4mm Brassmasters Black 5, 45232

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Dave Holt, 30 August 2019.

  1. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    I've put the Ivatt Class 2 tank to one side whilst I figure out how best to deal with the Bachmann body - the question being whether to do major surgery to replace the boiler with a spare DJH cast white metal unit or stick with the moulded plastic version. Suggestions on a post card......

    Instead, I've decided to progress a Brassmasters Black 5 which I started some years ago and got as far as having the frames assembled (and painted in way of the driving and coupled wheels) with the axleboxes in, ready to be wheeled. The loco selected is one of the Armstrong Whitworth long firebox type. The running number chosen has been changed recently to one allocated to Newton Heath in the mid 1950's. Unfortunately, I haven't managed to find any published photos of this particular loco at that time so I'm making some guesses and assumptions about some of the details and changes that might have occurred since its original construction. I've assumed that the wheel sets would have been exchanged to provide a solid centre axle in place of the original hollow version which appears to have been the case on most locos from this batch for which I have photos. The axle holes don't go right through, just 5 or 6 mm in from each end. The friend who drilled them feared snapping a drill (1.1 mm dia) if he tried go go right through.

    Recent activity has been to fettle the Gibson wheels (previously drilled for the crank pins), fit the crank pins and, today, to fit the wheel sets to the frames, as shown below. The wheels are clearly from two different batches, as indicated by the colour of the centre moulding. As I recall, I discovered a poorly machined flange on one wheel which was replaced without any quibble.

    For the crank pins, this loco follows my normal practice of modified Ultrascale bushes mounted on 14 BA cheese head screws. The heads are recessed into the back of the wheel and the centre ones are both treated to application of locking fluid and fitting brass wire staples set into the screw driver slot and holes either side of the screw head. To obtain adequate side play, the rear bosses on the centre wheels were filed almost flush with the rear of the spokes.

    The kit instructions suggest completion of the brake gear next, together with sand pipes to front and centre axles, then pick-ups. Sounds like a plan.

    There won't be any progress tomorrow as I've decided to go to the O Gauge show at Telford. No, I'm not contemplating a change of scale, but I really like some of the stuff that appears on RMweb and here, so I thought I'd go to see some of it in the flesh, so to speak.

    76043, Geoff, AdeMoore and 5 others like this.
  2. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Hi Dave,

    Do drop by stand D1 and say hello.
  3. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Rob, I'm sorry I missed you today. Walked past your stand but you weren't there - on your lunch break, perhaps? Better luck next year.
    Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and did meet several WT members. It's nice to put faces to sometimes obscure user names. As anticipated, I was very impressed with some of the locos on display and with the quality and range of after market detailing parts - way better than in 4 mm scale.
    My favorite layout was Love Lane, perhaps for obvious reasons, me being a P4 modeller.
    I managed to resist the 7 mm temptation, alluded to by Larry G, but did enquire about the possibility of the MOK re-built MN becoming available again! Who knows.......
    Rob Pulham likes this.
  4. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Phew! Very near to a complete disaster today but I think I've just about got away with it.
    Spent some time finishing off the brake gear by fitting the cross beams, pull rods and crank and securing the brake hangers, which had been left loose in their mountings to the frames. All appeared to have gone well so I moved on to the balance weight plates on the wheels. I then noticed that, somehow, I had partly melted the front face of a couple of the spokes on the RHS centre driving wheels. I must have caught them with the soldering iron whilst concentrating on the brake hanger fixing.
    After an initial surge of despair, I found that the worst of the damage would be covered by the balance weight and there doesn't appear to be any detrimental effect on the wheel itself. There is some slight visible deformation of the spokes inboard of the balance weight but I have tried to build up the surface with layers of super glue (a technique used by aircraft modellers, I believe) and once this is fully cured, I will dress the spokes as best I can to hide the damage.
    Note to self; be more aware where the hot iron beyond the tip is relative to the model!
    Slightly out of focus view of the damaged wheel, after fitting the balance weight. The melted spokes are third and fourth down from the top edge of the balance weight.

    Overall view of the chassis showing the brake gear and balance weights fitted.

