Finescale - of a sort?!

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

  1. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    My Gob is well and truly smacked. Just stunning workmanship.
    AdeMoore, adrian and jonte like this.
  2. Lancastrian

    Lancastrian Western Thunderer

    Haha, that has got to be one of the funniest sentences connected to railway modelling :))

    Great workmanship Peter.

  3. AdeMoore

    AdeMoore Western Thunderer

    Well Pete over 2 days I’ve read the 13 pages so far and it’s fantastic what you are creating from DIY bits essentially.
    Great inspirational stuff in those pages.
    In fact I have no grandchildren yet! But went over to the argoose website to look £100 currently, said to my good lady top of the list if or when little ones arrive! What about if they’re girls came the reply, it Will be a daisy in that case says I!
    Peter Insole likes this.
  4. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Alan, Ian and Ade, I'm so glad you are enjoying this project. The trouble is, so am I - perhaps even too much?!

    Finding answers when faced with each apparently insoluble problem, and being only too aware of insufficient previous knowledge or experience, tools, materials or even available funding is extremely gratifying. The thought that others might benefit also is the cherry on top!

    Drives the folks at home completely nuts though?!

    Here is another of those awkward bits that had me worrying for a while:

    The diagonal reversing lever on the weighshaft is rectangular and tapered in form, bent at either end and blends from angular to radial at it's axial point!

    Cut it from one block maybe?

    Not really a sensible option with wood, as the grain might prove too weak on such a slender carving, and neither did I fancy trying to drill holes at shallow angles for the axle and pivot pin.


    SAM_xy2923.JPG SAM_xy2925.JPG

    At least the grain is in two directions with plywood, enabling me to choose which way to cut it.

    Filing half round slots in the two halves hopefully would get round the drilling issue too?


    I had left a large rectangular lump at the main pivot end to provide a bit of meat to clamp or grip onto when running a drill bit through (by hand) for fine adjustment.

    When satisfied with the fit, I started cutting away, forming and filing the subtle transition shape.


    I didn't quite get the geometry right, but hope that it will at least look - and especially be strong and fit enough for purpose?

    I dipped into the nuts and bolts box and made use of one of my dwindling collection of hex drive, round head machine screws, suitably modified for the upper pin.

    A decision that slightly annoyed me later on...!

    SAM_xy2935.JPG SAM_xy2950.JPG SAM_xy2944.JPG

    The last act was to make up another batch of "old steel" paint:

    I can never remember the precise mix proportions, so always use a genuine sample to work from. In this case it is a perfectly "old" bit of steel that I use as a handy gluing and general paper weight.

    The colour was mostly made up with matt brown and black, while the silver was added by dry brushing applied to the outer areas and edges of each part:

    SAM_xy2951.JPG SAM_xy2954.JPG

    There is a strange, red reflection casting an odd and deceptive shade over almost everything in this last photo.

    Somehow I had managed to obtain temporary planning permission (Lockdown only) to hang a much prized, but very large and heavy enamel sign on our front room wall!

    I just forgot to shift the loco to another location and avoid the rosy glow in the morning sunshine!!

  5. Oz7mm

    Oz7mm Western Thunderer


    Is this the world’s first whittled loco?

    fenman and eastsidepilot like this.
  6. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    I fear not John, I am merely attempting to follow in the footsteps of the true master!

    Have a look for a chap called Harold Manwaring...

    This stunning wooden engine works by compressed air!

    harold manwaring 586a7e4b383379bd9421ee0cfb4359c5.jpg

    InvernessTMD, Alan, jonte and 5 others like this.
  7. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Western Thunderer

    So what kind of tunes can he play on that? Being a wood wind instrument and all....

    I would also like to add that I'm blown away by that craftsmanship ;)
    Peter Insole likes this.
  8. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    There was still some work required on the coupling and connecting rods before I could finally disguise their plywood construction.

    Both were retained on the moulded plastic crankpins with rather ugly little self tapping, round head screws that were inherited from the original toy. I wanted alternative fittings that might at least appear more akin to the prototypical collar and cotter pin affairs.

    Unfortunately, the crankpin mouldings are hollow cores with nowhere near enough "meat" at the critical points to allow any sort of re-drilling and tapping. I could not find any other screws with an even remotely similar thread either, so for the time being would have to settle for a bodged compromise.


    I forgot to photograph the stages up to this point!

    The method chosen was to build the collars up with four layers of ply. The first, inner, was drilled with a small hole for the self tapper, the next with one that was large enough to snugly contain the screw head, while the last two were reduced over same, leaving just sufficient access for a screwdriver.


    With dummy cotter pin ends and reduced diameter washers, the whole will hopefully pass muster at a greater distance and time, rather than what is revealed in this cruel closeup?


    The hole in the collar is so tight that I find it almost impossible to prevent damage when driving the screw home; hence the slightly ragged look!

    I have considered searching for some small, plastic, plugs or caps that might fit and finish the job properly?

    The orientation mark is not only prototypical, but I felt was particularly practical on the model, bearing in mind the potential weakness of the design.

    Time at last for some oily brass and steel...

