGG16 is only equivalent to 1 1/2 Na class. It will be more powerful than it needs to be for most trains and not powerful enough for the long trains. The adhesion problems I witnessed on the WHR will be more pronounced on the Puffing Billy Railway so the NGG16 will probably only match an Na class in practice, and is a much more complex locomotive to maintain. Just thinking, I should find out if they are planning to ballast the NGG to get another couple of tons on each driving axle to match the VR locos.

    Nice smokebox, by the way…..
    mickoo likes this.
  9. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Thanks, for the comments, I've also heard the NGG16 can be a bit loose on their feet. I read somewhere that WHR have tracked down some of the problems to the original sanding gear, Wales being a touch damper than South Africa which leads to poor sand application, I think some of the engines have been back in to have steam sanding fitted recently, certainly one for a trail.

    One thing that does effect traction on the rear engine is the lack of water on one batch, 143 is from the batch (137-143) with enlarged coal space and no rear water, obviously the coal does not fill all the water space so that void is empty and reduces the weight on the rear engine, enough to make it slippery. If you watch Utube vids you'll often see 143 rear engine slipping.

    Didn't know about the Puffing Billy exploits, makes sense though, these things are often shrouded in politics, shame as I think it'll be a crowd pleaser, much like the WHR one's have been, there's nearly as much interest in them I hear, as there is in the traditional Welsh stock.

    Your right about the smoke box support platework in that there's no hole for the pre-war versions, well not all of them, I've seen one or two photos with engines that have the swept back pipes and the hole in there as well. The problem is, there seems to be a lot of local amendments so one rule does not fit all.

    Later engines have the 'Gorilla pipes' but are often covered.
    Source - Wikipedia.

    The shape of these varies but this looks the simplest and most attractive, being a simple arc shape. Note one line of wrapper rivets only and much higher up and in line with the hand rail support.

    The front bunkers do vary, I like the riveted ones, but I also like the super sized flat topped ones, apparently there's three sizes, original riveted ones, then flat top ones the same size and finally flat top but enlarged for the later batches, I think the height might be the only difference.

    The rear end by the smoke box differs between riveted and welded.

    NGG16 087s (2).jpg
    Source - Flickr

    Source -Flickr

    By far the easiest shape is the riveted one and the more interesting I'd say, detail wise, but it lacks the bulk of the welded style for me. I don't think that's a standard water filler on the green one (143) either.

    The other issue is drawings, mine are for the later series with enlarged tanks (137-143 / 149-156) and I suspect the riveted style is very close to if not identical to the NGG13 class which I need to get in due course, I do have the G15 class but that's not applicable here.

    There's a good couple of pages on RMWeb which has some nice shots and details of one of the routes and track plans, as well as overall station scenes to give you a good flavour of the scene. SOUTH AFRICAN TWO FOOT GAUGE RAILWAYS - Narrow Gauge Modelling & Prototype

    But I recently discovered this site which is excellent for all things SAR and mostly steam, some cracking photos and descriptions, you could loose days reading all this, and I have! But the pages we're interested in are here.

    System 3 - Soul of A Railway

    The first eight pages detail the 2 foot systems, the rest of the pages on the site are devoted to cape gauge.

    But if your specifically looking for Garratts then then you need pages 8, 9, 10 the Caledon line in this section

    System 1 - Soul of A Railway

    I also picked up drawings for GO, GMA, GMAM, GEA, 15F, 15A, 15AR, NG15 to add to the 25NC and NGG16 I already had, but need to go back for a few others in due course.

    Finally, the one thing that appeals about NGG16's is their colour, there isn't a wrong colour to paint them in, and they all look great.

    I was going to try and get up there today but the weather forecast is rubbish and I don't fancy all that driving in crap weather, it's a long way there and back in a day, but I will visit shortly. :thumbs:

    - Enjoy!
    Last edited: 30 May 2016
  10. Dikitriki

    Dikitriki Flying Squad

    I've just had a quick look through, but 'Soul of a Railway' is fantastic - what a great collection of photos, and a lot in colour too.

  11. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    As you'll be aware, I'm not terribly interested in "foreign" railways, but these volumes are just fantastic. I have a soft spot for Garratts anyway, and these are just wonderful photos. I love the comments too. The author is certainly not pulling any punches! I'll get lost in this on a quiet afternoon.

    All power to your elbow, Mick. I'm watching your build with considerable interest.

  12. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Isn't it just, if you ever needed inspiration to model SAR steam then this site is it. Until this site appeared there was very little written about SAR railways, usually potted and disjointed with small pictures, but 'Soul of a Railway' isn't, it's cohesive, well written and top quality, plus there's a lot of it, an awful lot!

    I've yet to work out how you can have a 'reef' in the middle of the country, I'm working on that meaning but as yet failed, the 'Reef' railways offer the lot, steam, electrics, EMU's and big trains.

