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I find the intertubes both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes, you can find everything you want. Other times, well, not so much. I supplement my online research with a growing dead tree library of reference material. 


I have found, since I’ve joined the various modelling forums I haunt - both here for fun stuff, and elsewhere for the paying stuff - that asking the question often helps more than tapping into a search engine. I’ve also found, now I know more about what I need to know, if you see what I mean, it’s easier to find the information because I know the "magic" words to use when searching.


One recent loco build had me stumped for a while. I needed detail photos, but my searching didn’t turn anything up. I fired off a question on my WIP thread, and it turned out a friend was the archivist for the particular railway company's society. He found brilliant high resolution photos of the actual loco I was trying to represent, and freely sent them over to me. It’s that kind of help that makes these friendly forums so fantastic in my book. It’s like having the worlds best modelling club, right here in you hand!


Forgive the hijack, but this was the loco in question:




Like everyone following this brilliant thread, it’s nice to know I can help a bit by paying forward with the knowledge I’ve gained by asking the questions. Remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question.



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  • 3 weeks later...

The Tricky Swooshy Bits


Following the attachment of the wheels, this project slowed down a bit. This was because we had arrived at the start of a few tricky bits that neither Baby Bandsaw or I had any real idea how to tackle.


The first tricky bit is the curved step where the running board drops down at the front and the rear of the locomotive.  In the photo below I have added large yellow arrows pointing to the problematic shapes.  I really did not know how to make these - especially if we wanted them to be strong enough to form part of the structural framework of the model.  




I asked BB if she really needed these to be so curvy.

'Why don't we make them just step down nice and square rather than curve down?' I suggested 'It will be much easier and no one will notice'. 

'No' she replied 'I want them to swoosh down not clunk down - it has to be just like the real thing.' 
It was then that I started to suspect that by agreeing to this  project I might just be unleashing into the future world of scale modelling some sort of rivet-counting, perfectionist monster.  'OK' I sighed and sat back to think long and hard about how to make accurate and strong 'swooshy' things...


Not long after this I was browsing though @Marklo's Bristol Type 72 racing monoplane build over on the aviation WIP pages (I would add a links but am not sure how to do so) and noted the way he scratch built that aircraft's fuselage.  A penny dropped in my brain and I had an idea how to tackle this task.  Unfortunately though I thought it was likely to be a rather tricky bit of building for a beginner - it was going to be tricky enough for me to be honest - and BB's enthusiasm at the time was directed elsewhere.  So at this point I waded in and had a crack at this myself.


First cut out some patterns of the front swooshy bit off the plans and stick them on some aluminium lithoplate as shown below.



After cutting around the patterns, I now have a strong template for the side view of the 'swoosh'.



I can then trace around this template to mark out a number of identical shapes on a couple of small sheets of plywood.



These shapes are then cut out using my new scroll saw. I'm getting used to this tool and am starting to be able to make the cuts go where I want now. 



See, three near-identical side views of the swoosh!



Mark out on the front of the running board where the forward swooshes will go. Now we can cut out slots and rebates in the correct locations.



Here's the central slot cut out with the swoosh fitted in place.  This is a friction fit at this point because I managed to cut the slot just tight enough. 😀



Now cut the rebate on each corner for the two thicker bits of plywood that the side swooshes were cut from. Glue the central swoosh and one side swoosh into place.  Glue a block of balsa in between the two projecting shapes.


Yes I'm using balsa of all things! This is the crux of the idea that Marklo unwittingly provided. It's ironic that when building aircraft I almost never use balsa but now I turn to the stuff when building a steam locomotive! :penguin: 



Do the other side and stick the whole thing into a vice for the PVA to dry and cure.



Once the glue has set firm attack the soft balsa with a - horribly rusty - rat's tail file. 



Leaving this!  The front swoosh! :yahoo:



Which I think looks pretty good against the plans and - I can assure you - is also surprisingly strong.



Now repeat the process for the rear swoosh...



and smooth out any surface roughness with a layer of  this wonderful stuff. Give the whole thing a good sanding down.



Here's what the final result looks like.  I have to say that I'm really happy with this.  Nice 'swooshy bits' fore and aft in my view and BB is happy with it too.   This is the first time I've ever used this method of building and I think it bodes well for a future where scroll-saws, plywood and balsa might feature quite frequently.



Don't worry though folks, thick lumps of wood being sliced with a bandsaw and then shaped with chisels will still be my bread and butter!

It's good to have a few other tricks up one's sleeve though. 


Baby Bandsaw will be back next time. 


