Sunday, February 26, 2012

Steam Era Models to the Rescue


I have some very good news to report.
David Foulkes of Steam Era Models (ie manufacturer of the J Class kit) has very kindly had the artwork associated with the frame etches modified to broad gauge (18.37mm) and made available to me. Key component that are directly affected by the conversion, including the side frames, frame spacers, pony truck, and head stocks have been modified.
Furthermore, an allowance has been made for the addition of CSB compensation, including holes for pivot points and clearance for the wire in the frame spacers. Finally, the coupling rods have been reworked into three separate sections (as per the prototype), to enable the CBS compensation to function correctly.
I and the owner of the second kit are very thankfully for this generous gesture from David at Steam Era Models. It was as unexpected as it is appreciated.
The artwork has been forward to Tony Crennan of Model Etch for review and an estimate.
While this will slightly delay the construction of the frames, it is a most welcome one! Besides, I have plenty of other aspects (ie everything above the foot plate) to push on with.
Thanks David,

Monday, February 20, 2012

Finishing Things Off: QR321

Just a quick one. I've been completing a few projects that were 'almost finished'.

Yet another wonderful kit from Steam Era Models. Moderately weathered to suggest some minor 'love' over its long life, QR321 runs on NWSL 18.37mm gauge Proto87 wheel sets with Sergent couplers.

Below is the prototype, setting in Castlemaine railway yards on 13 November 1976 (courtesy of Rob O'Regan's web site).

Frame Spacers, Steam Chests, and Grit Paper

After noticing the glaring omission with the centre of the frame spacers, I remedied the situation today.

As can be seen below, the spacer that accompanies the kit has the centre removed, which can also be observed in a research photo that I took at Maldon of J 549 (I think). So out with the vernier callipers, black marker pen, drill bits, and files.

Moving the frames out to the correct scale spacing means that all attached infrastructure also needs to be modified. The first 'cab off the rank' are the two steam chests (I think that's what they're called). The piston centres in the two white metal castings are the 'correct' spacing of ~25.4mm when fitted to the unmodified kit .

However, this distance increase to 28.9mm when attached to the braod gauge frame. Therefore, 1.75mm has to be 'found’ on each side of the frames. This is achieved by removing material from the rear of the steam chest castings. In fact, according to photos of the original (and unsurprisingly), this will be closer to the prototype.


Before taking the knife to the steam chest castings, I used a black marker pen and scribed on the frames where they should 'end up' (thought I should make the most of the alignment white metal lugs that will be removed as part of the modification). I then marked scribed a line around the perimeter of the steam chest castings...and that's as far as I got...

I intend to use some coarse grit paper to remove the bulk of the white metal and finish up with fine paper. Unfortunately, my supplies of coarse grit paper have all gone...

It would seem that a trip to the hardware centre is required.