Building the SRC V Class

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AndrewCudgewa
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby AndrewCudgewa » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:14 pm

Thanks also K160 for your encouragement.

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 :roll: ).

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:

Image

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.

Image

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

Cheers, Andrew

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VRfan
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby VRfan » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:48 pm

Thanks for the progress on this Andrew. It's an interesting read and certainly a detailed account of the changes you are making.

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AndrewCudgewa
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby AndrewCudgewa » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:26 am

G'day VRFan,

Thanks for letting me know. I am trying to make the account as honest and complete as possible, as I find "warts and all" accounts the more helpful in my learning. It's good to hear it has some value.

Cheers, Andrew

choccyblock
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby choccyblock » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:09 pm

andrew, the cut-off discs supplied with the dremel are very fragile, i stopped using them many years ago when i switched to their fibre-glass reinforced discs, product number 426B, in packs of 20. the reinforced discs are much safer to use, i would seriously recommend people do not use the thin fragile ones as they shatter as easy as pie (as you say).

regs
chris

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AndrewCudgewa
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby AndrewCudgewa » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:53 pm

G'day Choccyblock,

Thanks for the heads-up and recommendation. Good to know, and happy to hear that I may not have been quite so heavy handed as I feared. I don't have a real Dremel but a Ryobi which seems to do as well, but I think has different fittings. I will go a-hunting for some of the fibre-glass reinforced discs as, other than being wasteful, I'm a bit over shattering thin discs!

Cheers, Andrew

Robert_Boyle
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby Robert_Boyle » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:13 pm

AndrewCudgewa wrote:I will go a-hunting for some of the fibre-glass reinforced discs as, other than being wasteful, I'm a bit over shattering thin discs!

The local Bunnings had them on the Dremel rack last time I was in there. the reinforced ones are thicker, so will cut a bit slower, but the thin ones can't take any side load so they are very fragile when used in a hand held tool.

If you have access to a linisher, they are a good way to rough down diecastings like your boiler. Mazak is a mongrel of a metal to work, but sharp tools, and not being in a hurry, helps.

Regards,
RB

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AndrewCudgewa
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby AndrewCudgewa » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:55 am

Robert_Boyle wrote: The local Bunnings had them on the Dremel rack last time I was in there. the reinforced ones are thicker, so will cut a bit slower, but the thin ones can't take any side load so they are very fragile when used in a hand held tool.


Thanks for the reference, there's a Bunnings nearby. You're spot on regards side load, all breakages were incurred this way.

Robert_Boyle wrote:If you have access to a linisher, they are a good way to rough down diecastings like your boiler. Mazak is a mongrel of a metal to work, but sharp tools, and not being in a hurry, helps.


Amen! I don't have access to a linisher (now I have looked up what it is :) ), there are grades of sanding rings with the Dremel but I'm pretty sure they won't cut the mustard. I will give it a go with these and some various sandpapers before overlaying the styrene boiler casing.

Thanks for the suggestions RB.

Chapter 6 – Slide Bars Possibly and Other Heavy Work

Nb. Readers may have noticed (and been too kind to point out!) my loco-specific terminology is a bit, ermm,.....wayward at times. As such my old modelling mate Buninyong has very kindly agreed to proof read terminology-heavy future posts to try and ensure the terminology is correct going forward. Thanks Bun!

Ok, back to the chassis after our Boiler break......One of the nagging concerns I have had since sussing out this chassis is what to do regarding the outside motion. A couple of pictures will show the problem:

The rebuilt V Class had slide bars that look like this:

Image
Picture: Phil Dunn Collection

However my Roundhouse 2-8-0 has motion that looks like this:

Image

So, apart from the fact there are horizontal bars and the motion of the sliding element is the same, there’s quite a bit of difference between these two different types of motion.

Could we just leave them and pray that I can block it out of my consciousness, and that I can use the Jedi mind trick on other V Class buffs (Obi-Wan with a wave of his hand in Mos Eisley: “You don’t need to see correct slide bars.” Stormtrooper “We don’t need to see correct slide bars” – with apologies to anyone who hasn’t seen Star Wars, and apologies to Star Wars also.).

The problem I have with leaving it as built is this is a relatively obvious difference for a side-on view amongst other views. Over the years I have successfully built up several kinds of motion (including a counterweight rod drive and Walschearts gear) from scratch, however as mentioned before I am cautious about messing with moving parts of manufactured mechanisms. What worries me most on this loco is that the works will be irreversible. I can build and test a motion replacement on the bench however I will only find out whether it works by removing the current motion and replacing it with the test, then running it for a while in the hurly-burly of regular operations. The manufacture is such that it most likely cannot be removed without destroying it, so replacement will be a one-way journey. If it doesn’t work I’m in trouble. And so the thinking begins..........

Thinking...........

