The Build so Far.
This engine is from a Scorpio kit that is designed to produce no less than 6 different versions of a saddle tank engine comprising classes 645, 655, 1501, 1813, 1854 & 2721.
This view of the myriad parts in bags will give you some idea of its complexity. There were also many sheets of etch. The instructions are, naturally, quite complex but rely very much on sketches and hand written reference notes. A picture is worth a thousand words the designer says. Never-the-less, I feel sure that the kind of mind that could produce a kit of this complexity could have added a few more words about how it goes together.
The footplate and cab, (what there is of it, hardy lot those old engine crews) makes up fairly easily, I wish that could be said for all of it.
This is the basis of the tank and requires especially riveted overlays fitting to suit the particular variety of engine I seek to produce. In this case they will have to be scratch built and fitted, since I want to model an earlier version with a six rows of plates rather than the three or five provided for in the kit since the picture I have for the engine I want, 1533, has them.
The boiler/firebox, shewn upside down here, sits inside the tanks and leaves plenty of room for motor, gearbox, DCC control equipment, speakers and ballast etc. The smoke box is not an easy part to make accurately, or fit, since there are no locking tabs anywhere so, it is all trial and error, i.e., the errors are a trial!
The chassis has ‘scale thickness frames’, which makes them more than somewhat flimsy in my view, even when the spacers are fitted. Also, it still uses old fashioned turned brass spacers that take a lot of heat to fit. My advice to others would be to scrap these and use some folded brass or nickel spacers instead. There are more brackets to fit for the dummy inside motion.
All the parts for the motion were clearly based upon what looks like excellent masters; problem is they are white metal and very fragile. Since I have elected to go for the compensated option, fitting the dummy motion on an axle would be very tricky I think. It may be possible to fit it to some brass tube and let the axle run inside that, we shall see.
Unlike Black Duncan it is not possible to set up the dummy motion as a separate unit to be fitted later so it will be a great fiddle I suspect.
The wheels were turned up from Alan Harris castings (for details how this was done please refer to Wheel Turning). The rods, from the etched part supplied, were soldered together in a vice and cleaned up very early in the piece. I do not like taper pins and so fit the telescopic axles with 10BA bolts into threaded holes in the axle components.
The brass turning that can be seen in the front is the tool for removing the Carl Legg crankpin nuts. It has a hole drilled into each end, one to fit the small crank pin and the other end for the larger. Then a slot is sawn in with a piercing saw to accommodate the cast gudgeon pin ends.
TO BE CONTINUED - eventually! Never a truer work written, it is now February 2010 and this afternoon I disinterred the kit from its niche in a cupboard full of similar half finished projects. Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced the instructions and so, until I can get another set, work is still stalled. Bah!
Well I have E-mailed Scorpio about obtaining another set of instructions and we must wait and see what transpires..... There was no response to my E-mail but a telephone call got a response and a few days later a replacement copy of the instructions arrived in the post - gratis, full marks for service.
Now I find that the pictures of the particular engine I want to build have also gone missing and must await replacements from Kidderminster Museum. In the meantime, I discovered that I had fitted the valances too far out (must have been a bad day!) and the buffer planks would not fit so took the whole footplate apart again to fix it, thus:
To be continued - one day quite soon now.
Well 'one day' arrived a few weeks ago when I sent the whole lot to Nick Dunhill to complete for me. This is mostly due to my deteriorating dexterity and eye sight, I am not confident I could do it justice now and I want it completed to use on my new shunting layout. Once Nick has done his magic it will go to Warren to be painted in fully lined out Swindon green.