November has been a busy month…
Rc3 1027 is getting more ready to be used in double-heading and for testing new track before being connected to controllers.
- Modifications were made to the superstructure so that coupling mechanisms could be retrofitted. The loco is of no use without couplings, so it was a necessary job! Fitting Symoba 111+107 was straight forward, and the only extra work was to make the cut-out in the ploughs so that the couplings could poke through.
- We found some 13.5mm Ø wheels in stock and have fitted these into the bogies. We also found some weights which have been fitted inside the loco, to the chassis. Thus, it is now ready to run (notwithstanding repainting into an earlier livery at a later date).
T21 64 returned to service (for proper running-in) at the beginning of the month.
- A small control panel on the chassis was repainted later (it was too bright!), and a better way of fitting the handrails has been devised. The new handrail work will be for a later date.
T45 328 also made progress.
- The ploughs were painted matt red, but the first coat was cleaned off so that they could be cleaned with fibre brushes and reapplied; and this has certainly made an improvement.
- Other painting included the bogie sides and bolsters, but of course these cannot be fitted until we have obtained a drive package for the model.
- With the arrival of a ‘tap’ for M2, we were able to properly tap the holes for the screws to hold the body to the chassis.
- We suffered a slight hiccup when we intended to apply the number decals to the buffer beams. We had failed to notice that the red does not go all the way up to the running board! So, this part of the red has been painted over, and then the number applied. This loco has now gone back into storage until a motor and drive-train can be sourced for it. In all other respects, it is ready for service.
F 1207 had some significant progress during November. The biggest breakthrough came on the first weekend of the month, which some would argue is a little ironic: remember that this is an important Swedish locomotive, made by a Danish manufacturer… that weekend was the 500th anniversary of the Stockholm Bloodbath; we’ll leave it to you to look up the historical relevance!
- With some technical advice, we were able to separate the motor from the fly-wheel, and the same from the old T21 motor assembly. Under test, we found that by inserting the ‘F’ core into the ‘T21’ casing, there was no magnetic resistance. Reassembled with this substitution, the motor turned freely under power—one way only; completely ‘dead’ the other way! Remembering that this is a Heljan model, we rewired and re-soldered connections and it started to work properly, but clearly needing running-in.
- Refitted to the loco, all was not well. In fact, the newly assembled hybrid motor seemed to work the wrong way (easily corrected by swapping the wires over), and then not at all. Then smoke arose from where smoke should not arise and the controller cut out! So, a new motor needs to be fitted. There is also a temptation to remove the PCB completely and fit our own suppressor (capacitor) and resistors, but that will be only if all else fails. A new motor is on order, but it seems to be taking a long time in coming (from Sheffield).
- Following several hours research into the model’s internal wiring, the new smoke-box door headlamp was fitted and brought into use. It is correctly a so-called ‘warm-white’ and thus contrasts with Heljan’s ‘ice-white’ lamps. The latter will be dyed accordingly.
- Boiler cab fittings have been painted with brass, copper and steel coloured paints.
K24 1775 returned to the Railway during November. There was only one K24, and its number was 1776, so we shall see about getting ours corrected. Curiously, when Liliput first produced the model, they got the number correct; but they later issued it as 1775 and 1772, both incorrect, yet only 1772 came with etched numberplates!
- The model has NEM coupling pockets, but removal of the couplings requires the chassis to be taken apart, so close couplings were retrofitted later in the month!
- Whilst we had the loco apart for checking over, we painted the cab fittings brass, copper and steel where appropriate, and a red regulator!
- The NMJ wagon, G 1000 of the NOJ (Nässjö Oskarshamn Järnväg) has been purchased to support this loco, as has an old Piko Gs 761, also of the NOJ. The latter did not have NEM pockets, but these have now been retrofitted (Symoba, again), and all three vehicles (loco and two wagons) have close couplings inserted! (More about the Piko wagon below…)
- Before SJ took over the K24, it was owned by the NOJ as their loco number 29. For more information, see our Available Models section.
Yd 343 came in for a little more work.
- The ‘A’ end markers were fitted to this model. A small job, but makes the world of visual difference!
