Finescale - of a sort?!

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by Peter Insole, 26 December 2016.

  1. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Oh guys, I so wish that I could share your enthusiasm! Every time I see someone messing around with car innards I'm reminded of a lifetimes worth of rust holes, sheared bolts, threaded studs, skinned knuckles, smashed digits, Elastoplast by the yard and Swarfega by the gallon, not to mention the occasional damage in the wardrobe department!

    AdeMoore, Len Cattley, 76043 and 2 others like this.
  2. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I fear that's the difference between working on car because you have to and you want to.

    If you have to do it and in a hurry, it ain't gonna budge easy..!

    I had to replace a front spring, damper and top mount on the BMW outside the flat recently, that was fun, not.

  3. Mike W

    Mike W Western Thunderer

    Its an age thing. When I was in my 20's, replacing things like springs on my Jensen Interceptor was pleasurable. Inexplicably(!), only twenty five years and 100,000 miles later two springs needed to be replaced again. It was fun the first time, but not the second.

    76043 likes this.
  4. Heather Kay

    Heather Kay Western Thunderer

    Ah, but Bad Obsession don’t just mess around. If it can’t be used, it’s ditched, or carefully rebuilt so it can be used. The guys know their stuff - the build rally cars for a living - and it’s a joy to see them work.
    John K likes this.
  5. John K

    John K Western Thunderer

    ...and they know how to 'get the funk out'
    John K
    Heather Kay likes this.
  6. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    I should confess that my own particular example of eccentricity has not exactly been pain free !

    A little while ago I clumsily managed to break a drill bit. The very rapid chain of events that followed led to part of the offending tool removing a chunk out of one of my fingers. Fortunately, yet more sticky tape sufficed that time!

    Could it be that a hobby hurt is considered marginally more acceptable, with any scar being carried as a medal, or justifiable proof of sacrifice, whereas motor car repairs represent little more than a necessary tactic for delaying the inevitable, or perhaps even inadvertently ending up hastening same?!

    Back to topic now:

    It never occurred to me that there might perhaps be a more practical method of disguising screws as rivets, especially as there were so many of them to do. Whilst it is true that I had quite a number of round head wood screws that had to be driven fully home before any attempt at subterfuge, the machine variety were in the majority. I latterly realised that finger pressure and friction in the hole alone was quite sufficient to nip the nuts up nice and tight! (Oo-err! Sorry!) Perhaps just pre filling the heads with soft solder would have been a tad less tedious, and certainly more secure at the finish than mixing, applying and fettling all that messy Milliput?

    Oh well, 'tis done now, and so will never know...?!

    SAM_xy2688.JPG SAM_xy2689.JPG

    It was also only later that I noticed that a second (and last remaining) batch of screws in the box had a horribly excessive lip under their heads. Thanks to Covid, I couldn't just nip into Town for some more of the previous and preferable variety.

    They would have to do...

    SAM_xy2694.JPG SAM_xy2697.JPG SAM_xy2699.JPG

    Finally and at long, long last; the first of several heavily applied coats of semi gloss and wonderfully black paint...

    Or I would rather not say; almost the last dregs in the tin...! Getting a bit desperate 'rand 'ere innit?

    I let impatience get the better of me, and in my haste, did not bother to wind a bit of sticky tape around the studs before splashing out with the big soft brush though.

    Now blackened, those rivets still look a bit lumpy, do they not? Even after careful scaling from both official drawings (while remaining forever sceptical) and studying the real thing, they are almost all, yet surprisingly, pretty damn close to the prototype. I still have to remind myself that this is indeed "A large model of a tiny engine".

    AdeMoore, Alan, jonte and 14 others like this.
  7. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Western Thunderer

    Love the way those lovely lumps of (2x4?) look almost exactly the same as it probably would if being done in the sheds of a railway working on preserving and performing an overhaul on said little locomotive! We'll just blame the new group of volunteers that came to help one sunday afternoon on the reseration work and didn't get shown how to "prep" for paint.

    I think I know where I get my same habbits of looking at something that others wouldn't quite notice (unless pointed to them) but bothers me greatly every time I see it.. rivets get a bit lumpy over time from being replaced where a repair was needed or being troden/bashed/clipped anyway so we'll just say that's what it was too. ;)
  8. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    I presume you replaced the both front springs, dampers and top mounts....:)
  9. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Well, I bought a pair of parts for both front corners yes...

