Due to the fact that it will be at least a year before I have an operating work shop, (Jan 2008) this project has been handed back to the client who will complete it. Hopefully, I will get some pictures of the completed model for this site.
This is to be part of a whole train to go with the Finney 7 2-4-0. It is a Blacksmith kit for which the art work was done by the late, and much lamented, Carl Legg. These kits, in my view, are definitely not for the beginner.
One needs a modicum of experience with etched kits and an ability to "interpret" the instructions, which are somewhat minimal but enough if you know what you're doing. They originally grew out of the old Mallard Kits of many years ago (of which I built a number in 4mm). They were state of the art then, like Colin Waite's kits, they were years ahead of their time.
However, the original 7mm versions appeared to be simple blow ups of the 4mm artwork and so the tabs and slots were largely useless. These kits are a considerable improvement on what went before. So what does one get in the box, which (for you tight fisted modellers too mean to buy a proper box) will hold the completed model.
Some very nicely etched sheets, which contain a number of parts that are now redundant, so check carefully that you are using, for instance, the correct set of etchings for the ventilators.
A set of generic instructions and a couple of pages of more detailed information about the particular vehicle represented. In this case it is consists of a small reproduction of the drawing from the condemned list. It is helpful, if somewhat small but I doubt it would reproduce well enough to blow up to 7mm.
Shewn below are the cleaned up and prepared parts for one side and end. It has separate etching for the bolection moldings, something that top professionals like Chris Gwilliams dislike but, if one wants to get the depth right, is necessary.
The etching is well done and the parts fit well. An RSU and C&L solder cream in minute quantities serves well to fit them. The door hinges are all the same length. This is a pity I think considering the rest of the design quality and of the etches. Back to top
Here the side, sole bar and end are shewn ready for assembly. Holes are etched for the door bangers either side of the door hinge. You will need some 0.5mm wire to solder into these holes (not provided in the kit). Like the door hinges, solder them in and then carefully file them to size.
It is also necessary to scribe the door lines on the lower body side. The etching process is not up to such niceties but scribing is easy since there are defined marks to work too. However, do not press to hard or you will distort, what is now, very thin brass.
It is vitally important that the turn under on the sides and ends is accurately formed or the join when construction starts will not work. The etches at this stage, particularly the sides, are very flimsy so take care.
Once construction of the basic box is complete, it becomes much more robust. This is not a criticism of the kit, it is simply an artifact of the methodology.
Start actual construction by soldering one end to one side. Make ABSOLUTELY sure that that you have the joint square and that the compound curves are all inline.
Solder the base to the side first and then tack solder the turn under before seaming up the 90° joint. The ends go between the sides, make sure you have cleaned up the cusps to a nice smooth, clean edge.
Next do the other side and end so you have two opposite ends and sides. I held the lot in place on a steel plate with rare earth magnets and so had two hands free to wield the RSU probe and a block of wood to hold it square.
It is not difficult but it is important to take care and get it all square. Back to top
The buffer beams are designed to fit into slots in the base plates. It works OK for the non step end but for the step end the fit is awkward. I found it necessary to file down the tabs to about half a millimetre.
It is also necessary to file back the under-turn of the base of the side to allow the beam to sit properly. If you do not know this before soldering the ends to the side then it is a little more difficult to do it afterwards, which I had to do. I strengthened both beams with small pieces of brass 90° angle since they would be taking the full weight of any train of which the carriage was a part.
The step board that fits on the sole bar is easily fitted by soldering some 0.7mm wire to the etched lines marked on the underside.
The wires then slide easily into the etched holes on the sole bar. Holding the step board down on the steel plate with rare earth magnets gave me two hands to do the job. Cut them off fairly short, no point in wasting wire.
The queen posts are part of a clever etch that includes the V hangers. A separate piece of etch makes the 3 dimensional queen post and the whole thing then fits between the sole bars.
Here it is partly completed. Back to Top
The roof needs a slot cutting at each end to take the clerestory. It needed careful measurement and a steady hand with the Minidrill and a disc cutter.
Here is the body now assembled with all the partitions in place and the lavatory to.
The next problem is to arrange the roof to be removable. The clerestory needed to be strengthened along its longitudinal axis with some brass strip.