7mm Mickoo's Workbench - BR(W) County

Discussion in 'Area 51' started by mickoo, 8 September 2018.

  1. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Okay, time to start a new thread, one with no affiliations elsewhere, there will be no set pattern, region or anything else; basically whatever box (though I am quite selective in the boxes they may present) someone hands me to make.

    Telford saw the first of hopefully a steady flow of kits to pass across the bench and first up is a Warren Shephard County class with Hawksworth tender.

    A quick look through the box finds some nice castings, very nice in some cases, a set of instructions (that can easily be read in a single retail opportunity broadcast on independent TV) and some etches.

    It's quite clear very early on that the kit comes from an older generation, one where you're left to your own devices in some areas, such that I wouldn't consider it a kit for the novice. The etch layout and design is also old school, for example the engine cab is two side sheets and a front, requiring the builder to align and square up a butt joint.....modern kits would be one piece with a half etch fold line inside.

    None the less the kit isn't something to be afraid of, so far all the parts measured up do so very well and square, so with a little care and forethought there should be little drama. It's more your honest pint, pie and chips type of affair.

    Starting with the tender.
    IMG_9797.jpg

    Three simple etches, the upper right being a supplementary sheet for the inner chassis, the instructions are concise and the pictorial etches with part numbers leave no doubt which is require and which is waste.

    It didn't take long to split out the basic bits for the tank and clean up and then came the first hurdle really, there are no half etch indents for the rivets, the kit comes with a paper overlay which you attach and use as a guide. Unfortunately mine has been lost which kind of slowed things down a bit, none the less a quick scrummage through my sources revealed the majority of visible rivets that need punching through.

    Out came the scribe and rule and the back of the relevant the parts were soon marked up and punched out. There's a couple of areas I need to double check before assembly and hopefully these'll be exposed as I rummage through my mags in storage this evening.

    IMG_9800.jpg

    The basic parts laid out, folding the tender rear corners will take some concentration and getting a good seamless joint between the two will take some care.

    A couple of banana skins await the intrepid, there's no markings on the inside of the tank side to show where the corner bends should be, a case of careful alignment with the footplate and making your own marks; more modern kits would have half etch bend aids.

    I'm also not sure if the tank sides should go in the recess or not, if they do then that leaves a ledge around the base, which I think would be correct for a Hawksworth 4000G fitted to Castles, Halls and Granges but not Counties. The County tender is 6" wider, it does have a ledge but appears much smaller than the 8'-0" variants noted above. Having said that, both bulkheads and well deck do align with the sides if they are fitted into the recess, maybe one tender kit does all ?

    There are also no markings to show the height of the rear tank top, though in fairness the instructions state it shall be about 3.8 mm from the top of the rear wall, I shall add some strips inside to help settle the well deck into the right place; the same lack of alignment marks applies to the rear and front bulkheads.

    The rear bulkhead needs a beading added to the top on both sides to represent the angle that holds the plate strip across the top, a few other little details may also need adding but we're not out to replicate Lee Marsh or Masterpiece so upgrades will be minimal.

    More anon once I've waved the hot stick about a bit :thumbs:
     
  2. Ressaldar

    Ressaldar Western Thunderer

    Hi Mick,

    I will be watching and taking in your comments on this build very carefully as I invested in one of Warren’s ‘Manor’ kits late on on Sunday afternoon at Telford. The down side was that he had sold all of his 3,500 gallon tenders (othersizes were available, but I wanted the ‘usual’ Manor tender) and it will be late October before he gets the etches to put another kit together - hopefully, I should have the Inspection Saloon finished by then.

    Kind regards

    Mike
     
  3. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Mike, I don't think you'll be disappointed, if you take it for what it is then you'll be fine.

    We were opposite Warren all weekend and I didn't see many quiet spells, which is usually a good sign for the product.

    BTW, does your Manor come with a backhead and cab fittings, I can't see any, or any mention of them in the County, which is odd as the rest of the kit seems pretty concise and in some cases detailed. Or it could be in the remaining box of bits the client is sending on in due course.
     
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  4. dibateg

    dibateg Western Thunderer

    I'll be watching too, having built the JLTRT County, it will be interesting to see this one come together!

    Tony
     
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  5. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Hi Mick,
    Nice to see you back posting.

    Having built his 45XX, I would agree with everything you've said about Warren's kits. The design is very old school, but the parts seem dimensionally accurate and do fit well, albeit with some effort on the part of the builder.

    The castings are as you say very nice, although the water gauge for the cab didn't look like a GWR one and I replaced it with one from Hobbyhorse.

