A first kit-build: 3500 Gallon Churchward Tender - 4mm Scale.

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by jonte, 28 May 2020.

  1. JimG

    JimG Western Thunderer


    I should have added that you should check that you choose a tin/lead (SN/PB) or lead free (SN only) paste to match whatever solder you are using already. Things can get a bit messy if you start mixing the two types. Most people seem to stick with the "traditional" tin/lead (SN/PB) combination.

    Also watch out for some of the entries on Ebay, where they are actually selling flux only, but the wording can read as though it is actually solder paste.

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  2. Steph Dale

    Steph Dale Western Thunderer

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  3. John57sharp

    John57sharp Western Thunderer

    Jonte I don’t pick them up with the bit, I use sticky paste flux to hold them where they need to be, and a sticky cocktail stick to position them. The heat does the rest.

    best of luck

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  4. AJC

    AJC Western Thunderer

    And floating them in place with liquid flux works as well - I just trim bits of solder wire to achieve the same effect, but usually only when soldering whitemetal castings to etched components.

    Keep on going, you'll get there.

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  5. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    @JimG , @John57sharp an @AJC :

    Thanks, Guys.

    And thank you all for your desperately needed interest and encouragement:)

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  6. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    I left yesterday, with some hair brain idea of how to lose the gap twixt wrapper and footplate, having mocked up a section of the tender side. In a nutshell, I was going to drill a series of holes along the footplate edge and then introduce solder flow beneath. This, I considered, would prevent flooding the area whilst providing just sufficient for a neat little bead around the base.

    But then I came to and had a word with myself.

    You see, fellow Westerners, I couldn’t help noticing from photographs of many properly built tender kits, that provided all was flat, the ‘gap’ was non-existent. A test of wrapper on small mocked up section consolidated this approach.

    But try as I might with the existing footplate, I just couldn’t seem to get a happy medium: pull down offending side, rear would pop up; pull rear back flat on plate, the front part of offending side rode up ( unbelievably, there seemed to be a bend that had developed from a third of the way along in the direction of the from of the wrapper :eek: - must have been the pulling and pushing whilst under the heat of the Proxxon that caused a stretch(?) of the metal.

    To be honest, the thought of replacing the footplate with my own scratch built version returned, and the notion rather appealed (I rather enjoyed making the mock up and the thought of knocking up my own version seemed a’nice’ distraction from messing with this - what is turning out to be - frustrating kit build). However, with kind comments and well intended words of encouragement from many Westerners fresh in my mind, I thought I would persevere a little longer and try and make it work.

    With much filing, straightening and tweaking of soft brass shapes, I eventually reached a point where I could strike a happy medium; or at least a juncture where I doubted even the fabrication of a new footplate could improve matters any further.

    So at last a start could begin on attaching the wrapper to footplate once and for all.

    Prior to this, however (why can I never just press ahead with a task without recourse to one or two other essential issues which need addressing first :(), I still needed to fix down the top overlay along sections of its edges and re-fix that 10 BA nut to the inside of the footplate that has come adrift during last week’s meltdown. And what a pig of a job that was too. But it had to be done now as once the wrapper was on, there would be NO way of getting the iron in (more of that later). Eventually succeeded, including re-tapping the thread which had become clogged with solder.

    Anyway, the job could start so here are some piccies:

    609A07DF-6BDC-4A52-A8CE-8E207CAFD8DC.jpeg 70538207-E0E0-4A64-9AC8-07CAB08DE93A.jpeg

    I started with the ‘offending’ side first ( the one which didn’t sit flat originally and was the cause of the necessitated melt-down) with my new found peg friends (I’m sure with these in our armoury, we will successfully place a man on Mars).

    Now I adopted the approach which I should have done in the first place. Working from the inside - instead of the outside - tacking around the join of wrapper and frame of former:


    I continued in this manner until all three sides of wrapper were fixed, then I went round and joined up all the dots. I’m too ashamed to show you the results of the soldering......

    Anyway, here are the results:

    4E117723-5BB0-4007-B03D-D36E602F47EB.jpeg 22950199-AAB3-4344-A512-26A60ABE2091.jpeg F38D2E3B-F40C-48AB-905E-2CED2C9C02FD.jpeg 2BF7CC3F-D303-4973-B1C5-3A6634C912CA.jpeg 72AE6E0B-1B69-495A-BA71-941C625D6D09.jpeg

    With the delicate flares showing the scars of all this to-ing and fro-ing, it’s safe to say that this is nowhere near perfect, but it’s the best I can muster in the circumstances.