..........for week or so...... and several discussions with Buninyong as to options. Buninyong is a great sounding board for this stuff as he’s been most modelling places and done most modelling things. He’s also pretty familiar with my skill level. I mention this only to note the importance of gaining and growing fellow modellers inputs. If Buninyong had a dollar for each such consultation over the years he would be very wealthy!

Thinking...........

What have other manufacturers done to represent slide bars (Na models being one example)? Sometimes manufacturers resolve it with a slightly over-scale slide bar assembly.....

Thinking...........

During this time I vary from stunning optimism about the possibilities to an irrational annoyance that the options are limited. Always the focus is the authenticity of the replica whether only aesthetically or in actual form.

Eventually, an idea emerges. The existing motion guides are close to correct scale length. The vertical height of the slide bar mechanism scales to approx. 4mm. The current bars are approx. 7mm from top to bottom, with some filing down they could be reduce to 6mm top to bottom, that’s just over 6” too much. Acceptable? The most obvious problem for a non-slide bar alternative is the width of the assembly particularly when compared with the prototype and the impact of covering the lead driver. If the reduction helps reduce this, there is an opportunity for smoke & mirrors – reduce/thin the current slide as much as possible and place a cover resembling the outside faces of the slide bars & crosshead while retaining the original motion concealed behind. I do some mock-ups with styrene and it seems to be feasible. In fact, quite feasible and perhaps some strategic painting will help also, we’ll see.

On balance, I judge the alternative of a replacement motion to be too risky, and go with the facade.

This has been a challenging stage and the outcome is a bit sad as I would have liked to further develop my skills with motion gear. But this is a serious risk to the chassis that I can avoid. Make no mistake, this will be one of the bigger compromises of the build, but I’m Ok with that.

This account has been quite wordy :roll: but there is a reason - I have tried to convey managing the challenge of the slide motion as a case study. These challenges always occur in one way or another when scratchbuilding. Their consideration and the way we get around them is one of the real satisfactions of this avenue of the modelling world. Similarly it's why I now really appreciate seeing a scratchbuild whatever the quality as one can see how someone else has tackled their own challenges.

Now it’s time to do something else, as the replacement covers will be light work and easily damaged, hence they’ll be built later. This stage having taken longer than expected (all thought time, no work!), the Other Heavy Work will wait for the next update.

Chapter 7 – Other Heavy Work, Brakes & Frames

Cheers, Andrew

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forthbrdge
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby forthbrdge » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:54 am

Good post Andrew, it is nice to see a discussion that takes on the topic of where to stop. In all truth you have gone a lot further then I would have so far. I had a similar time with my VFNX rebuilds, at one point I thought at best I should pitch it all and just use the tarp, but even then the tarp had one too many hoops. I went back to half way there and for me it worked well. I got to run them in Madison and they put in several hours of run time, and as "imperfect" as they are, I was happy with the results.

As for the crosshead guides, along with reducing their height, is there a way you could add two thin strips of brass on the outside of the guides to cover the top and bottom of the crosshead? To me the big difference is on the prototype the crosshead travels inside the guide, while on the model it is on the outside of the guide. In my opinion the interior guide in the US is more typical of earlier steam, whereas the outside guides are more typical of piston valve locos from the turn of the century on.


The V class guide looks pretty distinct with what looks like two trapizodal channel guides surrounding the the crosshead. Definitely something that would be difficult to recreate exactly without mucking up the RTR mech.

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AndrewCudgewa
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby AndrewCudgewa » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:47 pm

G'day Pete,

Thank you. :)

Re: your VFNX - Ah, so you know where I'm coming from indeed! Yours is another good example of the same kind of challenge I was trying to describe, and good on you for drawing a line in the sand and sticking with it.

Thanks for the suggestion on the crosshead alterations, it's a good one and even in writing the mail last night I was thinking (More thinking!!) whether I could at least take the front upper and lower "wings" off the crosshead at the front (to help reduce the sideways "bulge" of the facade, the problem being it could then fall out the rear. Your option if I read it right is to make the facade front and rear and make it useful - add guides each side so the motion just slides between these lower "U" and upper "inverted U" shapes. You know, it should work, and is definitely food for thought. I could probably trial it also without irrepairably damaging the motion.

Thanks again Pete, really appreciate the thought.

Cheers, Andrew

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sarail
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Re: Building the SRC V Class

Postby sarail » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:07 am

Hi Andrew,
This is looking good.

I was about to suggest the use of two sections of fine evergreen styrene C channel carefully glued onto the top of the top slide bar, and bottom of the bottom slide bar to represent the "enclosed" look of the crosshead fitted to the V, however it seems this has already been suggested.

The only other option I was considering (but will probably cause damage to the RTR mech should it not work), would be to remove the slide bars all together, then using two sections of brass C channel, mount them above and below the the centre line of the cylinders. Then create a jig to create a new crosshead from brass square rod (that's the same inside diameter as the inside section of the C channel), drilled on one end to accept the piston and thru 90 degrees for the connecting rod pivot. This way, everythings kept nice and square, and you shouldn't have any problems.

Pete


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