Sunday, February 11, 2007


Went to Felley Priory today for 'snowdrop Sunday' - very nice! Sunny weather, a little damp under foot still, but the snowdrops and hellebores were lovely. Tea and fruit cake was good too.

Snowdrops never seem to come out too well in shots like these, but there are loads behind Claire and Thomas (I promise).

Anyway, on to modelling... Today, I attempted my first ever go at white metal kit-making using solder. Well, it certainly was interesting. To start with I clearly don't have the top kit, just a temperature controlled cheap ebay iron (£15 or something). My antex iron is not variable and would melt the white metal too so that's not a possibility. Apparently some people use their normal irons and just unplug them and let them cool before using for white metal - weird!!!

However, it was a most interesting experience. The flux seemed to disappear very quickly and hence I needed to use quite a bit, the solder 'dries' quickly (or is it 'solidifies', 'hardens' or 'add your own word here'...) and the iron doesn't have to be too hot at all.

Now that's good and I'll tell you why.... It means you can actually hold the pieces together whilst soldering, rather than a) getting burnt fingers or b) using various bits and pieces to hold the objects together without getting a).

So, I seemed to get along pretty well and the results are below...

Harlech Castle, on a farish 08 chassis. The entire body is done (all soldered) and just needs detail (air horns etc.) and buffer beams. The kit tells you to test run it first, as the beams can short out on the track as they hang rather low. Thus I need to try it on the layout before I add these, or the steps. Then I got on with 'Prince'...

Progress so far... tender chassis was completed and wheels inserted (to the correct gauge using my N gauge society back-to-back measuring device). I then chopped the chassis about, taking various bits off to make it fit beneath the main bodywork. I stopped work as I need to consider how best to chop the cylinders up to leave room for the smokebox to clear the chassis, but enough to keep the cylinders in line too. Might decide to just chop the cylinders off and use some plastic strip, instead of sawing the current cylinder holder down to less than 1mm thick (it looked fraught with likelihood of breaking it anyway).

So these two locos have taken a decent step forward tonight and my skills at soldering have been bolstered too.

Now, I probably ought to get on with coach building again soon as I seem to be developing a serious plethora of locos, with nothing for them to pull!


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