    Now I’m satisfied that I cannot improve on this, I can thankfully - at long last move on.

    Oh hang on, this is me and nothing is ever that straightforward as Im sure those of you who’ve kindly followed will have come to learn: during the course of tacking the rear end, the 10BA nut moved out of position.......:(

    I think the only way I can address this now, is to drill a hole through the top overlay to hold the nut in position while I ‘sweat’ it on from underneath.

    C’est la vie.

  7. Phil O

    Phil O Western Thunderer

    Well done! I'm sure that with a little very gentle persuasion you can sort the flare, if you place it flare side down on a nice flat surface and a but of pressing with the lolly stick in the areas where there's a gap you can get it down flat. Don't try to do it all in one go.
  8. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Thank you, Phil.

    I’ll give it a go when I’ve got some of the other remedial work out of the way first, lest it fall victim to my ham fistedness once again :thumbs:


  9. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    In danger of sounding like a broken record, fellow Westerners, I really couldn’t settle for that ‘gap’ between the footplate and the sides - despite looking hundred times better than it was IMHO - so it was you know what or bust.

    Deep down - as my friends here have already advised - solder is the solution. But how to stop the flood?

    In an effort to control the flow, I resorted to this:


    With absolutely no idea if any of this was going to make the slightest bit of difference, and not wanting to make an even bigger head ache for myself just yet, out came the mock-up:

    714334E6-9ECE-4A05-AC56-A90C00190599.jpeg 01A8A7E3-459D-4E34-A114-6D2061B2A3F0.jpeg 57E1A52C-1B06-4D3A-BB56-6BFE98163489.jpeg 9C51DFB8-319E-4CAA-98F7-7EEAEB28FE91.jpeg 0BA7390C-433B-4C8B-A702-906FF4F2B8FD.jpeg 0305283D-CDCF-4B63-B7C3-E36ED6BE16BA.jpeg

    Liking the look of it, I returned to the verge of lunacy once more, and cut slivers of solder ranging from fractions of a millimetre in thickness, to a millimetre- and some I chopped in half or even less to provide an even greater range (which went to prove just how clueless I was about this whole idea):


    So time to apply it to the model.

    Where the gaps were wider, I placed the larger pieces of solder; where narrower, the smaller pieces (try stating the obvious Jonte), wetting the area with flux first before lifting them to workpiece via the tweezers, finally shoving them into position with my now bent triangular miniature file (’nother disaster) every four or five millimetres or so along each length.

    It started it off quite neatly, but impatience getting the better of me before the next shower hit, lead to a little more than desired in places:

    973A61C6-3FD8-4393-94BC-ADB3A741391A.jpeg 0AFABADE-8369-45BB-A67D-660857715C8D.jpeg 6ECBDF77-B857-435E-B785-FAC7564852A8.jpeg 4C22F9A5-2344-4FFC-95C9-FD10DD581855.jpeg BE35EDD0-8EE5-43FC-849C-054A0B01C6A9.jpeg B5D4D250-DD5E-4FB8-B0AF-6B6CDB2F6643.jpeg

    But you see, Westerners, none of this particularly concerned me as I now had not only one but two coils of wick to rid me of all this crud, as the slow boat from the East had finally docked.

    That is until ai actually went to use it :rant:

    Solder doesn’t stick to ‘it’, as I found; ‘it’ sticks to the solder..... Luckily, I discovered this anomaly during a trial on my mocked-up friend rather than my pride n joy. The good thing about using this, amongst many others, is that I can leave the strands or fibres that got stuck to it in situ. ‘‘Tis the work of the devil himself, I tells ye.

    Don’t mind telling you, fellow Westerners, that I was beginning to grow tired of this project - really tired - so bearing in mind wot that Tommy Wright fella says about using a scratch brush to remove the ol’ metal glue, I set about rubbing, then blowing off the residue, then rubbing and blowing off a little more and so on until I ended up with this:

    (Which, if you don’t mind, Westerners, I’ll show in my next post as I’ve just about reached th quota for photos).

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  10. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    The results:

    F9C6B7DF-97B5-475C-B9C6-80B985010B0C.jpeg B3312FFE-503F-430D-981E-156E1DFAF0F3.jpeg DA9E9B6B-A4BB-488D-B649-AC96096CC9AD.jpeg 8D86AEB0-3ECA-40C0-A23B-ACC95417FC56.jpeg

    Not top drawer by any means, but at least the gap has gone and it looks a little more prototypical.