For now though, it's toodle-pip from 

Bandsaw Steve 



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Glad to be of help, my word Steve you do get around. I haven’t built a train since that Christmas about 12 years ago that my daughter wanted KC junior ( from dumbo) to go with her Brio wooden train set :) ( how she hasn’t ended up as an engineer like me I don’t know)

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Hmmmm.... so I have. 🤔

No real intent behind that, I’ve just what came to hand. I’ve just looked at jars of both products  and they appear to be essentially interchangeable. Both are water based fine-grained wood fillers, the mulTfill might be a bit more fluid, but that probably just means I should add a few drops of water to the timber mate.

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  • 1 month later...

Summer Holidays


Every summer holiday poor Harry Potter had to leave his beloved school and spend time with his dreadful muggle guardians - the Dursleys. The Dursley's were relentlessly cruel to Harry and often forced him to spend his holidays building 1/48 scale steam locomotives out of lumps of wood. Poor Baby Bandsaw has a similar problem, but in her case it's her father driving her on.


In the last post we had reached this stage and things on the face of it were looking under control. However the camera can lie and this photograph was taken from an angle specifically chosen to conceal... 



The presence of a gigantic gap between the running board and the main frame of the locomotive.  In fact the entire structure from the running board up on both the locomotive and the tender was simply balanced precariously on the top of the wheels.



Closer up you can see just how bad this was. 



The front was no better.



Fundamentally there are two ways to fix this problem. One is to skilfully and precisely cut a series of fine recesses into the relevant parts of the locomotive so that tops of the wheels fit in the correct 'prototypical' location. 


The other is to knock a few mm off the tops of the wheels. 



This way we can create the illusion that wheels penetrate into the running board and the entire structure can sit down on top of the frame.   



Yep - just knock the tops off the wheels. Yet another reason to build models that do not actually run. 



Use a jeweller's saw to cut the wheels to the same profile as the swooshy bits towards the rear of the train.



When even then that running board won't fit quite exactly...



just keep doing a lot more fettling and dry fitting and sanding and filing and fettling and so forth until...



The running board sits nicely on top of the wheels and the frame and everything lines up nicely. 



Once again, I regret to say,  that I did much of the boring final fettling and fitting as it was a long drawn-out process and Baby Bandsaw's interest was waning. But I am happy to say that this is not the only progress that has been made so far these holidays and BB is now back in the swing of things.  So far this summer has been a scorcher here in Australia so the factory has often been too hot to work in through the day but the evenings aren't too bad.  We are managing about an hour and half each night so from here on I'm hoping that the updates will come more frequently.  I keep reminding BB that there's only four more month's to the 2020 West Australian Model Exhibition (WASMEx) - we are aiming to have this in the competition - so we are now on a timeline and we have to make the most of the opportunity that the Summer holidays present.


Best Regards,

Bandsaw Steve

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Oh how I wish I could do that with some of my builds! Unfortunately, paying clients don’t like not being able to play with their models! 

It's coming along nicely. Tell BB there are always times where a model stops being an exciting prospect and it takes a lot of effort to get into it again. 

I know the boiler is only perched there for the photos, but there is a structure under the smokebox, unsurprisingly called the smokebox saddle, that the whole thing rests on. On the real thing it includes lots of passages for the steam and so on to move around to do its work.

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9 minutes ago, Heather Kay said:


It's coming along nicely. Tell BB there are always times where a model stops being an exciting prospect and it takes a lot of effort to get into it again. 


So very true!

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On 11/1/2019 at 9:54 PM, Bandsaw Steve said:

It was then that I started to suspect that by agreeing to this  project I might just be unleashing into the future world of scale modelling some sort of rivet-counting, perfectionist monster. 

Have you considered exorcism when this is completed?


Gidday Steve, I've only just discovered this build thread. I've gone back to the beginning and checked out the whole build thread, and I am very impressed. With you for your trust in giving BB the freedom to use your tools and equipment to allow her to learn, and impressed with BB herself for persevering with this.

     I noticed you had a problem with the hole you drilled for the funnel/chimney/smokestack/round thingy at the front. As you know the scale I work in most of my drilling is by hand with a pin-vise. Easy to get crooked. To counter that I rotate the piece being drilled (I know, not so easy in a bench vise) so I'm constantly viewing/drilling/attacking the piece from a different angle. Any tendency to be crooked gets countered as soon as I rotate the piece a little. Too late for this build, I know, but HTH in future.


Regards to you both, Jeff.

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Now I've heard of wheel flats, but that's just a tad extreme. Never get a 'fitness to run' like that! :nono:

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6 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

Now I've heard of wheel flats, but that's just a tad extreme

Yep, most trains go ‘clickiy clack clicking clack’ this one just goes ‘CLACK’ 🤣

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It looks like a perfectly satisfying "CLACK" though!


Go BB!!!




And yeah mate, we're hearing how you lot down under are having a warmish summer. Hope you're all safe!

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10 hours ago, Murdo said:




And yeah mate, we're hearing how you lot down under are having a warmish summer. Hope you're all safe!