    The paper overlay for the rivets is no loss. On mine it was too small and did not match the etchings, so as you have done, I had to cobble up my own. I didn't have the GW rivet press at the time so punching the rivets in virgin brass was a mare. Still it turned out well in the end.

    Not the best of images, taken on the phone in tungsten lighting, but it shows what can be achieved from his kits.
    post-13414-0-62942500-1484769194.jpg

    I look forward to following your build.

    Cheers,
    Peter
     
  6. adrian

    adrian Flying Squad

    That's the most important part which some of the newer kits seemed to have missed at times. It does look nice.
     
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  7. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Peter, cheers it's been a while :cool:

    Your's and one or two other threads dotted around the web were a good heads up before opening the box :thumbs:

    Anyway, I do have a GW rivet tool, but like all tools is rarely master of everything, no matter how well I scribe the lines and how much light I put on the tip there's always an errant little goit in the row. So out with the X, Y table which helps a great deal for the most part, but it does suffer when you get to the small parts, rather badly.

    IMG_9802.jpg

    No matter how you twist it, or turn it, it simply will not hold small parts, for the drag beam I soldered an extension plate on, which worked but then involved the tedious chore of cleaning the solder off once it was removed. In this case (above) I could rotate the work piece 90° and do the rivets that way, but it'll only be held by one fixing screw and prone to slipping off line.....unless you tighten the screw up hard....which then leaves a nice circular mark in the soft brass :rolleyes:

    For the valance and steps combined part there was no way it was going to work, too short in one axis, and too long in the other so another plan was needed, actually I did struggle through with the valance parts but it will be the last part I struggle with on the GW tool.

    Plan B is to basically throw more technology at the problem and make my own etch recesses, then I can hand ball the part in the rivet press, the material used in the kits is nice and thick (0.7mm) so plenty of meat to make your own guides.

    IMG_9803.jpg

    Clamping the part to the Proxxon X, Y table and setting the 1.0mm drill to just the right depth means it is possible to make your own rivet guides; in reality you just need enough of an indent to feel with the tip of the rivet tool for alignment.

    The Proxxon table is infinitely more accurate than the GW one and the handles much easier to use, so despite now being a two step process and probably taking twice as long it's ¼ the stress level and these days I find the stress factor to be much more important to manage than the time aspect.
     
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  8. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    I have built one loco, a tender and a boiler, and have two more of Warren’s loco kits to build.

    I didn’t mean to buy the second one, but there was this large prairie on the B&B at Telford for 75 quid, well, what would you have done...?

    My 52xx was a good learning experience, and Warren was kind enough to teach me a bit more (having already taught me to fire on the Ladies on the Ffestiniog when I wer nobbut a lad) so I made a hopefully decent job of it. It certainly helped my later builds.

    Judge for yourselves... New Page 1. (Sorry, the link doesn’t, click on 42/52xx)

    It was some 15 years ago, and I’d perhaps try to do a bit more detail now (though my eyesight was better then!) there’s a bit more somewhere in my PD thread on the other forum. I enjoyed building the kit, though the riveting was a trial, there’s a lot of it! I guess the Prairie will be the same, some of us don’t learn! I fitted it with a Crailcrest, Slaters wheels and an ESU decoder, and it’ll pull many many more wagons than I have any hope of accommodating on any future layout. I’m quite fond of it...

    I’d have no hesitation in recommending the kits.

    Enjoy!
    Simon
     
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  9. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    ps, Peter’s 45 is glorious.

    Best
    Simon
     
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  10. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Thanks Simon.
    Your 52xx look a very nice. Like you, I would recommend Warren's kits, but a paper overlay for the rivets??????

    Mick,
    I like your style. "Plan B is to basically throw more technology at the problem".

    WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY, WE CAN (rebuild him) BUILD IT.
    Mick D, the six million dollar builder. :))

    Joking aside, I see what you mean about the shortcomings of the GW press, but I'm sure it would have produced better results for me, on the main tank areas. I wish I'd had the kit to do it your way though and it will be good to see how it turns out.

    I got the rivet press half way through my A3 build and found it much better to punch out half etch rivets than by my previous method of using an auto centre punch, but that was after I'd done the bunker where most of the rivets are. Still it will be good to have it for the A4 bunker when I get started on that.
    Cheers ,
    Peter
     
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  11. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Peter, the GW rivet press isn't that bad, like any tool it has it's limits, but for 95% of the time it'll be well worth the investment.

    Slow but steady today, I had hoped to have the tank folded and fitted, but the steps too far longer than they should of and I've got to scratch build a couple as the kit ones are no where near the right size.

    I also had to cut a couple of slots in the outer frames to allow the buffers to fit and the heads removable, I'll make a small cover for that area later.

    Axle box straps required small lengths of 1 mm rod soldered in and trimmed, not hard, just slows it down a little.

    Most of the work so far has had to use a blow torch, the metal is so thick it just saps the heat from the big ESRA unless you have it up to max at 400°C and then the tip gets dirty very quickly, so you end up turning it up and down between uses.

    I've not used a blow torch very much before, but needs must and it takes a while to get the hang of it.

    IMG_9806.jpg

    IMG_9807.jpg

    IMG_9808.jpg

    IMG_9809.jpg

    It's been washed and solder cleaned/smoothed, but not taken back to metal in any areas not seen when it's on the track.

    I sent an email to Warren Shepard yesterday, he confirms there's no backhead or cab fittings for this kit, it's one of the very early ones so is more of an aid to scratch building than the others. He also noted an issue with the cab sides and cylinder wrappers, both of which I'll need to add from scratch. I haven't explored the issues, but noted it as a heads up for when I do get there.
     
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  12. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Moving on, a few hours here and there in between W1 work.

    The sides are two pieces and require the folds in the corners and a butt joint in the middle, harder to achieve than write....for me anyway, but I'm happy so far; it might be a bit different when some paint gets on it, primers really show up any irregularities.

    I may give the rear face a quick blast in Halfords primer, just so I can make sure it's all smooth, it'll all be rubbed off later anyway and I'd hate to add the steps and lamp irons and then try and smooth the tank skin around them later.

    I don't like forming tank corners or flares it never seems to go well and despite trying to anneal these sides....that didn't fair well....it was still a little tricky, especially if one corner is out of line by 1 mm which required easing and then moving. The problem there is that the part already bent seems to have hardened during the bend and when easing open it never opens on the bend but on each side, so you end up with two inverse bends each side of the original one. It's bleedin frustrating is all I can say, but I got there in the end.

    IMG_9812.jpg

    IMG_9813.jpg

    Now the elephant in the room, all the internal parts are too small, not just a wisp of a cusp but quite a lot. So all that you see above, and it's only two parts, are cut from new sheet using the old parts as patterns. I'm hoping the coal space curved sides radius can be eased a bit to take up the gap, failing that a new coal floor will be needed as well.

    IMG_9817.jpg

    The gap is nigh on 1.7 mm, the above also shows the generous slots for the tabs in the frame sides and half etched slot for the tank sides, too big to fill with solder so a new thin plate will have to go on here to cover them up.

    More in due course.

    MD
     
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  13. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Mick,

    You’ve done it, and it looks fine. Warren told me how he approaches it, and I’ve done it his way ever since;

    Mark where the bend is going to be, and choose a suitable drill/rod of the right diameter.
    Align it with the middle of the marked bend, and bend maybe 15 degrees, making sure the former is vertical of course.
    Trial fit the parts to the deck or whatever fits inside the bend.
    Realign the former in the groove of the partially bent part
    Work out whether you bend more on the right or left of the former
    Bend another 15 degrees or so
    Repeat until bend complete and hopefully in right place.

    This gives you six or so goes to get the bend in the right place, and I’ve found it an invaluable approach.

    HTH
    Simon
     
  14. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Simon,

    Thank you, I did something similar, but either my initial mark was off or it wasn't centred, I think my school boy error is marking on the inside which is then obscured by the former/drill/rod as I find it easier to bend the sides toward me.

    What I should do is mark the outside and then bend the sides away.

    The first one went fine, but the second drifted and I knew which side needed to be bent more to correct, but try as I might the other side would bend more easily.
    I suspect my annealing wasn't very good or uniform, in fact I suspect my annealing wasn't annealed at all; despite looking very hot and warping the side due to uneven stresses building up. It's all come back good and straight now but was a faff that slowed things down.

    Normally I never anneal, preferring to bend untreated material, or when designing, add half etch relief lines inside (although they can be a pain to fill later). To be fair I also generally work in thinner material, bending 0.4 mm sheet around the tight corner radius is never going to be the easiest of bends.

    I'm going to be doing quite a bit of this in the future, so I need to get a grip and work out a better process/methodology that'll chase these demons away, especially if I want to get uniform and consistent bends.

    MD
     
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  15. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    Hi Mick,

    I don’t normally anneal, and I think I made the initial bends away from myself - so perhaps that’s the root of it. Fairly sure I marked the outside.

    I guess it doesn’t matter whether you do “towards” or “away” once you have the initial bend in place. Reflecting on it, it must be easier to hold the former and one tail to the bench, and lift the other tail. Even doing it “freehand”, you’d tend to press the former into the bend with your thumbs, which suggests bending “towards”.

