Ian_C's workbench - P4 and S7 allsorts

Discussion in 'Workbenches, including workshop techniques.' started by Ian_C, 21 May 2017.

  1. michl080

    michl080 Western Thunderer

    These bottles are also available as "Schott-bottles", but the czech Simax brand is cheaper. I use these bottles for solvents. So far these are the only containers that are absolutely gas-tight. I don't want to smell solvents if I am not using them.

  2. Threadmark: Weathering the driving wheels

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Martin Welch's advice in his Wild Swan book - 'paint what you see, not what you think you see'. I found some decent colour photos of dirty 8Fs, zoomed in on the wheels and printed them on A4. On thing's apparent from studying photos of late BR steam locos, if they're not cleaned for any period the driving wheels accumulate an unholy mixture of road dirt, brake dust and splashed oil. There's a definite thickness and texture to it, and usually a radial streaking pattern. This time I did mix some talc into the paint per MW.

    Driving wheels weather 1.jpg
    All looking plain and black, but you can see what'a coming next...

    Driving wheels weather 2.jpg
    The radial streaking has to be truly radial if it's not to give the game away. To help with that I knocked together a little painting aid. There's a hole in the base for the axle, and the painting guide is screwed down tight enough to stay where it's put. The guide can be adjusted to offset the thickness of the paint brush handle so the brush tip follows a radial path from the axle's centre.

    Driving wheel weather 3.jpg
    There's a bit of hand and eye involved too, but it's easy enough. Picture, 1,000 words etc...

    Driving wheel weather 4.jpg
    The paint is the standard MW weathering mix of Humbrol enamels with some talc sprinkled on and worked in. The radial pattern is put in with the tip of a brush before the mixture gets too stiff. Just rotate the wheel a little, place the tip of the brush at the axle centre and follow the guide out past the rim. Looks quite dramatic here in close up, but the texture 'sits down' a bit once the solvent has evaporated. Some restraint needed, it would be easy to overdo it. Once they're all done they get baked in the paint drying box for a couple of hours.

    Weathered driving wheel 1.jpg
    Using the airbrush there's a dusting of orangey brown road and brake dust around the rim and part way up the spokes. The tyres and rims get a very faint mist of matt orange to represent the iron brake dust that accumulates more heavily there. To get the slightly oily look I dry brushed around with AK Interactive Aircraft Engine Oil. Well, you can't actually dry brush with this stuff, but if you drag a moistened brush over the wheel it leaves shiny highlights on the edges and the texture. A bit more engine oil was applied around the crankpin, on the two short spokes and on the adjacent rim - seeping connecting rod oil.
  3. Mike Garwood

    Mike Garwood Western Thunderer

    Quite superb. A very authentic finish to the wheels.

  4. SimonT

    SimonT Western Thunderer

    thank you for the chuckle! You make a very artistic observation and then build a jig to paint it! Looks superb.
    adrian and AJC like this.
  5. Threadmark: Random pics from the finishing process

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Back to work on Monday. Need to press on, there's still plenty to do...

    Those two again, checking out the office.
    Cab and crew 1.jpg

    weathered wheels 1.jpg
    Need a slight touch of black on the rims adjacent to the crankpins where the oil seems to darken the crud.
    P A D, Giles, spikey faz and 20 others like this.
  6. Threadmark: Missing bits & last minute additions

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Funny, isn't it? How you can spend ages looking at things and think you're thoroughly familiar with them. Then you look again and notice things that had previously escaped your attention. And so it is that I've had to make and fit some parts halfway through painting.

    On the tender I missed the funny little spring keep bracket thingys. I knew they existed, but somehow missed them when I was doing the spring and axle box 3D printed parts. They were made up from brass strip and fixed to the painted tender chassis with the adhesive of last resort, medium viscosity cyano. Of course the adhesive is only as good as the paint beneath it now. Here's hoping.
    tender spring keeps.jpg

    The other thing I'd noted way back, then neglected, was the boiler feed pipework beneath the running plate. On the pipe drawing it's shown tucked neatly out of the way up behind the valence. Seems to have drifted a bit lower on most locos later in their life, to the extent that you can see some of it peeping out from beneath the valence. Also when looking back towards the cab it does show up inside the curve of the cab front. Just to add faff to the job there are pipe clips along the length that need to be represented. Again, it's too late to solder to the running plate now, so some small pads were added to get the height right, and they will be epoxied to the running plate. Have to be careful to clear various bits & bobs on the chassis. Then I'll mask off and spray the new parts. It'll be mostly lost in the murk and crud, but it's there. Photo makes it clear...
    last minute pipework.jpg

    Weathering's part way done. A coat of basic grot has been applied to loco and tender body, and cleaned back in some places, like cab side numbers and patches where the crew have rubbed up against it. Some streaking has been added with cotton bud and enamel thinners on boiler and tender sides. There's still plenty to do, and it looks a bit half baked right now, so no photos today. One thing worth noting about the Martyn Welch weathering formula that uses Humbrol Metalcote, it doesn't play nicely with small airbrush nozzles. The Metalcote particles will eventually clog a 0.3mm nozzle. Then, just like ketchup from a bottle, none'll come, and then a lot'll. So it has to be done with a 0.5mm nozzle brush, and it's not so easy to move in close and apply fine detail with that.

