1/32 Battle of Britain Mk II

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by mickoo, 22 February 2017.

  1. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    I'm sure I've posted some of this elsewhere but failed to find it so a new bespoke thread on this developing build I think is in order.

    The cab has already been done and a test build completed, there are a few corrections to be implemented from lessons learnt on the 1:43.5 build but fundamentally it all form up and fits where it should fit and essentially good to go.



    However, over the Xmas break whilst everyone was making jolly I skulked away to the man cave for the duration and worked up the casing etches which finally came back today.

    There's a couple of design elements that might not make it into a production run but are sufficient for my own build in my collection, the primary one was splitting the casing in two, a front and rear section with a lap joint, the bulkheads have holes in for stringers which should produce a light but rigid and strong frame.

    The idea on the joint is simply to get the sides through my rollers and I suspect most 7mm modelers rollers, at 13" long it's way bigger than most desk top rollers we have. The inner shell will have the sides formed in the rollers and then joined, the outer skin doesn't need rolling as it'll be tacked to the shell and will easily form the correct curvature.....he says!

    Inner shell and front platform.

    Outer etched skin, bulkheads and other periphials.

    On paper the name plates looked perfect, but once etched the class name has over etched, I didn't expect that so that's one area that will need revising with beefier text.


    The smaller text is just visible to the eye but will not stand out once painted, I think the main text also needs a bit more full fat coke to get just right.

    More later.

    isambardme, 7mmMick, Pugsley and 17 others like this.
  2. warren haywood

    warren haywood Western Thunderer

    Looks great Mick
    Plenty of green paint for that one:thumbs:
    Just a thought about the nameplates, better in brass surely? And some numbrrplates:)
  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Well that depends, most are brass but some are not and tend toward polished metal but they could be replicas or a different material, I've not checked all my references yet to be sure either way.

    However, these are nickel silver because the rest of the etch is nickel silver and there was space at the edge to fill. I'd of been a bit ticked off is a 12 x 6" sheet of brass nameplates went straight into the bin because the text hadn't etched correctly, which is why I did these test ones in nickel silver ;)
    Len Cattley likes this.
  4. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    Impressive work as usual but as I know you like to get things right so I can see what you mean about text. It just doesn't have that crisp sharp edge to the letters. With the 2mm Association they build up quite a few components by laying out several layers on one etch which is then folded up in concertina fashion. I wonder if you could do the same for the name plates, have a full thickness etch for the backing plate, also etch the letters in full thickness but held in place by half etched tabs. You fold it over to fit on the backing plate. The letters are in contact with the backing plate but the half etch tabs are proud of the surface. A little solder paste will allow you to fix the letters (although personally it would be a perfect job for silver soldering) then remove the tabs. If silver soldered the plate could then be soft soldered to the loco without fear of shifting the letters.
  5. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Adrian, that'd work except for one small fly in the ointment, if the letters are full thickness material you'd have to remove the cusp off the edges to get them neat and square.

    The only way to avoid the cusp is half etch the letters but do it in say 0.80 mm, even then when you look closely the edge isn't square where the acid has eaten it away so you still end up with that fillet at one edge.

    The main name isn't so bad with the eye, or even with reading glasses on, but you do notice the fillet under larger magnification, I think the letters need to be about 10-15% thicker to compensate for the material that gets removed.

    The backing plate could also do with a half etch panel on the back to give it a bit more thickness I think.

    There will be more etches going off so plenty of space around the edge to trail other formats and ideas :thumbs:

    Rob Pulham and adrian like this.
  6. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    True - I was thinking that the full etch cusp would be finer and less noticeable than the fillet from the half etch. Although given the amount of etching you have done you obviously have more experience than me on these matters.
  7. Genghis

    Genghis Western Thunderer

    Great stuff: keep it coming!

    Not too sure about the thread title though: I was beginning to wonder if my flight would get through the dog fights unscathed next Monday...........
    mickoo likes this.
  8. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    A family sized tin of meat supplement?

    JB B
    mickoo likes this.
  9. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Ok here we go again, it's been a long day, coming up to 38 hrs to be precise, I hate those nights where your mind just will not rest so I got up had a shower and sat at the bench, then the sun came up and went down too and the world went about it's business.

    In the man cave working unabated a new Phoenix arose from the etches.
    Big really isn't the right word.

    Back at the beginning the front and rear sections were removed and cleaned up and the tumblehome rolled and here entered the first mild hiccup. I'd split the casing in two to get it into an average sized set of rollers, no issues there however due to the length the curve wasn't even; it was perfect at the ends but under rolled in the middle.
    Simply put, the middle of the rollers was flexing and the material isn't particularly thick at 15 Thou (0.375mm), in the end I over rolled the parts so that the ends needed straightening a little and the middle bending a little more by hand.

    Once the two halves were formed the internal bulkheads were fitted and the two ends offered up, the idea was to use 3.0/2.0 mm tube to help locate the two halves and for added strength 2.0 mm rod inside.