FM4 55420 has been painted. The decision was taken to reject the Orange “Mätvagn” livery for this model, and instead to paint it the same way as the R5, old SJ brown, but with black at window height. It is, after all, another ‘freelance’ carriage.
- Because this model has had several livery considerations, it really needed sanding down first, then grey primer. The model was sanded again between two coats of primer, and when the first coat of SJ Brown went on, it went on very well! Obviously, its overall appearance is still a little compromised—best viewed from a distance!
- The gloss black at window height is now matt black. But we have decided against repainting the roof, light grey is authentic for the brown livery.
- An ASEA bogie was repainted (from light grey) to match this vehicle. This bogie is a temporary measure until the designated MD bogie has been relinquished by the T45 loco, which is borrowing it until a motor-bogie has been fitted.
- Extra weight was required, and we have therefore found an excellent recycling exercise for Märklin AC wheel-sets; held in with ‘gorilla-glue’ four wheel-sets provide enough weight!
- The number transfers have been applied, and we have used 55420, which is labelled for type F24K presently. We will, at a later date, change the ‘24K’ to ‘M4’!
R5 2602 has continued, following the collection of some old parts in store, spare parts from former UGJ models!
- A bolster was fitted to each end of the chassis to serve as a buffer-beam, and for good measure, reinforced with ‘L’ section extrusion. The buffer centres are a scale distance of 6’ apart (easier to measure in scale than actual), so marking the bolster was easy from a width point of view; getting height right was a bigger challenge!
- Symoba 111+103 couplings have been fitted to this model (requiring much of the new buffer beam to be cut away), and it was nice to find a use for the #103 standard pockets!
- End gangways were made up (the X2000 pattern was quite unsuitable), and end lights (non-working) were fitted using British ‘Replica Railways’ products designed as headlamps for 00-scale diesels! Painted black with red lamp sections, they look quite the part!
- Final assembly was conducted near the end of the month, and we now have an extra catering carriage, quite freelance, but useful until more suitable models are produced.
The Tekla (aka Strömavtagarvagn) was recovered from storage, and some effort has been made to get that kit completed. A plan of action was for a whole week, with one job each day. Although the jobs were all quite small, this is a delicate kit, and should not be rushed! Of equal urgency was a box for it to go into because it is rather lightweight and prone to damage!
- This device is used at loco-sheds that house electric engines but were built before electrification, thus no cables go into the sheds. With the loco’s pantographs lowered, the Tekla provides power to the loco; one end slides onto the lowered pantograph, the other end makes contact with the wire outside. LEG’s film “1435 Elloksveteraner del 2” shews one in use.
- Naturally, we started with the easier jobs; painting the wheels and fitting them using thin ‘piano wire’ for the axles. Super-glued into place (wheels onto axles), we now have a device that can be moved along the track—all wheels turn!
- The ‘stretchers’ on the top required more intensive work, however. We didn’t have all of the required drill bits available (0.4mm, 0.6mm 0.8mm) and neither of our pin vices could hold the 0.4mm that we did have! But using an old dentists’ drill (kindly donated years ago), we were able to create 0.7mm holes and fill with glue or solder where necessary! Despite the precarious nature of this, it seems to have worked!
- Unfortunately, the 0.8mm holes go into 0.9mm plastic, so that didn’t work out. We fitted reinforcers to the top of the frame, into which we have bored 0.9mm holes, and the insulators fit into that easily.
- The shape-formation of the stretchers, which needed parts soldering on, was another unfortunate problem! This didn’t work out at all well. The cantilevers for the stretcher that reaches to the contact wire are now made from ‘L’ section brass (instead of 0.5mm round) and soldered into place; but the insulators for the other stretcher have been gorilla-glued instead of soldered.
- The model finally went together at the end of the month, a few compromises here and there but not completely ruining the visual appeal. Unfortunately, we have found that it is only a visual model (we had hoped to use it for interesting shunting purposes as designed), but as the photo shews, the stretcher to the pantograph is nowhere near long enough! (Even if we took off our coupling so that the buffer beam could press against the loco buffers, it would still not reach!)
- The box should be built in the early part of December.