    I shall reflect on this - I have a tender and a set of prairie tanks to bend at some point.

    I terms of “doing loads of them” I guess a bit of 1/4” plate with the appropriate radius milled or filed on one edge would be ideal. Even more so if you could clamp the flat etch to it in the right place, and then just bend.

    Warren’s use of substantial brass for his etchings is a two edge sword!

    Best
    Simon
     
    Last edited: 14 September 2018
  16. Genghis

    Genghis Western Thunderer

    Annealing can be a tricky business (unless you have a metallurgical furnace that can heat uniformly to high temperatures) and on rolled brass sheets will inevitably result in the metal changing shape as it stress relieves. It's probably just me but I usually find that when etching a belpaire firebox prior to bending the result is that the sheet has bent in the wrong direction. Just part of the 'landing butter side down' principle I suppose. The metal really needs to be glowing red (or even orange) to be fully annealed and I find that a cook's gas torch is OK to do this over the small area of for example a running plate. For larger areas it can be useful to pop the part into the oven with the Sunday roast for a while. It won't do the annealing but the heat in the whole will reduce the thermal gradient between the bit you are annealing and the rest of the sheet provided that you are quick.
     
  17. simond

    simond Western Thunderer

    If doing the annealing in the kitchen, don’t drop the glowing chunk of 3mm thick brass on the Lino.

    Don’t ask me...

    Best
    Simon
     
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  18. John57sharp

    John57sharp Member

    Having done a bit of 16mm building, I use a plumber’s blow torch and a couple of hearth bricks outside, or in the garage if it’s wet. This allows the whole piece to be warmed through evenly, more quickly than the oven, and gets the real heat in where it’s needed. It uses a yellow gas bottle, the name of the gas escapes me, and a simple screw on head, and while it’s a bit dearer than butane, the gas lasts ages at my usage rate, and saves the Lino in the kitchen.

    The one downside is that I one attempted to silver solder a couple of small brass components for a 16mm loco, couldn’t get the pieces hot enough to get the solder to run and one of the parts started to melt. It was only later that I realised that the solder rod wasn’t solder, it was stainless rod or similar... lessons about labelling learnt!

    Cheers
    John
     
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  19. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    Guys, thanks for the tips on annealing, I will need to resolve it one way or another.

    Moving on it's time for the tender innards to be built up, unfortunately being as the kit parts are too narrow everything has to be scratch built.....using the kit parts as templates but modified to fit the new spacings.

    I thought I could get away with the bulkheads and coal space floor and use the sides, no chance, out came the bending ogre and it sat and scowled at me as I tried to bend the sides. How the *%$*"* can it be so hard to bend a simple side, it's never this hard with my normal choice of material.

    At the conclusion of that thought the light shone bright, stuff the kit, bin the lot and simply transfer it all to new thinner material, I had to make new anyway for most of the parts so it wasn't much more work. I spent nearly an hour trying to bend one side, 20 minutes later I had two new sides, bent, fitted and all soldered up.

    Sometimes the hardest thing is to make that jump from struggling with what you have to a totally new idea and process.

    Overall progess
    IMG_9821.jpg

    IMG_9822.jpg

    Up front we have a few issues around the footplate area, the kit would have you add the platform at the same height as the coal space floor, which incidentally is too low when compared to the GA, mind, the GA does show the opening in the front bulkhead to match the kit. There must be some other form of blanking plate down there or else all the coal will scoot out under the floor.

    The kit tool boxes only extend from above the front platform, the real tool boxes appear to extend right down to the floor, this is important as at the foot is a hole for the handrail to fix into, you can't to that with the original parts as there's no metal down there. In fairness I think the JLTRT also suffers with no tool boxes below the floor. So new tool boxes formed up and fitted.

    IMG_9823.jpg

    New tool boxes fitted, lids and doors tomorrow; I'm also going to add a dummy transverse plate across in front of the fixing screw to hide it.

    The new tool boxes do also hide the large half etch slots for the tank sides and frame tabs, though part of the slot on the left hasn't quite filled with enough solder as yet.

    The coal space comes out as one lump at the moment, it'll be all soldered up at the end as there are a few more bits to add that will be easier outside of the model than inside.

    IMG_9824.jpg

    IMG_9825.jpg

    MD
     
    Last edited: 16 September 2018
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  20. P A D

    P A D Western Thunderer

    Superb Mick!
    At this rate half the etched parts will still be in the box at the end of the build. The castings are much higher quality, so at least you won't need to replace or scratch build any of those.

    Like you, I'm not keen on annealing apart from pipe work, but your travails have brought some interesting responses to consider for the future.
    Cheers,
    Peter
     
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