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Scrap Tank Test Build Part 9 – Finishing the Body

I have now had the castings back for the various fittings for the Scrap Tank; the masters being in part my own 3D prints and some turnings that I commissioned from Jeremy Souter.  This is what they look like:

photo 6

I did not seek to do everything for the whole model as some parts are available from other suppliers and I did not want to duplicate their work.  Thus, I needed to get the safety valve/safety valve bonnet from Alan Gibson, a smokebox door from Lochgorm, a whistle from Markits and smokebox door handles from Comet.

Once these, along with the remaining handrails, were fitted, the body is complete and it certainly appears to be taking on the character of the real thing so far as I am concerned!

photo 5 photo 13 photo 11photo 2

So next up will be the cylinders, crosshead and connecting rods!


Scrap Tank Test Build 8 – Casting Masters

The update on the Scrap Tank test build shows it looking like this:

Tank 1

The eagle eyed, and indeed the slightly less than eagle eyed, amongst you will notice that this is not a whole lot different to the last update, just a few fittings have been installed – basically the ones I could glean off other things; the safety valves/bonnet and smoke box from Lochgorm Models and the clack valves from Alan Gibson (but much cut down as they are really much too big).  I have not been able to fit any other castings because they don’t exist, so I have had to do some more work on these.

So it is back to the CAD machine to draw up a series of 3D masters; in the top view some piston rods/part of the cross head, rear sand boxes, clack valves (now the right size which is much much smaller) and some lubricator valves.  The bottom view has some tank filler lids, front sandboxes and piston ends.

Masters 6Masters 2

These have been printed for me by Alan Butler of Modulu who is a new entrant in the field of 3D printing and has a system/machine that can do really small parts very well indeed; definitely better than Shapeways.  Alan is a railway modeller here and blogs here – well worth a look I suggest and if you are thinking of having some things printed then I would get in touch with him.

I did not get Alan to print the dome and the chimney, partly because I had my doubts that the print would do the fine lip of the metal where it meets the boiler but mostly because I just could not work out how to draw the damn thing!  Instead, therefore I commission Jeremy Suter to make these for me:

Chimney 2

……..and very fine the look too!

So, these are the masters all sorted and they will shortly be sent of for casting.  I will be using lost wax again, as I much prefer this to white metal; although I do accept that the better white metal casters do do a grand job.

More on my casting and etching

We haven’t had an update on the etching and mastering that I have been doing for the signals for a while.

Well, I have had both the rapid-prototype  masters and etching in.  Using the former, I have also had my first set of lost wax casting done – in this case for the lamps and finials.  This is what they look like – which I think is pretty good and a lot better than the white metal ones from MSE.


and the etching looks like this – brackets, arms, ladders and a few other bits and pieces.


So it was time to make a signal – in this case a fairly simple single arm Highland signal.  So using a post from Lochgorm and then my parts for the arms, spectacle plates, windlass, balance levers, ladders, finials and lamp, this is what it has come out like:

_DSC0004compress       _DSC0578compress

and the castings close up looked like this.

_DSC0577compress   _DSC0574compress

So all in all, I am pretty chuffed!

It does mean that I think there is some more signal building to come on these pages……….

Wetting Your Appetite

Slightly less modelling of late; although I did manage to get a Shapeways order off for the elements of the loading crane, signals and water column and I hope to do the same with an order for etchings tomorrow.

With Christmas coming up, we have done a little travelling done to visit people and we popped down to see the old man on Saturday.  He has now had all of the proofs for his next book back and they look very good.  Those of you who have seen his previous books will know that there are lots of photographs, drawings and text; laid out in a logical and easy to use fashion.  They are designed to be books for modellers and I think they succeed.

So this is what it looks like; the expectation remains that it will be launched at the Glasgow show in February and judging by the proofs things are on target for this:

Carriages and Wagons

The reason we are cracking on with doing the family is that we will not be here for the Christmas and New Year; we are off to somewhere exciting; where the trains look like this…………………….


and go through scenery like this………..


So no more posts until the new year………………………

Merry Christmas!


More Computer Work……….this time a yard crane

In the summer, my 16 year old decided to rejoin the human race (having spent the previous three years on the planet “grunt”) sufficient that he and his mate decided that they might actually want a week away with a boring middle aged bloke.  So after some discussion, we decided to go and get some “fest” in at Edinburgh, cycle the Dava way, bag a couple of munros and take in a distillery tour or two.

We stayed at Aviemore so I went on one of my photo recons and whilst I must have been past it several times before I found this rather nice yard hand crane.


I thought it ouzed atmosphere and would make a lovely little model; so I have had a bash with it – again trying to use modern means to make it so that it could be replicated if need be.  So other than what I think is a brake at the rear (which I forgot until I loaded the picture up above) I think it is done.

Aviemore Crane 1 crop

Aviemore Crane 2 crop

Aviemore Crane 3 crop

The base piece, sides and the cowl that goes over the base of the main wheel (the green bit) are intended to be etched; the rest will go down the route of 3 D printing again.

So it is time to spend some money with Shapeways and PPD again………..  I have also done some work on the other things that I had etched and printed before; hopefully they will have the little glitches sorted this time; a little present for myself for Christmas!

Test Etches and Prints

I have had the test etches back for some time and have had a play with them.  This is what they look like back from the etchers:


I did find that I had made a number of the components to fine.  I had prototype information, so I had made things like the balance levers to absolute scale and this is too delicate, certainly for 4mm.  So they look beautiful in the etch but would not survive on a layout.  Fortunately, I had also done an etch of the arms and signal components in 7mm, so I was able to do a little bit of 7mm modelling.  This used a Lochgorm Models etched post and my design of base is where it gets too (sorry, slightly fuzzy picture):


I also got the first of the 3d prints back from Shapeways and these are very good indeed, so I am well chuffed with them!  They are slightly difficult to photograph but here is what these look like:


I need to make a couple of tweeks to these and get a revised print done of them.  I have a miniature etch for the handles done, then I will make a few resin copies of them and they are done!

I also had the finials and lamps printed; the lamps worked fine and so did the finials in 7mm but they proved far to fragile in 4mm – so again I need to make a few key elements overscale to be able to use it.


More 3 D Printing

Whilst my orders for earlier work are underway, I have done a bit more drawing and have now drafted up some lamps for the signals; as below:

M&H lamp

I have also managed to sort out a drawing that I did some time ago for a water column.  The larger of the models for 3 D printing need to be hollowed out (to save on the printing medium, which is charged for by its volume).  This took some time to get right, as I had multiple different parts I was working on.Garve water column


So these have also be sent of to Shapeways for printing.  As before, I will use the lamps as masters for lost wax casting (another new trick to learn!) but the water column will be used as a master for some resin casting (the old dog really is going for lots of new tricks) – it will also need an etch for its operating arm.


However, lets see how good they come back first – as I think I am probably counting chickens prematurely here……….



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