    3 LINK, Geoff, Lyndhurstman and 3 others like this.
  5. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Western Thunderer

    Hi Dave,

    Sorry to have missed you I didn't get much time off for good behaviour especially on Saturday as it was really busy.
  6. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Generally speaking, I do a lot of planning and scheming to work out when and how to fit various components during loco construction. For parts provided in the kit, I find the instructions are usually a pretty good guide although some deviations might seem appropriate here and there. For additional details, not included in the kit, a bit more thought is needed. This approach has stood me in good stead, overall, but I have come a bit of a cropper on this chassis.
    For my own satisfaction, I decided to fit the whole length of the supply pipe to the exhaust steam injector, including a representation of the grease separator, even though a lot of it will not be visible from normal viewing angles. As it is chunky and stiff (1.6 mm diameter), I thought it best to fit it before trying to route pick-ups, which can be bent as necessary to avoid it. The Pipe & Rod drawings in the Wild Swan Profile books were studied and the pipe run set out, model size, on paper against which the pipe could be assembled. The line sketches are shown in one of the photos.
    The pipe is formed from various diameters of brass wire and tube and arranged to plug into the inlet end of the cast white metal injector body provided in the kit.
    The resultant pipe looked a rather good representation of the real thing and matched the sketches well in shape and dimensions. I must admit to feeling rather pleased with myself.
    Oh, but pride comes before the fall! No matter how I wiggled and twisted the pipe, I could not get it to fit past various existing parts of the chassis. I contemplated splitting the pie into sections and then re-joining them in situ, but eventually, it dawned that if I removed the rear brake stretcher bar, it could be slide in from the rear, located through the hole on a front frame spacer and then eased into position. Luckily, the brake stretcher came off without too much trouble and was easily re-fitted after the pipe was in position.
    The injector and a couple of wires representing the live steam feed and part of the water feed have been added, to give a bit more strength to the rather exposed injector casting.
    View showing the line sketch used to make the pipe.

    Various views of the chassis with the pipe and injector in place.

    And one (slightly blurred) showing the feed pipes added.

    AdeMoore, LarryG, Deano747 and 6 others like this.
  7. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Not a great deal of progress over the past few weeks but I have assembled the cylinder/slide bar/valve gear bracket unit to help determine space and clearances for my intended pick up position on top of the wheels. Normally, I try to position the pick ups behind the brake blocks, where they are barely visible, and which I intended for this model. However, having fixed wheel sets, brake gear and other under frame details, I've been forced to reconsider.
    Indeed, the next step will be the running plate, as this may also impact on the new pick up arrangements.
    As intended by the kit, the cylinder/slide bar/valve gear bracket unit is removable from the top of the frames to facilitate assembly of the valve gear off the chassis and allows for painting and future maintenance.
    Here is the current state of the chassis, with the latest unit in position. The rear covers for the cylinders are in position, but not yet fixed in place, as can be seen.
    The kit intends the unit to just sit in place, held only by the footplate, which fits over it. I have added two retaining screws through ears on the motion bracket, one of which is visible in this shot. I have also modified the top of the valve gear frame to give more clearance to the wheels, which appeared to be rather too close to it on full suspension compression.
    The pick ups for the front wheels will be attached to the bus-bars between the frames, pass over the frames in front of the steps down, then double back to the top of the wheels. The centre pick ups will pass through the triangular opening in the frames, below the valve gear bracket. The rear pick ups will be below the ash pan casting and bear on the back of the wheels behind the brake blocks, as per my usual practice.
    One other change since the last posting is a change to running number to 45232. This is another Newton Heath shedded Armstrong Whitworth loco. I had struggled to find any photos of the original loco in my period of interest (mid to late 1950's) but I have found a couple of the new example.
    AdeMoore, LarryG, Len Cattley and 6 others like this.
  8. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    I've been steadily, if slowly, plowing on with the footplate/cab assembly over the past week or so. This is now complete as far as the main components are concerned although there are still various smaller parts to add at a later stage.
    The main reason for assembling the footplate before getting the chassis running is to help determine the routing for the top mounted pick-ups for the front and centre wheels.
    Quite a bit of fettling and adjustments have been necessary to get the footplate to sit nicely on the chassis and valve gear support frame. Part of this included adding two 14BA screws to pull the front, dropped part of the footplate hard against the chassis spacers. This has proved fortuitous as, when fitting the unit to the chassis for final checking (and photos), I managed to push the main, captive holding down screw out of the chassis, breaking the obviously poor quality soldered joint between screw and retaining washer in the process. It's clear that this screw is now redundant, so I'll remove the nut from the top of the footplate, making seating of the smoke box saddle that much easier.
    Here are some photos of the footplate and cab in position. The last one shows the footplate support brackets fixed to the chassis between the centre and rear driving wheels.
    Geoff, 3 LINK, Ian_C and 9 others like this.
  9. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Further progress has been made despite the setback of managing to lose one of the connecting rods after it fell off the work tray. I searched for ages on hands and knees (ouch!) and my partner has also looked all over the floor, but to no avail. How on earth can something that large completely disappear in a small room?
    Fortunately, I found a spare set of etchings left over from a previous model from the same kit, in my spares box so it now has coupling and connecting rods fitted and, following some modifications to the initial setup, now glides smoothly along my short test track after applying finger tip propulsion. It will be interesting to see if it is still as good under power.
    Before fitting the coupling rods, I felt that the front wheel set was not quartered quite the same as the other two axles, so the wheels ere twisted slightly and reset by eye. Amazingly, the rods fitted and ran smoothly without any further adjustment or opening out of the rod holes although, to be honest, these were already etched rather larger than I would have liked. The one setback was interference between the front crank pin retainer and the back of the connecting rods. This has necessitated thinning the rear washer to 0.2 mm and removing the outside raised boss on the front coupling rod. Indeed, a slight recess has been provided on both the inside and outside faces of the boss. It might have been easier to reduce the retainer flange diameter and recess it into the front rod face as I often do, although the method used here probably leaves a better bearing area between crank pin bush (the retainer) and the rod. The rear wheel crank pin nuts are 16BA drilled and tapped 14BA and thinned down, to better represent the size of nuts fitted to the prototype.
    Fitting the connecting rods has allowed the piston rods to be trimmed to length.
    Geoff, Genghis, David B and 9 others like this.
  10. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    It's a 4-6-0! Well, sort of. Besides some progress with the cylinders - wrapper, inspection covers and front cylinder and valve covers, I've assembled the basic front bogie frame and temporarily popped the wheels in to see where the axles come in the slots. I've made a rather major boo-boo because I fitted the wrong centre casting and that has thrown the mounting height out, so a suitable spacer tube has had to be fitted to the mounting screw to compensate. I'm thinking of adding a representation of the side bearer casting to fill the gap between the bottom of the main frames and top of the bogie frames. Even though it's all behind the cylinder drain pipes, to me it looks a bit empty in that region.
    In these photos, I've inserted my buffer/AJ height gauge into the buffer stocks to set the front end to the correct height. The height will be finally set by balancing the springs against added weight.
    Geoff, LarryG, Genghis and 10 others like this.
  11. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Some progress has been made with the front bogie in terms of filling in the gap between the bogie frames and the chassis main frames. To do this, I've made a representation of the cast side bearer "pan" mounted to the top of the bogie. In order to retain the kit design of suspension, using coil springs and plungers, mounted in the external equalising beams and bearing on the underside of the main chassis, I've fitted tubular bearing pads fixed to the top of the pan, so the plungers pass through. On the prototype, there are solid bearing cups fixed to the chassis which slide on top of the "pan".
    This is what it should look like.
    Here is my modified representation.
    First, the "pan" and the external compensating beams from the kit. As shown, my "pan" extends right across the bogie on a level, whereas the prototype dips down between the frames which is hard to replicate with a fabricated assembly rather than a casting. It won't really show in the gloom under the loco.
    Then the assembled bogie.
    BM_Blk5_45284_026.JPG BM_Blk5_45284_027.JPG
    Then in place under the chassis. Obviously, there needs to be some weight applied to compress the springs and fully seat the bearers.

    Geoff, Focalplane, Ian_C and 13 others like this.
  12. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    I have a bit of a dilemma regarding the loco pick-ups. I've fitted pick-ups to the top of the front drivers and behind the brake blocks on the rear, but I just can't find a routing for pick-ups to the centre drivers.
    The dilemma is: do I live with pick up from just the two axles or do I try to also arrange some additional pick up from the tender? In this latter case, it might not be that easy to fit in the wiring/plug arrangement in amongst all the bits of wire representing the inter-connecting hoses, which I like to fully replicate.
    Pick-ups fitted are shown below. Also seen is one of the pads attached to the gearbox sides for the motor and, later, DCC chip wiring.

    AdeMoore, Geoff, john lewsey and 3 others like this.
  13. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    To facilitate future tender pick up, I might fit a couple of small PCB pads under the loco drag box to allow flying leads from the tender to be soldered on. As I use a permanent tender coupling, this won't be too inconvenient since the loco and tender only get separated form maintenance or if there's a problem.
    I've now wired up the gearbox mounted pads to the pick-up bus bars and temporarily connected the motor leads. We have motion! Not dead smooth, but not bad for the first powered movement. A bit of oil and running in will hopefully result in better running, in due course.

    The motor/gear box torque reaction arrangement is very simple. A vertical strip of brass has been attached to the valve gear mounting frame, just in front of the gear box, and a small "U" shaped hook fixed to the top of the strip, holding a wire rod in the top front of the gear box, allowing the latter to slide up and down on the suspension.