    I promise no more harping on about this aspect of the build, fellow Westerners; I can now get on with putting all the other stuff right before continuing the build.

    Thank you for your patience.

  11. Phil O

    Phil O Western Thunderer

    Glad to see some progress, it's not all steps backwards.
    jonte likes this.
  12. mickoo

    mickoo Western Thunderer

    If the solder wick is sticking to the work then you dont have enough heat I'm afraid, it also pays to add some flux to help the solder flow into the wick.
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  13. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Hi Mick

    I tried using flux but it made little difference.

    I now know why. A bigger iron as recommended by @Overseer

    Many thanks

  14. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    And the sides/end cleaned up:

    9E4364F9-2BF4-4ED8-BADA-5DDCCBB767A7.jpeg C258FD42-962C-4C5C-BA92-5F6DB93A7585.jpeg BAB21ED1-4771-4224-B5F6-E3ED4DE0B398.jpeg

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  15. oldravendale

    oldravendale Western Thunderer

    Hi again, Jonte.

    In fairness I have to say that I spend a long time cleaning stuff up. Because I don't want to spend the final time before painting scraping away at errant bits of solder I do it as I go. If you can solder from the inside, but you've already learnt that the hard way! If you are Mickoo or Dikitriki you use something magic which leaves no evidence :)) but for us mortals cleaning up excess solder is inevitable. Different people, different solutions as you've seen but lots of flux and tiny bits of solder works for me. As does large soldering iron bits, high temperature and a high wattage iron.

    None of us suddenly decided that we'd produce wonderful models from our kits. It's something to work at and learn what works for you.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It helps us to remember where we all came from and to offer whatever advice we can although I fear that there will be as many solutions as there are opportunities (some people call these problems). Persistence is your friend. If you don't give up on it there's years of huge enjoyment ahead.

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  16. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Warm words indeed, Brian.

    They are not wasted :)

    Thank you.

  17. michl080

    michl080 Western Thunderer

    Jonte : soldering



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  18. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

  19. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Not a lot to report really, fellow Westerners, since my last; well, not in terms of construction I’m afraid.

    It’s been teeming here for days and the high winds to which I awoke have conspired to bring things to a sudden halt. Unfortunately, I cant work indoors as the solder fumes lead to sore throats and headaches, so have reluctantly downed tools until Summer returns.

    Not had a lot of luck on other fronts either.

    Royal Mail has managed to mislay the parts I sent for exchange with the manufacturer, so now I’m left to purchase replacements. Whilst I’m grateful to the manufacturer for offering to sell them to me, having to constantly keep purchasing, or at least what seems that way with buying new equipment - or should I say the right tools for the job: a more powerful iron, flux and sundry on order and in carriage - just to complete the kit, is beginning to wear. Factor in the mishaps - although expected - with the build, especially those that cannot be ironed out and detract from the overall ‘look’ of the model (the damaged flares that I constantly find myself readjusting after falling victim yet again to fabrications elsewhere, spring to mind and those tank tops) and I fear the odds are steadily being stacked against it reaching completion.

    And after the latest cock-up on the little bit of build I did manage since my last post, well I’m a midges you-know-what from drop-kicking this poor excuse of a tobacco tin over the rose arch.

    Following the instructions:


    I had left the next drama in the build till last (forming the curved ends in the flare).

    Fearing I had now reached this further rite of passage, I had intentions of building yet another jig to secure the other ‘wrapper’ on which I intended to practise this low-melt-solder-on-previously-tinned- fine-brass-fingered-thingies, although what form this hypothetical jig was to take was moot point.

    But then it crossed my mind that it had been days since I’d last looked at the instructions, and that moving on doing a spot of work on the front end might prove the point of a change being as good as a rest. I was wrong again.

    In point of fact, the instructions recommended that I, first, added the side coal plates, but no way did I want those flailing around as well as the flares whilst I was working elsewhere, as they would be only something else to fall victim to my ham fistedness. So I moved on. To the bit about fitting the front quadrant plates and side casings/tops. The fact it mentioned ‘front’ was good enough for me. I’d had enuff of everywhere else.