  10. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Knowing just how easily I can be distracted by pretty bits I was determined to get the chassis completed before any paying any further attention to the upper works.

    While there are still plenty of mostly invisible, some even tedious but all nonetheless essential jobs to be done first, the irresistible lure of lily gilding won yet again!

    I just fancied having a bash at a representation of the steam brake cylinder...


    None of the Horwich drawings show the machine in anything other than plan view or rather vague, dotted outlines in profile, but a little bit of memory, plus the above and other photographs at least allowed me to gather how it all worked and draw up a reasonable sketch.

    Construction of the model and material availability required some small concessions and compromises, but I could happily live with them for the overall effect.

    SAM_xy2728.JPG SAM_xy2731.JPG
    Carving the casting out of Oak was unnecessary this time as the compact object would be non structural and only made for decorative purposes.

    Squeezing up the stuffing box and packing gland studs and nuts was one of those deliberate compromises. I realised that I needed a fair bit more clearance with the rear driving wheel.


    One part that I did want to have a little extra structural strength was the truncated end of the cylinder, where it attaches to the forward face of the well tank.

    After much unsuccessful rummaging, I then found a hardwood rod of perfect diameter...

    One of the good lady's curtain poles is now mysteriously a few millimetres shorter at one end.

    I had to be jolly quick and clear up all the tell tale sawdust though!


    The primer revealed that slightly more filler was needed than hoped for.

    I think it came out nicely in the end...

    SAM_xy2738.JPG SAM_xy2740.JPG SAM_xy2741.JPG SAM_xy2753.JPG

    To save the now precious enamel paint I used my last pre-lockdown, worryingly lightweight rattle-can of satin black.

    One day I shall get round to sorting out how much of the brake detail I am going to add, so the piston rod and clevis will have to wait. Meanwhile, something still needed to be done about those temporary screws and washers on the wheels and motion...

    Intercity126, SLNCR57, Alan and 22 others like this.
  11. Pencarrow

    Pencarrow Western Thunderer

    Great to see you back posting Peter, loving this build and how everyday bits an bobs are made to look like big chunks of metal. Must be starting to get a bit heavy now!
  12. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Chris, yes it is! I have to be careful as I suffer from plumbago; that is a bit of a problem with my lower black.

    I really want to retain the indoor, carpet railway capability of this model, and to that end require only two main features: It only needs sufficient adhesion weight to haul one largish, or a small handful of junior bods, and whilst knowing that all children tend to leak unpleasantly from time to time, for domestic harmony purposes there must be absolutely no risk of any oil drips!

    The whole thing uses either sealed units or is dry lubricated elsewhere. A little bit of back graphite can be brushed off or washed out nice and easily...??!!!


    Edit to include thanks. I was so busy with the gag that I forgot to add it.
    Last edited: 27 August 2020
    Pencarrow likes this.
  13. Giles

    Giles Western Thunderer

    This is one of my favourite projects and threads of all time!
    AdeMoore and simond like this.
  14. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    if only to suggest that we could junk all that brass and laser cut locos in MDF...

  15. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Western Thunderer

    Don't forget 3D printed too ;)
  16. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Giles and Simon, you are too kind.

    My problem with brass is that I never seem to have any, but cannot get away with it for too much longer. Some of the non ferrous variety will have to be tackled shortly as well ?!

    While I should have been paying a little more attention to the hole in my pocket, an uncomfortably visible gap underneath the engine boiler was niggling. Spurred by the recently posted and splendid work by Mr. Mott of a proper, live steam example, another MDF and plywood challenge proved absolutely irresistible...!


    I had for some time already intended to install a representation of the weighshaft, that could happily rock too and fro when the (functional) reversing lever was pulled, but the "road to ruin..." etc.!

    Onward and (downward?)...


    All was going swimmingly with the peculiar doweling plan...

    Then I discovered a problem:

    On the prototype, a solid, cast iron bearing is fixed on the left hand side of the loco frames, while on the right there is a split and twin studded, clamping variety; doubtless to enable the complete shaft to be lifted out for overhaul or repair...?

    Despite careful study of all the reference drawings and photo's, the method of insertion, let alone extraction had me somewhat flummoxed! I just couldn't get the wretched thing to fit. Did the broad shaft have a hollow core with a narrower rod passing through that could be partly, or completely drawn out ?

    Too late anyway for this model.

    My odd construction might have allowed for that, if had I earlier given it any thought, but by the time the fault was discovered, the glue was firmly set.