    SAM_xy3108.JPG SAM_xy3109.JPG

    More of the old 98 Brown, 33 Black and 191 "Chrome silver", not pre-mixed but worked fast and blended wet on each piece.

    It is just not possible, with any type of paint to perfectly replicate bare metal, as it is all a matter of light refraction off the surfaces, so the only hope is trickery!

    Mine is to finely add a highlight of an appropriate metallic colour - all the way round! Any muck would normally adhere least, or last, even in the most grubby areas on those outer edges.

    When dry, the rods still had a predominately matt finish, but several coats of satin varnish, including one of "Antique Pine", to follow would give them a nice sheen.

    SAM_xy3112.JPG SAM_xy3115.JPG SAM_xy3118.JPG SAM_xy3122.JPG

    I will have to follow up with a brief description of the brass work later now!

    AdeMoore, SECR25, Alan and 19 others like this.
  9. Giles

    Giles Western Thunderer

    When it's done, I think it should be exhibited at one of the Model Engineering Exhibitions..... It would certainly fool some, confuse others, and delight most!....and in terms of craft and workmanship - no problem!

    What gauge is it? Somewhere round 9 or 10 inches is it?
    jonte likes this.
  10. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Giles. That could be a bit of fun!

    I quite like the idea that it might not be merely entertaining, but hopefully prove what can be made with only a barest minimum of tools and even many parts built on a drawing board or living room coffee table!

    The gauge is a slightly awkward and peculiar 5 3/4 inches - from the original "ride-on" toy train. Although I have scaled the engine to make it fairly straightforward to convert to 5", I have collected 63' of the very tough and portable plastic track that can be laid indoors and right through the ground floor of the house, so I am reasonably happy for it to remain as it is.

    The beauty of the rail system is that it is clean, lightweight, very low profile and made in a slightly flexible material that does not present much of an ankle twisting hazard and can be safely trampled over. It is also quick to lay down, and more importantly, put away again when the screaming hordes go home!

    Downside? It has fixed, single radius and extremely tight curves, no points or crossings available and the adhesion is absolutely abysmal!

    So never say never!

  11. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    I don’t suppose the domestic authority would sanction working sanding gear? :eek:
    AdeMoore and Peter Insole like this.
  12. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    Sounds like a little challenge.....Templot anyone ? :D

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  13. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer


    pedrail 1.jpg

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  14. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    AdeMoore likes this.
  15. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    compound too!

    doesn't look to be terribly comfortable or quick...
    AdeMoore likes this.
  16. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    Steam Barfly - you should see those suckers going up the wall.......
    AdeMoore and Peter Insole like this.
  17. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Seriously now (?) !! Thoughts on the subject of points and crossings have been rattling around in my head for quite a while.

    The problems, as I see it, are threefold:

    Firstly; I fear that the wide wheel treads, deep flanges and consequently narrow back-to-back dimensions of the existing stock will make the use of conventional check rails and gaps potentially unworkable?

    Second; What materials to make them from, bearing in mind all the safety and comfort features of an indoor "Carpet" railway?

    Finally; How on earth do I securely join the plastic track with it's lug and slot couplings to whatever the chosen design?

    Here are a couple of pics showing the latter:

    hSAM_xy4699.JPG hSAM_xy4700.JPG

    I think that one thing is certain, that I will have to reserve a number rail units as permanent "adapters", specifically made up for attaching to the new work.

    My favoured approach for the construction would be to imitate (in principal) the cast iron style of the original Horwich Works system.

    qzg4point 148.jpg qzg5_1997-7059_HOR_F_2049.jpg

    I had wondered if a plywood base, with MDF shapes cut, glued and screwed over, as per the sketch below, might suffice?

    They could be a bit on the weighty side for lugging around, as well as rather bulky for storage?

    zpoint 783.jpg

    I have already drawn up a right hand version of the above in full size, so I suppose that the only way to find out if it would actually work is to bite the bullet, and get the saw out?!

    Alternatively, I could fabricate them in a more conventional style from UPVC?

    The common crossings could be made up with flange ramps in the old Triang/Hornby and Peco fashion?

    zpoint 784.jpg

    The latter solution might in the end be far too flimsy to survive much of the inevitable pounding they will come in for?


    AdeMoore, jonte, michael mott and 2 others like this.
  18. Yorkshire Dave

    Yorkshire Dave Western Thunderer

    Shouldn't the last few words read .....when the screaming hordes get home! :)
    Peter Insole likes this.
  19. michael mott

    michael mott Western Thunderer

    Hi Pete I went through the same thoughts and determined that the fixed bearing was loosened to allow for the shaft to be removed once the top half was removed from the split bearing.
    I am really enjoying the work you are doing on the valve works.

    AdeMoore likes this.
  20. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Western Thunderer

    One other option to peruse is getting a scale drawing of said coupling parts that I can knock up in CAD and 3D print some for attaching on.
    One of the printers we have here is the Markforged printer that prints with Carbon fiber filament into it so it's extremely strong stuff! Next time I'm over I'll bring some example pieces printed on it so you can test it for yourself ;) Also if you want some really precise pieces cut on the laser cutter I'm able to do that too!