This is Still a Project in the Making.
This has spent several years, part built, in a box. This is a good test of one's soldering techniques, how many bits fall off when it is disinterred and cleaned? Happily in this case only two.
I bought this kit in good faith from Sanspariel and at the time Ian Young (owner of Sanspariel) was in dispute with Peter Kay so when I asked Mr Kay for assistance he refused, very mean spirited of him I thought then and do still. It has not been an easy build but it has been interesting (somewhat like the Chinese curse at times!) but all the parts fit exactly as they should. The kit is credited generally to Peter Kay but the real work of design was done, I recently discovered - (October 2010) by Peter Cross and a damn fine job he did too. Mr Kay was supposed apparently to produce instructions with illustrations and has signally failed so to do.
I am reminded of Bill Parker's exhortation in his wagon kit instructions, that it is really scratch building where someone has cut out the part for one. Certainly the case here.
Unfortunately, the instructions consist of pages of exhortations to "solder part x to part c", which is all very well but there is not one single drawing or sketch provided, which were supposed apparently to have been provided by Mr. Kay. This means one is expected slavishly to follow Mr. Kay's method; it makes the job rather tedious, which is a great pity.
However, there is no denying that it is a very well designed and well thought out kit. All the etched parts have their numbers etched on the fret nearby, which is I think an excellent method. The manufacturer suggests filing off the boiler bands. Why they were etched in first place baffles me, they are too thick and out of keeping with the general excellence of the etches but will have to remain as filing them off at this late stage is not an option.
The wrappers for the sandboxes were scrapped as too fiddly and the boxes scratched up from solid brass. I think the paint will hide the joints. Back to Top
Here is a detail shot of the inside of the boiler/firebox, which shews largely how it was put together using brass rod to line up the parts and hold them in place. A neat, practical and strong method. The whole unit then slots into the footplate with two pins into the back of the cab and four tabs into the footplate under the smoke box, which is then held in place with a couple of 8BA bolts.
Good design, as it can be taken apart, with care, for painting.
Here is a detail shot of the underside of the footplate, which shews how the double frames were done. It is an excellent piece of design that goes together well despite its unavoidable complexity. I have since removed a small section behind both buffer beams to allow more room for the sprung buffers, which I have changed for a set of Slater's because they have integral springs and turned, steel heads, whereas the kit supplies cast nickel to be externally sprung. My choice, nothing wrong with the parts supplied.
The chassis had severely to be modified because it came with S7 spacers (which Mr. Kay refused to change, really a most unhelpful man with no idea of customer service) so I had to make new ones.
The AGH wheels turned up well and a coat of paint will hide the cut marks where I insulated them with trusty, old fashioned Araldite, cured in the oven. All wheels are sprung, which is why it sits so high at present. They can be dropped out from below by unscrewing the keeper plates under each horn guide.
On reflection though, I may alter that and compensate the drivers instead, we shall see. One of the reasons it is so long in the building (aside from lack of time) is due to the method recommended to produce the outside axle boxes. They are a fold up item that makes a hollow box with a tiny hole that then needs to be opened out to the axle size, very difficult as there is little to hold while reaming them out. I shall make some new ones in solid nickel silver instead with the new milling machine. Back to Top
The instructions mention a set of additional notes for assembling the inside motion, which were absent from my set but the manufacturer chose not to send them, despite providing the stamps as requested.
The tender is a great model with some very neat ideas, for instance, the etched jigs to get the coal rails even and level. The whole tender is designed to bear down on the engine's drag box to add weight. I shall do this but have also sprung the front two axles rather than let them just bounce along for the ride.
I used Slater's wheels for the tender chassis (here, in need of a good clean too) and the black stuff shewing above the wheels is liquid lead to add more weight when it is bearing down on the back of the engine. It to rides too high at present due to the springs and no weight from the tender body. Back to Top
I have removed the liquid lead as I do not want similar problems in the future to those I had with the 45xx.
Since the whole thing was in pieces it seemed a good idea to take some pictures of the components. Here are some shots shewing how this chassis was sprung. Four small pieces of tube were soldered above each of the horn guide openings with a cap soldered on the top end. They are there to hold springs and a flat plate was also soldered to the top hat bearings for them to rest on and to stop the bearing rotating in the horns.
The keeper plate provided as part of the kit then holds both axles in place against the springs, so there is no increase in friction to the rotation of the axles. The paint on the back of the wheels on one side is silver to short them out for the American style pick-up.
Here the chassis is the right way up and the tube spring holders can clearly be seen. The gap where the liquid lead was will be filled with lead sheet cut to size.
To be continued - one day, hopefully before I die, which is now debatable.