    There's 56 pages on the site, I've read only a handful in bit's and pieces but do need to sit down with a clear head and read them all, I've also saved all the pages to my HD in case the site suddenly vanishes overnight, as web pages are want to do.

    In short, there's just too many cookies in this jar for one sitting :cool:

    The guys are just starting another page now, it's not in the menu's but if you click the 'recent site activity' link at the bottom it shows all their up dates, be sure to check back regularly as pages are being updated almost daily, anyway the new page is System 3 Part 11 Part 11 - The Midland Main Line (3): Alicedale to Cradock © - Soul of A Railway and has some cracking shots, specifically 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12.

    Photo 7 is interesting, the motive power is spot on, a 15A and a 15F, both good looking engines in my mind, but it's the point lever and signaling arrangement that caught my eye, is the cabling and interlock from the signal box, in which case what is there to stop someone just holding the locking lever over and moving the points, or is lever and cabling to a signal off shot so that when the points are changed the signal is automatically changed. The other option is that the cabling goes to the signal box to tell the bobby the position of the points?

  13. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Brian, your right, I think how it's written is a big pulling factor, as well as not just covering one aspect in anal detail. The site gives a fascinating view on the whole railway scene and as you note, the photos are just brilliant.

    The comments are certainly candid and open, more like the Australian's than us silver tongued Europeans ;) and I think the dialogue is better for it.

    I'm trying to think of a similar site that has as much detail and photography for any other rail system.

    Regarding "foreign" railways, it's often forgotten that a significant proportion of SAR locomotives and stock were built in the UK, the Garratts by Beyer Peacock in Manchester and the 15F, 25 and 25NC by North British in Glasgow, as well as many other classes. Early electric locos were nearly all built in the UK by AEI, EE and Metrovickers as well as North British.

    Class 5E, total 160 locos in three batches by EE
    Class 5E1 total 125 locos by Metrovickers and then 555 locos under license by UCW with components from Metrovickers

    You could go on and on but we Brits supplied a massive proportion of stock for SAR, they're only "foreign" in looks, but born and bred British.

    But, I get your point ;) re "foreign" railways, I'm the same with some UK aspects, GWR and SR spring to mind, other than one or two specific classes that whole swathe of the UK has little or no interest for me.

    Mick D
  14. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Just spent a glorious long weekend in Porthmadog and today was a trip on the WHR. I did hear it slipping pulling out of Nantmoor, we were behind the maroon one (138?). No photos yet as I'm on a rubbish mobile connection.
  15. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Adrian, the maroon one will be 138, again from the 4th batch from 1951 and without rear water tanks. Mind WHR may have changed that and sealed the rear to store water in, but when built they had no rear water capacity.

    Having said all that, looking at the spring and weight diagrams for engines without rear water, the engine weight is pretty much balanced in working order at just over 30T each.

    I should of gone this weekend, looks like the weather was pretty decent, I'm torn between grabbing loads of detail shots or going out line side to take arty scenery photos for my collection.

    Look forward to the photos, post them up here if you want, many as you like, big as you like ;)

    Mick D
  16. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Back to the world of fibre broadband.

    The trip was more a family outing, with my better half, 2 kids and 2 dogs it was more a few chance holiday snaps rather than a photo trip, certainly not up to your quality. The really strong sunlight whilst very enjoyable didn't help, neither did all the trees in the way! However a couple of photo's, most will need no explanation
    WHR - 1.jpg

    I have never seen it so clear on Snowdon, the sky is not photoshopped - it really was that clear.
    WHR - 2.jpg

    WHR - 1 (1).jpg

    WHR - 2 (1).jpg

    WHR - 3.jpg

    WHR - 4.jpg

    WHR - 5.jpg

    Considering it was a Bank Holiday Monday I was surprised that it wasn't packed out - I don't think any of the carriages were more than half full.
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  17. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad

    What fantastic pictures - and that sky!!

    I love the maroon one, reminds me of the EAR in the summer of 1972.

    I must get back up to Wales and Porthmadog again!

  18. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Splendid, it is very 'green' up there isn't it :cool: and your right the bright sun isn't helping photography, about 40 to 60% cloud seems to have the best light, so long as your in the bit that's sunlit mind ;)

  19. Overseer

    Overseer Western Thunderer

    You mean like this?
    EAR Naivasha.jpg
    EAR rift2.jpg
    Taken 1988/89 when there was a regular Sunday excursion from Nairobi to Naivasha which I chased down and up the Rift Valley a number of times. Unfortunately the first time I was in Kenya was September 1979 just after steam finished. We had shed tours of Nairobi and Mombasa with rows of sad Garratts, including 5918. Sorry Mick for the diversion, but these are one reason I personally can't get too excited about NGG16s.
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  20. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    No need to apologise, nice photos :thumbs:

    I like all Garratts and the NGG16 is a small practical model to start with, I'll work up to a SAR GO class eventually ;)