March 18, 2013

"Great Northern: cab sides and bogie modifications"

Having found myself with a lot more time on my hands (and a lot less money) I've elected to finish all of my major outstanding projects, and where possible to trim the locomotive and rolling stock fleets to supplement my income from YouTube and the children's eBooks, which in addition to my first paperbook release later this month, have become my sole source of income.

With the job situation more or less up in the air (I've been applying for around ten to twenty jobs a day and then some) I found I had a bit of modelling mojo back.

That being the case, first on the list of outstanding projects to finish was the first of two models of Great Northern. I am building one in apple green (the subject of later blog entries no doubt) but it is the express passenger blue model which is taking priority.

The stage of the build I had been dreading was straightening out the cab side sheets and tender side sheets. After unsuccessfully attempting to straighten them out using heat applied to a vice (ala Graeme King) I simply cut the side sheets off and reapplied them straight, using Gamesworkshops yellow/blue to green putty and Humbrol model filler to blend them in and smooth them down.

The cabsides have come out rather better than the tender sides have done for the moment, and have had their vertical handrails added accordingly. The tender sidesheets will have to wait until later in the month to be seen to.

The next bit I attended to was the front bogie. This is actually a spare Hornby Thompson B1 bogie, with the dreadful NEM pocket removed with a hand saw, and the remnants filed down. You can just about make it out in the photograph above (I will be adding more filler and filing to this to get a smooth surface.

The reason for the swap is simple. The bogie type is correct for 60113, and the Hornby B1 wheelsets are a much better match for the large bossed wheelsets of Great Northern and the other Thompson Pacifics.

I sincerely wish Hornby's B1 bogie was available as a spare, complete with wheelsets. I'd have a good number of them. They are weighty, the wheelsets as I say, are very good matches for the prototype, and in addition to this, they seem to absolutely glide through curves and points without any fuss.

The Gresley bogie which was replaced was giving an inordinate amount of trouble. 60113 has had tests of its running quality throughout the whole build, and derailments were always caused by the front bogie.

Since changing the shape of the bracket, and adding the Hornby Thompson B1 bogie, I've had no problems on both a friend's very extensive layout, and a temporary circle of 3rd and 4th radius curves set up at home on a spare board.

We're inching our way towards the paint shop with 60113. I need to sort out the reverser cover, and the electric lights before priming the model later this year. I am looking forward to the day I can run an express passenger blue A1/1 for the first time, with no mishaps...!

Until next time.

Oh, and if anyone has a job in compliance, insurance, or model railway writing (wishful thinking!) I'd be happy to send my CV on...

...but until then, I'm CEO of The British Railway Stories Ltd, and I'm very much looking forward to mine and Dean's first children's book, Tale of the Unnamed Engine, coming out in paperback very, very soon.

Good night all.


Anonymous said...

Looking rather impressive Simon. I'd like to do a part-fictituous version of this loco in the 1945 dark blue livery with plain Kylchap, shallow cab but with the 1946 number in plain Gill sans. What a no-nonsense, uncompromised appearance that would present; pure 1940s minimalism!

Copley Hill said...

Thanks Dave. That does sound wonderfully utilitarian! I maintain that this locomotive must have looked very handsome in the flesh, in its dark blue with red lining out, and full sized smoke deflectors. Models of it certainly look the part to me.

I'm hoping to get some primer on later next week when the weather is drier!