    A basic, and only barely satisfactory solution was called for:

    SAM_xy2761.JPG SAM_xy2763.JPG

    I used a short length of plastic tube as a temporary spacer between the naked thread of the screw and the carved oak bearing. Eventually, I intend to sort out a more appropriate and smooth shouldered arrangement, preferably with a neat and less obtrusive "hex" rather than an ugly and all too obvious slotted head ?!

    Then it was time to pop some representations of the top ends of all the "waggling, dangly bits" with some more dowel and tube...?

    The exposed steel angle sub frames were still niggling though.

    Therefore... :


    Away I went again with ply, knife and files. Where I stops; nobody knows:

    Least of all, me !!

  17. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    When yer fingers get in the way.....:eek: :D

    Great build Pete.:thumbs:
  18. Andrew

    Andrew Active Member

    Hi Pete

    Artistry of the highest order - quite remarkable!

  19. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Andrew, and yes Col, my fingers did indeed get in the way, not long thereafter!!

    I am rapidly running out of lovely old Ramin dowel at this rate, but it is there to be used, and when it's gone...


    I wasn't entirely sure that I was cutting on the right part of the grain to avoid accidently splitting the pieces completely in half.

    Got away with it on this one - and the next three as well !


    A bit of shaving here and there for a snug, but not too tight a fit, and they all glued up nicely.

    Cutting four more lengths from the ply strip and tapering each end made up a more appropriate thickness to the pair of links.


    Not perfect joinery I know, and there should be some nice curved transitions between the arms and bosses. Once smoothed, painted, weathered and dropped down into the shadowed recess, they should hopefully be fine?

    Meanwhile, I reckoned that the long lifting links looked far to anaemic, so doubled them up also...

    SAM_xy2800.JPG SAM_xy2805.JPG

    I couldn't have expected that the ply would have much liked being cut to a fine wedge at the top ends?!

    More distracting paint and goo to do!


    It is a shame that the grain shouted out too much after rubbing down? Perhaps the Ramin was not quite so nice after all?

    As I was not intending to fit the otherwise almost invisible valve rods, I needed a short arm to ensure that the front and rear links all remained vertical and moved up and down in more or less parallel fashion.

    SAM_xy2814.JPG SAM_xy2816.JPG SAM_xy2819.JPG SAM_xy2822.JPG

    Certainly looked a bit more busy and mechanically correct down there.

    At the time I really did think that was quite enough work done on the motion, and the notion kept me happy for at least for a couple of days anyway!


    Attached Files:

  20. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Mmm, still too much toy steelwork showing...?

    Should have been obvious where this would lead?

    SAM_xy2890comp3054.JPG SAM_xy2890comp3065.JPG

    There was a bit of jiggling and more geometry to work out, but loads of fun...?!

    First up, a pair of expansion links:

    SAM_xy2898.JPG SAM_xy2899.JPG

    Both for ease of construction and practical strength I felt that they did not need to be hollow and cut right through, nor was there any requirement to fit the lower, reverse eccentrics. The cleaved ends of the upper, forward eccentrics should obscure almost everything lower down anyway?

    Four more slices of dowel would provide both centring and reduced friction, vertical stability on the lifting links.

    Next, for that fun bit; forward to my eccentric forward eccentrics:


    As the motor and gearbox are fitted to the rear axle, the rods could not be driven with a fore and aft movement and would have to be fixed, preferably with one slightly in advance of the other. They would however have to pivot, rising and falling with the rotation of the weighshaft.

    During the ply layering process, the centre laminations were cut with shorter sections removed in order to provide angled slots in the completed rods.

    More short lengths were added to create the distinctive offset cleave:

    SAM_xy2906.JPG SAM_xy2908.JPG

    The pair were then gradually, bit by bit market out, cut, shaped and sanded to something roughly akin to the shape of the originals.

    I wasn't too troubled with the rather shallow ply joints in the curves, as the ends would actually be permanently fixed to the expansion links to form rather oddly cranked levers.

    Eccentric indeed..?

    SAM_xy2909.JPG SAM_xy2914.JPG

    I have left brass pins driven into the gearbox support beam slightly over long, and they will remain thus until I work out how to effectively "latch" the rod ends in place. The assembly will have to be reasonably easy to pop and drop out in the event of any motor servicing or repairs being required.

    An application of grey primer unfortunately revealed a bit more shavin' an' shaping still to do before proper paintin' !