January 2021 News

Rolling Stock Updates

T45 328, whilst not seeing any progress, is newsworthy in that a suitable chassis c/w motor has been identified for it; produced by SV&LV (Skultorps Vagn & LokVerkstad).  This is likely to cost in the region of £175.  However, we have been in dialogue with a modeller in Sweden who hinted at having a chassis by ‘AH Mässingchassis’ available.  [Photos from SV&LV website.]

N 1304 is coming along slowly.  The tanks and cab were attached to the chassis with contact adhesive (one of the recommended methods), but not an extension piece to the rear buffer-beam, because it was not clear how it should be fitted.  This can be ironed out later.  The exhaust steam pipe was fitted (having identified what it actually is—the drawing is unclear) and the front running plate was attached to the boiler.  The smokebox door was loose-fitted (a ‘tight’ loose fit) in case we need access to it for the installation of the working lights, later.  Phase One (five phases in all) was completed 8th January.

Phase Two began the following day!  The phases are generally set out in accordance with the five assembly drawings, but with suitable adjustments where necessary.  We started by fitting the chimney, steam dome, sand dome and some other boiler-top fittings; then moved onto things such as buffer-beam (including the rear one, which could now be correctly fitted), the buffers, steam pump, brake pump, jack, and a few other fittings (including etched brass) before preparing the superstructure for painting.

Phase Three followed soon after.  Painting has been postponed until the handrails have been fitted, and the handrails were postponed until we had obtained better tooling for them.  So, this phase is actually the fourth brought forward: the chassis!  The two main frames are easily different as one has the motor mount, but with a ‘revised’ motor supplied, we needed to remove the mount.  The spacers for the frames also provided a headache which was solved when we discovered that they both had faulty threads at one end, and we were grateful that we had brought our 2mm tap from the UK.  Thus, the frames went together quite easily once the faults were corrected, and tried up to the body—a tight but perfect fit—even with the motor attached.  We completed Phase Three in one day with the fitting of the wheels, axles, bushes, motor and gears; and one cast piece (part of the brake plumbing), but with the exception of the balance weights for the wheels and the ‘decorative’ trims for the axle ends, because they ought to wait until the rest of the loco has been put together!  Where the model has been modified since drawings were created, we realised that there were tabs for electrical contacts on one side only.  So, using off-cuts from the etched brass sheet, we made some tabs to mount on the other side in corresponding places, glued at first, but strengthened with solder soon after.  We then found the ‘difference’ between wheels part numbers 64 and 67—64 are conducting, 67 are insulating!  Thankfully the only remedial work was to turn around the gear on the third axle!  We were now ready to think about Phase Four.

The first paint went on in the middle of the month.  We needed to remove the wheels so that we could paint the frames, and this seemed the logical time to do it.  Whilst this was being done, the matt black first coat was applied to the loco body also.  (The top coat will be satin black.)  Then, ‘oily steel’ was applied to the coupling rods, connecting rods, and a few smaller details.

Phase Four primarily concerned the ‘motion’; the valve gear and all the linkages.  Thankfully, some of it was already assembled, but we still needed to work with brass nuts about 1mm a/f and various other equally tiny parts!  We were not satisfied with the design of the feeble attachment for the motion bracket to the chassis, but in the cramped space, all we could do was pack a little extra glue!  As we came to put it together, we found that it might have been a bit easier if these parts had been assembled after we fitted the motion on both sides, but it has gone in OK.  One small job that took almost a day to do was to fit the brake shoes.  These are very tiny pieces that go onto 0.5mm rods between the wheels, and even with tweezers (or ‘especially’ with tweezers), which were so essential, this was not an easy job.  We feared that we had lost one brake shoe, but it was found on the floor (sadly, there are no spare parts with the kit).  We returned to the motion, and struggled to fit it.  One of the fixing brackets on the motion bracket broke away, and one of the crossheads had a blob of solder preventing it from engaging with the slide bars!  We also needed to put a blob of glue on the nuts holding the connecting rods to the crossheads, and the expansion links to the radius rods and motion bracket.  Curiously, there is nothing to stop the return crank from coming off its stud, so we used a blob of glue as a temporary measure, but a scrap of offcut will be used when the job has been finished.  The lights were fitted at this stage; working ones intended for the Jeco/Liliput E-loco, but we needed to order resistors because the E-loco has them mounted onto the PCB, which the N-loco does not have!

We have discovered a little fax-paus… our loco number1304 would not have had the separate domes (one for steam, one for sand); this applied only to the ‘earlier’ samples.  Later locos had a very large combined dome.  We have decided to overlook this detail and not change the fittings nor the number.  As a caveat, our resource does not confirm from which number the change was made, and our one photo of 1304 is at such an angle that it is difficult to tell!  Furthermore, we have a photo of one with the two domes fitted the ‘other’ way around.

Fv1 (ex-F5-L) 25786 has a new buffer (to replace one that had been broken off before purchased), and this is ready to enter service.  The Kadee couplings have been taken out of the NEM pockets, but we have no supplies of Roco couplings here in Sweden, so they will be fitted at a later date.  Also for later, is the manufacture of a box for it; currently it remains in the box that it was shipped in, with bubble-wrap for protection.

Uh 20 74 070 0 651-0, a BP tank wagon arrived at the end of the month.  This is a Dekas model made in Denmark, and quite limited in availability.  It will be interesting to compare this with our Piko model of the Uh wagon in BP livery (thankfully with a different running number)!  The number shewn here is the number carried on the new model, though the box suggests 21…-4.

Two interesting model cars have arrived, a Volvo 444PV as a deluxe version with extra trims and detailed interior; and a much older Volvo PV56 with ‘wartime’ Gengas trailer.  Both are by SMJ.

Manufacturer News

HNoll is inspecting samples of the Brown R4 and Black S12 carriages.  If these are OK, they will be sent from China shortly afterwards and for delivery to the stores in the next few weeks.  It is a very small part of the order that is ready. It may take a while before these carriages can be produced again as there is a lot of queuing in the factory.  Work on B4, BF4 and BF7 has begun, which they hope to be able to deliver in the autumn, but there is no update about the A7/A8/B7/B8/S1 models.  However, another setback has occurred with the air freight costs (which the supplier has blamed on Corona) which have gone up from 29kr per unit to 62kr, so now they are being sent by sea at a cost of 13kr, but delivery will be a bit later.