Thanks Murdo,


So far this Summer most of the bushfire problem has been over East. An area about half the size of Tasmania has been burned so far this season. 😢

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It's all her fault!!


I promised myself I'd never make the mistake of building another engine after finishing (nearly) my Flying Scotsman.   I was doing really well keeping that promise till a certain little lady scratch builder in Oz infected me with the bug.   She's doing an impressive job Steve and what a wonderful thing for you to spend such prime time with your daughter ... she'll always remember this.


I'm actually well along on another Gresley A4 "streamliner" ... Union of South Africa and might start a build log some day but it's not going to be as cool as Baby Bandsaw's!


Tell her I'm learning by watching so keep going!!





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A Gresley A4 Streamliner! EXCELLENT!

I was idly Dreaming about doing one of those myself a few days back. A great subject. Can’t wait to see the WIP.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Catching a Cab


At the end of the last update we were up to this point.  Here we have a model that's starting to look a bit a like a steam locomotive but it's still missing some major structures, most notably its leading wheels and the cab.  



This post is going to focus mostly on the cab, but some other stuff has been going on as well. For example, the two major structures that make up the tender have been stuck together...



and the 'second chimney' as baby bandsaw calls it (I think it's actually a housing for some sort of excess-pressure relief valve) has been added. I'm not going to discuss this in any detail because it's essentially the same story as making the chimney except we made sure it went on straight this time.



Anyway, back to the cab. For various reasons this structure has caused me a great deal of concern and confusion and delay. BB and I tried making one out of thin plywood but it was a complete failure and after a significant amount of re-thinking I came to, what I now consider, the obvious solution.  Build the thing out of brass. Here BB has cut out a sheet of brass that is the correct profile for the front view and is chain-drilling the driver's windows in preparation for cutting and filing.



Here is the result after the filing is partially complete. 20 minutes later the windows both looked quite tidy.



For Christmas I got this beautiful, beautiful set of electronic calipers. Beautiful they are! Here I am using them to transfer window measurements from the plans onto the brass side walls.



So that they too can be chain drilled, sawed out and...



filed to shape.



I have decided that I love working with brass. I did this side wall, BB did the other. it was just as good.



Here are the various pieces dry-fitted together.  Originally my intention was that we would cut a sort of close-fitting arch out of the front of the cab so that firebox would pass continuously through it just as on the original.  This however proved to be completely impractical. Here the last 7mm or so of the fire box has been cut off and sanded flat.  The front of the cab will now butt join onto the rear of the firebox. This approach is much simpler and will allow a much stronger cab to be built.



Here we are setting up the first soldering job. Attaching the side-wall onto the front of the cab.



Here are the tools we will use. This is my first time ever using a soldering torch as opposed to an iron.  We work outside in a brick and concrete carport and swept the small bits of leaf debris away before lighting up the torch.  Australians don't generally approve of folks teaching their daughters to use gas torches around dried leaf litter these days.   🔥




Here's what the set-up looks like in action. Sand the mating surfaces clean, 'paint' on some flux lay the solder in place and apply heat.  The amazing thing was how much heat this solder took before it melted. This was some new stuff that I recently bought from Bunnings and it was marketed as 'silver solder' (I think for plumbing purposes) and even with this little blow-torch we could hardly get the stuff to melt at all. The contrast with the stuff my dad gave to me  a couple of years ago could not have been greater. I suspect the old stuff has lead in it and  was intended for electronics work. In any case it has a very much lower melting point than the new stuff. 
This high-temperature versus low-temperature contrast is potentially useful as the great Gerald Wingrove emphasised in his books, it allows the early structural work to be done at high temperature and the later details to be added at temperatures way below those that threaten re-melting of the first joints. 



Anyway - here's what the first round of high-temp soldering looked like once BB finally got the solder to melt.



Now we had to add the roof.  To get a nice even curve in the thing we decided to anneal the brass using my wife's Crème-brulee burner.  This thing generates some serious heat and got the brass sheet to cherry red in about 15 seconds flat!  Excellent.



Now we could bend the brass around a tin of primer to produce...



almost exactly the radius we were after.



We then did a high-temp solder onto the front of the cab...



and the following day followed up with a dab of low-temp solder to just solidify the connection between the wall and the roof. Here is the low-temp solder floating in flux waiting to go just a few moments before we heated it with an electric soldering iron. 



This 'weld' was a bit messy but it cleaned up OK in the end.



So here's where we are now - the cab is a nice strong unit that sits in the correct spot.  No interior detail yet but that's not a big problem. The tricky cab bit is now under control and I'm feeling confident at this point.



Next up we have to do something with those front wheels.



Best Regards,

Bandsaw Steve and Baby Bandsaw..


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