    AdeMoore, Geoff, Focalplane and 11 others like this.
  14. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Progress continues at a snail's pace in between other interests and a series of set backs with the construction. I don't know why, but I seem to be struggling more than usual with this project. Hope it's not a sign of gradual decline!
    First up were the cast nickel silver valve guides. I had already decided to replace the cast valve spindle cross heads from the kit with some better looking examples on some spare sprues that I had and to cut off the cast valve spindles and replace them with 0.6 mm n/s wire. To give good support to the spindles, they run inside extended brass tubes, nearly the full length of the cylinders. That required the (solid) castings to be drilled 1 mm to take the tube. I created a simple drilling jig consisting of a block of hardwood, fixed to the bed of my small vertical drill and drilled to accept the 1.5 mm mounting peg on the guide casting. Then without moving anything, the 1 mm holes could be drilled concentric with the mounting pegs. Well, that was the theory. On the first one, I either didn't seat the casting properly or I let it tilt over during drilling, with the result that the hole was at an angle and broke through the mounting peg - disaster! The second was OK. By some filing with the tip of a needle file and then drilling to 1.5 mm, I was able to reclaim the errant casting and insert a tubular sleeve to form a new mounting peg and locate the 1 mm bearing tube. Phew! Here are the valve guides after drilling and rectification with the modified valve cross heads.
    The guides were then soldered into the cylinders, using a piece of rod across the two, through the slots in the guides to help orientated them.


    Next a start was made on the valve gear components. This loco is one of those that had a straight, fluted combination levers and short, forked union links. These latter are really quite small items and difficult to handle whilst forming and joining the laminations. Despite using cigarette paper and a slight dab of oil, I managed to solder the joint to the combination lever solid on one item. Stupidly, I tried to waggle it free but instead snapped the eyes off one end of the union link. That could have been fatal to the loco if I had not got another kit in stock, for a loco that has a different type of union links, so providing spares for the broken one. I managed to ping one layer of the replacement from the tweezers and had no idea which direction it went. By sheer chance, I found it on the floor and was able to complete the job.
    This photo shows a trial assembly of one side to check clearance between the radius rod end and the valve spindle cross head before anything is soldered together.
    Still lots to do. Let's hope I don't have as many issues with the remainder.
    AdeMoore, Geoff, 3 LINK and 9 others like this.
  15. john lewsey

    john lewsey Western Thunderer

    I do hate those Ping moments
    Looking good though Dave
    AdeMoore likes this.
  16. bogusman

    bogusman Western Thunderer

    Enjoying this thread as I have one to build. Looking really good Dave
    AdeMoore likes this.
  17. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Black 71/2?
    I took 44781 to a friend's layout a few weeks ago but thought it had lost a front crank pin retainer so didn't run it. Today, I decided to look at replacing the lost part but found, when viewed in a good light, that the original is still in place. It's rather more recessed than I tend to do now and also very dark, so wasn't easily visible on the layout. I did find that the retainers have become very sloppy fits in the rod ends, presumably due to wear, but the loco still moves very smoothly. Might give it a run out at the group meeting next week.
    Not much progress with 45232 but both radius rods are now done.
    AdeMoore, Brocp, Peter Cross and 6 others like this.
  18. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    It's been quite a while since I posted anything about this loco. That's because there has been virtually no progress, what with the Festive period and a complete loss of motivation and enthusiasm. Anyway, I've started to get back into it now, so things are moving again.
    Both sets of valve gear have been assembled and the return cranks attached to the screwed retainers, such that they should tighten up in the right position. The next job will be to fit the gear to the support frame and attach the anchor links to the cross head drop links.
    Hopefully, it won't be as long till the next update.

  19. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Hi Dave,
    I see you have bushed the expansion link to stop it flopping around and set it in forward gear. Nice.

    I keep toying with the idea of setting one side in forward gear and the other in reverse, but only on a tank engine. Still haven't done it yet, but maybe on the 3P???
  20. Dave Holt

    Dave Holt Western Thunderer

    Ah, appearances can be deceptive! The radius rods are currently free to move up and down in the curved slots inside the expansion links - they've just ended up in full forward by gravity. I do intend to model them in forward gear, but as near mid gear as the geometry will allow.
    The reason for the bushes - actually spacing washers soldered to the outer faces, is to give more bearing area than the half etched thickness of the links. As intended in the kit, the spacing washers should be soldered inside the support bracket and the expansion links should have valve gear rivets soldered to the outsides. Assembly then requires the support bracket sides to be "sprung" apart to get the rivets between the sides and located in the spacer washers. I'm just using a fixed pivot of 0.9 mm brass wire - hence the need to increase the expansion link bearing surface. The washers will also help locate the links sideways, as you say.
    The main drawback of my modification is that the valvegear will not be able to be reversed, although I'm not sure this is much of a loss.
    I've also wondered about the forward/back combination but, like you, never actually done it and always model my locos in a fairly short cut off, forward position.