    The casings were removed from the fret, cleaned up and dimples turned into rivets, this time aided by pair of blunted compasses (thank you @AJC ) which I should have done the first time instead of using that darned screw. Utter laziness on my part:


    Then I placed it on the construct where I ‘thought’ it might go (I’m afraid the hand drawn diagrams accompanying the instructions weren’t too helpful in this respect for little ol’ me whose not really a proper modeller or railway buff):


    Wrong! But I discovered this far too late.

    In hindsight, the clue was in the instructions which bandied the front plates, casings and tops together, as it was only after I’d soldered it up and then placed the appropriate casing top on the ‘top’ that I realised my mistake. In fact, my grave error.
    As you and the rest of the English speaking world already know, it should have been soldered hard home against the front quad plate on that side. Hence yet more remedial work in the form of a sliver of spare fret being rubbed to size and soldered in to take up the gap (it had to be filed to the correct width and then cut to length/height in situ as there was no way of holding a piece of the right height while being soldered which I realised eventually). Then, and only then, could I solder on the top which you can see in the final pictures. It still needs an extension to the top forming and fitting.

    The r/h/s quad plate is also in situ, but had to have the tabs filed off as I’d gone and clogged up the slots with solder and no way did I fancy unclogging them like those of the tender sides and valences ( although @mickoo ’s tip about filing down the tabs for the l/h/s plate worked a treat ;))

    So here’s where I’m up to (please excuse the poor quality taken in the evening’s half light as I’d only just cleared up):

    48D0CF7D-320E-44D3-8B31-6FE6B5AA1A73.jpeg F612A90E-51D9-4A2D-B39A-602170F6813D.jpeg

    Bl**dy awful.

    Ah well, I tried.

    Gonna put this away until the weather clears (weekend?) and see how the mood takes me. Mindful, however, of this current modelling window getting shorter.

    Cheers for now.


    P.S. Managed to reinstate those steps at the front without having to make new ones, but annoyingly, in the process the footplate has bent with it. It seems that if you breathe too hard in that thin brass footplate it curls up. Jonte
    Last edited: 29 June 2020
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  20. jonte

    jonte Western Thunderer

    Just a line or two, fellow Westerners, by way of an update.

    Thankfully the previously considered ‘lost-in-post’ items eventually arrived and I’m now in possession of the exchanged tool boxes and springs. Further good news will see me in possession of a set of wheels in the not too distant as my ‘in progress’ has been updated to ‘in post’.

    On another front, the recent spate of high winds and torrential rain appears to have abated, so this afternoon saw me outside once more with soldering iron in hand.

    With the hiatus in proceedings, I’d managed to mislay a tiny part that forms the lid of one of the side cases, but it was no big deal to form another from spare fret and to try and do the same with the opposite case which still needed a very small addition due to me clocking up the position of the case itself in relation to the quadrant plate. I’d just finished tinning everything and was in the process of picking it up with tweezers when undue pressure on one side from a cocktail stick aid, sent it pinging off into the garden tiddly-wink style.

    It was at this point, fellow brethren, that I realised that I’d lost momentum with the build.

    The thought of removing and cleaning up all the parts for the platey whatnot - after first doing a bit of homework to decide which parts were appropriate for this part of the build - and then return to the next dilemma (the corner flare) before I could address the chassis, well....the will to get stuck in had gone AWOL. Perhaps if I’d made a neater job of the model to date, I’d have felt a little more enthusiastic. I know if I were to do it again I would, but with hindsight I’d have done things slightly differently and in a different order so that some soldering could be done from behind to achieve a neater finish before other parts got in the way. I would also have been a little less bashful with parts of the construction, but these brass parts really are quite fine and susceptible to damage as I’ve found to my cost.

    I supppose this post is more of an addendum - for the time being - than an update as I’ve decided to put it to bed until I can eventually muster the required enthusiasm to bring it to some form of conclusion, which I guess one or two of you will not be too surprised to learn.

    So for now, I’d like to express my thanks to those of our members who were kind to enough to offer support either by way of encouragement, expression of interest or sharing their very valuable experience in the art of brass kit building. All three in some cases. So thank you all.

    I think the best way to express my gratitude is to write that rather than putting me off kit-building for good, it has in fact whetted my appetite and I really do look forward to the next etched venture, except that I’d like to perhaps try something in a larger scale next to test whether larger parts equate to less frustration. I’m sure there are many of you who could enlighten me on this score.

    In the meantime, I’m going to try a different area of our wonderful hobby to see if I can reinvigorate my mojo.

    All the very best.

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