    For those of you into 8Fs, it's worth mentioning the next Irwell 8F volume is published - 'The Book of the Stanier 8F 2-8-0s - Part Three: From Crewe to Swindon via Horwich 48301 - 48439'. My copy from Rail Books, who I recommend because they're a pleasant bunch, and also because of the effort they make to pack the books for posting to avoid damage. Must be another 2 or 3 parts of this epic yet to come. Need more book shelves!
    Brocp, P A D, BrushType4 and 11 others like this.
  7. King Crab

    King Crab Member

    200407.BOLTON.1.1 copy.jpg
    Here's some crud on a Bolton 8F in 1967
    Brocp, 7mmMick, Len Cattley and 8 others like this.
  8. Ian_C

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Looks like a black five to me! But, yes, crud. There will be crud. Just haven't got to weathering the motion yet.
  9. Threadmark: Part way through the painting and weathering process

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    I'm about halfway through the weathering process now. Part paint weather LH 1.jpg There's still a lot to do, and it's still looking a bit goofy. The gross streaking will get toned down and blended in shortly. The tender chassis still doesn't have the foundation layer of undercarriage grot. The motion needs completing and weathering. Handrails to go on. Cab doors. It's a mixture of airbrush, enamels and oils. There are some things you can't do with an airbrush, and some things you can't do without an airbrush.

    The tender's coaled now. An unfortunate lump of real coal was found in the solid fuel for the stove, kidnapped and smashed to bits with a hammer. Sorted and sieved and glued on. Small stuff , a lot of dust and few larger lumps. The coal didn't look like coal though, all lovely and shiny. It was given a dusting of Metalcote Gunmetal to dull it down. The edges on a few of the larger lumps were polished up a little to create highlights.

    This'll be about the point where I drop it on the floor, or spill thinners on it. Can't believe I've not done that yet. It'll all come together in the end...hopefully.
    Brocp, P A D, spikey faz and 13 others like this.
  10. King Crab

    King Crab Member

    OK, but this one definitely is an 8F at Bolton.
    Not sure it helps with the weathering info, because we had been cleaning it.....

    Peter 200402.BOLTON.1.1.jpg
  11. Threadmark: More weathering

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Leaving the handrails off to weather the smokebox, boiler and firebox makes life a lot easier. The streaks and dribbles run down without being interrupted. They eventually have to be fitted though. They were made from 0.9mm brass wire earlier in the build and put to one side (=sort of lost in the clutter at the back of the bench). It's not so difficult as you'd think. The end of the wire was gripped in a pin chuck and the handrail gently pushed through the knobs while twisting the wire. It even works with the kink at the front of the firebox. You do need to be sure the handrail knobs are properly soldered in place. One coming loose at this stage would be...vexing.
    handrails fitted.jpg

    The tiny collars for the ends of the handrails were turned from brass and fixed in place with the tiniest drop of low visosity cyano.
    handrail ends.jpg

    Of course the handrails need to be painted now to match the rest of the loco. They were brush painted with etch primer, then with the body masked, they were sprayed the tired black body colour.
    mask for handrail.jpg

    Weathering on the bench is done with a right odd mixture of oils (Abteilung 502), weathering powders and various AK effects fluids. The weathering powders are some Carr's powders from ages ago. They're still useful, but these days I prefer to make my own from oil pastels. I have a few earthy and rusty colour pastels ( Talens Rembrandt soft pastels) that can be powdered by scraping a little off with a scalpel. They seem to stick better to the painted surfaces than the Carr's. I find that weathering powder beats the airbrush for some things. Handy hint - if you want to fix powders or granular material like coal dust or ash to the loco as part of the weathering process the best thing I've found is MIG Ammo Pigment Fixer. It's very low viscosity, and surface tension fixative that you can apply without disturbing the weathering material. It dries clear and it leaves virtually no trace. It's probably a good fixer for ballast and ground cover as well. The other weathering goop worth having is AK Interactive Wet Effects Fluid. It's kind of like a gloss varnish, but much less viscous. It dries with a very thin film thickness so doesn't stand out or cover the texture of the underlying surface, and it can be built up to various levels of wetness. Useful for water and oil leaks, and mixed with black weathering powder it makes an effective oily crud.
    weathering in progress.jpg

    The weathering of the motion caused some soul searching. I had read Martyn Welch's approach and thought I'd do likewise...until I came to look more closely at colour photos of grubby 8Fs. Mostly the motion was caked with a layer of oil and road dirt. Usually quite dark and a little shiny. It was sprayed all over matt grubby black and grime, and then treated with a thin layer of wet effects fluid and black/brown weathering powder. The annoyance is that you have to keep moving the motion to get to everything. The end of the motor shaft was gripped in a pin chuck to make it easy to rotate the motion back and forth.
    weathering motion 1.jpg

    You can see the slightly textured, oily surfaces catching the light in this photo. A few streaks and highlights and cleaning off the appropriate parts of piston rod and slidebar will finish the job.
    weathering motion 2.jpg