    There is a lap joint between the two halves and in reality this was more than sufficient to keep things square and neat, I did add the tube in the end as once soldered to the bulkheads helped reduce any longitudinal racking along the casing, not that should be an issue if both front and rear are securely bolted down to the frames. For additional strength I added a fold over section along the base to make it double thickness as that's the exact point one tends to pick these engines up by.

    Having completed the basic shell it was onto the front end.

    The original plan was a metal casing and resin roof, but the chimney recess is just a perfect assembly for metal work so that was added to the etches to see what it looked like; it also supports the two prongs sticking up from the front face.

    Following Martins original design the front platform is separate from the front valance and buffer beam top, with hind sight this would be better attached to the base of the front face and folded into the required 90° shape. Future designs and builds will follow that route and it'll remove the inner overhang that prohibits easy insertion and removal of the smoke box inner assembly.

    There are three large openings for the sand fillers, the skin will be made to suit which ever era your modeling, basically SR and early BR or late BR, yes it means two skins to work up but that's a much easier proposition than trying to fill and make smooth the disused one at the front on later engines. The long thin slots are to blind solder the skin to the casing core, I was concerned that they may not be big enough but they will be fine. Any larger and you run the risk or deformation at the corners when the skin is rolled, in fact the second row up already has signs of stress marks from the bending but not enough to distort the final skin application....I hope. The overlarge sand openings are to allow the backing piece to be fitted and trap the sand cover (slide-able).

    Still to complete are the front step pockets, small frame extension pieces, fences around the chimney opening and the skin, however, that's for another day as I should really get back to W1 pattern masters ;)

    As an idea of scale.

    Having got this far all in metal I am contemplating doing the roof in metal as well, mind rolling that cant rail curve in half etched nickel silver wont be easy, I will have to do at least one even if opting for a resin top so will see how easy or difficult it is and then work from there.

    Overall everything went really well, there's a couple of tweaks to some parts, nothing that stopped the build but did slow it a bit for trimming and tweaking for fitting. The larger size certainly helped in some areas where access was tight in O gauge, but created new ones such as the amount of heat needed for a good joint...and once hot, how long it retained it! The material thickness also seems just right, easy to manipulate but once all built up surprising strong and rigid and it'll get stronger once the skin gets tacked on.

    It will be on show as Kettering so the final bits will need to be done by then as well as a good clean up.


  10. Dan Randall

    Dan Randall Western Thunderer

    Superb! It may have been a long day, but it seems like a very productive one. Well done Mick. :thumbs:


  11. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Gauge 3 version next?

  12. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Having spent 20+ years playing with 4mm Bulleids, I thought the 7mm version was big but the new kit is a monster!
  13. Simon

    Simon Flying Squad


    Makes me think I ought to retrieve my large pieces of Aster metal and get on with "Project Watersmeet", it would/will make an interesting comparison to your "high fidelity" approach!

    Whatever I manage to do or otherwise, I look forward to watching this one grow:)

    isambardme likes this.
  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    That, a Princess Coronation and a Br.01 are never far from the back of my mind ;)

    Etching for G3 is possible for the pretty much everything except the frames, for those you'd need to laser cut the sides and certainly several major structural stays but the visual ones could all still be etched I suppose.

  15. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    It was and it's a long time since I did the last...several....when working in flight sim to meet a dead line, but I have gained a working day which eases the pressure on making the W1 patterns.

    I'd never have slept anyway, or poorly at best, so might as well make the best of it :thumbs:

    Dan Randall likes this.
  16. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    It's not officially a kit yet ;) more like an aid to scratch building at the moment. But the long term plan is to get it in a box and on the shelf :cool:

  17. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Please do, I'd love an Aster BLP, but the cost is outside of my reach at the moment so I've opted to essentially scratch build with a large eye on eventual production.

    I doubt mine will be racing around outside nor will it be live steam so you can add that extra fidelity without fear of it being damaged.

    Martin did all of the hard work on the original 7mm BLP all I have to do is enlarge it and modify certain bits to make it all fit. The casing core is all new as will be some aspects of the frames, probably all bar the actual main frames themselves; but the skin, front end and cab are all Martins work scaled up and tweaked for material thickness.

    Actually the material is the same at 15 Thou but being Nickel silver is significantly stronger, the slight tumblehome in the casing side gives it incredible strength whilst still being workable with what are essentially 7mm tools and mind set.

    I suppose that's the main driving force, building in G1 but still using techniques, tools and skills common in 7mm.

    isambardme, cmax and Len Cattley like this.
  18. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer





    As we say at work, that'll take more then T cut and polish to get out!

    Truth is it's junk and only fit for the bin, no matter how straight it gets there will always be a crease in the half etch overlay.

    I needed to make some revisions anyway for production, but it would of been nice if it's of happened after tomorrow.
  19. Scanlon

    Scanlon Western Thunderer

    Commiserations, been there fortunately a long time ago.
    isambardme likes this.
  20. Len Cattley

    Len Cattley Western Thunderer

    That's a shame Mick :(