catenary wrote:..........Adrian Gunzburg had a look at it and reckoned that the compromise had 'worked..........
By the way, the 2 original VR Vs were imported by Andrew Newell and Co., a Melbourne firm who had the licence for Baldwin in Australia. That Andrew Newell is my Wilma's great grandfather. Add to that the fact my late father rather admired the Vs when he saw them around Ballarat as a boy, and there is almost enough justification to build one - but not this year!!
Given Adrian's excellent work in WAGRSn3.5, that's a great compliment, well done Ian! Another fascinating connection for the W family! Your late great grandfather-in-law wouldn't have bequested any drawings would he....? Wonderful to hear of the recollection also, helps humanise the topic, thank you Ian. Ps. Great to see you on the Forum!
Ok, next Chapter....
Chapter 5 – Busting the Boiler
You know how only last chapter I said I like to get the chassis right first? Well next job I chose was actually not on the chassis.....though was still in line with the discipline as one of the big/messy/involved jobs – preparing the boiler. The reason for this being “out of sequence” was I knew it would be quite an ugly tough job and was keen to tackle it/get it done while I still have the bloom of starting this project and a full head of steam (really bad pun ).
Even without all the bits we have stripped off, the boiler still needs to have everything removed. The footplates, funnel, both domes, the boiler strapping, even the ports for cleaning the spark arrester (those little circular things on the upper smokebox side – my thanks to Philip Dunn for ID’ing them!), all are in the wrong place and need to come off. Why not just build a new boiler you might ask? The boiler is a cast heavy piece, great for loco adhesion, and it fits the chassis like a glove so will make a good solid platform to build/jut/balance detail items on. Keeping an eye on the occasional need to service the motor and possibly one day replace motor parts, I like to make the superstructure easily removeable. Building the superstructure onto something like this solid boiler is how I have done this in the past. It also removes any complexities of how to attach your new build pieces onto the model which can be quite tricky. Therefore, it’s worth the trouble of work to keep it - a few hours dremelling and filing to remove all this detail, smooth it and reduce it in the process.
The down side is everything I have just mentioned is either part of the solid boiler casting or glued/soldered onto it so well the only way to get to the boiler shape you want is to cut/hack/file/dremel it all off. Most particularly the running plates are cast with the boiler, approx. 1.5mm thick and intersect the boiler at approx. 4 o’clock below the midline. This model really wasn’t built to be modified!!
Right, appropriate time for a SERIOUS COMMENT that applies here and in similar work - I might joke elsewhere but this bit is critical and no joke – When using power tools like the Dremel I always wear industrial eye protection - ie. Close fitting safety glasses to the Australian Standard. Because of the small fragments of metal and dust flying everywhere I also wear a nose and mouth cover. On top of this I keep the room ventilated with open windows and fan, but close the door and don’t let our little girl in the room until I have vacuumed up given there are interesting sharp metal bits everywhere. The protective gear can make for hot work but the protections, particularly for your eyes are essential. Power tools for this kind of work mean metal and other materials can and do fly off at all sorts of angles and great speed – during my work on this boiler and the cylinder block, I shattered at least half a dozen Dremel cutting blades, partly because of the awkward angles I had to cut at and partly because I pushed a bit heavy some times. In some cases I could feel shards of the disks bouncing off my body and face, and in one case bounced off my safety glasses just above my cheek. Don’t risk an avoidable injury, ALWAYS wear good safety gear when you are using power tools. I make no apologies for being a nag on this, it’s just too important to not mention.
After a few of these rough and tumble sessions and some buffing, my boiler looks like this:
Not pretty Hey? Neither was I after these sessions. I undertook at the start of this account to ensure it was honest and warts & all, so here it is just after dremelling and light buffing but before sanding down. The heavy work to remove features has left divots of various sizes in the surface, possibly because I have never had formal metalwork training and so used the wrong combination of cutting/sanding disks. It’s all fixable but at present it looks pretty rough. My objective was to reduce the boiler and get all the irrelevant detail off it and have achieved this. My decision now is whether to putty it to smoothness or apply a thin styrene layer. My preference leans to the latter for a smooth and good surface for attaching the detail. By applying a very thin (so as not to really increase the diameter of the already slightly large boiler) layer of styrene up to the edge of the smokebox I can also regain the telescoping effect back that I lost in the boiler reduction. I will also be able to rebuild the missing part of the underside of boiler where there is a gap from the previous high footboard. The V had a lower footplate, so this has a gap that now needs filling. The picture below shows the approximate location of the new footplate/running plate in red, the gap is apparent, particularly at the base of the firebox.
Adding the styrene to the boiler is a more delicate task though, so for now the boiler is put aside so I can concentrate on some of the other big/messy work that needs doing (that discipline thing again), and it’s back to the chassis next.
Chapter 6 – Slide Bars Possibly and Other Heavy Work