Finescale - of a sort?!

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

  1. Osgood

    Osgood Western Thunderer

    You have wood floors don’t you?
    Sling the carpets, screw track straight to boards, build point work out of your components using floor boards as base.
    Finally fill rooms to rail top height with clean foundry sand.
    Sand could be coloured for different rooms - won’t show dirt, quick rake over before guests arrive, change every 2 yrs.
    Cat may have to go though - but as compensation hoover can go too.
    And as a bonus - no traction issues.

    I’d call that a win-win scenario........
    Last edited: 22 September 2020
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  2. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Ha Tony, you've cracked it!

    When the boys were young it always felt like "we were living in a farmyard"! We used to wonder if sawdust and straw was preferable to rugs and carpets?! Never thought of sand though, and if the truth be told, it is probably (*) needed more now that they have grown and flown.

    Sorry Tom, that wasn't personal, just a bit of "Nanny and Grandad's Revenge": We are all very proud of, and love the dear little Princess, but I'm afraid that it is your turn now to cry; "Eh-yuk, what is that?", or "where did that come from?"!!

    Edit: * no, change that to definitely!

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  3. eastsidepilot

    eastsidepilot Western Thunderer

    This is all well and good but will poor little Grandson be able to drag Granddad off the engine for 5 mins. :D

  4. Tom Insole

    Tom Insole Western Thunderer

    None taken, I've already started that one. All with the fears things need to be moved higher again.. today standing was tested on her part I got photos sent to me at work. Won't be long and it'll be one foot infront of the other and GONE! She likes water so a beach theme indoor railway will suit well! ;) Best get some plastic sheet underneath it or the sand will end up in the celar though.
  5. Giles

    Giles Western Thunderer

    I certainly think that your track needs to be of softer or no harder material than your wheels - I take it they are plastic? - so the wheels don't get damaged, as they'll be more of a nuisance to replace than any track components, I would have thought....
    simond and Osgood like this.
  6. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Aye indeed Giles. Whatever I use will have to be sturdy enough to carry some weight without too much vertical deflection, yet must be no deeper than the plastic track sections attached to it.

    I am still very tempted to try PVC strip for the running rails, with the tramline style, infilled sections between cut from MDF. That latter detail would hopefully strengthen what would otherwise be a very thin and perhaps rather too flexible plywood baseplate?

    As there is still quite a lot of work to do on the engine, I am quite content to continue considering this particular challenge for a little while longer!

    Anyway, I promised a brief bit about my non ferrous fakery...

    Steel, aluminium and even copper may be just about manageable, but brass is utterly 'orrible! The stuff keeps changing colour. Over time it turns from a predominately golden yellow to a dull brown, and in between presents an uneven and quite reflective red to purple bloom on the surface!

    Several years ago, a chap asked me to paint a cheap, white plastic, electric clock to make it look "old fashioned" so that it might blend in with the stained oak panelling he was having installed in his living room. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to keep my original mixing palette for the solution. He was pleased with the result, while I was more relieved that I appeared to have just about got away with it!

    Onward to this project; I continue feeling that it would be only right and proper to make all the brass and copper fittings out of the real stuff. The piston glands would have been the first parts to make, but I quickly realised that the dry bearing contact with the piston rod needed to be in a "soft" material to avoid the risk of scraping, scratching and squeaking!

    The MDF versions would have to be painted, using the same technique as applied to the clock.

    Here are the Humbrol colours that I used:


    Metallic 54, "Brass" (an almost coincidental title, as it bears so little resemblance to the genuine article!)
    Metallic 171, "Antique Bronze" (a similar comment to the above applies!)
    Matt 98, "Chocolate"
    Plus a smidge of Matt Black for fine tone adjustment.

    The colours were blended when wet and the darker, brownish shades were worked towards the centre of the facets, then the outer edges were picked out with neat "Brass"

    The glands were finally finished with water based satin varnish to create the essential sheen effect.

    SAM_xy3084.JPG SAM_xy3130.JPG SAM_xy3128.JPG

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  7. Alan

    Alan Western Thunderer

    My chin is hurting as it keeps bouncing on the floor. Wonderful work.
    AdeMoore likes this.
  8. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Thank you Alan. I seem to be rather adept at causing pain, in one way or another, but I never anticipated being responsible for actual bodily harm?!

