Thursday, 27 September 2012

Progress with the Balconies

The next challenge was to fit the balcony railings to the ends of the coach in a sturdy manner, so they don't fall off when handled. I also wanted to be able to leave the roofs off until the coaches are painted and glazed, so ideally the railings should be affixed to the body and chassis only. The solution I came up with is shown in the photo below: the

The bottom of the corner posts fits into "feet" on the steps, which should appear to be extensions of the end frame of the chassis. The tops of the wire corner posts bend through 90 degrees under the roof, they then bend downward into a piece of plastic fixed into the inside of the coach body. The photo below shows the recesses cut into the underside of the roofs to clear the wire.

I'm pleased with how the look with the roof on, and they certainly seem well attached - even at this stage, without glue. I'm still to deal with the spikes, they will be removed and replaced with a plastic strip representing a wooden handrail.

Also visible above is my "prototype" step. The original steps were too fragile and long gone, so I need something more sturdy, this "solid" plasticard step (which doesn't show up well in the pictures) is certainly solid, the issue is ensuring sufficient bogie clearance. With some trimming of the end of the bogie and careful position of the points the coach is easily able to negotiate 12" radius Peco points, so it looks like this should work.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Coach Balcony Railings

I can't put it off any longer - it's time to have a go at the balcony railings! I think these will be what give the coaches character, and it is important to get them right. They could also be rather delicate, so there is no real option in my mind but to make them from metal.

These are the component parts - the railings from the Scale-Link etch, trimmed as shown, and some brass wire.

I figured the only way I am going to get these railings straight and even, and them solder them together without suffering severe burns, was to use a jig. Nothing complex here, just an off-cut of MDF with some thin card (slightly thinner than the wire) stuck on. The wire is laid into each slot up to the stop, a steel rule used to hold it in place, and then it is bent down.

With the wire uprights in the slots and held in with blu-tack they are tinned with solder. A little flux paste is applied to the ends of the railings and they are lined up with the marks and uprights, it then just takes a few dabs of a tinned soldering iron to solder it all together.

The results I am pleased with - strong, square, and even, and more to the point, I've not gained a single burn. Since I took this picture the excess solder has been filed away, I think they should look quite neat once painted. One thing I have just thought though - spiky railings on a moving coach don't seem a good idea, do they?

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Coaches back on the workbench

It may not have escaped your notice that this summer has been rather quiet on the modelling front, and the last few posts will give some reasons why! However I have managed to spend a few evenings getting back to the workbench, and the Egger OEG coach conversions. Nothing major to report yet, but I have done a little more work on the underframe, and added some longitudinal seating inside. Not visible here but I have also cut up the one-piece window mouldings from the original coach into pieces that can be fitted around the seats and partitions.

I have also been pondering how to tackle the end balconies. Thanks to Bernard Taylor via the NGRM-Online forum I have the fine etches seen below, from a Scale Link railings etch. They have the right feel for elegant balcony railings. I've also obtained some brass wire, already used for adding handrails (seen above) in the existing holes where the plastic gates located. I now have a plan coming together for how I'll make the balconies, but more on that next time...

Posted by Picasa

Friday, 7 September 2012

Birthday Presents

To soften the blow of being another year older I was given some lovely presents. Such as this variety of books:


Once I have read those, I have a project to do. I've seen a tram conversion of a "Skylark" onto a smooth-running Kato chassis before, and thought "that's a good idea!"


Finally, a Model-Rail Sentinel, a superbly detailed model. The observant amongst you will have noticed that despite it's tiny size, the gauge is wrong for my current layouts. Hmm....

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

An Inspirational Train Ride

Today we had a family day out, and as so often the case it involved a train ride. However this train was rather faster than most!

As you may have guessed the train ride was not the point of the day out, indeed it was a short speedy ride from Ebbsfleet to Stratford, a rather convenient way of getting here:

The Olympic Stadium - or in this case, the Paralympic Stadium. Looks rather small from this distance doesn't it?

From the inside it looks much bigger, and holds an impressively large crowd! The events taking place were impressive too, with some inspirational competitors. Of course this is not a sports blog so enough of the diversion, so I'll end this post with a picture of the rather impressive flame.

Posted by Picasa