    While my attention was focussed on all this, things had been happening outside...
    snow 1.jpg
    From slightly frosty morning to white out in less time than it takes to filth up a set of 8 coupled motion!
    Brocp, P A D, spikey faz and 15 others like this.
  12. Ian_C

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Hmmm. Not sure about that one. Looks suspiciously clean to me. Last repaired Crewe May '65. Did time at Leicester and Annesley before ending up at Bolton shed at the end of '66. Must have taken a lot of cleaning to get it to that condition! Remained at Bolton until withdrawal in May '68.
  13. Robin

    Robin New Member

    Hi Ian
    What a great job you are making of this build - I have been following your thread with interest and it has helped me enormously with my Stanier Black 5 which has enjoyed (if that’s the right word) an even longer gestation period than your 8f...

    It has been fascinating to see how you have tackled some of the detail upgrades to what is obviously a very good kit to begin with - but the refinements that you have added, together with the under frame “gubbins” really do transform the engine into the realms of excellence.

    Anyway, thanks for an enjoyable and informative thread.

  14. Phil O

    Phil O Western Thunderer

    Hi Ian,

    Some very nice weathering, but I have a query, I would have thought that the piston rods would have been oily shiny due to them passing through the glands, which needed to be reasonably steam tight, but if you have evidence that they were filthy, then I am more than happy to be corrected.
  15. paulc

    paulc Western Thunderer

    Hi Phil , you didn't read the caption with the photo , "cleaning of the appropriate parts of piston and slidebars".
    Cheers Paul
  16. Threadmark: Modelu head and tail lamp diversion - mounting bracket modification

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Weathering's nearly finished. Some photos will follow. There's always another thing of course, and I thought I'd make up some lamps. Most of the photos I'd looked at showed the LM style of lamp on the loco or tender. Modelu sell a set, which were ordered and turned up on the doormat super quick. They look the part, but there's a mini snag with them, or not, depending on how much the hair shirt of authenticity itches. They have a cavity open on the lower face of the lamp body that can be dropped over the lamp irons on the loco. Well , that works OK, but the prototype has a bracket on the back of the lamp body that slips over the lamp iron. The lamp therefore sits forward of the iron on the prototype. Also, where the lamp iron is close in to a surface, such as the rear tender body there's not much room to fit them. So, how to make a working bracket?

    head tail lamp story 1.jpg

    1. What you get from Modelu (actually 5 lamps, but one went for a wander around the workbench and missed the Kodak Moment). You can see on the leftmost lamp, the cavity that sits over the lamp iron as supplied.
    2. There's a representation of the mounting bracket on the back face of the lamp body. The first step is to file that off.
    3. A 'top hat' shaped bracket glued to the lamp would have a very small adhesive area, and most probably would ping off when fitting or removing the lamps. Also a bit of an a**e to make accurately at that size. The trick is to make a simple and robust version. Two slits are cut with a piercing saw in the rear body, aligned with the internal cavity, but not all the way to the top.
    4. The material between the cuts is removed with the tip of a scalpel to make rectangular hole in the rear face.
    5. The brackets are made from 0.14mm brass strips, 2mm wide.
    6. You can see where this is going already if you've looked ahead and ruined the suspense. The brass strips are bent to give an internal width slightly greater than the width of your lamp irons. The lamp irons this model are scale size and about 1.0mm wide. I bent the strip the edge of a ruler that was 1.0mm thick. You end up with an inside dimension just over 1.0mm.
    7. The U shapes are carefully trimmed back until they sit at the right height in the lamps. Too close in and the lamps won't slide onto the irons. Too far out and they'll flop all over the place. It helps to open the U's up a little so that they wedge in the lamp body and stay where they're put. When they're just right, a little low viscosity cyano is run down the sides to fix them in place.
    8. Next job is to fit the cavity and replace the missing rear lamp surface. Little chunks of plasticard are whittled to be a good fit in the hole...
    9. ...and fixed with more cyano. Careful not to clog up the bracket hole with glue.
    10. The surplus plug is sliced off and a little filler applied on the lower and rear faces.
    11. Once crispy dry, the filler is filed back smooth. Robust, working lamp brackets that aren't too difficult to make!
    More episodes will follow covering the painting and weathering of the lamps...seriously!
    Last edited: 30 January 2021
  17. Threadmark: Forgot to ask - lamp etiquette

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    BR head code for light engine & vans, Class G, is a single lamp showing white, centre in the low position above the bufferbeam. If it's just loco & tender, what goes on the rear of the tender? Presumably a single lamp in similar position? Tender lamp showing red if loco is travelling in the forward direction?
  18. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Tender lamp pretty much anywhere on the bottom showing red aspect.

  19. Scale7JB

    Scale7JB Western Thunderer

    Just to add of course, they wouldn’t be lit during the day of course.

  20. Threadmark: Phil O's crosshead teaser

    Ian_C Western Thunderer

    Like this? Gland is not completely steam tight, hence spray of emulsified steam oil running down crosshead.
    crosshead teaser.jpg