    Talking about potential damage leads quite nicely into this next instalment:

    I have been concerned about a weakness in the design, though to date not sufficiently to take any action. A recent test run under power revealed the issue, though thankfully without the feared outcome.

    It can be seen on the prototype photo below, that contact between the bottom of the headstock and the rails or ground was not an entirely uncommon event?


    Several historic images of the other locomotives show the outer corners were frequently bent back or forward after similar events. It is quite easy to imagine that derailments at various locations around the works might have been regarded as a fact of life?! Solid, long bars attached to guard irons appeared to be fairly common practice on many of the old industrial lines.

    In a moment of inattention during the aforementioned test, our own little engine disgraced herself by coming off the road and copping a whack on the beam as it did so! The MDF may have sprung a bit, but at least it held this time?

    Here is the problem, with the feared fault line marked thus in green...


    If the contact had perhaps been much harder, and even if the corner had not snapped right off, I could imagine an irreparable crease occurring all along the line? Either way, a completely new plate would have to be cut and fitted, along with all the associated aggro!

    A solution turned out to be surprisingly simple!

    Although the headstock modelled represents that fitted only to the original Beyer Peacock engines; "Robin" and "Wren", with that distinctive, inverted T cut-out and rivet/bolt positions, the last five of the class, built in-house at Horwich, had a modified version. Records confirm that "Wasp", "Fly" and "Mouse", "Midget" of 1891 and 1899 respectively, were fitted from new with motion-guard platework that completely covered their undersides. At the front end, those guard plates where bolted on to three rivetted angles, two short outers and one longer centred between the frames, and all attached to the lower, rear face of the headstocks. They were evidently troublesome, as a picture, dated 1902, show that the plates had been removed from "Fly".

    The angles were initially retained however, and can be clearly seen on "Fly", and by a line of betraying rivets on "Midget"...

    horwichwren 1c Fly 1891 - After rebuild c1902 44048167542_424913bfe1_ob.jpg horwichwren 2d Midget large_DS110136a.jpg

    Whilst "Fly", and some others had the angles removed shortly thereafter, (See below) it is confirmed that "Wasp" retained them until withdrawal.

    horwichwren 1d Fly.jpg

    Here was a perfectly justifiable and fairly robust answer to the problem, even if it was not quite accurate in some finer points of detail:

    I still had some of the steel angle left over from the motor frame construction, and by cutting it in one single piece would provide the structural integrity. Once painted black, it would hardly be noticeable that there was no gap in the vicinity of the frames anyway?

    SAM_xy3151.JPG SAM_xy3155.JPG

    I made sure that every corner and edge was well, and perhaps overly rounded off, once again purely for the sake of safety and comfort.

    The additional, vertical bolt holes were of course technically unnecessary, but were at least in all the right locations, while the horizontal bolts and nuts, that should have been rivets, would have to suffice, after trimming and painting anyway!

    SAM_xy3159.JPG SAM_xy3210.JPG

    Yes folks, there is a "rivet" missing at centre, beneath the buffing/coupling plate!

    As I mentioned in a recent post about the pivot for the reversing lever rod, I had used one of the last seven machine screws of a particular size in the box. There was very much muttering indeed when I discovered that I was then one short for this job!

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  9. Giles

    Giles Western Thunderer

    A very real problem indeed..... my 10 1/4" Bagnall has a bent front plate gained by someone hitting something even harder than her 6mm steel plate..... Even a VERY large hammer won't straighten it!
    3 LINK, AdeMoore and Peter Insole like this.
  10. Jordan Leeds

    Jordan Leeds Member

    Just joined have been working on a replica Zm9 recently from the works drawings been very interesting
  11. Peter Insole

    Peter Insole Western Thunderer

    Hi Jordan, welcome. I'm glad you are enjoying it.

    "Works drawings" of Zm9? Well done for finding them! Please don't take too much notice of my guesswork and forced error efforts from way back at the beginning of this thread. I built her in pre internet days, and only had a single photograph from a magazine to work from!!

    The little Hudswell hasn't turned a wheel in anger for years and just sits, looking pretty on a shelf now, but it had served it's purpose well enough!

    3 LINK and AdeMoore like this.
  12. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    I'd like to see that one day, Giles. Bet it's an absolute hoot to play with.