Saturday, 22 February 2014

Project Vulcan Part 4

Some more work has been done on the engine unit chassis. The brake beams, brake blocks, wheel weights, injector drain pipes, pony truck, connecting rods, motor/gearbox and pickups have been fitted.  I decided it was a good time to test the chassis before moving on to fitting the cylinders and motion gear. After wiring up the motor to the pickups and bending the pickups to touch the back of the coupled wheels I put the chassis on the test track. That was when the fun started, the chassis shorted out badly. The first thing I checked was the brake blocks in case they were touching the wheels (most common cause of short circuits on brass steam loco chassis) but they seemed to have clearance. Next thing I checked was if the pickups were touching the brake beams behind the wheels, but that wasn't it either. After 2 hours trying to figure out the problem I decided to sleep on it. Next morning I decided to check one thing I had taken for granted, the tags that locate the pickups on the solder pads on the underside of the PCB keeper plate. The first method to test if this was the cause was to put a layer of clear tape over the holes on top of the plate, but the tags poked through them. So I decided the only way to fix the problem properly was to remove all the pickups, trim the tags and refit them. Time to put everything back together and test again. Sucess...sort of. The wheels were now turning but not smoothly. I decided to turn the motor around in the gearbox and try again, improved but still not nearly perfect. I'll have a short break from the chassis for a while while I get other projects finished then come back to getting it tuned to run sweetly.

So while a photo doesn't show a whole lot, in other ways it shows a great deal of progress in details that have been added since the last update:

Attention will now turn to getting the 3 FQX container flats painted and decalled.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Looking sheepish

This is what happens when you visit your local model railway supply shop intending to purchase one thing and instead walk out with a new product that has just arrived in the store:

The Ozrail Model Trains Victorian Railways L sheep wagon has been out for some time, but has only just been stocked at the local model railway shop PCB/JayCar in Bendigo. While I like to build as much rollingstock as possible, I decided to purchase two of these wagons with the round roof, as to modify a SEM one takes a little work. The models have a nice amount of weight and the detail is pretty good. I do have a couple of issues; the couplings are plastic (but have a metal Kadee spring) but I will most likely replace them with Kadee #158s, the wheels are quite shiny but again can be fixed with paint, the final one is the W irons which look a little shallow. The wheels are very fine when compared to those made by SEM, so they are designed for finescale trackwork. In addition to changing couplers and painting wheels, these two wagons will be renumbered to represent the two operational L wagons at the VGR: L1379 and L1400.

And while I was in the buying mood for some RTR stock, I decided to get this:

The Auscision Models U vans have been available for a couple of years. I already have one of these vans with advertising but I needed another to represent U931, again a preserved example at the VGR. Thus this model will be re-numbered in due course.

A touch of class....First Class Part 2.

Some projects seem to take ages to finish. Either weather prohibits painting or something else sparks my interest. This is true of the AW I have has in progress for nearly 6 months. With the need to clear my backlog of projects I decided to get the lettering on and dullcote the car. Then came the fun part: installing the handrails which are now an etch supplied by SEM. After pre-painting them as per instructions I then went to install them. Problem is I didn't clear the holes of paint first, which resulted in one side set of handrails ruined. So one side will wait until after the Sandown exhibition in March where I will hopefully be able to buy some replacements from SEM.

Here is how the car looks, with the interior yet to be installed:

Now I can get back to finishing some container wagons and the J-class.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Project Vulcan Part 3

After some time away from this project, a start has been made on the engine unit chassis. The quality of etchings in this kit really come to the fore here as the parts require virtually no filing to fit in the holes. The only adjustments have been the axle openings so that the horn blocks fit snugly. The drawbar for the tender has been fitted so the photos show them paired together. For those wondering what the wire between the wheels is, this is what the brake beams and brake blocks will be attached to and will be trimmed once they are fitted. Still to be fitted are the cylinders, pony truck and various other details then I can work on installing the motor: