Friday, February 23, 2007

On the footplate

Armed with photos of 08801 I can select the etches to represent the various boxes on the footplate.

On the left side I want a vacuum exhauster, battery box then compressor box nearest the cab.

The battery box should be the short version (lower).

On the right side there's a vacuum exhauster and a battery box.

My loco has different-sized grilles on the vac exhauster (lower). I'm wondering why there's an extra panel with these grilles till I look back at my photos. Sure enough, this version of the vac exhauster sticks out beyond the footplate. Nice one.

At first I tried to solder the parts together, but couldn't work out how to keep the sloping tops in place. Found it easier to join the parts with "Tacky Wax" then add a drop of superglue to secure the joints. The facings were then stuck on with quick-setting Araldite.

The 5 caps on the vacuum exhauster look as though they fold over into place, but when I tried it was a bit tricky to get them all aligned at the same time. So I took the long road, cutting them off and filing to shape. Then starting from the centre I glued them on, separating each with 0.4mm rod. I had to wait for each to set, so I could clear the glue from the inside edges before fixing the next.

I did one flat (left) and the other already made up (right, not yet cleaned up). Not much difference either way, for me. It was very tedious, and on reflection I wish I'd persevered trying to align them on the etch.

Anyway at this point I was renewed by a picture of the finished article on the 2mm Association North East Area group blog

The last thing was to fold up the steps and glue onto the insides of the vacuum exhausters.

Eventually the boxes will be secured onto the footplate and firmly against the body side, but I think I may be better not fixing them until later. In particular I want to get the loco running so I'll know how much lead weight to put inside these boxes.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

08s on the web

The instructions are now telling me that I have to make some decisions depending on which specific loco I'm modelling, so I need to confess - I haven't decided yet.

My other loco (also an 08) is in 1960's green, so I want something a bit more recent (ie blue). This will allow me to run some of my 80's N-gauge wagons waiting to be converted to 2mm scale.

The instructions give the following points to be researched for a chosen prototype:

1) is there a vacuum exhauster on the right side?
1a) if so, identify side panels
2) is there an air brake compressor cabinet on the left side?
3) bonnet doors - riveted or pressed steel?
4) type of bonnet front grilles, and whether lower cover present
5) position of front and rear marker lights
6) whether ladders around front bonnet (early locos)
7) wooden or pressed cab doors

In short I'll need photographs clearly showing both sides and both ends (preferably taken around the same time) of my chosen loco.

Not being a photographer, I haven't got any locomotive photos of my own, but fortunately these days many people are happy to share their collections on the web.

I'm looking for photos of locos as they were at the time - showing clearly all livery details, and of course the grime that I'll need to represent. So Preservation Society sites don't count. To my mind, these locos don't look right if they're kept too clean.

some useful sites

I found Rail Photo Archive a good place to start. It's the most comprehensive of the ones I know, and you can search for your favoured time, livery or location.

There are also photographs of a large number of locos (and some related stuff - he appears to be an ex-worker at Cardiff Canton depot) on Martin Bray's site. In particular his 08 / 09 gallery includes a photo of many 08's, together with date and place taken, from the 70's onwards.

Graham Turner's Rail Blue site has additional information on many of the photographs, dated around the 70's to early 80's.

Colin Marsden's books are mentioned in the instructions. He also has a website with some technical information.

Mark Shipman has a section on 08s from the 80's onwards.

Comparing these photographs against my Motive Power Pocket Book (1992) suggests that the air brake compressor cabinet is present on the left side for locos with dual (air and vacuum) brakes, but not for those with air brakes only.

Railfaneurope has a gallery of shunter pictures from various contributors, mostly from the 90's onwards.

Dazza has 08s from the 90's onward.

Justin Buckley, Dave Swan and The Bufferstops all have small selections of recent 08 pictures.

Robert McCulloch has some Scottish-based photos.

Colin Birch has 08 and 09 sections, unfortunately not all the photographs are dated.

Andy Small has some nice photographs of 08s at work "in the landscape" but by their nature they're not the best to establish detail.

Locoscene takes some time to browse, but if you know what you're looking for just log in as "guest" then type the loco number in the "find loco" box.

And BR Diesel Web has some downloadable sound clips of 08s in the "shunters" section.

Far from having no photos to model from, now I'm spoilt for choice. Eventually decide to go for 08801 as I found several clear images from the 80's, but also because they were taken around Penzance in Cornwall. I once spent a happy afternoon there around 1971 just watching the trains from behind the wall, thinking grand thoughts about modelling the station. This could be my first small step towards that dream...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The footplate

First I'll need a jig

This will hold the sideframes, bufferbeams and footplate in place.

Plan view from underneath the footplate.

This shows how, when the bufferbeams and outside frames are soldered on, the gaps will divide the underside into 4 electrically isolated sections.

The underside must also be isolated from the top side, hence the need to file back the PCB from the edge of the bufferbeams.

The instructions say the bufferbeams should be “centralised on the footplate, flush with the top surface, and vertical.

With a steel square clamped to my board and a line drawn perpendicular, to it, I can position the bufferbeam then hold the footplate firmly against it with a cocktail stick while I solder.

The angles are OK, and the isolation gaps all correspond. But it's too long for the jig. I take a bufferbeam off, file the footplate back and solder the bufferbeam back on. Now it fits the jig perfectly, but the sideframes won't fit inside. I file a fraction off the sideframes and rather more from the inside edges of the bufferbeam until it all goes together.

bufferbeam inside edges reduced

Now the footplate fits over the sideframes in the jig.

There's only a small area of footplate between the frame and the isolating gap, so soldering will be tricky. This shows one of the easier corners.

Managed to solder three corners together, but the gap was too close on this one, so I had to slide some solder underneath the frame near the axlebox.

Not sure why the gaps have to be so close to the frames, but at least its done, and with all the sections isolated.

Only needs wheels and a body.